The Week Ahead …. And ANC6B – Who’s Running? (3rd Update)

Eastern Market Metro Plaza, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, c. 9:00 pm

Eastern Market Metro Plaza, Wednesday, July 16, 2014, c. 9:00 pm

The Week Ahead …. And ANC6B – Who’s Running?

by Larry Janezich

Six Five FOUR ANC6B Seats Currently Have No Candidates

Here is a list of ANC6B’s Single Member Districts (SMDs), current commissioner, and the potential candidates who have picked up petitions (according to the DC Board of Elections) to get their names on the ballot in the general election in November.  Petitions must be signed by 25 registered voters in the potential candidate’s SMD and filed with the DC Board of Elections by Wednesday, August 6.  Nominating petitions will be posted in the Board’s office for a ten-day challenge period during which any registered District voter may challenge the validity of any petition by a written statement signed by the challenger and filed with the Board. The statement must specify concisely the alleged defect(s) in the petition.  Petitions are declared invalid most frequently because residents who are ineligible to sign them are disqualified, which takes the number of signatures below the required 25.

ANC6B01 – (Vacant, Dave Garrison resigned)  Candidates:  NONE YET

ANC6B02 – (Ivan Frishberg, retiring)  Candidates:   Gerald Sroufe, Diane Hoskins

ANC6B03 – (Phil Peisch, retiring)  Candidates:  NONE YET

ANC6B04 – (Kirsten Oldenburg, seeking re-election)  Candidates:  Kirsten Oldenburg

ANC6B05 – (Brian Pate)  Candidates:  NONE YET

ANC6B06 – (Nichole Opkins, retiring)  Candidates:  Nick Burger, Anthony Cassillo

ANC6B07 – (Sara Loveland, retiring)  Candidates:  Daniel Chao

ANC6B08 – (Chander Jayaraman, seeking re-election)  Candidates:  NONE YET

ANC6B09 – (Brian Flahaven, seeking re-election)  Candidates:  Brian Flahaven

ANC6B10 – (Francis Campbell, retiring)  Candidates:  UPDATE:  Candidates:  Denise Rucker Krepp

A map of ANC6B’s SMDs can be found here:  http://www.anc6b.org/?page_id=20

Petitions can be picked up here:

DC Board of Elections

441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250 North

Washington, DC 20001

Tel: (202) 727-2525 | TTY: (202) 639-8916 | Tollfree: 1-866-DC-VOTE

The DC Board of Election’s Candidate Guide to Ballot Access can be found here:  https://www.dcboee.org/home.asp

https://www.dcboee.org/newsroom/index.asp

 

The Week Ahead….

The rush to depart Washington for summer holiday has begun, with the result that little is happening on the political scene in the coming week.

Monday, July 21

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm in Maury Elementary School (1250 Constitution Avenue, NE) – Note location change.

Among items on the agenda:

Consideration of support for renaming of 11th Street NE and Florida Avenue NE as “Ruby Whitfield Way”

Request by residents to install stop sign at 11th Street NE and F Street NE

Monday, July 21

ANC6A Community Outreach Committee Meeting CANCELLED

Wednesday, July 23

ANC6A Economic Development Committee Meeting CANCELLED

 

 

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City Agency Backs Down On Eastern Market Petitioning Ban

The 7th Street Entrance to the Weekend Flea Markets Is a Prime Spot to Collect Signatures

The 7th Street Entrance to the Weekend Flea Markets Is a Prime Spot to Collect Signatures

Over Zealous Security Enforcement Results in New Policy on Petitioning at Eastern Market

Over Zealous Security Enforcement Resulted in New Policy on Petitioning at Eastern Market

City Agency Backs Down On Eastern Market Petitioning Ban

by Larry Janezich

The Department of General Services (DSG)  has reversed a policy of prohibiting political petitioners from collecting signatures at Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market on weekends.  The original policy appeared to be part of enforcement of a ban on unapproved vending which was included in the mayor’s order providing for weekend closing of 7th Street, SE, between Pennsylvania and North Carolina Avenues, SE.  The closing was done in part to provide space for expansion of Eastern Market’s outdoor vending operation, much of which used to take place inside the building’s North Hall before the building’s destruction by fire and reconstruction.

