November 20, 2017, 6:00 pm
The meeting convened at 6:08 PM. Commissioners Bender, Ehrhardt, Hall, McHugh and Quinn were present.
Special meeting to consider a possible resolution on and agreement regarding GDS’ application to move its middle and lower schools to the former Safeway site on 42nd Street, and to increase its overall enrollment cap.
Russell Shaw, GDS Head of School stated that the two GDS campuses currently generate approximately 1100 trips in the morning. The agreement reached between the ANC and GDS would allow a maximum of 595 peak morning hour trips at the combined campus. Commissioner Bender stated that under the agreement GDS will monitor the morning traffic for seventeen years and they have five years to work towards a maximum cap of 595 trips. If by year five they cannot reach the cap, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) can take all legally available measures to enforce the cap. GDS has a strong incentive under the agreement to meet the goal of 595 immediately, however. If they reach the goal for two consecutive years, they will be allowed to increase their enrollment from 1075 to 1125 students. If they meet the goal i in two more consecutive years, GDS will be allowed a second enrollment increase to 1200 students. Bender noted that this is one of the most aggressive, if not the most aggressive Traffic Management Plans (TMP) for a K-12 private school in DC. By way of amenities, GDS will allow the community to have access to the playground when the school is not using it and GDS will make their fields available to organized users. GDS will install a traffic signal at the intersection of Chesapeake St and Wisconsin Ave and they will close the “slip lane” from Wisconsin Ave onto 42nd St.
Attendees asked questions regarding: what the enforcement mechanisms and consequences would be if the trip cap is not met; and asked if GDS could shorten the time to reach the goal of 595 morning trips from five years to one. One attendee commented that he was happy to see the project move forward while another was concerned about enforcement and monitoring.
Various Commissioners: noted that GDS made many concessions regarding the morning trips and will be attending quarterly ANC meetings; liked the community access to the athletic fields; thought the agreement could have required a quicker phase-in; thought this was a very good agreement; and were not happy that the agreement did not require more transit usage. Commissioner Quinn requested a few changes to the MOU which the applicant agreed to.
Commissioner Bender moved to approve the Resolution and the amended MOU with the provision that any additional typos found in the documents can be further corrected. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:54 PM by unanimous consent.