ANC 1C – Adams Morgan
At the commission’s March 6 meeting:
* The commission unanimously approved an amendment to its settlement agreement with Zenebach Restaurant at 2420 18th St.
* The commission unanimously passed a resolution asking the Department of General Services to reschedule to the current fiscal year the facility condition assessment of the Adams School’s building at 2020 19th St. and asked Mayor Muriel Bowser to request in her budget and the City Council to approve the allocation of capital funds for modernization of the school’s building in the upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget and to establish a School Improvement Team at the school.
* The commission unanimously authorized its chair to write Mayor Muriel Bowser, the members of the City Council. the Department of Parks & Recreation and the Department of General Services to request $400,000 in the fiscal year 2020 budget for improvements in the park at Kalorama and Columbia roads.
* The commission unanimously approved writing a letter to City Council Chair Phil Mendelson asking that Council member Jack Evans be removed as chair of the Council’s finance committee and to have the Council investigate his conduct.
ANC 1B – Borderstan
At the commission’s March 7 meeting:
* Office of the Mayor of Community Relations and Services Ward 1 liaison, Reuben Forman announced that the day shelter on New York Avenue and 13th street had been open since Feb.25. The shelter will provide those who are housing insecure, or experiencing homelessness, to access services throughout the day.
To end Fair Shot February, Mayor Bowser has announced a new website in correlation with the Department of Employment Services for those who are not comfortable with the English language, or speak another language. The website, in Spanish, provides all essential Department services at www.DC.does.gov.
* Constituent Services Coordinator Davon Fuller of Councilmember Brianne Nadeau’s office announced that the Councilmember will be hosting her annual “Brianna Your Block” at the Mason Dixie Biscuit company on March 14 from 6:30 to 8 pm at 1819 7th St NW.
* Commissioner Jennifer Bristol reported that the Family Housing project is looking for an advisory team to help lead feedback and engagement processes around the project.
She also reported the advisory team met in late February to think through some of the issues that could arise as it relates to the construction at 205 14th St NW. One concern was parking on 14th and Clinton. She reported that residents at the Sherwin Williams would like private parking.
The second issue that arose during the meeting was making sure that delivery trucks are not blocking any access points. It was suggested that fines may be given, where 50% would go to the short term family housing project.
*Captain Kim Han of the Metropolitan Police Department reported that Sector 2, which includes patrol service area of 306 and 308 got additional manpower starting March 3. Citizens seem happy with seeing more officers out on patrol. Since the realignment, the boundaries for the patrol service area 305 remain the same, yet the boundaries for 306 and 308 are all the way down to New York Ave and West of North Capitol. Each of the patrol service areas has assigned officers.
*Shaw Main Streets’ Clean Street coordinator Jennifer Kuiper announced grant and funding opportunities for local businesses, especially for businesses that are in mainstream areas. A $200,000 pool of funds have been allocated for businesses that are trying to pivot as neighborhoods change and transition in order to help business that were affected by the government shutdown.
She also declared that they are organizing an information sessions for business owners on March 19 at Story District on Georgia Ave. This special information session will allow businesses to share with PEPCO their concerns about the construction in Parkview, Pleasant Plains, and along Florida Ave.
*Commissioner Turner announced two vacancies to be filled, following resignations. One is Commissioner Jessica Smith. John Squicciarini, who was Secretary and Commissioner for 1D4 has also resigned, effective immediately.
*Commissioner Delaney was unanimously elected to be the new secretary.
*The commission unanimously approved Carolyn Jones as its new administrative consultant for the ANC. Her role will be to help the commission carry out some of its duties, including helping with meetings setup, drafting memos and coordinating with various DC government agencies. She will be paid $1200 monthly.
- Commissioner Robb Hudson from Economic Development Committee updated attendees on the committee’s Feb 21 meeting. Grimke School, the old school across the street from the African American Civil War monument, will transfer hands from the city to the community in November of this year. The community is still working with the museum on streetscaping concerns. There is no change in the project design.
The project plan is to develop a school in front of the old building, and move the museum into the school. Torti Gallas, an architecture firm, located in Silver Spring will be moving into back of the building.
The Grimke school building will be converted into a gym facility, and the museum — in addition to the lot on 9th Stree — will become housing, with retail on the street level.
ANC 2C – Downtown
At the March 12th meeting:
· The commission’s treasurer, Michael Shankle, reported the ending financial balance was $46,358.23 on February 28th.
· Nicole Goines, Outreach and Services Specialist for Ward 2 at the Office on Community Relations and Services, invited the community to meet newly appointed Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee on March 15th. At Steam Cafe on 1700 17th Street, NW from 4 to 5:30pm.
· Sergeant Randy Shedd of the Metropolitan Police Department’s second district said there has been a double-digit decrease of area violent in comparison to last year.
Shedd mentioned that theft from autos has increased substantially district-wide. He advised citizens to avoid this crime of opportunity by not leaving valuables in cars and being aware of surroundings.
