Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B
Minutes of Regular ANC Meeting
December 14, 2004
Commissioners Absent: Daryl Snowden, David Sheldon, and
There was a quorum for conducting business.
Adoption of Agenda
Chair Olson stated that she
had two (2) issues to be added under Planning and Zoning. She wants to add two (2) transportation
issues. The first is removal of a No Turn
on Red Sign at
Commissioner Jarboe stated
that he wanted to add 12th and
Commissioner Hill stated that under Presentations that the DCMPD would not be making a presentation, but would like to reschedule for next month.
Commissioner Glick asked the Commissioners that all items to be voted on such as 5, 6, and transportation be moved to before presentations.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that he would oppose the recommendation on principal because he doesn’t think the Commission wants to move things around, and at this point the Commission does not have to necessary votes to take such action.
Commissioner Glick stated that he just wanted it for the record that the Commission conducts business first and presentations later.
Chair Olson stated that that is something that needs to be taken up at the next Executive Committee meeting as something to be done during 2005.
Commissioner Smith stated
that he wanted to add the removal of the Left Turn Only sign at
Commissioner Hill made the motion that the Commissions adopt the Agenda as changed. Since Commissioner Glick motion was not seconded, it will not be included. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Cernich. The vote was unanimous (6-1-0).
Community and Commission Announcements
Commissioner Jarboe provided
the Commissioner with an update on his testimony before the City Council
regarding the ANC’s issue on HazMat with the issue of tanker railcars. Carol Swartz had a roundtable it wasn’t a
hearing, because technically they were not testifying on Kathy Patterson’s bill
to ban the shipment of hazardous material.
Homeland Security Office also testified at the hearing and basically
stated that they were not going to tell them what they are going to do, and by
the way, they don’t mandate the requirements for rerouting, but to trust
them. Commissioner Jarboe stated that he
doesn’t think that is good enough and urge the Commissioners to get involved
and help push the issue. He also mentioned
that the ANC 2B at
Commissioner Jarboe mentioned that Bill Vanden Toorn passed away Sunday night. Bill was in the past an ANC 6B Commissioner. Of late, he was a reporter for the Hill Rag. Commissioner Jarboe made the motion that the ANC expresses its deep condolences at the lost of Bill Vanden Toorn. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Olson. The vote was unanimous (7-0-0).
Chair Olson spoke to the Commissioners for supporting her as chair over the last 2 years, and that she appreciates all their support and confidence over the years, and that she had learned a lot functioning in her capacity as chair.
Commissioner Smith also thanked the community for an opportunity to serve them. He stated that he stepped into his role on the Commission because he was interested in community work and wanted to represent his community. He further stated that he believes the work of ANC 6B in the future will be tremendous because of the positive development on Capitol Hill and transportation issues. He also stated that he too had learned a great deal and was glad to serve. He stated that he was confident that the new incoming Commissioner Antonette Russell will do an outstanding job, because she is very actively involved in the community and he looks forward to working with her.
Commissioner Campbell thanked the community and commission, especially, with a number of personal issues involving his son and mother-in-law. He especially wanted to thank them for their confidence in him by reelecting him to the Commission.
Commissioner Glick also thanked the community for reelecting him to another term.
Commissioner Hill also thanked the community.
No one was present to represent DDOT
DCMPD – Citizen’s Complaint Review
Cancelled and rescheduled for next months meeting.
Planning and Zoning Committee
Benard Renard – 521 and
Commissioner Campbell presented the Planning and Zoning Committee report regarding Mr. Benard Renard’s application:
The applicant is seeking to
add a three story rear addition to
The building (519 11th) to the other side of the proposed addition (519 11th) is the old funeral home that occupies the entire lot with a solid brick wall along the property line with 521. Thus, there are no air and light issues with respect to this neighbor.
The applicant met earlier with the Committee and has had ongoing discussion with Historic Preservation office staff. As a result, the height of the addition has been reduced in order to ensure that it is not visible from the front. The Committee appreciates the applicant’s changes to address this concern.
