The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:33 PM. Commissioners Bender, Gianinno, Hall and Quinn were in attendance.
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 for Tenleytown Main Street:
- Thanked the Commission for providing the grant to fund the seniors’ meal program.
- The Ward 3 DCRA Account Manager Isaac Boateng will be holding office hours at the TMS offices on April 27 from 10 am – 3pm. Mr Boateng can assist anyone with any DCRA related issues.
- Stated that Le Kavacha has changed their name to Le Petite Versailles. They host a monthly trivia night the first Tuesday of every month.
- The next Fessenden Park clean-up will take place on May 14 at 9 am. High school students who help can earn service hours.
An attendee stated that the city plans to convert the old GDS lower school off Foxhall Rd to a high school for 1,000 students. She stated some residents are concerned that the school is not well served by public transit, would like to shape the school into something more reasonable, and would like the Mayor to invest in a high school in Wards 4 and 5.
Emir Gur-Ravantab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- DPW is restarting street sweeping.
- Residents can submit a request for street sweeping via 311 if a street is not on a regular street cleaning route.
- The proposed budget for FY2023 can be found at https:// budget.dc.gov. It includes funding for the Connecticut Ave bike lanes, the high school on Foxhall Rd, and moving the DC Archives to Ward 3 (no location has been decided upon on yet).
Mr. Gur-Raventab can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime in PSA 202. Over that last 30 days there were no burglaries and two motor vehicle thefts and a flash mob incident at the CVS in Tenleytown in which a group of youths trashed the store and stole items.
Attendees had a concern that certain assaults were not being reported via the MPD Crime database (simple assaults are not a crime category that is ordinarily reported to the public) and asked for traffic enforcement on Van Ness and 45th St by Turtle Park.
Commissioners: asked for Lt Beistline to report on any simple assaults that take place in PSA 202 at the meetings they attend and the numbers of traffic tickets that are written each month; asked why charges have not been filed for driver who lost control of his car at the Parthenon in March (the investigation is still ongoing); and asked for traffic enforcement at Warren and Nebraska.
Lt Beistline can be reached at email@example.com or at 202-779-2854 with any additional comments or questions.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding special exception application for an addition at 4419 Harrison Street, NW
Commissioner Bender stated that 4419 Harrison is a non-conforming lot, and the homeowners would like to build both front and rear additions onto their home in place of the front sunroom and rear deck. John Linam, representating the owners, stated the lot occupancy would decrease, and the homeowners have letters of support from the neighbors on either side of their property and that the Office of Planning (OP) is in support of this project. He noted their back yard backs up to the Lord and Taylor parking lot.
Attendees had no questions. Commissioners: noted that while the Commission would not ask for their commitment to install rain barrels as they are reducing their lot occupancy, they are encouraging the homeowners to install them; asked if the existing sun room is in public space (it is not, but the steps are and are considered an existing condition); and asked if the homeowners have the support of the neighbors across the street (they were notified but did not respond).
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the draft resolution in support of the special exception application. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Presentation by Friends of Friendship Park on their plans for May Fair and a proposal to add a pickleball court to the park
Katherine Buckley, president of Friends of Friendship Park (FOFP)stated that May Fair will take place on May 21 from 10-2. This year they will host a Farmer’s Market from 9 -2 on the reservoir side of Van Ness with a few vendors. They are looking for a letter of support from ANC3E to close Van Ness St between the north side of 45th and the south side of 45thStreets.
Buckley also stated that many people have asked for a pickleball court to be installed at the park. FOFP met with Department of General Services (DGS) representatives, and they stated they can paint a set of pickleball lines on the tennis court and the pickleball players can use the tennis net. It would not cost much money and has been done in other parks in the city. They are asking the Commission to write a second letter of support for the pickleball court.
Attendees had no questions. Commissioners: noted that there is a clean-up day on April 23 from 9 to 12; asked if the pickleball lines will be painted a different color than the tennis court lines; asked if local vendors would be included in the farmer’s market; stated that the tennis courts at Turtle Park are very popular and was worried there might be conflicts with additional users on the courts.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to authorize Commissioner Gianinno to write letters in support of both Mayfair and the Pickleball courts. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Dancing Crab developers to make public space improvements pursuant to PUD memorandum of understanding negotiated by ANC 3E
Commissioner Bender stated that the owners of the Dancing Crab and Public Tenley sites are applying for a public space permit to implement what was agreed to in their PUD application a few years ago. These items include expanding the width of the sidewalk on 41st St to narrow the street and slow down traffic coming off Wisconsin Ave, installing an elevated crosswalk, expanding the peninsula, adding a bike station, and installing a sculpture. They hope to start work this summer. Commissioner Bender stated that this application does not address installing protected bike lanes along 41st St, but the Commission will work with DDOT to get one installed.
