The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:37 PM. Commissioners Bender, Gianinno, Hall 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
An attendee suggested we have an agenda item regarding the city’s plan to re-zone the Lord & Taylor site to allow the site to be used as the new location of the WMATA bus depot. The attendee believed there are much better uses for that site rather than a bus depot. Commissioner Bender stated that the hearing for that proposal has been moved to September and we will have an agenda item regarding the site before the hearing.
Emir Gur-Ravantab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced:
- Mayor Bowser and MPD announced the Violent Crime Impact Team, a partnership between the MPD, FBI, ATF and DEA, with a goal to seize illegal firearms and apprehend armed criminals.
- DC is investing $5.4M is a Small and Medium Business Growth Fund to provide grants for capital improvement, large equipment purchasing and technological enhancements. Details can be found at https://dmped.dc.gov/page/small-medium-business-growth-fund
- The city awarded 43 non-profit organizations $3.57M in grants through the Summer Strong Grant fund for summer youth services.
Residents are welcome to report any on-going issues to Mr. Gur-Raventab and he will forward them to the appropriate DC agency. He has received several complaints regarding homeless encampments in the area and they have been forwarded them to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services so that the homeless individuals can receive the services they need. Mr. Gur-Raventab can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An attendee stated that the DC Council will be taking up the issue of redistricting next week. Under the current proposal AU and Wesley Seminary will be moved to ANC3E. He did not believe that moving AU and Wesley to 3E is in the good idea and urged others with concerns about the proposed redistricting map to attend the meeting and contact the Councilmembers.
Tony Cicconne, President of Ft Gaines Citizens Association stated that AU has a tractor that travels between AU main campus and the Law School on Wisconsin Ave. The tractor is very loud, has no muffler, and is being driven recklessly. Commissioner Gianinno stated that she will reach out to Maria Barry at American University.
Commissioner Quinn stated DDOT has set up the Tenleytown Multi-Modal Project to look at the area around the Tenleytown Metro. A Citizens advisory committee has been set up and Commissioners Quinn and Cohen will participate along with representatives from Tenleytown Neighbors Association, Ward 3 Bicycle Association, Ward 3 Vision, AU and Wilson HS. The meetings are open to the public and the first meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 24.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt Beistline provided an update on crime in PSA 202. Over that last 30 days there was one robbery at the Container Store (the suspect has not been caught) and a sexual assault in which the victim and assailant knew each other. There has been an uptick in thefts from autos parked along Wisconsin Ave during the day. Beistline urged residents not to leave visible belongings in cars. There were two simple assaults, one at Wilson by kids who knew each other and another at McDonalds also between juveniles.
An attendee stated that there was a catalytic converter was stolen from a Toyota Prius on Chesapeake this month and asked if the MPD can help prevent these thefts.
Commissioners: asked for traffic enforcement by Sidwell and by the construction site by Upton Place; asked Lt Beistline to add to her monthly updates, a summary of where traffic enforcement has been over the previous month; asked about the investigation into the traffic fatalities at the Parthenon restaurant and the one that just happened on Connecticut Ave (there are no updates and any charges will be determined by the US attorney’s office); and stated that young people have been smoking pot in front of the old Starbucks and in the Target parking garage before school (Beistline stated it is hard to get them to stop without the situation escalating and Commissioner Bender suggested the ANC and MPD re-start the school task force before the next school year).
Lt Beistline can be reached at email@example.com or at 202-779-2854 with any additional comments or questions.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Rodman’s to transfer an existing Class A liquor license to its store between Garrison and Harrison, allowing it to sell spirits as well as beer and wine
Commissioner Bender stated that Rodman’s currently sells beer and wine. A few years ago they tried to obtain a license to sell hard liquor but were blocked because they were within 400 feet of Paul’s. Now with Paul’s closure, they have a new application with ABRA to transfer an existingClass A license to their Wisconsin Ave store. Nolan Rodman stated that they asked to sell until 10 pm Monday through Saturday and until 7 PM on Sundays. He stated they will not have alcohol service on the deck. The contractor did not build the deck to the specifications and DDOT issued a stop work order. They are working with DDOT to obtain a new set of permits which will have them remove half of the existing deck and they will use the space for patrons to sit and relax. Any alcohol sold will be for consumption off-premises.
