July 20, 2022, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:32 PM. Commissioners Bender, Cohen, Gianinno, and Hall were in attendance.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street announced:
- The final Get Fit at Fessenden session will take place on Saturday, July 23 at 9 am.
- The next Trivia Night will be on Tuesday, August 2 at 7:30 pm at Guapo’s.
- Art All Night will take place on September 24 with 150+ artists and performers at 15 venues in Tenleytown.
- Tenley Tuesdays (students, faculty, and staff from preschool to law school can receive discounts at participating Tenleytown businesses) will be back in the fall.
- A new outdoor dining pop-up will be opening within the next week just north of Electric Bikes, in the Bullfrog Bagels parking lot. This will be a family-friendly dining option with some limited adult beverage offerings. This will be open Wednesday through Friday from 4 pm -10 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-10 pm.
Theodore Wren, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations (MOCRs), announced:
- DC is offering low-income residents $50/month to help residents pay for their internet bill.
- DC is still offering the private security rebate program for homeowners and businesses that refunds up to $500 to pay for security cameras.
- The city is urging people at high risk for Monkeypox transmission to get vaccinated or tested.
Commissioner Hall asked if there were any updates on whether the demountables (trailers) at Jackson-Reed High School will be ready for use before the school year begins. Mr. Wren will get back to us with an update.
Mr. Wren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions or concerns 202-341-7706
An attendee stated they are concerned about bike lanes on Connecticut Ave and its effect on traffic and asked residents of ANC3E to join saveconnecticutave.org. Commissioner Bender mentioned that the ANC had passed a resolution in support of the bike lanes.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime in PSA 202. Over the last 30 days there were no robberies, assaults with dangerous weapons, nor burglaries. She stated that on July 4th someone committed two misdemeanor sexual assaults and two other assaults. He was arrested and charged with those four crimes and was also charged with an earlier assault that occurred on Ingomar St.
One attendee asked for traffic enforcement at 45th and Van Ness by the entrance to Turtle Park.
- Asked if there was any additional information about the shooting that occurred earlier this year at McDonalds. Beistline replied the victim is uncooperative.
- Asked whether shoplifting continues to be an issue at the Target. MPD continues to see a lot of thefts from Target, CVS, and Wawa. MPD is working with the management of those stores and is keeping patrol officers in the area during the day.
- Asked if there were any new developments in the murder last year on Wisconsin Ave. There are no new developments.
Lt Beistline can be reached at email@example.com with any additional comments or questions.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding renewal liquor license application by Pete’s New Haven Pizza and Cafe of India
Commissioner Bender informed those in attendance that the ANC normally does not take action for liquor license renewals (as opposed to initial applications) unless there are complaints about the establishment. There were no concerns raised by those in attendance or sent to the Commissioners ahead of the meeting regarding these businesses and therefore the Commission took no action on these renewals.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application for Retailer’s Class C liquor license for Sol Mexican Grill
Fernando Postigo stated that he is the owner of Sol Mexican Grill. This is their 4th location, and it has been open for one year. They would like to serve margaritas, beer, and sangria from 11 am – 9 pm. Commissioner Bender stated he is willing to sign a settlement agreement agreeing to not serve to illegally parked cars.
Attendees and Commissioners had no comments or questions.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to support the resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Presentation by AU regarding their sound barrier wall project as part of their campus plan
Ed Fisher stated that AU has been ordered by the Zoning Commission (ZC) to build a sound barrier wall between their athletic field and the home located at 4710 Woodway Lane as their first project under the new campus plan. AU have more detailed designs to present to our ANC in September and October. He stated this was discussed this with AU neighbor partnership and invited neighbors to join the partnership.
Attendees did not have any questions or concerns. Commissioners asked for more details on timelines for other AU construction projects the next time they attend an ANC3E meeting.
Presentation by Tishman Speyer regarding its plans to redevelop Mazza Gallerie into a mixed-use building
Jeffrey Chod, on behalf of Tishman Speyer, presented their proposal for redeveloping Mazza Gallerie. He stated that Catherin Joseph will be representing their architect, 3XN. They plan to demolish the above grade portion of the mall while retaining the below grade concourse and parking garage. In place of the mall, they plan to build 325 apartments, of which they will have 10% inclusionary zoning (IZ) at 50% & 60% area median income (AMI). The project will include 25,000 sq ft of ground floor, neighborhood-oriented retail on Wisconsin Ave plus more retail space on Jenifer St. They plan to add outdoor seating on Wisconsin Ave. The parking spaces below the building will be available to residents and the public.
