Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B
Minutes of Regular ANC Meeting
September 11, 2007
Commissioners Absent: None
The Chair stated that since this was 9/11 and many Commissioners had requested and approved this as a date that no one will ever forget, she asked everyone to take a moment for a silence in observance of this day of remembrance.
The Chair stated that this was the first meeting of the fall of 2007 and then asked the Commissioners introduced themselves, which they did.
There was a quorum for conducting business.
Adoption of Agenda
The Chair announced there were a few changes to the
agenda. First, instead of a presentation
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the Commission had received a letter from the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Eastern Washington that was circulated to all of the Commissioners regarding a traffic study along with an alternative motion that he has also circulated to all of the Commissioners and asked that that be added to the agenda. The Chair stated that it would be added after the Eastern Market Committee item.
The agenda was unanimously adopted as amended.
Ms. Patty Shea, the President of the Lincoln Park Overlook Condo Association, stated that the Association thought the ANC would be able to help address concerns about the commercialization of the ground floor of their building. According to Ms. Shea, the building is up for sale. The Association was told by the owner, who was the developer of the building that he wanted to open a liquor store or a carryout. The Association has extreme reservations about the potential impact of something like this on the community, not to mention their own block. Ms. Shea went on to say that the Association is currently canvassing the block with flyers asking everyone to e-mail her or to talk with anyone in the building to express what they would like to see in the building space. She stated that they were hoping that the ANC could provide the Association with some guidance on this and how it can positively approach the developer regarding these concerns. The building is located across from a park and is right around the corner from a school. The building is in an R-4 zone in the Historic District.
The Chair stated that whatever the owner intend to do regarding attracting a liquor store, the store would require a liquor license. Seeking such a license would bring the matter before the ABC Committee for approval. Commissioner Jarboe stated that in an R-4 zone the owner can not get a commercial use for the property. The owner could get approval if it was an existing use, but not for new use. Commissioner Jarboe suggested to Ms. Shea that she get together with him and the other Commissioners offline to discuss their options because there are two issues, the R-4 zoning and a liquor license issue, both of which are problematic.
Mr. Hal Gordon, President of the Holy Comforter St. Cyprian
Community Action Group, stated that he wanted to thank the Commission for its
warm welcome at the last Commission meeting to discuss their difficulty nature
of the proposed lease of the
The Chair asked Mr. Gordon if he was still in communications with OPM and Councilmember Wells’ office on this issue. Mr. Gordon responded that OPM has refused to answer his inquiry. He went on to say that he has had no conversation with OPM since the department made its determination. He stated his last communication was asking Mr. Etzkorn what was the report to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who took on the task of trying to help the parties to a resolution. Mr. Gordon stated that Mr. Etzkorn’s response to him was that his conversation with Councilmember Wells was a private conversation and he was not at liberty to reveal the conversation. Mr. Gordon went on to say that OPM is not answering his inquiries; He thinks that this Commission will be concerned with the way that his non-profit group that has occupied that space for 17 years has been ignored and disregarded. Mr. Gordon then stated he respectfully requests the Commission’s reconsideration, inline with the original motion the Commission passed assisting this effort.
Ms. Carolyn Crank, the Community Outreach Officer for the 1st District MPD stood and introduced herself to the Commissioners and community. Ms. Crank stated that she had provided everyone with a copy of the August 2007 issue of The Court Report, which is published monthly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Community Prosecution Team.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that at the last BID meeting the crime stats for the BID area were discussed and the huge increase in disorderly conduct and the public consumption of alcohol was noted. He asked Ms. Frank if there was any additional information she could provide the Commission, in the future, regarding these issues especially in the 1st District. Ms. Frank responded that she would look into it and provided everyone with her phone numbers: Ofc. (202) 698-5500 and Cell: (202) 353-5057.
Mike Jackson, a resident and a staff member of the Community
Action Group, asked about the availability of the minutes from the July 18th
Special Call Meeting regarding the disposition of the Old Naval Hospital to the
Hill Center. Mr. Jackson was of the
opinion that the Commission being a facilitator of community involvement in the
neighborhood could and should insist on having the CAG incorporated into the
The Chair stated for clarification that the minutes from the July 18th public meeting will be approved at the meeting tonight and as such will be public records after tonight.
