October 12, 2017, 7:30 pm
The meeting convened at 7:32 PM. Commissioners Bender, Ehrhardt, 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
Ian Maggard, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations announced the Mayor opened the DC Wharf at a ceremony earlier today. Maggard also announced the new AlleyPalooza initiative in which the District repairs eight alleys in each of the eight wards in 12 weeks.
Jon McHugh announced the Commission just launched our updated website http://www.anc3e.org and invited constituents to look at the website and provide the Commission with feedback.
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.
Attendees did not have any questions for Lt. Hill. Commissioners asked Lt Hill for traffic enforcement efforts at the intersection of 44th and Jenifer Streets and asked for details of any arrests made in an incident in which cars were rifled through at 2 am. Lt Hill reminded attendees they could email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on any incidents that occur in the neighborhood.
Presentation by Tenleytown Main Street regarding grant proposal for WinterFest
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 Commission generally hears a request one month and votes on it the following month.
Discussion and possible vote in support of Friends of Fessenden Park
Ms. Miles announced that TMS has been working with residents and other stakeholders to find ways to improve the park at Wisconsin, Fessenden and 42nd Streets. They would like to form a Friends of Fessenden Park group which would be a formal relationship with DPR that would allow them to determine the types of improvements and programming the community would like to see in the park and allow the group to raise funds to support them. TMS asked the ANC to support the group by providing an official letter to include with their application. Attendees had no questions. Commissioners asked: about the ownership and management of the park; how to form a “Friends of” group; if the city would provide funds for the park; and if private businesses and groups have expressed support for their initiatives.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to authorize Commissioner Bender to write a letter in support of the Friends of Fessenden Park group. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion and possible vote on grant application for support of Zoo Day (now Family Fun Day) by Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home
At the last meeting, Debbie Lyle, Development Coordinator for the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home presented a grant request to support their annual Community Fun Fest day. The event is open to residents of the home, their families and the community. They are asking for a $1445.98 grant to help fund the art supplies for the event on October 28, 11 am – 2 pm. The event is co-hosted by Northwest Neighbors Village and Friendship Children’s Center.
Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to support the grant. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on of BZA application for special exception for addition to home at 3909 Huntington St NW
Elizabeth Boison, explained that she is in the middle of construction on her home in which they are straightening out the rear wall of the home and adding onto the second floor. After the changes were framed in, the contractor discovered that the architect made a measurement error in the site plan. The existing home turned out to be on a non-conforming lot with an original wall that is 23.04 feet from the rear property line. Ms. Boison has amended her building permit for a special exception from the required 25-foot rear yard requirement so they can extend the non-conforming rear yard to cover the width of the home. She has letters of support from the nearby neighbors. Attendees had no questions. Commissioners asked questions regarding whether they are willing to add a rain-barrel to offset the loss of permeable ground which the applicant agreed to do and the resolution was amended to reflect that commitment. Another commissioner asked how she was able to obtain the original permits.
Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to support the amended resolution in support of the special exception request. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Discussion of and possible vote on liquor license application for Buredo on Wisconsin Ave
Commissioner McHugh stated that Buredo is a sushi restaurant that will open between Nando’s and Cava on the 4200 block of Wisconsin Ave. They originally sought to have very late hours but have amended their application with ABRA to have the same operating hours as nearby Nando’s and Cava. They have also agreed to work with the neighboring restaurants to clean up the dumpsters at the back of the restaurants along 39th Street. An attendee asked if Buredo can change their hours after the application is granted. Commissioners asked if they will have outdoor seating serving alcohol. Commissioner Bender offered a friendly amendment to add language that limits the Commission’s support for the liquor license to indoor service; the applicant can always seek to amend the license to permit outdoor service.
Commissioner McHugh moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to support the amended resolution in support of the special exception request. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
Presentation of plans for mixed-use redevelopment of Dancing Crab / Tenley Gastropub lots on 41St Street
Carlos Horcasitas, the owner of the Dancing Crab and Tenley Gastropub buildings presented plans for the properties. They are proposing to combine the properties under a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The proposed building would include a 5200 sq. ft. sit-down restaurant on the first floor with 6 floors containing 41 apartments above. A 10 car parking garage would be on the second floor of the building as the second floor is at ground level with the alley. The building would also include a rooftop lounge that would be operated by the restaurant. The project would be under 75 feet tall and (apparently) require a map amendment. They have not filed for their PUD yet.
