February 19, 2015, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:33 PM. Commissioners Wallace, Bender, 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
Charion Thomas & Dillon Todesco from Spotluck gave a brief presentation. They developed an app that provides discounts to users to go to restaurants and are expanding to include restaurants in the Tenleytown/Friendship Heights area.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Hill of the Second District provided an update on recent crime trends in the area. Not much has changed except thefts from retail are up in the area. They have had a number of arrests of people accused of thefts from autos but warned that those arrested are usually recidivists.
There were 2 street robberies of iPhones last month involving students from Deal and Wilson. Arrests were made in one of the robberies. Any robberies that occur on the Metro are not on their crime statistics because that is not their jurisdiction. MPD officers can chase someone into the Metro but they don’t patrol the subway, which falls under the jurisdiction of WMATA’s Metro Transit Police.
Lt. Hill noted that MPD, school principals, and ANC3E representatives met last week to discuss what could be done to increase security around the schools.
The police are getting a lot of very good calls from residents for suspicious persons. In response to these calls they can and do send officers to investigate and that has resulted in a number of arrests. Please continue to call 911 if you see anything out of the ordinary. If you need to email him, his email address is email@example.com.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding liquor license application for Burger Tap & Shake, 4445 Wisconsin Avenue
David Weisenberg, owner of Burger Tap Shake (BTS) presented plans for the restaurant. He was surprised to hear the ANC had drafted a resolution to protest BTS’s application for a liquor license. The ANC commissioners noted that the applicant’s attorney did not respond to their concerns in a time to negotiate an agreement before the meeting. If the ANC did not have an agreement on hand they had to protest BTS’s alcohol license application or the ANC would lose its standing to protest later if the parties do not voluntarily resolve outstanding issues. Mr. Weisenberg said they would make changes to their application to address the ANC’s concerns such eliminating the outside bar and limiting their hours of operation.
Commissioner Wallace put forth a resolution opposing the alcohol application as it currently stands. Commissioner Bender noted that the parties appear close to an agreement and that once an agreement is concluded the ANC can withdraw the protest. The resolution passed 4-0
Presentation by PEPCO of possible improvements to the facade at the Harrison Street substation and possible vote on a resolution regarding same
Chris Taylor presented draft plans for the renovation of the PEPCO substation at Harrison Street. Pepco will utilize the site next door (the vacant antique car dealership) to build a temporary power substation and then renovate the existing building and upgrade the existing facility. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
Pursuant to requests from commissioners, Pepco will renovate the substation’s façade, which has included bricked-over windows since 1948. In the short term a mural will be installed onto the brick. As the existing building is renovated, they will restore the windows on the front of the building to display art from schools and non-profits in the area. Mr. Taylor said that they are open to commissioners’ request to replace the paving and tree boxes, but if they do so, the tree boxes they put in must match those used in Friendship Height/Mazza Gallery area. He also showed options available for the wall/fence in front of the temporary substation and upgraded lighting.
Commissioner Bender put forth a motion to write a letter stating that the ANC is in agreement with the renovations which, besides the (ultimate) installation of a community art gallery, will including power washing and sealing the exterior of the existing substation.. The motion passed 4-0.
Presentation regarding proposed outdoor seating behind Wagshal’s on Massachusetts Avenue.
Bill Fuchs, owner of Wagshal’s, presented designs for a patio addition to the ANC. They are submitting a public space application and expect a hearing on their application on April 23. The patio would be placed behind Wagshal’s on Yuma Street to provide seating for the customers. The space would have a temporary enclosure 56 feet in length that can be taken down within 24 hours. The patio would be climate controlled so it can be used year-round and the panels can be opened to provide al fresco service in nice weather. They would not be serving alcohol to drink on premises. Mr. Fuchs said the neighbors on Yuma Street like the designs for the patio addition.
Commissioner McHugh asked about the delivery trucks that sometimes park on Yuma. It was noted that other businesses as part of their public space agreements have put up signs to remind the trucks not to park illegally. Commissioner Bender stated that he prefers to see public space be open-air, at least when the weather is nice. He noted that he hopes and expects the commission can work out an agreement with Wagshals to ensure that the enclosure will be retracted during nice weather.
Update regarding proposed renovation of Friendship Park (aka Turtle Park) and possible vote on resolution regarding same.
Jackie Stanley with DGS and Amy Moreira with Fanning Howey presented the current designs for the Turtle Park renovation. The new community center would be about 5000 sq. ft. and include a community room, art gallery, arts and crafts room, office space, outdoor storage space and 3 handicapped parking spaces off of Van Ness St. The design was based on surveys of the community including children at Janney and Mann elementary schools. Construction is set to start in the spring of this year with a completion date in late spring 2016.
The design team would like a resolution supporting the design in the coming months.
Update from American University on progress toward completion of its new law school at Tenley Circle
Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations and David Dower, Assistant Vice President for Planning and Project Management gave a presentation on the status of the AU Law School at Tenley Circle. They are renovating the current building at the site and adding 2 new buildings. They are starting utility tie-in work and are beginning with those on Warren Street. The work is coordinated with the utilities and DDOT. Work on the project should be completed by fall 2015 with the school occupying the space by December 2015. The law school will be increasing in size by 50%.
The mini-circles on 42nd Street are in place with temporary pavement markings. Permanent street markings will be put in place when the weather warms up. When the weather improves, they will also install the Warren Street sidewalk and the other traffic calming measures on 42nd Street they committed to do in conjunction with the law school project. They will also be installing a Capital Bikeshare station on Yuma Street as soon as one becomes available. Commissioner McHugh stated that neighbors have complained that construction trucks have been parking on the north side of Yuma Street.
Discussion and possible vote on resolution regarding proposed acquisition of PEPCO by Exelon
There was an extensive point counterpoint at the last meeting regarding PEPCOs proposed merger with Exelon. Commissioners Bender and Wallace drafted a resolution for this meeting addressing concerns about the merger, but not taking a position as to whether it should be approved. Commissioner Bender moved to approve the resolution with a friendly amendment. The motion passes by a vote of 3 – 1, with Commissioner Quinn opposing.
The Public Service Commission’s evidentiary hearing on the merger will be in April and the public record will be open until May. The ANC may revisit the merger at a later meeting when all or most evidence has been received.
Presentation of grant request by Tenley Tiger Run
Kit Arrington, a Wilson High School parent presented a grant request for the Wilson Tenley Tiger Run. The Wilson PTA is organizing a 5K run to benefit Wilson’s six track teams. The race will take place on March 28th. It will go through Ft Reno and the surrounding neighborhood and they expect 500 runners. They are hoping to obtain a grant for $2000 from the ANC to defray some of the costs for just this first year.
Commissioner Bender mentioned that per ANC 3E grant guidelines, the ANC typically hears the request one month and then votes on it the next month. He noted the ANC needs to know what specifically the $2000 will be used for. The money cannot be used for, among other things, services that DC government has a duty to provide, and anything purchased before the request is approved. He asked Ms. Arrington to submit an amended budget for approval at the next meeting.
The Meeting Minutes from January 2015 were reviewed and passed unanimously.
Expenditures – A motion was made to approve $91.08 to FedEx for copying and $289.58 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 PM.