Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E virtually convened its monthly meeting on May 5. Chair Rachelle Nigro (6E04) called the meeting to order with Alexander Padro (6E01), Frank Wiggins (6E03, Vice Chair), Alex Marriot (6E05, Treasurer), Alvin Judd (6E06) and Kevin Rogers (6E07) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Captain Kim from the Third District started with a report on major incidents. Officers responded to a call on the 200 block of New York Avenue on April 29, where a victim shot there later died. The police have good leads and hope to close the case quickly. On April 23, there was a gun fired on the 1300 block of North Capitol Street that hit a victim in the foot. An officer from the First District was attacked. Kim expressed frustration at the number of homicides, but noted that other statistics showed declines in property and violent crimes. He said that the police were still getting complaints about crowds in the Seventh and O Street area.
Commissioner Nigro said that it was horrific that someone was gunned down in the middle of the day. She thought that a foot patrol was needed in the North Capitol Street area. Kim countered that a foot patrol can only cover a small area, and that a gunman was brazen enough to attack a patrol car with an officer sitting in it. Commissioner Wiggins asked about a stabbing at Seventh and N Streets NW. Kim said that the victim refused to cooperate with police. Commissioner Padro asked to hear from Sergeant Terrestre about the situation at Eighth and O Streets NW. Terrestre said that he was in the area every night. He was trying to at least get people there to comply with social distancing rules. There had been a crowd of 50 people the previous Wednesday night. He is trying to work out a strategy for the area. The PSA now has the resources to check out the area every hour.
Lieutenant Andelman reported for the First District. Over the past month, there had been two homicides. One on the 1200 block of North Capitol Street has a suspect identified. The other, on the 900 block of New Jersey Avenue, was closed when the perpetrator turned himself in. Statistics indicate a significant decrease in theft from autos. Commissioner Marriott asked about arrests for auto theft. Andelman noted that a year ago, there had been one auto theft that month, while this year there had been nine. A lot of them occur when delivery vehicles are left running while the driver makes a drop off.
First District Commander Kane joined the session. After a community member mentioned a problem with drugs and sex trafficking near the Sonata apartment building, Kane said that she would like to get details. She said that the word has to get out to delivery drivers that they should not leave their cars idling. First District had some law enforcement issues with the 7-Eleven on K Street, but they are working with management, and a security guard is now at the establishment. A community member on the session mentioned the problem of a person playing the trumpet at Fourth Street and New York Avenue. He said that he called in the complaint but that the police said they were not coming. Commander Kane said that unless the playing was at night after the hours allowed by District law, there was not much the police could do. She had been unsuccessful in getting District agencies to enforce current noise regulations in areas like Chinatown. Action would be needed by the DC Council.
Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee
Rasa, 485 K Street NW. Asked for ANC support for new restaurant liquor license. Commissioner Marriott introduced the request by saying that the establishment agreed to the provisions of the standard ANC 6E settlement agreement. Committee Chair Padro said that the restaurant did not make a presentation before the ABC committee, but that the committee supported the license. A motion for ANC support for the license passed.
The Cloakroom, 476 K Street NW. The Cloakroom asked to extend their operating hours, but not the hours of serving alcohol in the establishment. Padro explained that this change would allow customers could linger inside the club after alcohol service had ended. The ANC supported the request by a vote of five in favor with one abstention.
AC Hotel, 601 K Street NW. License for a new hotel, with a summer garden of 60 seats and an entertainment endorsement. Padro noted that the license application for the hotel was modified to conform with the building’s Board of Zoning Adjustment ruling that prevented entertainment on the roof and restricted hours there. The ANC voted to support the amended application.
Playoff Pizza, 555 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Commissioner Marriott added this case to the agenda. He said that he had talked on the phone with the applicant about a settlement agreement and that the major issues were the amount of gaming activity and the need for security. Padro said that earlier discussions with neighbors recommended security during all operating hours. The applicant complained that the ANC had supported gaming licenses for other nearby establishments without this requirement. Padro said that the other operations were less intensive than that envisioned for Playoff Pizza. He noted that neighboring residents thought that the fact that the establishment had cash payouts for games made it an attractive nuisance. The applicant said that he could not agree to the requirement for a security guard to be present at all times. Marriott suggested that the matter be tabled for a future meeting, noting a lack of specificity in the application. The ANC tabled the matter.
Zoning and Planning Committee
1840 Seventh Street NW. Request for support to rezone Square 417, Lots 53 and 54 from RF-1 to ARTS-3. The property is actually in ANC 1B, but adjacent to ANC 6E, thus the request for support. Commissioner Padro started by mentioning the Commission’s experience using the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process to ensure community interests in major projects. However, the developer of this site has refused to put any agreements with the community in writing. Committee Chair Tony Brown added that the Zoning Committee has met with the developer twice without coming to any agreement. Padro asked the ANC to oppose the rezoning and to designate him as the representative before the Zoning Commission. The vote to oppose the rezoning passed with a vote of three in favor and three abstentions. The motion to designate Padro as the Commission’s representative passed unanimously.
Square 252, Lot 252. As part of the PUD for the redevelopment project of Sursum Corda, the PUD mentioned creating a new right-of-way on First Street NW. The developers said that they needed a letter of support for the project from the Commission to be sent to the District Surveyor. Commissioner Judd, whose single member district the project is in, said he supported it. The motion to send a supportive letter passed unanimously.
Transportation Advisory Committee
Committee Chair Alex Lopez addressed the protected bicycle lane on K Street, stretching from Seventh Street NW to First Street NE, which DDOT has been working on for a year. Going from Downtown to NOMA, it will be one of the few protected east-west connections in the city. DDOT issued a Notice of Intent April 23 and that comments on the project are due June 5. The committee will give its comments on the proposal at the next ANC meeting.
The second transportation issue was the District government’s request for ANC suggestions where sidewalks should be extended into the street to accommodate socially distanced passage by pedestrians during the coronavirus crisis. Commissioner Nigro canvassed the Commission to see if anyone had recommendations. Padro said that he considered suggesting the 700 block of O Street at the Giant store, but only if the widening would be more than the four feet in other locations. A discussion started among members of Marriott’s district that pushed for an extension of the sidewalks on Fourth Street NW. Commissioner Rogers supported an extension of the sidewalks around the Walmart on First and H Streets NW. Resolutions to support an extension of sidewalks on Fourth Street and First Street passed the ANC.
Commissioner Nigro announced that the ANC grant application had been added to the ANC 6E website. She noted that the commission currently has a lot of money in the bank, and proposed that some of it go to community nonprofits dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
ANC 6E will hold its next meeting on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be held virtually. Go to www.anc6e.org for more information.