Attendees: asked how wide the street will be (approximately 1.5 lanes wide); asked if parking will remain in front of the building (no); would like the approval to be conditional on the bike lane being preserved (Erkin Ozberk with the Office of Planning (OP) replied that he believes the bike lane will remain); was worried that Ubers and delivery vehicles would block the street; asked where they will be staging the construction (they have not decided and will provide those details at a future meeting); and did not want the sidewalk to be closed during construction.
Commissioners: liked the project and the proposed restaurant; were happy to see the project get underway; stated that Commissioners wanted the sidewalk to remain open for the duration of the construction; and did not want construction to impact other restaurants on the block.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the draft resolution in support of the public space application. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0 with Commissioner Hall not present at the time the resolution was voted on.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding Retailer’s Class C Restaurant liquor license application by Alley Cat DC LLC for 5247 Wisconsin Ave, former site of Chadwick’s / Chatters, including entertainment endorsement and summer garden
Alley Cat has applied for a liquor license for the maximum hours allowed by ABRA with an entertainment endorsement and will have an outdoor garden space. Sean Morris is representing the owners. The Commission is negotiating with the applicant on the hours of operation and on parking issues (some neighbors have asked the restaurant to provide validated parking). Commissioner Quinn stated that while negotiations are ongoing, the ANC must file the protest as a placeholder and will remove it when an agreement is finalized. Mr. Morris stated the outdoor patio will be for at most 30 seats, they will not have amplified music or entertainment outside, his client does not have objections to reducing the outside patio hours and is willing to negotiate on parking as well. The neighbors would like to see the alcohol service limited to 10 pm on weekdays and at midnight on Friday and Saturday with no amplified sound outside.
Attendees: was excited about the restaurant; two attendees noted that there is plenty of parking on the street and doesn’t want validated parking to encourage drinking and driving; disagreed with the idea that there was plenty of street parking there; stated that offering validated parking will reduce the noise people make when heading back to their cars late at night; stated they live right behind the restaurant space and thought asking for validated parking to reduce noise on the street was an odd request of a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet and might not be a problem; did not think alcohol and driving should ever be linked; and noted that if an item isn’t negotiated before the license is issued, it would be difficult to address after it becomes a problem.
Commissioners: thanked the owners for being willing to work with us; stated that we want to get out ahead of potential problems but does not want them to offer free validated parking as opposed to offering a reduced parking fee; offered a friendly amendment to the draft resolution authorizing Commissioner Quinn to negotiate on behalf of the Commission; noted that there was a restaurant there in the past and these were not problems then; and does not think they should subsidize drivers without also subsidizing people who bike, walk or take metro.
Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to support the amended draft resolution to file a protest against the alcohol application. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0 with Commissioner Hall was not present at the time the resolution was voted on.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding renewal liquor license application by Yosaku restaurant
Commissioner Bender informed those in attendance that the ANC does not normally take action for liquor license renewals (as opposed to initial applications) unless there are complaints about the establishment. There were no concerns raised by those in attendance or sent to the Commissioners ahead of the meeting, therefore the Commission took no action on Yosaku’s renewal.
Presentation by Wilson and GDS student group regarding its effort to seek increased affordable housing
This item was deferred and will be heard during the May meeting.
Presentation by Office of Planning regarding the upcoming Wisconsin Avenue Development Framework process
Erkin Ozberk with OP provided an overview of the Wisconsin Ave Development Framework which evolved out of the DC Comprehensive Plan and the Rock Creek West Roadmap. The Framework focuses on areas along Wisconsin Ave between Friendship Heights and Rodman St that can benefit from zoning changes to provide additional housing, economic activity, and improved public spaces. The report will build on past studies and will have three parts – a Commercial Action Strategy (economic analysis to right size the commercial spaces), a Public Realm Plan (will look at public space needs) and a Zoning Study (how buildings look, who they are for, and how to maximize the height and density but transition to lower density in the blocks around them). OP will be hiring consultants to conduct the technical studies and they will work with stakeholders, DDOT and WMATA. Additional information can be found at www.Publicinput.com/RCW-Wisconsin and any questions or comments regarding the study can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendees: asked if the study area included the Lord & Taylor and Homeplate sites (it does); stated that the Chevy Chase small area plan (SAP) did not use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to show how buildings constructed under the proposed zoning would look (they will use the software for our study results); asked how the planning process relates to developments that are under consideration now (developers currently can build projects by matter-of-right (MOR) or via PUD but cannot ask for significant changes to the zoning map amendment without a project attached until this study is completed); asked if they would work with WMATA and other entities such as the National Park Service; asked if OP takes into consideration the impact additional housing will have on neighborhood schools noting that Deal in particular is overcrowded (other city agencies including DCPS, Libraries, DPR, etc., will develop their master plans based on the OP studies); and asked how does OP plan for parking, deliveries, transportation, etc. (they partner with WMATA and DDOT while conducting their studies).
