Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B met for the last time before the newly redistricted commission takes office in January 2023.
Commissioners Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Gerald Sroufe (6B02), Brian Ready (6B03), Kristen Oldenburg (6B04), Steve Holtzman (6B05), Corey Holman (6B06), Edward Ryder (6B07) and Denise Krepp (6B10) were all in attendance. ANC 6B08 and 6B09 are currently vacant.
Representatives from R13 Community Partners appeared to discuss plans for development in Hill East. On Nov. 2, the developers were selected to develop the next phase at Reservation 13, known as Bundle 2. The properties in question are located between Independence Avenue and the continuance of Massachusetts Avenue, east of St. Coletta School (1901 Independence Ave. SE) and the new Park Kennedy Apartments (1901 C St. SE).
The representatives specifically sought feedback on their plans for the new one-acre park they are planning at the center of the site that is intended to serve as the heart of the community. Landscape designer Sharon Bradley said the site would be sustainably built, with bio retention and native or adaptive plants.
Representatives said the park will be designed for play, gathering and nature contemplation. At center will be a piece of public art; while renderings currently show a red sculpture in that place, representatives stressed that image is only for scale and the actual art is yet to be selected.
To the east, a flexible plaza will connect the park with a planned building, which is expected to have ground-level retail, possible a cafe. The space will be designed to facilitate small performances and street festivals. A playground will be named in honor of Relisha Rudd, the young girl who went missing from the DC General Shelter in 2014.
The park is only the first portion of the development presented for feedback by the R13 group, who said they would also visit ANCs 7D and 7F. The full proposal includes 1,246 residential units in total, with 407 deeply affordable units, 334 middle income units, 500 market rate units, and 5 units reserved for building superintendents –1,116 rental units and 125 for-sale units. A flagship Marriott Residence Inn would include 150 rooms and about 60,000 square feet of retail space.
Developers hope to break ground on the apartment buildings and retail in spring 2024; the park is part of the second construction phase, slated to begin about a year later, with construction of the condo and townhomes slated to begin 12 months after that.
Southeast/Southwest Freeway Rehabilitation Project
Representatives from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) appeared to describe the rehabilitation measures that are being planned for the Southeast Freeway, the elevated highway that runs along Garfield Park in ANC 6B01. Originally built between 1958 and 1963, the bridge was last rehabilitated in 1991.
Although there is some damage on the bridge, Project Manager Abdullahi Mohamed reassured commissioners that the bridge, which is inspected annually, is safe and receives necessary repairs. The project will include a new deck overlay, concrete patching, structural reinforcement, lighting updates and re-striping.
The project is currently in preliminary stages, which includes some planning, environmental studies and community outreach. The final design and environmental study are slated for spring through fall 2023. Construction is not yet scheduled as it has not yet been funded. Stakeholder meetings will be held in Spring 2023 when DDOT will present the 30 percent designs.
You can submit your comment on the project website at seswbridges.ddot.dc.gov; the team meets weekly to respond.
Approval of Licenses
The ANC unanimously supported an application for a stipulated Class CR Restaurant License from Pacci’s Restaurant (106 13th St. SE), the family-oriented Italian trattoria located on the east side of Lincoln Park.
Owner Spiro Gioldasis, who also owns another restaurant by the same name in Silver Spring, said he had purchased the property four years and three months ago. He faced challenges from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) as well as the Board of Zoning.
But now, Gioldasis said, he is ready to open, pending receipt of his business license and use and occupancy permit. The restaurant will serve pizza, pasta and salad as well as coffee and small breakfast items. Opening hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; the application includes a sidewalk café.
Planning and Zoning
The ANC voted to support the concept review for a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for a third-story addition and roof deck garden at 531 12th St. SE, with a front window well and expanded areaway. Plans call for the building, now a three-floor family dwelling, to be renovated and subdivided into two units, necessitating an addition visualized as a mansard roof. The rear stoop, steps and laundry closet will be demolished and filled. The application also requests a curb cut to facilitate charging of an electric vehicle on the property.
Architect Christopher Lyon acknowledged that both the rooftop and curb cut were generally items that the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) was disinclined to allow. Historic guidelines dictate that such additions should not be visible from public space; the property is located on a corner, making the addition minimally visible from two streets. In response to questions from Oldenburg about the curb cut, Lyon acknowledged recent District rulings allowing for “trickle charging” by extension cord, but said the curb cut would allow for quicker charging.
ANC 6B voted 7-0 to support the project if the third floor addition can be setback to minimize the visibility from the street. They also supported a roof design change and asked that the door on south elevation is changed to a more historically compatible design. The ANC did not, however, support a curb cut.
The ANC also opposed another HPA application, this one a concept review for a new three-story rear and cellar addition at 647 G St. SE. The developer intends to dig an under-cellar beneath the three-story home and fill in the dog leg with the rear addition in order to create five residential units. Commissioners raised concerns about the single front entrance and the size of the window well as well as with neighbor outreach, noting the applicant had only provided drawings to immediate neighbors that same day.
The ANC voted against support of the project unless changes to the front areaway were made to comply to historic guidelines. However, if those changes are made, the ANC wrote, the other elements should be approved.
Distinguished Public Servant Award
The ANC voted to give their annual Distinguished Public Servant Award to Naomi Mitchell, the former Community Liaison in the Office of Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells and succeeding Councilmember Charles Allen, citing her ability to handle difficult situations with aplomb and her particular attention to problem solving.
In thanking commissioners, Mitchell said she felt like she should be the one giving accolades to the commissioners for their contributions to their community. Mitchell noted that she is a resident of ANC 6B and jokingly warned returning commissioners that they could expect her continued attendance at meetings, this time as a resident.
In Other Business, ANC 6B:
- Approved an application for the 2023 meeting calendar.
- Approved amendments to bylaws and standing rules to put them in compliance with commission activities, i.e. to remove the requirement that “estimated time of completion” be included on the agenda and to permit hiring of outside representation.
ANC 6B had not updated its 2023 calendar at the time of publication. You can find meeting dates, agendas and recordings at anc6b.org