November 12, 2019, 7:30 pm
American University, Spring Valley Building
4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Room 545
The meeting convened at 7:35 PM. Commissioners Bender, Ehrhardt, McHugh and Quinn were in attendance. Commissioner Hall arrived later.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
A resident of the 4400 block of Ellicott St stated that out-of-state cars park on River Rd just north of Ellicott Street right up to the intersection and block the view of River Road for pedestrians or cars trying to cross River Road. The intersection is at a sharp angle with poor sightlines and there was an accident at the intersection last week. There are signs restricting parking for non-residents on the east side of the street and she believes there should be signs on the west side as well. Residents have reached out to DDOT back in May and have not received a response. Commissioner Bender stated that he has already supported a request to conduct a traffic safety study at the intersection, which should be done soon, and that he will reach back out to DDOT and also perhaps to Jessica Greene in the Mayor’s Office.
Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street, announced that applications are available for TMS Small Business Grants on tenleytownmainstreet.org. She announced that two businesses opened in the past month, Club Pilates and Target and Chase Bank will be opening on December 3. She also announced that Winterfest will take place Nov 29-Dec 7 and will include a Tenley Restaurant Week, a Yeti hunt, tours of Fort Reno, a tour of St Ann’s stained-glass windows, caroling at Fessenden Park, Winterfest mart at Janney and much more. Details can be found at http://tenleytownmainstreet.org.
Jessica Greene, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations, announced that it is open enrollment season. Information on available individual health insurance policies can be found at http://DChealthlink.com.
Rachael Clark, Legislative Council to Mary Cheh, introduced herself to those in attendance.
Commissioner Hall stated that she has questions about staffing allocations and distribution of officers in 2D, especially in light of a recent uptick in violent crime. She has heard that most officers are being sent downtown during the day and officers in 202 are left to patrol on their own.
Jonathan Fichter, a resident and Jeanne Simons, DC Neighbors for Racial Justice, spoke about a recent violent assault that took place in the neighborhood. Fichter stated that conversations about safety can be more complicated than just asking for more police presence. Simons stated that more police officers do not increase safety. They both called for a balanced approach to public safety. Commissioners noted that we can go days without seeing a police officer in this neighborhood and they have many issues with traffic. An attendee responded that DC is the most heavily policed city in the United States when looking at MPD force alone; he sees a lot of police and this is a relatively safe neighborhood. Another attendee stated that there are a lot of crimes of opportunity in the neighborhood such as car break-ins and asking for additional patrols is warranted. Another attendee, a member of the public safety patrol in ANC2F suggested we start a neighborhood watch program. Commissioner Bender stated that we already have a neighborhood watch
Presentation by 2nd District Police
The police were not present at the meeting.
Update on DC Plug initiative to underground power lines in the area
Tiajuana Haynes, Public Outreach Consultant for DC PLUG stated that the work is on track to be completed in the third quarter of 2020. Amir Baker, project manager for DC PLUG stated that in the next 2 weeks they will be working on the 4700 and 4800 blocks of Butterworth, at the intersections of 48th & Burlington, 47th & Burlington, 46th Street between Davenport and Ellicott, 4500 block of Ellicott, and 44th Street between Garrison and Harrison. Residents on affected blocks will receive notice of all work starting 15 days before construction starts.
Attendees did not have any questions. Commissioners: asked how often the transformer enclosures in the treeboxes need to be accessed; asked if they updated the design for the traffic diverter at 44th and Harrison; stated that the city repaved Fessenden and then DC PLUG came along and it was dug up again and asked for better coordination.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application for special exception for relief from side and rear yard setback requirements to build an addition at 4600 45th St NW
Bill Feeney, architect for the applicant stated that this property is a corner, non-conforming lot. The project will be a basement/first-floor addition and a new front porch that requires setback relief. They have letters of support all adjacent neighbors and from some of the nearby neighbors.
One attendee stated he supported the project. Commissioners asked for clarification on the setback relief sought, and if the front addition is a covered porch. Commissioner Ehrhardt offered correcting changes to the resolution.
Commissioner Ehrhardt moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the amended resolution in support of the special exception. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by AMC theaters to dissolve a voluntary agreement with the ANC and community members to permit all theaters to serve alcohol
Commissioner Bender stated that in 1999, a settlement agreement was negotiated between the ANC, three neighbors and AMC that allows alcohol service at two of the eight theaters at the AMC Movie Theater in Mazza Gallerie. AMC’s alcohol license is up for renewal and they have asked ABRA to terminate the settlement agreement and allow alcohol service in all of the theaters. Bender stated that at a previous presentation, questions were raised about allowing free parking for all theaters with no incentives offered for walkers or metro users. He also noted that other theater chains have a one drink per person per visit to the concession stand limit whereas AMC wants to offer two drinks per person per visit. Commissioner Bender stated that in order to maintain the Commission’s standing and allow for negotiations with AMC’s management, the Commission needs to file a resolution opposing the dissolution of the settlement agreement.
An attendee stated that the ABRA agreement should only impose conditions on the service of alcohol. Commissioners: asked if the ANC comes to an agreement with the movie theater, will this negate the other parties to the 1999 agreement; and noted that AMC offers parking validations at all of their theaters. Commissioner Bender offered a few minor amendments to the draft resolution.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the amended resolution opposing the dissolution of the voluntary agreement. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding application by Surfside to expand sidewalk cafe at Van Ness and Wisconsin location
PSC has offered an extension to the date to weigh in on this. Therefore, this item will be heard at the next ANC meeting.
Discussion of and possible vote regarding application by Capital Wine School to renew liquor license
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 an establishment, or the Commissioners are aware of problems with an establishment. There were no concerns raised by residents prior to the meeting nor were any concerns raised by those in attendance. The Commission took no action on this item.
- Approval of October 2019 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the Draft October 2019 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
- Approval of expenditures – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Ehrhardt seconded a motion to approve payments of $482.50 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support and $26.71 to FedEx. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 5-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 9:26 PM.