ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3E
TENLEYTOWN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK
c/o Lisner Home 5425 Western Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015
Minutes of ANC3E March 14, 2013 Meeting
The meeting convened at 7:36pm. Commissioners Bender, Haile, and Quinn were present. Commissioner Serebin arrived at approximately 8:30pm and Commissioner Frumin arrived at approximately 9:15pm.
Announcements / Open Forum – opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Michael Fabricant from Mayor’s Gray’s office invited residents to attend the Ward 3 Town Hall meeting scheduled for April 30, 2013, 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Alice Deal Middle School.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
PSA 202 Lieutenant Alan Hill reported that in the last 30 days no homicides, sexual assaults, burglaries, or violent crimes have been reported in PSA 202. Lt. Hill said that burglaries have subsided subsequent to the recent arrests of several burglary suspects. Thefts have been reported at retail establishments on the 5300 and 5400 blocks of Wisconsin Avenue, NW, as well as from lockers using combination locks at Wilson Pool.
Theft from autos continues to be an issue: 43 thefts from autos have been reported within the last 30 days. Lt. Hill noted that the MPD is tracking a trend in which youthful perpetrators steal computer equipment and cell phones from autos to purchase synthetic marijuana, also called “K2” or “Scoobie.”
Lt. Hill said that police officers are no longer routinely sent out to investigate thefts from autos because of the low capture and prosecution rate. However, he said that if an auto is rifled through or tampered with the owner should call the police and file a report. He also encouraged residents to call 911 to report suspicious persons, and to call the watch commander at 202. 438. 4421 (cell) if they have pressing questions about police services.
A commissioner asked about police pedestrian safety enforcement and Lt. Hill responded that there had been no major initiatives in the previous month.
An attendee said that additional enforcement is needed at the intersection of Yuma Street and 42nd Street, NW, as cars are barely slowing down as they approach the intersection. Lt. Hill said that camera enforcement at stop signs is being introduced.
An attendee reported frequent accidents at the intersection of Albemarle Street and 39th Street, NW, because of confusion over right of way. Lt. Hill responded that the intersection has a design problem, similar to that of River Road and 45th Street, NW.
Sergeant Hayes noted that personal property has been reported stolen from coats left over the backs of chairs in restaurants, such as Starbuck’s on the 4500 block of Wisconsin Avenue, NW. He urged patrons to keep their personal property with them at all times.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding sidewalk installation on 3800 block of Albemarle Street, NW
Commissioner Haile introduced this resolution, explaining that residents and property owners organized and signed a petition in August 2012 to install a sidewalk on the north side of the 3800 block of Albemarle Street, NW, to ensure the safety of pedestrians. This section of Albemarle Street has high auto and foot traffic because of its proximity to public transportation, neighboring schools and businesses on Wisconsin Avenue. ANC 3F approved a resolution in favor of the sidewalk installation in October 2012. When new redistricting boundaries came into effect in January 2013, the block moved from 3F to 3E. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) completed a field evaluation of the block in February 2013 and has issued a notice of intent (NOI) to construct the sidewalk. The resolution in question is the same one that was passed by 3F in October 2012.
A commissioner asked if there had been a special appropriation, as sidewalks are usually built when streets are being upgraded. Commissioner Haile said the sidewalk construction complies with the provisions of the Sidewalk Assurance Act of 2010, even though the street is not being upgraded. She noted that DDOT is responding to the request of residents who brought the issue to their attention.
The commissioners voted unanimously (3 to 0) to support the resolution.
Discussion of and possible vote on revised voluntary agreement with Angelico’s pizzeria
Commissioner Haile introduced this topic, explaining that Angelico Pizzeria & Café used to be within the jurisdiction of ANC 3F but due to redistricting has subsequently moved into 3E. Angelico’s has filed an application to renew its liquor license and has agreed to a revised voluntary agreement.
