ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3E
TENLEYTOWN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PARK
c/o Lisner Home 5425 Western Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20015
Minutes of ANC 3E September 19, 2013 Meeting
The meeting convened at 7:39pm. Commissioners Bender, Frumin, Serebin, and Tinker were present. Commissioner Quinn arrived at approximately 7:50pm.
Announcements / Open Forum – opportunity for members of the community to raise issues of concern or importance to the 3E neighborhood
Presentation by 2nd District Police
PSA 202 Sergeant Sucato introduced himself and Sergeant Benton to the commissioners and attendees, and informed the commission that Sgt. Benton has implemented a plan to reduce theft from autos in northwest DC neighborhoods.
A commissioner asked about police efforts to increase pedestrian safety at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Albemarle Street, NW, where there are chronic traffic violations. Sgt. Sucato said that stop sign cameras would be installed at some problematic intersections. A representative from Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office said that Lisa Sutter, program manager for the MPD’s Traffic Safety & Specialized Enforcement Branch, recently confirmed that stop sign cameras as well as laser cameras for overweight or no-thru trucks are forthcoming. Residents can contact Ms. Sutter with suggestions for sites for stop sign cameras at email@example.com.
An attendee reported repeated traffic violations at the intersection of 40th Street and Fort Drive, NW and complained about inadequate signage. Commissioners discussed possible remedies, such as increasing police enforcement; closing the alley and moving the bus stop; and adding striping for bike lanes. PSA 202 Lieutenant Alan Hill said the police department would take a closer look at the intersection and report back to the commission.
Lt. Hill reported that in the last 30 days there have been no reports of homicides, sexual abuse, stolen autos, or robberies with a gun in PSA 202. A robbery with a knife was reported during a shoplifting incident. Burglaries are down 50 percent as compared with the same period in 2012, with six reported burglaries last year and three this year. One of the burglaries in the last 30 days was of an ATM; the other two were forced entries into residences on the 3900 block of Jenifer Street, NW and the 3900 block of Garrison Street, NW, he said. Lt. Hill reported a significant increase in theft from autos: 29 this month as opposed to 6 in the same period last year. Only 5 of the crimes were committed during overnight hours, he said. This trend represents a shift in theft from autos to daylight hours, when school is in session. Police have identified and are monitoring a group of suspected perpetrators. Perpetrators are breaking into cars to steal expensive technology that may be in plain sight, he said, and recommended that residents make sure to remove all expensive items from their cars at all times. He reiterated that home robberies targeting expensive jewelry continue to be a trend in northwest DC as well as in Montgomery County.
Lt. Hill noted that the MPD offers a child seat installation program.
Lt. Hill spoke about the increased police presence throughout the District and Northwest DC in the aftermath of the Navy Yard shooting and the period when the Obama administration was discussing a possible strike on Syria. Police were stationed at public institutions, embassies and schools, among other locations.
Lt. Hill answered commissioner’s questions about the MPD’s role in responding to emergencies such as the Navy Yard shootings and how emergency police protocol has changed in the District.
Presentation of grant from Lisner Home regarding application for grant to support Zoo Day at Lisner, and possible vote on same
Debbie Lyle, Development Director of the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home at 5425 Western Avenue, NW presented the request for a $1,642.14 grant to buy children’s art supplies for Community Zoo Day, a yearly, non-profit community event to be held October 5, 2013, co-hosted with Northwest Neighbors Village. The funds will be used for children’s art and educational activities.
The commissioners voted unanimously (4-0-0) to approve the grant.
Discussion of and possible vote on application to resume valet parking operations for Maggiano’s Restaurant
Commissioner Quinn introduced this topic, explaining that Maggiano’s restaurant located at 5333 Wisconsin Avenue, NW has applied to DDOT for a permit to provide valet parking for its patrons. Maggiano’s previously had received approval and provided valet parking for four years, until November 2012, then decided to stop its valet service. The restaurant has since reconsidered and would like to reinstate valet parking, however, its valet parking permit has elapsed. The ANC received the request from MarcParc Valet, which will resume managing Maggiano’s valet parking, only 1.5 weeks ago; the ANC 3E has the right to 30 days notice. As such it is unclear whether the application is a renewal or a new application.
MarcParc Valet’s vice president of operations Lawrence McCray discussed the application with commissioners, covering such topics as the proposed hours for Maggiano’s valet service; whether valet parking would be available only to Maggiano’s patrons; and the fees the restaurant pays to the District to obtain a valet parking permit.
The commissioners voted 4-0-1 to approve the application as amended, waiving the ANC’s right to 30 day’s notice in this particular instance.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding public space application for driveway, curb cut, and rain garden in public space at 4201 River Road, NW
Commissioner Frumin presented this resolution, explaining that an agreement has been reached between the developer of the house under construction at 4201 River Road, NW and the neighbors nearest the property regarding the public space application for a curb cut. The developer had also agreed to a voluntary agreement reflecting changes to the design of the driveway and increased plantings on the property to address environmental concerns.
The commissioners voted 3-1-0 to adopt the voluntary agreement and approve the resolution.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding construction of enclosed space on public space by the new owners of the Dancing Crab
Commissioner Frumin introduced this resolution, explaining that the new owners of the Dancing Crab came before the commission on August 29, 2013 to request support for its application to the Public Space Committee for permission to enclose its sidewalk café. The owners said they had a permit for work to be done at the site but due to an innocent error began enclosing the porch without realizing that they did not have a permit for an enclosed space.
