March 18, 2021, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:37 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
Commissioner Bender announced the Connecticut Ave reversible lane agenda item has been taken off the agenda and will be heard next month.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street announced that Tenleytown is participating in the Cherry Blossom Festivals Saturday through April 11. A sculpture of a cherry blossom was placed at the corner of Wisconsin and Albemarle and a full list of the celebration details can be found at https://bit.ly/CherryBlossomsTenleytown
An attendee thanked the Commission for allowing community members to fully participate in the meetings and for posting recordings of the meetings on our website and asked if the video recordings of the meetings could be posted to our website quicker.
An attendee stated her concerns about the proposed River School development project, specifically the traffic from the school would generate and the size of the building. Commissioner Bender stated that based on concerns raised by the HPRB, The River School is redesigning the building and will be seeking a hearing at the end of July.
Emir Gur-Ravantab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- DC Coronavirus vaccine program has a preregistration system. DC is receiving about 24k doses per week, about half are reserved for priority zip codes, and they are sending invitations to selected people from the preregistration system on Thursdays, Sundays and Tuesdays by 10 am.
- On March 29 non-public ride share and mass media employees will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
- On April 12 higher education employees will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
- On May 1 any DC resident 16 and older will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
- DC has increased the size limit of outdoor gatherings to 50 people and is now allowing indoor gym classes.
- The city is also doing Coronavirus testing of 10% of students attending public and charter schools in person.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Capt Frenzel, the sector manager for PSA 201, 202 and 203 provided an update on crime in PSA 202. Over the last month there have been two burglaries and one motor vehicle theft, and no carjackings in the last 30 days. MPD has placed a mobile license plate reader in the 2nd District and have increased their traffic patrols to have increased visibility. They had a few arrests that seems to have stopped the trend. They are asking people to not leave cars running even if the key fob is on you. Year to date they have had a 25% increase in violent crimes due to the carjackings, an increase from 4 to 5. Property crimes year to date are down 68%. He noted that Chief Conte will be rolling out improvements and initiatives for the MPD in the coming months.
Attendees: asked about the use of bait cars (they don’t have one at the moment but will bring it up with Cmdr Bedlion) and asked where the supports and resources for people of color and the under-privileged persons are. Commissioners asked if the police could provide more traffic enforcement especially along Wisconsin Ave.
Capt Frenzel can be reached at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application for special exception for relief from side yard requirement to build an addition on house at 4403 Garrison Street, NW (10 minutes)
Patrick Basse, the property owner stated their house is non-conforming to zoning regulations with three feet from the side of the house to the alley. They are putting in a rear addition and would like to maintain that same set-back from the alley for the addition. Commissioner Bender stated that all of the adjacent neighbors have signed letters of non-objection. The owners have agreed to install and use at least one rain barrel, and they say no mature trees will be cut down for the addition. No attendees had questions or concerns. Commissioner Quinn encouraged them to contact River Smart to see if a second rain barrel could fit in the yard.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support the special exception. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on renewal applications for liquor licenses at Wagshal’s
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 Wagshal’s, therefore the Commission took no action on this renewal.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Rodman’s to change its liquor license status from a Retailer’s Class B Grocery to a Retailer’s Class B Full-Service Grocery and Restaurant Class D to serve alcohol at an outdoor café
Commissioner Bender stated that Rodman’s is putting in a small cafe and would like to have seating outside to serve beer and wine. Their current liquor license is valid but does not reflect the current categories that ABRA is using and as such they need to update their license from a Class B to a Class B full-service grocery license. At a later meeting, Rodman’s will appear again to request a Class D full-serve grocery license, which would allow them to serve alcoholic beverages for consumption at the store and permission from the Public Space Commission (PSC) to allow for the outdoor seating. There were no questions by attendees or Commissioners.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support the Class D ABRA license. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Panel Discussion regarding what local government can do to better foster environmental sustainability
Commissioner Hall stated that she authored a draft resolution on how to support initiatives in the city that foster environmental sustainability that the Commission may vote on next month. Katie Bergfeld Chief, Building Performance & Enforcement Branch and Andrew Held, Energy Program Specialist from DOEE presented the DOEE sustainability goals and discussed how they relate to ANC3E. Mr. Held stated that buildings in DC are responsible for 74% of greenhouse gas emissions. DOEE has developed performance standards to help reduce the emissions. Thirty-three buildings in our ANC currently fall under these reporting requirements. DOEE will reevaluate the standards every six years and reassess which buildings are required to comply with the standards. DC has a network of programs to help buildings comply with the requirements to reduce emissions – DC Greenbank (funded by the District), DC High Performance Building Hub (grants from DOE), DC Sustainable energy utility, and DC Pace (a clean energy finance solution, no federal funding). He stated that k-12 schools tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions. He also stated that while Universities and hospitals are some of the biggest greenhouse emitters nationwide, although AU is carbon neutral. He encouraged building owners to look up their score to see if they need to reduce emissions as there will be penalties for buildings who don’t comply.
Attendees asked if historic buildings have the same energy emissions requirements; asked if there were programs other than LEED standards that buildings can follow (net Zero standards); and noted that while DC is committed to telling us to clean up privately owned buildings, they have not committed to clean up DC Government owned buildings.
Commissioners: asked what we can do to move forward and improve the buildings in our ANC; asked if they are encouraging buildings to take the 179D deduction, a federal tax deduction for buildings to install qualifying energy sustainability systems; asked if any programs receive federal funding; suggested that the Commission ask developers about current and future energy scores for new buildings; asked if other cities also have green banks (we are one of 3 – Montgomery County and one county in Connecticut); asked what tools does DOEE have for owners of old buildings to determine whether to retrofit a building or rebuild it (the carbon emissions for constructing a new building are much greater and their goal is to incentivize the improvements); asked about what DC is doing to improve the energy scores of DC owned buildings; stated that constructing a new building typically has the carbon emissions equivalent to about 20 years of operating emissions; was surprised that DC government is not doing more to promote solar power; and stated that while DC is doing great on green buildings, they would like to see the District do more to promote multi-modal transit.
Discussion of and possible vote on letter of support for two after-hours construction permits for 5301 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Nichole Halsey is a contractor working at the Chevy Chase Plaza. She stated their current work hours are 7 am to 7 pm and they would like to start work at 5 am to be able to finish work earlier in the day. They are committed to not have the early work hours affect any nearby neighbors especially in the loading dock area and will be a direct contact with the community if any issues arise. Commissioner Quinn introduced a resolution in support of this work that is similar to an earlier one ANC 3E passed to support early work at the Chevy Chase Pavilion. No attendees or Commissioner had any questions or concerns.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support the after-hours construction permits. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of February 2021 Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the Draft February 2021 Meeting Minutes. 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 reimbursements of $4.90 to Tom Quinn for the filing of a 1099 form and to Jonathan McHugh for $210.94 for Dropbox and $199.00 for MixLR services, and a payment for $457.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 9:46 PM.