July 8, 2021, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:33 PM. Commissioners Bender, Cohen, Hall, McHugh and Quinn were in attendance.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Matthew Frumin spoke on behalf of the Lisner Home, a nursing and assisted living facility on Western Ave serving low-income seniors. He stated that the facility is looking to build a 4-story apartment building for low-income seniors on the north east corner of the site to help stabilize their finances. Frumin stated this will be the largest affordable housing project in this part of the city. The FLUM has been updated to allow for moderate density residential development, they provided 45-day notice to the ANC that they intend to file for a zoning map amendment, and they plan to file in the next week for the amendment to allow for an R-A-2 development.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Mainstreet announced:
- the Get Fit at Fessenden program will have classes on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM;
- the next Fessenden Park clean-up will take place on Saturday July 10 at 8:00 AM;
- Surfside has live music on Thursday nights;
- Le Kavacha is hosting a Bastille Day jazz group on their patio from 6-9 pm; and
- TMS is seeking volunteers for Art All Night.
Matthew Cohen introduced Peter Havenstein of the Kiwanis Club. The club focuses on events and fundraisers to help support children and they are looking for members and support. Commissioner Hall suggested they start a Key Club at Wilson High School.
Christian Piñeiro, a Community Engagement Specialist for DDOT for Ward 3 introduced himself to the community. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns, issues or service requests.
Lois Hollan thanked us for our resolution and encouraged us to continue to support a high school at the Lord & Taylor site.
Emir Gur-Ravantab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- Vaccination sites will be raffling many giveaways for people who get COVID vaccines and their already vaccinated escorts; and
- DMV will return to normal walk-in service hours starting on July 19.
He can be contacted at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Phil Waggoner asked who is responsible for cleaning up the area around the Wilson Aquatic Center as homeless people were using the area as a toilet. He contacted DPR, WMATA and Friendship Place and they all say they are not responsible for cleaning it up. Commissioner Cohen stated that he would be happy to work with Mr. Waggoneer to get the area cleaned up.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime in PSA 202. She stated that in the past 30 days, there has been one burglary and three stolen automobiles (one arrest was made). National Night Out will be held on August 3, from 5-8 PM at Stoddert. Commissioner Quinn stated that he has a list of some serious crimes that occurred in the area and would like to share the list to her to obtain monthly updates on their status. Lt Beistline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-779-2854with any additional comments or questions.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Tenleytown Main Street proposal for a watershed infrastructure project at the corner of Wisconsin Ave, 42nd St, and Emery place
Leigh Catherine Miles with TMS stated they presented in June 2020 about their plans for a green infrastructure project in front of Le Chat Noir and Café of India on Wisconsin Ave. The project will allow for storm water retention, adds some seating, and increases pedestrian safety by adding a crosswalk to Fessenden Park and installing bollards along Wisconsin Ave just south of Fessenden Park to force traffic from Emory Place to turn right onto 42nd St. Commissioner Quinn summarized his resolution in support of the project.
Attendees: stated that they would like to see 42nd St between Emory and Fessenden be incorporated into Fessenden Park; liked that the bulb-out will help slow traffic; and would have liked to have more street activation to allow the restaurants to have access to the curbside for outdoor seating.
Commissioners: would also have liked the project to incorporate 42nd Street between Emory and Fessenden into Fessenden Park; would like to have southbound 42nd Street bikers to have a path to the bike trail on the other side of Wisconsin by GDS; asked about the timeline (late Fall); and asked about the other two projects, in front of the WaWa and at Wisconsin Ave and Warren St, that they were presented to the ANC in June 2020 (the other two projects are still in the works). Commissioner Quinn offered an additional Whereas statement to the resolution.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the amended resolution is support of the bioretention project at the intersection. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0 (Commissioner Cohen was having technical difficulties and was not on the Zoom call when the vote was taken.)
Update from Pepco regarding progress on Harrison Street Substation, including opening of art gallery space in front windows requested by ANC
Linda Greenan and Bob Andrukaitis gave an update on the Harrison Street Substation renovation. They stated that there were a few minor updates being made to the interior of the station, most of the exterior is complete and they completed the demolition of the temporary substation. The exterior of the building has six display windows that are 7 feet high by 8 feet wide. Pepco will host community art installations in the windows at the request of the ANC. The first installation will be unveiled on September 18 and the theme is Tenleytown: Past, Present, and Future. Ms. Greenan asked for submissions from the community and a link to the flyer can be found on the ANC3E website. There were no questions from attendees or Commissioners.
Presentation by Director Jennifer Reed of the Office of Performance and Budget Management, part of the Office of the City Administrator regarding Mayor’s proposed budget
Ms. Reed summarized the Mayor’s FY 22 Budget proposal. Last year, DC was facing a $1B+ shortfall due to COVID shutdowns. This year, Mayor Bowser is proposing a 5% increase in spending thanks to federal COVID rescue funds. The $17B proposal includes $9.2B in local funds with capital spending, DDOT, WMATA and schools being the largest categories of spending. DC received $2.3B in flexible funding from the American Rescue Plan and another $1B from the federal government for specific uses. The federal COVID funding can be spent across several fiscal years and the Mayor proposed using most of the funds for targeted investments with a few projects, including affordable housing, that will require additional local funding when the federal funds run out. A copy of slides can be found at http://budget.dc.gov
Attendees: asked why Mayor did not fund Vision Zero initiatives and would like the city to look into buying the Lord & Taylor site to build another high school for Ward 3.