In recent months, patrons of the market had noticed the banishment of the Street Sense newspaper vendors from spaces adjacent to the Market, but the issue became public  in late June when petitioners were prevented from gathering signatures for an initiative to put the legalization of marijuana on the ballot.  The following weekend, petitioners – including ANC6B Commissioner Brian Pate – gathering signatures for District Congressional Representative candidate Tim Krepp were allowed to operate in the same location from which the MJ petitioners had been banned.  Once Pate was made aware of the disparity in policy, he suggested this might be a First Amendment issue and contacted Barry Margeson, Eastern Market Manager.  Margeson directs the operation of the Protective Services Division which provides security at the Market on weekends and enforces the closing of 7th Street.  Pressed on the legitimacy of the policy by Capitol Hill Corner, Margeson said that there was no written policy, and he would seek to have the issue placed on the agenda of Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee at its July 30 meeting.  In the meantime, he said, he would seek clarification from DGS legal counsel.

On July 12, Margeson emailed Capitol Hill Corner, “…in regards to petitioning at Eastern Market… I’m sure you have heard it from Brian Pate and perhaps others. We are currently working on a policy regarding usage of the entire space managed by Eastern Market/DGS (roughly 7th from Penn to NC, the North Hall Plaza and the Natatorium). It will encompass vendors, farmers, solicitors, petitioners, musicians, etc. It will tie together some of the disparate permits and applications that we already have.

Until this policy has been put in place, we have asked Protective Services Division to stand down in their enforcement of petitioning. This went well last weekend. We had a small hiccup this weekend because the word did not get out to everyone. But we are back on track… I hope that we will have a draft of the policy for the EMCAC meeting if not before.”

The “small hiccup” referred to above apparently involved political petitioners again being prevented from collecting signatures, but this time it was observed by local WRC/NBC TV reporter Tom Sherwood.   Sherwood not only tweeted about it but called the Mayor’s Office, Council Member Tommy Wells’ office, and the Department of General Services.  You can see his report here: http://bit.ly/1pjFIMx

The upshot, Sherwood reports, was that DSG has clarified the policy to insure there are no restrictions on political petitioners at the Market.  Sherwood quotes DSG spokesperson Kenneth Diggs as saying “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to sign petitions.”

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Re-creation of “Carriage House” Angers South Carolina Avenue Residents

Draft Proposal of Re-created "Carriage House"

Draft Proposal of Re-created “Carriage House”

Diagram Showing Properties Directly Affected by Proposed Construction

Diagram Showing Properties Directly Affected by Proposed Construction Which Would Be at the Wide End of the Oddly Shaped Triangular Lot

Neighbor Holds White Mock Wall to Illustrate Impact of Proposed Structure

Neighbor Holds White Mock Wall to Illustrate Impact of Proposed Structure

There Are Neighbors, Then There Are “Neighbors”

Re-creation of “Carriage House” Angers South Carolina Avenue Residents

by Larry Janezich

A recent Historical Preservation Application by a resident of the 1000 block of South Carolina Avenue, SE discloses that the resident wants to build a 15 foot “shed” in the middle of a land-locked block, based on the claim that a similarly sized carriage house existed on the property in the 19th century.

Some 16 immediate neighbors object to the plan.  It’s not as though it would be across the alley; there is no alley.  The structure would loom over the backyards of six or seven neighbors whose properties surround the oddly-shaped lot, and, they claim, it would decrease their property values and interfere with their enjoyment of their yards.   In addition, neighbors fear – citing the height of the 16 foot by 14 foot structure – the owner’s ultimate goal is to construct a rental property, which would impinge upon their backyard enjoyment still further.

When the case came before ANC6B in June, the Commission voted 9-0 to oppose the application, citing insufficient information, the fact that the applicant’s plan did not conform to the applicant’s verbal statement, and the applicant’s lack of outreach to the neighbors.