Robert Wilson and Dave Snyder stated that they were present
to represent their neighbors in the 700 Block of
The Chair asked Mr. Wilson if he had had any conversations with JPI because she specifically remembers the Commission speaking with JPI about the alley. Mr. Wilson responded that they had and that JPI had given them the indication that they were not going to complete the alley.
Commissioner Green stated that she had had several conversations JPI and DPW, and she has been told several times that repair work will be completed. Commissioner Green went on to say that JPI had informed her that they will complete the work once Verizon is finished laying its cable, probably this fall.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that he clearly remember JPI saying that they would repave the alley.
Paula Gottfrey stated that she had not heard any response to
Mr. Gordon’s request for the Commission to take another look at the
The Chair stated that it was her understanding that the final decision was made by OPM. Therefore she was not sure what the Commission could do about the situation. The Chair further stated that she did not believe the Commission had sufficient information about OPM’s decision upon which to base any further recommendations.
Commissioner Campbell stated that at the July meeting he made the motion to give CAG and OPM 30 days to workout their differences. The Commission is an advisory body and as such the Commission does not have the authority to make OPM and CAG work their differences out. He went on to say that he was prepared to make a motion tonight, but the problem is that, according to his understanding, the decision has already been made by the Deputy Mayor and OPM. Therefore any further suggestion the Commission may make would carry little or no weight. The Commission could make a suggestion or proposal to have them go back and revisit this issue, but the decision has already been made and thus there is nothing the Commission can do about the matter.
The Chair stated that she is of the opinion that the Commission does not have sufficient information regarding the decision that was made. She would like to have some clarification from the city and she would also like to have a conversation with Councilmember Wells because the Commission asked him to be the facilitator in this matter. The Chair also stated that unfortunately the Commissioner in whose SMD this matter falls is no longer on the Commission. Since this is the case, she and the newly elected Vice Chair will meet with Councilmember Tommy Wells and see if they can’t get something resolved and to come back before the Commission at next month’s meeting to make a report.
Commissioner Jarboe suggested that the Chair also have a
conversation with the people from the
Mr. Steward McAlpine, a member of the Clergy on The Hill, stated that they met last week regarding this issue and the drafted a letter to OPM expressing their concerns about the hardening of the situation, saying that this was not just another passing matter. Mr. McAlpine went on to say that this was because of the huge both systemic and symbolic issues that everyone has raised. Unfortunately, when they were ready to mail their letter to OPM, they learned that the department had already rendered its decision. Therefore, it is his desire to make the Commission aware of his group’s support of any efforts that could be made together to stop the clock, even though the decision has already been made. He hopes that a third party mediator would be able to deal with this situation outside a public meeting of this sort. He said there will be no winner or loser in this particular situation.
Commissioner Jarboe asked Mr. McAlpine if he would send the Commission a copy of their letter. Mr. McAlpine responded that he would.
Commissioner Campbell stated that he would voice his opinion as both a private citizen and as a Commissioner of his support of CAG remaining in the Carriage House. He said he feels at least a letter should be sent expressing the Commission’s concerns and asking that OPM again have a third-party mediator help the parties to revisit the decision with the express purpose of allowing CAG to stay in the Carriage House.
The Chair asked Commissioner Campbell if he was making a motion.
Commissioner Campbell stated that he was and restated the motion that the ANC send a letter asking OPM to revisit the decision and consider bringing in a third-party mediator or to allow further discussion with CAG and OPM, which will hopefully allow CAG to remain in the Carriage House. The motion was seconded by Commission Hill.
The Chair stated that Commissioner Campbell’s motion was in
effect a statement of support for having CAG remain in the Carriage House. She still does not believe the Commission has
sufficient information to go on and the
Commissioner Campbell then stated that he would amend his
motion to say “pending more information involving from OPM and the
The Chair then stated that she is concerned that the Commission is trying to solve a matter that is really out of its hands.
The Chair then asked for a vote. There were two ayes, four nays, and two abstentions. The motion failed.
