January 13, 2022, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:39 PM. Commissioners Bender, Cohen, 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
Sherry Cohen announced February meeting will not be held on February 10. The new date will be posted to the website, https://anc3e.org as soon as it is finalized.
An attendee asked why the benches inside the atrium of the Chevy Chase Pavilion were removed as he believed they were offered as part of the community amenity package when the building was approved. Commissioner Quinn responded that he did not think the benches inside the pavilion were part of the amenity package.
An attendee asked why the light on the pedestrian walk signal on Wisconsin Ave by Whole Foods was changed to a pedestrian actuated signal. Commissioner Quinn said he didn’t think that it was and Christian Pineiro with DDOT said he will investigate the issue.
An attendee thanked the Commission for posting the video of the December meeting promptly.
Emir Gur-Ravantab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- Indoor vaccine mandates go into effect on Saturday, January 15. Patrons of bars, restaurants, gyms, concert halls, convention centers, etc. will need one dose of the COVID vaccine on January 15, and on February 15 all patrons will be required to be fully vaccinated.
- Seniors can pick up COVID rapid test kits at six senior wellness centers around the city. The closest facility to ANC3E is the Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center at 324 Kennedy St, NW.
- Schools will be ramping up and students will be required to test before returning to schools after breaks that are one week or longer.
- DPW is in the process of catching up on delayed leaf and garbage collection and Christmas tree collection is ongoing through the end of February.
Emir can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
An attendee stated that there was a water leak under the street on 44th Street. She reported the leak to 311 who sent someone out to mark the street, but it was never repaired. Emir Gur-Raventab said he would investigate what happened and work to get the repairs completed.
Andrew Grinberg, Legislative Council to Councilmember Cheh, introduced himself to those in attendance. He can be reached at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime in PSA 202. She stated that there have been no violent crimes in the last 40 days, two burglaries on December 21 at Papa Johns and Pizza Bolis (both businesses left cash in their registers) and four stolen autos in the last 30 days (two were at the same residence and keys were left in the vehicles).
Aa attendee asked for details on the armed carjacking on December 10. Lt Beistline will get back to us with the details.
- Asked about vandalism of Audis in the neighborhood and an attendee added that they thought the thieves were trying to steal charging pads. Beistline replied there was one instance in which items were stolen out of an Audi and she did not see any others listed in the reports she had.
- Asked for parking enforcement along Wisconsin Ave and traffic enforcement for drivers speeding through the neighborhood.
- Asked if officers regularly patrol the neighborhood at night. Beistline replied they do patrol the neighborhoods and business districts unless they are on an assignment but manpower is lower at night and PSA 202 is a big patrol area for the officers to cover.
Lt Beistline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-779-2854 with any additional comments or questions.
Presentation by DPR regarding its Ready to Play strategic plan process
Christopher Dyer, Community Engagement Manager with DPR gave a presentation on DPR. He said they are currently offering winter programs. Summer program registration will begin late February. Permits to reserve DPR facilities can be obtained via http://dpr.dc.gov/permits or by calling 202-671-2597. He also summarized the status of the Ready to Play, DPR’s 20-year master plan. Details can be found at http://Ready2PlayDC.com. He can be reached at 202-702-9054 or via Christopher.Dyer@dc.gov with any questions or concerns.
An attendees asked why the tennis courts at the Hurst Rec Center are not open. Dyer replied that they are still under construction and will be open soon.
- Stated they had received many reports problems at the Wilson Aquatic Center (grounds outside not being maintained, thefts in locker room, etc.) and asked who to contact to have the issues addressed.
- Stated that we need more green space and outdoor space in Ward 3 as there are limited options for older kids to use field space in this area. Another Commissioner added that we have relatively few basketball courts in the area.
- Stated that we have received many complaints of dogs on fields at parks.
- Asked if the city can build recreation facilities in pocket parks.
- Asked if Dyer would be able to meet with our Commissioners and Councilmember Cheh’s representatives to get a skatepark planned for in our ANC.
- Stated that he has a list of some issues at Livingston Park that they will share offline.