When HPRB got the case, they dismissed ANC6B’s concerns out of hand, and despite reservations on the part of several Board Members who thought the height should come down to 10 feet, handed the case off to the Historical Preservation Office (HPO) staff to resolve and make a final determination.  After the HPO staff had signed off on the 15 foot height, one of the nearby neighbors wrote to HPO:

“I am very disappointed that the neighbor’s input was not considered during this process to date. I have reviewed the video [of the hearing] several times and it does appear to me that the Chair wanted the staff to be ‘a bridge between [the owner] and the ANC and neighbors.’  The video shows that the Chair intended that [the owner] enter into a dialog with us regarding the height of the shed and its function. The Chair also stated that the staff discuss a minimum height that would be functional as a shed.”

The response from HPO staff member Sarah VanLandingham reads in part:  “We met with [the owner] earlier this week to talk through some of the details. He is committed to remaining at the 15’ height. After going back and listening to the hearing again and then double-checking the intention with the Chair, Gretchen Pfaehler, the board’s ruling is not strong enough to require him to reduce the height if he claims that he needs it.

From here, [the owner] will need to get together drawings for permitting that meet the zoning and code requirements regarding setbacks, etc. Our office will work with him on detailing the aesthetics of the design but, unfortunately, many of the concerns expressed by the neighbors are not under the purview of the HPRB or HPO.

I’m happy to provide you with plans when [the owner] is ready for permitting but, at this point, the Board has ruled in his favor and the project will be moving forward. I encourage you to talk with your ANC about this issue and any other concerns in your community and I am happy to provide you with contact information if you need it.”

One of the neighbors told CHC, “What infuriates all of us is that the Historic Preservation Office ignored ANC and comments from CHRS.  He’s building an apartment house.”  Another said, “[the owner] has still made zero effort to reach out to neighbors and the staff memo to the historic preservation head was a very, very slight rewrite of [the owner’s] own claims.”

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The Past Week and the Week Ahead….Frager’s Update and ANC Elections

A New Iron Fence For the Lots Surrounding 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Foreshadows A New Temporary Frager's Location

A New Iron Fence For the Lots Surrounding 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Foreshadows A New Temporary Frager’s Location

The Past Week and the Week Ahead….Frager’s Update and ANC Elections

by Larry Janezich

Frager’s Scales Back Plans for Pennsylvania Avenue Outlet

City storm water regulation issues have forced Frager’s to scale back plans for construction of a planned 5800 square foot temporary structure on the lots surrounding 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, as first reported by Capitol Hill Corner (see here: http://bit.ly/1gTO5J6).  Frager’s is reported to have downsized the operation intended for that location and intends to erect a temporary structure within what regulations permit without addressing the issues associated with a larger structure.  Details of the new plans are not yet available, but the fence with murals which once fronted Pennsylvania Avenue has been replaced by a ten foot iron gated fence and the land is being improved to facilitate the hardware and gardening outlet’s expansion.  Owner John Weintraub intended to move much of the hardware operation currently located at 1323 E Street, SE, as well as the gardening center now located across from Eastern Market to the Pennsylvania Avenue location.  Frager’s will lose the Eastern Market pad if a pending court decision is in favor of the developer – that decision which will allow the demolition of the Hine building to begin.  Frager’s has reportedly bought the building on E Street and no longer has to worry about operating there under a short term lease. Meantime, there has been no visible progress on reconstruction of the original location at Frager’s at 11th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

1230 Pennsylvania Avenue and the surrounding lots are owned by Larry Quillian, author of a controversial plan to demolish the historic Shotgun House which backs up to to lot and faces E Street, SE.  CHC posted on that plan here:  http://bit.ly/1qAicMC

Election Update

Last week, ANC6B 10 Commissioner Francis Campbell became the seventh ANC6B commissioner to announce retirement at the end of the current term.  The announcement of the 12 year veteran came as a surprise to many who had expected him to run  again..

As of close of business on Friday, only three candidates for ANC6B had picked up petitions necessary to have their names appear on the ballot in the general election in November:

ANC6B04 Kirsten Oldenburg (re-election)

ANC6B06 Nick Burger  (Nichole Opkins’ is not seeking re-election)

ANC6B09 Brian Flahaven  (re-election)

The Week Ahead…..

