The Week Ahead…Liquor License for Kraze Burger Successor on Barrack Row

July 2, 2015, 8:15pm, 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

July 2, 2015, 8:15pm, 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

The Week Ahead….Liquor License for Kraze Burger Successor on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Monday, July 6

  1. CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.
  2. Roberta Weiner: 1937-2015. A memorial service for long time community news reporter Roberta Weiner will be held at 6pm at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  Following the service, at 7 p.m., friends will gather at Tunnicliff’s Tavern located at 222 Seventh Street, SE.  See more here:  http://bit.ly/1HGA8A5

Tuesday, July 7

  1. ANC6B Planning & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE.

Among items on the agenda:

1220 D Street SE, alterations to entrance

416 G Street SE, concept/front addition

1209 Independence Ave SE, concept/rear addition, roof deck

1010-1012 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, concept/rear additions

1015 E Street SE, concept/revised rear addition.  (Bureau of Zoning Adjustment ordered changes to this project which would have had a severe adverse impact on 11th Street neighbors – see here http://bit.ly/1JHXiru)

1325 D Street SE, curb cut for Buchanan School Development.

  1. AnC6B Transportation Committee will meet at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Among items on the agenda:

Update on the Completion of Office of Planning’s SE Boulevard Study and Next Steps on DDOT’s Feasibility Study: Office of Planning/DDOT

Identifying Dangerous Intersections:  Commissioner Flahaven

Resolution on Naming Alleys in Square #1042: Commissioner Burger

Update on DDOT analysis of adding a signalized pedestrian crossing on 11th Street between K and L Streets SE.

Thursday, July 9

  1. ANC6B Alcohol Beverage Control Committee will meet at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

Among items on the agenda:

New restaurant license for the former Kraze Burger, 413-415 8th Street, SE.  (This fried meat outlet could be controversial in a block some call oversaturated with restaurants – see here:  http://bit.ly/1JRWIWN )

  1. ANC6A meets at 7:00pm at Miner Elementary, 601 Fifteenth Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Patio expansion plans of Lattice Partners LLC (Copycat Co.)

Proposed protest of a request for a change from a restaurant license to a tavern license for Da Luft at 1242 H Street, NE

New license for Imm on H at 1360 H Street, NE

Letter of support to DDOT for the Ben’s Chili Bowl public space application related to installation of panda statue in front of the store at the corner of 10th and H Streets, NE, with the condition that the owners consider moving the statue if the ANC receives complaints about it blocking pedestriantraffic/right-of-way.

Letter of support to DDOT for the Mia’s Coffeehouse public space application related to a sidewalk cafe at 1500 A Street NE

Letter to the Bureau of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) in conditional support of a variance from the off-street parking requirements in connection with the operation of a medical office at 702 15th Street, NE.

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Mayor Bower Highlight’s Barracks Row July 4th Parade – Photo Essay

Here are 12 photos capturing a few of the highlights of the annual Barracks Row Fourth of July Parade.

The Eastern High School Marching Machine Led the Parade.  It was not clear where the Marine Corps Color Guard was this year.

The Eastern High School Marching Machine Led the Parade. It was not clear where the Marine Corps Color Guard was this year.

Mayor Bowser Marched in the Parade, the first time in recent memory when a Mayor has participated

Mayor Bowser Marched in the Parade, the first time in recent memory a Mayor has participated

Councilmember Charles Allen marched with the DC Statehood delegation

Councilmember Charles Allen marched with the DC Statehood delegation

Beauty Queens in Red, White...

Beauty Queens in Red, White…

and Blue

and Blue

Scouts and ...

Scouts and …

more Scouts

more Scouts

Community Activist Peter Bug Matthews

Community Activist Peter Bug Matthews

Happy Parade watcher

Happy Parade watcher

The Rural Dog Rescuers Marched - hoping, perhaps for adoptions (www.ruraldogrescue.com)

The Rural Dog Rescuers Marched – hoping, perhaps for adoptions (www.ruraldogrescue.com)

And, representing the Continental Army.....

