Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B
Minutes of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, September 8, 2009; 7:00 p.m.
Commissioners Present: Dave Garrison (chairing), Carol Green, Neil Glick, Will Hill, Ken Jarboe, Kirsten Oldenburg, Michael Patterson, and Mary Wright.
Commissioners Absent: Francis Campbell
Also in attendance: ANC6B Executive Director,
Following the introduction of Commissioners, the Chair asked if there were any requests to change the agenda. Being none, the agenda was adopted. (Prior to the meeting, Commissioner Glick had requested that his resolution on marriage equality be removed from the agenda.)
Ms Shauna Holmes, CH Restoration Society, announced that the monthly Preservation Café series will resume in September in the meeting room of Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, 2nd & F Streets NE. The first offering is “What Style Is It?” on September 16th from 630pm to 715pm. In addition, Ms Holmes said that CHRS will hold a Transportation Forum on September 21st at 630pm at St. Peter’s Church, 2nd & C Streets SE.
DDOT on 11th
Mr. Bart Clark of DDOT informed the
Commission that the city has selected Stanska & Facchina, as the
design-build team for the
Ms Caroline Ellis informed the Commission that DDOT is
re-studying plans for changes at
DC National Guard Fun Race
Major Demby presented the DC National
Guard’s plans for a fun race along
Commissioner Oldenburg reported
that the Committee has not made a recommendation on the October 18th
“Race to Remember” as no representative was present at the Planning &
Zoning Committee meeting. Officer
Marcello Muzzatti, DCMPD, was present this evening and explained aspects of the
race to the full ANC, including that 1,000 participants are expected and the duration
to be about 1 hour. Commissioner Jarboe
moved (with a second by Commissioner Garrison) that the Commission support the
race on the condition that the route is moved from
Commissioner Oldenburg reported that the Committee recommends
the Commission support the concept of an off-leash dog park within
Ms Amy Hubbard and Ms Kelly Henderson were present to
represent the Capitol Canines group.
They noted that, as had been requested by the Committee, the group had
met with the CH Community Gardens and had resolved any issues. In fact, Ms Hendricksen noted that she was a
member of the
Commissioner Oldenburg reported that the Committee commends
the sensitivity being shown in the plans to the historic nature of the Cemetery
and the desire to preserve and enhance the property. The Committee recommends that the
Commission support the application. Mr. David
HPA #08-318, 821 G Street SE—Security Upgrades at Commandant’s House
Commissioner Oldenburg reported that the Committee made two recommendations. First, if the Marine Barracks decides to postpone its HPRB hearing until October, the Committee recommends that the Commission take no vote on the application at this time. If, however, the Barracks decides to proceed with its scheduled September 24th hearing before HPRB, the Committee recommends that the Commission oppose the application.
Representing the Barracks were Lt. Col. Carl Henger, Executive Officer, Capt. Lisa Lawrence, Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Michael Branch, military terrorism expert, and Mr. Harry Martin of the U.S. Navy’s engineering office. Lt. Col. Henger informed the Commission that the Barracks did not plan to request a delay of appearance before HPRB.
After some questions on the plans by Commissioners and the public, the Commission voted 6-0-1 to oppose to the application.
HPA #09-384, 645 A Street SE—Rear addition to Single Family Dwelling
Commissioner Oldenburg reported that the Committee recommends that the Commission support the application. Ms. Jennifer Fowler, architect, and Mr. James Arcara, owner, were present and presented evidence that the owners of 643 and 647 A Street SE and 630 Brown’s Court had been consulted about the plans. In addition, Ms Fowler provided sight line drawings to show that the 3rd story front deck was set back sufficiently that neither occupants nor furniture would be visible from the street. The Commission voted 8-0 in favor of the recommendation.
