Meeting Minutes

September 8, 20227:30 pm

The meeting convened via Zoom at 7:31 PM. Commissioners Bender, Cohen, Gianinno, Hall 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 about the status of the Federal Realty PUD application for 5333 Wisconsin Ave. Commissioner Quinn replied that they have not made any substantive changes to the design since they were last here. We plan to invite them to our October meeting to have them present their amenities and traffic packages. 

Leigh Catherine Miles, Executive Director of Tenleytown Main Street announced:

  • The project to address storm water management at the intersection of Emory and Wisconsin has begun. The project will have the added bonus of slowing cars turning onto 42nd St and it is scheduled to be completed in late fall. 
  • TMS recently received funding for stormwater funding for another project on Wisconsin Ave., south of Tenley Circle. Miles will provide more details about this project at a later date.
  • The next Fessenden Park clean-up will take place on Saturday 9/10.
  • Tenleytown Tuesdays has started back up. It provides discounts for teachers, staff and students on Tuesdays at various participating businesses around Tenleytown. 
  • Art All Night will take place on September 24. 
  • Open Streets will be coming to Tenleytown on Saturday, November 5. Wisconsin Ave will be closed to vehicle traffic between 9 am and 1 pm and will have programming for all members of the community.

Eva Gunasekera with the Janney Elementary PTA announced their 5k and Fun Run will take place on Saturday, November 19. They plan to apply to the ANC for a grant again to help fund the race. 

Emir Gur Raventab, the Ward 3 Liaison to the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations (MOCRs), announced: 

  • The Fiesta DC Parade celebrating Latin American culture will take place on September 25.
  • On September 15, Mayor Bowser will host the Maternal Health summit. 
  • Covid Bivalent boosters are available at the Covid Centers. The Ward 3 Covid Center is located in the Chevy Chase Pavilion. 
  • The DC Government has substantially increased the amount of aid available to homebuyers in DC through the Home Purchase Assistance Program. The program provides no-interest loans and help with closing costs to eligible, first-time buyers. 
  • The Kids Ride Free program provides smart trip cards to any child in a DC school (public, private or charter schools) to provide free Metro and bus trips to and from schools. 

Mr. Gur-Raventab can be reached at or 202-340-7853 with any additional questions or concerns.

An attendee asked if the Chesapeake House will be made available as a performance and exhibition space for artists once the renovations are complete. Commissioner Bender responded that it will have a dual use – as a museum for Fort Circle Parks and Reno City and TMS will help manage it to make it available as a community space at night and on the weekends.

Amy Sinnenberg with Councilmember Cheh’s office announced that the DC Council changed their email addresses to all end in .gov rather than in .us as they used to. Their old email addresses still work and will forward any emails to their new addresses, but she asked that we update our contacts with the new ending.

Presentation by 2nd District Police 

Sgt Zachary Campher provided an update on crime in PSA 202. Over the last 60 days there were no robberies, assaults with dangerous weapons, or burglaries. There were two burglaries at Coffee Nature and Custom Tailors Dry Cleaners at Fessenden and Wisconsin Ave. that have been linked to a string of burglaries that night that took place in Clinton, Md, Friendship Heights, and Georgetown. Campher also stated that MPD has been focusing on increasing their presence along Wisconsin Ave during school drop-off and pick-up hours. 

Attendees: Ms. Miles with TMS stated that the coffee shop and dry cleaners have been burglarized at least four times and that she has shared information with them about installing burglar alarms. 

Commissioners: stated that there was an arrest from a previous burglary at those businesses and asked if that person had been released from jail. Campher did not know and will look into it; asked if Campher had any updates on the three pedestrian fatalities on Connecticut Ave. Campher did not have any updates; and asked if they can ticket vehicles blocking crosswalks along Wisconsin Ave.

Discussion of and possible vote on resolution regarding renewal liquor license application by Le Kavacha Bistro

Commissioner Bender informed those in attendance that the ANC normally does not 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 this business and therefore the Commission took no action on this renewal. 

