July 14, 2016, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:35 PM. Commissioners Bender, Hall, McHugh, Quinn and Wallace were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Commissioner Bender announced that UIP will present their public space application for the development of 4000 Brandywine St. Their presentation for their Planned Unit Development (PUD) at 4620 Wisconsin Ave has been taken off the agenda, and they expect to present updated plans at the September ANC meeting. Bender stated that UIP, as part of their PUD proposal, is exploring the renovation of the Chesapeake House as a community amenity. They met with the Superintendent of Rock Creek Park and the National Park Service is receptive to the idea, although many obstacles still exist.
Bender also noted that for time management purposes, individuals are asked to limit to limit their comments to 2 minutes generally, and 3 minutes if they are speaking on behalf of a group. Subject to overall time limits on each agenda item, the Commission will try to give each attendee who wants to speak a chance to do so before calling on an attendee a second time. This follows the pattern and procedures established by other ANCs throughout DC.
Mary Lord, the At-Large Member of the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) announced that DC is revising its criteria to determine what constitutes a successful school in accordance with the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA). SBOE created a survey to obtain community input, which can be found at: http://sboe.dc.gov/essa.
Battalion Chief Brooks announced that community members can email email@example.com with any issues or concerns.
Ian Maggard, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced the
Department of Health will be hosting a “Fight the Bite” mosquito prevention event on Saturday July 16.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. Crime is down in every category in PSA 202. The police want the community to report any suspicious behavior, but they cannot respond to all reports. In cases of a suspicious person, the police usually do not approach the complainant because they do not want the suspect to see who called the police. If you call 911 and provide all of the relevant information about an incident, the police will not call you back unless you ask to be called back. Commissioner Bender asked how citizens can send pictures of suspicious people/incidents to the police. Hill replied that citizens can email the photos to any police official they know or to the MPD Listserv, but cautioned posters to remove their signature block and personal information from the email; he also said that citizens could always e-mail pictures to him. Hill announced that the Citizen’s Advisory Council meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00pm at the Second District Police Station and National Night Out events will be throughout the city on August 2nd. Commissioners asked about traffic enforcement and a robbery at Yuma and 42nd that was not in the MPD crime database. 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.
Discussion of and possible vote on application to make various changes to public space at residence at 4256 Nebraska Ave, NW, including over-height fence and driveway renovation
An application was submitted to install an over-height fence in the public parking space and to repave a driveway with a permeable surface at 4256 Nebraska Ave. Commissioner McHugh was unsuccessful in contacting the owners and no one representing the residence was present at the meeting. McHugh did contact DDOT and they had concerns about the application as fences are limited to 42” in public parking and the application is for a 60” fence. Commissioners noted that while the permeable pavers on the driveway would be an improvement for the environment, no one has provided the Commission or DDOT a compelling reason for the over-height fence.
Commissioner Bender suggested the Commission authorize McHugh to write a letter to DDOT supporting resurfacing the driveway with a permeable surface because it is consistent with the Commission’s values and opposing the construction of the over-height fence because of a lack of compelling reason to depart from the normal 42” height limit. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the changes to the public space at the residence. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on application to install bollards in public space at City Church at 4100 River Road, NW
City Church applied to replace a bollard that protects their sidewalk that was destroyed and to add a second bollard on the sidewalk. The applicant has not responded to Commissioner Wallace’s inquiries regarding the application. DDOT and the Office of Planning stated they generally oppose the installation of bollards in public spaces. An attendee noted that, irrespective of the bollard question, many cars are cutting through Murdock Mill Road (the alley alongside the church) and there is no stop sign at the end of the alley as it exits onto Albemarle St. The attendee stated the city needs to install something to prevent cars from cutting through the alley and/or to slow them down.
Commissioner McHugh offered some minor changes to the draft resolution. Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to support the modified resolution against City Church’s application. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and vote on grant application for Tenleytown Main Streets (TTMS)
At the last meeting, Leigh Catherine Miles presented a grant request for $2,460 to pay for reusable supplies and materials for ceremonies welcoming new businesses to Tenleytown. The grant application can be found at https://anc3e.org/tenleytown-main-street-grant-request/ . The Commission generally hears a request one month and votes on it the following month. Commissioner Bender stated that he serves on the TTMS Board so he will abstain from voting. He noted that he was no legal requirement to do so, and he receives no financial compensation from his TTMS service (not to mention from his ANC service). Nonetheless, he said, he would abstain out of an excess of caution, given that this decision involved a grant of taxpayer money to an organization on whose board he served. An attendee asked if Commissioner Wallace, who also serves on the TTMS Board would also recuse herself. Commissioner Wallace responded that she carefully considered the situation and as a volunteer on the TTMS Board, does not believe a conflict of interest exists. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the grant. The motion was approved 4-0-1 with Commissioner Bender abstaining.