Monday, July 14

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, DCRA Meeting Room, 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor

Agenda not available at press time.

Tuesday, July 15

CHRS Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm in Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE.

Wednesday, July 16

ANC6B Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force meets a 7:00pm in Hill Center.

On the agenda:

Neglected and blighted properties

Thursday, July 17

PSA 108 meets at 7:00pm, Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.

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Few Turnout to Comment on CSX Tunnel Environmental Impact Statement

Few Turnout to Comment on CSX Tunnel Environmental Impact Statement

by Larry Janezich

ANC6b held a sparsely attended special call meeting last night to sign off on its response to city and federal officials on the Environmental Impact Statement on the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction.  The meeting was held in the spacious People’s Community Church on Barracks Row, with a few hundred seat capacity.  Nevertheless, whether it was the early evening thunderstorm, a sense of resignation, or because something came up, only five residents showed up for the meeting.

Indeed, though the meeting was scheduled at 7:00pm, it was 7:40pm before Commissioner Chander Jayraman showed up to provide the necessary 6-member quorum which allowed the meeting to convene and conduct business.

Once the meeting started, the ANC began considering the draft proposal which had been largely written by Commissioner Phil Peisch.  The letter 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.

Commissioner Brian Pate expressed his unhappiness that an alternate train route during the construction process had not been given more consideration, and then offered language to request additional information regarding several issues related to the transport of hazardous materials through the tunnels.

Denise Krepp offered commentary from the audience with suggestions on how to improve Pate’s proposed amendment, which Pate incorporated into his amendment.

The final version of that amendment was agreed to, 5 – 1, with Commissioners Flahaven, Jayaraman, Pate, Peisch, and Garrison voting for it and Commissioner Oldenburg opposed.

Audience member Jerry Sroufe, Co-chair of Eastern Market Community Association, expressed his appreciation for the letter and the inclusion of the concerns regarding transport of hazardous materials.

Earlier, Peisch offered an amendment to address the handling of $500,000 in mitigation funds offered by CSX to residents of ANC6B and ANC6D who are affected by the construction.  Peisch’s language clarified that ANC6B could not legally fill this role and urged that CSX find another agency to do it.  That amendment passed 5 – 1, with Commissioners Flahaven, Jayaraman, Pate, Peisch, and Garrison voting for it and Commissioner Oldenburg opposed.

The final letter as amended by the Pate and Peisch Amendments passed 6 – 0.

Commissioner Oldenburg characterized the comments as an opportunity for the community to put final remarks in the record, but said that in reality, they would have little impact unless they could point to substantive errors.

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

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ANC6B’s (Conditional) Approval for &Pizza on Barracks Row

ANC6B’s (Conditional) Approval for &Pizza on Barracks Row

Can Restaurateur Salis Make It Work?

by Larry Janezich

Last night ANC6B gave conditional approval to a Barracks Row & Pizza planned for 405 8th Street, SE, the current site of OXXO Cleaners.  The vote came on a motion by Chair Brian Flahaven to support an exception to the ban on fast food on 8th Street on the condition that the restaurant owner agree to some of the strictest standards (according to & Pizza legal counsel) on noise, odors and trash ever asked of a restaurant, as well as a time limit of seven years on the exception.  The owner would have to reapply for a continuation after that time.  The vote was 6 to 4, with Commissioners Flahaven, Campbell, Frishberg, Opkins, Pate and Jayararman voting in the affirmative.  Commissioners Peisch, Loveland, Garrison and Oldenburg opposed the motion.

The approval came after an impasse had developed; the ANC had voted down motions to approve the request for a special exception with a ten year limit and to disapprove the request in its entirety.

& Pizza argued that the ANC was faced with the choice of voting for approval of a tightly regulated fast food restaurant or a restaurant which would likely be installed as a matter of right which would not be subject to tight regulations.  The compromise time limit of 7 years on the exception – as enforcement leverage on the conditions attached to the approval – was enough to tip the balance.

