The Week Ahead…..Lighting of Eastern Market Metro Plaza Holiday Tree

"Big George" Eastern Market Metro Plaza's Holiday Tree Will Light Up Next Saturday

“Big George” – Eastern Market Metro Plaza’s Holiday Tree Will Light Up Next Saturday

The Week Ahead…..Lighting of Eastern Market Metro Plaza’s Holiday Tree

by Larry Janezich

Local ANC’s, and civic and community organizations are out of business this week as the community readies for the upcoming month long holiday season.  One community event at week’s end will be the 8th Annual Lighting of Eastern Market Metro Plaza’s Holiday Tree set for 5:30pm on Saturday, November 29.  The event – in which the community is invited to participate – will mark the community’s kickoff of the holiday season.

In 2007, the Capitol Hill BID planted a 20-foot evergreen tree in the large circle garden at Eastern Market Metro Plaza’s Northwest quadrant to honor BID’s founding President, George Didden III.  The tree, affectionately known as “Big George,” is decorated by the BID’s “men in blue” every December, and illuminated in front of the Capitol Hill community. Community participation has grown every year to celebrate the season while honoring the memory of George Didden III.

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Former Remington’s Slated to House 7-11 Convenience Store

Part of the former Remington's is slated to become a 7-11

Part of the former Remington’s is slated to become a 7-11

Former Remington’s Slated to House 7-11 Convenience Store

by Larry Janezich

Michael Niebauer of the Washington Business Journal reported on Friday that a 7-11 franchise will move into and occupy 1,800 square feet of the former Remington’s, the legendary bar located at 637-639 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  The convenience store is expected to open in April, 2015.   CHC reported on the closing of Remington’s last April here: http://bit.ly/1qWfC2g

This is the second loss of a long-time local institution to chain retail on this block during 2014.  .  The Lil Pub at 655 Pennsylvania Avenue closed in January and became part of CVS.

Some in the neighborhood will be dismayed at what will likely be seen as the continuing erosion of the historical character of the Eastern Market community.

At the time of closing, the word was that the 7,000 square foot space formerly occupied by Remington’s would be divided in two, with retail (possibly Sprint) in one half and a restaurant in the other.  The 7-11 move will still leave some 5,000+ feet for future development.

See the WBJ notice here: http://bit.ly/1yC330W

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The Week Ahead….Expanding the Historic District, Pop-Ups in ANC6A, Swamp Fox Statue

Rainy Day Nursery, North Hall, Eastern Market

Rainy Day Nursery, North Hall, Eastern Market

The Week Ahead….Expanding the Historic District, Pop-Ups in ANC6A, Swamp Fox Statue

by Larry Janezich

Monday, November 17

Expansion of the Capitol Hill Historic District:  The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) is sponsoring a series of public meetings to present a case for expanding the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The second of these – concerning ANC6B’s area – will be held from 6:45 – 8:30 pm, in Hill Center.  For more information, see CHC post here: http://bit.ly/1uBRN77 and CHRS Website here:  http://chrs.org/beyond-the-boundaries-anc-6a/

Monday, November 17

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm AT CAPITOL HILL TOWERS, 900 G Street NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation by officials from District Department of Transportation concerning initial results of the Florida Avenue Traffic Study and initial recommendations for road and sidewalk improvements in ANC 6A.

Monday, November 17

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Maury Elementary, 1250 Constitution Avenue, NE.

On the agenda:

Grant guidelines.

Tuesday, November 18

Expansion of the Capitol Hill Historic District:  The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS)  is sponsoring a series of public meetings to present a case for expanding the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The third of these – concerning ANC6C’s area – will be held from 7:00pm – 9:00 pm, in Northeast Library, 330 7th Street, NE.  For more information, see here: CHC post here:    http://bit.ly/1uBRN77 and CHRS Website here:  http://chrs.org/beyond-the-boundaries-anc-6a/

Tuesday, November 18

ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven hosts a community meeting on delay of the 17th and 19th Streets Safety Improvement Project from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at St. Coletta’s of Greater Washington.  DC Water and DDOT scheduled to appear to explain why the improvements are being delayed and to provide an updated timeline. Attendees will also get an update on the status of the reopening of the Southeast Freeway between Barney Circle, SE, and 11th Street, SE.

