ANC 2G Discusses a Return to Hybrid Meetings

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2G held its monthly meeting for October on Thursday evening, October 12, 2023. The meeting was held as a virtual conference. Commission Chair Alexander M. “Alex” Padro (2G02) called the meeting to order. Commissioners Anthony “Tony” Brown (2G01, Treasurer), Sranda Watkins (2G03), Steven McCarty (2G04, Secretary), Sheena Berry (2G05) and Rachelle Nigro (2G06, Vice Chair) were in attendance. The commission had a quorum to conduct business.

Ward 2 Councilmember

Pablo Rodrigues of Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto’s office reported on recent initiatives. Councilmember Pinto has announced her Secure DC Plan to address crime in the District. It puts additional restrictions on the use of firearms and redefines the crime of carjacking. It also makes provisions for better street lighting and encourages job training. The plan also establishes a transgender fatality review board. The Councilmember is conducting safety walks in all eight wards, including one in Shaw on October 17.

Events DC

Solana Vander Nat of Events DC gave a rundown of the major events at the Washington Convention Center for the month. She also noted that the Night Circus that Events DC sponsored at the Carnegie Library during Shaw’s Art All Night drew 2,000 participants.

Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee (ABC)

1400 Seventh Street NW, Giant. A renewal of an existing license. Commissioner Padro noted that the license allows alcohol sales 24/7, even though the store is not currently open all day. Giant also has a tasting license. They did have a violation in 2021 due to not having an ABC manager on duty. A motion to support renewal of the license passed, 6-0-0.

901 L Street NW, Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott. Renewal request. Asking for hours from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. They also have a tasting license. Commissioner McCarty said that he had heard of a couple of noise complaints in the summer, but residents said that things have improved lately. He made a motion to support the renewal, which passed, 6-0-0.

Transition to Hybrid Meetings

Commissioner Padro started a discussion of the ANC moving to hybrid meetings, where the commission would meet in a physical location, but allow people to participate via Zoom as well. ANCs were required to have in-person meetings until the pandemic required them to move to virtual meetings. So far, the DC Council has allowed ANCs to continue to hold virtual meetings.

Padro said that he had attended a couple of hybrid ANC meetings and that they turned out to be a clunky operation. Commissioner Nigro said that people appreciated the convenience of a virtual meeting. Commissioner Brown added that he agreed with Nigro. Commissioner Berry said that some participants did not like the ability to be cut off people from talking in a Zoom meeting.

Nigro countered that in the physical meetings in the past, most of the audience were developers making presentations. When the developers left, there were few people left in the audience. Commissioner McCarty said that he has not heard a clamoring for physical ANC meetings. Berry wanted to at least have physical meetings when major topics came before the ANC. Commissioner Watkins said that she could go either way. The consensus was to continue with virtual meetings until further notice.

Department of Corrections Update

Commissioner Nigro gave an update to her effort to stop the Department of Corrections from moving the DC jail’s central lock up to 501 New York Avenue NW. She has filed a zoning appeal questioning the building permit that was issued for the project. However, in order to make an appeal, she has to see the actual permit, something that the Department of Buildings has not allowed her to do. As a result, she has had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of the building permit.

She wondered if the ANC could get some legal guidance on this, but she has been told that they do not have enough money for a lawyer. Commissioner Padro said that it was true that they did not have enough money, but he thought that the Office of ANCs could provide legal help in regards to zoning issues. Nigro replied that she understood that the OANC has yet to hire a person to provide legal help.

Next Meeting

ANC 2G will hold its next meeting on Thursday, November 9. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc2g.org for more information.