Discussion of and vote on grant application from IONA Senior Services
At the last meeting, Diane Greenspun presented a grant request from Iona Senior Services to the ANC to help print a food resource guide for low income residents living in Ward 3. The grant request is for $325 from our ANC. The grant application can be found at https://anc3e.org/iona-grant-request-food-guide/ . Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Wallace seconded a motion to approve the grant. The motion was approved 5-0-0.
Presentation by Valor Development about redevelopment proposal for Superfresh Site at 48th and Yuma St NW
Valor Development presented their latest designs and traffic plan for the Superfresh Site. Valor has provided the City with a Notice of Intent to file application for a design review; they plan on filing their application in September. The previous owner of the site sold the commercial development rights from the Superfresh site to the old AU Washington College of Law. Will Lansing stated that by matter of right (MOR) Valor can build 230 residential units. They would like to purchase and transfer the commercial development rights from the Spring Valley Shopping Center in order to be able to include a grocery store in this development. A copy of their presentation can be found at https://anc3e.org/wp-content/uploads/160714_LDB_ANC-Meeting-Final.pdf . Both Valor Development and Citizens for Responsible Development have provided the Commission memorandums outlining their justifications for their positions.
Attendees asked about: the validity of Valor’s statements regarding what they can build by MOR and the legality of transferring the commercial development rights; how the building would impact utilities in the surrounding blocks; the number of parking spaces planned for the development; if the plans had been presented to ANC 3D; if Valor had donated money to TTMS; and about the plans for DeCarlo’s restaurant and Salon Jean Paul. Some attendees expressed support for the grocery store and for the planned density, while others thought the development was out of character with the neighborhood and had concerns about the traffic the development would generate.
Commissioner Bender stated that the Commission was going to present the memorandums from Valor and Citizens for Responsible Development to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Zoning Commission to request legal opinions on the project. Commissioners stated that they would like to bring consensus to the neighborhood. Commissioner Bender opined that, although he is skeptical of density transfers as a way to avoid the broad inquiry of a PUD, because a density transfer has already occurred to the detriment of the owners, it would be difficult to argue that it would be unfair if a second one is allowed(Commissioner Bender noted this did not mean that he was taking a position on the merits of the project on a whole). He stated further that the grocery store could be considered an amenity to the community and, to provide a strong incentive for this amenity to be provided, he would like to see an agreement for Valor to provide a quite substantial alternative amenity to the community if a grocery store cannot be actualized. Commissioners also asked if Valor was still seeking to buy the PNC Bank site; asked if Valor has designed a pedestrian connection to Massachusetts Ave; stated that they would support having no Residential Parking Permits (RPP) for the development; and expressed a desire to see a thorough traffic plan.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Urban Investment Partners to modify public space around building at 4000 Brandywine St, NW
Mike Kenny, Development Associate for UIP presented plans for the public space design for 4000 Brandywine St, NW. The renovation and construction of the building will be by MOR, but UIP needs approval from the Public Space Committee (PSC) for all of the improvements in the public space. In the public space, they intend to remove a curb cut to the existing parking garage on Brandywine St, move the sidewalk back from the street along Brandywine to create a tree box, landscape the space, install benches and move the entrance to the building. They also intend to install bulb outs to the intersection of Brandywine and 40th St, NW. They have changed the lighting design since their last presentation to the Commission.
An attendee asked about the numerous housing developments in the community adding to crowding at Janney elementary school. Another attendee asked if UIP has made a contribution to TTMS, and asked Commissioners Wallace and Bender to recuse themselves from voting on the resolution. UIP has made a pledge of support for the Make Music Day event. Commissioners Wallace and Bender declined to recuse themselves from participating in the decision on the resolution.
Commissioners asked if UIP will plant trees along 40th St, if there will be differentiated paving across the driveway, and if residents will be eligible to receive RPP.
Commissioner Quinn offered a minor change to the draft resolution. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the amended resolution in support of the modifications to the public space around 4000 Brandywine St. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of June 2016 meeting minutes – Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the May 2016 meeting minutes. The motion was approved 5-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve payments of $481.25 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, $154.77 to FedEx for copying services, $2460 to Tenleytown Main Street for their grant request and $325 to Iona Senior Services for their grant request. The motion was approved 5-0-0.
- Third Quarter Treasurers Report. Commissioner Quinn moved, Commissioner McHugh seconded and the report was approved. 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:44 PM.