Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for July at the Northwest One Library, 155 L St. NW, on July 2. Chair Alex Marriott (6E05) called the meeting to order with Alexander Padro (6E01), Michael Brown (6E02, treasurer), Frank Wiggins (6E03, vice chair), Rachelle Nigro (6E04, secretary) and Kevin Rodgers (6E07) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Third District Captain Kim said that there were few incidents over the past month, the most notable being a cyclist attacked and an Uber driver robbed. Padro asked about a shooting at Eighth and R streets where there were 28 shots fired. Kim said that they did get video of the incident. The assailant and the victim, who was uncooperative, knew each other. Nigro asked about a robbery at Fifth and M streets. Kim said that they were still working on the incident.
First District Captain Dorrough reported problems with robberies in Chinatown and the Mount Vernon area. Property crimes were low in June, with thefts from autos being a particular problem.
DC Water presented an update on the Northeast Boundary Tunnel. The tunnel begins at Sixth Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW at Cooper-Gordon Park. Work at the site has begun and will continue through 2022. Notices of periodic community forums on the project are available at www.dcwater.com/NEBT.
Verizon presented plans for installing small cells to support a 5G network. The current 4G network is struggling to meet demand. 5G will provide more capacity and support emerging technologies, such as self-driving cars. A 5G network uses small cells at almost street level to connect users to a larger capacity fiber-optic network. The District Department of Transportation has established guidelines with vendors for the installation of small cells. An audience member asked about health hazards associated with the technology. Verizon representatives responded that the small cells were low-power and should not present health problems.
7-Eleven Public Space Permit
7-Eleven corporate representatives came to explain why they applied for a public space permit for a new location at 504 K St. NW. The ANC previously voted to oppose the public space application, due to the non-responsiveness of the corporation. This 7-Eleven purportedly will be a different type of operation than most people are familiar with. Commissioners expressed doubt that an outdoor patio would benefit the community.
Arts and Humanities Grants
The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (MVT CID) asked the ANC to support its application for a Public Art Building Communities (PABC) grant from the Commission on the Arts and Humanities to activate Prather’s Alley by establishing a marketplace in the alley. Although the grants require a match, the CID has yet to establish a budget. The ANC voted to support the application.
Dantes Partners, developers of a new building at 800 New Jersey Ave. NW, requested support for a PABC grant for a sculpture. Their team, including Long View Gallery and Shaw Main Streets, is the same that developed the “Symphony in DC Major” sculpture at City Market at O. Padro left the room since he is employed by Shaw Main Streets. “Symphony” sculptor Zachary Oxman designed this new work. The developer is offering $75,000 and is applying for a matching PABC grant of $75,000. The ANC passed a resolution in support of the grant application.
Alcoholic Beverage Control
Resolutions were passed to support the renewal of the liquor license for Prather’s on the Alley, 455 I St. NW, and the granting of a new license to Leon, 649 New York Ave. NW.
Padro had to explain why the Queen of Sheba restaurant had to apply for a new liquor license. The previous owners of Queen of Sheba sold the business without fulfilling financial obligations to the city, so the original license was cancelled. The ANC’s Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee supported the new owner’s request for a license and a stipulated license so that the new owner could resume serving alcohol as soon as possible. The ANC passed a resolution supporting the application for new permanent and stipulated licenses.
Silo, 919 Fifth St. NW, has refused to meet the ANC’s proposed restrictions on its operations. Marriott moved that the ANC protest Silo’s license renewal before the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board and that the ANC hire a lawyer at an expense of not more than $7,000. The motions were approved.
Padro mentioned that the ANC’s protest against the liquor license for Electric Cool-Aid, 512 Rhode Island Ave. NW, was successful. The ABC board limited the hours of operations to less than the ANC argued for and denied the request for an entertainment endorsement.
