ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3E
TENLEYTOWN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK
c/o Lisner Home 5425 Western Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015
Minutes of ANC 3E April 12, 2012 Meeting
The meeting convened at 7:37pm. Commissioners Bender, Frumin, Quinn, Serebin and Sklover were present.
Announcements and Open Forum
John Wheeler announced a citizen’s petition initiative for the November ballot that would prohibit corporate contributions in DC and invited signatures.
A representative for Rome Pizza inquired as to how to proceed to install a sidewalk café at the restaurant. A Commissioner advised that they would need to request permission from DDOT’s Public Space Committee.
Presentation by the Second District Police
PSA 202 Lieutenant Alan Hill presented an update about the recent spike of robberies in northwest DC neighborhoods and the police response. Lt. Hill reported that within the last 30 days crime is down compared to the previous month in every category in northwest DC except stolen autos; three cars have been reported stolen within this period. He also reported a recent armed robbery during which a wallet was taken. One attendee asked about a possible series of assaults perpetrated by the same individuals and Lt. Hill responded by encouraging residents to forward any information about possible crimes or suspects to the police, check the listserv as well as DC crime maps. In response to a question from a Commissioner, Lt. Hill noted that subsequent to the recent arrests of certain juveniles, there has been a sharp decline in robberies in northwest DC neighborhoods as — apparently — word has spread among possible perpetrators.
Vote on Friends of Friendship Park (FOFP) Grant Proposal to Support Educational Activity at the Annual May Fair Celebration
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve a grant of $415.00 to pay to have Mad Science provide an educational performance at the fair, as they did the previous year.
Discussion and Possible Vote on Resolution Regarding the Wesley Seminary Campus Plan
Commission chair Frumin briefly summarized the resolution for attendees and noted that Wesley Seminary had accepted the Commissioners’ condition that the back gate and stairs used by students to access AU and the neighborhood not be removed or closed. Commissioner Frumin offered a resolution in support and the Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
Consideration of Application for ABRA License Renewal by Wagshal’s
After hearing no objections concerning Wagshal’s liquor sales from attendees, the commissioners voted unanimously to take no action.
Discussion and Possible Vote on Resolutions Relating to Parking on the 4200 to 4800 blocks of Yuma Street, NW and Traffic Management at the Intersection of 46th and Yuma Streets, NW
DDOT has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) indicating they plan to add parking on the south side of Yuma Street NW. The NOI provided a 30-day public comment period which passed in March; however, DDOT agreed to extend that period and hold off on implementation until after ANC 3E’s April 2012 meeting.
Commissioners Frumin, Sklover and Serebin each drafted and presented resolutions as to whether parking should be allowed on the south side of Yuma Street between the 4200 and 4800 blocks (it is currently permitted only on the north side). Commissioner Sklover’s resolution would preclude parking on the south side of the street; Commissioner Frumin’s would allow parking on the south side of the street on the 4300, 4400, 4500 and 4600 blocks; and Commissioner Serebin’s resolution argued that parking should remain as is until further study of the impact of such a change is completed.
A lengthy discussion followed including comments from attendees and Commissioners that explored safety issues on Yuma Street; Commissioners’ differing analysis and conclusions as evidenced in their resolutions; and whether a compromise could be reached and agreed upon by the Commissioners.
A resident of the 4200 block of Yuma Street stated that all of the residents on the 4200 block oppose parking on the south side of the street and asked that the block not be included. It was noted that the 4200 block was not included in the one resolution calling for allowing parking on the south side of the street on a trial basis.
Suggestions included: Postpone a decision until DDOT completes its review of the intersection of 46th and Yuma Street; commission a traffic study to gather data on speed and volume on Yuma Street before proceeding further; gather speed and traffic data, proceed with a 6 month trial, measure traffic speed and volume again and make a final recommendation; allow parking on a trial basis on the 4400 and 4500 blocks; petition individual blocks and proceed on a trial basis for only those blocks where there is consensus; allow for south side parking on all of the blocks proposed in the NOI; table a decision until the time DDOT more fully implements the findings of the Rock Creek West Livability study.
The Commissioners agreed that they could not reach a consensus at this time and would not act on the subject at the April meeting. DDOT had previously indicated that it would not go forward with parking changes absent support from the ANC.
Presentation by Friendship Animal Hospital of Plans for Their Property
Peter S. Glassman, director of Friendship Animal Hospital, gave a presentation detailing their plans to expand the hospital by constructing a second floor on the existing site and moving specialty services, including oncology and surgery, to the second floor to relieve pressure on the first floor, where the main hospital operates. They plan to hire two new veterinarians and add 10 more support staff. He explained that the current building was built in 1960 and that the facility is extremely cramped as hospital staff and services have expanded over the years. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency and urgent care services and is the only veterinary hospital in the northwest DC.
Mr. Glassman said that they want to stay in the neighborhood and as they have maxed out on their commercial lot size they can only build up. Were the project residential, Friendship could build the project without zoning relief. Because it is commercial, however, Friendship needs to obtain a use variance to proceed. They will require additional zoning relief to permit the expansion without adding additional on-site parking. They will also seek variances for the loading dock and setback, he said. He noted the neighbors have not yet been notified. He expects the BZA review process to take five to seven months.
Commissioners discussed parking options for the hospital and made recommendations, including exploring the idea of sharing parking facilities with neighboring businesses and using a valet service. Commissioners asked if it would be possible to build a green or white roof and if the new building could be designed to capture and re-use heat to promote energy efficiency.
Commissioners also encouraged Dr. Glassman to work cooperatively with the hospital’s residential neighbor, Bruce Lowrey, to address some of his concerns, most notably repairing a noisy grate. They asked that Mr. Lowrey send Mr. Glassman a list of his most pressing concerns and copy the Commissioners.
Commissioners unanimously approved December 2011 and March 2012 minutes.
Commissioners unanimously approved January, February and March 2012 Treasurer’s reports and the 2012 2nd Quarter report.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve expenditures: $740 to Loren Stein; $17.60 to Federal Express; replacement check of $5,000 to Northwest Neighbors Village; $107.40 and $618.72 to Angela Bowman.
Commissioners briefly discussed plans for the new ANC 3E web site.
The commission meeting adjourned at 10:57pm.
Matthew Frumin, Chair