ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3E
TENLEYTOWN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS
CHEVY CHASE WAKEFIELD FORT GAINES
c/o Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home 5425 Western Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015
February 11, 2016, 7:3O pm
The meeting convened at 7:40 PM. Commissioners Bender, Wallace, Hall, 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
An attendee requested that we have a discussion at our next meeting about the Valor Development plans for the SuperFresh site, regardless of whether Valor attends.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. In the last month there were four assaults with a deadly weapon excluding gun. Of the four, two were for domestic assaults and Lt. Hill believes one needs to be reclassified to a property crime. There were four burglaries reported in the last month and thefts were down significantly this month due to a number of arrests of serial shoplifters. There were 10 thefts from autos this month and there was one automobile that was reported stolen by the owner, but it was found a block away. An attendee asked if key code scanners are being used to steal cars in our area. Lt. Hill replied that they are not seeing the use of the scanners; most thieves are checking for doors left unlocked, using spark plugs to break windows and/or are finding spare keys left in cars.
Commissioners Quinn, Wallace and Hall asked questions related to traffic enforcement in the area. They requested increased police enforcement at the intersections of Wisconsin Ave/Albemarle St/River Rd during the evening rush hour and at 42nd St and Nebraska Ave. Commissioner McHugh asked questions regarding MPD’s ability to issue tickets to for using a cell phone while driving. Lt. Hill responded that using a cell phone while driving can be a primary stop and the police can subpoena cell phone records if they suspect a phone was in use during an accident.
Commissioner Bender asked for additional information about the stabbing of a Wilson student that occurred near the school. Lt. Hill replied that the police were in the process of issuing a warrant for suspects’ arrests. The assailants are not believed to be Wilson students. Commissioner Hall followed up and asked if it was a gang-related crime. Lt. Hill replied that there has been an increase in MS-13 activity across the city and this might be a part of it.
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
Grant application for Wilson Track Team Tenley Tiger Run
Judy Corcillo, a Wilson High School parent, presented a grant request for the second Tenley Tiger Run to benefit Wilson’s track teams. The race will take place on April 9th and will go through Ft Reno and the surrounding neighborhood. They expect about 500 runners and are requesting a grant for $2000 from the ANC to pay for the timing company. The organizers were hoping to ask for less money from the ANC this year but their costs are increasing this year due to the requirement to have emergency services on site during the race.
Commissioner Quinn reminded Ms. Corcillo that the ANC has to give them the grant check before the costs are incurred, the ANC needs to be given copies of any receipts/invoices relating to the timing company, and if the timing company costs less than $2000 they need to reimburse the ANC for the difference. Commissioner Bender told her that the event should try to become self-sufficient in future years as the ANC cannot generally support the same event year after year given limited funds and the desire to use money to catalyze new projects. The ANC will vote on the grant proposal at the next ANC meeting.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding special exception sought to lengthen porch at 4925 41st St, NW
Peter and Ann Marie Mehlert would like to extend the existing front porch to run the entire width of their house. Their immediate neighbors have submitted letters of support for the project. Commissioner Bender asked if they would agree to install rain barrels to catch rainwater from the porch roof. Ms. Mehlert replied they will look into the feasibility of it but would not guarantee to its installation because they might not have enough room between their house and the property line (it is a small house on a narrow lot). Commissioner Bender replied that the ANC usually requires property owner to put in such measures when property owners need a special exception to increase the footprint of their home and decrease permeable space on their lot. The commissioners decided to not put language into the resolution requiring the installation of the barrels as the Mehlerts are asking for a minor exception.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Wallace seconded a motion to approve the resolution supporting the special exception. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-1-0 with Commissioner Bender opposing.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolutions regarding campaign finance reform
Commissioner Bender stated that at our last session Councilmember Silverman talked about two bills introduced to the council supporting campaign finance reform. One bill would prohibit corporations and LLCs from making direct contributions to candidates. Currently, in DC you can contribute as an individual and then again through a business. This bill would substantially align the laws regarding corporate donations in DC with those of the federal government. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Wallace seconded a motion to approve the resolution supporting the bill to prohibit corporate donations. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
The second bill before the DC Council, introduced by Councilmember Grosso, would create a system of public financing for DC campaigns. Under this bill, the city would provide matching funds for all money raised by the candidates. Under this bill, anyone who accepts public financing would have to raise a minimum amount of money and agree to not raise money from outside the city except from family members. The ANC’s resolution supports the concept of public financing, and urges the council to hold public forums in each Ward in which different options for public financing would be considered before the bill is brought to a vote before the full Council.
