Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E held its monthly meeting for July 2022 on Tuesday evening, July 5. Due to the restrictions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the meeting was held as a virtual conference. Commission chair Michael Eichler (6E01) called the meeting to order with Frank Wiggins (6E03, treasurer), 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. Phillip McHugh presented the First Police District report. He said that there had been a huge spike in theft of vehicles and thefts from vehicles, particularly along K Street in Mount Vernon and near the Fifth Street Safeway. He has been telling officers to focus on deterring double-parked cars to correct this. Stolen autos have been used to commit serious crimes. McHugh has advised delivery companies and drivers to watch out for carjackers. There were four violent crimes in the ANC 6E portion of 1D during the previous month, including the brandishing of a gun and an assault involving a gun. The latter incident was closed when the suspect was identified by neighbors.
Lieut. Jonathan Fleming of the Third Police District said that they had seen a general decrease in crime. The exception was an increase in thefts from autos. A homicide at the Shaw-Howard Metro station is still under investigation. There has been a request for foot patrols in the French Street area, but due to the limited number of officers available the police have tried to increase the presence of bicycle cops.
Wiggins said that a suspicious group that used to hang out at the Giant has moved to the 1100 block of Seventh Street and that residents need support there. Nigro agreed and complained that there seemed to be no follow-up by the police when residents reported problems. Nigro also reported that she had given the phone number to report illegal ATVs to her constituents, and they told her that the personnel at the Office of Unified Communications did not seem interested in taking reports. Fleming noted that chasing ATVs risks human life. The police have tried to use helicopters to identify parked ATVs.
Zoning and Development Committee
1707 Eighth St. NW. Tony Brown, who served as the chair of the committee for its July meeting, introduced a planned unit development (PUD) proposal from MidCity Development to provide benefits to the community in order to compensate for their new building’s impact. Brown noted that the new apartment building would exceed District targets for affordable units and it also provides parking spaces for some of its residents. The PUD involved awards to Shaw community groups totaling $153,000. The Zoning Committee approved supporting the PUD proposal’s going to the Zoning Commission by a 4-0-1 vote.
Eichler objected to the PUD, saying that he perceived a conflict of interest in the award to Shaw Main Streets, because a MidCity Development team member was on the Shaw Main Streets board. He suggested that Shaw Main Streets be removed from the PUD list. He also announced that MidCity was willing to make a separate contribution to Shaw Main Streets if it were not on the PUD list. A resident objected to the lack of a covenant prohibiting tenants in the new building from applying for on-street parking permits. The developer said that they had looked at the matter but that a covenant brings up equity issues. The list of PUD awardees was amended and approved by a 4-1-0 vote.
Sursum Corda, Phase Two. The developers of the massive project at the former Sursum Corda housing project asked for a modification of the project’s development program. Phase One is already under construction on the site’s south parcel. Phase Two involves two buildings to the north. The developers noted that the Zoning Committee supports their request. They have also reached out to the DC Public Library about the possibility of constructing a new branch library. A resident asked how many units in the project will be affordable. The response was that out of a total of 1,100 units, 190 have to be affordable, with 118 of them going to former residents of Sursum Corda. Nigro made a motion to support the requested modification of the Sursum Corda development program. The motion passed unanimously.
923/927 Fifth St. NW. Brown noted that the team for the project did not attend the committee meeting but wanted their request to seek an extension of a Board of Zoning Adjustment order to go before the ANC now. Parlej said that residents had given him negative comments about the condition of the project site. Nigro said that the owners are aware of the problems but do not care about fixing them. Wiggins added that he was not impressed with the current conditions at the site.
Parlej suggested the ANC could either not comment on the request, put conditions on support for it or oppose it. Eichler thought that the commissioners could decide not to act on the request. Nigro wanted to oppose the extension of the zoning order. Parlej made a motion to oppose the extension, which passed 5-0.
Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee (ABC)
Alexander Padro, ABC chair, presented the list of establishments requesting support from the ANC for liquor licenses. A number of the requests for renewal were approved without controversy, with the commissioners supporting renewals for Cambria Suites (899 O St. NW), Convivial (801 O St. NW), Capital Burger (1005 Seventh St. NW), Kinship/Metier (1015 Seventh St. NW), Alta Strada (465 K St. NW), Toscana Market (400 K St. NW), Mandu (453 K St. NW) and Nicoletta Italian Kitchen (910 Fourth St. NW). A few establishments required discussion.
600 T Street NW requested a substantial change to license by adding an entertainment endorsement for the interior of the establishment. The owner made a presentation to the ABC Committee. Padro asked whether the establishment had signed a settlement agreement. Eichler said that it had. Nigro made a motion to support the substantial license change and approve the settlement agreement with 600 T. Motion passed.
606 Florida Ave. NW, Rito Loco/El Techo. Padro started the discussion by noting that the applicant had been cited 15 times for violations in the previous two years. The lawyer for the establishment objected that most of the citations were for minor infractions. Padro disagreed and started to list the violations. Nigro said that her previous experience with the establishment made her wonder “why they couldn’t do right by the community,” noting a problem with trash. The owner said that there was a problem with missed pickups during the pandemic and that he was working to resolve trash issues. A resident noted that his family has had problems with noise from the establishment. The ABC voted to protest the renewal of the license due to the establishment’s adverse impact on peace, order and quiet. The commissioners voted unanimously to protest renewal of the license.
601 K St. NW, AC Hotel-Convention Center. Parlej started by noting that the commission had voted to protest renewal of the license due to noise concerns. Since then, he has negotiated a settlement agreement with the hotel that follows the terms of most of the agreements signed in Mount Vernon. Parlej motioned to rescind the protest and to submit the settlement agreement to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. The motion passed unanimously.
Public Art Building Community Grants
The commission had requests to support applications for Public Art Building Community grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to install murals and sculpture in Shaw and Mount Vernon. Shaw Main Streets had a proposal for two murals, one at 1816 Eighth St., the other at the corner of 11th and Rhode Island Avenue. The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District had a proposal for an installation at 444 K St. NW. The ANC voted to support all the applications.
ANC 6E will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 6:30 p.m. (Typically, there is no ANC meeting in August.) Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc6e.org for more information.