ANC 6D: Foulger Pratt Plans Trees, Lights and A Statue

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Folger Pratt.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on Dec. 11 via Zoom. Commissioners Bob Link (6DO1, vice chair), Ronald Collins (6D02, treasurer), Gail Fast (6D03), Andrea Pawley (6D04), Bruce Levine (6D06, secretary), Fredrica (Rikki) Kramer (6D07, chair) and Rhonda Hamilton (6D08) were in attendance. Ashton Rohmer (6D05) was absent.

Foulger Pratt Development Manager Rudy Knott briefed the commission on plans for lighting and a statue at 60 I St. SW. Foulger Pratt holds a ground lease from Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle of the Assemblies of God at 60 I St. SW. The developer is building 200 units along with a new church on the first floor.

Principal and Founder of FORMDesign Dario Davies, the project’s architect, provided detailed of the project’s façade lighting. Foulger Pratt is working on optimizing them to reduce their intensity, he stated. There are no plans to employ movement or patterns, added Knott.

In response to Treasurer Collins queries, Knott stated that there had been no complaints. Pressed on the extent of the developer’s community engagement efforts, Foulger Pratt had made no effort to contact the project’s neighbors, Knott admitted.

“I am quite concerned that you have not reached out to the community in any way,” said Commissioner Pawley. “I would ask you to make the same effort that other organizations in SW make,” she continued.

A rendering of exterior lighting at 60 I St. SW. Courtesy: Foulger Pratt.

Are the lights 24/7? asked Commissioner Fast. “If that is the way the illumination looks, it is very very bright,” she added. There is no finalized lighting plan, reiterated Knott. Fast suggested incorporating a turn down time.

The lights are too bright for building residents, stated Chair Kramer. Along with Vice Chair Link, she requested Foulger Pratt furnish the commission with measurements of the light intensity in lumens and schedule of for the lighting and any changes in colors. Foulger Pratt has provided no details, Kramer said. Knott promised to clarify the issue.

Commissioners then turned their attention to the seven-foot-tall statue of Jesus washing Apostle Peter’s feet planned for the build’s entrance. The statue is located partially in public space and is the subject to approval by the DC Dept. of Transportation’s (DDOT) Public Space Committee, Davies stated. Foulger Pratt has submitted an application, he continued.

“The reason you (Foulger Pratt) went into public with the statue is because you used up all the space up to the property line,” stated Kramer pointedly. In addition, the project absorbed a corner of Lansburg Park, destroying several heritage trees in the process, she complained.

Foulger Pratt has not yet pulled out of the park, stated Knott. The developer will be out by spring, he said. The trees, he said, would have died anyway due to construction. While there is no requirement for tree replacement, he said, doing so is “in our best interest.”

Foulger Pratt is currently finalizing an agreement with the DC Dept. of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to replace the trees, reported Knott. Chair Kramer directed him to reach out to the SW Community Garden. The commission did not vote on the matter.

Street Enclosures at The Wharf

At the insistence of the DC Zoning Administrator, The Wharf has requested The DC Zoning Commissioner to consider a Modification of Consequence (MOC) for Phase II Planned Unit Development allowing the building of a permanent enclosure in front of the William and Connolly Building near The Seventh Street Pier to accommodate diners at Kinfolk.

Siting plans for the statue at 60 I Street SW. Courtesy: Foulger Pratt.

The Wharf has filed the MOC application, stated Attorney David Avitabile from the law firm of Goulston & Storrs. No hearing has yet been scheduled, he said.

The proposed structure detracts from the beauty of the Phase II architecture, stated Fast. It cuts off the view of the Amaris, she added. She further objected to the loss of pedestrian space.

The proposed structure reduces views to water from the neighborhood side, echoed Commissioner Pawley. Enclosed structures are not “café seating,” she argued. “It is counter to what was promised to the neighborhood,” she added, “I don’t want to see any more of these views disappear.” Collins and Kramer concurred with Fast and Pawley.

The project’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) always reserved the 20 feet closest to Wharf buildings for café seating, replied President of Hoffman Associates Shawn Seaman. Restaurants require permanent enclosures to cope with the District’s hotter summers and colder winters, he argued.

The commission took no vote on the matter.

Public Safety

Metropolitan Police Dept. (MPD) Sector 3 Captain Kevin Harding and PSA 105 Lieutenant Elias Danho briefed the commission on public safety. There was a shooting at the Western and a melee at Jefferson Middle School, they reported.

The fight at Jefferson did not involve the school’s students. Other youth planned the altercation on social media, Harding reported. One of the teen’s mothers was later stabbed in front of Safeway after her child fled there seeking aid. The woman was severely beaten and maced by the fighting youth, he said.

Two pit bulls attacked a woman walking her dog at Third & P Streets, Harding stated. The owner of the two pits bulls released them at a nearby residence on the 1400 block of Third Street Sw. The dogs attacked the woman, killing her dog. They bit another pedestrian as well, he said. Animal control officers seized one of the dogs and have cited the owner, Harding said.

MPD had conducted a successful anti-theft operation at the Fourth Street SW CVS, Harding reported.

Other Matters

Karen Stuart of Call2recycle.org briefed the commission on her organization’s plan for residential battery recycling. Last year, the nonprofit collected 25,000 pounds of batteries. The organization is expanding into Southwest. Commissioners suggested reaching out to the Southwest Business Improvement District (SW BID).

Pepco Senior External Affairs Specialist Jammal Jordan reported utility work on Fourth Street SW related to the Capitol Grid Project will finish by the end of December 2023. Pepco will complete work on I Street SW in January 2024, finishing all project-related construction in Southwest. The project was delayed by the need to shift unknown utilities discovered under the streets, he reported.

The commission appointed Commissioner Pawley to represent it at the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Board hearing on the Fourth Street Safeway’s license renewal. The commission had previously voted to protest the supermarket’s application on the grounds of peace, order and quiet.

The commission voted to write the DC Dept. of Transportation (DDOT), Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) protesting the unreliable service on 74 Bus route, which is the only line serving Buzzard Point.

The commission voted to protest a liquor application by Hen Quarter at 2121 First St. SW on the grounds of peace, order and quiet in the absence of a Community Agreement (CA). If one is inked before the hearing, the protest will be withdrawn.

ANC 6D meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of every month. The next meeting is Jan. 8, 2024. For more information, visit www.anc6d.org.