Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B met via Zoom on July 11. Jerry Sroufe (6B02); David Sobelsohn (6B03, secretary); Frank D’Andrea (6B04); Kasie Durkit (6B05, parliamentarian); Chander Jayaraman (6B06, vice chair); Vince Mareino (6B07); Edward Ryder (6B08, Chair); Matt LaFortune (6B09). Frank Avery (6B01, treasurer) was travelling.
Commissioners dedicated significant time to neighbor concerns around a new application for a restaurant liquor license for I Egg You (517 Eighth St. SE). I Egg You is a new breakfast restaurant in the works from the owners of CHIKO (423 Eighth St. SE).
The ANC first lodged a formal protest in pursuit of a Settlement Agreement (SA) when the application was first heard at the May meeting of the full ANC. The ANC wishes to take the opportunity to address resident concerns around both restaurants as part of the process.
Residents say they are worried about trash and garbage management on the property. Residents told commissioners that trash from restaurants, including CHIKO, currently takes up about half of the narrow alley, blocking roadways already sometimes clogged on both ends with delivery trucks.
Trash also attracts rats, which dine on the garbage in the alley and then retreat to the residential yards lining the opposite sides. One resident who faces the rear of CHIKO said she has spent more than $10,000 trying to keep rats out of her yard. She feels trepidation about the new business, she said. “I just wonder how much I can trust them, given what they have done with CHIKO.”
Residents are also concerned about smells from the kitchen. That is especially important at this location, they say, because the restaurant is a one-story building primarily serving fried food. Fumes will be exhausted at a one-story height, meaning all the odors will settle in backyards.
The SA as written includes provisions for redirecting exhaust vents towards Eighth Street, rather than the alley, to eliminate the odor problem for residents. It calls for trash to be kept inside overnight and to be put out in the front of the building at the time of trash collection, like what is written in the SA with CHIKO. The only addition is a pollution control unit, but an acceptable alternative would be to direct fumes towards Barracks Row rather than the alley.
At the meeting, both commissioners and residents said the applicant is unwilling to sign the SA and has been unwilling to have discussions with neighbors. The ANC requested a meeting with the owners would be requested to address the issues raised by neighbors. Residents said they requested a meeting with Andrew Klein, the counsel, who “summarily declined.”
ANC Alcoholic Beverage Committee (ABC) Chair Chander Jayaraman said commissioners invited the applicants and Klein to the meeting. But, he said, ANC 6B got a “tough response” indicating that they would not attend. The protest has been lodged with the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) board, which rules on the license. Jayaraman has already sent the applicant a SA which he said is like the one between the ANC and CHIKO and in line with SAs signed with other Barracks Row eateries.
No vote was taken on the matter. Mediation is underway between the ANC and the owners. They mutually agreed to change the hearing date for the license to July 26, to allow time to reach resolution.
Solar United Neighbors (SUN) program director, Sukrit Mishra spoke about the services offered by the solar energy nonprofit. SUN is a 501 c(3) organization geared to the promotion of solar energy in District households. It was founded in Mt Pleasant in 2007. Now they operate in 11 states and Puerto Rico.
SUN offers pro bono consultations and bulk purchase through their Solar Switch Program. The program is activated when they get 45-50 people.
SUN can help interested homeowners determine what solar equipment is needed. They then take bids from companies. Families select the installers but SUN guides them through the process, even through contracts. The purpose of SUN is to facilitate a conversion to solar by making the process easier and more affordable —it is a purchasing coop rather than an ownership coop. The families will own the system outright.
The Solar Switch Program collects applicants until the end of August deadline. Planning is done throughout fall/early winter, with installation by the following February. The presentation included information about required equipment, the effect on home insurance and tax benefits; SUN is available for assistance to DC residents. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org visit https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/dc/
In Other Business:
The ANC unanimously voted to write a letter in support of a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) from Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) to add a gathering terrace on the north yard for public use and events. The terrace would consist of a circle of low stone benches and compacted aggregate paths surrounded by trees and plantings to shield the terrace from the street. The terrace would be used for Hill Center events and be open to use by the public during operational hours when not in use for a function. The letter indicates that the commission does not think there will be an adverse impact on the historic structure and is directed to the Hill Center for their file in support of the application.
ANC 6B does not meet in August. The next meeting is Sept. 12. See anc6b.org.