June 9, 2016, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:38 PM. Commissioners Bender, Wallace, Quinn and Hall were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Ruth Wattenberg, Ward 3 member of the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) announced that DC is revising its criteria to determine what constitutes a successful school and how to fix failing schools 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.
Laura Ivers, with Citizens for Responsible Development, read a letter containing the group’s reaction to Ward 3 Vision’s letter in support of Valor Development’s plans for the SuperFresh site.
Commissioner Bender announced that Wilson High School will be adopting one of the recommendations made by the Tenleytown safety task force to have Wilson staff, faculty, and volunteers stationed in the neighborhood before and after school wearing bright vests to help students in need and report problems. The school also told students that in certain instances it will enforce disciplinary rules for conduct in the neighborhood outside of school.
Commissioner Wallace announced that Tenleytown Main Street (TTMS) is hosting Make Music Day, a live, free event with music at various venues along Wisconsin Ave on June 21.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. There have been reports of a man, 30-35 years of age with a medium complexion, entering homes through open doors and windows. MPD officers can come to your home to perform a free home security assessment.
Hill stated that whenever a group of thefts from autos are reported, the police expect a stolen auto to also be reported from that area. This vehicle is usually later recovered from other parts of the city. The MPD has a license plate reader that they station at various entrances to the city to track stolen vehicles and vehicles of interest. There have also been some stolen scooters (mopeds) in which the owners do not have a license plate or do not know the license plate number; this makes it difficult to report the theft in the crime database and recover the stolen scooters. Finally, Hill stated they have had Officers Santos and Robinson performing traffic stops throughout the PSA this month.
An attendee asked about signage on streets that cross the new contra-flow bike lane on 39th St between Albemarle and Van Ness. Commissioner Quinn noted that there is already a contra-flow bike lane on 41st St and we could expect the same types of signs to be installed on 39th St. He asked the attendee to email him with the attendee’s concerns and Quinn will forward them to Mike Goodno at DDOT.
Commissioners asked questions about seasonal crime trends, an assault and sexual assault that took place on Metro and then in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, the status/availability of school resource officers during summer break, whether MPD would help the flow of rush hour traffic during the Metro SafeTrack work, and how and when look out alerts are sent to the community.
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
Presentation by Urban Investment Partners of plans for public space design around 4000 Brandywine St, NW
Brook Katzen, Vice President of development for UIP presented their plan for the public space design around 4000 Brandywine St, NW. The renovation and construction of the building will be by Matter of Right (MoR), but UIP needs approval from the Public Space Committee (PSC) for all of the improvements in the public space. UIP intends to add 12,000 sq. ft. of space on top of the existing parking garage and renovate the building into a mix of studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. For 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. UIP has met with DDOT twice and DDOT has expressed support for the plans. UIP submitted an application to PSC and expects a hearing in August. UIP is hoping to start construction in October.
Attendees asked questions about: residential parking on Brandywine St; the removal of parking meters on the block; and the types of outdoor benches they will install. Many attendees expressed their support for the project.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Director of TTMS, invited UIP to the next TTMS Design Committee meeting and asked about changes to the lighting on the street.
Commissioners asked: if bulb-outs could be added to the corner to slow down the traffic; if they were seeking LEED certification for the project; if the project includes inclusionary zoning; and had questions about the bio-retention area. They expressed general support for the project.
Presentation by Urban Investment Partners about redevelopment proposal for 4620-26 Wisconsin Ave
Brook Katzen also presented UIP’s updated plans for 4620-26 Wisconsin Ave. This project consists of three lots of land that will be combined into a single building, with approximately 157 apartments and 13,000 sq. ft. of retail space via a Planned Unit Development (PUD). There will be 87 parking spots in the building, 16 commercial spaces and 70 spaces for residents. The updated plans can be found at https://anc3e.org/uip-to-anc-june-9-2016-re-4620-4626-wisconsin-ave/ . UIP also presented their proposed community benefits package that can be found at https://anc3e.org/uip-proposed-community-benefits-package-for-4620-4626-wisconsin-ave/ . UIP plans to file its PUD application in the next few weeks and expects to have a public hearing by the end of the year. UIP will be asking to have the site rezoned from C-2-A to C-3-A and a map amendment from MU4 to MU7.
Leigh Catherine Miles asked UIP to include a reduced rent provision for small local businesses in their community benefits package. She also expressed support for renovating the Chesapeake House but questioned if $250,000 would be sufficient to renovate and fund it.
Attendees asked about neighborhood access to the reception area on the roof and whether there was room for a supermarket in the retail space. Some attendees expressed support for the updated plans, while others had serious reservations about the height of the building and hoped UIP could build a smaller building without having to rezone the property. A number of attendees expressed support for the renovation of the Chesapeake House in the community benefits package. Diane Greenspun from Iona stated that if renovating the Chesapeake House was not a feasible option, Iona would gladly accept donations as part of the community amenities package.
