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ANC 6B Reaches DC Dash Agreement

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B held a hybrid meeting via Zoom and in-person at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. SE on March 12. Frank Avery (6B01, treasurer); Jerry Sroufe (6B02); David Sobelsohn (6B03, secretary); Frank D’Andrea (6B04); Kasie Durkit (6B05); Chander Jayaraman (6B06, vice chair); Vince Mareino (6B07); Edward Ryder (6B08, chair); and Matt LaFortune (6B09) were present, either online or in the room.

Commissioners returned to consideration of a Settlement Agreement (SA) with DC Dash at 727 Eighth St. SE. The store is applying to the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) for a Medical Cannabis Dispensary License. The matter was first raised in its January meeting.

Commissioner Sroufe worried about potential DC Dash customers illegally parking and consuming cannabis in the adjoining alley. The applicant has their employees warn customers verbally about both during transactions, not just through signage, he stated. He suggested DC Dash check their alley cameras regularly. Commissioner Sobelsohn agreed, adding DC Dash should include something on the issues in their employee manual.

Could the commission use SAs to compel Barracks Row liquor stores to remind customers of parking rules in the alley? Commissioner Mareino asked. The commisson should request both liquor and cannabis stores give these reminders, he said. Alternatively, the ANC should focus on efforts by the Department of Public Works (DPW), the District agency responsible for parking enforcement, Mareino suggested.

DC Dash, stated its Attorney Meredith Kinner, was willing to monitor spaces abutting the building. However, the business does not want to be responsible for monitoring the entire alley, she added. Kinner also objected to any language directing the business to prevent customers or vendors from entering if they parked illegally.

Secretary Sobelsohn, who authored the latest version of the SA, did not entirely disagree with Kinner.

The commission unanimously voted to assign ANC 6B ABCA Committee Chair Chander Jayaraman and Sobelsohn to revise the DC Dash SA. It will be presented at the March 26 ANC 6B executive meeting.

Other Matters

Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Sroufe noted that action is happening on the Underpass and Virginia Avenue Corridor Vision Plan (ctycms.com/dc-capitol-riverfront/docs/underpass-vision-plan.pdf). Plans are underway to make the underpass and skate park between Garfield Park and Virginia Avenue more attractive and to make the area more pleasant to use, he said. Sroufe asked the public to stay tuned as more information will be available next month.

The MS Society will hold a three-mile fundraising walk around Nationals Park on April 28. The route is entirely along sidewalks with police support. The route is along First Street to M Street SE to Fourth Street SE, then back along Fourth to the River Walk. Activity begins 8:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 10:00 a.m. Crowds are expected to disperse by 11:30 a.m. to noon. Register in advance at events.nationalmssociety.org

The commission authorized Commissioner Sroufe to testify at the March 15 DC Council hearing for the Protecting Historic Homes Amendment Act of 2023. Sroufe explained that the bill was prompted by several projects that had exceeded their permitted scope of demolition, many of them located in ANC 6B. He also noted that he planned to use the letter the ANC approved in November 2023 as his testimony. Commissioner D’Andrea expressed concern about the impact of the high fines the bill would allow Department of Buildings (DOB) to impose on individual applicants and so abstained.

The commission authorized Commissioner Avery to testify in support of the Home Purchase Act at a hearing March 18 before the DC Council Committee on Housing. The act extends the home purchase assistance program to include 911 and 311 call-takers and dispatchers. This, Commissioner Marieno said, aligns them with other first responders, such as the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and DC Fire & Emergency Medical Services (DC FEMS) personnel. It is part of a holistic approach to resolving the on-going public safety challenges in our community and, specifically, the on-going challenges of the Office of Unified Communications (OUC). The bill had its first reading in DC Council in March and requires a second before going to vote before council.

ANC 6B next meets in-person at 700 Penn. Ave. SE and via Zoom at 7 p.m. on April 8. The meeting was moved so as not to conflict with Eid al Fitr and the end of Ramadan. ANC 6B usually meets on the second Tuesday of each month. Find details at anc6b.org

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