Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for February 2021 on Tuesday evening, February 2. The meeting was held as a virtual conference. Commission Chair Rachelle Nigro (6E04) called the meeting to order with Michael Eichler (6E01, Vice Chair), Alex Lopez (6E02, Secretary), Frank Wiggins (6E03, Treasurer), Patrick Parlej (6E05), Denise Blackson (6E06) and Kevin Rogers (6E07) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Lieutenant Wayne Steinhilber gave the First District report. Thefts from autos were down, but cases of stolen autos were up, a national and city trend. Most stolen autos were again cases of delivery drivers keeping their vacant cars running. There were two fewer robberies than the previous month.
There was a shooting at 200 K Street NW that was related to an altercation on the grounds of the Capitol during recent disturbances. There was an Assault with Deadly Weapon incident January 27 when officers came across two suspects who had drawn their guns. The suspects fled in a car that later crashed, police being able to apprehend one of the suspects on the unit block of K Street. A Civil Disturbance Unit of the First District is still on high alert after the January assault on the Capitol.
Commissioner Blackson asked why there was no patrol at First and M Streets. Steinhilber replied that a patrol covered that area every day, although there may be slight changes in deployments day to day. Commissioner Rogers said that there seemed to be shootings every week on K Street now, after criminal activity had calmed down earlier. He also wanted to know the status of the case of Demetri Harvin, who was shot on October 5. The police noted that the January 27 assault arrest they made was discovered on a routine patrol when the suspects were interrupted in the middle of their crime. The problem is that perpetrators know that the police are on patrol, but they are willing to take their chances committing crimes anyway.
The Third District report came from Captain David Augustine. There was a homicide last month at the gas station on the 1300 block of Ninth Street. A gun was recovered and with investigative leads, it looks like the case will be closed soon. On January 29, there was a stolen car and robbery on the 1700 block of Ninth Street. There was also a stolen auto on the 600 block of P, with the car being recovered at the Tyler House and an arrest being made there. One problem is that people believe that they can leave their cars and keep them running if they have the car’s key fob, but this is not enough to prevent theft.
Talib Shakir, the Ward 6 liaison from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (MOCRS) said that the major District effort is to get everyone vaccinated. He had observed vaccinations at Shipley Terrace and it seemed well organized. There is also a series of community budget hearings coming up. If people want to report property damage from crime, they can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commissioner Rogers said that the current vaccination process was “a joke.” As an eligible person, he has tried to register three times. People in Ward 6 should not be prevented from registering. Finally, there were no provisions for senior citizens without internet service to register. Shakir said that Wards 7 and 8 had a priority for vaccination since they had the biggest coronavirus problem. There are also people going door to door to see if they can identify seniors who need to be vaccinated.
A resident asked if the Mayor could pressure police to patrol more often in the North Capitol Street area. Shakir replied that he has heard safety concerns from that area and that he will work with planners to come up with a strategy to reduce crime there.
Sursum Corda Turnkey and Sibley Townhome RFP
DC Housing Authority Executive Director Tyrone Garrett came to the ANC to describe the status of the Request for Proposals (RFP) put out for the redevelopment of the Sursum Corda Turnkey and Sibley Townhomes. An RFP has been issued and they have received proposals. The proposals are being evaluated to see if they are sufficient before bringing them before the residents. The hope is to make sure that the community is involved in all phases of the project.
Zoning and Development Committee
Shiloh Baptist Church Redevelopment Map Amendment.
The consultants and developers for the redevelopment of the properties surrounding Shiloh Baptist Church made a presentation to the ANC at its December meeting, asking for a zoning map amendment for the area. However, the letter from the commission, supporting a map amendment was for the wrong type of amendment. The developers were seeking support for a map amendment to the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) of the District’s new Comprehensive Plan. A motion was made to have the ANC support the FLUM amendment and convey their support to the Mayor, DC Council and Office of Planning. The motion passed unanimously.
441 M Street NW.
Seeking approval of renovation plans from the Historic Preservation Review Board. Tony Brown, committee chair, noted that the project had come before the commission before and generated some controversy. The plans have been revised and he believed that they did an outstanding job meeting the concerns of the neighborhood and the HPRB. A motion to support the plan before the HPRB passed unanimously.
1527 Eighth Street NW.
Project requiring zoning relief to convert a rear deck into an interior sunroom. Request for a special exception for building square footage allowed, lot occupancy variance and a special exception for the rear yard. The ANC unanimously supported the request for zoning relief to be conveyed to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)
The committee presented a request to the DC Department of Transportation to install speed bumps on Fifth Street between Q Street and Rhode Island Avenue. There are already speed bumps between the 1300 and 1500 blocks of Fifth. Commissioner Wiggins, who lives on Fifth Street, expressed his support for the measure. The resolution was approved unanimously by the commission.
Resolution on Northwest One Library
Commissioner Lopez introduced a resolution, objecting to the DC Public Library’s (DCPL) plans for the Northwest One Library. The DCPL Master Facilities Plan called for closing Northwest One, a small neighborhood library, and building a larger one to the east in Eckington. Lopez noted that the usage of Northwest One is much higher than would be expected for its size. His resolution calls for more community input in library planning and the construction of a larger library at the Northwest One site. Commissioner Rogers also expressed opposition to DCPL’s current plans. The resolution, which will be sent to DCPL, was passed unanimously by the ANC.
Resolution on McMillan Sand Filtration Site Redevelopment
A community resident wanted the commission to adopt a resolution opposing the District’s plans for redeveloping the McMillan Reservoir Sand Filtration Site. He thought that the members of the DC Council who approved the project a number of years ago were not aware of the architectural loss that would occur if the underground sand beds once used to purify the city’s water were destroyed by the new development. Instead, the reservoir should be preserved as a historic structure and used as a recreational site for District residents.
Commissioner Nigro invited residents near the reservoir who supported the development to speak, but only the ANC commissioner from the area was on the conference. The commissioner supported the planned development since it would provide the neighborhood with amenities like a grocery store and a pool, and that she was told that the old sand filtration site was unstable and would require too much money to restore. A resolution was introduced that would call for a suspension of the project until it was reevaluated, but it was defeated by a vote of two yeses, three nos and two abstentions.
ANC 6E will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.