November 9, 2017, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:32 PM. Commissioners Bender, Ehrhardt, Hall, McHugh and Quinn were present.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
An attendee asked why Sunrise canceled their appearance at the meeting. Commissioners stated that Sunrise had sought additional time to prepare a revised proposal.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2nd District provided an update on crime trends in the area over the last 30 days. The Tenleytown CVS was robbed at gunpoint. Three suspects were charged and MPD has identified two more suspects. There were four burglaries in the area; in three of the burglaries only jewelry was stolen. There were three stolen autos; in two of these the keys were left in the car. Lt. Hill stated that the 2nd District Listserv publishes crimes and arrests daily. The community can also use http://crimemap.dc.gov to see where crimes are occurring throughout the city. Lt Hill reminded attendees they could email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on any incidents that occur in the neighborhood.
Attendees asked questions regarding: the sexual assault at Massage Envy; thefts of unattended purses; where the new dockless bike share bicycles are allowed to be left; what happens to the property of homeless persons that is left unattended in the community; and about a theft on Alton Pl. An attendee stated that suspicious looking youths had stowed stolen backpacks in a yard across the street from her.
Commissioners asked: how many crimes, and specifically burglaries, were solved by cameras outside of residences; for details about a shoplifting case in Friendship Heights in which a mother and baby were knocked over by the fleeing suspects; about traffic enforcement in the neighborhood; and for traffic enforcement and ideally a camera on southbound Massachusetts Ave south of Westmoreland Circle.
Discussion of and possible vote on grant proposal for Winterfest by Tenleytown Main Street
At the last meeting Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street (TMS) presented a grant request to support Tenleytown WinterFest, a week-long neighborhood festival that runs from November 24 through December 2. Ms. Miles asked for $1,630 to pay for promotional materials including postcards, door hangers, advertisements and posters. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0 with Commissioner Bender abstaining because he is a former board member of TMS.
Discussion of and possible vote on liquor license renewal applications for World Market, Rodman’s, Wagshals, and Whole Foods
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 or the Commissioners are aware of problems with the establishment. There were no concerns raised by those in attendance and the Commission took no action on the renewals.
Discussion of and possible vote on application by THS to designate as historical landmark the shell building, with windows bricked over, housing the Pepco electrical substation on Wisconsin Ave near Harrison St NW
The Tenleytown Historical Society (THS) declined to make a presentation on their application to have the Pepco Harrison St Substation designated as a historical landmark. Linda Greenan from Pepco stated that in September 2017 THS filed to have the substation designated as a historical landmark because of the art deco façade. At their next meeting, the Historical Preservation Review Board (HPRB) will consider the historical designation application and if approved, review the concept application for the renovation of the building. Ms. Greenan stated Pepco does not have a position on the historical designation application but they are supporting the concept review application because it would allow them to go forward with the renovation of the substation, and they feared that if they didn’t the renovation could be interrupted at great cost to them and the community. Commissioner Bender stated that the draft resolution opposes the historical landmark designation because the designation should be based on the building’s historical integrity and the substation is in terrible condition. Ms. Greenan asked the Commission to amend the draft resolution to support their concept review application.
Attendees asked: what Pepco’s plans were for the additional lots on the side of the substation once the construction is complete; what Pepco’s plans would be if the building was not designated as historic; and what the costs to Pepco were because of the delay in having their building permits approved, which could occur if they fought the designation. An attendee stated he supports the draft resolution because the building is too altered and rundown and would like to see more development in Friendship Heights.
Various Commissioners: noted that the only remaining part of the building that has not been altered is the façade; stated that the THS filed three applications for properties on that block to prevent further development in the area; were upset that THS does not seek to work with the Commission before they filed for the designation and did not provide they Commission with notice that they were filing for designation; and noted more than 20% of the buildings in DC have been designated as historic. In contrast, in New York City only about 10% of the buildings have landmark designation.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the amended resolution against the historical designation of the substation. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Georgetown Day School to expand its student body from 500 to 1200 on the former Safeway site
Commissioner Bender stated that GDS would like to consolidate their campuses and increase student enrollment at the Tenleytown campus from 500 to 1200 students. The Commission will not be voting on the proposal at this meeting; the ANC will have a special meeting next on November 20 to consider it. Eric Smulson, representing GDS, stated that they plan to have a total morning trip count of 595 by utilizing mandatory carpooling, a minimum of three school busses, and public transportation. GDS will also close the slip lane on 42nd St, provide the community access to the field and playground when the school is not using them, and moving the building as far back as possible from the neighboring houses. Jami Milanovich added that GDS will be allowed to increase their enrollment to 1200 once they have demonstrated they reached the 595-trip cap for four consecutive years. GDS also agreed to an infraction procedure if they do not comply with the morning trip cap. Christy Schlesinger from Gensler shared the changes that were made to the architectural plans since the last meeting and their landscape plans.
