February 13, 2020, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:37 PM. Commissioners Bender, McHugh and Quinn were in attendance. Commissioner Hall arrived later.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Stephen Marencic, Outreach Specialist with the Office of the People’s Council, explained that his office is a DC Government agency that advocates on behalf of the consumer for utility issues. He distributed information regarding utility choice and consumer complaints. Marencic stated that there have been scam phone calls that display a utility company name in the caller ID and state that a truck is on its way to disconnect your services unless you provide them with gift cards or provide your checking account information. These calls are always a scam and you should report them to the police and the OPC.
A resident asked why 5 out of 7 lanes at the Wilson Aquatic Center were reserved for private swim teams and clubs from 3:45 -8:30 pm every afternoon/evening. Jessica Green, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relationscontacted the Director of DPR during the meeting and found out that this was a temporary situation while the Takoma Pool was closed for maintenance.
Jessica Green announced that DC is in the middle of the budget engagement season. Residents could submit ideas for the FY2021 budget to www.budget.dc.gov. There will be a Budget Town Hall meeting on February 20 at 6:30 PM at the UDC Student Center.
John Boland from Mary Cheh’s office announced that there will be a Ward 3 Water Town Hall meeting on April 28 at 6:30 PM.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Beistline provided an update on crime for PSA 202. Residents can now use the Nextdoor platform to forward issues or questions to MPD. She reminded those in attendance about the DC resident video camera rebate program. Lt. Beistline announced that MPD used a tip from the Tip Line to close six robberies that took place in December with the arrest a 20-year old male from NE DC. Residents can anonymously text tips to Crime Solvers at #50411. Lt. Beistline stated that violent crimes are down but thefts and thefts from autos are up. MPD has deployed mountain bike details to the area and requested plainclothes officers in unmarked cars.
An attendee asked for more details about an armed burglary in November on the 4300 block of Yuma. Lt. Beistline stated that this was an incident between parties that knew each other, and the victim is not cooperating. Commissioners asked for more information about a resident who had her purse stolen from her car and for traffic enforcement in Tenleytown during the PM rush hour.
Lt. Beistline can be contacted at iris. firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution concerning application for an overheight fence in public space at 3848 Harrison Street, NW
Commissioner Quinn stated that the homeowner installed an illegal, overheight fence, in public space adjacent to the sidewalk. The homeowner, who was not in attendance, told Commissioner Quinn that he could move the fence back to so that it would be 12-feet off of the sidewalk, but still 3-feet in the public space. He has a pool house that goes right up to the property line and this would provide him with some space to maneuver around the structure. Some Commissioners have indicated they would support the fence being 12-feet from the sidewalk. Unfortunately, his application with the Public Space Committee (PSC) has not been updated to reflect this and his hearing is scheduled for February 27. Commissioner Quinn drafted a resolution opposing the current application. An attendee didn’t think the Commission should support an overheight fence in public space.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution to oppose the public space application. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
Update from Pepco about work on Harrison Street Substation
Linda Greenan, External Affairs Manager at Pepco, provided an update to the renovation of the status of the Harrison Street Substation modernization and upgrade on Wisconsin Ave. Pepco has installed updated equipment to provide better reliability, resiliency and efficiency. They are currently transferring the electrical load from the temporary station to the upgraded station, they will replace the sidewalk in late spring of this year and will be restoring the façade and installing landscaping. They expect to be finished by the end of the year. The building has six 8×10 display windows and five of them will be provided to the community. They would like to have a robust discussion with the community about what should be displayed there.
Attendees asked: what they will be doing with the temporary station next door and if the land will be sold; what provisions Pepco has made for maintenance and upkeep of the area in front of the substation; why the building was historically designated; how much additional capacity the substation can handle given the growth projections called for in the Comprehensive Plan update; if Pepco could put a seating area or farmers market in front of the building; and if DC PLUG could present an update of their project at the next meeting.
Commissioners asked if this substation supports City Ridge and if Pepco can plant trees in front of the substation.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding WMATA proposal to reduce bus service, including elimination of the D1, 30N, and 30S
As part of FY2021 budget WMATA proposed eliminating the 37 and E4 bus lines and reducing service/changing the 32, 30S, 31, 33 and E4 bus lines. ANC3E plans to submit a resolution opposing most, if not all of these proposals to WMATA.
Attendees: thought that eliminating bus service will add to traffic along Wisconsin Ave; did not understand why the city was considering eliminating bus service while simultaneously trying to make the city more sustainable and reduce pollution; stated that WMATA has not distributed a schedule for the proposed schedule changes so they have not provided enough information for the public to weigh-in; noted that WMATA is conducting a study but they are proposing changes to the bus service mid-study which will undercut the recommendations; stated that buses are full during rush hour so we need more service not less; observed that people use the buses when Metro service is disrupted; noted that people who work late or start work early need the buses when Metro doesn’t run and this might strand people; and thought WMATA needed to do a better job of spacing out the buses.
Commissioners: thought the ANC should oppose any cuts to service; thought WMATA needed to do a better job promoting bus service; did not think WMATA provided any credible reasons for the service cuts; thought the public needed more time to comment; think people should be riding buses more; pointed out that WMATA has a survey where you could comment on the proposed changes, a link can be found on www.ANC3B.org under Save Our Buses; noted that we have a lot of students that take the buses to/from schools/jobs/internships; wondered if the city can add bus lanes along Wisconsin Ave; and pointed out that Metro reliability has gotten better over the last year.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to authorize Commissioner Hall to write a letter opposing the cuts to bus service. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of possible vote on resolution regarding proposed change to Future Land Use Map designation for Lisner-Louise-Dixon-Hurt Home
At the last two meetings, Matt Frumin, Chairman of the Board at the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home discussed their request to change their FLUM designation to allow them to build affordable housing and some market-rate housing on some of their property to help them shore up the organization’s finances and continue their mission of providing nursing care for low-income DC residents. Commissioner Quinn authored a resolution to support the changes to the FLUM to allow for moderate-density residential development throughout their entire lot and low-density commercial development in the existing building.