Tuesday, November 18

(ANC6A’s Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee which usually meets the third Tuesday will not meet this month.)

Wednesday, November 19

ANC6B Special Call Meeting on PUD for 1333 M Street, SE, at 7:00pm in Parish Hall of Christ Church Washington, 620 G Street, SE.

Wednesday, November 19

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) meets at 7:00pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market.

Wednesday, November 19

ANC 6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Request for zoning variances and special exceptions to allow construction of a multifamily residential building with ground floor retail on a lot at 1401 Florida Avenue.

Rezoning of lots bounded by East Capitol Street, 15th Street, A Street, and 16th Street, NE, to change its designation from C-2-A (commercial) to R-4 (residential).

Zoning Amendments re “Pop-Ups” – The Committee will consider recommending that the ANC send a letter to the Zoning Commission in support of proposed text amendments to the zoning regulations that would, among other things, restrict building height to 35 feet in the R-4 district, with building heights of 40 feet permitted by special exception.

Thursday, November 20

PSA 108 Meets, 7:00pm – 8:00pm with MPD Lt. JB Dykes at Liberty Baptist church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.

Thursday, November 20

Commission of Fine Arts meets at 9:00am in the National Building Museum Auditorium, Room 121, 401 F Street, NW, on the proposed siting of a statue commemorating General Francis Marion (The Swamp Fox) in Marion Park on Capitol Hill. The public may comment in written form. If they notify the CFA ahead of time, members of the public may also speak at the meeting at the discretion of the Chair. Written testimony should be emailed to Frederick Lindstrom at flindstrom@cfa.gov by Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.   See CHC posting here:  http://bit.ly/1wMtAve

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ANC 6B Clears ​Liquor License for Bayou Bakery Despite Neighbors’ Concerns

The Hill Center's Carriage House - slated to become Bayou Bakery

The Hill Center’s Carriage House – slated to become Bayou Bakery

ANC 6B Clears ​Liquor License for Bayou Bakery Despite Neighbors’ Concerns

by Larry Janezich

At its regular November Commission meeting this past​ Wednesday, ​ANC6B voted to support a restaurant liquor license and a controversial settlement agreement for Bayou Bakery – over the objections of nearby residents and a minority of commissioners.  The agreement was made public at the meeting for the first time at Wednesday night’s meeting, and some neighbors and ANC commissioners wanted to delay consideration for one month in order​ to explore how to ​best ​mitigate the impact of noise, trash, and rodents associated with the restaurant.

These issues had been initially addressed in a draft of a proposed settlement agreement by Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg, in whose single member district the Hill Center lays.  That settlement agreement was made public at the ANC’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee (ABC) meeting last Thursday​, ​November 6The draft asked for inside trash storage and strict compliance with odor regulations, even if that meant architectural improvements to the property.   The proposed agreement also set an 11:00pm cutoff for consumption of alcohol, instead of the 10:00pm time ​listed​ by Hill Center on its website when it announced the leasing of the Carriage House to Bayou Bakery.​  ​Discussion at the ABC Committee meeting was reported to be intense.  The committee did not come to any resolution regarding the language and voted 4 – 0 to forward the liquor license application to the full ANC without a recommendation for action.

Between that ABC meeting and the ANC meeting the following Wednesday night, negotiations between Oldenburg and Hill Center representatives produced a new, weaker agreement effectively endorsing ​a less encumbered license and​ obligating Bayou Bakery only try their best to ​mitigate the noise, odor, and trash problems.  ​For example, language in the original draft asking the applicant to agree to a vent-less Pollution Control Unit (PCU) – as are standard in Yards Park – was eliminated because the applicant wants to increase the kitchen’s frying capacity to 10% of operation​ and asserts that this precludes use of a​ vent-less devices.  The request for inside trash storage also fell away.

