- The ANC Commissioners held their retreat between the last meeting and tonight, and are planning on addressing the following items in upcoming months:
- A revision of the goals statement, which is some four or five years old now;
- An investigation into the Arts Overlay, which has beguiled everyone with questions as to its scope and enforcement;
- The crafting of a policy for communications with DDOT over street closures, as many times they just seem to pop up out of nowhere;
- Creation of a better way of notifying the community of meetings, and distributing agendas; and
- A survey of problem buildings and properties in the ANC.
- The 14th Street Transportation and Streetscape study delivered its finding on existing conditions to the ANC.
- The LCCA Holiday House Tour was this past weekend, and was a great success. Thanks to everyone involved!
Lt. Smith was back from his vacation, and on hand to give us a crime report for PSA 307.
- PSA 307 is leading all of the Third District in over reduction in crime since the summer. Lt. Smith attributes this to several key arrests of repeat offenders.
- A registered sex offender is working on 15th Street; his picture was distributed, as per the sex offender registration laws.
Also on hand was U.S. District Attorney Roger Kemp, who was on-hand to answer some questions he had received by email about some cases his office is handling:
- The infamous Gregory Teal is being held without bond, pending a trial on January 23, 2008. His case is assigned to supervisor Ronda Redwood.
- Three of the offenders involved in the recent home invasions (from December, 2006, I believe), have been sentenced, or are awaiting sentencing. I think he said one of the got 13 years. (I apologize for the confusion, there was a lot of information flying around, and some conversation.)
Joe Martin and Mark Bjorge were on hand from the Mayor's Office. They discussed several things:
- The area around 9th Street, 10th Street, Rhode Island Avenue, and Columbia Street where having intermittent gas outages. Washington Gas is looking to identify all reports of these problems in the area, so they can determine how widespread it is, to determine how much pipeline they'll need to fix. If you know anyone whose heat is going out unexpectedly, please contact Joe Martin as soon as possible!
- The buildings on 14th Street are still being gutted. To answer a question I had last time: It's not entirely clear what's being done on the property, other than tearing out non-load-bearing walls, and possibly putting in some new housing units. A question was asked if the unit would be assessed back taxes for vacant properties, but Mark didn't know. Both buildings are under historic preservation, but the one at 1316 has been referred to the Board of Condemnation - but hopefully just to get some serious problems fixed, not to have it razed.
- Joe said that the awful bus shelter on the southwest corner of P and 14th is definitely going to be torn out, and not replaced with another shelter.
The only item here was 1101 K Street NW, seeking an outdoor sidewalk cafe. They weren't present, so this item was skipped.
- The ANC is going to be doing a revision of its ABC policies, which currently date to 2003, and they are seeking volunteers from the community to help. Drop them a line if you're interested.
- Ollie's Trolley - Ollie's Trolley is seeking some sort of change to their Voluntary Agreement. I'm not sure what change, but part of it is that they want to have the neighboring properties dropped from the official agreement, because they are unable to be located, or unwilling to negotiate anything at all. The ANC voted to approve the VA with the removed names, and to assert their status as the primary party of interest to ABRA.
- Liquor License Renewals - The renewal of the licenses for several establishments was on the table. None were protested, except for two.
- Vegas Lounge - They have no Voluntary Agreement with the ANC, as they've been around for some 34 years. However, neighbors in the new Cooper Lewis building have complained of noise and problems. The ANC will protest the renewal, with the expectation it will be withdrawn pending a successful Voluntary Agreement negotiation. The negotiation will be spearheaded by Charles Reed, in whose SMD they operate.
- Be Bar - There have been complaints from neighbors about the late closing hours on Sunday night. The ANC will protest the renewal, with the expectation it will be withdrawn pending a successful negotiation of an amendment to their Voluntary Agreement relating to their Sunday hours. The negotiation will be lead by Mike Benardo, in whose SMD they operate.
The Community Development Committee met the week before, and all of their recommendations were approved by the full ANC.
- Hotel Washington - They are adding some new air handling units to the roof, and the new units do not comply with the setback requirements with respect to the walls facing their interior courtyard. The CDC recommended the ANC support a variance to those requirements.
- Central Union Mission Condos - The developers were seeking a variance on the lot coverage requirements, since they will be beyond the allowed coverage. However, during their construction, they will actually be reducing the coverage from its present amount. They also sought a variance to allow for two different roof heights on the mechanical penthouses, which is necessary because of the differing roof heights of the development. The CDC recommended that the ANC support both variances.
- Down-zoning - A group of citizens were working to have an area of NE Dupont and a small contiguous section of our ANC down-zoned, to be more in accordance with the actual property usage. The CDC recommended that the ANC support the request.
A guy named Jason Clark was on hand to make a presentation to the ANC about a public art project he's trying to win a grant for. The piece is a metal tree, made from materials recycled from buildings torn down around the neighborhood. The trunk is iron, and will rust into a tree-trunk-ish brown, and the leaves are copper, which will patina into a nice leaf-ish green. Overall, it looks really cool, and he was looking for a letter from the ANC in support of his grant.
The ANC asked him to come back when he had a more specific location in mind, and he promised to do so. He also put out a call to the neighbors for ideas as to a good location. Feel free to put them in the comments - he has my card, so hopefully he'll get in touch with me.
And that's it!