Mr. John Rosser, Vice Chair of the Fraternal Order of Police, Department of Corrections and Ms. Nila Ritenour, Chairperson of the Department of Corrections Labor Committee stood and Mr. Rosser stated that they represent the 700 correctional officers and staff who work at the DC Jail. Mr. Rosser stated that he and the other members of his organization would be regularly attending future ANC meetings because they want to get involved in the community. Mr. Rosser provided the Commissioners and the community with a letter about crime in the area. Mr. Rosser also stated that the various special programs that the Metropolitan Police Department has conducted have been very successful. They have been so successful in making arrests that the jail is seriously overcrowded. Mr. Rosser stated that if there were any questions from the Commissioners or community to please contact Ms. Ritenour at 202.737.3503 or cell 202.497.5424.
Commissioner Glick stated that he and Commissioners Wright, Ostergaard, and Green visited the jail and he was very impressed with their professionalism and how effective they are in getting the job done there, and he encouraged everyone to take time to go and visit the jail themselves.
Mr. Nkosi Bradley, formally with NCRC and currently with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development is now the project manager for the Hill East and wanted to introduce himself to the ANC and the community. Mr. Bradley invited the Commissioners and community to contact him if they have any questions regarding the Hill East Project and he can be reached at 202.481.9417 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Commissioner Jarboe said that there will be a hearing before Councilmember Brown’s Economic Development Committee on October 1st . Commissioner Jarboe made the motion that he be authorized to testify on behalf of ANC 6B at the hearing, which would allow him to summarize everything that the Commission has been saying about planning at Hill East. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Campbell.
The Chair asked for the vote. There were 7 ayes, no nays, and one abstention. The motion passed.
Community and Commission Announcements
The 500-700 blocks of
Everyone is encouraged to participate by renting a space as
a vendor or volunteering. Volunteers are
encouraged to contact the
Election of Vice Chair
The Chair stated that Antonette Russell, the former Commissioner for SMD 6B09 and Vice Chair, resigned effective July 11, 2007. The Chair opened the floor for nominations for Vice Chair. Commissioner Green nominated Commissioner Wright. The nomination was seconded by Commissioner Campbell. There were no additional nominations for Vice Chair.
The Chair asked all in favor of Commission Mary Wright as Vice Chair to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0). Commissioner Mary Wright is the new Vice Chair.
The Chair announced that there is a vacancy for 6B09 at this
time. Unfortunately the Board of
Election did not receive Commissioner Russell’s letter of resignation until
September 9 or 10. The announcement of the vacancy will appear in the DC
Register next Friday. Therefore anyone
who is interested in running for office should contact the DC Election Office
for instructions. The Chair continued by
saying that if only one person runs for the position, and meets all of the
qualifications, that person would be the ANC Commission for 6B09 in
October. However, if more than one
person decides to run there will be an election overseen by the Office of the
ANC Director and held here at the
Thesia Garner with the Yu Ying Public Charter School was scheduled to speak, but was unable to attend.
Kenneth Crosswhite, First Battalion Fire Chief, with the
Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department made a presentation to the
Commissioner and community about the kickoff of their 3rd Annual
Fire Safety Campaign this Saturday, September 15th. The purpose of the safety campaign is to
install at least one smoke detector in each home in the area bordered by
Chief Crosswhite showed a brief video presentation regarding the Fire and EMS Departments efforts to keep everyone safe with their Smoke Alarm Program. Mr. Crosswhite concluded by saying that their mission is to make sure each house has a smoke detector and also added that it is important to have a carbon monoxide detectors in your home. He also stated that October is Fire Prevention Month.
The Chair announced that HPA # 07-267,
New Stadium Parking Restriction
Mr. Chris Delfs with the DC Department of Transportation discussed the proposed new baseball stadium parking restrictions that are being considered for our area. Mr. Delfs stated that he had appeared before the Commission roughly two years ago to discuss the proposed parking restriction for RFK to support parking for events, especially baseball, at the stadium, and unfortunately they did not have a great deal of lead time before they had to implement their program. However, this time they have been working for the past year to develop what they think is a sound plan to accommodate parking at the new stadium. Mr. Delfts then stated that the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission has created the Traffic Operations Department Plan (TODP) for the ballpark and they have hired a traffic consultant to workout the plan. DDOT has been meeting with the consultants on a regular basis to cover all sorts of issues related to traffic control.