And, representing the Continental Army…..

DC Statehood.  It's Time.

DC Statehood. It’s Time.

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The Week Ahead…& Updates on DC General, RFK, and the Boys and Girls Club

“The District,” the all-female acapella group, performed at Eastern Market on Sunday. Genres include Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Country and “everything in between.”  For more:  http://bit.ly/1JhyOTw

“The District,” the all-female acapella group, performed at Eastern Market on Sunday. Genres include Pop, Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Country and “everything in between.” For more: http://bit.ly/1JhyOTw

The Week Ahead… And Updates on DC General, RFK, and Boys and Girls Club

by Larry Janezich

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, June 30

  1. ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the July 14 regular meeting of the Commission.

Saturday, July 4

  1. Fourth of July Parade on Barracks Row starts at 10:00am.

Updates:

DC General

Last Thursday night, at a meeting of the ANC6B Hill East Task Force, chaired by resident member Brynn Barnett, city officials told the 40 or so Hill East Residents that there is no quick solution to closing DC General and the closing will depend on decentralizing care for the homeless to small neighborhood-based high quality shelters spread throughout the city.  The Department of Human Services has not found sites for the smaller shelters in Wards 1, 2, 3, and 6; officials also mentioned that finding a home for all homeless who qualify for shelter will predate any closing of DC General.​

​Regarding the siting of new shelters, Brenda Donald, Deputy Mayor for HHS said, “There are going to be some unpopular decisions made,” adding, “this [closing DC General] is a commitment, and it will be done thoughtfully and respectfully.”​  Donald also said, “This is not going to work if it brings down a neighborhood.”

Last April, Mayor Bowser released a plan to close DC General in two years.  It’s not clear from the remarks of officials briefing the community last night that that plan is a realistic one.

2015-06-25 19.36.37

RFK

Councilmember Charles Allen also appeared at the Hill East meeting last Thursday to tell residents that he expects Events DC, a quasi-public body to recommend a new football stadium to replace RFK – this in light of Mayor Bowser’s hopes to return football to DC.  Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and manages the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.  It also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park.

Allen said, “I told the mayor ‘We don’t want a football stadium there,’” He continued, “She wants one. “   He went on to say, “I don’t think it’s the best use for the site.  I’ll keep pushing for the Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park.”​ ​(See here:  http://www.capitolriverside.org/ ​)​  ​”If I can’t stop it, I can influence the final product.”  Allen said, ”I don’t think I see how a football stadium works with its acres of asphalt.”  He said the city needs input on RFK from the neighborhood – saying that the community input can be very powerful.

​In response to questions, Allen refused to rule out a use as a professional football stadium, including one that would necessitate public funding, saying only, “I’m not sure public financing in necessary.”

Boys and Girls Club

​In response to a question raised by CHC, Allen also addressed the pending award by the Department of General Services (DGS) of a contract to redevelop the Boys and Girls Club, saying “John Kayne [acting director of DGS] has been silent.”  Allen replied that “the ultimate decision is within DGS, and they don’t want to reopen the process.”  Allen said he had asked DGS if the lease terms (25 years which precludes private financing and makes viable only bids which rely on public financing – such as through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program) could be modified and was told DGS would stick with the current lease terms.

Allen noted that the “ANC and other folks were not thrilled with the proposal and that tells me they’re not ready to move on it.”  Allen said he had tried to evaluate another 100% senior housing by the developer (Dantes Partners) – The Hodge – and found that the residents were “thrilled” with it.  Hill East Task Force Pat Taylor pointed out that the Hodge part of a larger building complex with retail and parking – amenities which will be lacking at the Boys and Girls Club site.   ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahave, has gone on record saying he thought that – given the controversial nature of the project – Kayne was waiting for a permanent director of DGS to be appointed and confirmed.