HPA #09-102 and 103, 1229 E Street SE—Retain Original Structure, Raze two subsequent additions, and Add new 2- and 3-story Single Family Dwelling
Commissioner Oldenburg reported that the Committee notes that this case has two components. On the raze permit portion, the Committee makes no recommendation as the applicant has not provided justification for the raze. On the portion that covers the addition of two new sections at the rear of the existing structure, the Committee recommends the Commission oppose the application.
The applicants, Ms Mary Quillian Helms and Mr. Paxton Helms, were present. They provided extensive new information that the Committee had requested. Ms Helms clarified that they had not consulted with the HPO on the current plans, as stated in the Committee report, but rather had only been given some guidance to same some of the existing structure and make the additions organic. As justification for the raze, the applicants stated it was in the public interest.
Several neighbors spoke out in opposition to the plans, including the abutting neighbor at 1227 E Street SE. Commissioner Jarboe moved (with a second by Commissioner Oldenburg) that the Committee report be amended to oppose the raze permit on the grounds that the design justifying the raze does not have special merit. The Commission voted 8-0 in favor of the motion. The Commission then voted 7-0-1 to support the Committee recommendation to oppose the application to add two new sections to the rear of the existing structure.
Commissioner Oldenburg reported that the Committee recommends that the Commission support the application. Mr. Christopher Collins of Holland & Knight and Mr. Rich Marcus, architect, were present. They presented letters of support from surrounding neighbors. Commissioner Jarboe noted that many of the nearby properties were businesses and supported the application. The Commission voted 7-0 in favor of the recommendation.
Zest Bistro (formerly Jiggs) Lic.#78828, 735 8th Street SE—Update Voluntary Agreement with new ownership
Commissioner Wright reported the Committee recommends support contingent upon a new, signed voluntary agreement (VA). Steven and Amanda Briggs, the new owners, were present and stated they would sign the VA. After some discussion among Commissioners about the contents of the VA, Commissioner Green moved to amend the recommendation to oppose the VA. There was no second. The Commission voted 5-2 to support the Committee recommendation.
Ted’s Bulletin, Lic. #ABRA-082569, 505 8th Street SE—New CR liquor license
Commissioner Wright reported the Committee recommends support of the new license contingent upon a signed VA. Mr. Perry Smith, owner, was present and agreed to sign the VA. The Commission voted 6-0 in support of the application, with Commissioner Glick recusing himself.
of Support Letter for the
The Chair moved that the Commission support the decision of the Executive Committee to send a letter to DDOT to support ONH Foundation’s request for a grant from DDOT. The Commission voted 7-0 in support of the motion.
8. Election of Parliamentarian
With the resignation of Commissioner Julie Olson, ANC6B’s position of Parliamentarian is not filled. The chair declared that the nomination process was open to fill the position. Commissioner Green nominated Commissioner Neil Glick. No other nominations were offered. The Commission elected Commissioner Glick as Parliamentarian by a vote of 7-0.
Commissioner Jarboe read the Eastern Market Report, a copy of which is attached.
Commissioner Oldenburg moved (with a second by Commissioner Jarboe) that the Commission approve the minutes of the July 14, 2009, regular monthly meeting. The Commission voted 7-0 to adopt the minutes.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 pm.
Prepared by Kirsten Oldenburg Attest: _____________ .
Agenda, as adopted
Planning & Zoning Committee Report
ABC Committee Report
Eastern Market Report
1. Adoption of Agenda
2. Community Speakout
3. Community and Commission Announcements
DDOT review of
5. Planning and Zoning Committee
(These items will also be considered by the P & Z Committee on September 1, 2009)
· National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s 5K Race – Officer Marcello Mussatti, DCMPD
· HPA # 09-318, Congressional Cemetery Gates - Rehabilitation and modification of three gates, to allow maintenance vehicles to enter the cemetery
HPA # 08-318,
· HPA # 09-384, 645 A Street SE – Rear addition to Single Family Dwelling
· HPA # 09-102 and 103, 1229 E Street, SE – Retains the original structure, tearing off the subsequent two additions and replacing those with a new addition.
