July 11, 2019, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:43 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
An attendee announced that there will be a Bastille Day celebration at Fessenden Park on July 13, from 2 to 4 PM. More information can be found at http://tenleytownmainstreet.org
Linda Greenan from Pepco stated that Pepco will present an update for the Harrison Street substation project at the September ANC3E meeting.
Maria Barry, the Director of Community Relations at American University introduced herself.
Laisha Doherty gave a brief update on the DC PLUG project. In the coming weeks, work is scheduled on the 4900 block of Brandywine St, the 4500 and 4600 blocks of Western Ave, the 4400 block of Fessenden St, and at the intersection of Brandywine and 49thStreets. They will be working on Saturday, July 13 on 49thStreet.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Sgt. Bray from the 2ndDistrict provided an update on police activity and crime in PSA 202. There was one violent crime. There was a large drop in thefts from auto in the last year, but other thefts have increased. There was one motor vehicle theft where the car was unlocked, and the keys were left in the vehicle. A constituent reported speeding, red light running and oversized trucks on Van Ness St between Reno Rd and Wisconsin Ave. Sgt Bray stated that if anyone has traffic concerns to contact Lt Hill so he can contact the truck owners and/or assign enforcement personnel to that area. There were no questions from attendees or Commissioners. Bray stated that he could be reached at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Presentation by Office of Campaign Finance on Fair Campaign public finance program
The DC Office of Campaign Finance explained the Fair Elections/Public Finance Program. It is a voluntary program that provides for funding any qualifying citizen that wants to run for city office positions including Mayor, Attorney General, DC Council and State Board of Education. In exchange for the public finance, candidates must agree to not accept funding from corporations or Political Action Committees (PACs). Candidates must also have a minimum number of small donors and a minimum amount of funding raised (these amounts vary by the office being run for). For candidates who qualify, the program provides a base amount as well as a 5 times all qualifying contributions (up to a maximum). Qualifying for this program qualifies the candidate for the debate. Additional information can be found on their website https://ocf.dc.gov/release/fair-elections-act-becomes-effective
Attendees asked if the program is available to DC Council candidates and what the maximum campaign donations were. Commissioners asked: for additional information on the maximum campaign donations and about contributions from out-of-state.
Discussion with community about possible uses of Chesapeake House
Julia Washburn, Superintendent of Rock Creek Park, announced that Saturday, July 13 is the 155thanniversary of the battle of Fort Stevens. There will be a commemoration from 10 am to 4 pm at Fort Stevens, located at 13thSt and Quackenbos St, NW near Georgia Ave.
At the last meeting the Commission discussed potential uses for Chesapeake House with Ms. Washburn. She stated that Chesapeake House qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places. As part of a PUD agreement ANC3E negotiated, UIP will renovate the building to a warm lit shell and any build outs and furnishings will need to be done later. The first floor will be disability accessible. She noted that the civil war defenses of Washington currently have no visitor facility. The initial plan is for the first floor to be dedicated to the history of Tenleytown, Ft Reno and Reno City along with some space for swing exhibits, such as local art installations. They are considering sharing the upstairs office area with a non-profit organization that can help run the facility when NPS cannot staff the exhibit space in exchange for rent abatement. She stressed that no funding mechanisms, no legal agreements and no non-profits have been identified. Whatever plan they decide on will need to identify operations and maintenance funding for the building.
Attendees: liked the idea of sharing the space with a non-profit that would ensure the building is open to the public every day in exchange for rent abatement; asked if the second floor will be open to the public; and asked if AU could collaborate on the project. Commissioners: liked the current plans for the building; asked who would pick the non-profit tenant; would like to see the public use of the space maximized; wondered if a conference room/meeting area in the space could be made available to the public; and asked what are the next steps and timeline are for the project.
Discussion of draft memorandum of understanding with Valor Development regarding redevelopment of former Superfresh site
Commissioner McHugh negotiated a draft MOU for the Ladybird project. They are seeking input from those in attendance. He provided an overview of the MOU, stating that this MOU is about the same as the one negotiated earlier with Valor with the addition of the following: 1% more Inclusionary Zoning (IZ); $100,00 dedicated to the connection between the site and the Metro (could be used to fund a shuttle, Lyft car reimbursement, etc.); four dedicated car share parking spaces; and not allowing a master lease with AU to provide student housing. There will be a public hearing for the PUD on September 19th.
Attendees: stated that there were many suggestions forwarded to the Commissioners over the past few days; noted that the PUD requires stronger amenities than a design review; contended that the grocery store cannot qualify as an amenity because there are other grocery stores within 3 miles of the site; felt the building is too big; stated they understood the need for housing in the city; thought that 11% affordable housing is not adequate; noted that the initial grocery store offered by Valor is different from the one that is currently being proposed; would like to see more 2-bedroom units; asked for clarification on how the IZ is calculated; asked if these units will be for sale or rent; asked for the project timeline; asked if there was electric car charging stations included in the project; asked for an electric bike/scooter station corrals; liked the project in general; thought there are too many parking spaces; would like to see more 1-bedroom units as there are many family sized units in the city and in the neighborhood; felt the amenities are not commensurate with the size of the project; would like to see a daycare center included in the project; would like Valor to provide some relief for the number of students that will be added to the local public schools; would like to see a public park included in the project; would like a mini-transit hub included; did not like the placement of the HAWK signal; believed that the alley cleanliness is not an amenity; would like more traffic calming measures including bulb-outs and narrower streets; stated that while the city needs more housing, this is housing for the upper classes not the middle class; wants more parking and infrastructure; would like the project to address the AU shuttle that currently blocks a lane on 48thStreet; complained about trash at the AU site; and asked about the number of parking spots Valor is leasing back from AU.
Commissioners: asked for clarification on the breakdown on the number of units; asked if the design review application has been withdrawn; proposed a task-force for AU specific issues to address the shuttle bus; thought the suggestions of a daycare center and a dedicated bike lane would cause more complaints about traffic from the community and are not necessarily being proposed in good faith; would like Valor to commit to a CABI station and electric bike charging station; believed this is an appropriate site for this project; liked the $100,000 for transportation but stated there needs to be a specific plan for use of the money; would also like to have a plan in place for when the money runs out; would like a railing along the sidewalk in the alley; stated that DDOT would not allow Valor to guarantee parking spaces to the residents; lamented the loss of Windom Walk and the porosity that it provided; want Valor to activate the outdoor space; did not think the railings in the alley are necessary and thought they could use differentiated walkways instead; would have liked more community spaces in the project; did not expect to see a large number of cars on the site; stated this will deliver more affordable housing to the neighborhood than they have in the last 10 years; would like to see the city step in to build affordable housing; and thought this will be a good project for the community. Two Commissioners thought this was a good amenity package considering the amount of relief being sought. Multiple commissioners stated they liked the HAWK signal as an amenity.
The project will be voted on at the September ANC3E meeting.
Discussion of and possible vote on settlement agreement for liquor license for Surfside restaurant that will occupy former Firelake Grill space
Commissioner Bender announced that an agreement has not been reached for the liquor license so this item will not be heard at this meeting.
- Approval of June 2019 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the Draft June 2019 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve payments of $15.82 to FedEx Office for copying services, $275.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, and to reimburse Sherry Cohen for $47.64 for copying for this meeting. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- ANC3E 3rdQ Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the 3rdQuarter Treasurer’s Report. The report was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 10:00 PM.