November 12, 2020, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:35 PM. Commissioners Bender, McHugh and Quinn were in attendance. Commissioner Hall joined later.
Announcements / Open Forum– opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Jessica Green, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations announced: Mayor Bowser issued updated travel guidance for residents and people traveling to the District. Details can be found at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/coronavirus/page_content/attachments/MO%202020-110%20%20Modified%20Requirements%20Regarding%20Self-Quarantines%2C%20Testing%2C%20and%20Travel%20During%20the%20COVID-19%20Public%20Health%20Emergency%20%2811-6-2020%29.pdf; DPW has decided to vacuum leaves this year as they have in previous years i.e., there is no need to bag leaves as announced earlier. Details can be found at http://leaf.dpw.dc.gov/leafcollection/ ; and COVID exposure notifications are now available in the District via smartphones. Details can be found at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/dccan.
Leigh Catherine Miles, the Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street announced: Tenley Winterfest will take place Nov 27 – Dec 5th, details can be found at http://www.tenleywinterfest.org; and Tenleytown Main Street is providing small business grants. Applications are due Nov 30 and details can be found at https://tenleytownmainstreet.org/small-business-grants/.
An attendee announced that the Psychiatric Institute of Washington (PIW) will be conducting a drive by food drive on November 20 from 10 am -5 pm. Call 202-276-0319 on arrival and someone will come outside to collect donations.
An attendee noted that construction on the new GDS Lower and Middle school building is complete and the building is in use. He asked where to find copies of the agreements made between the ANC and GDS.
An attendee complained about the many 6’ high fences in the neighborhood that are in public space and asked how they could file complaints about them.
Presentation by 2nd District Police
Sgt Hackerman provided an update on crime for PSA 202. Over the last 30 days there has been a 22% increase in crime over the same time period last year with two Assaults with a Dangerous Weapons, two Robberies, and three Burglaries. They do have multiple lookouts for suspects in these crimes.
An attendee asked if it was possible to obtain a stop sign camera by the entrance to Turtle Park at Van Ness St. Commissioners: asked about an armed robbery that occurred on November 3; asked for updates on the two shootings that took place in October; and asked MPD for traffic enforcement for illegally parked cars in travel lanes, especially along Wisconsin Ave.
Discussion of and possible vote on renewal applications for liquor licenses at 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. There were no concerns raised by those in attendance or sent to the Commissioners ahead of the meeting regarding Whole Foods, therefore the Commission took no action on the renewals.
Discussion of and possible vote on testimony to Council regarding Comprehensive Plan proposal
Commissioner Quinn stated that in 2015 the Office of Planning (OP) solicited updates to the comprehensive plan. Earlier this year, this ANC heard about the proposed updates for this neighborhood and passed two resolutions in February supporting most of OPs proposed changes, asked for a few changes to the updates OP proposed and asked OP to create a small area (SAP) plan for the neighborhood. They rejected the changes the Commission proposed and did not implement the SAP. Moreover, OP made changes to its proposed plan wrongly based on a recommendation that the ANC did not make. A third resolution was thus passed in May asking them to correct the error they made and to implement the changes as passed by the Commission. There are two resolutions being offered tonight, one is written testimony and the other oral testimony Commissioner Quinn hopes to give at the hearing tomorrow reiterating what was passed in our previous resolutions and once again, asks for an SAP that was requested in the February resolution.
Attendees: asked about differences in wording in the written testimony vs the oral testimony; stated that ANC 3G did not make the approval of their amendments conditional on a SAP whereas our plan does; would like to see a SAP adopted given the number of developable lots in the area; and suggested that there be a stronger ask with a request for funding for the SAP.
Commissioners: supported the resolution and any minor changes that Commissioner Quinn feels necessary; thought OP should not implement the FLUM until they conduct a SAP; and noted that we have nothing to lose by asking for a SAP at the hearing.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the written testimony resolution with the other three previously passed resolutions as attachments. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution and/or testimony regarding proposed changes to Inclusionary Zoning regulations
Commissioner Quinn stated that OP has proposed amending the Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) law so that properties requesting a map amendment would be mandated to include IZ for up to 20% of the gross floor area. The proposed changes to the law would allow us to have more affordable housing in the area and he drafted a resolution to support the proposed changes in the law.
Attendees: stated that there are other proposed changes in the law (making the IZ available to people with smaller incomes (AMI); contended that if developers included 3-bedroom apartments in their IZ it would provide the developer with more density and asked why his proposed resolution only comments on the Gross Floor Area; and strongly supported the resolution.
Commissioners: supported the resolution; noted that the proposed changes to the law do not address disability accessible housing units and would like to have a separate resolution to encourage the city to address this issue; supports the resolution as written; and asked about the nature of the hearing.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolutions to support the resolution in support of the proposed changes to the Inclusionary Zoning regulations. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding American University’s proposed campus plan
Commissioner McHugh shared a preliminary draft of a resolution that we expect to vote on in December. He clarified some items on the resolution and stated that AU is proposing no substantial facilities for 3E in their plan. McHugh summarized the Campus Plan stating: AU would be required to provide housing for 67% of their students and noted AU added a provision so that if they seek to add more master leases (like the one at The Frequency), AU would have to seek approval from the ANC; the changes to the student cap are due to a change in how they are required to calculate the number of students and they are actually proposing a reduction in the number of students; the enrollment requirements and caps on the Tenley campus remain in place; there would be no changes to their parking enforcement plan as it is working well; AU would be moving the shuttle that stops at the Spring Valley Building to Massachusetts Ave from 48thStreet; and the Campus Partnership that was built between AU, ANC3E and ANC3D would stay in place to address any issues that might arise in the future.
An attendee asked for clarification about the use of additional master leases in the future. Commissioners asked about the mix of students at the Tenley Campus and supported the resolution.
Discussion of and possible vote on a resolution concerning revised Environmental Assessment of Broad Branch Road re-build.
Commissioner Quinn stated that Broad Branch road connects Beach Drive and Nebraska Ave. It’s been deteriorating for quite some time. When DDOT last did the environmental assessment in 2013, they looked at four options for the road. Seven years ago, several ANCs, including ANC3E, passed resolutions all supporting Alternative 4 which included a sidewalk and a bike lane. The project languished for years and last month DDOT published an updated environmental assessment in favor of Alternative 3, which would rebuild the roadway with a sidewalk on the south side of the road but would not include a bike lane. He noted that there are three embassies along the road that have fences in the public right of way and there is a stretch of the study area where the road is narrow and it would be difficult to put in the lane. DDOT is seeking comments on the updated environmental assessment. Commissioner Quinn drafted a resolution that reiterated the Commission’s support for Option 4.
Attendees: stated their support for the bike lane; asked if the bike lane has to be at the same level as the road; offered an amendment regarding “sharrows” and suggested the Commission request a meeting with DDOT to figure out how to obtain bike lanes along Broad Branch Rd. Commissioners thought it would be a lost opportunity if they do not install the bike lane now and asked if they could install “sharrows” along the narrow stretch of road by the embassies.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the resolution as amended. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of October 2020 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the Draft October 2020 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Approval of FY2020 4th Quarter Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the Draft 4th Quarter Treasurer’s Report. 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 $450.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 9:55 PM.