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Mapping 27 Violent Crimes in Hill East in Past 30 Days

Mapping 27 Violent Crimes in or near Hill East in the Past 30 Days

15 Violent Crimes in the same areas during the same time periods in 2014

by Larry Janezich

In the past 30 days, there have been 27 violent crimes in or near Hill East. Details of these crimes have been reported elsewhere in other Capitol Hill News sources.  What is lacking is the overall scope of the problem, both in terms of its pervasiveness and location.  The following maps take a step toward addressing these issues.  The legend on the left side of the maps provide MPD definitions of what constitutes a violent crime.

Ed. Note.  Post updated at 5:00pm Thursday.  Map annotations now show the number of violent crimes in the area during the same period in 2014.  Thanks to readers for pointing out this would be helpful.

Residents can air concerns tonight (Thursday) when the ANC 6B Hill East Task Force meets at 6:30pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue Southeast.  CouncilMember Charles Allen will provide community updates and take questions from the Task Force and attendees.

As has been reported elsewhere on CHC, ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven, chair of the Community Outreach Task Force, has undertaken an initiative to renew the principles of community policing by strengthening the relationship between the community and the MPD.  One of the deficiencies in the concept of community policing is the apparent total lack of participation and investment in the concept of community policing by community organizations including, Barracks Row Main Street, Capitol Hill BID, CHAMPS, Community Action Group, Community Connections, Capitol Hill Ministries, Capitol Hill Community Foundation, Capitol Hill Restoration Society and numerous smaller community organizations – not to mention Capitol Hill media organizations.  (See: “PSA Meeting Raises Question: Is Hill East Safe?” here – http://bit.ly/1IoESG)

Next:  Crime mapping for Barracks Row and H Street, NE.

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of 17th and Independence in the last 30 days

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of 17th and Independence in the last 30 days.  1 in same period during 2014. (click to enlarge)

Violent Crimes win 1500 feet of 17th and F in the last 30 days

Violent Crimes win 1500 feet of 17th and F in the last 30 days. 5 in same period in 2014.

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of Potomac Avenue Metro in the last 30 days

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of Potomac Avenue Metro in the last 30 days. 4 in same period in 2014.

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of 12th and Maryland Avenue, NE in the past 30 days

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of 12th and Maryland Avenue, NE in the past 30 days. 3 in same period in 2014.

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of 12th and Independence, SE, in the past 30 days

Violent Crimes w/in 1500 feet of 12th and Independence, SE, in the past 30 days.  2 in same period in 2014.

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RFK Farmers Market – Photo Essay

The blue area in the upper right marks the location of the market, accessed at the entrance off of Oklahoma Avenue.

The blue area in the upper right marks the location of the market, accessed at the entrance off Oklahoma Avenue.

RFK Farmers Market – Photo Essay

by Larry Janezich

The RFK Farmers Market opened some 30 years ago under the Mayoral tenure of Marion Barry.  It offers basic produce at cheap prices – plus a few specialty items hard to find elsewhere.  The market is in RFK Parking Lot No.6, open from 7 AM to 4 PM, Thursdays and Saturdays, year-round (unless there is a game at RFK). Below are photos of some of offerings. The spring onions and strawberries are done, but the local greens and squash are being picked, and next Saturday marks the beginning of the tomato harvest.

Beans - Roma, String, and Pole

Beans – Roma, String, and Pole

Bacon, Peanuts and Cracklin's

Smoked Bacon, Peanuts and Cracklin’s

Local Greens - Collard, Kale and Mustard

Local Greens – Collard, Kale and Mustard

Squash - Zucchini, Pattycake, and Yellow

Squash – Zucchini, Pattycake, and Yellow

Ciders, Chow Chow, Canned Peaches

Ciders, Chow Chow, Canned Peaches

Raw

Raw “Green” Peanuts just out of the ground. (Boil 1 pound in a gallon of water with 1/4 cup of salt for an hour or so (three or more for raw peanuts that have dried).

