ANC 2G Discusses Zoning Development Project

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2G met February Feb. 9 via virtual conference. Commission Chair Alexander M. “Alex” Padro (2G02) called the meeting to order. Commissioners Anthony “Tony” Brown (2G01, treasurer), Alex Lopez (2G03, secretary), Steven McCarty (2G04), Sheena Berry (2G05) and Rachelle P. Nigro (2G06, vice chair) were in attendance.

Third Police District Report

Lieutenant Fleming of the Third Police District noted that statistics for crime were down in most categories. Ongoing concerns are thefts of cars left running or being stolen by “Kia Challenge” techniques. The police have started a mountain-bike patrol to stop thefts from autos and porch piracy. Nigro asked when these patrols occur. Fleming replied that they start around 3 p.m. and continue until midnight.

Northeast Boundary Tunnel Report

DC Water came to report on the progress of its Northeast Boundary Tunnel (NEBT) project. The project will end the use of a combined sewage and wastewater system that is unable to deal with stormwater and prone to flooding neighborhoods. The new system will create separate tunnels for sewage and wastewater that will end the problems. The NEBT will be operational by the end of September. After that, the triangle at R Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, the Anna Cooper/Lillian Gordon Park, will be restored with new plantings and a sculptural tribute to the park’s namesakes.

Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture

McCarty introduced Salah Czapary, director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture. McCarty had reached out to Czapary to help deal with nightlife issues in Blagden Alley. So far, Czapary noted, they are working on getting a trash compactor for the businesses in Blagden Alley and on the enforcement of parking rules. One resident expressed appreciation that McCarty and Czapary were able to start improving the situation in Blagden Alley after two years of no movement on issues.

Zoning and Development Committee

Monarch Urban developers announced that it is seeking a zoning map amendment for a property at 1507 Ninth St. NW recently acquired from Shiloh Baptist Church. One of the developer’s principals stated that notices were mailed to nearby residents about the intent to file for the map amendment. The principal also said the plans would be filed with the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) that week. The amendment is needed since the property is split-zoned between single family and multifamily residential. The amendment will create a single zone. The project will be a residential building with about 45 condominium units.

A resident asked how many below-ground levels the building will have. The one below-grade level will be an English basement. In response to a question about parking, the answer was that the developer will provide all the parking required by zoning. If additional spaces are needed, they could possibly be leased from garages nearby, such as at City Market at O.

The building at 1245 Fifth St. NW, on the southeast corner of Fifth and N streets, has two residential units with a corner store on the ground floor. A request for support of plans for renovation and additions is before the HPRB. Nigro said the committee supported the proposed plans with conditions. One resident complained about the bays and windows planned for the project. Nigro said that the most important point is that the building should be redeveloped. Her motion to support the project with requested changes to the modern bays passed unanimously.

Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee (ABC)

Play DC, 1541 Seventh St. NW, sought support for renewal of a tavern license. Lopez explained that the establishment got the license through a transfer and had been operating since last year through a series of one-day liquor licenses. He said that neighbors had complained that they could hear bass music from the club in their homes. One neighbor testified that he could feel the bass in his residence. The owner offered to make noise mitigation efforts.

Lopez suggested that the commission protest the license renewal while the owner gets an acoustic engineer to work on the noise problem. He would not object to renewal if the noise problem could be solved. A resident said that five neighbors objected to a license renewal. One, at 640 Q St., abutting the back of Play DC, noted that the club had the highest noise level, although there were other establishments with music on the block.

Padro expressed dismay that the owner had promised to turn off the bass at the ABC Committee meeting the week before, but it apparently has not been done. A resident asked why the hours on the license are so long. The answer is that the original license was for a cafe, not a nightclub.

Lopez made a motion to protest the renewal of the license for Play DC. The motion passed unanimously.

ANC 2G scheduled meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.anc2g.org for more information.