June 10, 2021, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:34 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
Stephen Marencic, with the DC Office of People’s Council, stated Pepco received their request for a multi-year rate increase despite the OPC’s objections. OPC is weighing their options, which might include filing an appeal.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Mainstreet announced:
- A new restaurant, Le Kavacha Bistro, has opened for Brunch, Lunch and dinner;
- Two restaurants, Sol Mexican Grill and Squisito’s will open later this month;
- Fessenden Park will hold its monthly park clean up on Saturday June 12 at 8:00 am;
- Get Fit at Fessenden will take place every Saturday at 9:00 am; and
- Art All Night will be held on September 25 this year and they are planning to have it be in-person. Any artists interested in performing or showing their work should contact TMS.
Scott Troise from UIP announced that UIP will be beginning construction at the Broadcast building (4620 – 4624 Wisconsin Ave), Chesapeake House, and the River Rd pocket park (at the intersection of 42nd St, River Rd and Brandywine St). When finished the building will have 188 units and some ground floor retail. They expect construction to take about 21 months and the sidewalk in front of the building will be closed for the duration of demolition and while they move the Pepco lines underground (about 1 year). They will be providing updated plans for the park to the ANC shortly and they expect the park will be ready by next spring. Any questions or concerns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees: asked what routes the trucks will take to/from the neighborhood during construction (the approved plan is for trucks to come down Wisconsin Ave and then into the back alley) and stated that with the sidewalk closed, they were concerned that people will walk in the street and that construction workers will take up neighborhood parking spaces. Commissioners also expressed their concern about the sidewalk closure and asked for a covered, protected walkway in the street in front of the building.
An attendee expressed concern about construction vehicles blocking spots at Chesapeake and 41st St and inquired about the Dancing Crab project. Commissioner Bender stated that the project has been been put on hold and the site has “For Sale” signs posted.
Emir Gur-Ravantab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- There will be another Vaccine Day of Action on June 19;
- Vaccines are available to all residents aged 12 and older;
- DC will fully lift all capacity restrictions starting on June 11; and
- The city will increase the number of appointments available each week at the DMV from 1000 to 6000 and licenses that have expired can be renewed through to September 9.
Commissioner Quinn asked about rush-hour travel lanes being open on Wisconsin Ave while Streeteries are still blocking parts of the lane. (Gur-Ravantab has asked DDOT about this and is waiting for a response). He can be contacted at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime in PSA 202. She stated that in the past 30 days, there have been no violent crimes, and two burglaries, one of which (at the Shell Gas Station) was closed with an arrest by the carjacking task force. Those arrested have been connected to six other burglaries and car thefts in the area. An attendee asked if there were any updates on the shooting at Tenley Mart a while ago (there were no updates). Commissioners had no questions. 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 liquor license renewal applications from Paul’s and Tenley Liquor
Commissioner Bender informed those in attendance that the ANC does not normally 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 Paul’s or Tenley Liquor therefore the Commission took no action on these renewals.
Presentation by Forest Hills of DC senior living center
Eric Colbert, a resident on Fessenden St NW, a board member of the Forest Hills of DC (formally the Methodist Home), and Crystal Scott, Administrator of Forest Hills of DC, gave an overview of the facility to the community. They have 50 assisted living beds, 50 skilled nursing beds for long term care and rehabilitation services and have a separate memory care unit with 33 beds, Forest Side Memory Care, on Military Rd. They are a non-profit and accept Medicare and Medicaid and private pay. Attendees had no questions. Commissioners asked about payment plans and what happens to people who exhaust their assets (they can make arrangements for those residents to stay at the facility).
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding school overcrowding in Ward 3 and options to address it, including the possibility of public-private partnerships in the Tenleytown / Friendship Heights area
Commissioner Bender stated that ANC3E had a special meeting a couple of weeks ago to discuss the overcrowding in the schools and the city’s plans to address it. ANC3E has been trying to draw attention to overcapacity at Janney, Deal, and Wilson for years and the shortage of field space for schools in area. The resolution being considered has been updated since the special meeting. At the same time, there is a lot of vacant real estate in Friendship Heights that might be used to solve the schools and field issues while providing sustainable transportation options.
- Asked if private schools that use public fields should pay for some portion of costs for new sports facilities;
- Stated that it seems like there was no deliberate planning by the city for this process;
- Asked if the small area plan for Friendship Heights and Tenleytown can be used to help with this issue (Commissioners replied that this was asked for in the resolution);
- Asked why the ANC asked the city to move some feeder schools to Wells MS and Coolidge HS (Commissioners replied that some of the schools that feed to Wilson are east of the park and some homes that are west of the park, are closer to Wells and Coolidge than to the proposed Foxhall and MacArthur sites);
- Stated that it seems strange that the schools conversation is being held separately from housing solutions and asked the ANC to strengthen the language in the resolution regarding housing;
- Would discourage the linkage for schools and planning/development because they don’t want people to use schools as another means to fight development;
- Reiterated that land is finite and that both the schools and Comprehensive Plan processes are controlled by the Mayor’s Office.
Commissioners: stated that while it is not a perfect resolution, we need to let the Mayor and Council know what our thoughts are; stated that the City needs to look at Foxhall and MacArthur sites holistically and not in a vacuum; stated that over the last 20 years, the city has tackled real estate issues but has not fixed the schools and understands why city jumped on the GDS site; stated that they believe the Lord & Taylor site should be used for a new bus garage; stated they would like more population and ethnic and economic diversity; did not think the city should proceed with these two school sites without first figuring out who will be moved to these buildings; and stated that DCPS needs to be thoughtful and provide a more comprehensive solution to all of these problems.
Commissioner Bender offered a friendly amendment to change the wording of one statement. Commissioner Hall moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding MoveDC proposals
Commissioner Quinn stated that DDOT released a planning document that has two parts, policy goals guiding how DDOT will manage projects and planning and a series of maps that identifies projects (transit corridor maps, bicycle maps, sidewalk gap maps, etc.). The resolution he drafted looks at the policy portion and asks the city to consider Massachusetts Ave as a transportation corridor but also to replace vehicle trips with walking and bussing.
Attendees: asked if there were any plans for Military Rd in the document (Quinn replied it is not a transportation corridor but The Park Service is looking at adding a bike and walking trail to cross the park); asked for the city to work with the community to develop a safety plan for pedestrians and bikers given all development in area.
Commissioner McHugh offered an amendment to the resolution regarding working with the community on a safety plan. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve both the Draft May 2021 Meeting Minutes and the Draft May 2021 Meeting Minutes from the Special Meeting on May 26. 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 $555.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Commissioner McHugh stated that he is reaching out to Wilson to ask if a student could help run the Zoom meetings and also ask for an ANC to purchase a dedicated laptop to use during the meeting. He stated he is looking into getting an Outlook account to replace some of the other services like Dropbox.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 9:29 PM.