April 14, 2016, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:35 PM. Commissioners Bender, Wallace, Quinn and McHugh were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Shelly Repp, with Citizens for Responsible Development, provided an update on Valor Development’s plans for the SuperFresh site. He offered copies of his notes to those in attendance.
Ian Maggard, the Ward 3 Liaison to Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, invited the community to celebrate Emancipation Day by walking with Mayor Bowser in the DC Emancipation Day Parade on Saturday, April 16, at 1:00 PM starting at 441 4th St NW.
Commissioner Bender announced that a meeting was held outside of Tenleytown Metro Station on April 13 of a task force the ANC helped put together to discuss safety issues around the Tenleytown area. Attendees included ANC Commissioners, MPD and Metro Transit Police representatives, local school administrators, and representatives from Mary Cheh’s office. Meetings will be held roughly once per month (announcements will be shared via the neighborhood Listserves) and the community is invited to attend.
Commissioner Wallace announced that WMATA and DDOT are working on plans to upgrade, renovate and beautify the area around the Tenley Metro Stop. They are seeking input from the community on the proposed redesign. WMATA representatives will be at the Metro stop on Saturday April 16 to solicit input or community members can provide input via an online survey through May 2.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. There was one sexual abuse on the 4500 block of Wisconsin Ave/Tenley circle at 3:38 am; Lt. Hill said there is no danger to the public at large. There were two ADWs without guns and one ADW with a gun. There were no Burglaries this month. There were 27 Thefts and 14 Thefts from Autos.
Commissioner Quinn asked Lt Hill for more information on the two pedestrian fatalities our PSA experienced last year and information regarding traffic enforcement along Wisconsin Ave in Friendship Heights. Lt Hill will look into the disposition of the cases and noted that Officer Santos has not been available for traffic enforcement. Commissioner McHugh asked whether patients are still being brought to the Psychiatric Institute of Washington for evaluation. Lt Hill stated that PIW has a contract with the city to do intake evaluations for the city/MPD. Commissioner Bender asked for details about a pedestrian that was recently struck by a car near Mazza Gallerie and whether charges were brought against a Wilson Student who allegedly threatened another with a knife. Lt Hill will also look into both items.
Lt. Hill reminded the audience that if you witness a crime or see something suspicious call 911. For any other questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding renewal of liquor licenses for following establishments:
- The Cheesecake Factory (5345 Wisconsin)
- Satay Club (4654 Wisconsin)
- Burger Tap & Shake (4445 Wisconsin)
- Masala Art (4441 A Wisconsin)
- Tartufo (4910 Wisconsin)
- Le Chat Noir (4907 Wisconsin)
- Maggianos (5333 Wisconsin)
- Yosaku (4712 Wisconsin)
Commissioner Bender informed those in attendance that the ANC does not normally take action for liquor license renewals unless there are complaints about the establishment.
An attendee, a neighbor of Le Chat Noir, stated that he has had ongoing issues with the restaurant. He brought up many issues with the restaurant during their last license renewal period and they still have noise problems from bottles being dumped into the recycling bin after 10 PM, their porch is still not accessible for the disabled and their delivery trucks have damaged the new sidewalks on Emory Place. Some of those issues were addressed in the consent agreement for their last renewal but were not completely resolved. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to give Bender the authority to try to broker an agreement and provide him the authority to file a protest if the issues cannot be resolved. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Commissioner Wallace stated that there were problems with Burger Tap & Shake storing their trash dumpsters in public space on Albemarle Street. She noted that the ANC has asked them repeatedly to fix the problem and no solutions have been reached. The PSC has specifically denied them the ability to store their trash in public space. Wallace introduced a resolution protesting their license renewal and stated that if the problems are addressed before the ABRA hearing next month, the ANC will withdraw the protest. Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Bender seconded the motion to approve the resolution protesting their ABRA license renewal. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application for Class D stipulated liquor license Wagshal’s Restaurant, 4855 Massachusetts Ave.
Wagshal’s asked the ANC to support their request for a Class D stipulated liquor license to serve beer and wine in their new restaurant. Commissioner Bender explained that a stipulated license is a 45-day temporary license that will be in place while awaiting the hearing for their permanent license. There were no concerns raised by attendees. Commissioner Quinn asked questions about when they would begin serving alcohol (not until the placards are posted) and their hours of operation (8 am to 9 pm). Commissioner Bender offered minor changes to the draft resolution.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Wallace seconded a motion to approve the resolution, as amend, to support a stipulated liquor license for Wagshal’s. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding public space application for Beefsteak restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue
Commissioner Wallace announced that due to an oversight, the ANC would be considering an unannounced stipulated liquor license for Beefsteak in addition to their public space application. Jim Biafore, the Senior Director of Operations for Beefsteak stated that Beefsteak, a fast-casual, restaurant is seeking approval for an enclosed, outdoor patio and a license to serve beer and wine. There will be 30 seats inside the restaurant and they would like to have 8 seats in the outside patio. Commissioner Wallace noted the importance of vitality on the street and asked Beefsteak to consider having some consistency in the patio and furniture design with the neighboring restaurants. Mr. Biafore stated that they have had some conversations with their neighbors to unify the look and clean up the façades.
Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support Beefsteak’s public space application. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support Beefsteak’s Stipulated Liquor License application. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Update by Georgetown Day School of plans for expanded school and mixed-use development on Safeway and Marten’s lots
Russell Shaw, GDS Head of School, provided an update on their plans for the Safeway and Marten’s lots. He said they were surprised by the announcement that Safeway would be closing at the end of the month. He stated that the Office of Planning had changed its position about GDS’ request for a map amendment and GDS’ Board did not want to go to the Zoning Commission without support from the OP. GDS therefore decided to amend their PUD application to reduce the height of the 2 mixed use buildings. GDS is awaiting the Scoping Document from DDOT which would allow them to begin their Comprehensive Transportation Review. Mr. Shaw said GDS explored the option of requiring 3-person carpools for any students being driven to campus but found that there were only 50 3-person carpools opportunities across the whole school so they will not require them.
Phil Feola, Zoning Counsel, said GDS expects a public hearing on their PUD application will be held in mid-September. He summarized the amenities GDS was proffering, and the public space which it sought to acquire.
Some attendees expressed support for the reduced height of mixed use buildings while others were disappointed by the reduction in density. Many attendees were disappointed that OP did not provide a detailed rationale for their lack of support for the original PUD application and thought OP should have communicated better with GDS, the ANC and the public. Questions were asked about the proposed opening of the school and the mixed use building. Shaw responded that the new school buildings should open by 2020 and the timing of the mixed use building depends on many things including permits, finance, etc.
Commissioner Quinn asked if GDS could provide multiple, pedestrian access points to the campus. GDS responded that their landscape architects are exploring if it would be feasible. Quinn asked if the utility lines around their properties would still be undergrounded. GDS replied that it had not offered to underground utility lines even with the bigger project. Quinn said his recollection was different, and Commissioner Bender noted that he shared Commissioner Quinn’s recollection. Quinn asked GDS to quantify “reasonable access” to the campus in their amenities list. He also asked questions about the TMP and urged GDS to among other things provide pedestrian safety measures for crossing River Road.
Commissioner Quinn expressed his disappointment that OP would not support the same map amendment for GDS as OP had previously supported for Tenley Hill. He stated that GDS and the ANC worked for two years on a massing and amenities package and OP decided to not support it after many meetings with GDS. He also noted that they supported the same amendment for Tenley Hill 15 years prior. Quinn introduced a resolution urging the Zoning Commission to also consider the original PUD application submitted by GDS.
Commissioner Wallace stated that she supports density provided the benefits of the project outweigh the burden to the community. She always thought the undergrounding of utilities and pedestrian amenities were amenities being offered by GDS and is baffled by OP’s decision not to support the original PUD application.
Commissioner McHugh stated that he has a few concerns with Quinn’s resolution and believes OP has done a disservice to the developers by not being direct about what they expect. McHugh would favor Quinn’s resolution if it just asked OP for clarity on their decision.
Commissioner Bender stated that he thinks it is the ANC’s job to ensure that non-matter-of-right development comes with excellent amenities and mitigation of harms. He noted that he was disappointed that OP communicated privately with GDS about its apparent change of heart about the density it would support. OP is a government agency, he said, and should be held to a higher standard of openness than developers, but it took two to tango here, and GDS could have but chose not to share OP’s communications with the community before amending its application. This choice deprived the community of the opportunity to weigh a better amenities and mitigation package against the density sought.
Bender asked if the Commissioners would authorize him to write a letter to OP specifying the ANC’s unhappiness with the process and inviting them to the next meeting so confusion and miscommunication can be avoided in future applications GDS noted that it did not plan to come back to the ANC until June, and that it might be better to ask OP to come to the June meeting.
Commissioner Quinn moved a motion urging GDS to refile its original plans and for the Zoning Commission to consider both sets of plans. The motion was not seconded by another Commissioner and failed.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Wallace seconded a motion to allow him as the SMD representative to write a letter to OP specifying the ANC’s dissatisfaction with the process and invite them to a future ANC meeting to discuss the process. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-1 with Commissioner Quinn abstaining.
- Approval of March 2016 meeting minutes. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the March 2016 minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve payments of $437.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $53.11 to FedEx Office for copying services. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:34 PM.