Zoning and Development
MidCity Development, owner of Washington Apartments at Sixth and M streets NW, gave a brief description of a new project it wants to build on the site. It plans to demolish the vacant apartment complex to build two buildings totaling 365 units, 10% of them affordable, with 100 below-ground parking spaces and a publicly accessible park on Fifth Street. The developer will return to the ANC to seek support for zoning approval later this year. Delivery of the building is planned for 2023.
Chris Murphy of Georgetown University introduced a proposal for 55 H St. NW, currently a parking lot at Gonzaga High School. The university has filed a notice of intent with the Zoning Office to build a 500-resident dormitory, probably for graduate students. It will come back to the ANC for support.
ANC support was requested for a design concept going to the Historic Preservation Review Board for a project at 1212 Fourth St. NW. Nigro noted that the project had been in the works for eight years. The project involves renovation of a historic building and construction of a new one. Padro said that the ANC’s Zoning Committee wanted more details on the brick work, but he supported the consolidation of curb cuts and praised the design. The ANC passed a resolution to support the application.
A Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application for 509 O St. NW, a vacant lot, would grant an increase in the floor area ratio and a balcony. Padro noted that the applicant had not appeared before the ANC’s Zoning Committee, and since the hearing was not until Sept. 18, he moved to table consideration of the application until the September ANC meeting. The motion was approved.
Transportation Advisory Committee
The committee presented three resolutions for submission to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). The first resolution called for eliminating the dual northbound turning lanes at Sixth Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW and additional study of traffic calming measures at the intersection. The second resolution supported the K Street NW Complete Streets project and asked DDOT to move quickly to the design stage of the project. The third requested a traffic safety assessment and traffic calming plan for Florida Avenue between Georgia Avenue and New York Avenue NE. The commission voted to support all three resolutions and to forward them to DDOT.
Howard Marks of DC Harmony Group asked for support for the Amplified Noise Amendment Act of 2019. It would restrict the hours of public street music in the District, particularly around Metro stations. He said that DC Council chair Mendelson had introduced the legislation. A motion was made to support the legislation, but the motion failed by a vote of 2-4.
The Bundy Dog Park asked the ANC for support in getting a source of water. Padro noted that there is an abandoned water meter adjacent to the park. For DC Water to bring water to the park, the Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) would have to agree. He added that this might be the time to get Bundy made an official District dog park by DPR. The commission passed a resolution asking the District to bring water to the park and make Bundy an official dog park.
Marriott offered a resolution to suggest Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen fill one of the District’s vacant seats on the WMATA board. The ANC passed the resolution.
Special ANC Meeting, July 23
ANC 6E held a special meeting on Tuesday, July 23, at the Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 Seventh St. NW, in order to address time-sensitive issues before the commission’s August recess. Marriott called the meeting to order with Padro, Brown, Wiggins, Nigro and Rodgers in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Leon restaurant, 649 New York Ave. NW, had gotten ANC support for a new alcohol license at the last meeting, but the owner wanted approval for a stipulated license, which would allow the restaurant to sell alcohol before the application is considered by the ABC board. A motion to send a letter to the ABC board supporting a stipulated license was approved.
A new license for Queen of Sheba restaurant was supported at the previous ANC meeting, but since then, the owner changed his application from a restaurant license to a tavern license. Padro said that a new letter from the ANC supporting the change was needed, but not a new settlement agreement. The ANC approved the request to change the type of license.
The commission had to approve a number of quarterly financial reports that had yet to be sent to the DC Auditor. Brown had sent out a spreadsheet summarizing the reports, which covered the third and fourth quarters of fiscal year 2018 and the first, second and third quarters of 2019. Padro said that he had to vote against approval of the reports since he thought every commissioner should get to see the actual quarterly reports. The commission approved the quarterly reports by a vote of 5-1.
The dollar limit for the lawyer hired for the protest of the liquor license renewal for Silo, 919 Fifth St. NW, had been approved at the last meeting for $7,000. The actual figure should have been $7,500. The commission approved the increase in the limit.
ANC 6E will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the Northwest One Library, 155 L Street NW. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.