May 21, 2020, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:34 PM. Commissioners Bender, 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
Jessica Green, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- the city had its 11th consecutive day of decline in coronavirus cases and DC will enter the first phase of reopening on Friday, May 29. The metrics can be found at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/dc-health-metrics-reopening;
- the Educational and Academic Retail Shops (EARS) pilot, which allows some stores to reopen and do curbside pickup. Additional information on that program can be found at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ears;
- the Mayor released her FY 2021 budget and financial plan. Highlights for Ward 3 can be found at https://mayor.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/mayormb/page_content/attachments/FY21%20Budget_Ward%20Sheets_Ward3.pdfMs. Green highlighted that the budget allows for $56 million to create a new elementary school, Foxhall Elementary; and
- reminded residents to complete their census forms, and that May 26 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the DC primary.
Charlotte Jackson would like the ANC to support for a 4-way stop sign at Military and 43rd. She stated that a neighbor was injured at that intersection and children from the nursery school cross there each day. She requested DDOT complete a traffic safety study and DDOT would like a letter of support from the ANC before they conduct the study. Ms. Jackson also asked MPD for traffic enforcement efforts at that intersection. Commissioner Quinn thought that DDOT might support traffic mitigation measures such as a raised crosswalk.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director for Tenleytown Main Street, announced that TMS has compiled a list of the operating statuses of area businesses that is updated regularly and can be found on their website https://tenleytownmainstreet.org. She also stated that TMS is still accepting applications for small business micro-grants.
An attendee wanted to know if the ANC was going to address the single-family housing report section of the comprehensive plan.
Linda Greenan with Pepco announced the updated Harrison St Substation is fully in service. They are enclosing the substation now and are working on the landscaping around the property. She also announced that Pepco just launched the Save Energy DC program. Details on the program can be found at https://anc3e.org/wp-content/uploads/reduceenergydc.pdf.
Commissioner Bender announced that Commissioner Ehrhardt resigned from the Commission due to an upcoming move out of the District. Because of the pandemic, his seat would be filled during the regularly scheduled election in November.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime for PSA 202. During 2020, Violent Crimes have seen a reduction. There has been a small spike in stolen autos, mostly of ride-sharing vehicles and food delivery vehicles that have been left running. There have been a few burglaries in the area recently; one was domestic in nature and the another was a burglary at Wilson that was conducted by a few students.
Attendees asked about two robberies at gunpoint that were announced on the MPD listserv, one on May 16 and the other on May 19. Lt. Beistline stated that the one on May 16 took place at the Embassy Suites. She will look up the one that took place on May 19 and provide us with more details.
Commissioners asked for more traffic enforcement for speeding, especially along Western Ave, and also for crosswalk enforcement along Military Rd, Western Ave, and River Rd.
Presentation of grant from Tenleytown Neighbors Association and Tenleytown Historical Society to support Armesleigh Park booklet
Barbara Gunning and Carolyn Long representing the Tenleytown Neighbors Association (TNA) and Tenleytown Historical Society (THS) presented a grant request for $400 to support the copying of a booklet detailing the history of Armsleigh Park. They originally planned to have a 100-year celebration and walking tour of the area that would include the distribution of a booklet to local libraries, civic associations and the residents of the 93 households in Armsleigh Park. The celebration will be postponed to 2021 but they would like to distribute the booklets. THS and TNA asked if the Commission would support an increase the grant amount to $500. Commissioners were generally supportive of the project. Commissioner Quinn asked them to submit an updated grant application with details regarding the postponed celebration, andto have just one organization listed as the grantee. An attendee asked who would be paying for the balance of the printing costs. The Commission generally hears a request one month and votes on it the following month.
Presentation of grant from Tenleytown Main Street for support of its Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience program
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street (TMS) presented a grant request for $3000 to support Tenleytown Main Street’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program. The funds will be used for one month of digital marketing services to promote 40 local businesses in Tenleytown and to supply these businesses with health and cleaning kits which would include gloves, masks, hand sanitizers, etc. Attendees generally supported the grant and asked who would be providing the supplies. Commissioners: asked if TMS is still receiving funding from the DC Government and was concerned with the stipulation that the grant not duplicate DC funding. TMS does get some funding from the DC Government but Commissioner Bender stated that DC has lifted some of the grant restrictions with respect to COVID-19 relief. The Commission generally hears a request one month and votes on it the following month but given that the city is looking to start Phase One reopening next week, Ms. Miles asked for the grant to be expeditated.
