July 20, 2017, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:38 PM. Commissioners Bender, Hall, 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
Commissioner Bender announced that Greg Ehrhardt will be the next Commissioner for ANC3E01. He will be filling the seat formerly held by Anne Wallace. His service will begin at the Commission’s next meeting in September.
Commissioner Quinn announced that DDOT will hold a Friendship Heights traffic evaluation meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Tuesday, July 25 at 7 pm.
Commissioner McHugh announced that Friendship “Turtle” Park will reopen at 5 pm on Friday July 28 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Mayor will be in attendance.
Doreen Hope announced that Washington Gas is engaged in a pipe replacement program. They are replacing main lines and service lines to homes in several areas throughout this ANC. Affected homes will be notified and parking on those blocks will be restricted. Commissioner Bender asked how Massachusetts Ave will be affected. Ms. Hope replied that traffic patterns will be changed and sidewalks will be disturbed and will vary based on the pipe depth underground and location relative to the traffic lanes.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. He stated that in the last 30-day period there were two robberies without guns; one at Wells Fargo on Wisconsin Ave in Friendship Heights and the other at the CVS in Chevy Chase Pavilion. There were also two burglaries and 28 thefts this period. The police have had two officers doing traffic enforcement stops this past month.
There were no questions for Lt. Hill from attendees. Commissioners asked: if traffic officers could be deployed to the intersection of 42nd and Nebraska; about traffic enforcement once schools begin; and if arrests had been made for the bank robbery at Wells Fargo.
Presentation by Georgetown Day School of revised plans to add its lower and middle schools to its existing high school campus at 42nd St. and Davenport St. NW
Eric Smulson announced that GDS is no longer pursuing the Planned Unit Development (PUD) to develop the Marten’s Volvo site. Instead, they will be applying for a special exception to build a lower/middle school on the Safeway lot.
Jeff Barber presented the plans for the proposed school, a 4-story tall school along 42nd St., a playing field where the Safeway parking lot currently is, and a parking lot below the field. They are no longer planning on purchasing the WMATA site that sits along Ellicott St. at the intersection of 42nd St. They will be seeking LEED Gold certification for the project. The size of the school (measured by floor area ratio (FAR)) and its proposed height are both within what is allowed by current zoning but they need a special exception to place the school at the site.
Jaimie Malanovich presented the preliminary traffic study. GDS plans to increase the total number of students by 125. Under the current plan, parents of lower and middle school students will queue in the new underground parking garage. The driveway coming out of the garage onto Ellicott will be egress only and a traffic control officer (TCO) will be stationed there to ensure parents turn right upon exiting to keep them out of the neighborhood. GDS will have a transportation demand management (TDM) plan that will reduce trips and they plan on revisiting the plan to further reduce trips once the school opens. GDS will have traffic rules in place in the contracts with the families and plans to conduct an annual monitoring study with results will be submitted to the ANC and DDOT.
Attendees asked questions regarding: whether the entrance/gate at 43rd Street will remain closed except for emergencies; pedestrian access from 43rd; the noise management plan for the play areas behind the 43rd Street townhouses; landscaping between the playground and the houses; GDS’s earlier plans to add a light at Wisconsin and Chesapeake; how they plan to slow traffic on 42nd; the design of the building along 42nd St.; whether the lower/middle students will be allowed to go off campus during the day; and how can the community know if there is more traffic than in their estimates and how GDS will remedy any infractions. Neighbors raised concerns regarding: a property line dispute; noise from the HVAC unit on top of the proposed school; and noise from an emergency generator. Attendees encouraged GDS to keep the campus as porous as possible and stated they hoped GDS would allow neighbors to access the playground. Two attendees, had concerns about safety at night around the proposed pedestrian gate at the border of the school’s property with 43rd St. A number of people raised concerns about parents parking or dropping off in the neighborhood around the school and how GDS will enforce compliance. Some attendees said they hoped GDS would use buses and reduce traffic coming to the school.
Commissioners stated they were upset that GDS appeared to have withdrawn certain traffic mitigation features that had been offered in conjunction with the PUD and were still needed, would like the campus to allow for pedestrian access, would like significant reductions in trips generated, and would like the traffic enforcement to have more teeth. They noted that Metro Bus was not considered as a transportation option in GDS’ proposal, GDS never seriously explored mandatory busing, and expressed disappointment regarding development along 42nd St.