Ms. Joseph presented the designs for the building which include an undulating façade to break up the massing along Wisconsin Ave. There will be four wings extending to the west that will provide internal courtyards for the residents with a pool in northern-most courtyard. Of the 325 units, they estimate 53% will have 1 bedroom, 34% will have 2 bedrooms, 5% will have 3 bedrooms. The rest will be studios and townhouses that have 2 bedrooms.
- Asked if they are seeking any zoning changes and stated there is support in the community to build more housing than their current plan. They will not be seeking any changes and the project will be built by matter of right (MOR).
- Stated that there are many people in the community who think this scale is suitable for the community.
- Asked about how they end the space given the road behind it. The street behind Mazza Gallerie is level with the lower retail level and the courtyards will be elevated above the street.
- Asked about the timeline for the project. They will be starting demolition later this year.
- Asked if they have any plans for the new retail stores. They are working with a leasing broker targeting mid-level retail.
- Asked if TJ Maxx will stay open during the project. They are in conversations with them about this and have not finalized any plans yet.
- Asked what a unit will rent for. They have not set any rents yet.
- Asked if pedestrians could still cut through Mazza Gallerie between Western Ave and Jenifer St. It will still be possible to walk through the concourse level.
- Stated that in the past there was problems with WMATA pollution affecting the Mazza garage and asked if there are any environmental issues in the garage. Chod stated that he is not aware of any.
- Asked about plans for the Homeplate lot. Chod replied that that parcel is part of the Lord and Taylor complex.
- Asked for clarification on whether the parking lot will be open to the public. Chod stated that there will be some surplus parking and some portion will be available for public parking over time.
- Asked if there will be opportunities to lease the retail spaces to DC owned and minority owned businesses.
- Asked what their plans are for the streetscape, the courtyards, and the roof. The courtyards will have trees and will be used for storm water retention. The roof will have some perimeter green areas. They have not developed the public space streetscape.
- Asked if they will consider setting aside some truly accessible units that have rollunder sinks, grab bars, accessible outlets, etc.
- Thanked them for including so much retail.
- Asked if they will exceed the minimum IZ. They will get back to the Commission on that.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding role of ANCs in siting decisions for medical marijuana dispensaries
Commissioner Bender stated that the DC Council has voted to allow residents to self-certify that they qualify for medical marijuana. They have stated taking applications for a new dispensary that will either be in Ward 3 or 5. They have received 5 applications for a dispensary in Ward 3 but none were for our ANC. Tonight’s resolution focuses on the process, specifically how ABRA is considering ANC and public input. The resolutions asks ABRA to consider how long an ANC has to comment and make sure great weight is being applied and to give scrutiny to facilities near middle and high schools.
Attendees had no questions or comments. Commissioners stated that at some point we may want to take on the bigger issue of the gray/black market (stores that “sell” a product and “gift” the buyer some pot as part of the transaction) as they can be targets for crime and offered a friendly amendment to include elementary schools in the resolution which was accepted.
Commissioner Hall moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to support the amended resolution. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of June 2022 Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the Draft June 2022 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Gianinno seconded a motion to approve a payment for $607.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and reimbursements to Sherry Cohen for $53 for increased Zoom meeting capacity and $160 for web hosting services. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of 2022 Q3 Financial Report – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve 2022 Q3 Financial Report. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Sports in DC
This issue was not on the agenda and Commissioner Bender stated that this issue was brought to the Commission’s attention around 6 pm today. Commissioner Hall stated that the City has contracted with a consultant, Windsor Athletic Consulting, to help study the state of middle and high school sports in DC. There was a meeting today and there will be another on July 27th. Some of the issues they highlighted are lower stipends for coaches than other school systems, a lack of opportunities for girls, a lack of field space and how to allocate the field space they have, better communications between DCPS, DPR and OP. They are seeking input from residents via a Google form and will be issuing a report before the fall.
Commissioner Bender moved a motion to authorize Commissioner Hall and/or Commissioner Gianinno to write a letter before our next meeting expressing the Commission’s concerns about sports in DC schools and to alert the community to a Google form and ask residents to provide us with feedback about their concerns. Commissioner Hall seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 9:11 PM.