Commissioners expressed general support for the project but were skeptical of the values attached to some of the proposed community amenities. Various commissioners asked: if UIP would consider using the Inclusionary Zoning standards as they appear likely to be updated; about wastewater and storm water management requirements; about LEED certification for the project; if green features would be installed on the roof; if UIP could bring more elevation studies to the next meeting; about the status of the traffic study; and if Iona and TTMS could be added to the amenities package.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolutions regarding applications to renew liquor licenses for Kitty O’Shea’s
Commissioner Bender stated that the Commission does not normally take action for liquor license renewals (as opposed to new applications) unless there are complaints about the establishment. No concerns were brought to the commissioners in advance of the meeting about Kitty O’Shea’s and there were no concerns from those in attendance. Accordingly, no action was taken on this renewal.
Discussion of and possible resolution regarding grant application to DC by resident to paint mural on south side of building at 4425 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Stephen Voss would like to have a mural painted on the south side of 4425 Wisconsin Ave, NW. He has talked with the owner of the building and the Tenleytown Historical Society, has lined up an artist, Jarrod Ferrier, for the project and plans to file an application with DC Department of Cultural Affairs and Arts and Humanities to obtain a grant for the project. He sent a survey out to the community via the Listservs to obtain community input on the project and if the grant is awarded, he will work with the TTMS Design Committee. Attendees asked questions about how the design will be chosen and finalized.
Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the resolution in support of the mural. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
Presentation of grant application for Tenleytown Main Streets (TTMS) and discussion of and possible letter of support for TTMS-sponsored Make Music Day
Leigh Catherine Miles presented a grant request to support a ribbon cutting program to welcome new businesses to Tenleytown. The grant request is for $2,460 to pay for reusable supplies and materials. The grant application can be found at https://anc3e.org/tenleytown-main-street-grant-request/ . Commissioner Quinn noted that the ANC cannot support grants for entertainment purposes but thought this grant would be acceptable. An attendee thought there was a conflict of interest in that Commissioners Bender and Wallace also serve on the board of TTMS. Commissioner Bender said that he would abstain from voting on the grant. A vote on the request will be taken at the next ANC meeting.
Miles also presented TTMS’s plans for Make Music Day, a live, free event with music at various venues along Wisconsin Ave on June 21. Commissioner Wallace moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to support the letter in favor of the TTMS Make Music Day activities. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Presentation of grant application from IONA Senior Services
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. DC Greens created a guide called “Where to Find Food” that lists locations to find free food, emergency groceries, stores that accepts food stamps and vouchers, hotlines, etc., for food insecure residents in all Wards in DC except for Ward 3. They are asking for $1,300 in total from grants from various sources, which includes $325 from our ANC to produce the guide for Ward 3. A vote on the request will be taken at the next ANC meeting.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application for a special exception for relief from court width requirements to build an addition to a single-family house at 5318 Reno Road, NW
Commissioner Quinn stated that the Board of Zoning adjustment had given the ANC notice that a post facto special exception is required for 5318 Reno Rd. The homeowner stated that they initially had plans for a large addition to their kitchen which would be bumped out to touch the garage. The plans were then scaled back and the owners did not leave enough space between the house and the garage but nonetheless were granted the required building permits but the lack of required space was discovered on the final DCRA inspection. A special exception is therefore required after the fact. Commissioner Quinn reached out to BZA, unsuccessfully, to determine why BZA could not address the the problem administratively. There were no neighbors in attendance to object to the special exception, and there were questions raised about whether proper notice was sent to nearby neighbors. Commissioners decided that if proper notice was given to the neighbors, the ANC would not take action on the matter. If proper notice was not given, the Commission would authorize Commissioner Quinn to request that notice be given to nearby neighbors and that the ANC have sufficient time to file a new resolution if necessary.. Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to allow Commissioner Quinn to request proper notice be given to neighbors if notice had not been given. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding Massage Envy’s application for a special exception from massage establishment zoning requirement to operate a massage establishment at 4926 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Massage Envy is looking to open a franchise at 4926 Wisconsin Ave. All facilities in which therapeutic massages account for more than 50% of revenue are grouped with massage parlors and therefore need special exceptions to open and operate a facility. One attendee raised concerns with customers parking on his block (Ellicott St.) while patronizing all businesses on Wisconsin Ave, and believed that Massage Envy would add to the number of cars parked on his block. A Commissioner stated that if the attendee desired to file an application for a Zone 3 Only parking restriction on his block, the commission would likely support the application.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Wallace seconded a motion to support the resolution not opposing the Massage Envy establishment. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of May 2016 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender put forth a motion to approve the May 2016 meeting minutes. Commissioner Hall seconded the motion. The motion was approved 4-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn put forth a motion to approve payments of $500.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $84.28 to FedEx for copying services. Commissioner Bender seconded the motion. The motion was approved 4-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:17 PM.