ANC 1B Hears DC Council Updates

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B met on November 2, 2023 at the DC Housing Finance Agency. Commissioners Sabel Harris (1B08, Chair), Larry Handerhan (1B01, Vice Chair), Sean Holihan (1B02), Santiago Lakatos (1B04, Treasurer), Alan Kensek (1B05), Miguel Trindade Deramo (1B06), Ashleigh Fields (1B07) and Tucker Jones (1B09, Secretary) were in attendance. 

Presentation: Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau

The time devoted to special presentations before the ANC meeting is called to order was given to Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. She started by swearing in the newly elected commissioner Miguel Trindade Deramo, who will now represent ANC 1B06.

The councilmember noted that her office has gotten a number of calls on public safety issues lately. With the new DC budget, Ward 1 will get $4.5 million in public safety funds for Ward 1, with work continuing in Columbia Heights joined by new initiatives at Seventh and T Streets and U Street. Nadeau is pushing for more police recruitment through the cadet program and the effort to restore the accreditation of the DC Crime Lab. She also wants to improve the 911 performance of the Office of Unified Communications.

The new Chief of Police, Pamela A. Smith, will participate in a Ward 1 Town Hall on public safety November 28. Councilmember Nadeau and Councilmember Allen held a hearing the day before on traffic safety. To address complaints about the misuse of temporary car tags, a new bill would allow the impoundment of cars with fraudulent tags and the criminal investigation of purveyors of fake car tags.

A resident asked if Nadeau was trying to get the Council to pass emergency legislation to enforce a moratorium on new liquor licenses on the 1900 block of Ninth Street while the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration considers the petition to establish a moratorium in North Shaw. Nadeau replied that while she supports the moratorium, she thinks that there are better long-term solutions to the problem, such as her proposed community improvement district.

Councilmember Nadeau is currently looking for a space for the HIPS group to house their harm reduction work in the neighborhood. She noted that Columbia Heights has finally gotten a sobering center to help people with substance abuse problems.

Zoning, Preservation and Development Committee

The committee did not present any matters for the commission’s consideration. There was a discussion of a property in LeDroit Park owned by the Catholic Church.

Economic Development Committee

The committee held a hybrid meeting at the MPD Third District station to get community input on zoning for the 1617 U Street NW development parcel. The DC Zoning Commission will hold a hearing on the matter November 20. Some residents have applied for standing at the hearing.

The committee would like to work with the District government to develop a document that outlines the facts about the development process for the 1617 U Street NW site and address some of the misconceptions about the potential outcomes for the parcel.

Transportation Committee

The committee presented three resolutions that it wanted the commission to pass.

The first called for the Department of Public Works to install more litter cans on sidewalks and to revise its policy on the installation of public trash cans. The second asked the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to make improvements to its 14th Street Bus Lane Design Review. The third resolution requests that DDOT revise its work on the Florida Avenue NW/9th Street/Sherman Avenue Reconstruction Project. While the project did make improvements, the committee thinks that some of the additions could be described as chaotic. The resolution suggests aspects of the project that should be reconsidered. All three resolutions were passed unanimously by the commission.

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation (ABR) Committee

Celavi, 1901 Ninth Street NW. Request for new license. They are also seeking an endorsement for live entertainment and dancing. The committee recommended that the commission protest the license. The protest would be based on a number of criteria including its proximity to residences. The owners of the establishment have suggested that they would like to establish a settlement agreement with the commission. ANC 1B voted unanimously to protest the new liquor license.

Shaw Howard Deli, 1911 Seventh Street NW. A license renewal. The establishment saw a homicide just outside its doors a few months ago. That case is under review by the DC Attorney General. Neighbors have said that the establishment is a chronic menace and that it should not be in business. ANC 1B voted unanimously to protest the renewal of the license.

Public Safety and Community Engagement Committee

The committee got updated guidance from the Office of ANCs (OANC) on the restrictions on raising funds for food at events and the prohibition on grants to groups that would duplicate District government efforts.

In terms of crime, there were no homicides in the ANC for the previous 30 days, but there were large increases in robberies, auto theft and theft.

ANC Special Election

On October 28, a special election was held to fill the vacant 1B06 seat, with Miguel Trindade Deramo being declared the winner. Some commissioners felt that the rules for special elections were too complicated and restrictive under the jurisdiction of the OANC. Commissioner Jones had written a letter to the OANC suggesting that special ANC elections fall under the sole jurisdiction of the Board of Elections.

He wanted the commission to endorse the letter. Commissioner Harris suggested that Jones get other ANCs that have gone through the special election process to sign on as well. The commission deferred approval until the next meeting.

ANC 1B will hold its next meeting on Thursday, December 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. Plans are to hold this meeting as a virtual conference. Visit www.anc1b.org for more information.