The revised settlement agreement was unveiled to the public and to the stakeholders as the ANC took up the license at Wednesday night’s meeting.  Commissioner Oldenburg explained the late unveiling by noting that  “conversations were taking place up until 1:00pm today.” ​ As neighbors scrambled to get a copy and read through it in real time, Guy Martin, Chair of the Hill Center Foundation, offered remarks in ​support​ of​ the revised agreement, saying, in effect, he and others had “worked so hard for so long” to make Hill Center a success that the liquor license deserved to be moved forward without delay –​ and​ that the best guarantee of Bayou’s operational standards was the quality of the Hill Center as a historical institution.

Neighbors reacted strongly to the “inadequate” language in the revised settlement agreement.  Long time Hill activist and Hill Center supporter Barbara Eck, who was among those asking for a delay, said she was insulted by the first part of Martin’s argument, saying that many in the community had worked very hard for the Hill Center.  She said the original plan called for a “coffee and quiche” café, not a full restaurant.  Wally Mlyniec, also a long time Hill Center supporter, said the proposed revised agreement put both the Hill Center and the community at risk.  Other neighbors expressed alarm over the threat to their quality of life, noting the increase in grease cooking with no more pollution control than an interior “captive hood” – a larger version of what many residents have over their kitchen stoves.  Several expressed worry that the outdoor and not very well encased trash disposal site would prove a major attraction for rats.​

Commissioner Ivan Frishberg pressed hard for a delay citing in particular the failure of the trash control premised on outdoor storage no matter how well-intentioned the establishment.  He said that without a delay, Oldenburg was presenting the ANC with a “take it or leave it choice.” given that the Bayou’s application will go before ABRA next month. ​ Frishberg was joined by Commissioners Campbell and Jayraman, who were outvoted by Chair Flahaven and Commissioners Pate, Oldenburg, Opkins, and Peisch who supported the newly minted voluntary agreement.  The final version was amended to include language to encourage Hill center to continue to work on trash and odor concerns.  ​

The approval amounted to a setback for the ANC and neighbors’ unofficial policy of requiring best operating procedures for any new restaurant on Barracks Row.  Neighbors of Barracks Row had pressed for and ultimately got Chipotle, Medium Rare, and the incoming & Pizza to install PCU – “scrubbers” – to remove odors from kitchen exhaust and to agree to use best practices standards for roof top mechanical noise control and trash storage.  They had also successfully gotten Stanton Development’s Ken Golding to go back to the drawing board to accommodate inside trash storage in a new restaurant proposed for 7th Street near Eastern Market.

Bayou/Hill Center would agree to none of these.

In the end, a majority of the commission agreed with Chair Brian Flahaven’s assertion that the license would be up for renewal in two years and that any problems that might emerge could be addressed at that point.  Afterward, neighbors expressed disappointment that a delay could not be achieved, noting that these issues will be more easily addressed pre-build out than after the fact.

CHC asked Commissioner Oldenburg to comment on the approval of the motion and asked what she would say to nearby neighbors to reassure them regarding their concerns on odors, rodents, trash? Oldenberg replied:  “Thanks but no thanks. Am sending out my own writeup via Beat26 today.”

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Post 8 Honors Veterans in Folger Park – Photo Essay

The Marine Drum and Bugle Corp, under the direction of Major Brian Dix

The Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, under the direction of Major Brian Dix opened today’s ceremony to honor veterans in Capitol Hill’s Folger Park.  The event was organized by Post 8 at 3rd and C Streets, SE, which can be seen in the background. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The Horn Section

Parade Rest

Parade Rest

Major Brian Dix, Director

Major Brian Dix, Director, Marine Drum and Bugle Corps

Present Arms!

Presentation of Colors.  Present Arms.

Vets

Vets

Vets

Vets

A Crowd of Nearly 200 Veterans and Those Who Expressed Their Appreciation for Their Service Attended Today's Ceremony in Folger Park

A crowd of more than 200 Veterans and those expressing appreciation for Their service attended today’s Ceremony in Folger Park

Among Those in Attendance:  Councilmember Tommy Wells

Among those in attendance:  Councilmember Tommy Wells

Post 8 Vice Commander David Sheldon Presents A United States Flag Flown Over the US Capitol in His Honor to Retiring Major Brian Dix

Post 8 Vice Commander David Sheldon presents a United States Flag flown over the US Capitol to honor Retiring Major Brian Dix

Guest Speaker Admiral Mark Rich:  "Veterans of Valley Forge Gave Us Our Country - Veterans of Today Preserve It."