Commissioners asked for clarification for the issues that was raised regarding the 400-foot law and Paul’s Liquor Store.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to support the draft resolution in support of transferring the Class A license to Rodman’s along with a stipulated (temporary) license. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding renewal liquor license application by Le Chat Noir, Surfside, and Matisse
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 Le Chat Noir and Matisse and therefore the Commission took no action on those renewals.
Issues were raised regarding trash, amplified music and pick-up and drop-off in the bus stop in front of Surfside. An attendee who raised the issues regarding the band playing on the patio with amplified music stated he likes Surfside but wants them to honor the commitments they made. Commissioner Gianinno stated she spoke to the manager and hoped someone would attend the meeting to address these complaints. She drafted a resolution to protest the renewal and will file it with ABRA to allow the ANC to continue to negotiate with Surfside and we will withdraw the protest if we reach a resolution with Surfside before the hearing.
There were no additional comments from attendees. Commissioners: asked why we don’t seek enforcement against Surfside (Commissioner Gianinno would like to have a conversation with them first); and stated that they thought other businesses were also responsible for the people parking in the bus zone and littering and it should not all rest on Surfside.
Commissioner Gianinno moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to support the resolution in protest of Surfside’s renewal. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Update by Federal Realty Trust on its plans to build a mixed-use project at the current Maggiano’s site on Wisconsin Ave.
Geoff Sharpe with Federal Realty, Robert Sponseller, architect, Will Zeid, traffic engineer, and Cary Kadlecek updated the community on their plans to redevelop 5333 Wisconsin Ave into a residential building. The proposed building will have 310 apartment units. They shared elevations of the rear façade in response to a request made at the last meeting. There are currently 90 parking spaces in the garage and they will add another 90 spaces in the old Nordstrom Rack space. Regarding traffic, Mr. Zeid stated that since this is a PUD application, they need to do a full Comprehensive Traffic Review (CTR) study and a Traffic Demand Management (TDM) plan. They know that there are issues with the diverter on Jenifer St and the intersection of 43rd and Military, and they are open to community input and are willing to work with DDOT to make changes to improve them. He noted that DDOT wants to install a 2-way cycle track on Jenifer and DDOT might be removing the diverter and waiting for more information from DDOT about their plans for it.
- Asked if they will be rental units (yes) and if the parking spaces will be extra (DDOT requires that all parking be at market rate and cannot come for free or discount with unit rental);
- Asked if non-residents will be able to rent parking spaces (no);
- Asked if utilities will be included (unsure, but some will probably be included and some will be separate);
- Asked what the parking spaces outside of the gate will be used for (retail and visitor parking);
- Would like them to offer 30% of the units for IZ and noted that they can rent parking spaces from the adjacent buildings and asked that they use the sublevel to enrich and enliven the neighborhood rather than for parking (Sharpe asserted that they are not asking for any more square footage than allowed under matter-of-right, rather they are asking for additional height on Wisconsin Ave so they can step back down to the townhouses in the back They cannot do 30% IZ.);
- Stated they would like to meet to talk about the rear elevation and asked to see more details in the next set of drawings;
- Two attendees asked for a raised crosswalk at Military and 43rd;
- Stated they would like to see fewer parking spaces in the building;
- Asked them to consider turning the direction of the traffic diverter;
- Asked for their current timeline (they will start construction in about 2 years); and
- Asked to see a perspective that residents on 43rd St will have of the building.
- Thought they have too many parking spaces in the proposal noting that in Tenleytown we have buildings that have no parking spaces;
- Stated they would love to see a community center in the building;
- Asked if they can offer more 15% IZ while noting that 30% would be unrealistic;
- Would like them to offer some of the retail space to small businesses;
- Asked what areas of community amenities they are flexible on (intersection modifications, contributions to local non-profits, a small community center, and streetscape improvements. Sharpe also stated they cannot build this building with just 90 spaces);
- Asked if they can add green features to the rear of the building (they can add more);
- Asked if they can move some of the height from the back onto the front;
- Asked if they do a green roof and solar panels;
- Asked them to try to deter motorists from using 43rd St as a cut though;
- Asked about the utilization of parking in the adjacent buildings;
- Would like to have them reach beyond LEED gold certification than Gold; and
- Would like them to have a retail agreement similar to ones signed by other developments in Tenleytown.
