November 8, 2018, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:42 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
An attendee gave the ANC a copy of motion requesting the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) not consider ANC 3E’s resolution and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the Wisconsin Ave Baptist Church (WABC) and Sunrise development because the Commission has not filed the resolution and MOU more than seven days before the BZA hearing. Commissioner Bender noted that this requirement is routinely waived and the applicant has specifically agreed to the waiver in this case.
Another attendee asked if he could speak in support of the NW Neighbors Grant presented last month. Commissioner Bender noted that a presentation was made at the last meeting and the Commissioners will vote on the item later on at this meeting, at which the representative could deliver additional remarks if he wanted to do so.
David Krucoff spoke on behalf of his organization Douglas County, MD. The organization is proposing Washington, DC retrocede to Maryland to solve the problem of DC disenfranchisement. More information can be found at www.douglasscountymd.org.
Rachel Clark from DC Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office introduced herself. She will be working as Councilmember Cheh’s Scheduler.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street (TMS), announced this Saturday Friends of Fessenden Park is holding its monthly clean up on November 10 and the Tenley Winterfest will take place from November 23 to December 1. Event details can be found at www.tenleywinterfest.org.
Commissioner Hall announced, that on Sunday, November 11 the Wilson High School boys soccer team will be playing for the state championship at Catholic University at 5 pm.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Lt. Hill from the 2ndDistrict provided an update on crime for PSA 202. He stated that the police have made some arrests in the thefts from autos and auto thefts and those crime rates are slowing as a result. He urged residents to not leave valuables and keys in vehicles. MPD just finished up a two-week aggressive traffic enforcement drive as a part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative. The effort targeted many trouble spots along Wisconsin Ave.
Attendees asked: if electronic key readers are being used for auto thefts in the area; what MPD suggests residents do if you encounter someone committing a crime; and if MPD suggests leaving cars unlocked and empty to prevent damage to vehicles from criminals searching for valuables.
Commissioners asked: for traffic enforcement for speeding on Nebraska in ANC 3D in the early morning hours; if the rumors that MPD is looking to change precinct boundaries are true; and if there was any news on the hit and run at Wisconsin Ave and Albemarle in September. They also thanked Lt Hill for continued traffic enforcement by Officer Santos.
Lt Hill can be contacted at email@example.com any additional questions.
Discussion and possible vote on grant request for support of Northwest Neighbors Village
At the last meeting, Stephanie Chong, Executive Director of Northwest Neighbors Village (NNV) presented a grant request for $1500 toward the $3000 purchase price of a database and web management system to help coordinate volunteers, track requests for help from members, and manage their website.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to support the grant. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Presentation of grant request for support of Janney 5K race
Jennifer Werth, from the Janney PTA presented a grant proposal to support their 5K race that will take place on the morning of November 17. Werth explained that they the city has imposed some new requirements on the race this year that include towing all parked cars off the race course, having several dump trucks to block key intersections and reimbursing the city for income lost from parking meters. She presented a grant for $2500 to offset other costs that include timing chips, photographers, social media marketing, safety pins and photocopying. Commissioner Bender and Commissioner Quinn offered edits to the grant. Commissioner Bender stated the Commission typically hears the request one month and then votes on it the following month but due to the timelines involved the Commission can both listen to and award a grant in a single month.
One attendee complained about the inconvenience of not being able to park in front of his home the morning of the race and noted that it would affect neighbors along the 2.5K race route. Some Commissioners were not happy about the requirements that the city is imposing on the race. Another thought that the timing chips were an unnecessary expense.
Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the amended grant. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Presentation by Valor Development regarding updated proposal to redevelop the Superfresh site
Will Lansing with Valor Development stated that they will be asking for a vote from the ANC next month before their meeting with the Zoning Commission (ZC) on January 7th. Valor heard from many residents in the neighborhood that they were not happy with the choice of Balducci’s as the grocer, so Valor has signed a work letter with MOMs Organic Market.
Sara Alexander, an architect with Torti Gallas, stated that the height of the building has been reduced by 5.5 feet from the version that the ANC voted on last year and pointed out that the AU Spring Valley Building is 12 feet taller than the Ladybird, not including the penthouse which is 12 feet tall but is set back 1:1. There will be a pocket park by Windom Street and a public plaza in front of the grocery store on Yuma Street. Ms. Alexander reviewed the color and materials palates for the apartment building and townhouses and compared them to homes in the neighborhood. The current design also preserves a heritage tree on 48thStreet.