Guest Speaker Admiral Mark Rich, Commandant, Naval District, Washington: “Veterans of Valley Forge gave us our country – veterans of today preserve It.”

Taps

Taps

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Gibbs School Speeds Toward Transition to Charter

Gibbs School Speeds Toward Transition to Charter

“Trojan Charters” Carry Land Uses Beyond What Current Process Contemplates

By Larry Janezich

Gibbs school has been vacant since 2008 and the DC Public School system (DCPS) has determined that it will not reopen the school.  According to DC law, public schools deemed “surplus” by the DCPS must be offered to eligible charter schools before any other private disposition is considered.

This is the “right of first offer,” and the entire process, including the Request for Offers (RFO), takes place within the offices of the DC Deputy for Mayor Education (DME) and does not require the same public notice, meetings, and disposition process involved when a private developer looks to bid on public land for residential and/or retail use.

Right now, the Gibbs school at 500 19th Street, NE, is in the midst of this very process, and disposition of the school is proceeding at breakneck speed.  After an initial September 9 “surplus meeting” seeking public input (held after the decision to declare the property surplus had been made), the DME released a Request for Offers (RFO) on September 19.  A second meeting on October 20 was held to seek public input on responses to the city’s RFO.  There were apparently only two responses to the RFO – the DME did not respond to CHC’s request for a complete list of responses.  The DME has told CHC that they expect to make an award to a charter school organization by the end of November.

The first organization which outlined its proposal to a the community at the October meeting was

“Building Hope.”  They presented a plan to put three charter schools into the building:  an adult charter school to help people earn GEDs, a weekday boarding school for 160 foster kids in grades 5 – 8, and an international middle year’s program for 240 students in grades 6 – 8.  Three separate entrances would accommodate the three programs.  Building Hope anticipates a July 2015 opening and says their plan would cost $23 million.

Friendship Public Charter School also presented its proposal at the October 20 meeting.  It would use Gibbs to expand their existing preK program for kids 2 – 3 at Blow Pierce as well as for a new Diploma Now/GED program for students 16 and older. Two separate entrances would accommodate the programs.  Their plan, they say, would cost $19 million.

Both presentations seemed short on details.

The current procedure for reuse of public schools raises several issues that would seem to point to a flawed process.  Foremost among these is that DC law does not stipulate how much of the proposed use of a public building must be devoted to the charter school in order to qualify for consideration under this particular process.  It says only that the bidder must be a certified charter in good standing to claim access to the “right of first offer” expedited process.

The actual details of occupancy are worked out in the lease for the property which the developer signs with the Department of General Services, which has the final say over how the building is used.  This raises the question of whether charters or their boards might be used as “Trojan charters,” covering for a much more complicated development deal that would otherwise entail a more rigorous set of procedures.

The logic of “first offer” seems clear:  if a school currently built and previously used as such, can be used by another similar organization and in a similar way, then an expedited process makes sense.  Part of the validity of this proposition is that the community is already accustomed to a school use at this site, and so the surrounding the neighborhood would not be disrupted by a new group performing essentially the same function.  In other words, what might be a “functional footprint” remains largely the same under either operation.

Without any standard for how much variance is permitted between previous use as a public school and proposed use for a different set of purposes, there is the potential for creating disruptions in the community as well as the education system.  If the functional footprint varies in some significant way, then it seems clear that the current process is inadequate and does not allow for enough consideration, notice, or input from neighbors and residents.

Some of the ways that neighbors are concerned, and which some feel have not been adequately addressed, include parking, traffic, competition with existing schools which are under-utilized, and coordination with future planned Career and Technical Education programs.  In the case of Building Hope, there seems to have been little consideration given to creating a boarding school for 160 teens and pre-teens in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Deferring these kind of decisions until after the award also means that there is no role for the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions to play until well along in the process.  This is a significant departure from the procedure that a private developer undertaking a long term lease of a public property would undergo.

The recent and widely reported problems with Options Charter, and the lax oversight from the Public Charter School Board it revealed, does not help to put community concerns to rest. But the DME notes that the process is much improved – that in the past there was only one community meeting and this meeting occurred after the award had been made.