· BZA# 17985, 224 2nd Street, SE – Special exception for area variances for percent of lot occupancy, rear yard requirement, nonconforming structure, driveway width and to allow the expansion of a building devoted to an existing non-profit organization use in CAP/R-4 District
6. ABC Committee
(These items will also be considered by the ABC Committee on September 3, 2009)
Zesty Bistro (Jiggs), Lic.
Ted’s Bulletin, Lic. #ABRA-082569,
7. Ratification of support letter for The Old Naval Hospital Foundation’s DDOT Grant
8. Eastern Market Report
9. Election of Parliamentarian
10. Approval of Commission Minutes
September 1, 2009
Commissioners Present: Francis Campbell, Carol Green, Kenan Jarboe, Kirsten Oldenburg (chairing)
No representatives of the October 18, 2009, 5K race were present at the Committee meeting. The Committee, therefore, makes no recommendation.
Jessica Zimbabwe of the Capitol Canines made the
Ms Jenni Lancaster of the Capitol Hill Community Gardens
(CHCG), long situated in
The Committee notes that a separate effort is underway to
develop a portion of
Mr. David Bell of BellArchitects made the presentation. Also in attendance were Mr. Patrick Crowley, chair of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery, and Ms Cindy Hays, Executive Director of Congressional Cemetery. The project’s intent is to modify 3 historic entrance gates to allow for oversized vehicle access and property maintenance.
Mr. Bell explained that this project was initiated as a
result of damage that occurred by a
vehicle to the brick piers, which had been built in the 1920s, that
supported the E Street SE “Congress Gate” at the main entrance to the cemetery
at the junction of E Street and
The Committee commends the sensitivity being shown in the plans to the historic nature of the Cemetery and the Associations’ desire to preserve and enhance the property. The Committee recommends that the Commission support the application.
Mr. David Bell of BellArchitects, made the presentation, and was accompanied by Major Peter Dahl, Marine Barracks Logistics Officer, Captain Lisa Lawrence, Marine Barracks, Public Relations Officer and Mr. Harry Martin, of the Navy Yard. The Commandant’s House is a National Historic Landmark and has been continuously occupied by the USMC Commandant since the 1800s.
Mr. Bell explained the various aspects of the security plan to include: replacement of the 2.6-foot high iron fence in front of the Commandant’s House with a 5-foot high iron fence of similar design; reuse of the current iron fence at either side of the House to extend fencing nearly to the 8th and 9th Street SE sides of the property; addition of two guard houses designed to resemble garden gazebos, situated so guards can protect both G and 8th and G and 9th Streets; conversion of concrete areas to green space (ground cover plantings); addition of concrete planter boxes; enlargement of existing tree boxes and replacement of street trees where necessary; and installation of a line of about 50 bollards along the curb and extending at right angles to connect with the guard houses.
The USMC hopes to start construction on the security upgrades in the Fall of 2010. After some discussion about the various levels of approval still needed on this project, Commissioner Jarboe asked whether the architect would be willing to provide the community with information about any subsequent changes to the plans. Mr. Bell indicated he was willing to do so.
Commissioners questioned the representatives about how and
to what extent these various items would enhance the security of the
building. Each guard house will be
manned by two marines and this element was termed the “best deterrent.” The higher fence is expected to deter
individuals from trying to jump over the fence.
It will also have an electronic lock to prevent individuals from walking
up to and opening the front door. While
the bollards and concrete planters will not meet the standard 200 foot
perimeter established after the
Five residents who are immediate neighbors of the Barracks, spoke in opposition to the plans. Mr. Richard McCandless asked whether there was a plan to prevent curbside parking in front of the building and was told no. Mr. Karl Kindel offered a long analysis of the plans, which is itemized in an email sent to the ANC, and includes primary objection to the higher fence and the bollards. Mr. Kindel was also critical of the lack of time for residents to thoroughly review the plans prior to any ANC vote. Ms Raina Green spoke to the lack of response by Barracks officials on current issues with its neighbors and commented on current inattentive guard behavior, the occupants inability to keep the front door locked, and parking problems. Mr. Carl Cameron suggested that this building was not a high priority target and the plans were “much ado about nothing.” Ms Anne Seymour complained about the lack of time for review.