Mr. Delfts stated that his main purpose for appearing before the Commission and the community was specifically to discuss the parking restrictions around the ballpark. The intent of their work is to protect the residential parking for the people who live in the neighborhood. He went on to say that the east part of ANC 6B has already experienced the problems associated with parking around the RFP Stadium area and now the west side of ANC 6B will experience the parking restrictions of the new stadium. Mr. Delfts stated that what DDOT did around RFK is what they are planning to implement around the new stadium, which is based upon the Residential Permit Parking (RPP) system. RPP only allows residents with zone 6 permits to park in an area. For RFK, DDOT instituted a RPP Event Zone (Enhanced RPP Zone). Under this approach, anyone from outside the zone trying to park within the RPP Event area during a game will be ticketed and possibly towed immediately. The intent was to encourage people attending events at RFK stadium to use alternative transportation or park in the RFK parking lots. DDOT is planning to do something similar around the new baseball stadium. Unfortunately, they do not at this time have their maps outlining the parking restriction areas available for the public.
Mr. Delfts stated that one of the most frequent questions that he gets is what happens when someone comes to visit who does not have a permit 6 sticker. What DDOT implemented around RFK was that each household was given one permanent visitor parking pass for the season. In some cases, resident needed more than one visitor pass so DDOT also instituted a one-day pass system with passes to be obtained at the MPD substation.
The proposed boundaries DDOT is considering within ANC 6B
Commissioner Garrison asked Mr. Delfts if he was correct that the boundaries that he was currently discussing were different from the ones that were discussed at previous public hearings. Mr. Delfts responded that he correct and the reason was that the plans that were proposed at the ballpark open house last month was an initial proposal by the traffic consultant. Since that time, DDOT has looked at the plan more closely and recognized that although residents do want to be protected from ballpark patrons, there is also the burden involved in having parking restrictions apply quite far from the stadium. DDOT looked further at walking distances and land uses. DDOT is concerned that they not go too far east and too far north and impinge upon some of the commercial areas such as Eastern Market and Barrack’s Row. Mr. Delfts went on to say that it is his opinion that they will try to make their best effort during the 1st year of the new stadium parking zone with the idea of coming back later to refine and make adjustment to the overlay area the next year.
Commissioner Garrison asked Mr. Delfts to discuss a
situation not present in the RFK overlay -- namely the very large public park (
Mr. Delfts responded that under this proposed policy during
the 81 home games, unless a car is displaying a zone 6 permit or visitor’s
pass, a vehicle would be prohibited from parking around
Commissioner Garrison followed up by saying that patrons without a zone 6 parking sticker who previously have used the park for various events on Sundays will no longer be able to use the park on game days, if they plan on parking in the area.
Commissioner Jarboe pointed out that the same problem will
be experienced by
Commissioner Garrison stated that this is a situation were the city has multiple public policy objectives, which in this particular case are in conflict. This ANC has several large parks, each of which is designed to permit activities that draw people from outside the neighborhood. This overlay in effect trumps that activity on game days and is a clear conflict. Commissioner Garrison stated that he brings this point up to make sure everyone is conscious of this conflict when the decision is being made.
The Chair stated that she was aware that the representatives of The Friends of Garfield Park were at the public meeting regarding this issue and she wanted to know what their feelings were about the overlay.
Bill Phillips, President of The Friends of Garfield Park and
Vice President of CHAMPS, stated that there are a lot of difficulties with the
proposal by DDOT. It starts with the
character of the neighborhoods upon which the overlay is put. First, at RFK there are plenty of parking
lots. Second, most of the area around
RFK is residential. In the new stadium
overlay that Mr. Delfts describes, there are 4 parks, 5 churches, and lot of
the streets adjacent to the commercial areas along
Commissioner Jarboe stated that he still does not understand
how this is going to work because it appears that they took the footprint from
RFK and imposed it onto the new ballpark. The character of the two areas are
different in that we have the parks and commercial areas. Commissioner Jarboe added that he noticed on
the newest proposed map that they pulled it back from
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the original plan used a radius around the park and that it was not large enough to accommodate some of the people from Southwest, but that radius barely went over the freeway. Commissioner Jarboe asked Mr. Delfts what was the rationale for expanding it above the freeway and why can’t they pull it back to the freeway.
