Meeting Minutes

September 17, 20207:30 pm

The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:45 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 asked if ANC3E would consider supporting a grant for Ward 3 Mutual Aid. Ward 3 Mutual Aid provides groceries, hygiene and other support to elderly, disabled and low-income residents. They can be reached at ward3.mutualaid@gmail.com or 202-686-1545 and residents can join at https://airtable.com/shrBSbM6biNrgK893. Commissioner Bender responded that Ward 3 Mutual Aid contacted the Commission early on in the pandemic and he suggested several neighborhood non-profits they could partner with to submit a grant. To date they have not submitted such a cooperative grant, but the Commission remains interested in seeing one.

An attendee asked Commissioner Quinn about the status of the letter to DDOT regarding pedestrian safety issues at the intersection of 43rd St and Military Rd.

Maria Barry, Director of Community Relations at AU stated that the University sent post cards to the residents of 20015 and 20016 with contact information for any questions, concerns or issues that community members might have. They have a community listserv and she welcomed people to join at https://www.american.edu/communityrelations. She stated that the campus is open for community members to walk through as long as they are masked and obey social distancing protocols but that buildings, restrooms, fields, etc. are closed to the public. Shuttle buses are still running but they are not available to neighbors and residents. An attendee asked if they University is tracking the positive Coronavirus cases for students living off campus. 

Jessica Green, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations: reminded residents to fill out their Census forms if they haven’t done so already at http://2020census.gov; stated that the report on named spaces in DC can be found at http://mayor.dc.gov/dcspaces; reminded people to follow mask guidelines outside of their homes and residents and that visitors must quarantine for 14 days if they travel to DC from hotspot states; stated that free Coronavirus tests are still available at firehouses; stated that all registered voters will receive an absentee ballot starting the first week of October and residents can do early voting at voting center, and that high school students can get volunteer credit hours for working at polling centers.

Presentation by 2nd District Police 

Lt Beistline provided an update on crime for PSA 202. Over the previous 30 days, there were no violent crimes, six burglaries in commercial buildings at Mazza Gallerie and Target, and eight stolen vehicles, four of which were recovered. MPD had a call with Tenleytown MainStreet and the business owners to talk about better securing the businesses. They are using the crime suppression team and caught a burglar coming out of Chatter with two television sets. The auto theft unit is working with the crime suppression unit and have deployed a bait car to the area. They also had Officer Santos doing traffic enforcement at 43rd and Military recently. An attendee asked Lt Beistline about three thefts from porches on the 4700 block of 41st St NW. Commissioners asked for parking enforcement along Wisconsin Ave and asked about the increase in burglaries in the area. 

Lt Beistline can be reached at iris.beistline@dc.gov with any additional questions or concerns. 

Presentation of grant from Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home for purchase of PPE and possible vote on same

Debbie Lyle, Development Coordinator for the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home, a non-profit assisted living community for the senior poor, presented a grant request for $3010.50 for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff at the home. From April to July they spent $39,000 for PPE and this grant would cover the cost of latex gloves for one month. Attendees had no questions. Commissioner Quinn asked if the DC Government has supported PPE at the home. Commissioner Bender stated that while ANCs generally cannot provide grants for items that the DC Government provides for, because an exception was made for the Coronavirus emergency, this should not be an issue. 

The Commission generally hears a request one month and votes on it the following month but given the necessity, Commissioner Bender moved to vote on it this month and approve the grant request. Commissioner McHugh seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.

Update on DC PLUG program to underground power lines in the neighborhood

Laisha Doherty, the Community Relations Coordinator for the DC PLUG program, and Kurt Bedenbaugh the project engineer for Synova Group discussed the status of the project. They stated that electrical outages will be occurring in our neighborhood as they switch over the service from the overhead cables to the new underground lines. Power will be out for about 2 hours per block and neighbors will be required to move all vehicles and pedestrian activity will be limited while the work occurs. They do not have exact dates for the outages yet, but they will provide 72-hour notice to all affected residents. There will be a second outage later on as they remove the overhead cables. 

At attendee asked if any utility poles will be removed. Commissioners asked when they could expect to have all of the streets repaved and asked for clarification as to why the utility poles will remain standing when the work is done.

Additional information can be found on their website, www.dcpluginfo.com and questions can be emailed to questions@dcpluginfo.com.

Presentation by American University regarding its proposed campus plan

Ed Fisher the Assistant Vice President for Community Relations gave a presentation on their Campus Plan Update that will be filed with the DC Government later this year. Commissioner McHugh stated that the Campus Plan came out of meetings over the last two years via the comprehensive neighborhood partnership. AU is proposing an enrollment cap of 14,380 which include 2,000 students at the Tenley Campus, an additional 500 dorm beds, adding an athletic center, adding academic buildings, improving the student center and improve some of the existing athletic facilities. They are also expanding and strengthening their good neighbor policy for students living off campus. The ANC will be voting on the plan and using the partnership for future negotiations with the community. 