Commissioner McHugh would like to see a hard cap on the amount of money available to candidates to ensure the costs do not spiral out of control. Commissioner Quinn stated that while this wasn’t a perfect bill, it is an improvement on what the city has now. Commissioner Bender stated that he would like the Council to include a sunset provision in the bill to evaluate the bill’s effectiveness after a set amount of time. Commissioner Wallace has reservations about the underpinnings for public funding of campaigns. Campaigns are the marketplace for ideas and she does not want the government interfering. She is also concerned about where the funding will be coming from.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution supporting public financing of campaigns. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-1-0 with Commissioner Wallace opposing.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding adjustments to Average Median Income levels for affordable housing created pursuant to Inclusionary Zoning.
Leslie Steen, Coalition for Smarter Growth Campaign (CSG) discussed changes proposed to the Inclusionary Zoning laws in the city. Currently, most of the IZ units coming online are in high-rise construction. Those units currently have an income requirement set at 80% of the area median income (AMI) which isn’t so far below the market levels. CSG has put forth a request to the Zoning Commission (ZC) to lower the incomes to 60% AMI for high-rise rentals and 80% AMI for sales. The Office for Planning’s analysis has shown that the 60% can work without having to provide any additional bonus density to developers. Developers can ask for relief for IZ if it is economic hardship to a project but to date, none have done so. Other jurisdictions ask for as much as 25% or 30% of the square footage of a project be set aside for IZ, but those developers are compensated with additional density and with our height limits, we cannot compensate them as much as other jurisdictions do.
Commissioner Bender stated that IZ is one of the only ways to bring economic diversity to the neighborhood and the city should do more for people with more modest means. He stated that over the years, people let us know that they are concerned about economic disparity throughout the city and he suspects many of our constituents would support this. He asked if anyone would object to amending the resolution to asking for 12% of the square footage being set aside for IZ. Commissioner Quinn wondered if the City should require more set asides since developers have the option of asking for relief if IZ is a hardship.
The ANC’s proposed resolution would call on the ZC to set the income levels to no higher than 60% for both rentals and sales.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended to adjust income levels for inclusionary zoning. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on a letter to the Mayor regarding proposed development of St. Elizabeth’s site in Ward 8
Commissioner Hall stated that at our last meeting, Councilmember Silverman discussed the potential development of an arena at the St Elizabeth’s site in Ward 8. The arena would serve as a practice facility for the Wizards, a home court for the Mystics and a venue for concert events. The arena is projected to cost $55 million. The current plan for the facility does not contain any concrete community benefits or ensure community access to the site. The letter to the Mayor does not take a position on whether the development should go forward or not but states that if the city decides to go forward with the facility, the city should incorporate a large-scale recreation center into the proposed facility to satisfy the need for tournament/recreation space in the city. Blending the proposed practice facility with a large-scale recreation center would also greatly increase the economic impact of the project on Ward 8.
Commissioner Hall moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the letter supporting the community access to the facility. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of First Quarter 2016 Treasurer’s Report. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Wallace seconded a motion to approve the report. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of January 2016 meeting minutes. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner seconded a motion to approve the January 2016 minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve payments of $493.75 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $94.44 to FedEx Office for copying services. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.