Commissioners Alex Padro (6E01), Michael Brown (6E02, secretary and treasurer), Frank Wiggins (6E03, vice chair), Alex Marriott (6E05, chair) and Kevin Rogers (6E07) made up the quorum to conduct official business at the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E January meeting.
Support Request for Outdoor Beer Garden on Rhode Island Avenue
Ben Schwartz spoke before the commission and requested support for a Class C Tavern License for a new beer garden that will be located at 512 Rhode Island Ave. NW. To begin the discussion, Schwartz stated that he has been a member of the community since 2010 and would like to convert one of the neighborhood’s empty lots into a new business. The beer garden will be named Electric Cool-Aid and will offer frozen drinks with a laid-back outside environment. Schwartz submitted 25 letters of support from the community that included two from adjacent residents.
Schwartz stated that he is working with noise consultants and has proposed a steel perforated fence that will keep noise in and keep noise from the Rhode Island Avenue side out. In consideration of the neighbors, sound proofing will also be installed in the back alley. Waste receptacles will be kept on site, and the establishment will not have a kitchen, which should reduce rodent problems.
Schwartz noted that having the empty lot occupied as a community space will increase public safety and help curtail bad activity. He has applied for the standard closing hours of operation of 2 a.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and 3 a.m. (Friday and Saturday), but stated that he can negotiate with the neighborhood on those times if needed. The establishment will have a total capacity of 225 people (standing and seating) and three unisex bathrooms.
Shaw activist Leroy Thorpe attended the meeting to voice rodent, parking, late hours and loitering concerns but welcomed Schwartz to a public meeting to work out an agreement with the community on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Third Baptist Church (1546 Fifth St. NW). Schwartz accepted Thorpe’s invitation and said that he will continue to mitigate any community concerns and believes that a happy medium can be found.
The commission voted unanimously to protest the Class C Tavern License based on the effect it will have on property value, peace, order, quiet, noise, litter and parking issues. The commission voted unanimously in favor of Commissioner Brown to be the ANC 6E representative before the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) on this matter. Both motions will be communicated in writing to ABRA.
Alta Strada Requests Support for Summer Garden
Representatives from Alta Strada, who are applying for a Class C License to install a summer garden, were invited to the meeting but were not present. Chair Marriott stated that a settlement agreement has been sent to the proprietors, but there has been no response. He noted that although they haven’t shown their plans, Alta Strada has no problems with restricting the outdoor addition’s hours of operation to 11 p.m.
The commission voted unanimously to protest the liquor license until the Alta Strada representatives come forth with a settlement agreement that will address the impact on peace, order and quiet. The commission also voted unanimously in favor of Chair Marriott being the representative on this matter when dealing with ABRA. Both motions will be communicated in writing to ABRA.
6E Crime Watch
An increase in theft from auto continues to be a problem in the 6E area. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) representatives at the meeting asked attendees to discourage theft by leaving valuables out of sight. They noted that narcotic activities remain an issue in the Sursum Corda area, but heavier police presence should help curb this problem.
A homicide was reported on the 1100 block of First Street NW. The incident occurred inside of a home so it was not related to street activity.
MPD representatives asked the community to report suspicious activity so it will not escalate further. They noted that residential partnership has historically resulted in a higher rate of success in stopping crime.
6E Quick Hits
The commission held an election for officers and committee chairs. Chair Marriott and Vice Chair Wiggins retained their positions, and Brown will be treasurer and secretary. Committee chairs are as follows: Padro, Alcohol Beverage Licensing; Wiggins, Grants Committee and Public Safety; former 6E commissioner Anthony Brown, Zoning, Planning and Transportation.
During the upcoming ANC 6E March meeting, a public election will be held for the vacant 6E04 seat.
The commission unanimously passed a motion to support a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) special exemption request for a third-story addition for a home located at 432 Q St. NW. The addition will be set back from the foundation’s original footprint so it should not be visible from the Q Street side.
The commission nominated Paige Forte to serve as the ANC 6E parliamentarian for the remainder of the year. Chair Marriott said that her experience will serve as an asset to the commission.
A Shaw resident asked why the lights are off in the skate park. Padro responded that it is assumed to be a technical issue and he is awaiting responses from Donny Gonzales, Department of General Services, and Frank Maduro, Department of Parks and Recreation.
ANC 6E will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 at the Northwest One Library at 155 L St. NW. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.
Steve Holton can be contacted at email@example.com.