ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3E
TENLEYTOWN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK
c/o Lisner Home 5425 Western Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015
Minutes of ANC 3E March 8, 2012 Meeting
The meeting convened at 7:30pm. Commissioners Bender, Frumin, Quinn and Serebin were present.
Announcements and Open Forum
Shawna Malone introduced her new local health education non-profit, Three60World Inc., to community members.
Presentation of a Grant Request to Support Turtle Park May Fair
Kimberley Lehn, representing Friends of Friendship Park, presented a grant application seeking $415.00 to support the Turtle Park May Fair on May 12th (with a rain date of May 13th) to pay to have Mad Science provide an educational performance at the fair, as they did last year. The commissioners expressed general support and indicated that they would vote on the grant application at their April 12, 2012 meeting.
Presentation by the Second District Police
PSA Lieutenant Alan Hill presented an update about the recent spike of robberies in northwest DC neighborhoods and the police response. Lt. Hill reported that recent arrests of several different groups of juveniles in northwest DC appear to have deterred street robberies in the area. None of the juveniles have thus far been charged with specific crimes, but police believe they may be associated with such crimes based on their mode of operation in the crimes for which they were arrested. No street robberies have been reported in PSA 202 since February 13 and there has been a 90% decrease in thefts from autos, he said. Lt. Hill also said though that crime remains very high throughout the District generally, including robberies and thefts from autos, so it would be a mistake to become complacent. He offered advice to residents to improve their safety and answered attendees’ questions including questions from Commissioners, covering such topics as the effect of daylight savings on crime, the variability of patrol car routes and how juveniles carrying BB guns (as opposed to firearms) are prosecuted.
Presentation Regarding and Possible Vote on Application for BZA Variance for 4220 45th Street, NW
Rodrigo Lopez, representing the owner of 4220 45th Street, NW, presented an application for a special exception from the BZA for a proposed addition on the residence at 4220 45th Street, NW. He outlined the proposed addition and presented letters of support from all of the neighbors most affected by the proposed project. Commissioner Frumin offered a resolution in support and the Commissioners voted unanimously to pass the resolution.
Presentation by Clark Realty on Plans Relating to Tenleytown Safeway
Representatives of the project to develop the Safeway at 42nd, Davenport and Ellicott Streets, NW as part of a mixed use project present included John Sunter of Clark Realty Capital, Architect John Torti of Torti Gallas and Partners, and Avis Black and Craig Muckle of Safeway.
Commissioner Bender reported that the commissioners recently met with the Safeway redevelopment team to discuss a number of proposed changes to the project, including building height, the service court, and streetscape amenities.
John Sunter noted that this is their fourth visit to the community to discuss the project and address community concerns, such as density, traffic, parking, and other impacts to the surrounding neighborhood.
Architect John Torti gave a presentation detailing the revised plan to the mix-used redevelopment of the Tenleytown Safeway. These include eliminating the proposal’s top story, or residential level 5 located above the Safeway store; removing a wing along the south end bordering Davenport Street; lowering the truck turnaround and adding a landscaped roof; and adding two-story row apartments on top of the landscaped roof to offset many of the apartments lost by removing the top floor.
Attendees asked a number of questions and voiced concerns about the density, traffic, safety, and available street parking on nearby residential streets. DDOT associate director Sam Zimbabwe said that DDOT had not met with developers yet and that he understood community concerns. DDOT would take into consideration the transportation impact study that will be included in the PUD application, he said. The feasibility of preventing a left turn onto Ellicott Street when exiting the development was discussed. Mr. Sunter said that residents of the new building would have to pay for their parking spots. The idea of prohibiting tenants from acquiring residential parking permits (RPPs) was discussed extensively, including legal requirements to enact such a provision, with several commissioners supporting the idea.
While acknowledging that Safeway project leaders have made a number of improvements, the commissioners made several suggestions, including the need to focus on maximizing benefits to the community—such as improving the streetscape, creating park like spaces, encouraging Bike Share or Zip Car usage of new residents, and other amenities; and the need to minimize negative impacts on the community by, for instance, agreeing that residents of the new development would not be eligible for RPPs. Commissioners encouraged the project leaders to continue to consider and explore creative solutions to help manage the impacts caused by the proposed project and maximize the benefits to the community. The commissioners present indicated that they are not prepared to endorse the plan at this time.
Discussion and Potential Resolution on Plans to Allow Parking on the South Side of 4200 to 4800 Blocks Yuma Street, NW
Based upon their analysis, DDOT has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) indicating they planned to add parking on the south side of Yuma Street NW. The NOI noted that the N8 bus has been eliminated and Yuma Street is the same width as many nearby streets that allow parking on both sides. The NOI provided a 30-day public comment period, however, DDOT agreed to extend that period and hold off on implementation until ANC 3E provides guidance after its April 12, 2012 meeting.
Residents living on Yuma Street NW voiced their opinions for and against the proposal. Arguments in favor include: Parking on the south side would help slow cars down and increase safety. Parked cars act as a buffer and allow children to play more safely in the front of their homes. Residents can park their cars on the same side of the street as their homes, eliminating the need to walk across the street. Arguments against: Parking on both sides of the street makes the street less safe as it adds more cars and congestion. There is no reason to make the street similar to other streets. A resident living on the 4200 block said that it would invite people to park on her block and take Metro.
The possibility that parking could be allowed on the south side of some blocks but not others was discussed. DDOT Associate Director Sam Zimbabwe said that the DDOT would investigate that option, although their preference is for all or nothing. Also discussed was the fact that currently some blocks of Yuma Street automatically qualify for Residential Parking Permit (RPP) parking while others do not.
Commissioners made several comments, including that additional parking on Yuma Street should be examined holistically as to its effects on surrounding streets. No action was taken; the commission indicated it would take action on the issue at its April 12, 2012 meeting.
Presentation and Potential Resolution Regarding Wesley Seminary Campus Plan
Representatives of the project present included Seminary President Dr. David McAllister-Wilson, Patrick Brown of Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs, P.C., Stephen C. Karcha of Advanced Project Management, Inc., Osborne R. George of O.R. George and Associates, Inc., and William McBeath of Morgan Gick McBeath & Associates.
Wesley Seminary is requesting approval of their proposal to amend their approved 2006 campus plan. The property at issue adjoins but is not within the boundaries of ANC 3E. The current plan would eliminate the building of a new library, two new residence halls, an underground parking structure, expansion of the chapel, a new president’s house and new maintenance and mechanical facilities. Dr. McAllister-Wilson explained that changing circumstances and economic factors necessitated scaling back the ambitious 10-year plan to instead focus on building a new and improved residence hall slated for completion by Fall 2013.
The commissioners expressed no objections to the revised proposal as presented and indicated that they would undertake further review and then vote on a resolution on the subject at their April 12, 2012 meeting.
Commissioners unanimously approved February 2012 minutes.
Commissioners unanimously approved expenditures: $540.00 to Loren Stein; $25.00 to Federal Express.
The commission meeting adjourned at 11:45pm.
Matthew Frumin, Chair