Notes from ANC 2B, Week of 5/6/19


Metro offers renderings of the new canopy to cover Dupont North at the ANC 2B meeting on May 8th, 2019. Image credit Kate Michael

ANC 2B – Dupont

At the May 8th meeting:

*A community member shared information about a potential June 16th pie baking contest and block party that would block off Corcoran Street below the alley. 

*Commissioner Lucky Barbieri said that he and 25 other commissioners have secured $125,000 to create standardized customizable websites for the ANCs that would also allow for app development.

*Nicole Goins, the Mayor’s liaison, said that PEPCO will be doing manhole work on the 1700 block of Corcoran Street from now through the middle of June. There will be two personnel and one truck, so there should not be much interruption. She will provide more information after the work plan is finalized.

Roll-Off Day will happen in Foggy Bottom on May 11th from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. at the New Hampshire Ave. intersection where it meets 21st. Roll-Off Day allows residents to dispose of bulk trash and other debris and learn about DC government agencies. This day will also have a charitable purpose.

DC’s private security incentive is still in effect, with funding coming through the Office of Victim & Justice grants.  There is a $200 rebate per camera, up to $750 for businesses and houses of worship and $500 for homeowners.

*Wendy Goodell from the Department of Public Works asked that if residents have AirBnB that they please announce to tenants how and where to place solid waste and recycling. Also, as we are now in the overgrow season, to please cut grass that abuts public space.

*A representative from the Dupont Circle Citizens’ Association announced that a recent settlement regarding Thomas Circle put $100,000 in escrow to organizations working on Affordable Housing or Homelessness.

Also, the Association had elections at a recent meeting, where Glenn Englemann was elected the new President.

*Nick DelleDonne of the Dupont East Civic Action Association said the organization has filed an application to extend the boundaries of the landmark of the Masonic Temple.  It was revealed that the existing boundaries are already more extensive than anticipated. Proposed development on the property would be on existing landmark area, which he claims opens the project up to legal issues. 

DelleDonne suggested that Councilmember Jack Evans, saying “Keep up the pressure,” is an endorsement of the Action Association’s opposition to the development project.

The Association will be holding a membership drive at St. Luke’s on Saturday at 4 p.m., where they will also be taking signatures for their petition.

*John Thomas, Metro Chief Engineer for Design and Construction, explained the history of Metro’s canopy program.  Established 20 years ago, this program responds to changes in building codes that require escalator work to be done under covered canopy.  In November 2000, Metro’s Board of Directors held a design competition to create a signature canopy design, and received “robust response.” The firm that won is based in DC.

Eight locations have been designated special cases, with Dupont North being one of those, six of them are on National Park Service Property.  53 sites overall required a canopy.

Dupont North has a large circular opening, not like Metro’s standard canopy design (though “every canopy has unique dimensions” according to Thomas). The Commission on Fine Arts and National Capitol Planning Committee as well as the Historic Preservation Office, have approved a design — by the same architectural firm — for the Dupont North canopy, which will start going up at the end of July, through November.

There will be some complete street closures during this time, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Northbound traffic will be diverted to 19th.  Southbound, will be same, over to Connecticut Ave. For a three week period in the middle of August, Southbound Connecticut Avenue will also be closed. The sidewalk will also be closed on a portion of Connecticut Ave, below the Dupont North Metro entrance from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Metro entrances will be kept open at all times.

An audience member called it a “gorgeous design.

Commissioner Aaron Landry asked that METRO have a working relationship with the Freshfarm market that operates Sundays on 20th Street. The PR group for the project says they are “having that conversation.”

Commissioner Randy Downs asked about safety during extreme weather.  Thomas replied that it was designed to code and that it has a protective purpose as well, with a 15% rain angle.

Downs asked about how plantings will be protected.  Thomas said that while the canopy won’t affect those, they are working on the plantings as they have introduced a rodent problem.

Commissioner Daniel Warwick asked for an update on Metro’s Chiller Project. Thomas said Metro was hoping it would be done in time for cooling season, which begins in a week, but they encountered a pipe that caused a major rerouting, so it won’t be done by this month.  Other methods of cooling will be used in the meantime.

Commissioner Randy Downs asked for a trackbed lights update. Thomas had no update to offer at this time.  While a contract is in place for underground stations, he could not speak to the precise schedule.

*Deborah Shapley of Restore Massachusetts Avenue spoke about restoring the historic tree canopy from 20th Street west. She said they only put in trees where they knew the trees would succeed.

The group has long planned to have a tree plaza, and now has a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, for six rows of shade trees to be panted by the PNC bank where there is now an expanse of concrete sidewalk. At the ANC’s June meeting, the group is putting in an application for public space, and she will be asking for an endorsement at that time.

*The commission unanimously voted to take no action on Anju’s application for a substantial change to the establishment’s Class C Restaurant license at 1805 18th Street NW. 

Danny Lee, owner of the former Mandu at that space explained that fire closed the restaurant in June of 2017. Along with reopening, he and partners plan something new for the space and hope to extend their indoor operating hours as well as serve earlier brunch.

*The commission unanimously voted to protest Lupo Verde’s application to terminate the settlement agreement for the establishment’s Class C Restaurant license at 1401 T Street NW.

Commissioner Ed Hanlon said that no placards had been put up regarding this petition, which caused the public to have insufficient notice of the hearing, and insufficient opportunity to respond.  While he contended it was inappropriate to discuss at that meeting, Commissioner Warwick suggested that they start the discussion, understanding that they may be discussing it again at a future meeting.

The attorney for Lupo Verde explained that the establishment takes issue with the wording of the settlement agreement, especially as it pertains to litter control, outdoor music, and outdoor heating, and asked that the establishment work only with the ANC on the settlement agreement.  “The final provision is not acceptable to the ANC,” said Commissioner Warwick. 

Signatories to the Settlement Agreement on hand at the meeting, including neighbor Alan Ferris, said that other businesses in the area, under agreements worded the same, have not had trouble complying. 

Commissioner Warwick moved to protest on the basis of peace, order and quiet to adjust language in the Settlement Agreement as it relates to patio heaters, music, and trash receptacles.

*The commission unanimously voted to take no action on the consideration of over 100 ABC license renewal applications, except that of Lupo Verde.

There was some discussion of Bar Charlie, for which Commissioner Beverly Schwartz had heard a complaint.   

Lupo Verde has been flagged for individual review pending discussion of its application to terminate the settlement agreement. 

Commissioner Kari Cunningham suggested that Bar Charlie’s was an issue of enforcement and may be solved by sending an ABRA inspector rather than starting a review of their licensing. The commission voted 7 to 1 to take no action on Bar Charlie’s renewal application, with only Commissioner Hanlon voting to protest.

*Commissioner Warwick previewed a discussion of the West Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone in advance of the June meeting.  Until 2013, a moratorium covered all license types, when it was relaxed for restaurants in West Dupont from P Street between the Circle and Rock Creek Park.  In 2016, the moratorium was further relaxed on all license types except nightclubs.  That moratorium is expiring later this year, and the Commission may be voting to request a three or five year extension to the moratorium.

*The commission will hold a special May meeting on May 16th at 7pm.