GDS is hosting a meeting for neighbors on July 27 at 7 pm at the High School.
Presentation by Valor Development of revised plans to build a mixed-use project at the former Superfresh site at 4330 48th Street NW
Will Lansing presented an update on their plans for the Superfresh site. The current plans reduce the number of residential units by 11 to 219, reduce the space allotted to retail from 60,000 to 16,000 sq. ft. and reduced the number of parking spaces by 90 to 370. Valor is proposing a building that is 5 stories high plus a penthouse with mechanical units housed above the penthouse. Mr. Lansing stated that Valor can build a building this size by matter of right but with a larger courtyard
Irwin Anders provided an update to their traffic mitigation plan. Anders stated that with the smaller grocery store, they estimate six fewer trucks per day. They estimate there will be 91 trips during the peak morning hour and 200 vehicular trips during the peak evening hour.
Questions were asked by attendees regarding: how long Valor had been talking with grocery stores; what is the possibility of not having a grocery store; Valor’s plans if they cannot get the approval for a grocery store; the number and mix of affordable housing units; and how the buildings will affect enrollment at local schools. Attendees stated: the massing and scale of the building has not changed much; they were disappointed that the grocery store has been scaled back; their disbelief that the building could be built by matter of right; the lack of coordination with the community; the disbelief that this site is considered to be served by mass transit; they would like to see the estimated total traffic per day; and pedestrian safety was not addressed by the traffic study.
Commissioners stated: the intersection of Massachusetts Ave and 49th St needs to be mitigated including structural changes; the alley behind the Spring Valley Shopping Center needs to be addressed; they like the design and regret the loss of housing units; would like Valor to include more affordable housing units; would like to see more pedestrian access; would like to see a HAWK signal added to the middle of Massachusetts Ave.; would like to see a full-sized grocery store included in the project or additional community amenities added to make up for the lack of the grocery store; would like Valor to not offer free parking spaces to residents because it would encourage more cars in the neighborhood; and asked what the plans were for current tenants. Commissioner Bender asked Valor to move its hearing date to November or December given the relatively late presentation of its revised plans, and Valor agreed.
Presentation by UIP of revised plans for redeveloping mixed-use property at 4624 Wisconsin Ave., NW
UIP presented their updated Community Amenities Package which includes: a minimum of 3,500 sq. ft. which UIP would try for one year to rent only to a full-service restaurant; restrictions the types of retail tenants similar to those in the Tenley View PUD; seek LEED Gold certification; offer 10% of the residential units for affordable dwelling units rather than 8% required by law; they will spend up to $250,000 to renovate Chesapeake House to a warm lit shell; underground the utility lines in front of the building (making a good faith effort to work with the remaining property owners to the corner of Chesapeake St); close the section of Brandywine Street at 41st and River that was recommended in Rock Creek West Livability Study and put a triangle park in its place; they will impose a loading management plan to manage trucks in the alley; residents would not be eligible to obtain a residential parking permit; and if they build on the adjacent lot, they would limit the height of any to six stories.
Questions were asked regarding: the historic status of the Chesapeake House; the impacts of the closure of Brandywine St between River Rd and 41st St; the height of the building; and the stub of the alley that is behind Kitty O’Shea’s. One attendee stated he didn’t understand the opposition to the project and looked forward to the new retail establishments it would bring.
Commissioners stated they would like UIP to underground the utilities all the way to Chesapeake St and close Brandywine St between 41st St and River Rd. They asked questions regarding: the renovation of Chesapeake House; meeting with DDOT regarding closing Brandywine St between 41st St and River Rd and who would maintain the resulting park; the status of the existing tenants; trucks exiting at Wisconsin and Chesapeake; the arrangement of a meeting between UIP, NPS and ANC to determine the use of Chesapeake House; and build out comparables from other full-service restaurants.
Presentation by Washington Gas regarding its accelerated pipeline replacement project
This topic was addressed during open forum.
- Approval of June 2017 meeting minutes – The May 2017 Meeting Minutes approved by unanimous consent. The motion was approved 4-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve payments of $ 381.25 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and of $ 47.32 to FedEx for copying services and to Mighty Little Web Shop for $3000 down payment for web redesign. The expenditures were approved 4-0-0.
- Third quarter treasurers report – Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded. The motion was approved 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:46 PM by unanimous consent.