ANC 6E Talks About Slow Mail

ANC 6E Sept Report

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for September on Tuesday evening, Sept. 7. Due to restrictions on public meetings caused by the pandemic, the meeting was 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.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee briefed the commission on the crime situation in the District. New types of crimes, like kidnappings and robberies of ATMs, were occurring in the District, he stated. The homicide rate, he observed, keeps him up at night. The number of people shot in the District, so far, he noted, is 10 fewer than at this point last year. The chief is committed to having more officers on mountain bikes and scooters. The MPD workforce is down 200 officers since last year. When the next class of recruits graduates, in December, there will be more community patrols.

Slow Mail Delivery

Nigro stated that residents have complained about slow mail deliveries. She has invited the postmaster for the District to explain the problem. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) has written a letter bringing up neighborhood complaints, she stated.

Sherry Harper, executive postmaster for the DC branch of the US Postal Service, stated that she had been out of the office for five months. Until recently, there was an acting manager on call. During the pandemic, Harper noted, a number of people took leave and there has been a high turnover of mail carriers and a recent hike in retirements. Some degradation in service occurred when employee levels fell, Harper stated. Now the post office is recruiting, she said, hiring 135 staff since April.

One resident complained of receiving only two deliveries of mail over the previous two weeks. Harper promised to investigate the problem.

Message from Councilmember Allen

Naomi Mitchell from Councilmember Allen’s office described three big issues coming up. The first is redistricting. After release of the final results from the 2020 Census, the DC Council will have to start the redistricting process. Ward 6 has about 20,000 more residents than any other ward, so its boundaries will have to change.

The second issue she raised is the timing of the reopening of DC Council offices. They have been officially closed since March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The council may return as early as October.

Last, the Kennedy Recreation Center in Shaw has gotten a special appropriation in the last District budget. Councilmember Allen’s office is monitoring the situation to track the funds. A resident asked how to get involved with the recreation center. Mitchell suggested contacting the Friends of Kennedy Recreation Center and its president, Alexander Padro.

Zoning and Development

The Zoning and Development Committee presented the following requests for support:

  • 310 M St. NW. A project needing approval from both the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).
  • 111 Massachusetts Ave. NW. A large office building being sold to Georgetown University. Its new owner will need a modification of the planned unit development (PUD) agreement, since the uses outlined in the existing PUD do not include higher education.
  • 1112 Sixth St. NW. Seeking approval of plans before the HPRB.
  • 1521 and 1521½ 11th St. Support for a by-right project for a first-floor restaurant with two residential units above, going before the HPRB. Committee Chair Tony Brown mentioned that some neighbors objected to having a restaurant in the space, but that was not relevant to the HPRB decision.
  • 1708 10th St. NW. A project on 10th Street between French and R requiring HPRB approval.
  • 1251 Fourth St. NW. Need for approval of a conceptual renovation plan for the Hoagie House, before the HPRB.

The commissioners approved all the requests for support.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing

The Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee brought two requests:

  • Bar Chinois (455 I St. NW). Request for a substantial change to the license from a restaurant to a tavern, largely to ease reporting requirements.
  • Jake’s Tavern (1606 Seventh St. NW). Request to add a sports wagering endorsement to its liquor license. Plans are to partner with a third-party wagering app so that no cash transactions would be involved in the establishment.

The commissioners approved both requests for licensing support.

Transportation

The Transportation Committee brought the following issues:

  • Request of support for a notice of intent (NOI) issued by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to establish “No Turn on Red” at the intersection of North Capitol Street and Massachusetts Avenue, and to expand the no-parking zones.
  • Request of residents to install speed bumps on the 200 block of Morgan Street. Nigro said she had gotten a request from residents on nearby Kirby Street for speed bumps. The Kirby Street bumps were added to the request.
  • Support for a NOI to convert the 900 block of Four and a Half Street from a two-way to a one-way street.
  • Support for a traffic calming proposal for Four and a Half Street from the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District.
  • Support for a proposal to reduce the speed limit on New York Avenue from 30 to 25 miles an hour.
  • Support for installation of a traffic signal at New Jersey Avenue and O Street.
  • Support for installation of a traffic light at Pierce and North Capitol streets.

The commissioners approved all seven proposals.

Grants

The ANC received a request from the Judah Project, a youth development group in Shaw, for a grant of $5,000 to help at-risk youth recognize how they could become valuable members of the community. The commissioners approved the grant request unanimously.

ANC 6E scheduled its next meeting for Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. Plans were to hold the meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.