Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4. Due to pandemic restrictions on public gatherings, 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.
ANC Officer Elections
ANC 6E started the year by electing new officers, under the supervision of former ANC commissioner Alex Marriott. The new officers are: chair, Michael Eichler; vice chair, Rachelle Nigro; secretary, Alex Lopez; treasurer, Frank Wiggins. The new chair will begin presiding in February.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Lieut. Donigian of the First Police District reported that the previous month saw two violent crimes south of New York Avenue. On Dec. 4, one person was shot in the head. One member of the group that shot him was arrested and the case remains open. There were 30 shots fired on North Capitol Street on Dec. 11, with one person being taken to the hospital. Statistics on property crimes are improving, however.
Lieut. Daee of the Third Police District reported there were two daylight robberies of construction workers last month. While thefts and carjackings increased in the District overall, the activity in the ANC 6E area was limited.
Eichler asked about gunfire on New Year’s that put bullet holes in the Giant supermarket and Convivial restaurant. Daee responded that although there were no injuries, the police were still investigating. A resident asked if a police presence could be located closer to the Giant store. Captain Small of 3D answered that while officers are often posted near Sixth and O streets, it is not a permanent, fixed location for the police.
Eichler asked about a focused community policing unit devoted to Shaw. Small said that deployment of the community-based policing unit will be determined by the chief of police, although it should be in the greater Shaw area soon. Nigro asked for a greater police presence at Morgan and Kirby streets.
Councilmember Charles Allen
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen attended the meeting largely to review the recently completed ward redistricting. He said that the population rise in Ward 6 necessitated that pieces of the ward be reassigned to neighboring wards. The portion of the Shaw neighborhood north of New York Avenue is now part of Ward 2, and a small part of ANC 6E is going to Ward 5. The District has to finalize the boundaries for new ANCs and single-member districts. Allen noted that ANC boundaries can be drawn across ward boundaries if there is a need to maintain neighborhood cohesion.
Nigro stated that the rules for residential parking zones, which now match ward boundaries, would remain unchanged. Parlej noted that there have been problems with the new protected bike lane on K Street and that the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Department of Transportation (DDOT) seem reluctant to deal with the issue. Rogers seconded Parlej’s points, saying that DDOT did not show detailed plans for the bike project, took more parking spaces than publicly stated and has not addressed the constant complaints of residents.
Allen responded that he thought that DPW has been a particular problem in terms of performance. The agency’s leaf collection did not go well this year, snow removal is lagging and a program to help people get jobs in the agency had barriers that kept it from working.
Allen, who chairs the DC Council’s Judiciary Committee, believes that all areas of public safety can be fully funded. He has put money in the budget to address the safety issues in Shaw. There is a problem with the Department of Forensic Sciences, which lost its accreditation, jeopardizing the prosecution of court cases. It will have to be rebuilt in order to get criminal convictions. Eichler said that residents wanted more police on the sidewalks, but the police said they were understaffed. Allen noted that the mayor’s last budget called for a reduction in police funds.
Zoning and Development Committee
Nigro announced that she was temporarily chairing the Zoning and Development Committee. The only request before the committee was support for 211 Morgan St. NW, a waiver before the Board of Zoning Adjustment. Plans were to build a two-story addition with a spiral staircase in the back of the building, which would increase the percentage of the area of the lot used. Nigro reported that the committee supported the request. Her motion to support the request to allow greater lot density was approved unanimously.
Parcel 42 – Dantes Partners
The commissioners were briefed on the development of Parcel 42, a city-owned vacant lot on the corner of Seventh and R streets NW that has been the subject of disposition proceedings. The presentation was given by Buwa Binitie, principal of developer Dantes Partners, as well as Stacy Meyer of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. Meyer related that the long-vacant site was disposed to Dantes Partners last year. Lopez noted that the project can be done by right, without a zoning adjustment, and would be a significant asset to the neighborhood.
According to Binitie, Dantes Partners has about 100 team members focused on affordable housing. It has produced over 5,600 affordable units so far in DC and New York. In Shaw, it was responsible for the Hodge on 7th, which is a senior building at City Market at O, and Capitol Vista at 810 New Jersey Ave. NW. He noted that because both buildings are affordable, they are always at full capacity, with a waiting list.
In presenting the plans for the 110-unit building, Binitie noted that the site is on top of a Metrorail station, and the building is at grade, with nothing underground. It will have a fitness center on the second floor and a community room at the top. It will also offer space for retail, although leasing retail space has been difficult lately. Dantes Partners would like to break ground on the building in the first quarter of 2022, with completion planned 24 months later.
ANC 6E will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more informatio