Attendees: asked how bicycles will fit into their plan; did not see the need to increase the enrollment cap as they are currently under enrolled; asked if their plan would allow non-law school students to take classes on the Tenley Campus; would like to welcome more students to Tenleytown as they add vibrancy to the neighborhood; would like to encourage biking to and from the campus; pointed out that AU rents most of the Frequency building and counts it as university provided housing under the plan; and stated that members of the community need vehicles to get around because of age or disabilities.

Commissioners: did not have any issues with the enrollment cap; liked the good neighbor policy; suggested Commissioner McHugh reach out to the neighbors around the Tenley Campus regarding having non-law school students taking classes there; wondered whether having more market rate housing in the neighborhood by taking students out of the Frequency and having them live in new university housing would help lower housing prices; would like to have AU work with the ANC and DDOT to expand bike lane access; likes having AU students in the community; asked if AU could make their athletic facilities and fields accessible to the community; asked if there were any proposed changes to the Tenley Campus; would like to have them back to report on usage of the Tenley Campus; liked the neighborhood partnership; would like to have more affordable housing in the neighborhood, but if AU vacated the Frequency it would require AU to build another building or have students live in buildings like the Berkshire which had many non-student residents. 

The Comprehensive Transportation Review can be found at https://www.american.edu/communityrelations/campus-plan/upload/american-university-2021-campus-plan-comprehensive-transportation-review-sept-15-2020.pdf

Discussion of traffic calming options for 42nd and Ingomar

Commissioner Quinn stated that the intersection at 42nd and Ingomar is the only intersection on 42nd Street that does not have an all-way stop sign. Neighbors asked DDOT 15 months ago to install an all-way stop sign and that request was denied. The resolution that Commissioner Quinn drafted asks DDOT to add an all-way stop sign so that that intersection in consistent with all of the other intersections in the area. 

Attendees had no questions. Commissioners support the resolution. Commissioner Quinn noted that he made a small change to the last “whereas” clause. Commissioner Quinn moved the resolution as amended and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support traffic calming measures at the intersection of 42nd and Ingomar. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.

Presentation by DDOT regarding possible installation of sidewalks and/or bike lanes on Western Avenue

George Branyan from DDOT stated that they came to us a few years ago with plans to add sidewalks to Western Ave and the Commission asked them to consider adding bicycle lanes and additional traffic calming measures. Their current plan would add cross walks and curb extensions, add a bike lane on each side of the travel lanes and eliminate parking on the north side. They are seeking community input and would need like the commission to pass a resolution supporting the addition of the bike lane. Regardless of what we decide on the bike lane and parking they are planning to put in the sidewalk and curb extensions.

Attendees: liked the plans; asked if they could tighten up Westmoreland Circle to slow cars down; asked if they could add a sidewalk on River Rd between 46th St and Western Ave along Fort Bayard; asked why they need 11-foot wide lanes along Western; would like to have a protected bike lanes; was concerned that the flexible pavement doesn’t hold up well over the years; asked what DDOT does to protect pedestrians when bike lanes cross crosswalks; asked if they add traffic lights for bikes; and was  concerned that removing the parking lane would allow traffic to speed up.

Commissioners: asked for sidewalks on the east side of River Rd between Fessenden and 44th; asked about involving MD residents in the changes; liked the proposed changes; would like to reduce speed by adding speed cameras or speed tables along Western; asked if they could do a parking demand study; would like to have a protected bike lane if at all possible; asked if the bus stop at Davenport is connected to a sidewalk; asked if they could designate 47th St as a slow street; noted that Western Ave is not a safe street to walk on; and asked if DDOT could extend the bike lane past River Rd to Harrison Street or  Wisconsin Ave.

Discussion of and possible vote on resolution concerning renaming Wilson HS

Commissioner Hall stated that for the past year or more, there has been a discussion in the community about changing the name of Wilson HS because of his efforts to disenfranchise the African American community from the middle class. On Tuesday, the DC Council had a hearing on renaming the school. The draft resolution supports renaming the school. Attendees offered their strong support for the resolution. Commissioners also offered their strong support and thought renaming the school was long overdue.

Commissioner Hall moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution to support traffic calming measures at the intersection of 42nd and Ingomar. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.

ANC Business

  • Approval of July 2020 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Quinn seconded a motion to approve the Draft July 2020 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 3-0-0.
  • Approval of budget – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve the 2021 budget. The budget was approved 3-0-0. 
  • Treasurer’s Report – Commissioner Quinn stated that the OANC Auditors office asked him to update the treasurer’s reports going back to the 2018 Q1 report so that the expenses were listed when they were approved vs when the checks were cashed. The auditor said that ANC did not have to approve the updated reports, just inform all Commissioners about the change.
  • Approval of expenditures Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Hall seconded a motion to approve payments of $510.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support, $811.29 ($199.00 for Mixlr audio streaming, $158.89 for Zoom conference services, $254.40 for Vimeo video storage, and $199.00 for Dropbox cloud storage) to Commissioner McHugh for reimbursement for cloud services and $3010.50 to the Lisner Home for their grant. The expenditures were approved by a vote of 3-0-0.

The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 11:18 PM.

ANC3E Sep 17 2020 Meeting Minutes – Draft