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ANC 6A Elects New Officers

The newly-elected Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A held their first full meeting of 2023 on Thursday, Jan. 12. Attending were Keya Chatterjee (6A01), Mike Velasquez (6A02), Roberta Shapiro (6A03), Amber Gove (6A04, Chair), Laura Gentile (6A05), Robb Dooling (6A06) and Steve Moilanen (6A07, Treasurer).

Administrative Business

The commission first elected new officers and committee members, both as a slate:

  • Chair – Amber Gove (6A05);
  • Vice Chair – Keya Chatterjee (6A01);
  • Secretary – Robb Dooling (6A06);
  • Treasurer – Steve Moilanen (6A07);
  • Parliamentarian – Laura Gentile (6A05).

Election of Members and Leaders of Permanent Committees

  • Economic Development and Zoning (EDZ) Committee: Brad Greenfield (Chair – 6A06), Tim Drake, Michael Cushman (members, both 6A04)
  • Transportation and Public Safety (TPS) Committee: Shaun Lynch (Co-Chair), Caitlin Rogger (Co-Chair, 6A07); Jeff Fletcher (member, 6A07), Hassan Christian
  • Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee: Erin Sullivan (Chair, 6A06), Kara Hughley (member, 6A05), and Joe Krisch (member, 6A01)
  • Community Outreach Committee (COC):  Adina Wadsworth (Chair, 6A07), Jessica Clark, Kelsey Grimes

Adoption of Meeting Calendar

The commission accepted the new meeting schedule. Monthly meetings of the full ANC 6A commission will take place on the second Thursday of each month, for 2023 (except August). Meetings take place: February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14 and January 11, 2024.

Upcoming Matters of Note:

The ANC’s Community Outreach Committee (COC) meets Jan. 23. The Department of Public Works (DPW) is expected to appear for a discussion on adding a food waste drop-off site to the H Street NE Farmers Market.

The Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee meets Jan 24 with two applications to consider. One is for a new establishment “Vibrations” on 1100 block H Street NE; the other is a renewal for Smoking Pig (1208 H St. NE).

A third placard was sent by ABRA but was in error and for NW and will be reissued to correct ANC.

In his SMD report, 6A02 Commissioner Mike Velasquez said Vibez Lounge (1378 H St. NE) has asked for endorsement for live entertainment until midnight weekdays, 1 a.m. weekends. That application is not yet on the ABL Committee agenda, but Velasquez said he expects there will be “a large wall for them to climb in all for that to be endorsed.”

Gove added that there was also an update on C Street Project and on plans for the extension to Lincoln Park; the ANC still awaits final drawings, but will circulate these as soon as they areavailable.

The Economic Development and Zoning (EPZ) Committee meets Jan. 18. Commissioner Chatterjee noted that the a project on the 1000 block of H Street NE will be discussed this year. Developer District Growth acquired much of the block, including the former site of C.A.T.Walk Boutique, at 1000-1016 H St. NE; the developer indicated they wanted to build a 70-unit to 80-unit multifamily building. A lot of work will be required over the next few years, Gove adds, as it gets off the ground.

Gove said the Department of Buildings (DOB) is coming to the March meeting of ANC 6A, and asks commissioners to identify vacant or concerning properties and send them to her to compile. She noted that 1000 C St. NE, a vacant property notorious enough to have its own Twitter account, is now in Moilanen’s SMD. Residents should send concerns to their commissioner.

Single Member District (SMD) Reports

Passing of William Outlaw, of Outlaw Way

Commissioner Steve Moilanen (6A07) acknowledged the passing of William Outlaw, who died Jan. 9 at the age of 95. The 200 block of Tenth Street NE is named in honor of Outlaw and his wife, Pocahontas Outlaw, who had lived there since the 1970s. The latter passed in 2014.

The Outlaws were tremendously active throughout the District, and Mr. Outlaw in particular was well-known as a unifier and builder of community. The family ran an eatery on U Street NW until Mr. Outlaw suffered a stroke in 2000. Still, he would maintain the street and alleys, allowing neighbors to have packages delivered to in home to avoid theft. This, he once told the Washington Post, was a neighborly thing to do but also a way of building community, as many folks living on the street only met one another at his house collecting their mail.

Mr. and Mrs. outlaw were both “the epitome of good neighborliness,” Moilanen said. At the recommendation of Chair Gove and Committee Chair Wadsworth, he will suggest at a future COC meeting the ANC solicit feedback on how to recognize Mr. Outlaw at the city level moving forward.