However, the Committee has a remaining concern over the mass of the rear addition, specifically with the loss of open back yard space for both 521 and 523. With this addition to 521, the adjoining building at 523 will lose a major portion of its open space. We note that the design of the rear of 523 has patio doors opening to this joint back yard. With the new addition, those doors will open to the small dogleg between the buildings.
We suspect that the past addition to 523 was approved because of the sharing of the lot with 521 – as the combination of all structures on the lot (both houses, the shed and the garage) are just within the permitted limits (62.6% lot occupancy). Taken separately, the half of the lot occupied by 523 and garage is well over the permitted limits (at roughly 75% lot occupancy. The applicant argues that the addition would reduce the lot occupancy ratio and will bring the lot occupancy in to conformity with 60% lot occupancy for 521, compared to existing lot occupancy of 62.6% for the combined 521 and 523.
The Committee disagrees and would point out that this is a case of comparing apples to oranges. The proposal will create one lot at 521 with 60% lot occupancy up (from the existing 47.8%) and one lot at 523 with 75% lot occupancy (for combined lot occupancy of 66%). Thus the proposal actually increases the total lot occupancy. If the applicant now wishes to have 521 considered separately, something needs to be done to bring 523 in to closer compliance with zoning limits – especially with the rear yard requirements.
The Committee believes that the issue of rear yard space for 523 can be mitigated by changes to the existing garage. This structure is both a parking garage and a workshop. Either the size of the garage could reduced by 10 feet (which the applicant has stated is feasible by eliminating the workshop area) or the garage could be eliminated completely and replaced with an open parking pad, as will be done at 521. The Committee’s preference is for the replacement of the garage with an open parking pad, as that will increase the open space. However, the Committee would be satisfied with either solution.
Thus, the Committee recommends support for this application, contingent upon a reduction in size of the existing garage at 523 or its replacement with an open parking pad.
The Committee also notes that this case will come before the ANC again for a zoning variance. The above recommendations can be review again at that time in the context of the needed zoning relief.
Chair Olson asked Mr. Renard if he had any new additional information or comments regarding his application.
Mr. Renard basically restated what the P&Z Committee report stated regarding the size of the project and the lot, and the need to reduce or replace the garage. One of his key points was that the new addition will not be visible from the front of the property.
The Chair asked Mrs. Renard if he heard what the Committee had recommended regarding his application with its contingencies, which she read, and his response was yes.
The Chair asked for questions
from the audience. A gentleman from
After additional discussion regarding the building height, Mr. Renard offered to meet with the questioner to review his plans and answer any questions regarding his proposed changes.
Commissioner Glick made the recommendation that Mr. Renard meet with the neighbors and review his plans and get letters of support for his project and bring that to the BZA meeting.
Commissioner Campbell stated that the main concern of the Committee was that this was one lot, and it was being divided into 2 lots and their concerns was that they both shared a common area, which was the backyard, creating a dogleg at 523. The solution was the reduction of the workshop by 10 feet or removal of the garage and replaced with a pad.
With no additional discussion, the Chair stated that the recommendation comes from the Committee in the form of a motion, therefore no second is needed. She asked all in favor to raise their hands, and the vote was unanimous (7-0-0).
Removal of No Turn on Red
The Chair stated this was her
project and anyone familiar with Results Gym, knows it has taken over the
neighborhood with parking and traffic problems.
This is not just with Results, but with the commuter traffic traveling
Commissioner Glick made the
motion to support the removal of the No Turn on Red Sign at
Addition of Crosswalk on
the north side of
The Chair stated that on
Commissioner Glick offered a Friendly-Amendment to add Pedestrian Crosswalk signage.
Commissioner Cernich asked the Chair if she wanted to request a Stop Sign at that location. She responded that there have not been any accidents at the location, but there have been near misses involving pedestrians, and she does not believe one would be granted based upon this fact.
Commissioner Campbell stated that if the signage was the Lime Green type it would be hard to miss.