A resident mentioned concerns regarding a suspicious person around McDonalds on 7th street of which Shedd was unaware. He said he will investigate the area which he described as a crime hub.
· Police Lt. Latoya Heath said crime in the first district of the last 30 days has declined except for property crimes.
Heath said that there were 17 theft from autos this time last year and only 6 this year.
Over the last 60 days, 15 people were arrested for thefts from autos. She reported that 4,200 warnings were issued to citizens who were not practicing preventative methods to protect their cars.
· Brant Miller, Community Engagement Specialist from the District Department of Transportation, provided an update to a current plan that affects 9th and F streets NW traffic which ends in May. He said that a new plan will be resubmitted in April as area construction continues.
Miller said that the department will address the Advisory Neighborhood Commission if there are any permanent changes but mentioned that the current changes are only temporary. Miller said that “puppy tracks” (dotted lines that go into intersections to guide traffic appropriately) and barrels in the middle of roadways will be implemented at a date of which he is currently unaware.
Commission chair, Michael Shankle, said that the current plan does not utilize all construction space that the department says it is utilizing and that no sidewalk is provided for pedestrians. Miller answered that permits should be up to date with what space is — and isn’t — being used but if there is a problem to alert him so that he can tell his public space team to inspect the area.
Miller said he was unaware of any crash reports in response to this construction.
Local resident, Jo-Ann Neuhaus, who lives near construction complained about communication between the department and project developers. She said that she has called 311 on multiple occasions to report problems like asphalt build-up and inadequate sidewalk space but nothing had been done.
Miller mentioned that there is no maximum or minimum time frame for any new construction plans of which he is aware of.
· District Department of Transportation Planner, Spring Worth, proposed a pilot project during the summer of 2019 for downtown bus lanes on H and I streets NW. Worth mentioned that this pilot will extend morning rush from 7:00am to 10:00am and in the afternoon from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Right-turning vehicles, bicycles, charter buses, school buses, and marked taxis will be allowed to use this bus lane. Worth said that no additional parking will be removed but cars will not be allowed to park during the extended rush hour. Worth proposed that red paint and signage on the temporary bus lane will be used to notify motorists. This plan is to alleviate traffic that Worth said has been previously slow.
· Inspector Wendy Brown from the Department of Public Works requested all commercial properties contain all their solid waste trash in appropriate containers to help solve the District’s rat problem. Brown asked residents to call 311 for replacements of their waste containers as soon as possible. Brown also mentioned that street cleaning season is approaching and advised residents to be mindful of where they park to avoid fines.
· The commissioners voted unanimously to support, by letter, a marathon called the Race for Hope to fight brain tumors that will occur on May 5th from 9:00am to 11:00am.
· The commissioners also voted unanimously to send a letter of support for a marathon called the Run for our Girls that aims to uplift young girls. It will occur on June 2nd from 8:00am to 12 noon.
· The commissioners also voted unanimously to support the annual Army Ten-Miler with 27,000 participants that will occur on Sunday October 13th.
· The District Department of Transportation proposed a new bikeshare site at I Street NW and 9th streets. Residents had concerns with its placement due to construction that is already causing problems. Commissioner Michael Shankle said that the commission will revisit the proposition.
· Commissioner Michael Shankle said there is a homeless encampment at a dilapidated building located on G street between 3rd and 4th streets. The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the owner of the building for investigation and cleanup.
ANC 2B – Dupont
At the March 13 meeting:
* Commissioner Randy Downs announced the Dupont Clean Spring Day to beautify the neighborhood will be held on April 6.
* Nicole Goines, representing Mayor Muriel Bowser, reported free technology classes are being held this March as well as in April and May. Those interested should call 202-216-6328. The Spring Clean-Up Day will be held on April 8.
Bowser will deliver her State of the District address at the University of the District of Columbia at 5:30 on March 18.
* Joe Florio of Councilmember Jack Evans’ office reported Mayor Muriel Bowser will send her proposed fiscal 2020 District budget to the City Council March 20. Evans’ committee will hold a hearing on April 3 at 10:00 a.m. in room 412 on the Arts & Humanities budget; on April 5 at 10:00 a.m. in room 500 on the Real Property Tax, the lottery and the chief financial office; and on April 10 at 10:30 in room 123 on Events and Destination D.C.
* Bill McCloud of Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets announced his organization’s spring dinner will be held at the Washington Hilton on March 21 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. There is a $20 charge.
* Commissioner Mike Silverstein reported the Department of Transportation has failed to replace damaged signs banning turning at a Dupont Circle intersection where a pedestrian was killed. A request had been made Sept. 25th.
Commission Chair Daniel Warwick said the commission will consider a request of the 1733 16th St. apartment building for an historic preservation review either at its April 10 meeting or more probably at a special April 18 meeting.
