Meeting Minutes

March 14, 20247:30 pm

Virtual Meeting

The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:33 PM with Commissioners Bender, Cohen, Denny, Hall, and Quinn in attendance. Commissioners Carney and Ghosh joined later. 

Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood

Commissioner Bender began by announcing that the Wesley Seminary has asked for an extension on their filing deadline and this agenda item will be heard at a later meeting. 

Noah Getz introduced himself to the community as the new Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street. 

Natalie Avery, Executive Director for the Friendship Heights Alliance, announced they will host a workshop exploring the intersection of community, design, and retail on March 21 from 6-8 pm at Sheyla Vie. The Friendship Heights Alliance is conducting a survey; respondents do not need to live in Friendship Heights to share their opinions of what changes they would like to see in the neighborhood. 

Julia Strusienski introduced herself as the new Branch Manager of the Tenley Library.

An attendee asked if the ANC plans to endorse the updated Wisconsin Ave Framework that was published last month, how the Commission feels about the building heights recommended above the Tenleytown Metro (12 stories), the impact the recommendations made in the Framework would have on local schools, and the Commission’s views about reparations which the Council might pass later this year and be tied to new development. Commissioners replied that the Deputy Mayor for Education estimates that developments in the pipeline would add about 40-50 students to the local schools and the Commission passed a resolution in November that supported the Draft Framework but expressed concerns about funding sources for items and amenities noted in the Development Framework. The Commission has not received any information about reparations being tied to the Wisconsin Avenue Framework.

An attendee noted that they did not see any of the changes they requested be made to the Final Development Framework documents including some definitions in the glossary. Commissioner Quinn suggested they email Erkin Ozberk at the Office of Planning (OP) and to cc the Commissioners. 

An attendee asked Natalie Avery about the absence of Geico from their membership. Avery replied that Geico is one of their stakeholders on the Maryland side but is not a member of their Board. 

Presentation by 2nd District Police

Lt Murphy stated that over the last 30 days in PSA 202 there was one sex abuse (occurred at PIW, the suspect is known, and the report is being investigated by the Sexual Assault Branch) and three thefts from autos. He asked residents to not leave valuables visible in vehicles and to lock their cars.

There were no questions from attendees. Commissioners asked about reports earlier in the week about two missing students from MacArthur High School and how Commissioners should respond to concerns from the community on social media. Lt Murphy replied that the girls were located and if MPD had suspected they were kidnapped, they would let us know. 

Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding special exception application for relief from side yard requirements to build an addition at 4401 Burlington Place, NW 

Marty Sullivan the zoning counsel for the owners of 4401 Burlington Place stated the owners would like to replace an existing side porch with an enclosed sunroom and noted that while the current porch extends into public space, the proposed sunroom will extend up to the property line.

Attendees had no concerns or questions. Commissioners asked the owners to consider adding rain barrels to the home and the owners agreed.

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution supporting the special exception for 4401 Burlington Pl NW. The motion was approved by a vote of 6-0-0. Commissioner Ghosh was not present at the time the resolution was voted on.

Presentation by Donahoe regarding possible PUD application for development at 4201 Garrison Street, NW (behind the Fox 5 building)

Jad Donohoe and Sarah Alexander presented initial plans for the lot behind 5151 Wisconsin Ave, the old Fox 5 building. Donohoe began by stating they have submitted the permits for 5151 Wisconsin Ave and hope to start construction by the end of the year. The rear lot is an acre of asphalt with a radio tower that is surrounded by a brick wall and faces 2-3 story homes along 42nd St. Currently, most of the lot is zoned for R-2, but a portion of it is zoned for mixed-use. Under the Wisconsin Ave Development Framework, the lot would straddle the mixed-use corridor and transition zones. OP has proposed a Floor-Area Ratio (FAR) of 2.16 – 5.4 and 50 – 75 ft height for the lot. Donohoe stated their initial draft plan would have a   3.1 FAR and the building would be less than 50 ft in height. The building would be articulated and step down toward 42nd St, the main lobby would face Garrison St, and all deliveries would be through the alley. They noted the building would be pulled back 15 feet from the property line along 42nd St due to a building restriction line. They did not have more details to share about the project, stated no paperwork has been filed and they would like to get input from the community regarding the project. 

Attendees asked:

  • About their plans for the radio tower. Donohoe replied that removal of the tower would be part of this project and not a part of the development of 5151 Wisconsin Ave. 
  • If the 5151 Wisconsin Ave building would be LEED certified. Donohoe stated that they are aiming for it to be LEED Gold for 5151 and would probably do the same for the back lot.
  • How close this design is to the original design they presented years ago. Donohoe stated they are looking at this with fresh eyes but certain designs aspects would be similar to what they presented earlier (loading off the street, reducing curb cuts, step downs to the neighborhood, etc.).
  • If cell phone service currently runs off the radio tower. It does not.
  • If Donohoe has plans for the lot behind Rodman’s. They do not.

Commissioners:

  • Asked how many units would be in this project and what the mix of units would be. They expect to have roughly 130 units in a building this size but do not have firms plans on the mix of units.
  • Stated they would like exploration of upgrading the stop lights on Wisconsin at Garrison from a HAWK light to a full stop light as a PUD amenity.
  • Stated they would like to see 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, accessible units, and subsidized multi-unit apartments.
  • Asked how many parking spaces the development would have. They are still planning and are not sure if they will build one parking level or two. 
  • Asked if 5151 and this property would share loading through the alley that is accessed between Garrison and Harrison. Yes, it would.
  • Asked Donohoe to consider having this building be an all-electric building with no gas lines. 
  • Encouraged them to meet with the immediate neighbors.
  • Stated they were underwhelmed by the exterior of 4000 Wisconsin Ave and would like to see something more interesting and attractive with this project.
  • Stated they would love to see attractive landscaping.

Presentation regarding plans by Wesley Theological Seminary to seek amendment of the Zoning Code to permit it and Landmark Properties to build a combined dorm for Wesley and apartment building for American University students

This item will be heard at a later meeting.

Discussion of and possible vote on resolution seeking traffic calming on Reno Road

Commissioner Denny stated that ANC 3C submitted a letter to the Mayor and DDOT asking for traffic calming on their section of Reno Rd and 42nd St. This Commission decided to add to it so the City can address the issues along the length of Reno Rd. In summary, the resolution asks for more safety measures and traffic calming along a minor-arterial through the area. 

Attendees stated they would like to see Reno Rd be made safer for biking and asked if we considered signals for bikes. Commissioner Quinn stated that DDOT installs bike signals only on dedicated bike lanes. 

Commissioners stated they support the resolution and want to see more traffic calming in the area. 

Commissioner Denny moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution seeking traffic calming on Reno Rd. The motion was approved by a vote of 7-0-0.

ANC Business:

  • Approval of February 2024 Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the February 2024 Draft Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 7-0-0.
  • Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve payments of $375.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative services. The motion was approved by a vote of 7-0-0.

The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 8:54 PM.

ANC3E Mar 14 2024 Minutes – Final

ANC3E Mar 14 2024 Minutes – Draft