September 19, 2017, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:35 PM. Commissioners Bender, Ehrhardt, Hall, McHugh and Quinn were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street (TMS), announced that TMS will be hosting Art All Night, a free community arts festival in Tenleytown featuring 70+ performers and artists across 14 separate venues, on Saturday September 23. Details can be found at http://tenleytownmainstreet.org.
Phil McAuley, the Ward 4 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations introduced himself. He announced: a contract between the DC Government and the Washington Teachers Union contract was agreed to; the Mayor’s Every Day Counts! initiative emphasizes the importance of school attendance; DC was named the first LEED Platinum City in the world; and DC won the Housing Policy Leadership Award for preserving and creating affordable housing.
Shawn Hilgendorf, the Legislative Director for Robert White, Councilmember At-Large introduced himself. Hilgendorf listed the Councilmember’s legislative priorities including early childhood education, workforce development, the Returning Citizens Act, and affordable housing.
Nicholas Cray Mendelson with Mary Cheh’s office introduced himself.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. In the last 30 days there were two robberies, two burglaries, 21 thefts, and 15 thefts from autos. Hill announced that autos thefts are up in the region and stated that Dodge cars were being broken into without windows being smashed. He noted that if you have a Dodge vehicle you should check with the auto dealer for software updates, especially if you have keyless entry or keyless go system.
Attendees asked questions regarding package thefts and parking enforcement in residential zones. Commissioners asked questions regarding traffic enforcement around schools and near the intersection of 46th and Fessenden, truancy enforcement, whether a suspect had been arrested in a recent burglary, burglary trends in the area, bicycle thefts, and recent problems with the 311 City-Wide call system.
Lt Hill informed attendees that if you send him dates of travel and contact information, he can have patrol officers keep an eye on your home while you are away. Lt. Hill reminded the audience that he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Presentation by Janney PTA regarding proposed Janney 5K race and possible vote on letter supporting the race.
Andrea Travis, a Co-Chair of the Janney 5K presented an overview of the event. The Janney 5K and Fun Run will be held on Saturday, November 18 at 9 am and will run the same, open-route race course as in years past. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve a letter in support of the event. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Presentation of grant application for support of Community Fun Fest by Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home
Debbie Lyle, Development Coordinator for the Lisner-Louise-Dickson Hurt Home presented a grant request to support their annual Community Fun Fest day. The event is open to residents of the home, their families and the community. They are asking for a $1445.98 grant to help fund the art supplies for the event on October 28, 11 am – 2 pm. The event is co-hosted by Northwest Neighbors Village and Friendship Children’s Center. A vote on the request will be taken at the next ANC meeting.
Discussion of and possible vote on of BZA application for special exception for relief from front yard area requirements for addition to home at 4348 Garrison St NW
Charles Warren, architect, explained that the homeowners would like to build a two-story addition onto it but do not have the required front yard setbacks. He noted that corner lots can pick which side of the house is considered to be the front and they are asking for 17 inches of relief on the 44th Street side of the house which would then be considered the front of the house for zoning purposes only. The homeowners have letters of support including from the immediate neighbors and the Office of Planning (OP) has recommended approval.
Commissioners asked for a copy of the OP letter and asked questions regarding the property line, the building restriction line, and the bay window that would project into public space. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the special exception request at 4348 Garrison St NW, provided the BZA incorporates into its order the applicant’s agreement to use a rain barrel to compensate for the elimination of permeable space. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application to Zoning Commission for PUD and map amendment by UIP for proposed mixed-use development at 4620 Wisconsin Ave NW
Lawrence Caudle, Architect with Hickok Cole presented the updated design for the proposed development. The residential lobby was moved to the south corner of the building and there will be a simple terrace on the roof of the building with 38 solar panels which will provide up to 1% of the building’s energy.
Brook Katzen, Senior Vice President of UIP discussed the amenities package offered to the community which includes: landscaping; a 3500-square foot full-service restaurant; restrictions on retail tenants similar to those agreed to for Tenley View PUD next door; LEED Gold Certification; solar panels on the roof; providing five electric vehicle charging stations in the garage with the possibility of more in the future; at least one of the affordable housing units will be a 2-bedroom unit; renovating The Chesapeake House to a warm-lit shell for community use; they will underground utilities in front of their property and also attempt to underground the utilities to Chesapeake St, subject to the other building owners’ approval; building a park at the intersection of River Rd, 42nd St and Brandywine St and maintaining it for the life of the PUD; providing a transportation demand management (TDM) plan, a load management plan, and truck routing plan; providing more parking then required by law; including a lease provision that prohibits tenants from obtaining a Residential Parking Permit (RPP); and agreeing to limiting the height of any buildings they might purchase on that block in the future.
Attendees asked questions regarding: the coordination of the TDM with the GDS Lower/Middle School; the Commissioners views on the appropriate height of any other buildings that might be redeveloped on the block; the proposed streetscape; if there will be bicycle racks on the street; if any tenants of Tenley View have been able to obtain RPP stickers; pedestrian and ADA access to the retail stores; the total value of the amenity package; and who would enforce the TDM and load management plans. Some attendees expressed their support for the project while others opposed it. One attendee expressed his support for the renovation of The Chesapeake House and another attendee expressed concern regarding the limits placed on renting to retailers that are considered local chains.
Commissioners expressed their support for the project as a whole, felt it was an appropriate use of the land so close to a Metro station and felt it was an appropriately sized building to be built in a medium density zone. They liked the affordable housing offered, the renovation of Chesapeake House, the sit-down restaurant, the LEED Gold Certification, and the solar panels on the green roof. They asked UIP to have continuity in the public space design between Tenley View and this PUD; asked if rental of parking spaces is separate from the rental of the units; and the number of bike racks that will be provided on the sidewalk.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the resolution in support of the application and a memorandum of understanding between the ANC and UIP regarding the application. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Presentation by Georgetown Day School regarding traffic and other issues related to proposal to move GDS’ middle and lower school to its Tenleytown campus at 42nd and Ellicott
Eric Smulson stated that GDS is seeking a special exception to build a Lower/Middle School on the Safeway site. Since the last meeting they have: reduced the number of car trips by 92; agreed to close the south bound slip lane from Wisconsin Ave onto 42nd Street; will demonstrate that they have reduced the trip count before they will increase their enrollment; they eliminated the left turn out of the garage onto south-bound River Rd; and will have staff outside to monitor parents dropping off their children.
Attendees asked questions regarding: the proposed enrollment increase; why they are not considering school buses/shuttles as a means of transportation; which streets will be monitored during the morning drop-off period; and the enforcement of the trip count limits. A nearby resident stated that GDS has not addressed all of her concerns.
Commissioners had questions about how the reduction of the trip counts will be accomplished. In particular, they noted that GDS was now simply presenting more optimistic assumptions about trip reduction, while providing no evidence as to how they would realize those assumptions in reality. They expressed concern that the transit plan does not consider school buses/shuttles and Metro buses, felt that the annual monitoring proposed did not seem sufficient and all of the Commissioners stated the traffic proposal was inadequate. Commissioner Bender noted that GDS stated they would reach 45% or greater transit usage to the BZA when the High School, was approved but have reached only about 10% in reality, and the Commission would therefore like GDS to proposed a TDM that does not increase the trip counts over the current amount.
- Approval of July 2017 Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the July 2017 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved 5-0-0.
- Proposed 2018 Budget – Commissioner Quinn introduced a draft budget but tabled the discussion until the next meeting.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve payments of $ 781.25 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and of $ 18.90 to FedEx for copying services. The expenditures were approved 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:58 PM by unanimous consent.