Sasha Bruce House Community Feedback

Commissioner Shapiro said that EDZ committee heard a request from Sasha Bruce House (1022 Maryland Ave. NE) for help to bring operations in compliance with zoning. She said there has been some neighborhood feedback about property; the original agreement for property called for neighborhood liaison committee, and she is hoping they’ll reactivate it and that community members will participate.

Traffic Safety

Both Commissioner Laura Gentile (6A05) and Commissioner Keya Chatterjee (6A01) said they will focus on traffic safety concerns in their new terms. Gentile said that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) promised to install two speed bumps on the 1200 block of D Street NE but instead put in a single speed table. Neighbors say cars fly over table and come to a crashing stop at the stop sign. DDOT needs to slow the street, she said. As construction continues on the C Street NE Project, Gentile said, temporary lights from 14th to 15th Streets are still too dark; she is pushing DDOT to improve lighting. She would also like to see DDOT put a 4-way stop at 14th and Tennessee Avenue NE where there is now a two-way stop, a site, she said, of potential accidents.

The biggest issue of concern for Commissioner Chatterjee is the hit and run she witnessed at 12th and H Street NE, the second time she has witnessed such an incident. A former server at Queen Vic Pub is still injured from a different crash that took place a year ago.

The person hit this year was okay, but Chatterjee said that it was clear that Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) had “no desire” to take reports or statements. This, she added, makes clear the inconsistency of data being used by DDOT to make decisions about traffic calming measures requested by the ANC. “All of our traffic investigations were closed because they were using this ‘data driven approach’,’’ she said, but this incident points to the unsatisfactory way in which data is collected.

“We must realize that there are dangerous parts of the ANC that don’t have a record of being dangerous and push accordingly,” Chatterjee added.  She wants a red light camera at 12th Street at H Street NE, and work to slow vehicular traffic.

“It’s not just the people who are fatalities; it ruins people’s lives,” she said, referencing that Queen Vic employee, who is still recovering. The accident was so hard, his phone flew across three lanes of traffic, knocking plastic from sideview mirror and bumper. This issue puts children at danger, she notes; most homes in 6A01 are zoned for a school on the other side of H Street, including her own child, so DC is forcing kids to cross a street that “they know” is not safe.

Public Safety

Amber Gove (6A04) encouraged residents to attend monthly meetings of MPD’s First District Citizen’s Advisory Council (1D CAC). She said they are “woefully attended given highly expressed concern about public safety,” adding, “that is the venue to directly speak with police officers for 90 minutes and [hey] will discuss details from police reports often not in writing [on the blotter].”

At the last 1D CAC meeting, she said, police noted that 80 percent of car jackings are jump-ins, largely where delivery or residents leave keys in or car running and are crimes of convenience. The next MPD CAC meeting is Tuesday, Feb 7.

The C Street NE project is nearing completion; Gove commended DDOT and project manager saying they’ have been responsive with “hiccups”. She also thanked residents for bearing with it and says it is slowing down streets, and asked for their patience for next few months. But she also asked them to flag any items that need to be addressed. There is an intake form for comments on the website at CSTNE.com The project is at “the punch list stage”, she said, so lights that don’t work or missing bricks or weird curbs should be flagged before the contractors leave.

Trash Concern and Communication

Commissioner Robb Dooling (6A06) celebrated the two new speed bumps on the 600 block of 14th Street NE, but says neighbors need more around Miner Elementary. He spoke about the littering issue at 15th near Chick-Fil-A (at Maryland Avenue NE). DPW installed a trash can nearby the week of the meeting but an area problem remains.

The Maryland Condo Board had several clean-ups throughout last year, Dooling said, which he attended and he looks forward to more this year. Dooling is still moderating ANC Google Groups, and encouraged people to join, noting that to join the separate neighborhood forum to post discussion you must follow additional steps. See anc6a.org

The Commission Approved the Following on Consent:

  • to take no action with regard to the liquor license application from Wasted Inc., also known as Cru Hemp Lounge (816 H St. NE) for renewal of its Class C Tavern License, in part because the date of protest has passed;
  • to send a letter to DDOT and MPD expressing grief for the loss of neighbor Ralph Williams to a car crash on the 900 block of K Street NE in November 2022, in an area where ANC 6A has repeatedly expressed concerns about traffic safety. The ANC also requested more information about the incident; a response on the DDOT and MPD short and long-term plans to address the safety issues previously identified by ANC6A; and some immediate traffic calming measures.

In Other Business

The ANC also unanimously passed motions:

  • to participate in and to authorize the Treasurer to write a $50.00 check to participate in the ANC Security Fund.
  • to amend the ANC bylaws to include the geographic boundaries of the commission area.

The next full meeting of ANC 6A takes place virtually at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. Get full details and more information by visiting anc6A.org

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