Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting on July 7. The meeting was held as a virtual conference. Commission Chair Rachelle Nigro (6E04) called the meeting to order with Alexander Padro (6E01), Alex Marriot (6E05, Treasurer), and Kevin Rogers (6E07) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Captain Dorrough of the First District reported that they had more activity than they would like, with an increase in the Mount Vernon Triangle. The biggest issue is theft from autos. There were three shootings, one a homicide. The homicide was a targeted shooting. One shooting was a domestic dispute. In the third incident, the victim did not cooperate with the police.
Commissioner Nigro mentioned that the 1D homicide victim was actually a relative of one of the 6E ANC commissioners. She said that these violent incidents could happen to someone you know. Commissioner Rodgers commented that Sursum Corda was still a hot spot. He asked for more information on a recent shooting at the Severna apartments.
Third District Commander Emerman gave the 3D report. He started by saying 3D has had a 45 percent decrease in crime during the COVID crisis. There was a carjacking at the 500 block of Q Street where the auto was used in two subsequent robberies. On July 4, a youth reported a wound, thought to be from a firecracker that was later found to be a gunshot. There were no reports of gun fire in the vicinity.
Commissioner Nigro brought up some police issues that occurred on M Street. Emerman said that the police have been working with members of the Second Coop and that they now have security. He continued that there is a need to curb illegal firearms, and that ANCs should comment on sentences given to convicted criminals.
Commissioner Padro thanked Emerman for the news that two new crime cameras were being installed in Shaw. He continued that there is still a problem with groups gathering on Eighth and O Streets. Padro said that he got a video last night showing drug dealing and prostitution. Emerman said that he had not heard about a prostitution problem. Padro said that he would send Emerman the video that he received, and that developers in the area are worried that they will not be able to make home sales. Padro said that they may establish a reserve detail to take care of the problem.
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s representative to Congress started with an update of her work. The House of Representatives passed a bill that would give Statehood to Washington, DC for the first time. The budget for DC that Congress has to approve also passed recently.
Norton then discussed her efforts to remove the Albert Pike statue that had recently been taken down, along with the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square and the Emancipation Monument in Lincoln Park. Norton does not want to destroy these monuments but wants them removed to a museum or other site. Commissioner Nigro stated that she was disappointed in how Norton’s office handled the neighborhood’s issue with the New Jersey Avenue Safety Project.
District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Update
Andrew DeFrank, DDOT Ward 6 Community Engagement Specialist, gave an update to the New Jersey Avenue Safety Project. He explained that the New Jersey project was intended to improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians. Commissioner Nigro suggested that the project may make things worse. Community members complained about how the removal of historic trees was handled by DDOT.
DeFrank also described the Slow Streets initiative, which tried to designate streets for local traffic with a speed limit of 15 miles per hour. DDOT identified potential slow streets in ANC 6E, N Street from Scott Circle to First Street NW and S Street from New Jersey Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue NW. Commissioner Nigro said that she did not see a problem with a slow street on N, although all the affected commissioners were not present at the meeting. Commissioner Padro said that he found that his constituents would support a slow street on S due to cars and shuttle buses driving at high speeds there.
Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee
1017 Seventh Street NW, Pearl’s Bagel Kitchen. Requesting a liquor license. They hoped to open that weekend for takeout, starting with breakfast and lunch. The proprietors would like to sell beer and wine at special events and when indoor dining is allowed. Commissioner Padro said that the ANC committee did not have any issues, recommending that the commission support the license without a settlement agreement. Motion to support license passed the commission unanimously.
512 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Electric Cool-Aid. Commissioner Padro gave the background for the request since the commissioner for the site (Michael Brown, ANC 6E02) was not in attendance. An owner of the establishment said that their business is an outdoor space that hopes to open at the end of the month. The ABC committee recommended that the ANC support the license with the restrictions imposed by the Alcohol and Beverage Commission. The motion to support the license passed unanimously.
476 K Street NW, The Cloak Room. Commissioner Marriott introduced the request. It was to add gaming to the establishment’s current license. He noted that the Cloak Room already had extensive cameras and security personnel. Marriott proposed a motion to support the request for a gaming endorsement, but with stipulations. The motion passed.
Zoning and Planning Committee
441 M Street NW. Seeking support of plan before the Historic Preservation Review Board. The plans proposed a one-story addition to a building with two-story additions in the back. Committee Chair Tony Brown said that the committee thought that the massing was too much and wanted the developers to work with the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) to make it conform more to the neighborhood. A next-door neighbor said that she opposed the project and agreed with an HPO staff report that the project was too big and that it should be resubmitted. Commissioner Padro read the committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the HPO staff report to have the project resubmitted and made a resolution to support the staff report. The ANC passed the resolution unanimously.
509 O Street NW. Commissioner Padro said that the owners were asking for modest zoning relief, after they had been “put through the ringer” by the District government after they proposed installing glass rails on the roof. The Zoning Committee supported the installation. The ANC motion to support the installation and send a letter in support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment passed.
631 P Street NW. Proposal for a planned unit development. Plans are to put a nine-story mixed unit development on two vacant lots on P Street. The building will have affordable apartment units. The Zoning and Planning Committee thought that the development would be an asset to the neighborhood. The developers did not seek action from the ANC yet, but wanted to show the plans as they continue to work with the community.
Transportation Advisory Committee
The committee started a discussion on a proposed protected bicycle track on K Street, from Seventh Street NW to First Street NE. Some community members were concerned about how the track would affect the 400 block of K Street, which currently has a number of restaurant delivery and pickup spots at the curb. A restaurant owner said that he would have been supportive of the project in the past, but now with the coronavirus crisis, pickup and delivery is critical to restaurants.
The committee recommended that the commission support the bicycle track with the provision that spaces be provided on the 400 block of K Street to allow restaurants to have pickup and delivery zones. The ANC passed the recommendation unanimously.
The Transportation Committee also recommended that the ANC support the installation of speed bumps in the alleys of the block bordered by New York Avenue, Fourth Street, M Street and Fifth Street NW. The ANC passed the resolution.
Ninth Street Public Art Project
Shaw Main Streets requested support for a Public Art Building Communities Grant to install a series of murals on Ninth Street NW. Commissioner Padro had to recuse himself from the discussion since he is the Executive Director of Shaw Main Streets. Tia Kane explained that the proposed project envisioned putting new murals in some of the blank facades that can be seen currently on Ninth Street. The project would start in the fall if they get the grant.
One resident asked if the mural at 1540 Ninth Street will reflect the values of the neighborhood. Kane responded that they would consult with the community before a design was put up. Commissioner A motion to support the Ninth Street Mural project passed unanimously.
Commissioner Padro introduced a resolution on the reallocation of public safety funding, calling for any funds that are taken from the police budget be devoted to hiring public safety first responders, as well as supporting job training and groups, like the Clean Teams, that promote public safety. The ANC passed the resolution unanimously.
ANC 6E will not hold a meeting during the month of August. Its next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 1 at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.