Mr. Delfts stated that they believe people will be willing to walk from these areas north of the freeway to get the ballpark if they can avoid paying for parking that way.
The Chair suggested to Mr. Delfts that maybe it would be an excellent idea to hold another public meeting to discuss in detail the baseball parking plans. Mr. Delfts stated that he has been through this type of situation before and he does not believe they will ever reach a consensus in a public forum. Mr. Delfts stated that he would like to see the Commission think carefully about how to help move the issue forward because based upon past community meetings on the RFK scheme, DDOT could get numerous opinions without any resolution on how to proceed.
Mr. Phillips stated that the residents needs to be protected and why should they be penalized because the owners of the ballpark did not want to spend their money to build parking for their stadium.
Commissioner Garrison stated that his recommendation is that DDOT try to fashion a plan that fits this particular geography, which is different from the one that is at RFK. Additionally, we have two competing public purposes here and he does not like the idea of one trumping the other without some effort to be responsive, although in the end it may not impossible to avoid this result.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the parking restriction issue is really an SMD issue that will affect Commissioners Olson and Garrison and he believes they should be the ones who should work directly on a workable solution.
Commissioner Garrison stated that he would be spend more time on the issue and that he was convinced that the other DC agencies should be brought into the discussion to reach a more workable solution.
Planning and Zoning Committee
The Chair turned the meeting over to Commissioner Campbell the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Committee to make the Committee Report.
HPA # 07-344 – 1006 – 1010 7Th Street SE Construction of New 5 story apartment building with ground floor retail space on vacant lot.
Jeremy Busse the Architect from Advanced Building Design presented a proposal to build a 5-story residential apartment building with ground floor retail and parking in the rear. The penthouse area would house the stairs, elevator and recreation space with no useable or convertible living space. There would be 6 on-site parking spaces in the rear. The building would be 45ft. in height with brick veneer at the front and side with stucco on the freeway side (north). The units would be approximately 775 sq. ft. each in size and there will be a total of 12 residential units. The lot is zoned C3A. The Commission can appreciate this project but would like to see the project reflect a more commercial look on the proposed ground floor and that the space be used for retail and not office, thus the Committee recommends this project for approval to the full ANC.
There was no new information pertaining to this case.
The Chair asked if there were any comments or questions from the community regarding the case. There were none.
The Chair then stated that this comes before the Commission as a Committee recommendation needs no motion or second is need. The Chair then asked all in favor of supporting the Committee’s recommendation to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (6-0).
Joel Truit is the Architect, and Patrick Jackson and Carol Holmberg are the owners. The owners want to replace the 1st and 2nd floor, and add a 3rd floor/story to their single family dwelling (S.F.D.) This would add approximately 1200 sq. ft. of living space to the home. The sightline study shows the proposed project is not visible from the street or alley. Pending letters of support from adjourning and affected neighbors, the Committee recommends approval of this project to the full ANC.
Commissioner Campbell asked the owners if they had the letters of supports. Ms. Holmberg responded that they did and provided copies to the Commission. There was no new information on the case.
The Chair asked if there were any neighbors or community persons with comments or questions regarding the case. There were none.
The Chair then stated that this comes before the Commission as a Committee recommendation needs no motion or second is need. The Chair asked for the vote. There were 6 ayes, no nays, and one abstention. The motion passed.
HPA 07-401 – 521 8th St. SE Roof addition, storefront remodel
Melissa Cohen is the Architect, and Mark Neil is the owner. The owner proposes to take a one-story retail space with and interior courtyard and rear garage, and to replace the existing store front facade with a new wood and glass door system, which can be opened, renovate the interior and replace the interior courtyard and garage with a two-story “back of the house” component, which will have a 40ft. setback from the front of the existing building so as to be minimally visible from the streetscape. The Committee notes that there a letters of support from surrounding business owners and appreciates this well thought out design, and recommends this project for approval to the full ANC.
Commissioner Campbell asked if the representatives of this case were present. The owner and architect were present. Commissioner Campbell asked if there was any new information pertaining to the case. There was none.
Commissioner Jarboe reminded the applicants that they will need to come before the Commission again for their liquor license and public space applications.