The main argument of the opponents, led by Commissioner Phil Peisch, was that the block could not afford another fast food restaurant.  Today, Commissioner Oldenburg posted on her beat26 blog, “In my view, this block is lost.  Time to accept it as; I suppose some may label it vibrant.”

Objecting to the 7 year limit & Pizza owner Steve Salis cited the considerable expense involved in opening up on Barracks Row and said that a 10 year limit would work for him in terms of running a profitable operation.  He went on to say, “This is a challenge…it puts me in a difficult position…I ask the ANC give consideration to my needs.”  In response Commissioner Ivan Frishberg told Salis that the problem was not the ANC, but the rent he was being required to pay, which Frishberg called “among the highest in the city….absurdly high.  The landlord is putting you and the community in this position.”  The building is owned by Maurice Kreindler who owns several buildings on the block, both on 8th Street and D Street, including the building housing Radio Shack and FedEx.

Before the votes, & Pizza legal counsel Allison Prince told the ANC that &Pizza had successfully concluded  negotiations with two of the restaurant’s closest residential neighbors on noise, odors and trash control and that building owner Maurice Kreindler had agreed to limit the special exception to 10 years rather than the 20 years originally sought.

Nearby neighbor Linda Elliott, who Prince had referenced as one of the neighbors involved in negotiations, told the ANC that the agreement reached should not be interpreted as support for the fast food venue, but rather as the neighbors’ fallback position in case the ANC approved the special exception.

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Most ANC6B Commissioners Will Not Seek Re-election This Fall

Most ANC6B Commissioners Will Not Seek Re-election This Fall

by Larry Janezich

Six of the current ANC6B Commissioners will not seek re-election this fall.  Those who are retiring include Vice Chair Ivan Frishberg, Treasurer Brian Pate, Secretary Nicole Opkins, Parliamentarian Phil Peisch, ABC Committee Chair Sara Loveland, and long-time commissioner Dave Garrison.

Those who have announced they will seek re-election include Chair Brian Flahaven, Transportation Committee Chair Kirsten Oldenburg, and Commissioner Chander Jayaraman.

Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Francis Campbell told CHC he has not made up his mind yet but is leaning towards running.

Frishberg and Pate, were both elected in 2010 as part of an effort to reform the operation of ANC6B.  Sunday night, Frishberg emailed his decision not to seek re-election to his constituents.

“I wanted to write and let you know that after almost four years on the ANC, I have decided not to seek reelection this November.  I have been honored to represent and serve our incredible neighborhood. And while I will certainly find other ways to serve, it is time for me to move on from the role of ANC Commissioner…I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to work with so many of you and to be involved with some of the key issues that impact our neighborhood. The ANC is a pretty incredible opportunity we have to engage in local government. My experience since being elected in 2010 has given me a greater appreciation for both the value of this hyper-local level of government and of the contributions of so many in our neighborhood to making the Eastern Market neighborhood so strong and so important to its residents.”

Pate announced his decision today:  “I’ve informally shared with several people that I will not seek reelection in November. Serving as an ANC Commissioner has been a great privilege and deeply rewarding experience. I’ve learned so much about our community and the great people who live here – I’m proud to call you my neighbors. But serving on the ANC, doing it well, takes a great deal of time and commitment. Four years is the right amount of time to serve.  I have a long punch list of projects to complete or position for success in the six remaining months of the term, and look forward to working with all of you to “get ‘em done.” Beyond that, I’ll certainly remain involved in the neighborhood, hopefully in a purely philanthropic capacity.”

Today, July 7th, petitions for getting on the ballot this fall became available at the DC Board of Elections, 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250 North.  Twenty-five signatures of registered voters in an ANC Single Member District are necessary to place a candidate’s name on the ballot.  A map of ANC6B Single Member Districts is available here:  http://www.anc6b.org/?page_id=20

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The Week Ahead….

Lincoln Park, Sunday Afternoon, circa 2:30pm, July 6, 2014

Lincoln Park, Sunday Afternoon, circa 2:30pm, July 6, 2014

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The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, July 7

ANC6C ABC Committee is scheduled to meet at 7:00pm in Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 Second Street NE.   The agenda was not available at press time.