Presentation by DDOT regarding its updated Traffic Safety Investigation process
Christian Pineiro, Community Engagement Specialist with DDOT gave a presentation on their Traffic Safety Investigation (TSI) process. In the past, residents needed their ANCs endorsement to initiate a Traffic Safety Assessment (TSA). Under the new TSI process, residents can request an evaluation of traffic and safety conditions via 311. DDOT will evaluate the safety conditions and if safety mitigations are necessary, DDOT will develop recommendations. This process can take up to 130 business days. If the recommended mitigations include a change to traffic control or parking DDOT will issue a Notice of Intent (NOI) that will trigger a 30-day public comment period. If other mitigations are recommended, such as speed humps, a TSI Notification will be sent to the requesting resident and ANC, and they will have 10 days to respond. No notification will go to other residents of the streets affected, however. If concerns or objections are raised by residents or the ANC, DDOT will reevaluate the situation. The public can view the TSI Dashboard to see a geographical display of all TSIs at https://arcg.is/Dqe8T. He also requested that starting January 12, all ANC Resolutions regarding DDOT be submitted to https://resolutions.anc.dc.gov. Mr. Pineiro can be reached at email@example.com or via 202-716-0417 with any questions or concerns.
Attendees had no questions or comments.
- Were disappointed that ANCs will no longer be given 30 days to opine on items such as speed humps and noted that 10 business days would not necessarily allow ANCs that meet once per month to respond to DDOT during a public meeting and therefore have their resolutions be given great weight.
- Asked if DDOT will notify everyone on a block of a request, and if not, were concerned that there would not be a good way to get other residents opinions on DDOTs recommendations. Pineiro stated they would not.
- Did not think that taking a block-by-block approach to traffic safety is a good solution and that the greatest benefits would be gained by addressing issues at intersections and on major streets.
- Thought that residents having to get signatures from their neighbors to initiate a TSA was a form of notice to their neighbors and that many issues did not get reported to ANCs because other residents on the block may not have had the same concerns.
- Noted that there were recent changes to the law that restricted right turn on reds around schools and day care centers and asked if DDOT can automatically install signage without having to conduct a study. Pineiro thought this should be the case and we suggested the ANC pass a resolutions regarding this issue.
- Noted that the pending Walk Without Worry legislation would require added safety mechanisms such as raised crosswalks at intersections and noted that DDOT could have saved money if they had installed these items when they were installing handicap ramps throughout the neighborhood.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Wagshal’s for a change in its liquor license from Class D Restaurant to Class C Restaurant
This item will be heard at the February 2022 meeting.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Privateer for Retailer’s Class C liquor license to operate at 4400 Jennifer Street, NW
Sidon Yohannes, the attorney representing the applicant, stated that the owner would like to establish a cocktail lounge that has private party and private wine storage areas. They have applied for a liquor license that would allow seating for 200, with a total capacity of 270, have asked for an entertainment endorsement, to allow for food and beverage carryout and asked for the maximum hours allowed by ABRA. The applicant has delayed their hearing date and will come to next month’s meeting to present the detailed concepts for the establishment.
Attendees did not have any concerns or questions.
- Asked for the square footage (2000 square feet), ratio of food to beverage sales, and the hours they asked to remain open (they would like to stay open and have entertainment until 2 AM during week and 3 AM on Fridays and Saturdays).
- Raised concerns about parking in the neighborhoods. Yohannes stated they will work to make sure the neighborhood is not impacted by parking issues.
- Would like to have a neighborhood bar and stated that a special event space made them concerned that people would be coming in from other neighborhoods.
- Asked them to be in contact with the Commissioners before the next meeting to provide more details.
Update by Donahoe regarding its plans to seek a special exception to redevelop the Fox 5 site at 5151 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Jad Donahoe, Sarah Alexander with Torti Gallis, Shane Detman with Holland and Knight and Tim Bragan, with Landscape Architecture Bureau presented the latest plans for 5151 Wisconsin Ave. Donahoe stated this will be a timber structure, they plan to install solar over a green roof and plan to reach LEED Gold. The building will have 214 rental units in a 6-story plus a penthouse building. 10% of the building will be Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) units and 5 of the IZ units would be fully accessible. Additional units will be convertible to accessible. They met with DDOT and OP and have reduced the size of the bays as a result of the meetings.
- Asked how they can build a 6-story building in an MU-4 zone. Detman replied they get to select the measuring point from any of the street frontages. They chose to measure from 42nd street which allows them to put 6 stories along Wisconsin Ave.
- Asked if they could remove the parking lot and radio tower and what their plans were for that lot. Donohoe replied that they don’t have those plans yet.
- Asked how many parking spaces they are building. They have not finalized that yet, but right now it is approximately 160 spaces that tenants have an option to rent.
- Asked how much of the allowable density they were using for this building. Donohoe replied that they were using all of the density allowed for the lot on this building and any additional construction on the parking lot behind the building would be allowed under more discretionary processes, such as via a Planned Unit Development (PUD).
- Asked if there would be any parking spaces allocated for the retail space. Donohoe replied that the retail was under the threshold needed for parking spaces.