Attendees asked: for clarifications regarding the trees shown in the renderings on the other side of 48thStreet; if the traffic report includes traffic estimates from Millies, Pizza Paradiso and Compass Coffee; if the project will include a cut through on the island on Massachusetts Avenue to allow southbound traffic on Massachusetts Ave to make left turns into the development; if they will still be putting metered parking on 48thand Yuma Streets; about Residential Parking Permits (RPP) for the residents; about alternative means for transportation including bike lanes, pick up/drop off spaces for Uber, car share parking spaces, etc. to the development; if there will there be a shuttle to the Metro; how many parking spaces there will be; how delivery trucks will approach the building; what the work letter signed with MOMs obligates them to; for clarification regarding the matter of right (MOR) for the site; if the Commission will vote on the project next month; and for clarification on the amount of inclusionary zoning (IZ) there will be in the project. One attendee did not think the building met the criteria for a design review as they thought the building did not fit harmoniously into the neighborhood. Another attendee thought this was an improvement over earlier versions of the project and is happy that MOMs will be the grocer. A discussion took place on whether the nearby neighbors would prefer a residential building without a grocery store or a smaller residential building with a grocery store.
Commissioners asked: how much total public space that they are providing; for clarifications regarding the setback and property lines; what the penalty is for backing out of a letter of intent with Balducci’s; about LEED certification; about a Capital Bike Share station; what the total Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for the project is; if they will designate a Lyft/Uber pick up zone; if there was any progress in purchasing the PNC bank site; if they could remove one townhouse to preserve the vista down Windom Way and add more the public space; if they were committed to installing a HAWK signal on Massachusetts Avenue; and if they could add a shuttle to/from the Metro during rush hours. Commissioners: regretted the loss of Windom Way; noted that while MOM’s isn’t a full service grocery store it is an improvement over the Balducci’s; would like to see the project include a shuttle to the Metro; would like to see more public space and “parklettes” around the project; would like to see a break in the median on Massachusetts to help with the porosity of the site; did not want to see the grocery store removed from the project; and would like to see more IZ.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding variance and special exception applications for an assisted living center and new church at site of Wisconsin Ave Baptist Church
Commissioner McHugh presented a resolution and MOU in support of the WABC and Sunrise development. He stated that the project is asking for two variances and two special exceptions. He noted that the project has generated a lot of concern from the nearby neighbors. Sunrise and WABC has reduced the height and massing of the project but not to the satisfaction of many neighbors. McHugh also stated that the BZA has not provided the ANC with any clarity on how this building would fit into an R-1-B zone. The MOU addresses many items of concern by the neighbors including: on-street parking; restricting RPP; limits on the intensity and the use of the building (they will not seek special exceptions for a child development center and for profit use); the number of delivery trucks and the times they can make deliveries; limits buses from idling at the site; requires screening from the houses on the east side of the site; limits use of the rooftop terrace; includes traffic calming measures including 4-way stop sign; and a construction agreement.
Attendees asked: how there will be less traffic with this project then there is now and about the vibrations and the pile driving. One attendee was happy with the final design and happy to see the project built near the Metro. Another attendee thought this project did not provide a benefit to the community and the assisted living facility would not activate the neighborhood. Someone thought the 66 parking spaces would encourage people to drive to the site. Amendments were offered to both the draft resolution and the MOU.
Commissioners: noted that Sunrise has reduced the size of the project; would like to continue to work with neighbors; would have preferred a project that would activate the area more; were happy to see the church be able to stay on the site; acknowledged that there are other senior housing facilities in the area but thought that with the baby boomers aging, there was a need for more assisted living beds; acknowledged that the neighbors closest to a project are usually the least happy with the projects but you can’t give veto power to the closest neighbors; was not happy with the final lot occupancy; stated that the Commission has to vote on the projects that are presented not what the Commission would like to see built; and stated that they tried to address all of the neighbors’ concerns within the MOU.
Commissioner McHugh moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to support the resolution as amended and the MOU as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-1-0 with Commissioner Bender opposing.
- Approval of October 2018 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the October 2018 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 $412.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, $87.38 to FedEx Office for copying services, $1500 to Northwest Neighbors Village for their grant and $2500 to Janney PTA. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 11:10 PM.