A voluntary agreement was subsequently reached between the Dancing Crab owners and the ANC 3E whereby ANC 3E supports the application for a public space permit. For their part, the owners agree to improve the streetscape on their block to add to neighborhood vibrancy, possibly working with other business owners. They will consider further improvements to their property during Phase II of the project. Commissioners indicated their preference that over time the restaurant would, ideally, not have an elevated platform that breaks up the space but would provide better seating at ground level, which would contribute to street life. The owners also agreed to open the street facing windows of the enclosed sidewalk café when weather permits.
The ensuing discussion covered such topics as how the Dancing Crab’s sidewalk café is different than the one proposed by Pete’s Apizza; the difficulties of building public outdoor spaces in the District; and confirmation that the sidewalk café is for restaurant patrons only.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution and voluntary agreement.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding Notice of Intent from DDOT to install roundabout on 42nd and Warren Streets, NW, on trial basis
Commissioner Bender introduced this resolution, explaining that the intersection of 42nd Street and Warren Streets, NW has had longstanding problems with the volume and speed of traffic, which has created safety issues for pedestrians. Residents of the 42nd Street corridor have complained about these issues for some time. The 42nd Street corridor abuts or is near vulnerable populations, including Janney Elementary School, IONA Senior Services, Friendship Terrace Retirement Community, and St. Ann’s Academy, among others. One of DDOT’s recommendations in its Rock Creek West II Livability Study in early 2011 was to install roundabouts, or traffic circles, on 42nd Street near Warren Street NW to help slow traffic and increase safety. The ANC supported the recommendation in its April 2011 resolution. American University is also moving its law school near the 42nd Street corridor, which may increase traffic, and as such the ANC 3E negotiated an agreement with AU to fund the construction of the roundabouts. DDOT sent a notice of intent (NOI) on August 27, 2013 that roundabouts will be installed in the north and south approach of Warren Street, NW Separately, DDOT has stated that it intends to install the roundabouts using temporary materials initially, and to make adjustments based on data collected before making them permanent.
Residents living near the 42nd Street corridor expressed strong support for the installation of the roundabouts and spoke about their concerns with speeding, safety and inadequate signage.
Issues discussed included whether residential parking will remain the same, and adding a dedicated bike lane to maintain safe bike access on 42nd Street.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution with an amendment asking DDOT to ensure that its report to the ANC, after DDOT collects data on the temporary roundabouts, addresses the possibility of adding a bike lane and parking implications.
Update by Douglas Development on construction plans for building at the former Babe’s Billiards’ site
Commissioner Bender introduced the topic, explaining that it had been a long process leading up to the PUD to redevelop the former Babe’s Billiards site at Wisconsin Avenue and Brandywine Street, NW, and that commissioners and residents were looking forward to construction of the project. Paul Millstein from Douglas Development gave an update to the commissioners about construction plans for the site. Patrick Cooper, principal of Compass Design and Development, was also present.
Mr. Millstein said that the project name has been changed to The Tenley View. Construction should start this January, beginning with building the foundations and then the roof. Construction will take an estimated 14 to 15 months, with a target completion date of March 2015. He said he would have preferred to start this November but was concerned that the colder winter months could slow the outdoor portion of the construction. Douglas Development has contracted with McCullough Construction and Mr. Cooper will oversee the redevelopment. They are making good progress with undergrounding utilities, he said, explaining that he expected that lines across Wisconsin Avenue will be removed, with service remaining on both sides.
In response to commissioners’ questions, Mr. Millstein agreed to contact a representative from American University to discuss sharing the cost for undergrounding. He said they have not yet signed any business tenants, but the response has been very good, including among potential residential tenants. He confirmed that residential tenants would not be allowed RPPs. The sloped triangle piece of land on the east side of the 4600 block of Wisconsin has been fully designed for landscaping and they will bear the full expenses, as per the Memorandum Of Understanding with the ANC, he said. In response to a commissioner’s question Mr. Millstein agreed to coordinate improvements with neighboring businesses on 41st Street.
Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding proposed changes to both Wisconsin Avenue (30’s) bus routes and the E6
Commissioner Quinn introduced this resolution, explaining that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has proposed changes to a number of bus routes, including those that serve parts of the ANC 3E, and is currently accepting public comments. He said WMATA has proposed changes to several of the 30’s bus lines (31, 32, 36, eliminate 34, and add a new route to be numbered 30). These lines are remnants of the old street car lines, and originate and terminate in Friendship Heights and serve the Wisconsin Avenue, NW corridor. The new 30 bus route would travel to downtown DC. WMATA has also proposed reducing bus frequency on the E-6 bus lines mid-week because of low ridership.
Commissioner Quinn offered several recommendations in the resolution to help strengthen and improve WMATA’S proposed changes to the 30’s and E-6 bus lines, including servicing certain neighborhoods and business corridors.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution, 4-0-1.
- Approval of August 2013 meeting minutes
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the August 2013 minutes.
- Approval of expenditures
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve expenditures: $662.00 to Loren Stein for administrative services; $13.00 to Loren Stein for expenses; $29.14 to FedEx for copying services; $1,642.14 for a grant to the Lisner Home.
The commission adjourned at 10:31pm.
Jonathan Bender, Chair