Once the Gibbs award is made the proposed transaction will be sent to City Council for approval – and the Council has final say on whether the school is deemed surplus and whether or not it is leased.  Given the expedited timeline, it is possible that the disposition of Gibbs will be voted on during the final session of the lame duck City Council – and before Charles Allen takes office as Ward 6 Councilmember.

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The Week Ahead…and Lower 8th Street Springs to Life – The Blue Castle

The Week Ahead…and Lower 8th Street Springs to Life – The Blue Castle

by Larry Janezich

The Blue Castle - Reported to Be Under Contract to National Community Church

The Blue Castle – Reported to Be Under Contract to National Community Church

Purchase of Blue Castle by National Community Church Reported to be Imminent

According to the Washington Business Journal, http://bit.ly/1pFJuWj the National Community Church will shortly close on its purchase of the Blue Castle at 770 M Street, SE, and has plans – down the road – to add floors to the structure.  The castle is leased by tenants including a charter school and PSI Services – a social services company.  The church has had long standing plans to build a coffeehouse, theater and child care center on land it owns on Virginia Avenue and 8th Street, SE, the site of the old Miles Glass Company.

A DC Restaurant Investor Group Has Leased The Former Chicken Tortilla on Lower 8th

A DC Restaurant Investor Group Has Leased The Former Chicken Tortilla on Lower 8th

New Restaurant on Lower 8th Street’s Horizon

According to Barracks Row Mainstreet, the former home of Chicken Tortilla at 1100 8th Street, SE has been leased to an investor group which has plans to open a new concept neighborhood oriented restaurant in late spring.

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And Finally, Progress on the Long-Stalled Lower 8th Beer Garden

Also according to Barracks Row Mainstreet, the long stalled plan to open a beer garden at 8th and L – diagonally across the street from the new restaurant above appears to be moving ahead.  Owners announced last week that they expect to break ground shortly with the hope of opening next spring.  The new venue is reportedly named “The Brig.”

The Week Ahead…..

Monday, November 10

ANC6D meets at 7:00 pm at 1100 4th Street SW.

Agenda unavailable at press time.

Tuesday, November 11

Veteran’s Day Ceremony at 11:00am in Folger Park, opposite the Post 8 building on the corner of 3rd and D, SE.  This year’s Veterans Day ceremony will feature a “Top-Gun” officer, a secret surprise for two VIP guests and the welcome return of a favorite attraction.  For more information go here:  http://bit.ly/1oAfYjE

Wednesday, November 12

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation – Boathouse Row Marina Development

New alcohol beverage restaurant license for Bayou Bakery on the Hill (at Hill Center)

Planned Unit Development (PUD) for 1333 M Street SE, Phase 1.

Report on Vacant and Blighted Houses.

Comments on Mayor Gray’s plan to close DC General Shelter.

Comments on Eastern Market Vending & Soliciting Policy

Wednesday, November 12

ANC6C meets at 7:00pm in Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Among items on the agenda:

Comments on Streetcar opening date/proposed expansion

NoMa underpass art project, transportation issues

PUD for Union Market residential/retail mixed use project at 1270 Fourth Street, NE, by Edens Realty Inc.  (Up to 520 residential units and nearly 40,000 square feet of ground floor retail in an 11-story building. The project will total 408,000 square feet, not including a four- or five-story underground parking garage with up to 550 spaces.)

Discussion of Stanton Park and homelessness

Thursday, November 13

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE

Among items on the agenda:

Change in entertainment hours and addition of Sunday hours for Red Rocks

Alcohol beverage license for Pizza Parts

Entertainment endorsement to license of Impala Cantina y Taquria

Presentation by reps of Touche – potentially taking over the XII Space

Off street parking requirements for daycare business at 1802 D Street, NE

Construction of new dormitory on campus of Gallaudet University

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Commissioned Study Recommends Expanding Capitol Hill Historic District North to H Street

Graphic Showing Proposed Expansion of Capitol Hill Historic District and Creation of a New Capitol Hill East Historic District

Graphic Showing Proposed Expansion of Capitol Hill Historic District and Creation of a New Capitol Hill East Historic District

Commissioned Study Recommends Expanding Capitol Hill Historic District North to H Street

AND Creating a New “Capitol Hill East Historic District”

by Larry Janezich

Last night at Maury School, EHT Traceries, an architectural history company hired by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) to study the feasibility of expanding the Capitol Hill Historic District (CHHD), presented its findings to some 60 residents who live in or around the affected area.

