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Controversial Third Street Property Discussed by ANC 6C

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C met on June 14 via WebEx. Commissioners Christy Kwan (6C01), Leslie Merkle (6C02, secretary), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04, chair), Commissioner Joel Kelty (6C05, treasurer), Patricia Eguino (6C06) and Tony Goodman (6C07, vice chair) were present. Commissioner Jay Adelstein (6C03) was absent.

Matthew Pickner, owner of 1165 Third St. NE, has notified the commission of his intent to file a third application for zoning relief with the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). His second application, approved by the BZA and the commission in 2021, provided an exemption from the lot occupancy requirements to allow the construction of a three-story rear addition to the existing dwelling. Five neighbors opposed his request at the time.

The possibility drew fire from neighbors.

Don, a neighbor, recalled returning to his residence and noticed a “smoldering fire” nearby, he extinguished the flames and added the event to decades-long list of alleged illegal construction, zoning violations and chaos at the property.

The Tyvek house wrap has covered the vacant home for more than 17 years, said adjacent property owner Mary O’Neil. This creates a hazardous situation for neighbors as the house remains vacant and unmonitored, she said.

“It was a small fire, but it could have been much worse which puts me and the other neighbors in immediate danger,” O’Neil said.

“I am not opposed to a zoning and construction code compliant renovation,” Kelty said of the project. “My issue is with the long pattern of noncompliance, and flagrant disregard of the rules.”

“At this point, enough is enough,” Kelty said

O’Neil echoed Kelty’s concerns, pointing out the more than 17-year track record of alleged noncompliance. Neighbors “don’t have a lot of confidence that this is going to be done according to regulations or according to code,” she said.

Kelty called for the District Department of Buildings (DOB) to enforce existing construction and zoning regulations. The agency should declare the illegally constructed rooftop structure on this property to be an unlawful structure under the property maintenance code, he said. He further asked it to be declared unsafe and that any existing building permits be voided and oversight be required of any future movement on the project.

The commission voted to send to a letter to DOB requesting construction be completed within three years at the latest.

The Commission voted to:

  • send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to request that the protected bike connection at Fourth and M Streets NE be added back to the proposed New York Avenue Trail project and to consider the addition of a pump track;
  • protest the class “C” tavern license application by Chop Shop DC/Nice N Easy citing concerns about handicap accessibility and restrictions on a large glass garage door;
  • send a letter to DDOT in support of the Notice Of Intent (NOI) issued for the K Street Protected Bike Lane Project that converts the 200 block of K Street NE into a pick up and drop off zone;
  • support the application for a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application relief for 616 Seventh St. NE to construct a deck at the rear of the property with the proviso that the figures in the application are incorrect, the occupancy would increase to 100 rather than the 83 percent cited;
  • support a grant application for the Peabody school in the amount of $1,103 for tree protection, planting and signs to identify plants and trees in the garden.

ANC 6C will next meet on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. via WebEx. Visit anc6c.org to learn more about the commission and register to attend the meeting.

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