The Chair asked if there was in questions or comments community or neighborhood. There were none.
The Chair then stated that this comes before the Commission as a Committee recommendation needs no motion or second is need. The Chair then asked all in favor of supporting the Committee’s recommendation to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0). The motion passed.
Andre Houston is the Architect, and Jocelyn & Stephen Kho are the owners. This home was built in 1976 is not of a historic nature. The owners propose to add a 3rd floor addition, which will not increase the building footprint. Presently the lot occupancy is at 62% and the owners plan to remove 3ft. of an existing garage, which will decrease their lot occupancy to 60%. The addition will be slightly visible from across the street, according to sight line drawings submitted by the applicant, as it will be approximately 3ft. higher than the existing roof line. The 3rd floor will include a master bedroom, hall, study, master bathroom and stairwell. Sightline drawings submitted with plans shows the roof peak will be slightly visible above the existing sloped roof. The new roof and addition will be completed with material to match the existing materials on the façade and roof on the structure. Pending letters of support from adjourning and affected neighbors, the Committee has no reservations in recommending this project for approval to the full ANC.
Commissioner Campbell asked if they owners were present and did they have the letters of support from their neighbors. The Khos were present and presented the Commission with the letters of support.
The Chair asked if there was any new information. There was none. The Chair then asked if there were any questions or comments from the neighbors or community. There was none. The Chair asked if there were comments or questions from the Commissioners and there were none.
The Chair then stated that this comes before the Commission as a Committee recommendation needs no motion or second is need. The Chair then asked all in favor of supporting the Committee’s recommendation to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
HPA # XX-XXX – 419 First Street, SE – Demolition and reconstruction of 2-story historic building
The owner is Carlos Vasquez. The property was purchased in March of 2007 and is located in the Historic District. Mr. Vasquez is seeking to demolish the structure that is in serous disrepair and replace it with a new 2-story structure while retaining the front façade and cast iron stoop. Mr. Vasquez has met briefly with Anne Brockett at Historic Preservation Review to review his plans. However, he has not met with the Capitol Hill Restoration Society and was not aware he needed to do so.
The Commissioners spent a great deal of time reviewing Mr. Vasquez plans in relationship to the potential impact upon the neighbors and how them conform to the historic, light, and air issues.
The Chair asked if any neighbors or community members had any questions or comments regarding the application.
Richard Aguglia, an attorney representing Ms.
The Chair stated that she has a client relationship with the neighbor, Mr. Gerrard, and therefore she recused herself from the discussion and any vote that is taken. The Chair then turned the meeting over to the Vice Chair, Commissioner Wright.
After much detailed discussion, it became apparent that the applicant was not properly prepared to move forward with his case. Commissioner Garrison made the motion that the Commission request that Historic Preservation Review postpone this case for 1 month to allow the applicant time to obtain the views of his neighbors, and CHRS on this case. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Green.
The Vice Chair asked for the vote. There were 7 ayes, no nays, and 1 abstention. The motion passed.
The Vice Chair turned the meeting back to the Chair.
Jennifer Fowler is the Architect,
and John & Janet Moreth are the owners.
The owners are seeking a variance to construct a two story garage at the
rear of a S.F.D. located at
Commissioner Campbell asked if the applicant was present and they were. Commissioner Campbell asked if there was any new information on this case.
Commissioner Jarboe asked Ms. Fowler if the Commission was dealing with the issue of a variance or a special exception. Ms. Fowler responded that they are asking for a special exception. Commissioner Jarboe went on to say that they are technically asking for a special exception and not a variance because of the new regulations having to do with garages. Therefore, the special exception test is for air and light.
Commissioner Jarboe made the motion to amend the Committee Report to reflect that the case is for a special exception and not for a variance because of the new changes in the regulations. Additionally, the 4th sentence in the report should be amended to read “The owner has submitted letters of support from adjourning neighbors as to the fact that there is no impact on air and light, thereby meeting the test for special exception.” Commissioner Jarboe added that since there is no issue with the open court that the 5th sentence be stricken from the report. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Garrison.
The Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to amend the Committee Report to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0). The Chair then stated that this comes before the Commission as a Committee recommendation needs no motion or second is need. The Chair then asked all in favor of supporting the Committee’s recommendation to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
BZA # 17665 – 654 Independence Avenue, SE., - Variances from lot width and area, and to allow construction of a two-story accessory private garage with second story living quarter for a domestic employee
The Chair stated that this case did not appear before the Planning and Zoning Committee due to a mix up on the part of the applicant regarding when to appear.
The owner is Jamal Kadri and Stephen duPont, Jr. is the architect. The owner has previously appeared before the Commission for a HPRB case that received support. The owner is seeking to construct a two-story garage in an R-4 zone because of the unusual nature of the existing house, which they wish to preserve. The owner after reviewing a prior design plan with his neighbors and based upon their input on structural, light and air reasons issues has developed an alternative design that has received support from his immediate neighbors. Additionally, CHRS has approved the new design and HPRB has placed the case on their consent calendar.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the issues that have been raised by zoning are the variance test for the lot width and lot area, each separately. Mr. duPont stated that zoning has now approved the lot width and lot area requirements as special exceptions with the new ruling. Commissioner Jarboe asked if they were applying for a variance or a special exception. Mr. duPont responded that because of the new ruling he is not sure zoning will be holding them to the variance requirements, but he is not 100% sure.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that this case may in fact now be nothing more than a special exception for lot width and lot area. Commissioner Jarboe after referring to the application notice stated that it said special exception for sections 401 and 403 and a use variance for the residential. Therefore, the review should be under those guidelines. The special exception test for lot width and lot area is for air and light. Commissioner Jarboe after reviewing and discussing the design stated that it does not appear to be any problem with the air and light issue for the special exception.
Commissioner Jarboe then asked what was the uniqueness and hardship on the use issue.
Mr. duPont stated that the current house is very simple, very small, and very old, and there are houses of all sizes, types and shapes on the block and he believes this particular house if is one of the very oldest on the block and is an important piece of The Hill’s history. Furthermore, almost every structure in that area has a carriage house of some sort, plus there many alley rentals and they think their design is more in keeping with context of the area. Mr. Kadri added that the house was built before the requirement of permits and is one of the reasons it is below grade. It is the only one of the 3 1870 homes that still has a porch and a horsewalk, and historically it has had both rear additions and carriage houses in the rear yard. Mr. Kadri stated that the opportunity exists to protect this house into perpetuity by taking a building that is smaller than what has already been approved, massing wise, and putting it to the rear of the property where it really belongs.
Commissioner Jarboe then asked if he was correct in stating that the argument for uniqueness would be on the historic nature of the porch, building, and that this is a unique situation and that the applicant should be allowed to build this detached building rather than altering the main structure. Mr. Kadri responded that he was correct. Commissioner Jarboe then asked what would be the argument on hardship if he cannot build it. Mr. Kadri stated that he would be forced to build the original design, which would be contrary to what his immediate neighbors would like to see constructed. Commissioner Jarboe asked if the upstairs of the garage could be accessed from the alley. Mr. duPont responded that it could not and that it is only accessible from the stairs located in the rear of house area.
Commissioner Jarboe reviewed the regulations regarding the test for variance hardship with the applicants and other Commissioners and after doing so stated that it appears to him that there are peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties that not being allowed to do this would bring up. Commissioner Jarboe added that the fact they could do this in a way that would undermine the historic nature of the house, and fact that they could do it in a way that would actually block both air and light. Therefore he was prepared to support the case under the grounds that applying the zoning regulations in this case to this particular design would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulties if not allowed.
Commissioner Jarboe made the motion that the Commission support the special exception on the grounds that the applicant has met the test for air and light, and the test for variance due to the uniqueness and peculiar exceptional practical difficulties. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Campbell.
The Chair asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
Present were Calvin Pringle, Construction Manager and Edward Wren the son of the owner. The owner is proposing to alter and repair an existing three (3) story apartment building with basement and loft. In the applicant’s submissions are plans for the proposed new construction, two pictures of the rear of the prior existing structure as well as pictures of the interior, pictures of the existing conditions, exterior and interior along with close up views of noted structural defects of adjourning properties.