The firm made a series of recommendations in a 200 page report to CHRS, including expanding the current CHHD north, nearly to H Street, on the basis that buildings in those areas reflect the same architecture and style as the CHHD.   The report also recommends creation of a new “Capitol Hill East Historic District” to mark the neighborhood’s later 20th century period of development that separates it architecturally from the older CHHD to the east.

In addition, the report recommends studying properties in Rosedale and Isherwood – two areas which did not develop, according to EHT, in same way as the other historic districts did. Nonetheless EHT Traceries says there are properties here in the mixture of wooden and brick structures that deserve historic designation.

The report also recommends studying the corner stores which are rapidly disappearing from the community, wood frame structures outside Rosedale/Isherwood, and performing a reconnaissance survey on the rest of the Kingman Park neighborhood.

Based upon the data collected and reported to the public last night, Traceries has recommended expansion of the CHHD to the north and north east and the creation of a new Capitol Hill East Historic District (see illustration above).  But the cost of collecting data for the other areas and historically significant structures, as recommended by EHT Traceries, would be expensive and there was no word of funding available to pursue them at present.

The current study was funded by a settlement CHRS reached several years ago with the Louis Dreyfuss Property Group (some $83,000), as mitigation for the demolition of twelve historic buildings in the way of the new Dreyfuss development between H and G and 2nd and 3rd Streets, NE.  Last night, a Traceries representative said the firm would have liked to have studied the area all the way to Florida Avenue, “but there wasn’t the funding.”  For more on CHRS’ efforts to expand the CHHD, see here http://bit.ly/1oovsau and here http://bit.ly/1y9ymQf

The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) representative in attendance last night, Kim Williams, noted the benefits of historic district designation, which include protection of buildings from demolition and inappropriate alteration.  In addition, she said, “the coherent narrative of neighborhoods” is preserved and “its character is maintained in perpetuity.”

The negatives associated with historic district designation, raised in some questions last night, were also alluded to in a list of FAQs distributed by HPO, regarding the length of time it takes for getting a permit for home improvement.  The memo notes that review for major home improvement projects by HPRB – which meets twice a month – is required (the memo fails to mention the additional approval by the ANC which most applicants will want to have before going to HPRB).  In addition, there are restrictions on alterations to the façade of a house, a virtual prohibition on adding floors or any addition which can be seen from public space, HPRB review of hardscaping (walks, driveways, retaining wall, etc.), and restrictions on use of materials to repair or renovate, including windows and front yard fencing.

The HPO representative stressed the process depends on community initiation, usually by a local civic group or the ANC.  Historical data is compiled to justify the designation of a historic district – in this case the work has already been done for the expansion and the proposed new historic district in Hill East.  Community meetings are held by HPO to assess the degree of support for historic district designation, and if a consensus emerges for going forward, the organizers submit documents nominating an area for historic district designation to HPO.  The process up to this point takes a minimum of six months.  Once submitted to HPO it takes three to four months to schedule a presentation before HPRB.  The HPRB generally makes a decision at the same meeting that the nomination is presented and the HPRB regulations for historic districts become effective at that time.

EHT Traceries is scheduled to make two addition presentations on the study:

ANC 6B area: Mon. Nov. 17, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m., Hill Center, 921 Penn. Ave. SE

ANC 6C area: Tues. Nov. 18, 7 to 9 p.m., Northeast Library, 330 Seventh St. NE

For more information, go here:  www.chrs.org.

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CSX Tunnel Expansion Moves Forward

CSX Tunnel Expansion Moves Forward

Federal Agency Clears Project Over Nearby Residents’ Objections

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, the Federal Highway Administration cleared CSX to begin applying for permits for expansion of the Virginia Avenue tunnel and gave CSX authority over the streets near the tunnel for the life of the project.  The project is likely to take 3.5 – 4 years and cost $170 million.

