Category Archives: Meeting Reports

ANC 6B April Committee and Commission Votes

This month, I again was only able to make it to the Planning and Zoning and Transportation Committee Votes. Below is a record of the committee and commission votes I took

Planning and Zoning
Case 1: 1719 C St SE, for a special exception to use the second story of a new two-story garage as an apartment. This is one part of the zoning code I simply do not understand. If you have a two-story garage that was built in 2013 or earlier, you can use it as an apartment. If you build a new garage, you can use it as an apartment only after five years. What? But if you build a garage now and want to use the second story as an apartment, you need a zoning exception?

Anyway, the applicants want to build a garage and use the second floor here as an apartment. It’s a giant lot (3400 feet), it’s a huge square, the alley is wide, they ensured a home for their trash cans not in public space. These are the kinds of buildings we want, not for the applicant to seek a second unit by building down or adding up or pushing back. Everyone wins here.

The committee unanimously supported this application and put it on the consent agenda.

This building is by right. The use requires a special exception. But if the apartment were in the basement of added to the rear or added to the top of the primary building then that we’re good?

Case 2: 811 E St SE

This was a straight forward case about adding a non-visible rear addition to a small wood framed building.

The committee voted unanimously to support this application and sent to consent

Case 3: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Resolution of Support for dispposition and a 20-year ground and property lease of the B.B. French School.

There are always some cases where a hearing seems perfunctory but we appreciate CHAW coming to give us an update. This bill will give CHAW the ability to acquire financing for necessary capital improvements and to stay a pillar in our community for another 20 yeas.

Case 4: 620 C St SE

This hearing was continued at last month’s HPRB hearing. HPRB generally approved the design but requested changes and the case come back before HPRB. ANC 6B took the opportunity to also look at those changes.

Click to enlarge, but this shows the major changes to the design of 620 C St

At the committee hearing, the commissioners presented support the first- and second-floor changes but took no position on the third-floor, instead kicking that to the full ANC with comments to change the rear fenestration. I voted with the majority in these motions

At the full ANC, the applicant presented updated rear elevations along with more renderings and perspectives of the concept.

The changes to the rear elevation are more in line with standard rowhouse rear elevations and, in my opinion, present no compatibility issues.

With little time for in depth discussion, the changes to the first floor and second floor were unanimously approved by the ANC.

Long time readers will recall I supported last month’s design for a mansard addition on the third floor. I thought it narrowly threaded the preservation regulations and should have been approved. Given that, it should be no surprise I also supported the more modern minimally visible third floor addition here, including the rear elevation. For much the same reasons, this is a commercial building on a transitional block that retains only portions of it’s original state.

The ANC first voted to oppose the third floor, a motion that failed 2-4-3. I amended a second motion to support the third floor a that passed 4-2-3.

Transportation Committee

Case 1-1300 E Street Changes

As discussed in Reimagining E Street, I presented the idea of adding bike lanes to the 1100-1400 blocks of E Street SE and potentially to Potomac Ave or down Kentucky Ave. As the committee meeting, Will Handsfield of DDOT presented the idea of advisory bike lanes. The committee supported my position outlines in the above posts and tentatively supporting the advisory bike lanes, requesting a bit more information. I am authoring a post that will go up later this month or in early may on the concept. The case passed unanimously out of committee and onto the consent agenda

Case 2-Circulator Route Changes at Eastern Market

The committee discussed this cast last month as well without taking a formal position. In the end, we unanimously and vehemently opposed the concept of running the circulator down the 700 block of D and 400 block of 7th. Also I anger tweeted this about the real problem with the design.

Full ANC Votes
1) District Soul Food Liquor License Renewal
. The ANC moved to delay considering of this case for a month but also issue a formal notice to cure. I’m sure one of our two local newspapers will cover this story, but I could not vote to support this action because we are clearly singling out a new business rather than working with them during the renewal process. If we were two years from renewal and they had been operating this way for an extended period, sure, let’s go wild. But this is a new business in a struggling retail corridor that needs our support. I abstained from the vote because I liked the idea of delaying considering for a month while working with the applicant, but a formal notice during renewal is just unnecessary.

2) 7th Hill/Montmarte and Lavagna Liquor License Renewal Both applicants failed to appear given two opportunities so the ANC moved to formally protest the license. It’s frustrating but since ABRA functionally consolidated all opposition opportunity to the ANC and the ANC only, we need to take no shows seriously. I voted with the majority to formally protest the liquor licenses.

