Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for January at the Northwest One Library, 155 L St. NW, on Tuesday evening, Jan. 7. The meeting was called to order by Chair Alex Marriott (6E05) 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. Alvin Judd (6E06) arrived later.
Election of Officers
The ANC elected officers for calendar year 2020. Lydia Goring, a former ANC commissioner, was invited to conduct the election. The results were: Rachel Nigro, chair; Frank Wiggins, vice chair; Michael Brown, secretary; Alex Marriott, treasurer.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Captain Dorrough of the First District noted that there had been a shooting behind Tyler House on North Capitol Street, but said that property crime had declined significantly.
Captain Kim of the Third District said that there was a reduction in crime in PSAs 307 and 308. The police are trying to reduce robberies and are continuing to work on the Seventh Street corridor. There was a shooting at Eighth and O streets on Dec. 14, where witnesses provided enough information to apprehend suspects. There were two armed robberies in the neighborhood where the SUV used to conduct them was identified. There were also two arrests for drug distribution over the past month.
Padro asked if Third District still had the extra resources that they obtained from the Fall Crime Initiative. Kim replied that the extra manpower was no longer available, although they are trying to maintain the deployments fielded during the initiative. Padro asked about the loitering situation at Eighth and O streets, and stated that he would like to have a crime camera deployed there. Nigro brought up the issue of a marijuana pop-up shop and urged people to call the police if they saw activity there at night. Rogers asked if there still was a District gun buy-back program. After doing some research, the police answered that there were rewards for tips that lead to the recovery of illegal guns.
Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Licensing Committee
Shaw’s Tavern, 520 Florida Ave. NW, requested a substantial change to allow sports betting. The applicant did not appear. Padro attributed this to the fact that the committee did not meet prior to the ANC meeting, and the owners may have forgotten about the obligation.
Nigro asked Marriott to comment on the request for a license renewal by Cloakroom, 476 K St. NW. Marriott said that his recent experience working with the applicant had been smooth. Any noise problems have now been resolved. A member of the audience asked about the retail space on the ground floor of Cloakroom. The response was that it will have a high-end restaurant from Richard Sandoval on the ground floor and cellar, probably opening in the summer. Marriott said he supported the renewal of the license. ANC support for renewal was approved with six yeas, one abstention.
Zoning and Planning Committee
The first item, related to 1615 Sixth St. NW, asked the Board of Zoning Adjustment for a special exception and two technical variances in order to allow construction of a three-story rear addition. The lot in question, which is smaller than normal, required two variances for the addition to be built. Padro said that the committee supported the request. The request was approved by the commissioners.
The second item, related to 925 French St. NW, asked support for a proposal going before the Historic Preservation Review Board. The owners plan to pour concrete in the basement. In order to properly underpin the walls, they have to have an idea of the stresses that future construction could entail. A third story can be built on the building, but there are limits for a structure in a historic district. The contractor suggested getting approval for a third-story project, which would be good for a period of two years, before starting work on the basement. Padro said that the proposal was approved by the committee. The ANC voted to support the proposal.
The Transportation Committee had two resolutions that it wanted the ANC to support and transmit to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). The first was a request to have DDOT install an all-way stop at the intersection of Eighth and R streets. The second called for a study of the crossing at Eighth Street and Rhode Island Avenue, which has a high volume of traffic but is used by many pedestrians to get to the Shaw/Howard Metro station. The resolution suggested putting in an additional pedestrian crossing on the west side of Eighth Street and Rhode Island and installing a high-intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK) signal at the crosswalk and a speed camera on Rhode Island Avenue. Both resolutions were passed by the ANC.
ANC Quarterly Financial Report
Brown, in his former role as treasurer, started a discussion about submitting the ANC’s financial report for the fourth quarter of FY2019 to the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (OANC). Brown explained that there was a slight discrepancy ($28) between the opening balance of the ANC account and the closing balance at the end of the quarter. Nigro suggested that Brown and Marriott work out the discrepancy. Brown still wanted to submit the report the next day. Padro objected, saying that the discrepancy should be resolved before the report is submitted. The commissioners voted 6-1 to submit the report as is.
The ANC also had to develop and approve a budget for FY2020, which began last October. Marriott mentioned that ANC 6E rarely spends all of its annual $15,000 allotment from the District. In the past, the ANC newsletter was a major cost, but it is no longer published. Then Marriott reviewed a list of nine allowable types of expenses. He noted that the ANC had approved grants to community organizations, but a number of them had been disallowed by the OANC, which believes that the allowances are provided to support ANC operations, not to distribute grants. Marriott produced a budget proposal of $29,300, which was approved by the commissioners.
ANC 6E plans to move its meetings for the rest of 2020 to the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, 1630 Seventh St. NW. Its next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the library. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.