The Committee asked Barracks officials if they could delay presenting these plans to HPRB until its October 2009 hearing in order to provide time for adjacent neighbors to more thoroughly study the plans. Major Dahl told the Committee that he would consult with USMC officials as to the impact of a delay and inform the Commission at the September 8th meeting. Should the Barracks decide to postpone its HPRB hearing until October, the Committee recommends that the Commission take no vote on this application at this time.
On the historic preservation merits of the case, the Committee understands the challenge the USMC and its architects faced in attempting to add today’s security elements to the front of this historic residence. However, the Committee feels that the overall affect of the combination of these different elements—large cement planter boxes combined with a rigid line of bollards, garden gazebos as guard houses, and a higher and denser iron fence—overpowers the quiet residential neighborhood. Thus, the Committee is not convinced that a proper balance has been achieved between the security interests of the USMC and the desire of the residents of Capitol Hill to maintain the character of their neighborhood. Therefore, if the Barracks decides to proceed with its scheduled September 24th hearing before HPRB, the Committee recommends that the Commission oppose the application.
Ms Jennifer Fowler of Fowler Architects made the presentation and was accompanied by Mr. James Arcara, owner. The owners plan to add a 5-foot deep, 3-story addition to the rear of the existing 2-story townhouse. The 3rd floor of the addition will lap over the exiting 2nd floor to within about 17 feet of the front of the townhouse. This 3rd floor will contain a family room, as well as a small deck on the street side of the building. Ms. Fowler said she was still talking with HPO about the design and may have new information at the ANC’s September 8th meeting.
The Committee was told that neighbors were sent letters about the plans and the neighbor at 643 A St SE has some concerns about water runoff and possible damage to his property during construction. The Committee asked Mr. Arcara to bring evidence to the ANC meeting on September 8th that the 643 and 647 owners have been contacted. In addition, the Committee asked that the owners of the property at the rear of 645 A St SE in Brown’s Court be contacted about the plans. The architect was also asked to provide sight lines to assure the Commission that the front 3rd story deck was set back sufficiently such that it and its eventual occupants and furniture would not be visible from the street.
Other than the front deck, the Committee had no historic preservation concerns regarding the application. Therefore, unless new information provided at the ANC meeting on September 8th raises new questions, the Committee recommends that the Commission support the application.
Ms Mary Quillian Helms, accompanied by Mr. Paxton Helms, made the presentation. They plan to acquire the property from Mr. Larry Quillian, Ms Helm’s father, to build a single family dwelling. Currently existing on the property is a so-called “shotgun house,” the original portion of which was built in the 1850’s. Two small additions were added at the rear of the structure; one in the 1880’s and the other in 1938. A front porch—which no longer exists—was added in 1925. There is, apparently, no current engineering report on the status of the existing structure.
After an initial plan in early 2009 to raze the entire existing structure, the Helms consulted with DC Historic Preservation Office officials on a second plan, which retains the original structure but razes the two later additions. The current plan envisions adding a new two-story addition set back 26½ feet from the front of the property line with a 3-story addition at its rear. This latter portion is designed to be the width of the lot and will extend to within 27 feet of the south property line. Plans also include a basement to be dug the full length and width of the retained existing structure and the new structures. A garage is planned on the first floor of the 3-story section of the new building, requiring a driveway of about 43 feet from the front of the property line. Expectations are to use an existing curb cut at the east side.
The Committee noted that the proposed design will create an illegal (less than 5 feet wide) court on the west side of the property. Although this is not a zoning case, the Committee is concerned that the applicants may not be able meet the tests for a variance should a zoning case arise in the future. Commissioner Oldenburg asked the applicants if the neighbors could be assured that the plans for the new structures would not change since the plans presented are very conceptual and do not include design of the interior spaces.