An attendee who identified herself as the closest neighbor to the property is happy with the proposal to change the designation to moderate, as opposed to medium, and would like the city to provide some financial support to the facility. Commissioners hoped they can preserve a lot of the green space and had concerns about being able to limit the commercial zoning to the portion of the building on Western Ave.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution asking OP to change the designation of the Lisner-Louise-Dixon-Hurt Home. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of possible vote on resolution regarding proposed changes to DC’s Comprehensive Plan
At the last meeting, the Commission heard comments from those in attendance on the proposed changes to the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and the Rock Creek West elements of the Comprehensive Plan update. Commissioner Bender stated that the resolutions under consideration addressed items in the proposals the ANC did not agree with as written, while supporting the rest. Commissioners would like to see a Small Area Plan (SAP) process initiated. The draft resolution states that if a SAP does not get adopted within a year than the FLUM proposals in the Comprehensive Plan update should be adopted so this does not drag out. The resolutions state that school capacity is an important issue and it urges the Mayor and Council to address it before FLUM changes are implemented. A resolution addressing the Rock Creek West elements has aspirational text about what the neighborhood should look like and opposes the suggestion that the historic viewshed from Ft Reno Park cannot be changed as this could be used as a toehold to oppose most development and tweaks in the language about schools and libraries.
Attendees: suggested that since area has the most “up-FLUMing” in the city maybe that should be mentioned that in the resolution when asking for the SAP; stated that while they opposed SAPs in other ANCs, they support it here; did not trust OP to complete the SAP within one year and allow for adequate community engagement; thought the resolutions should ask for the improvement of schools throughout the city; would like OP to take a broader view of planning; thought the draft resolutions contradict each other; suggested language for why there is overcrowding in the schools and the feeder patterns need to be addressed; thought the Roma Pizza parking lot should be up-zoned along with all of the other parking lots behind Wisconsin Ave lots; did not think that the Whole Foods in Tenleytown and WMATA lot in Friendship Heights were not close enough to any single family homes so that it should be scaled and those lots should have the high-density; thought the Comprehensive Plans should state that development should be a by-right process to avoid the drawn-out approval process that we currently face for development projects; would like to see more density on the Marten’s Cars and the townhouses at 42nd Street and Brandywine lots; and thought the resolutions should mention that public schools are key to maintaining demand for housing in the area.
Commissioners: thought that putting high density development up against single family homes is not desirable, and that a SAP process could allow for both more total density and more appropriate transitions between high and lower-density areas; thought most residents support maximum development near the Metros and along Wisconsin Ave and step the developments down from there; noted that we have managed to get a lot done without a SAP through the use of PUDs; noted that many sites could still be “up-zoned” from the FLUM by the use of a PUD; would like to see the lots on the block bordered by 40th, Brandywine, 41st and Chesapeake be high-density as it is not adjacent to any single family homes; wondered if we are taking away from the SAP by doing by conducting a lot-by-lot analysis in the resolution; did not want to allow for everything via matter-of-right development because then the neighborhood would not have input on individual projects; thought the resolutions strike a good balance; would like to preserve some leverage to get community amenities from developers; offered some changes to the language regarding the crowding in the public schools; and offered some changes to the language regarding the view from Ft. Reno.
Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the FLUM resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0. Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the Rock Creek West Element Resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of possible vote on resolution asking DPR to fund a study and construction of a skate park in Tenleytown in FY2021 Budget
Commissioner Quinn drafted a resolution asking the Mayor to fund a study to identify a location near Tenleytown for a skatepark and then build the skatepark. Quinn noted that this area has no recreational area for all the teens and tweens in the neighborhood and there is a mention of a skatepark in the Rock Creek West Element of the Comprehensive Plan. Attendees supported the resolution.
Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the resolution asking the Mayor allocate funding to identify a location and build a skatepark in the FY2021 budget. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
Discussion of possible vote on resolution asking for full funding of the DC Archive
Commissioner Quinn stated that the DC Archives is a vital resource for anyone doing historical research in the city as it stores all of the city/state level records and it is inadequate. He introduced a resolution urging the city to build a new building to house the archives, use any remaining funding to catalog the documents there, and have it overseen by an independent agency with its own board so it can advocate for itself. An attendee stated that she tried to use the archives to do some research and could not properly get into it.
Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution asking the Mayor to fully fund the DC Archive in the FY2021 budget. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
Discussion and possible resolution regarding settlement of protest of AMC Mazza theater liquor license protest
Commissioner Bender went to mediation with the attorney for the AMC at Mazza Gallery and they thought they had an agreement, but the corporation rejected it. Bender authored a resolution that continues to oppose the termination of the original settlement agreement and delegates authority to settle to Commissioner Bender. Some friendly amendments were offered to correct some errors in the last paragraph.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the amended resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
- Approval of January 2020 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the Draft January 20120 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve payments of $465.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, $157.84 to FedEx for January copying, and to Tom Quinn $4.90 for the reimbursement for generating a 1099 form. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 10:54 PM.