- Asked if they can remove the surface parking lot (that will now go unused) and wall behind the site, and plant grass. During the construction, they will use that for a staging. After they may remove some of the asphalt to construct temporary bioretention.
- Asked for details about the low retaining wall on Wisconsin Ave and did not like the idea of a wall along that space. They have not developed detailed landscape design and that was put in as a placeholder.
- Thought this is a well-designed project.
- Was not happy that either there would be two separate construction projects on that site with the back portion of the lot being developed through a PUD or the back of the lot would not get developed.
- Would like them to offer more than the minimum required IZ. Asked if they will offer some of the fully accessible units as IZ as a binding condition. Donohoe replied they can do that.
- Thought a 6-story building so close to the Metro was a lost opportunity.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution supporting funding for options and visioning study for senior wellness center in Ward 3
Commissioner Bender stated that DC has wellness centers in 6 wards, but there were none in Wards 2 or 3. These would be places devoted to seniors with programs that could mitigate social isolation. He noted that in Ward 3 there is a virtual wellness center, Around Town DC that operates some virtual classes and also as a pop-up, but Ward 3 has the highest concentration of seniors in the District. DC is now offering rapid tests to seniors at the senior wellness centers but has not offered an alternative spot for seniors in Wards 2 and 3. The resolution he wrote does not ask for a senior center per se, but a feasibility study.
An attendee stated that the number of seniors is increasing rapidly, and DC is in a good place financially to afford this without impacting seniors in other wards. They pointed out that there is a lot of vacant retail space in the area and OP is studying how to use all of the space right now.
- Would like to explore if the space could be used after hours for teens.
- Noted that Friendship Heights is accessible via bus and Metro.
- Asked why Iona could not be used as a wellness center. An attendee replied they are a lead agency for our ward and in other Wards, but the Wellness Center is a separate entity from the lead agency.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution asking DDOT to study the intersection of Nebraska Ave/Van Ness St NW/ 42nd Street, NW
Commissioner McHugh stated that this resolution asks DDOT to examine the intersection and see if they could improve it. He states DDOT has added bulbouts and no-left turns limits but those were band aids to the problems. River School was offering some simple solutions that DDOT should have done. Two things in particular the resolution asks is for DDOT to evaluate the bulbout that was placed on Van Ness and 42nd as he believes it constrains the intersection too much and to make that intersection a four-way stop.
An attendee asked if the speed bumps that were requested along Yuma Street can they be tied together with this intersection to provide a more holistic approach. Commissioners offered a friendly amendment to consider turn restrictions as well.
Commissioner McHugh moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on Resolution asking the city to consider a Zoning Code modification for creating Small Campus Plans for educational institutions with over 100 students
Commissioner McHugh stated that the DC code requires private schools and colleges and universities to file campus plans every 10 years to mitigate their impacts on the community. This resolution asks the City to change the language to apply to any campus with more than 100 students because there are so many of them. He noted that while we were trying to address the impacts the River School would have on the community there were no mitigations on NPS as a legacy school. The change would require any schools with special exceptions to operate in a residential area to implement a Transportation Management Plan and a Transportation Demand Management Plan.
An attendee asked if this would apply to GDS and their ask to use the metro chilling plant. It would not. Commissioners thought we were holding the River School to a standard we weren’t holding others schools, especially public schools that should be walkable.
Commissioner McHugh moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on Resolution Asking DDOT to Study Implementing Different Methods for Programming HAWK Lights
Commissioner McHugh stated that the way HAWK lights operate are confusing and they should work in concert with other intersections. The resolution asks DDOT to study different methods for implementing them and noted that Montgomery County installed one on Willard Avenue that operates differently than ours which adds to the confusion.
An attendee stated that while the HAWK light at 45th and Massachusetts was an improvement over what was there, making a left turn from 45th onto Massachusetts is still dangerous and it is not timed with the light at 46th. Commissioners stated they would like the city to convert the HAWK signals to regular signals and offered a friendly amendment to add another intersection in the ANC that has a HAWK light.
Commissioner McHugh moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the resolutions amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-1 with Commissioner Cohen abstaining.
- Approval of December 2021 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the Draft December 2021 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of amended July 2021 meeting minutes – Commissioner Quinn stated that OANC asked us to amend the July 2021 minutes to reflect that the reports presented should be properly referred to as a Financial Reports rather than what was referred to as the Treasurer’s Reports. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded the motion to amend the July 2021 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Election of officers – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to retain the same slate of officers as last year. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of security resolution – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the security fund resolution. 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 a payment for $435.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $25 for the security fund resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 11:28 PM.