Presentation regarding the Friendship Heights Alliance, a business group formed to advance Friendship Heights
Rachel Davis with the Friendship Heights Alliance https://friendshipheightsalliance.org/ stated that the alliance grew out of the Urban Land Institute study which noted that there needs to be more cooperation between property owners on both the Maryland and DC sides of Friendship Heights. Their goals are to improve the vibrancy of the neighborhood, find the best way to manage upcoming construction, and partner with community groups. The focus at the moment is to obtain community input on what kinds of retail would be attractive via a survey that can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FriendshipHeights. Upcoming events include a Makers’ Market on June 25 and again on September 10, and a photography exhibit in Chevy Chase Pavilion in June.
An attendee stated they should consider creating a resident advisory committee and hold more listening sessions.
Commissioners: asked if membership is mandatory for businesses (it’s not) and what would the role of non-paying members (they would invite others to opine); asked if there will be a formal role for the ANC or community members (they are setting up an advisory committee); asked if they could make use of the vacant spaces (i.e., the home plate parking lot and Lord & Taylor site) for a farmers market or a skate park (they have started to talk with the owners to do something with the space); asked about getting access to the meeting space at Chevy Chase Pavilion in the Embassy Suites when we are ready to hold in-person meetings; and asked if they will be collaborating with Tenleytown Main Street (they are).
Presentation by Jackson-Reed and GDS student group regarding its effort to seek increased affordable housing
Marc Minsker a teacher at Jackson-Reed stated the student group started in 2018 and grew out of Jackson-Reed (Wilson) students wanting to make sure the Chesapeake House would have a dedicated space to tell story of Reno City in which Federal officials seized the land and 400 black Washingtonians were displaced. Mayor Bowser has pledged 1990 new affordable housing units west of Rock Creek by 2023 but to date less than 20 have been completed. The students have been working with Washington Interfaith Network and Ward 3 Housing Justice. They asked ANC3E to recognize the history of Reno City, would like to have community room for meeting space at the Chesapeake House, wants the Commission to show support for affordable housing in Ward 3, and to help them do outreach in Ward 3.
Attendees: asked commissioners what needs to happen to make programming available at Chesapeake house. Commissioner Bender stated that the ANC discussed the issue with NPS and the community at meetings, and it was decided that the site will function as an NPS visitor’s center for Ft Reno, including the history of Reno City, but on evenings and weekends it will be available for community space. TMS will have an office there and will be responsible for administering the space after hours. The funding for the Chesapeake House renovation comes from an agreement the ANC negotiated with UIP, a developer, and the developer and NPS have been meeting to discuss a construction schedule.
Commissioners: stated that the problem with affordable housing is to get property owners to do something other than maximizing their return; stated that GDS owns property that can be used toward accomplishing their goals; stated that GDS is considering using the space over the chiller plant as affordable housing for their teachers; asked them to advocate for truly accessible housing for people with mobility issues; suggested they use their social media skills to promote their cause; and stated that the Lisner Home recently won approval to build 90 affordable housing units on their property.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding Notice of Intent by DDOT to extend a no parking zone (which would allow standing for pickup and drop-off) in front of 4400 Jennifer Street, NW
Commissioner Bender stated two liquor stores want to move into vacant space at 4400 Jenifer St. The street is narrow with lots of buses. The business have the potential for a lot of pick up and drop off activity. There is currently a No Parking zone in front of the building and DDOT issued a NOI to extend it from 40 to 60 feet wide. He authored a resolution in support of the extended no parking zone.
Attendees and Commissioners had no comments.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to support the draft resolution in support of extending the No Parking zone in front of 4400 Jenifer St. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of the April 2022 Meeting Minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the Draft April 2022 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 a payment for $510.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 10:53 PM.