The move came after sustained public opposition from nearby residents who will suffer the negative consequences of the construction which is within a stone’s throw of their homes.

Despite concerns raised by some city council members on behalf of the residents and a hint that the council might take action to delay the project pending the results of a study, it seems unlikely that the council will intervene.

Last July, in a sparsely attended Special Call meeting, ANC6B expressed general support for “Alternative 3 – Two New Tunnels” but listed significant concerns which the ANC wanted to see addressed.  These included repaving/reconstruction of Virginia Avenue north of the freeway; establishment of a complaint resolution process and a community advisory group; assurances of completion in 30-42 months; and more information on potential utility disruptions.

CSX has offered $500,000 in mitigation funs to residents of ANC6B and ANC6D affected by the construction and ANC6B recommended that CSX seek a mechanism for distribution of those funds which will not involve the ANC which cannot legally fill that role.

The ANC passed the endorsement for the project by a vote on 6 – 0.

See the CHC post on that meeting here:  http://bit.ly/1oNi1xE

The FEIS and a fact sheet are available at www.virginiaavenuetunnel.com

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Alberti Loses ANC6A Seat – Election Results for Capitol Hill ANCs

Alberti Loses ANC6A Seat – Election Results for Capitol Hill ANCs

by Larry Janezich

ANC6A Chair Nick Alberti , a 12 year veteran commissioner, lost his seat to challenger Matt Levy by a vote margin of 34% to Levy’s 61% in Tuesday’s election.  Alberti was not the only incumbent to lose his seat, but his loss was perhaps one of the most unexpected.  In other news, ANC6B elected seven freshman commissioners – all as the result of vacated seats because of retirement or resignation.  ANC6B had the greatest number of contested seats (five) among all Ward 6 Capitol Hill ANCs.  ANC6A had three contested seats, while ANC6C and ANC6D had one each. (For complete results at the DC Board of Elections, go here:  http://bit.ly/1Aea9hf )

The winners (in bold) of the elections in ANC6A, ANC6B, ANC6C, and ANC6D are as follows:

ANC6A

ANC6A01 –

Omar Mahmud, (incumbent) X

Raphael V. Marshall

Andy Clark

ANC6A02 –

Phil Toomajian X

ANC6A03 –

No Candidate.  Write in vote winner to be announced. 

ANC6A04 –

Nick Alberti, (incumbent)

Matt Levy X

ANC6A05 –

Dan Allen

Patrick A. Malone X

Hassan Christian

ANC6A06 –

Todd Sloves

Stephanie Zimny X

ANC6A07 –

Sondra Phillips-Gilbert, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6A08 –

Calvin Ward, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6B

ANC6B01 –

Jennifer E. Samolyk (unopposed) X

ANC6B02 –

Diane Hoskins X

Gerald Sroufe

ANC6B03 –

Claudia Holwill

James M. Loots X

Kelly Vielmo

ANC6B04 –

Kirsten Oldenburg, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6B05 –

Steve Hagedorn X

Ellen Opper-Weiner

Carl B. Reeverts

ANC6B06 –

Nick Burger X

Anthony Cassillo

ANC6B07 –

Daniel Chao (unopposed) X

ANC6B08 –

Chander Jayaraman, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6B09 –

Brian Flahaven, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6B10 –

Peter Gould

Kathryn Denise Rucker Krepp X

ANC6C

ANC6C01 –

Daniele Schiffman, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6C02 –

Karen Wirt, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6C03 –

Scott Price, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6C04 –

Mark Eckenweiler, (incumbent – unopposed) X

ANC6C05 –

Mark Kazmierczak, (incumbent)

Chris Miller X

ANC6C06 –

Tony Goodman, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6D

ANC6D01 –

Marjorie Lightman (unopposed) X

ANC6D02 –

Stacy Cloyd, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6D03 –

Rachel Carroll, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6D04 –

Andy Litsky, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6D05 –

Roger Moffat, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

ANC6D06 –

Rhonda Hamilton, (incumbent – unopposed)  X

AMC6D07 –

TD Stanger

Josh Hart

Meredith Fascett X

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