Commissioners: pointed out that the budget proposal includes improvements to the Tenleytown Metro and installation of bike lanes on Connecticut Ave; asked for a skate park in Ward 3; asked for more investment in bike lanes throughout the city to meet green targets and improve safety; asked the city to look into purchasing the Lord & Taylor site for a school and recreation space; and asked for help in combating learning loss due to online learning and to reduce class size.
Update from River School regarding the special exception it seeks to be permitted to move its school, pre-school, and clinic to estate grounds at Van Ness and Nebraska Avenues
Allison Prince, Patrick Burkhart, Craig McClure and Jami Milanovich gave an update on the River School project. They stated they presented their updated design to HPRB. In the updated plans, the building height was reduced by one floor and the center lawn size was increased. There are two heritage trees on the property that they will relocate, one to the site where the original “Under Oak” tree stood. They have redesigned the large buildings and pulled them back from the main, original building. They are eliminating the egress on 42nd St and the driveway will be a right in, right out from Nebraska.
Jami Milanovich presented their Traffic Impact Analysis. She stated that DDOT had asked them to look at 10 intersections, but they agreed to look at 18 intersection at the request of the ANC so that they could fix traffic problems that currently exist in the area. Most of their traffic counts came from previous studies or were done before the pandemic but some counts were conducted during the pandemic. The counts done during the pandemic will be adjusted to reflect pre-pandemic traffic levels. Their analysis showed that without any traffic mitigation plans, out of the 18 intersections, there would be adverse impacts during 1 peak hour to 6 intersections, adverse impacts during 2 peak hours to 2 intersections, and adverse impacts to 1 intersection during 3 peak hours. Their traffic mitigation plan takes a hybrid approach by reducing demand (bicycle and transit incentives, mandatory carpooling for students in grades K and higher) and make a number of improvements at two intersections to increase capacity. At Nebraska and Van Ness they propose: removing parking on both sides of Nebraska from 7AM to 7PM, modifying the traffic signal to include left turn signal from Van Ness onto Nebraska, and removing the parking on the north side of Van Ness. At Nebraska and Warren, they propose doing a traffic study within 6 months of the school opening and install a traffic light at Nebraska and Warren if warranted or if not warranted, they would donate the money to DDOT for putting in a signal at a later date or for other improvements.
- asked how the school will impact the neighborhood beyond the 18 intersections (they are still conducting their traffic analysis and will install other traffic calming measures around the neighborhood);
- asked if they are considering using school busses (many of their students are too young to take buses);
- two attendees asked what would happen if the traffic light was not installed (the money would be donated to other purposes and stated that a HAWK signal could be installed);
- asked what the enrollment at the school would be (320 once the school reaches maximum capacity);
- asked what it would cost to change the signal at Van Ness ($100k) and the cost of changing parking restrictions along Nebraska and Van Ness (the cost of new signs);
- Four attendees support the relocation of the school to the site;
- stated that they asked River School to not expand the school so much, reduce the size of the building or not putting the building on the property line and they haven’t incorporated any of those changes (River replied they did reduce the size of the building and it is 10 feet back from the property line and the move is to accommodate additional grades, the building height is 40 feet which is matter of right, and the lot occupancy is just 18% whereas by matter of right they could occupy 40% of the lot);
- asked why they would install a light at Warren Street if they didn’t expect queueing along Nebraska and back up along Warren (they have designed the site of have all pick up and drop off queues on their property, they looked at those intersections because they were existing problems in the neighborhood); and
- stated they did not believe the traffic study and thought people will make a series of turns on local streets to get onto the property.
- stated they like the changes to the design and noted they are not asking for any variances but was still concerned by the traffic issues and wants them to do more to reduce trips to the site;
- stated they could be more creative to reduce trips to the site;
- told people in attendance that anyone who lives in the neighborhood had a right to weigh in on the project and did not like the discourse taking place in the comments;
- asked for clarification about the turn signal they propose installing;
- asked why they want to remove the parking spaces on Nebraska Ave since there is currently no parking there during rush hours;
- thought River is doing a lot to keep cars off of 42nd Street but thought people will end up there and questioned whether they should keep the 42nd St egress open;
- noted that the zoning relief they seek is minor;
- stated they are worried that the school will be approved with a traffic management plan that is unworkable;
- asked where visitors and people going to the clinic will park (there are 9 visitor spots on the ground for daytime visitors, for after school there will be 54 parking spaces in the garage);
- Asked if they included the traffic from City Ridge (expected to open in 2022) in the traffic analysis (they did include 7 pipeline projects City Ridge and 4000 Wisconsin and Sidwell plus 4 other small projects); and
- Asked if they considered using offsite drop off points and shuttles to the school.
- Approval of June 2021 meeting minutes – Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the Draft June 2021 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of 3rd Quarter 2021 Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the 3rd Quarter Treasurer’s Report. 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 $375.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Commissioner McHugh stated that the ANC website requires some maintenance and asked to budget $1500 for that project.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 11:18 PM.