Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B held its May meeting May 4 via virtual conference. Commissioners Sabel Harris (1B08, Chair), Larry Handerhan (1B01, Vice Chair), Sean Holihan (1B02), Santiago Lakatos (1B04, Treasurer), Alan Kensek (1B05), Mark Johnson (1B06), Ashleigh Fields (1B07) and Tucker Jones (1B09, Secretary) were in attendance and there was a quorum to conduct business.
Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau
Council member Brianne Nadeau started by stating that she and the Council have been able to work to restore cuts made by the Mayor in social programs and other neighborhood amenities in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget.
She was able to take control of the Restroom Law passed by the Council. There will be four pilot public restrooms established. Nadeau also funded expanding the area covered by the Shaw Clean and Safe Team to serve the businesses on the 1900 block of Eighth St. NW.
With regard to dealing with the problem of nefarious activities on the 600 block of T Street, she has identified funding for nonprofit organizations to provide services for people on the street.
A question came up about the disposition of the District-owned lot at 1617 U Street NW. Nadeau noted that she had held a Town Hall meeting on the issue. The requested change in zoning for the site is in accordance with the DC Comprehensive Plan.
Someone asked about plans for the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) building, whose redevelopment was part of the Duke U Street Renewal Plan. Nadeau said that HFA has decided to select its own developer, who she believed was the Jair Lynch Company.
Zoning, Preservation and Development Committee
A case before the Historic Preservation Review Board involving the addition of a rear deck at 941 Westminster Street NW. Commissioners supported the project during the previous term. The proposal previously had a spiral staircase outdoors, which has been changed to a straight one. It can only be seen from the alley. Commissioner Jones said that he thought that the project maintained the historic character of the building.
The commission supported the application unanimously.
Economic Development Committee
The committee continues to hear complaints from neighbors about the process to rezone and dispose of the District-owned lot at 1617 U Street. U Street Main Streets has a new Executive Director. The committee still has not heard from the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on the award for redevelopment of the Franklin Reeves Center. The committee heard from members of Shaw Main Streets and neighborhood proponents of establishing a Business Improvement District in ANC 1B.
A developer is sponsoring the naming of an alleyway on Euclid Street NW. The alley is between 11th Street and Sherman Avenue and Euclid Street and Vermont. The developer wants to build new housing in the alley but was told that the alley had to have a name for the homes to have an address. A resident questioned why this had to be done, saying that the lots currently had a valid address. The committee chair said that he would check to see if an alley name was necessary.
Slice and Pie, 2221 14th Street NW. Noted that there has been a noise issue with the establishment. A motion to approve the settlement agreement passed by a 7-1 vote.
Cloud Restaurant and Sports Bar, 1919 Ninth Street NW. A committee member mentioned that there had been a stabbing at the bar last year. They wanted it to deal with safety measures and noise problems, which the settlement agreement addresses. A motion to approve the settlement agreement passed 8-0.
Over Concentration Letter
Houlihan brought up an issue of sending a letter to the Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) to get guidance on the rules to declare an over concentration of liquor licenses in an area. A committee member said that there was already an over concentration of licenses on the 1900 block of Ninth Street NW, but over concentration can only be invoked to deny a new license.
The letter to ABCA would ask if the issue of over concentration could be brought up to deal with existing licenses. Commissioner Johnson suggested referring the issue back to the committee. A motion to give the writing of a letter to ABCA back to the committee passed 6-1-1.
After discussion continued, a draft letter was read to the commission. As a result, there was a move to reconsider the issue. A motion to send a letter with the draft language on over concentration of licenses to ABCA passed by a vote of 7-1-0.
Racial Equity Training Letter. Another issue came up regarding calls for requiring licensees to have their staff take racial equity training. There is a question if the ANC’s settlement agreements can put in this requirement. This issue was not included in the proposed clarifying letter to ABCA. Commissioner Harris brought up the fact that no state has a requirement for such training in order to get a liquor license. Commissioner Holihan said that he would go back to the committee to come up with a letter to ABCA on the matter.
Owl Room, 2007 14th Street NW. The commission is also working on a settlement agreement for the Owl Room. The committee wanted a motion to approve a consolidated settlement agreement for the establishment. Currently the Owl Room is covered by four different settlement agreements by different ANCs. The commission wants to add an amendment to the new agreement to increase trash collection. The motion to support a consolidated agreement for the Owl Room passed 7-0-1.
New Assistant Administrator
ANC 1B has a new administrative assistant, Cedric Diakabana.
ANC 1B will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to try to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc1b.org for more information.