Monday, July 7

CHRS Historical Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm in Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.  The agenda unavailable at press time.

Tuesday, July 8

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Among the items on the agenda:

Historic Preservation application for 317 7th Street SE, two-story rear addition (This is the former Sheehy House for which the developers (317 7th Street Associates) apparently anticipate finding a restaurant-tenant.  This item appears to have been moved to the consent calendar – meaning it is scheduled to be passed without objection or debate at the beginning of the meeting.)   Editor’s note:  The original posting reflects an error occasioned by a misreading of the ANC6B agenda.  Commissioner Ivan Frishberg has corrected the record as follows:

“The case has been pushed by HPRB until September and I think the most recent agenda reflects this.  It was never going to be considered for the consent agenda…Naturally there would be a high degree of outrage if this case went forward on consent after the action we took in committee, so an error like this has some consequences.  This case is under regular order at item #7 with the rest of the PNZ agenda and it even notes the HPRB decision to postpone until September.  The published agenda notes we will spend some time on this.” 

Capitol Hill Corner regrets the error. 

Historic Preservation application for 900 11th Street SE, concept/new construction: Madison Investments & PGN Architects.  (This is the new 49 unit residential building at the above address.)

Zoning variance request for 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, allow renovation and expansion of existing office/retail building.  (This the Douglas Development project in which Ari Gejedenson hopes to open a specialty food shop and restaurant).

Letter to Metropolitan Police Department on proposed traffic camera for 8th & D Streets, SE.

(Consideration of &Pizza request for zoning relief and special exception to fast food ban has been deferred until the September meeting.)

Resolution on proposed elimination of Metrobus 30s Line stops on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Letter to Department of General Services requesting a market study in support of Eastern Market business planning efforts.

Wednesday, July 9

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

Among items on the agenda:

237 2nd Street, NW, Alibi restaurant, application for sidewalk café.

Issues with delivery trucks for Giant supermarket using 3rd Street, NE, instead of designated truck routes.

538 3rd Street, NE, zoning variance to allow conversion of a grocery store into a four-unit apartment.

Discussion of NPS triangle parks.

Playable Arts DC – New park coming to the Metropolitan Branch Trail between L & M Streets,  NE.

 

Thursday, July 10

CSX Tunnel – ANC6B has scheduled a special call meeting at 7:00 PM at the National Community Church, 535 8th Street, SE, to consider comments on the Federal Highway Administration’s and the District Department of Transportation’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.

The Federal Highway Administration and the District Department of Transportation’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel  incorporates feedback from the community and identifies “Alternative 3 – Two New Tunnels” as the Preferred Alternative for construction. The FEIS and a fact sheet are available at www.virginiaavenuetunnel.com

Thursday, July 10

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

Among items on the agenda:

Report on RL Christian Library Development.

Request by Smith Commons at 1245 H Street NE for a summer garden endorsement.

Request for a Restaurant License for The Pursuit at 1421 H Street, NE.

Thursday, July 10

PSA 107 will meet at 7:00pm in Southeast Library.

 Saturday, July 12

Friends of Southeast Library hold a book sale from 10:00am until 3:00pm at Southeast Library.

 

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DDOT Fails to Act In Face of Looming Eastern Market Parking Issues

Evian Patterson, DDOT, (center) Was Taken to Task by ANC6B Commissioners on Parking Issues Wednesday Night

Evian Patterson, DDOT, (center) Was Taken to Task by ANC6B Commissioners on Parking Issues Wednesday Night

DDOT Fails to Act on ANC6B Parking Issue Affecting Eastern Market Area Parking

ANC Commissioners Lambaste DDOT Reticence

by Larry Janezich

Wednesday night, ANC6B Commissioners Ivan Frishberg and Dave Garrison took Evian Patterson, Citywide Program Manager, DDOT, to task for his Department’s failure to act on ANC6B’s request to extend the city’s Performance Parking program north of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Patterson appeared before ANC6B’s Transportation Committee last Wednesday night to continue a discussion about protecting resident parking in the near term during demolition and construction of the Hine Project and to explain why DDOT has failed to act on extending the Performance Parking Plan.