With no additional discussion, the Friendly-Amendment was accepted by the Chair and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Cernich. The vote was unanimous (7-0-0).
Commissioner Jarboe stated
that there are the Lime Green signs that are currently in place to protect
pedestrians but do not seem to be working.
He thought there would be pedestrian signage placed in the middle of the
street similar to the ones at Eastern Market, but the signs on either side, two
of which were place under trees, which makes it difficult to see. This location receives traffic from
Commissioner Smith asked if there were lights in the District that operated based upon pedestrian traffic rather than being timed. The response was yes. Commissioner Campbell stated that there are lights that when the crossing request (pushing of a button) is made, within approximately 30 seconds the light will change to allow the pedestrian to cross.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that we would accept the idea of a pedestrian initiated push-button crossing as a Friendly-Amendment.
Commissioner Campbell made
the Friendly-Amendment that the same traffic control measures be placed on the
north side of
Commissioner Jarboe made the
motion that a Pedestrian Push-Button Stop Sign be placed at 12ths and
Commissioner Cernich made the comment that something needs to be done at 8th and E Street, SE. He has walked out in front of cars and they refuse to stop. The Chair stated that this is one of the most horrible intersections and the District Department of Transportation refused to give the ANC a stop sign at that location.
Removal of Left Turn
Signage at 17th (heading north) and
Commissioner Smith stated
that the signage at 17th and
Commissioner Hill stated that he would also like to add the removal of the Left Turn sign at Potomac Ave, SE, going south on 17th Street because very few people use that lane, thus there is only one straight through lane and the traffic could use both lanes to go straight ahead on 17th Street, which would reduce traffic congestion.
Commissioner Smith stated
that the ANC did make the request to place the No Left Turn Signal heading
Commissioner Smith stated
that the removal of the No Left Turn at Potomac would help reduce the alley
traffic due to people wanting to make a left turn on
Commissioner Smith’s motion
is that a sign notifying traffic that there is a Left Turn Only Lane at
Community Speakout (late addition)
The Chair stated that she was
adding this to allow the community to speakout about the shooting in the area
The person from the community
who lives at
A member of the DCMPD was present and he stated that the stats indicate that crime in the area is actually on the decline. They are actively working to police the area. However, more officers in the area may not have prevented that particular crime. He also stated that there is a police officer who actually lives in the area where the shooting occurred. In fact, from the officers back window you could see the crime location.
The resident asked about improving outreach from the DCMPD. The office suggested that the resident attend PSA meetings and they will be provided with a lot of information regarding their area and the policing efforts being put forth for them, and how they can assist. He provided the resident with the dates and times of the next 2 meetings. He also gave out the number to call for PSA information (202) 727-1000.
Liquor License Renewals:
Bread & Chocolate, Inc., App. No. 36469, License # 26694, Class – DR 01
Committee Chairman, Commissioner Cernich stated that Bread & Chocolate was applying for the renewal of their Liquor License. No one was present from the establishment.
Commissioner Cernich asked if anyone from the community had any comment regarding the renewal of their license. A person from the community stated that he thought the establishment was very responsible in the community. Another person voiced a positive support for the establishment.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the ANC has a Voluntary Agreement that they do not serve liquor on the patio.
Commission Cernich moved that the Commission not oppose the renewal of Bread and Chocolate’s renewal of their liquor license. Commissioner Jarboe seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous (7-0-0).
Committee reports and announcements
The Chair announced that since DDOT has arrived, we will revisit the presentation portion of the Agenda.
The representatives of the
Kenilworth Avenue Corridor Study stated that their primary focus was on
At this point Allen Miller introduced himself as the Engineer for the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative from the DDOT and Tom ????? from SDB is the Consult on the Study and Steve Lee is from the Public Affairs and Out Reach Consult on the study.
Mr. Miller stressed that they do not have any preconceived notions about anything. They are looking to get input on the ANCs and the communities on both sides of the river to develop a process to develop the projects. What should come out of this is a list of projects which will become their program at DDOT, and then will go back to see what the environmental analysis tells them and then they will begin the design of the projects. This is the ground floor of the project, so everything is on the table.