Also in the submissions are letters of concern regarding the proposed project building from adjacent neighbors. Although this project has appeared before the ANC in the past there exist a number of concerns that still need to be addressed before the Committee can be asked to make an informed recommendation. The Committee has asked that the construction manager, architect, or owners make available a soil survey, structural survey and present building permit applications, plans showing the exiting lot structure and utility placement, lot occupancy and Certificate of Occupancy. Owing to the amount and type of documentation needed and requested, the Committee has no recommendations for this project for the full ANC.
Commissioner Campbell asked if the applicant was present and if they had any new information.
Mr. Pringle stood and introduced the owner, Ms. Wrenn and her son, and the architect, Mr. Mobley. Mr. Pringle presented the Commission with copies of the Certificate of Occupancy that showed the building as a 3-unit apartment building, the soil survey report, and 4-sets of the plans as proposed to be built. Additionally, the height of the various current floors, the basement is 7 feet, first floor is 9 feet 1 ½ inches, the second floor is 9 feet 8 inches and the third floor is 9 feet 3 inches and the measurements were taken from the front of the building and the attic is 6 feet 3 inches.
Commissioner Campbell stated that the concerns he had mentioned was with the proposed excavation of the basement.
After a great deal of back and forth discussion between the Commissioners and the applicants it was determined that the applicant still does not have all of the proper documentation to allow the Commission to adequately determine the viability of this project. Additionally, it was determined that the applicant has serious issues that need to be resolved by zoning before attempting to move forward with HPRB.
Commissioner Jarboe made the motion that Commission request that HPRB postpone this case pending the resolution of the zoning issues for a minimum of one-month to allow for the clarification of the zoning issues. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Glick.
The Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
ABC Issue – Regulation Changes
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the issue is that ABC is changing the regulations as to how it deals with the roll call part of a protest. The way it is done now is that both parties to the protest must show up before the board. The ABC then determines if you are a real protester or not. The ABC wants to change the regulations so that the setting of the roll call hearing is done as an administrative procedure. Commissioner Jarboe added that he thinks it is a way of streamlining the cases, but there is the question of delegating authority for regulator matters to the courts.
Commissioner Glick made the recommendation that either party should be able to agree to the administrative procedure or one of the protesters could elect to go before the court. Commissioner Glick then made the motion that the Commission notify the ABC Board that the Commission supports the regulation change and request that the ABC add the option that either of the parties can ask to come before the full board or move directly to the administrative review. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wright.
The Chair asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
Eastern Market Committee
Commissioner Jarboe stated there was not a major report to be made to the Commission. He added that EMCAC is dealing with the 90% design issue. There are two issues still outstanding. The first is the replacement of trash bins and the chimney on the back alley. EMCAC is still saying that they want to open it and get rid of the chimney and move everything over to the auditorium side. The other issue is how many handicap entrances they have to have. EMCAC wants to get rid of one of them. Additionally, EMCAC has signed contracts for the roof and windows.
Transportation Master Plan
Commissioner Jarboe stated that he had sent around to the Commissioners a letter from the Concerned Citizens of Eastern Washington regarding the Transportation Mobility Study. He had also sent everyone a revised version of the letter given that there is later copy of the Waterfront Transportation Master Plan that many did not know about. Commissioner Jarboe then called on Tom Graham, the chair of the Transportation Committee of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society. Mr. Graham stated that his committee is requesting a comprehensive transportation mobility study that will do three things. First, it will include all of the major general traffic. Second, it will tell both sides of the river what will happen on their local streets. Thirdly, they want to know the cost. Mr. Graham stated that CHRS is asking for ANC6B’s support in the form of a letter to the Mayor and Councilmembers supporting the Anacostia Waterfront Transportation Mobility Study.
Commissioner Glick made to motion to write a letter to the Mayor and Councilmembers in support of an updated Anacostia Waterfront Transportation Master Plan to be done by an independent agency. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Green.
The Chair asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
Approval of Commission Minutes
The Chair stated that the Commissioners have had an opportunity to review the June and July minutes. The motion was made my Commission Glick to approve the minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wright.
The Chair asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (8-0).
There was not further business and Commissioner Hill made the motion that the meeting be adjourned until its next meeting date of October 9, 2007. The motion was seconded, and the vote was 8 to 0.