ANC 1B Talks Secure DC, Public Safety

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B met Thursday, April 4, at the DC Housing Finance Agency. Commissioners Larry Handerhan (1B01, vice chair), Jamie Sycamore (1B03), Santiago Lakatos (1B04, treasurer), Alan Kensek (1B05), Miguel Trindade Deramo (1B06, secretary), Ashleigh Fields (1B07) and Tucker Jones (1B09) were in attendance. Commissioner Sabel Harris (1B08) was absent. 

Presentation: Ward 1 Councilmember Nadeau

Before the ANC meeting was called to order, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau outlined her take on current issues in the District. She started by saying that crime is starting to go down, particularly in the case of violent crime. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Pamela Smith has encouraged patrol officers to go into the community, and the US Attorney has started to increase the rate of prosecutions.

The Secure DC omnibus bill passed by the DC Council has provided more tools for the police. Nadeau added a provision to improve witness protection in the District. There are also pending bills to improve the operations of the Office of Unified Communications and incentives for the recruitment of DC residents to the police force.

According to Nadeau, the DC Council received the mayor’s budget the previous day, released two weeks late. Nadeau is still working through it. She has a responsibility to protect the Department of Public Works from budget cuts given its importance to maintaining the vitality of the city. Nadeau said the budget does continue the District’s composting pilot program, which currently has 9,000 participants. The program should help to reduce the number of rats in the city.

In ANC 1B, there is money in the budget to support Howard University’s redevelopment of Howard Hospital and to revitalize the K.C. Lewis playground. Nadeau is disappointed that the mayor took out money for a pay raise for childcare providers, but the DC Council intends to fight the cut. HIPS is now on the ground doing harm reduction at Seventh and T streets in an effort to help the substance-addicted population in the neighborhood.

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation (ABR) Committee

Florida Liquors, 2222 14th St. NW, has requested a new license. The committee supported the request. The commission voted 6 in favor, 0 opposed and 1 abstention to support the license application.

Capital Care, 1115 U St. NW, requested a cannabis license renewal. The commission supported the renewal by a vote of 6-0-1.

V Street Lounge, 2100 14th St. NW, has requested a tavern license for an establishment under new ownership. It was asked whether the owners had requested an entertainment endorsement. The committee chair said that they had and were also requesting permission to add four gambling kiosks to the business. The commission decided to support the license in a 4-0-3 vote.

G & G Fine Spirits, 1939 12th St. NW, has asked for renewal of its retail liquor store license. Renewal was supported by a vote of 6-0-1.

Eatopia Eatery, 1301 U St. NW, has requested a new restaurant license. The ANC approved supporting the license in a 6-0-1 vote.

Firehouse DC, 903 U St. NW, has requested approval of a settlement agreement seeking a medical marijuana license. The committee chair noted that some neighbors wanted the agreement to stipulate 24-hour security for the shop, but the applicant’s lawyers said that such a provision would not be legally enforceable. Neighbors also wanted to ensure that there would be no smoking outdoors near the shop. The committee chair said that she supported the settlement agreement. It was approved in a 6-0-1 vote.

Economic Development Committee

The committee received a proposal to establish a dog park on a city-owned parcel at 625 T St. NW, a triangular lot across from the Howard Theater. The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has given a developer the right to program and maintain the space. The committee would like to hear from this developer, who has been invited to the next committee meeting.

A spokesman for the group that would like to put a dog park on the space joined the ANC meeting. He argued that a dog park would create a family-friendly environment. A number of business owners and residents, including the Westminster Neighborhood Association, support the installation of a dog park. The committee supported a resolution supporting a dog park on the space, but the commission took no action.

A member of the DMPED staff gave an update on the status of the Reeves Center redevelopment. He said that it was unlikely the demolition and redevelopment of the site could begin before September 2026. The current tenants have leases through 2024. A DC Council resolution to dispose of the site will probably take until late 2024. Then there may have to be changes in zoning, since different portions of site are zoned differently.

Transportation Committee

Representatives of Last Energy, a climate tech company of about 50 people located in the recently renovated Grimke Building, announced that they were seeking permits to activate a vacant lot at 10th and V streets. The company is working to develop micro-modular nuclear powerplants to provide energy as an alternative to fossil fuel sources. The lot would have a non-working display prototype to help explain the technology.

ANC 1B02 Vacancy

ANC 1B has a vacant seat, ANC 1B02. Since the Board of Elections declared the seat vacant, only one person has petitioned as a candidate. Once the candidate petitions have withstood a challenge period, the law allows a single candidate to fill the vacant position on the ANC.

ANC 1B holds its next meeting on Thursday, June 6. Visit www.anc1b.org for more information.