Commissioner Glick stated that he hears what Mr. Miller is saying about them being willing to listen to what the ANCs and Community Leaders have to say, but in the various studies such as Reservation 13, and the need for traffic signs in their community, only to be told no.
Commissioner Smith and several other Commissioners expressed their frustrations with dealing with various studies and things from the Council in which their input is invited only to have it totally ignored and that this is very troubling.
The representative stated
that they will be looking at the bridge from traffic modeling and analysis
points of view. The additional bridge
Commissioner Smith asked the presenters if they are talking about extending East Capitol because the ANC has been told in the past that that was not feasible. The representative appeared not to be familiar with this. However, his associate stated that he didn’t necessary agree with the prior conclusions regarding this issue.
The representative stated the
reason they are looking at this is because it is part of the Framework Plan for
the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. They
want to make the river much more accessible and to bring people across
Commissioner Jarboe stated that what really concerns him is that there appears to have been several piece-meal studies done that do not appear to take into consideration the total impact on traffic movement in this area. Each time the Commission reviews a transportation study, the Commission is always told that what ever decision is made, it will not have a negative impact on our community, but it always seem to change when a new study is presented. Commissioner Jarboe stated that on numerous occasions the Commission has been told that certain traffic situations would not occur only to find that in fact they did. He, like the other Commissioners, are concerned that in the end, the same thing will happen again with this project, and wants some type of assurances that it will not happen. The Commission is concerned with “you build it, and they will come” problem with the various proposed transportation plans being studied (proposed) and their negative impact on its citizens.
Commissioner Campbell expressed his frustration with the fact that seldom do the traffic people who propose the various traffic revisions, take time to interview the citizens in the proposed impacted area as to their feelings regarding any potential negative or positive outcomes, if the proposed changes are made. In the end, it will be the people of ANC 6B that will be negatively impacted, if our citizens’ views are not taken into consideration.
Commissioner Glick stated that as long as he has been on the Commission that they have voted consistently on not having a bridge on Mass. Avenue., but the planners seem to always come back with bridge designed to carry vehicles instead of the neighborhood’s desire to have pedestrian traffic only.
Commissioner Smith stated that a lot of people traveling north on 17th street using the Barney Circle want to head north on 295, but in fact lot of people want to go west on East Capitol Street but they can’t. He pointed out that it seems that all of these studies are done independently and most importantly, they do not get resident input, and the studies are not coordinated to see the real impact on each neighborhood, and we like to see this changed.
After more discussion about traffic studies, patterns, counts, and pedestrian safety, the representatives assured the commissioner that their mission was to secure ANC and neighborhood input on any proposed changes to ensure the best outcome. It was further stated that there is no silver bullet solution to the traffic problems facing the District, and it will take all interested parties working together to get a workable solution.
Someone from the community asked if their studies take into consideration the new traffic when baseball is in RFK Stadium and the new stadium, and the impact on the neighborhood. The representative stated that their studies indicates that most of the people who travel to the stadium will use public transportation, thus they do not see a large impact on local traffic.
A member of the community stated that their studies need to take into consideration whether or not there are legal implications regarding property and right-of-way associated with the various plans.
Commissioner Smith stated that it is his feeling that they are doing things backwards. The studies are being done on a departmentalized fashion, then you are going to develop a comprehensive plan, when in fact, the comprehensive plan should be the starting point that sets the goals for the project and the departmental plans are developed as subsets of the master plan to accomplish (implement) the comprehensive plan. This approach will allow and encourage greater neighborhood input.
The representatives reported that their DDOT and Office of Planning websites can provide additional information on what is planned. They stressed that this was their first level meeting and they will be conducting many more and will return the ANC to discuss and receive its input. They anticipate a kickoff of the project sometime during the later part of January.
There was no further business and Commissioner Hill made the motion that the meeting be adjourned until its next meeting date of January 11, 2005. The motion was seconded, and the vote was 7 to 0.
Prepared by Bert Randolph