May 12, 2016, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:35 PM. Commissioners Bender, Wallace, Quinn, Hall and McHugh were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Ian Maggard, the Ward 3 Liaison to Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced the Mayor’s initiative to seek statehood for DC.
Commissioner McHugh announced the construction of sidewalks along 46th Street and thanked Ian Maggard for his help on the project.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area. He stated that during the past month Officer Santos had been deployed to Wisconsin Ave at Albemarle St to ticket distracted drivers. He followed up on an earlier request from Commissioners to provide more information on the status of an investigation into a pedestrian fatality at Wisconsin and Veazey Street last year. The case is being considered by a grand jury and reports will not be available until the grand jury has rendered its decision. Questions were asked about the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program. Details about the program can be found at http://ovsjg.dc.gov/service/private-security-camera-system-incentive-program. Questions were also asked about reports on the neighborhood listserve regarding attempted child abductions. Lt Hill replied that they have not had any child abductions or attempts in the area. Commissioner Bender asked Lt Hill to provide more information about a pedestrian struck by a car near Mazza Gallerie in April at the next meeting. Lt. Hill reminded the audience that if you witness a crime or see something suspicious call 911. For any other questions, email email@example.com
Commissioner Bender announced that there was a meeting on April 30, hosted by Council Member Mary Cheh and the ANC, on safety in the Tenleytown area. Attendees included Mayor Bowser, CM Cheh, Deputy chief of Police Patrick Burke, MTPD senior personnel, Commander Gresham from MPD, ANC3E Commissioners Bender, Hall and McHugh and many members of the community. Three ideas that will be explored further are staggering the school dismissal times at Wilson, Deal and Janney, expanding the safe corridors to and from school, and creating an expanded role for Deal and Wilson personnel before and after school in the neighborhood, including potentially on the Metro platform, to foster a safer environment
Presentation by WMATA of options for reconfiguring Fort Drive area behind Whole Foods and possible vote on resolution regarding same
Representatives from WMATA and DDOT discussed the process used to design the reconfiguration of 40th St and Ft Drive between Albemarle and Brandywine Streets. WMATA and DDOT have come up with three possible reconfigurations and they have asked stakeholders (neighbors, station users, etc.) which elements of each design they like. The design concepts can be found at https://anc3e.org/wp-content/uploads/WMATA-Tenleytown-Station-Design-Concepts-Brochure.pdf. They hope to have a draft report of their findings in June. If a reasonable plurality of views can be reached, a hybrid design will be generated over the summer with a final report provided in September. If the project proceeds, control over Ft Drive would be transferred from WMATA to DDOT through an easement; WMATA would pay for a bike shed, bus shelters and canopy over the escalators; and any other streetscape work, bike lanes, landscaping, etc. would be paid for by DDOT. A summary of the process can be found at https://anc3e.org/wp-content/uploads/WMATA-QA-May-12-2016.pdf.
Commissioner Quinn noted that the project area should be extended to the second block of Ft Drive and 40th Street, up to Chesapeake Street. He authored a brief resolution urging WMATA to extend the project area.
Attendees expressed support in extending the study area and bike lanes to Chesapeake St and the surrounding blocks, expressed concern for losing parking on Albemarle St between Wisconsin and 40th St and urged them to look for ways to reduce traffic in the area.
Commissioners noted that there is concern from neighbors about the buses idling, noted that the mixed jurisdictions make it difficult for MPD to patrol the area and the community to have things fixed, expressed concern that the study area was too narrow, and noted that there is a very small chance that this project would be funded.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to expand the scope of the project up to Chesapeake Street. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-1-0 with Commissioner Wallace opposing it.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolutions regarding applications to renew liquor licenses for:
- Embassy Suites
- Range Aggio
- Cafe of India
- Public Tenley
- Bread and Salt
- Tanad Thai
- Nando’s Peri Peri
- Whole Foods
- Tara Thai
Commissioner Bender stated that the Commission does not normally take action for liquor license renewals (as opposed to new applications) unless there are complaints about the establishment. No concerns were brought to the commissioners in advance of the meeting and there were no concerns from those in attendance. Accordingly, no action was taken taken on any of these renewals.
