District Crime Increase Discussed in ANC 1B

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B met on Dec. 7. Commissioners Sabel Harris (1B08, Chair), Larry Handerhan (1B01, Vice Chair), Sean Holihan (1B02), Jamie Sycamore (1B03), Santiago Lakatos (1B04, Treasurer), Alan Kensek (1B05), Miguel Trindade Deramo (1B06), Ashleigh Fields (1B07) and Tucker Jones (1B09, Secretary) were in attendance.

Public Safety and Community Engagement Committee
Commissioner Fields, the committee chair, started with the basic crime statistics. She mentioned Crime Cards as a public source for MPD crime statistics. Lieutenant Kathleen Monahan of the Third District added that there has been an increase in all categories of crime, all over the city. However, the police are undertaking new initiatives to address this upward trend in crime over the next couple of months.

An October 21 homicide at Ninth and U Streets NW was closed with the arrest of a 16-year-old. A homicide also occurred on Nov. 19 in a garage on the 2100 block of Eighth Street NW. Monahan closed by announcing that she was being promoted to the rank of captain, which meant that she would be transferred out of the Third District.

The committee received a sponsorship request from Common Good City Farm for a $1,000 grant to support their holiday festival on Dec. 15. Commissioner Harris noted that the organization had been supported by the ANC in the past, but that grant rules from the Office of ANCs (OANC) have become more restrictive.

A representative of the organization entered the meeting later explaining that they are trying to cover the cost of food and giveaways. Fields reiterated that current rules prohibit the use of ANC grants for food, although they could cover food serving items. Common Good City Farm could still use funds for extra tables and lighting for the event. A motion was made to authorize up to $2,000 to support the event in the purchase of items allowed by OANC. It passed 9-0-0.

Economic Development Committee
The committee presented a resolution asking the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to incorporate community input in its Request for Proposals for the development of the parcel at 1617 U Street NW. The resolution calls for the RFP to stipulate that the site will still have a police and fire station, and that it should include a public library. A motion to support the resolution passed by a vote of 6-2-0.

The Zoning Commission hearing on changing the zoning for the site has been continued to January 8, 2024.

Transportation Committee
The committee’s first resolution involved the Georgia Avenue Bus Priority Project initiated by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to improve safety and mobility of the 70 and 79 Metro buses along Georgia Avenue NW. A motion for the commission to support the project passed by a vote of 7 yes, 0 no and 1 abstention.

The second resolution was in support of the Vehicular Noise Reduction Act that is currently before the DC Council. The act calls for a pilot program that would establish two noise monitors per ward. A motion to support the act passed 8-0-0.

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation (ABR) Committee

1922 Lounge, 1922 Ninth Street NW. Request for new license, with a live entertainment endorsement, by an establishment in the proposed moratorium area. The committee would like to protest the license in order to start discussions on a settlement agreement.

The owners of this new establishment also have other businesses on the block. Commissioner Jones said that he would not vote to protest the license if the justifications included the license’s effect on property values. As a result, a mention of the effect on property values was stricken from the final resolution. The commission supported a protest of the license by a vote of 6-1-0.

Voodoo, 1334 U Street NW. Settlement agreement between the establishment, ANC 1B and a protest group of 20 has been completed. The ANC approved the settlement agreement in a vote of 8-0-1.

Poppinmess Champagne and Dessert Bar, 1301 U Street NW. A request for a stipulated Class C Manufacturer’s license with a number of endorsements . The ANC supported the request in a vote of 8-0-0.

Letter on ANC Special Elections
A proposed letter from the commission to Councilmembers Anita Bonds and Robert White proposing to move the responsibility for ANC Special Elections from the OANC to the Board of Elections. The recent special election in ANC 1B found a number of people disenfranchised by current procedures. Commissioner Deramo complained that the special election did not give sufficient notice of the election and did not allow absentee voting that would be permitted in a general election. The letter to the councilmembers was approved 8-0-0.

1310 Wallach Place NW
Commissioner Jones brought up an issue with permitting at 1310 Wallach Place NW, where renovations would require scaffolding to safely conduct construction on the site. The renovations largely involve interior construction, but the replacement of windows and exterior repointing requires the erection of scaffolding. The problem is that a sidewalk tree well prevents the building of scaffolding five feet wide as required by current regulations. DDOT has said that the developer must create a temporary walkway. The developer would like instead to get permission to put up signs to direct pedestrians to the other side of the street for three months.

Commissioner Harris asked if the developer had discussed their plans with the neighbors. They said that they had not. Harris responded that she is reluctant to support regulatory relief if the neighbors had not been consulted yet. Commissioner Jones made a motion to deputize Commissioner Harris to talk to the neighbors on Wallach Place about the proposed relief. The motion was approved 9-0-0.

Visit www.anc1b.org for more information.