Four neighbors on the 1200 block of E Street SE spoke about the proposal. Having lived with the deteriorating structure at 1229 for many years, most are more than anxious to see some resolution. Mr. Michael Hart (1235) said he was not in favor of saving the shotgun house but that the proposed building was not in context with the rest of the block. Mr. Peter Thiel, the abutting neighbor on the east side (1233), complemented the Helms for their efforts but said the proposed building was way too large. Mr. Thiel also mentioned his loss of air and light and concern for the excavation for basement and possible negative affect on his house. Mr. Mark Segraves (1241) said the proposed building was too large, especially for the neighborhood. He also raised the issue of the existing curb cut which the Helms plan to use to access their garage. Mr. Segraves presented documentation that ANC6B had voted in March 2003 that the curb cut was illegal and asked DDOT to replace the curb. Ms Rosemary Hoffman, who lives in a shotgun house at 1211 E St SE, called the proposed building a “behemoth.” She pointed out that the 43 foot long driveway would result in extensive “dead space” on the block. Ms Hoffman said that something had to be done with the existing eyesore on the block but that this plan was not it. She proposed that various concerned entities (such as the ANC, CHRS, HPO, the block residents, etc.) join together and encourage a local architecture school to have one of their design studios to take on the project and design an appropriate, acceptable solution for the lot.
The Committee asked for more information from the Helms: evidence that the owner of 1227 E St SE has been given an opportunity to view the plans, a plat showing the structures on the abutting properties, the estimated square footage and height of the proposed structure, an overlay of the current structure on the first floor plan of the proposed structure, and complete dimensions data on all three stories of the proposed structure. In addition the Helms were asked to provide their justification for the raze permit, as stipulated under Section 305.2 (Permit Requirements: Demolition) of the Historic Preservation regulations (10 DCMR).
On the raze permit portion of the application, the Committee recommends to oppose the raze permit as offered in the context of this particular design justifying the raze permit does not have special merit.
As to the application to add two new sections of a single family dwelling on the property, the Committee believes that the massing of the structure does not match the existing character of the street, its height is excessive, and is out of proportion with existing residences. In essence, the exterior design does not fit in with the relatively modest homes along the block. The Committee also notes the substantial opposition to the application of the neighbors on the block. Finally, the Committee is concerned that the curb cut still exists and has been incorporated into these plans. Therefore, unless there is any new information or evidence to the contrary, the Committee recommends that the Commission oppose the application.
BZA# 17985, 224 2nd Street, SE – Special exception for area variances for percent of lot occupancy, rear yard requirement, nonconforming structure, driveway width and to allow the expansion of a building devoted to an existing non-profit organization use in CAP/R-4 District
Christopher Collins of Holland & Knight, attorney for the National Indian Gaming Association, presented. This property, also know as the Watterston House, is a designated historic landmark and a contributing building to the Capitol Hill Historic District. The applicant has been before the ANC previously for historic preservation review on this project.
The application is applying for the following zoning relief:
· a special exception for an addition to a historic building in a residential zone that is occupied as a non-profit organization;
· variance from the provisions allowing an addition to a non-conforming structure;
· variance from the rear yard requirement;
· variance from the percentage of lot occupancy requirement; and,
· variance from the driveway width requirement.
With respect to the special exception, the Committee notes that the special exception for the use of this building as offices for a non-profit was originally granted by the BZA in 1981. The addition will not alter the operations at the site and therefore continues to meet the test for a use special exception as outline in that earlier BZA ruling.
With respect to the lot occupancy requirement, the Committee notes that since the building is free standing, the current zoning regulations allow for only 40% lot occupancy, rather than the 60% allowed for row dwelling. The ANC has repeated voted to subject detached and semi-detached houses to the 60% rule, with allowances up to 70% as a special exception. The proposed addition is at 63.9%.