Update from the Office of Planning regarding the Wisconsin Avenue Development Framework Study 

Erkin Ozberk stated that the Wisconsin Avenue Development Framework project focuses on the future development of Wisconsin Ave from Tenleytown to Friendship Heights. The goal of the study is to support affordable housing opportunities, coordinate development with transit projects, look ahead to how the corridor will be changing in the future, and support mixed-used development. They will be building off previous studies done in the area and they will be coordinating with DDOTs Tenleytown Multimodal Access Project and WMATA’s Western Ave Bus Garage Redevelopment. To date, they have completed two community walks and will be at the Friendship Heights pop-up market on Saturday September 10. There is a public survey that everyone is invited to complete. It closes on September 11. Their draft report will be delivered in winter 2023 and the final report will be delivered in spring 2023. Project information and the survey can be found at:


  • Asked if the final report will cover all of Wisconsin Ave or if it will address smaller parts of the corridor. The study will cover the whole corridor but with more details around the Metros.
  • Asked if this project will provide guidance to WMATA about redevelopment of the lot they are vacating on Wisconsin Ave. They will be making recommendations about how that site can complement and improve the neighborhood,
  • Asked what are the action and decision steps that come out of the study. The study will make recommendations to change zoning that is consistent with Comprehensive Plan with goal to have mixed use projects that will increase housing. 
  • Will the infrastructure be studied as part of this project? Yes, OP will be studying the infrastructure across multiple areas in the city because the infrastructure in interconnected. Their process informs the planning that the utilities do.
  • Stated they hope OP will be coordinating the development of the WMATA garage, the Lord and Taylor, and the Home Plate lots.
  • Asked if the study covers the Lord & Taylor site and if it will be rezoned. The FLUM was updated last year and includes the L&T site.

Commissioners stated that there has been a lot of housing developments in the neighborhood with relatively few affordable housing units and many market rate units that are vacant; and stated that they have concerns about if the public schools had the capacity to handle increased development in the area. 

Presentation by and discussion with WMATA and OP representatives regarding zoning text amendment WMATA seeks to permit it to move its bus facilities to the full Lord & Taylor parking area 

Liz Price, Vice President of Real Estate at WMATA spoke about their plans to acquire the Lord & Taylor site and build a new bus garage on the site. The current site is 3.77 acres, has 14 maintenance bays, and has a capacity of 117 buses. The Lord & Taylor site is 6+ acres. Once the new garage is built, they will be selling the current site that will create a development opportunity on Wisconsin Ave. Right now, the northern part of the lot is zoned MU-4 and the southern portion of the lot is zoned RA-2. The DC OP introduced a text amendment to allow a bus garage to be built in the portion of the lot zoned RA-2. Price stated that normally WMATA needs to complete an environmental assessment before they can purchase real estate, but they were given permission to buy the lot before the assessment is done. They hope to make an offer this fall and close by December. Price stated WMATA will work collaboratively with the community. 

Jennifer Steingasser with DC OP reviewed the text amendment the Zoning Commission is considering and stated the development will include setbacks from the adjoining residential lots. The next public hearing on the text amendment will be on November 21 at 4:00 pm. OP will issue their report on November 11. 


  • Asked if the negotiations with owners have been held or if their timelines are aspirational. The negotiations are ongoing, and they hope to close by the end of year.
  • Asked whether  the plans will include green space for the community. They do not have any firm plans right now as they are focusing on the program. They will engage with the community once the plans have been finalized. 
  • Asked if neighbors will be looking at buses parked on the lot. They are planning to build a enclosed facility.
  • Asked if there will be affordable housing built on either of the sites. Their projects must comply with local zoning guidelines and they are committed to go beyond that and work with private partners to identify the funding to accomplish it. 
  • Would like to see an express bus lane built on Wisconsin Ave to accommodate new residents and development.
  • Asked if the historic designation application that was submitted will affect their plans. The impact of the application is still being determined, but they believe it will not impact their plans.  
  • Asked if the zoning for the WMAL building will change. The zoning of that building will be considered during the Wisconsin Ave Development study. 
  • Asked for a rough timeline for the development of the Lord & Taylor site. The environmental study will take 2-3 years. 5-7 years is a reasonable starting point before the Lord & Taylor can be occupied. 
  • Asked how many buses the new site will accommodate. There are 117 buses at current site, but the buses are parked too close to each other. The new site will hold at most 120 buses and they hope to provide employee parking on site, right now the employees are parking in leased spaces in Mazza Gallerie.
  • Stated that Mazza has a lot of extra parking spaces, why not continue to lease the spaces. They are not ruling anything out
  • Stated that buses park by Jackson-Reed High School in Tenleytown and they block the street. They asked if this project eliminate the need for the parking there. Ms. Price was not familiar with this issue. 
  • An immediate neighbor asked WMATA to have more engagement with the immediate neighbors. 
  • An immediate neighbor would like the Lord & Taylor site to be redeveloped to provide more housing and more modern retail. He was told the new garage would be built underground with development above it. He asked if these constraints can be written into the text amendment. 
  • Asked if they could do mixed use on the Lord and Taylor site. There is nothing that would stop WMATA from having a mixed use development on the site. 
  • Stated that right now people are using the Lord & Taylor site for illegal purposes. Asked if they can find some interim uses for the site. 