Commissioners: were disappointed this was not a SAP that would go to the DC Council; were happy this study will contain a commercial action plan because developers are not developing much retail space; wanted the study to focus on community spaces in the neighborhood; asked if there will be a nexus between Tenleytown Access Study and this study; was concerned that OP was not taking into account buildings that are under development or are being proposed now; was concerned that the traffic studies they are using are out of date because many new projects such as City Ridge are coming online; were concerned about school overcrowding, especially Deal; would like to have a teen center; and wants more protected bike lanes to connect Friendship Heights, Tenleytown, Connecticut Ave, etc.
Update by Federal Realty Trust on its plans to build a mixed-use project at the current Maggiano’s site on Wisconsin Ave.
Geoff Sharpe with Federal Realty stated last month they presented their plans to redevelop 5333 Wisconsin Ave into a residential building with 340 units. The have changed the plans by stepping the building down to make it more interesting visually, updated the façade, and added some articulations. Will Zeid with Gorove Slade talked about their traffic study. The parking garage will have 180 parking spots and will be accessed via driveways on Wisconsin, Military and Jenifer through easements on the adjacent properties. They estimate with the removal of 130,000 sf of retail, the building will generate 25 fewer trips in morning rush hour and 138 fewer trips during the evening rush hour. As for amenities they are offering 15% inclusionary zoning (IZ) at 60% Median Family Income (MFI) (they are required to offer 12% at 60% MFI), seek LEED Gold certification, have 10 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, and improve the streetscape. Sharpe welcomed ANC and community input on the amenity package.
Attendees: would like to see the existing curb cut on Wisconsin Ave. removed (that is not their property); asked if the building is in compliance with all previous agreements (they are); asked how they can use the loading area as it is part of the alley (it is private property); asked if residents will be responsible for watering the plants on the balconies and sides of the building (they will install an irrigation system); asked if the units will be rental apartments or condos (rental but they will retain the right to change them to condos in future); thought this was a significant improvement over what there is now; stated that the site is zoned to be a regional center and should include local businesses, employment opportunities and space for the community; liked that they will be enclosing the loading area; thought the reduction in deliveries should be considered an amenity; was disappointed that much of the back of the building will be greater than 90 feet tall; and thought we should have a separate meeting for this issue.
Commissioners: asked when they will be filing their application (they plan to file May 9 with a set down in June and expect the public hearing to be held in late fall); thought this is an improvement over what is there now; stated that most new projects in the area are LEED Gold and asked them to attempt LEED Platinum; would like them to have some community space in the building; thought 180 parking spaces would be too many for a building right next to the Metro; would like to see more than 15,000 sq ft of retail; would like them to guarantee a sit down restaurant; noted DDOT has identified a lot of mitigation items in this area that they can fund as an amenity; would like to see more residential and less retail; would like them prioritize space for local businesses; and asked if they can have two floors of retail and eliminate one level of parking.
Presentation by representatives of Wesley Seminary regarding its proposed campus plan
Patrick Brown, land use council and David McAllister-Wilson, President of Wesley Seminary, presented their proposed campus plan. They stated that Wesley is a graduate theological program with 700 students. They will be demolishing some of their outdated buildings, building new dorms that will house both AU and Wesley students (will be ground leased to Landmark Properties), and changing the configuration of their campus, all while increasing green space. All the construction will be done by matter-of-right (MOR). They also plan to close the vehicular exit onto University Ave (all traffic will exit onto Massachusetts Ave). The dormitory will be built on what is now a 145-space surface lot and will have 350 spaces in an underground lot (22 spaces for visitor and handicap spaces outside of access control, 105 for Wesley students, and 223 spaces for AU students).
Attendees had no comments. Commissioners: noted that Wesley will likely be in ANC3E’s boundaries in January as a result of redistricting; asked what the parking requirement is (there is no parking requirement for dorms and noted that unlike apartments, student parking is more like storage for cars); asked if visitors to AU will park in this garage (it will not be open to the public); asked if DCPS spoke to them about using the space (they did not); asked when their hearing is (June 13); and stated that if not many cars use the exit onto University Ave they should not close it off.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding sidewalk widening along Nebraska Ave
Commissioner Quinn stated that DDOT sent a letter to property owners that they would like to widen the sidewalk along Nebraska from New Mexico Ave to Van Ness St. He authored a resolution that supports widening the sidewalk and offers some additional improvements, mostly at the intersection of 42nd St and Nebraska Ave.
Attendees and Commissioners had no comments.
Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to support the draft resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of March 2022 Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the Draft March 2022 Meeting 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 a payment for $527.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of FY 2022 Q2 Financial Report – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the FY2022 Q2 Financial Report. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 12:30 AM.