Presentation by Valor Development about redevelopment proposal for Superfresh Site at 48th and Yuma
Valor Development presented their latest designs for the SuperFresh Site. A copy of their presentation can be found at https://anc3e.org/wp-content/uploads/Valor-Presentation-to-ANC-3E-May-12-2016.pdf. They would be using the roof, bays, and carving in the buildings to reduce the mass of the buildings. A full scale grocery store might be built into the hill and parking for both the retail and residents would be under the grocery store and accessed through the alley that runs between Yuma St and Massachusetts Ave. The project would have approximately 30 condominiums and 200 rental units of which 20-25 would be affordable housing units. Some in attendance thought that the building was out of scale with the neighborhood. Others were happy with the design and expressed their support with both the scale of the building and the inclusion of a full-scale grocery store in the project. Some expressed their disappointment with the design of the façade and noted that it didn’t fit with the neighborhood. One attendee thought the number of parking spaces (330) were insufficient. Another attendee thought that the design of the alley would be the key to the project’s success.
Commissioners McHugh, Hall, Quinn and Wallace expressed their general support for the size and density of the project. Commissioner Wallace expressed concern that the community would not make use of Windom Place because it might feel like infringing on private space. Commissioner Bender expressed concern about the project providing public space that all community members would find appealing, rather than primarily community members living in the new residences. He also stated that he would like to see more affordable housing included in the project and a voluntary agreement that the community would get some other substantial amenity if the supermarket doesn’t come in, so that the developers have a strong incentive to attract a market. He reminded those in attendance that while the neighborhood seems divided on this project, if Valor chooses to build the Matter of Right (MOR), they can build a 5-story building with no amenities or grocery store and the neighbors would have no right to oppose or have their input considered.
Valor will return to next month’s meeting to discuss traffic and zoning for the project.
Presentation by Urban Investment Partners about redevelopment proposal for 4620-26 Wisconsin Ave
UIP presented their initial designs for 4620-4626 Wisconsin Ave. The project comprises three office buildings that they intend to combine into 155 apartments with 55,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. The current plan, subject to change, is for roughly 35% studios, 35% one bedrooms, 20% 1bedroom + den and 10% 2 bedrooms. The project will be LEED certified, have 75 parking spaces, no residential parking permits and affordable housing. A copy of their presentation can be found at https://anc3e.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-0512_16006-ANC-PRESENTATION_FINAL-LOW.pdf.
Currently, the site is designated as Medium density and zoned C-2-A, with a MOR 50 feet of height and 3.0 FAR. UIP would like to have the zoning changed to C-3-A which would allow a maximum FAR of 5.76 with a PUD and allow them to build up to 90 feet tall. They will not seek any relief on this project except for map change and the associated height and density. UIP expects to file their PUD in mid-June and expects a public hearing in late fall/early winter.
Attendees asked for renderings from the point of view from the houses behind the project, if UIP would consider renovating the Chesapeake House as an amenity, if UIP would reduce the project by 1-2 stories, if the project could be stepped-down to follow the slope of Wisconsin Ave, and if they could renovate the steps in the park across the street from the project as an amenity.
Commissioners asked if the patio between this project and Tenley View could be made into a public garden or a outdoor café for an adjacent restaurant or other business, for better articulation on the back of the building, for undergrounding of the utilities as an amenity, asked UIP to consider funding the WMATA/DDOT project at 40th St and Ft Drive as an amenity, provide more benches and seating along Wisconsin Ave, for public access to the roof or a rooftop restaurant, and stressed the importance providing more than the minimum affordable housing.
Discussion of and possible resolution regarding call for the DCPS to fully fund DCPS schools according to the UPSFF Formula
Commissioner McHugh introduced a resolution urging DCPS to fully fund all DCPS schools and create a tool to track funding per student through the system. He stated that there is no linkage between how the money is generated (per student) and how its allocated to the schools. As an example Wilson High School has a $16M budget but would receive $23M it would receive if it were fully funded. An attendee asked if the funding cuts at Wilson were due to its loss of its Title I designation. Commissioner McHugh replied that it wasn’t. A number of attendees stated that the funding should be transparent.
Commissioner McHugh moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution to fully fund DCPS schools according to the UPSFF Formula. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of April 2016 meeting minutes. Commissioner Hall moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the April 2016 minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of quarterly report – Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the quarterly financial report. 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 payments of $631.25 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $62.77 to FedEx Office for copying services. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:33 PM.