* Brian Flowers of the D.C. Board of Ethics & Government Accountability reported it gives advice to District government officials on lobbying and the enforcement of civil matters. Its staff conducts preliminary investigations of suspected employee behavior and the board itself investigates it more formally.
Nicole Allen, the Director of Open Government, said her office enforces open meeting laws and insures they be publicly noticed. Advisory neighborhood commissions are exempt from the rules. The office also acts on Freedom of Information Act requests. It also considers conflicts of interest problems where a governmental employee’s decision might help a child, a spouse or the spouse’s employer. She said the office has no enforcement authority. Her organization publishes a quarterly report.
* The commission agreed, by a vote of 7-0 with two abstentions, to support Capital Pride’s request to the Department of Parks & Recreation to use Stead Park for its Spring Movie Night on Sunday, May 19.
By a vote of 8-0 with one abstention, it agreed to support Capital Pride’s application for a parade on Saturday, June 9 and its request for 100% reimbursement for any police or public space permit fees that might be charged for the event. By the same vote it supported the organization’s annual block party on Saturday June 9 and for reimbursement of any permit fees.
* The commission unanimously supported Dupont Circle Main Street’s application to occupy 17th Street between P and R streets for its 17th Street Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24 and for it to be reimbursed for police or public space permit fees. Last year it hosted about 100 vendors and 60 artists.
* The commission unanimously informed the Historic Preservation Review Board that it supports a third floor and a rear addition to the home at 1613 S St., which will not be visible from S Street, but will be from Swann Street through the Croydon Apartments’ parking lot. The west side first and second floor windows will be frosted at the request of neighbors and light colored materials will be on non-glass surfaces facing west to reflect sunlight. Neighbors said they were agreeable.
* The commission unanimously supported the Historic Preservation Review Board’s consideration of a one story addition with a kitchen area and a bathroom atop a free standing garage at 1732 P St. The addition will not be visible from the street. The bricks will be lightly painted to reflect sunlight to benefit neighbors.
* The commission unanimously supported a rear facing dormer to make the ceiling at 1739 Q St., slightly higher on the third floor to create more usable space. It will not be visible from the street.
* The commission unanimously asked the Historic Preservation Review Board to look carefully at the appropriateness and the magnitude of a proposed 12-foot two story rear addition at 1746 Q St., which will not be visible from Q Street. it would change the building from a single family home to a 6-unit apartment structure. Numerous neighbors opposed it saying it would make the building “seriously out of character with the block.” The Dupont Conservancy said it could support a one-story addition, but not a two story. The block’s houses were designed 124 years ago. The commission and the neighbors fear it would obscure the chimneys and bays that characterize the block.
* The commission postponed consideration until its April meeting of a public space application by Agora to convert un-enclosed sidewalk cafes at 1527 and 1523 17th St. to enclosed sidewalk cafes.
It unanimously approved a public space application by La Colombe at 1730 I St. for an un-enclosed sidewalk cafe with four tables and eight seats.
* The commission unanimously supported a pilot project this summer to temporarily restrict the right hand lane on eastbound H Street between the mid-block of Pennsylvania Avenue and and I8th Street to 14th Street during rush hours to buses, right turning vehicles, bicycles, charter and school buses and marked taxis. I Street westbound would be similarly restricted between 13th and 20th streets. The pilot project would start in early June and extend through the end of September. Afternoon rush hour would be extended to 7:00 p.m. and the morning rush hour until 10:00 a.m.
According to the Department of Transportation, bus riders on the two streets experience “very slow travel speeds.” The area has 70 buses per hour at times. The department expects the situation to be more serious this summer when a portion of METRO’s Blue and Yellow Lines are shut down for maintenance.
The department will collect data throughout the period to evaluate the bus lane’s performance.
* The commission unanimously reaffirmed its support for the Department of Transportation’s proposal to extend the DC Circulator’s Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn route to Howard University by way of 18th and U streets and encouraged Mayor Muriel Bowser and the City Council to approve funding for the project in the upcoming fiscal year budget.
The resolution said the extension “would enhance mobility for residents, workers and visitors” in the area and “provide a low-cost … ride along a major underserved travel corridor.”
* The commission agreed to consider at its April meeting proposed high crash site safety improvements at the intersections of Connecticut Avenue with 20th and R streets and at the intersection of Connecticut and Florida avenues with 21st and S streets.
* The commission appointed, with an 8-0 vote, Commissioner Ed Hanlon abstaining, Christopher Davis, Brian Knudsen and Louise Levathes to the its Zoning, Preservation and Development committee. Commissioner Randy Downs stated he had no nominations for its Transportation and Infrastructure committee at this time.
* Patrick Kain was unanimously named the commission’s liquor license liaison.
* Commissioner Aaron Landry stated the commission’s website has not been updated for years and that he is studying ways to bring it up to date. Any changes would be fully documented.
Davis Kennedy, Amina Ndiaye and Tori Powell contributed to this coverage.