With respect to the driveway, a 14 ft. required for two-way access. The current driveway is 9 ft., 1 inch. To meet the regulations would require altering the historic carriage houses. Similarly, meeting the rear yard requirement would involve either removing the carriage houses or destroying the historic fabric of the site by building on the side of the lot.
The Committee notes that much of this block is, and has been for some time, commercial. If the property was zoned commercial (C-2-A), the only variances required would involve the driveway and the rear yard/alley. Both of these are due to the existing conditions.
The test for a variance is three parts: uniqueness or special conditions; hardship or practical difficulty; no determent to public good and compatibility with the intent of zoning. The historic nature of this building meets the special conditions test and creates a practical difficulty in meeting the zoning requirements for any construction alternatives.
The Committee also notes that the proposed addition does not present a determent to the public good or violate the intent of zoning in either its massing or its use.
Therefore, the Committee recommends that the ANC support this application.
Report and Recommendations
September 3, 2009
Present: Mary Wright, Carol Green, Ken
Zest Bistro (formerly
The establishment, formally known as Jiggs, is now under new ownership and the new owners provided the committee with an update on their new Zest Bistro restaurant. This is a CR license with an entertainment endorsement. The Applicant has agreed to consider limiting the days and hours that entertainment will be allowed. There will be no DJ or dancing on the premises. Music will not be audible outside of the premises. There will be no cover charge, but can be included in the check. The hours of operation would be S-TH, 11 am- 2 am; Fri and Sat 11 am-3 am. The Applicant will operate its establishment on the first floor of the building. The Establishment shall not exceed 90 patrons inside. There will be a sidewalk café seating for no more that 24 patrons and close no later than 2 am or 3 am, per legal closing time. There will be no service on the sidewalk café Monday-Thursday after 12 am, and 1 am Fri and Sat.
The ABC committee recommends support of the new license contingent upon a new signed voluntary agreement.
Ted’s Bulletin, Lic.
Applicant is seeking a new CR license for the building at
The ABC committee recommends support of the new license contingent upon a signed voluntary agreement.
ANC 6B Eastern Market update – September 8, 2009
Commissioner Kenan Jarboe
The following is my report on Eastern Market, based on the EMCAC meeting of July 29, 2009, and subsequent events:
The DC Office of Property Management has changed its name and is now the DC Department of Real Estate Services (DRES). There have been no changes in the functions or operations of the agency.
Market management now estimates that 15,000 to 20,000 people attended the Market opening. Since then, DRES has been working on a number of final construction items. DRES is also moving its attention to operational issues. DRES has taken over many of the maintenance functions at the market directly, under their facilities management section headed by Karmala Brunson.
DRES is moving ahead with preparing leases for the merchants and new regulations for the outdoor vending. Preparation of the leases should take 2 to 3 month. As reported earlier in the summer, the draft set of written rules for outdoor vending has been circulated to EMCAC and to the vendors via the Tenants Council for comments. DRES is also working on the final pricing details for rental of the North Hall, for which there has already been a number of inquires and a few events (such as the tango dancing lessons). The MOU with the Department of Parks and Recreation for use of the space in front of the Natatorium for weekend vending was extended for 6 month.
To better oversee the operations of the Market, EMCAC has created a Finance Committee specifically to review financial matters. I serve as member of the Committee, which meet once during the summer and made a request to DRES for a number of items. As the Market operations continue, more and better data on the finances, both revenues and expenses, will become available.
 Commissioner Patterson departed the meeting at about 930pm prior to the vote on BZA case #17985.
 As the Committee Chair was absent from the meeting, the report was read by the Vice-chair.
 Commissioner Patterson had departed the meeting prior to this vote.
 Because one applicant did not show up and another presenter was delayed in arriving, the agenda items were not heard in the order on the agenda. This report, however, conforms to the agenda order.
 Commissioner Campbell arrived about 730pm