3) Resolution of regarding use of taxpayer dollars for sexual harassment settlements.

I’ll let’s Commissioner Krepp take the floor

And with that, I’m on vacation and will be back to ANC duties in a couple of weeks.

ANC 6B Requests New All-Way Stops

On Wednesday, December 5, the ANC 6B Transportation Committee unanimously approved a motion to convert four intersections from two-way stops to all-way stops. Tuesday, the full ANC passed this resolution by consent (letter to DDOT at end of PDF here)

The impetus for this request was a meeting between the Executive and Council on October 23 following a tragic and deadly summer of deaths on District roadways. At this meeting, the District Department of Transportation presented new projects and initiatives to increase efforts to reach the Mayor’s target of zero road deaths by 2024. The packages were expansive and many items would require legislation or regulatory rule changes to implement. The following links have more information.

One of the engineering initiatives, four-way stops at “local/local” intersections, can be implemented without study or delay. This request from ANC 6B asks to convert all four-way local/local intersections with two-way stops in ANC 6B to all-way stops.

(Local roads are a technical term, using functional classification of roads by DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. Local roads receive no federal money for upkeep or control. Because of this, DDOT can make changes to these intersections without clearance form FHWA. Click here to see an map of functional classifications; if a road is not colored in it’s a “local” road)

The intersections are, from west to east:

5th St SE & D St SE

10th St SE & South Carolina Ave SE

12th St SE & G St SE

14th St SE & South Carolina Ave SE

The ANC evaluated only the four-way local/local intersections that aren’t two way stops. The ANC will continue to push for all-way stops at non-local two-way stops and push for engineering solutions to challenging and complex non-local roads. Where necessary, we will also push for study of local and non-local three-way stops, but the case for all-way stop is less readily apparent for those intersections. 

September 2018 Transportation Committee Meeting Report

ANC 6B’s September Transpiration Committee meeting only had two items on the agenda. One, a public space request by Academy Bus LLC for an intercity bus stop located in the 700 block of D St SE. The other, discussion about potential comments on draft guidelines on placement of small wireless antennas on light poles from the Office of the Chief Technology Office.

Item 1: Eastern Market Intercity Bus Stop
The operators of Go Bus made a brief presentation on their company and business model ending with their proposal to add a stop at Eastern Market for their DC-to-New York service. Adding service would require a year long public space occupancy permit of four parking space for the exclusive use of the operator.

The initial proposal was for a stop on the 700 block of D Street SE (red box in map above). That proposal was rejected out of hand by commissioners before the meeting and the applicant quickly sought a different location. After discussing with DDOT, they proposed the four sports at the end of the south side of the 600 block of Pennsylvania (green box). The commissioner of the area, James Loots, discussed some of the shortcomings with that location. The loss of parking spots, effects on the existing street vendor, and potential for double parking (most double parking in that block occurs mid block, this would be at the corner and more dangerous for pedestrians crossing and making right turns southbound on 7th) were all sticking points.

Instead of supporting a permit for the proposed curbsides, the committee suggested the applicant work with DDOT to move the stop to one or both of the mirrored triangle parks at 8th street (yellow and purple boxes). Both spots have concrete pads from bus service that doesn’t run anymore. Both spots aren’t or shouldn’t be used for parking now. Both spots are near existing business that would likely welcome stops before/after a bus trip. Both spots have congregation areas outside of the sidewalk. If there are no safety issues for turns from D street onto Pennsylvania, these curbs are undoubtedly the best place for an intercity bus stop and I would enthusiastically support a permit.

There’s was a short discussion on the need for a stop in the first place. I generally support the idea of an intercity bus stop at Eastern Market, with the regulations DDOT is imposing. The spots are reserved for one operator (so we won’t be seeing a number of other companies using the spot). The operator is not going to use the spot as a layover and expects to be there for 10 minutes of less a few times per day (currently they’re running three buses per day, but that could obliviously increase with demand). And the permit lasts only a year before coming back before the ANC for renewal.

I believe having a stop is a good thing for the neighborhood and I would enthusiastically vote for supporting a spot in the purple or yellow boxes in the map.

Item 2: Draft Guidelines on Small Cells
This discussion was dominated by those with technical knowledge of the antennas and cellular technology. In the end I voted with the consensus to support the guidelines allowing small wireless antennas to be place on telephone and traffic signal poles.