Attendees asked: if the ANC or the city has a long-term vision for this area of Wisconsin Ave; what are the heights of the buildings that are near these two properties; what the mix of apartments would be; if the project includes inclusionary zoning; and if the current restaurant would stay.
Commissioners asked: if the design is fleshed out; about the attempts to acquire the parking lot next door; Mr. Horcasitas to remove the illegal deck in front of the Dancing Crab; about a green wall in the project; and what level of LEED certification they will pursue. Commissioners stated: they would like to see some larger apartments; liked the offer to do more affordable housing than would be required and asked them to designate a larger unit as IZ; would like to see a guarantee that the ground floor will always feature a sit-down restaurant; and stated there might be concerns with noise on the terrace. They noted that it looks like they need a fair amount of zoning relief and should prepare an amenity package of commensurate size, and thought this project would improve the vibrancy of the area.
Presentation of plans by Sunrise Senior Living to build an assisted living facility next to Wisconsin Ave Baptist Church in conjunction with renovation of church
Reverend Lynn Bergfalk, Phillip Kroskin with Sunrise Senior Living, and Carolyn Brown with Donohue Sterns presented plans for the Wisconsin Ave Baptist Church which borders Alton, Yuma, and 39th Streets, Nebraska Ave, and Tenley Circle. The Reverend explained that the church is an aging building that needs renovation and is not ADA compliant. They have partnered with Sunrise to build a new 250 seat church and a 97-bed senior assisted living facility on the lot. The lot is currently zoned R-1-B. Senior housing requires a special exception and this project would require additional zoning relief including: they would like to build four stories rather than three (they are not asking for relief for the height of the building); they are asking to occupy 69% of the lot (churches are allowed 60% and all other buildings are allowed 40% occupancy in an R-1 zone); they need side yard relief on the west side near Tenley Circle; parking relief (they are required to have 78 parking spaces for the assisted living facility and 25 spaces for the church; the project would include 55 spaces); and the project requires relief for the retaining wall along the drive aisle that will be 9 feet tall.
The National Park Service (NPS) owns land adjacent to the project. The Church and Sunrise have talked to NPS about improving and maintaining the land and adding the park with seating for the community and also maintaining some of the land on both sides of Tenley Circle.
Attendees asked questions regarding: how the church and Sunrise will manage the dual ownership of the new building; the projected demand for assisted living in the area; the volume of traffic projected; the height of the church vs the height of the assisted living facility; and how and when garbage would be collected. Attendees: stated this would be a fundamental change to the neighborhood; expressed concerns for their property values; noted the project required many variances; thought the project was out of scale with the surrounding area; noted that the lot is surrounded on three sides by single family homes. A few attendees supported the project.
Commissioners asked questions regarding: changes to the Church and the existing parking situation on Sundays. Commissioners stated that they did not think this was a great use of land near the Metro; did not like the two curb cuts for the drop-off lane on Alton; requested data regarding the actual traffic impacts; expressed skepticism about Sunrise’s claim that by combining a church with an assisted living facility it could claim the more favorable zoning treatment accorded to churches for the whole site; noted that despite such skepticism about Sunrise’s zoning claims, assisted living facilities could be valuable to the community; would like assurances that there won’t be commercial traffic on the loading lane early in the morning and late at night; noted the project required a lot of variances; expressed concern that they project was too large for the site; and worried about the impact of the garage ramp right behind people’s homes.
Mr. Kroskin stated that he could be reached at Philip.email@example.com or via cell phone at 571-279-1918 with any questions regarding the project.
- Approval of September 2017 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the September 2017 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
- Proposed 2018 Budget – Commissioner Quinn introduced the budget for FY 2018. Commissioner McHugh offered a suggestion to increase the communications line item. Commissioner Quinn moved and Commissioner McHugh seconded a motion to approve the amended budget. 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 $75.21 to FedEx for copying services, $750.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, and $1445.98 to the Lisner-Louise–Dickson-Hurt Home to the previously approved grant. The expenditures were approved 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:34 PM by unanimous consent.