  • Asked if the appraisal of the site has been completed and noted that if Lord & Taylor doesn’t agree to the sale, WMATA can exercise eminent domain to take the site. The appraisal is complete, and Price stated their use of eminent domain has limits. 
  • Asked what benefits they are offering to the community. Price replied that public transit is important to the city. 
  • What percentage of the bus fleet serves Ward 3? 8% of the fleet is housed in this facility and the vast majority serves Wards 1, 2, and 3. 
  • Stated that we need fields, affordable housing, and community space and their proposal will tie up two sites for many years and leave behind a toxic site. 
  • Stated that it will be a lost opportunity if they do not do mixed development on the site. They would like to see athletic fields, an indoor rec center, and housing. 
  • Asked if they would be willing to commit to having the current site become something that benefits the community. 
  • Asked about what environmental issues the current site faces. Some remediation work has been done already and the environmental clean-up will not preclude the redevelopment of the site.
  • Asked if they considered building a multi-story garage on the current site. The configuration of the site would require a 4-story garage and too much of the floor space would be lost to ramps.
  • They were disappointed in the planning process for this project.
  • Asked why we need the text amendment now before we have a proposal.
  • They noted we have two planning processes ongoing and asked why the text amendment wasn’t considered as part of the Wisconsin Ave development framework. 
  • Noted that the HPRB application might limit the ingress and egress on the property and asked if their architects looked at the site and noted that if they have to work around the existing Lord & Taylor building, this site is actually a smaller than the current site. WMATA representatives met with HPRB and in early stages of exploring what their needs are. 
  • Asked why the adjoining properties on 44th were not incorporated into the acquisition of the site. They can only acquire the property required for the site. If they cannot fit the garage on the Lord & Taylor site, then they can move forward on the other sites. 
  • Asked if the disposition of the current site a separate issue. There is no linkage between the 2 sites. 
  • Noted that WMATA is placing a large bus order and a large number of them are diesel buses. The Northern bus garage will be converted to accommodate electric buses, but that doesn’t mean that there will be electric buses there any time soon. 
  • They would like to get the garage off Wisconsin Ave and have an underground bus garage with something above it. Approving the text amendment runs the risk of creating a matter of right garage with no community input. 
  • Was unhappy that the Commission received notice of the text amendment on the day that the council was hearing the item. They noted that if this was a PUD, then the ANC would be given great weight.
  • It would be inconsistent to approve this outside the planning framework and asked if WMATA and OP can delay the hearing until the planning framework is complete and WMATA and OP can talk about how these sites would fit in the broader context of Friendship Heights. 

Presentation by AU regarding the construction of a sound barrier wall at Jacob’s Field and the installation of the Marabar Exhibit (formerly at the National Geographic Society Headquarters) 

Ed Fisher stated that they will be hosting a CLC meeting on September 13 at 7:00 on East Campus. They will also be hosting a family movie night in the amphitheater in conjunction with Horace Mann PTA on September 23. 

Fisher stated that AU was gifted the Marbar Exhibit by The National Geographic Society. It will be installed along Mass Ave. They will be adding more trees to the site, brick pavers and putting in a water features. The boulders will be added starting the week of 9/19. This installation is not part of their campus plan, but more of a landscaping project. 

AU has been ordered by the Zoning Commission (ZC) to build a sound barrier wall between the Jacob’s Athletic field and the home located at 4710 Woodway Lane as their first project under the new campus plan. AU will file for processing next week. The wall will be 360 feet long and 15 feet high. As part of this project, they will also be replacing the old scoreboard with a new video scoreboard next to Reeves field. 

There were no questions from the attendees or commissioners.

ANC Business

  • Approval of July 2022 meeting minutes – Commissioner Bender moved, and Commissioner Giannino seconded a motion to approve the Draft July 2022 Meeting Minutes. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0 with Commissioner Hall not present for the vote.  
  • Approval of expenditures – – Commissioner Quinn moved, and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve a payment for $360.00 to Sherry Cohen for administrative support. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0 with Commissioner Hall not present for the vote.

The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at 10:32 PM.

ANC3E Sept 08 2022 Meeting Minutes – Final

ANC3E Sept 08 2022 Meeting Minutes – Draft