At the commission’s June 19 meeting:
- Commission Chair Patrick Jakopchek announced Commissioner Derirde Brown has resigned. The commission will appoint a temporary non-voting replacement at its July meeting.
- Juanita Gray, the Director of Residence Life at the University of the District of Columbia, said it is unclear if Eaton Elementary School next school year will be occupying the space Murch Elementary School occupied this past school year.
- Theresa Cameron of Van Ness Main Street announced Ibhana Boutique is opening a shop at 4340 Connecticut Ave. on Fridays and Saturdays thru August from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and that Gold’s Gym’s location at 4310 Connecticut Ave. is for sale. She said there are “lots of sidewalk issues” in the neighborhood.
- Elizabeth Groginskyk, the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Early Learning, reported the current city budget includes $11 million to support pre-kindergarten education, $2.5 million of which is for scholarships for families earning less than 250% of the poverty level. Families of four earning under $62,750 qualify. One of the two new locations is at the University of the District of Columbia, which has an adjacent playground. The other is in Ward 7. The District has about 450,000 youngsters of the proper age to quality. Commuters working in the District from nearby states have another 10,000, none of whom can qualify for scholarships. The locations are staffed by a private firm.
- Metropolitan Police Dept. Sgt. Corinne Hughes said apartment dwellers who leave their doors open or unlocked are asking for trouble. She said she will help apartment buildings organize “orange hat brigades” to help police them.
- Richard Reyes-Gvilan, director of the D.C. Public Library system, reported the Washingtonian collection will largely be located at 4340 Connecticut Ave. thru July 23 when it will return to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library downtown, which is scheduled to reopen in mid-2020. It will be open 40 hours a week, either 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.. It will probably be open every other Saturday.
- Pepco’s Linda Greenan reported on plans to energize the Harrison Street Substation at 5210 Wisconsin Ave., which will probably go on line in June next year. The building was designated “historic” this past November. There will be manhole work at 4200 Wisconsin Ave. and in the 3600 block of Van Ness this September.
Bill Lopez said Pepco will start fixing and in some areas replacing a 5-mile long transmission line from Beltsville, Md. to the Anacostia River on September 5. Area work is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving. Parking in the 3600 block of Van Ness Street will be affected. Several neighbors present at the meeting said they were highly impressed Pepco is working with them in advance of the project. They urged the area have resident only parking as it has heavy non-residential parking. Some area houses have no locations for off-street parking. Greenan emphasized there would be no loud equipment at night.
- Nina Albert, METRO’s managing director of the Office of Real Estate & Parking reported 1,500 individuals were surveyed on potential changes to the L1 and L2 bus routes. As a result, some bus stops might be closed which have less than 50 riders a day so long as there will be 4 or 5 stops per mile. There will be no changes until June 2019.
- Bernstein Management has purchased a 60-year lease for 4250 Connecticut Ave. from WMATA, most of which will be sold by Fannie Mae, which will move closer to downtown by mid-December. After the project architect and land-use architect had finished presentations, the commission unanimously approved a letter of support for the project if there will still be 4 “kiss ’n ride” spaces and that the rest be converted to retail parking. Bernstein plans to increase the amount of green space planting from 800 square feet to 6,400 square feet, almost all of which will be above a garage. Bernstein plans to convert the space to retail and office uses. Nina Albert of WMATA said her organization would have the right to preserve bus access in emergencies.
- The commission approved a $23,500 grant to Van Ness Main Street for an art exhibit in public space near the corner of Windom Place and Connecticut Avenue. There was no opposition but the chair, Patrick Jakopchek abstained as he is on the board of Van Ness Main Street. It is the largest grant the commission has ever made. It is contingent on the organization first raising twice that amount for the project within a year.