Attendees asked: if there will be a parking fee for parking at the school; how much additional traffic will be put onto Ellicott St in the mornings and afternoons; how GDS plans to prevent parents from dropping off children in the neighborhood; who will pay for the busses; what the penalty will be for parents who do not comply with the TMP; how GDS arrived at the minimum of three buses; how many student drivers they expect; for more data on the projected number of students and faculty expected to utilize use each mode of transportation; and if GDS will be staggering the school start times. Attendees commented that the 43rd St neighbors are happy with the plans and wanted to make sure the police officer stationed on Ellicott St will not create a bottleneck on Ellicott St by allowing parents to exit the garage. A number of attendees were concerned about the increase in traffic in the neighborhood before the trip cap is in place.
Commissioners: encouraged GDS to start reducing trips before the campuses are combined; asked GDS to not allow students to drive to the campus unless they are able to drive other students in their cars and do so; asked about field and playground use; asked if GDS will pursue LEED certification; were worried that 42nd St would be a dead zone; would like a faster phase-in of the trip cap; would like more busses and public transportation use; asked GDS to not allow parents or students to drive to the campus if they live within a mile of the school; asked that GDS remove some of the restrictions for field use; asked when they plan to start and finish construction; acknowledged how much work GDS put into the plan and how much they conceded during the negotiations; asked about the traffic light on Chesapeake St and Wisconsin Ave.
Presentation of updated plans for mixed-use redevelopment of former Superfresh site by Valor Development
Commissioner Bender noted that Valor will be discussing their traffic plans and the Commission expects to vote on the resolution at the next ANC meeting. Valor is still offering public plazas on the north side of the building by the grocery store and at the end of Windom Pl; the building has many setbacks to offset the massing; they plan to pursue LEED gold certification; the building is 50 feet tall per zoning but the total height of the building is 89 feet from the lowest point to the highest point; and they provided a shade study for the nearby neighbors. Vehicles will enter the building through the alley. They are working with the owners of the Spring Valley Exxon to have exit from the Exxon onto 49th St to be right only. Delivery trucks will enter through the alley off of 48th St. They will provide 370 parking spaces; they are required to provide 89 spaces per zoning. Of those spaces: 85 will be on the first floor, 106 on the second, and 179 on the 3rd; 134 of the spaces will be non-shared; and 236 spaces are required by a shared easement with AU. They will have a provision in their leases that will not allow residents to obtain Residential Parking Permits. They will help clean up and consolidate the dumpsters adjacent tothe Spring Valley Shopping Center.
Attendees asked: about the massing and perspective of the height of the buildings; where the entrances to the development are; about the changes in the mode splits in their latest traffic study; why does the development need so much parking; about the delivery trucks that park on Yuma St; why the project allows for parking on south side of Yuma; how dumpsters from AU and the Spring Valley Shopping Center will be emptied; about walkability around the site; about the status of discussions with the grocery store(s); and about handicap access to the grocery store. Attendees: commented that the project has too much parking and thought the community does not want the traffic but wants more parking at the site so that people won’t park on the street which encourages people to drive to and from the site.
Various Commissioners: were all happy Valor is trying to clean up the alley but worry the delivery trucks won’t abide by the regulations; would like a break in the median on Massachusetts Ave to allow traffic to be able to turn left out of the alley onto southbound Massachusetts Ave; would like traffic at 49th and Yuma to be fixed; like how the building is stepped back; asked about the status of the HAWK like across Massachusetts Ave; asked when they expect to be able to announce the grocer; would like to see more amenities; asked about publically accessible spaces; asked about traffic calming measures; asked about inclusionary zoning; asked if they are doing both a green and solar roof; asked about the status of the traffic report with DDOT; asked about the response rate of the survey that Valor sent out; asked about restrictions on delivery times; would like parking on both sides of Yuma St as a traffic calming measure; and asked about the status of Wagshal’s Kitchen.
- Approval of October 2017 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the October 2017 Meeting Minutes. 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 $33.06 to FedEx for copying services, $400.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, and $1630 to Tenleytown Main Street for the previously approved grant. The expenditures were approved 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:48 PM by unanimous consent.