Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for April on Tuesday evening, April 5. Due to the restrictions on public meetings caused by the Coronavirus crisis, the meeting was held as a virtual conference. Chair Michael Eichler (6E01) called the meeting to order with Alex Lopez (6E02, secretary), Rachelle Nigro (6E04, vice chair), Patrick Parlej (6E05) and Kevin Rogers (6E07) in attendance. There was a quorum to conduct official business.
Police Service Area (PSA) Reports
Lieut. Donigian of the First Police District reported that crime during the previous 30 days looked a little better than the previous month. There were two violent incidents in March. One involved a robbery among juveniles, the other a homicide on March 13. Thefts increased, mostly from delivery vehicles. The robbery at Busboys and Poets was closed with three arrests.
Lieut. Daee of the Third Police District said that officers were aggressively deterring idling cars in the area and giving notices to car-sharing services about the threat of carjacking. March saw robberies on the 400 block of N Street. Shots were fired on the 1300 block of Eighth Street, with shell casings recovered. That incident was still being investigated.
Nigro asked if the robbery on the 1200 block of Fourth Street had been solved. Daee replied that the case was still open. Nigro said she still was not seeing patrol officers getting out of their vehicles. Lopez asked about a pedestrian fatality that occurred at New York and New Jersey Avenues. The police said it was being investigated by the Vehicular Division.
Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee (ABC)
Bann Siam, 425 I St. NW, a restaurant renewing its liquor license. Committee Chair Alexander Padro said the restaurant had no previous infractions, and the committee supported the renewal. The proprietor said there would be no changes in the restaurant’s operations. Parlej moved to support the license renewal. The motion passed 5-0.
Ottoman Taverna, 425 I St. NW, for renewal of the restaurant’s license. Padro said the owner did not participate in the committee’s meeting the previous week. The restaurant did have a recent infraction on its record, where it was cited for not having an ABC manager on duty during an inspection. The ABC Committee did not make a recommendation on supporting the license renewal. The owner of Ottoman Taverna joined the meeting and said that the infraction was caused by the restaurant manager going to the bank. He assured the ANC that it would not happen again. Parlej moved to support the license renewal, which passed by a vote of 5-0.
Zoning and Planning Committee
1718½ 10th St. NW, project submission to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). Nigro, the committee chair, said there were concerns about the massing of the project. It seemed that a third-floor addition could be seen from French Street to the east of the building. There was also a worry that the glass in the project’s addition had the potential for glare. Nigro said the committee decided to support the project. Eichler moved to support the application to the HPRB, which passed 5-0.
1100 Sixth Street NW, a new project going before the HPRB. The owner is proposing to redevelop the property into corporate housing. The historic building will be restored, including the removal of a non-historic bay and additions. The project will add two structures at the north and west, ranging from four to seven stories. The intent is to fit the design with the residential character of the block and transition to the greater height on the south side of L Street.
A resident asked about the timeline for the project. The answer was that construction would not start for a year. Proponents said they would need to seek zoning relief for the project. Nigro stated she would seek to prevent the occupants of the project from getting residential street parking permits. She said the committee supported the application. The ANC passed a motion to support the project by a vote of 5-0.
Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)
Lopez, TAC chair, announced that the District Department of Transportation had issued a notice of intent (NOI) to construct a road diversion at the intersection of Fourth and M streets. The diversion would force east- and westbound drivers at the intersection to turn north or south on Fourth, which goes one-way in different directions. The diversion would prevent drivers from N and Ridge streets from illegally going the wrong way south on Fourth to cross M Street and access I-395 at New York Avenue. Nigro reported that constituents were concerned about the proposed bicycle lane on the 400 block of M Street. She supported the NOI, but her resolution added the provision that the diversion and bicycle lane would be removed if it did not work. The motion passed 5-0.
Proposal for Public Safety Committee
A neighborhood resident, Charles Jow, presented a proposal for the ANC to establish a Public Safety Committee. He noted the recent neighborhood concerns about crime and thought that a new committee would help to mobilize the community around public safety issues. However, some members of the commission objected to his reference to homeless encampments as a safety threat. They also thought the proposal overstressed reliance on the police to deal with crime. The commission deferred action on the proposal.
Northwest One Library Resolution
Lopez introduced a resolution to send a letter to the DC Council protesting the proposed closure of the Northwest One Library. He noted that the DC Public Library Master Plan called for building a new library in Eckington and closing Northwest One in FY 2024. This would prevent the growing population of the Mount Vernon Triangle and adjacent areas from conveniently accessing library services. Lopez’s resolution called for a new library at the Northwest One site of at least 20,000 square feet. The resolution passed unanimously.
ANC 6E will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.