ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3E
TENLEYTOWN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK
c/o Lisner Home 5425 Western Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015
Minutes of ANC 3E November 14, 2013 Meeting
The meeting convened at 7:34pm. Commissioners Bender, Quinn and Tinker were present. Commissioner Frumin arrived at 7:42. Commissioner Serebin was absent.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
A representative from the local group DC Divest gave a presentation about the campaign to divest the District’s pension funds from large fossil fuel companies that are contributing to greenhouse gas pollution and environmental disasters. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act will be heard before the City Council at the end of the month, he said, and he urged commissioners to support the bill.
In response to a commissioner’s question, he said the current bill calls for the immediate halt of direct investments by the District in fossil fuels, with a five-year timeline to draw down indirect investments.
The commissioners thanked him for his presentation.
A resident on 42nd Street, Jerry Weiss, raised concerns about the trial traffic circles at the north and south forks of 42nd and Warren Streets, NW as did a resident on Warren Street, Joan Silver, who also expressed dissatisfaction with the process of consideration. Commissioners thanked them for their comments and underscored that they had also heard favorable comments both about the circles and the process. Commissioners noted that this was a trial and they may eventually express an opinion about whether, and if so, how the circles might be made permanent.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
PSA 202 Lieutenant Alan Hill reported there have been no reports of violent crime in PSA 202 within the last 30 days, including homicides, sexual assaults, or robberies with or without guns. Property crime is down 4% overall, he said, however, burglaries are up (8) as compared to the same 30 day period last year (6). Most burglaries occur at night when the home is unoccupied with perpetrators entering through the garage. However, an attempted burglary on the 4500 block of Davenport Street, NW occurred when the homeowner was present. Another burglary occurred on the 3700 block of Albemarle Street, NW, he reported.
Thefts from commercial businesses have also increased as compared to last year, Lt. Hill said. Three cars have been stolen in this 30-day period; all of the owners had left their keys in the car. Thefts from autos continue to be a significant problem, he said. A perpetrator was arrested for theft from auto in the 7th District who may have been involved with such crimes in PSA 202. Still, there remains a large pool of perpetrators and multiple offenders who work across the District, he said.
Vote on grant application to support Tenley WinterFest
Commissioner Bender explained that representatives from the Tenley WinterFest made a presentation to commissioners at the October 2013 meeting.
Commissioners voted unanimously to provide a grant of $1,500 to the Tenley WinterFest.
Presentation regarding DC Health Link (DC’s Affordable Care Act insurance exchange)
Kishan Putta, representing DC Health Link, encouraged residents to visit the web site (dchealthlink.com) to explore their insurance options. The web site is doing fairly well, he said, although it is not glitch-free. He said that while enrollment started slowly in the District when the web site was rolled out two weeks ago, enrollment has been accelerating. He explained that there are four basic levels of insurance offered across all plans, with varying levels of coverage and cost. The Affordable Care Act offers many new protections, Mr. Putta said, and is available to anyone who is underserved by the current market. It is mandatory for District residents to have insurance by the end of March 2013, he noted.
An enrollment fair will be held at the Martin Luther King Library on November 23, 2013.
In response to a commissioner’s question, Mr. Putta said that 2,000 to 3,000 people have enrolled on dchealthlink.com to date. He noted that approximately 95% of District residents are insured, while 15% are uninsured nationwide.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding liquor license renewal for Club Cinema of Mazza, Inc.
After ensuring that no attendees wished to register concerns about this licensee, and having received no previous complaints about the licensee, the commissioners took no action on renewal application.
Discussion of and possible vote on application from owners of 4434 Tindall Street, NW for a special exception to allow an accessory basement apartment within a one-family dwelling
Michael R. Lewis, the owner of 4434 Tindall Street, NW, explained that several years ago he renovated his home to create a basement apartment to rent to students attending American University. At the time he was unaware that any zoning restrictions applied for his single-family dwelling. He has subsequently learned that he must apply for a special exception from the Board of Zoning Adjustment because the University requires that only multi-family dwellings rent to AU students. He said he has two letters of support from adjoining neighbors and another letter of support from a neighbor down the street, and said he would provide them to commissioners.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution in support of the application.
Brief presentation by National Presbyterian School regarding modification (a reduction in scope) to existing project plan and possible vote on a resolution regarding same
Karin Flynn, CFO of National Presbyterian School, and Janet Forlines, president of the Board of Trustees, explained that in June 2012 they came before the ANC 3E requesting permission for a full, 21,000-square foot expansion of the school, which included adding a 3rd story. After receiving approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment, working with their architects to complete the designs and bidding out the project, they realized that construction of the 3rd story would require closing the building for 10 months of the school year. In addition, they discovered structural constraints in adding a 3rd story to the school, originally built in the 1900’s. As such, the school has decided to reduce the scope of the project and simplify the renovation plans by not building a 3rd floor addition. Instead, they will build a two-story, 9,400-square-foot classroom addition on the western facade of the existing building. The addition will be visible only from the adjacent NBC property, Ms. Flynn said. The construction is slated to begin next summer.
In response to commissioners’ questions, Ms. Flynn said there would be no increase in the 320-student cap; and that the vast majority of their students live in Northwest D.C., but are not given preferential treatment. She also said the permitting process is on a faster track as their hearing before the BZA is scheduled in less than a month’s time.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution in support of the revised expansion plans.
- Approval of October 2013 meeting minutes
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the October 2013 minutes.
- Resolution to Petition ABRA for reinstatement of party status in Case # 090196
Commissioner Quinn introduced this resolution, explaining that he was unable to attend the ABRA hearing on November 12, 2013 for the liquor license renewal for Civil Lounge due to a scheduling conflict. Arriving shortly after the hearing adjourned, he was unable to register a protest on behalf of the ANC 3E. Because a representative from the ANC 3E was not present at the hearing, the commission was denied standing. The resolution petitions ABRA to reinstate the ANC 3E as a party to the proceedings.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
- Approval of expenditures
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve expenditures: $856.25 to Loren Stein for administrative services; $14.00 to Loren Stein for expenses; $43.02 to FedEx for copying services; $1,500 grant to Janney PTA to support the Tenley WinterFest.
The commission adjourned at 9:10pm.
Jonathan Bender, Chair