Commissioner Bender was concerned that the digital marketing services might not be allowable and moved that they approve the grant request as to the cleaning kits and approve the grant request for the digital marketing subject to approval from the Office of the ANC. Commissioner McHugh seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Update by DC PLUG regarding power line undergrounding work in the neighborhood
Laisha Doherty, the Community relations coordinator for the DC PLUG program, announced that they finished digging the trenches and are now moving onto the electrical work which will be completed by Pepco. Kurt Bedenbaugh stated that they are about 30% completed with the electrical work and they plan to be finished by October. Commissioner Bender asked about repaving Fessenden St which was only partially done and asked when the lines will be taken down from the poles (sometime in July). He stated that they have received spotty notices of the work and asked them to do more door hangers when notifying constituents of upcoming work.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution concerning application for special exception seeking relief from lot occupancy requirements for addition at 4810 48th St, NW
Commissioner Hall stated that the owners are seeking a special exception for a first-floor addition. With the new addition, they would have a lot occupancy of 43%, exceeding the 40% that is allowable. The homeowners are willing to install a rain barrel and all three immediate neighbors have written letters of support. Lacy Brittingham the architect representing the homeowners stated that it’s a single story, small addition (10×12) that will occupy the space where a deck currently is.
There were no questions or concerns raised by attendees. Commissioners didn’t have questions. Commissioner Bender offered a friendly amendment to the draft resolution.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the amended resolution to support the special exception application. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution requiring request by Surfside at Van Ness and Wisconsin for entertainment endorsement to its liquor license to permit playing of music outside
Commissioner McHugh stated that Surfside has a private patio and would like to have music outdoors. Entertainment endorsements are enforced by ABRA, Public Space and MPD with strict operating hours. The entertainment would be indoors and on the patio along Van Ness St. The Commission has negotiated a voluntary agreement with Surfside and the entertainment endorsement would be added to that agreement. Surfside would like to have music indoors until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 1 AM on Friday and Saturday and on the patio until 11 PM Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Attendees: stated that the nearby neighbors did not support the entertainment endorsement; noted that while ANC3E has jurisdiction, the closest neighbors are in ANC3F; stated that Surfside had a soft opening on Feb 28 and you could hear their music in his house with his windows closed; other attendees were worried that this would cause other nearby businesses to also seek entertainment endorsements; Monika Nemeth, Commission Chair of ANC3F noted that Comet Ping Pong has an entertainment endorsement and suggested we contact Comet about what they have done to address some of the noise issues that have come up over the years; didn’t want entertainment past 11 on any night; asked what our deadline is for action; and asked if there can be a trial period.
Commissioners: stated that they were unsure of when the hearing will be; would like to see Surfside stay open to 1 AM on weekends because there is no place to go out to in the neighborhood that is open past midnight; did not feel comfortable limiting what they can do indoors; would like to know how noisy it has been beyond the opening night event; noted that the Commission cannot put restrictions in the voluntary agreement that aren’t permitted in the law; noted that Surfside can have entertainment until 10 PM; asked if Surfside would agree to the have acoustic music outdoors and amplified music indoors but only with the garage doors closed; noted that noise complaints can be made to DCRA and MPD. Commissioner Quinn was concerned that the applicant is once again not attending the meeting to address these issues.
Commissioner Bender moved that the Commission file a protest with ABRA, with the thought that the Commission could to try to negotiate a settlement agreement before trial, and authorize Commissioner McHugh to represent the Commission in all negotiations with the applicant. Commissioner Quinn seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution concerning Office of Planning’s misuse of ANC 3E resolution regarding proposed changes to comprehensive plan
Commissioner Bender stated that our resolution regarding the Comprehensive Plan Update requested OP initiate a small area plan (SAP) process to look at density and design issues in our ANC. The original resolution stated that if OP did give us the SAP, we would support consideration in that process of increased density over what OP suggested on some lots, including the Whole Foods and Dancing Crab lots. OP responded that they would not initiate an SAP process, yet they increased the density of those lots in the Future Land Use Map to high density, citing our original resolution as support for their decision. The proposed current resolution asks OP to change the zoning back to what they originally suggested and conduct a SAP.
Attendees: thought the original resolution asked OP to stay within the existing density pending the SAP; noted that OP was not conducting SAPs and they were conducting Future Planning Analyses; thought that tonally and directionally they were doing what we asked them to do and didn’t see a need for the resolution; and supported the resolution as written.
Commissioners: were concerned that the original resolution wanted comments on other things outside of the SAP and thought the resolution as written married everything to the SAP; and that our corridor had an urgent need for a lot of planning and our area was being lumped in with other areas that were already mostly developed; offered some changes to the draft language; and thought that Tenleytown would benefit from a SAP and many constituents would like to have more uniform development.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of February 2020 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the Draft February 2020 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve payments of $585.00 and $262.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support in March and May respectively, $97.05 to FedEx for copying in February and March, and $1600 for the cleaning kits portion of Tenleytown Mainstreet’s grant application. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 11:20 PM.