The commissioners voted unanimously (3 to 0) to sign the voluntary agreement.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding DDOT notice of intent to use four-way stop sign to control traffic at intersection of 38th and Fessenden Streets, NW, and prohibit parking within 25 feet of the sign
Commissioner Quinn introduced this resolution, explaining that DDOT has issued a Notice of Intent to install a stop sign at the intersection of 38th and Fessenden Streets, NW, for autos traveling east and west. The intersection, he noted, is heavily used by Deal Middle School students walking to and from school and is adjacent to a well-used soccer field. DDOT has also proposed installing “No Parking Any Time” signs on Fessenden and 38th Streets to restrict on-street parking within 25 feet of the 4-way stop signs. The resolution urges DDOT to implement additional calming measures at Fessenden and 38th Streets, as well as Fessenden and 41st Street and Belt and 39th Street.
An attendee noted that drivers used to cut through the neighborhood but do so less often with the additional stop signs at Fessenden and Belt and now at 38th Street.
Another attendee said that drivers often speed as they approach Fessenden Street eastbound and that a stop sign is a good idea.
A commissioner said that while he favors generalized traffic calming he thinks that simply putting up stop signs does not ensure pedestrian safety.
Commissioners discussed and agreed to remove language from the resolution pertaining to bike routes.
The commissioners voted unanimously (4 to 0) to support the resolution with a friendly amendment.
Discussion and possible vote on resolution regarding Office of Planning proposal to address parking minimums in zoning code rewrite
Commissioner Bender introduced this resolution, explaining that the Office of Planning (OP) is engaged in its first comprehensive review and proposed revision of the District’s current zoning code, first passed in 1958. The review and revision will be sent to the Zoning Commission, a hybrid group comprised of two members appointed by the Federal government and three members appointed by District government. OP serves as the secretariat for the commission in this context; once the zoning code review is submitted to the Zoning Commission public comment will be solicited. Commissioner Bender noted that most ANCs in the District would address the zoning code rewrite either broadly or on issues of concern.
Commissioner Bender said that one issue that needs to be addressed before the review is sent to the Zoning Commission is the proposed revision that would eliminate minimum parking requirements for multi-unit residential and mixed-use buildings in transit zones — near Metro or well-served by bus service. The changes in parking minimums, without restrictions on residential parking permits (RPP) eligibility, he said, could lead many residents of buildings without on-site parking to park on the street, creating an unfair burden for residents living near transit zones who park on the street as opposed to those who park on the street far from transit zones.
Commissioner Bender noted that he was presenting the draft resolution to stimulate discussion at this meeting, but that he expected any action on the resolution would be taken at a subsequent meeting.
As such, he continued, coupling “garageless” buildings with RPP-ineligibility would create the benefits sought by eliminating parking minimums in transit zones while not harming those living and parking near transit zones. He added that OP should coordinate with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to create RPP reform and submit the plan to the Zoning Commission to eliminate parking minimums in conjunction with parking reform.
A lengthy discussion followed with questions and comments by both attendees and commissioners. Issues discussed included whether parking near Metro would actually be prevented by RPP ineligibility; if DDOT could devise a parking management scheme that addresses high supply and demand for parking in specific areas that is not tied to the zoning code rewrite; whether it is legal (and equitable) to prevent residents of garageless buildings from applying for RPPs; and whether it is premature to weigh in on the issue, as OP has not issued the proposed revisions, or if the commission should take action now.
One attendee who lives in Glover Park noted that the ANC 3B voted unanimously to pass the zoning code update. Although they had concerns about elderly residents and people with disabilities, he said, they concluded that the zoning code rewrite and DDOT actions are separate. The zoning update, he asserted, allows for a more nuanced approach and gives developers the discretion to assess the best, localized solutions with regards to parking.
A commissioner commented that parking reform is needed on many fronts, including waiving parking minimums on Wisconsin Avenue, NW, but questioned the process of attaching restrictions to the zoning code rewrite and whether one issue should be singled out among others.
A commissioner noted that Babe’s redevelopment was not a test case for the zoning code rewrite. However, there are ways to build in mechanisms such as those used by Babe’s to ensure that an approach is taken where less parking is provided that still addresses key community needs, including RPPs.
The commission took no action on the resolution.
- Approval of February 2013 meeting minutes
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the February 2013 minutes.
• Approval of expenditures
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve expenditures: $548.00 to Loren Stein for administrative services; $40.15 to FedEx/Kinkos for copying.
The commission adjourned at 9:44 pm.
Jonathan Bender, Chair