Regarding the former, once the Hine project gets underway, it will exacerbate the already serious weekend parking problems for Eastern Market patrons and vendors as well as residents in the surrounding area.  ANC6B has been working with DDOT to get ahead of the problem and that effort continues. Regarding the latter, ANC6B’s effort to address the larger issue of parking around Eastern Market and other congested areas north of Pennsylvania Avenue all the way to East Capitol has been stonewalled by DDOT.  Patterson told the committee that “there is no basis in law for expanding the resident only parking,” and that a policy was being developed.

An annoyed Frishberg told Patterson that the ANC has been trying to get action on this issue for the past 3 and a half years and it has been a “comedy of errors…DDOT has forgotten the ANC…you can’t get this done because you are so caught up in the tools of implementation.”

Commissioner Garrison agreed with Frishberg, saying he was puzzled by an assertion by Patterson that “resident only parking would not solve the issue of overnight parking for residents,” saying the ANC had never raised that issue.  He asked Patterson directly where the Department was on policy.

Patterson said he didn’t make policy, but he has to implement it.  Frishberg pointed out that there is no policy – that by Patterson’s own admission, it is in the process of being developed.  Patterson said he would “ask permission to send you the draft policy,” and went on to say that  the policy doesn’t address the Eastern Market issue.

Frishberg told him, “You don’t have a policy – policy is not the law – you are saying ‘no’ to us on the basis of a policy which doesn’t exist.”  Garrison addressed Patterson, saying, “In this particular geography, you have the authority – I’m confident of that – you made a similar decision around the ball park and you can make it now.  The policy is that DDOT is not going to expand the resident only parking and we don’t understand the basis for this.  It is in your discretion to expand north of Pennsylvania Avenue, and it’s not clear why you’re not.

Patterson said he would go back and find out.

Reached later by CHC to ask his timeline for reporting to the ANC, Patterson responded by email:  “Unfortunately I do not have a timeframe.  This is a matter that I would like to engage legal counsel on and would request the ANC’s consideration for the time to obtain the information.”

DDOT has been the bad boy of the city agencies.  Both ANC6B and ANC6A have expressed frustration numerous times with DDOT’s operations.

CHC has filed 10 stories on this issue since March 10, 2011.  To see all of them, enter Performance Parking” in the search prompt on the home page.  To see the most recent, filed almost exactly one year ago, go here:  http://bit.ly/1jWUZ2T

Editor’s Note:  An earlier version of this posting did not make clear that Pattereson discussed two separate, though related issues with the Transportation Committee.  CHC thanks Commissioner Oldenburg for her clarification in the comment’s section.  

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DC Police Shut Down Lincoln Park Firework Celebration

District 1 MPD Officers Shut Down Lincoln Park Fireworks Display

District 1 MPD Officers Shut Down Lincoln Park Fireworks Display…

....And Confiscate Fireworks They Say Are Illegal

….And Confiscate Fireworks They Say Are Illegal

Early in the Evening

Early in the Evening….

...And Later

…And Later

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DC Police Shut Down Lincoln Park Firework Celebration

by Larry Janezich

Last night at about 10:10pm, a half dozen MPD officers from the First District closed down a DIY firework celebration in Lincoln Park, citing numerous complaints from neighbors.  Police confiscated several bags of fireworks which they said were illegal.

According to one participant, the informal neighborhood July 4th celebration has been a community tradition for more than 20 years.  It was unclear whether the move was a part of a larger crackdown on fireworks in the city, but police on the scene said that similar celebrations “all over the city” were being shut down tonight, not just Lincoln Park.

The fireworks started around 9:00pm, with standard fare widely available at licensed firework stands.  As the evening progressed, larger fireworks which may have been responsible for complaints began to be set off.  According to a recent WRC-TV news report, “In general, any fireworks or firecrackers that explode — such as cherry bombs, roman candles, or floral shells — are illegal.”  Some of the fireworks set off last night seemed to fall in that category.

 

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