Peaches, Peppers, Cucumbers

Peaches, Peppers, Cucumbers

Vendors at RFk Farmers Market

Vendors at RFk Farmers Market

More Vendors

More Vendors

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The Week Ahead … CouncilMember Allen meets Hill East Community Thursday Night &

Core members of The Capitol Hillbillies Jam at Eastern Market Sunday afternoon.

Core members of The Capitol Hillbillies – Joel and Pearl Bailes – Jam at Eastern Market Sunday afternoon.

Joel Bailes at the rolling piano - note wheels.

Joel Bailes at the rolling piano – note wheels.

Piano hammers

Piano hammers

Joel and Pearl Bailes

Joel and Pearl Bailes

The Week Ahead … CouncilMember Allen meets Hill East Community Thursday Night &

The Capitol Hillbillies Jammin’ at Eastern Market on Sunday – Photos

By Larry Janezich

The Capitol Hillbillies’ mission is to bring New Orleans to Capitol Hill.  The band performs in configurations of 2 to 9 musicians, presenting primitive New Orleans –style jazz and gospel, hot blues, early country, jug band tunes along with an occasional rockabilly or Chicago Blues.

The band lists its influences as Robert Johnson, Son House, Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bessie Smith, Lottie Kimbrough, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Big Bill Broonzy, Tampa Red, Muddy Waters, Cannon’s Jug Stompers, The Memphis Jug Band, The Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, Peter Stampfel, Noah Lewis, The Harry Smith Folk Anthology, etc.

In addition to busking on Capitol Hill, the band performs at private events.  See Facebook, here:  http://on.fb.me/1dafE65 or Contact:  Joel Bailes: rollingpiano@gmail.com

The Week Ahead….

Wednesday, June  24

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in Eastern Market’s North Hall.

Thursday, June 25

ANC 6B Hill East Task Force Meets at 6:30pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue Southeast.  CouncilMember Charles Allen will provide community updates and take questions from the Task Force and attendees.  Also, officials from the DC Department of Health and Human Services will discuss the DC General Homeless Shelter, including an update on the plan to replace the shelter and close DC General.  Participating in the meeting will be Brenda Donald, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and Laura Zeilinger, Director of the Department of Human Services.

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PSA Meeting Raises Question:​ ​ Is Hill East​ Safe?​

PSA Meeting Raises Question:​ ​ Is Hill East​ Safe?​

by Larry Janezich

Last night, despite two incidents of violent crime in Hill East on Saturday, only four residents showed up for the PSA 108 (see below *) meeting in Liberty Baptist Church on Kentucky Avenue.  One was a​ ​new ​Hill East resident twice the victim of violent crime in ​the past ​two months​.​

The resident, who has lived in the neighborhood for only a brief time, ​c​a​me to the meetin​g ​to ask th​e MPD for their​ advice on​ areas to avoid or other safety tactics​.​  MPD officers present declared these types of opportunistic assaults to be “everywhere,” and cautioned residents to stay off their phones while out in public (the resident was not on a phone during either episode).​

Although there were arrests (by a bike cop) made in the second assault on the resident,​ no charges were filed, ​because, although the resident could identify one assailant with certainty, s/he ​could not identify​ the person who actually struck a blow versus the other person who was a companion and, presumably, an accomplice​.  In the case of these two arrests,  ​Curry was able to say that one was from out of the area and the other had a family member in the neighborhood.​  Another resident at last night’s meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the unwillingness of the US Attorney to file charges in this case and urged ANC 6B representative Nick Burger, also ​in attendance, to follow up.

In response to question​s regarding the crime discussed at the meeting​, Curry cited the rash of recent violent crimes all across the city, calling them crimes of opportunity, and saying there are similar problems on every beat.  “Assailants come from behind, mostly as it gets dark” he said, “There’s no area we can say to avoid.  Robberies are mostly juveniles – mostly phones.  There’s no one answer – crimes are often the result of boredom and peer pressure.”

A resident questioned MPD’s assertion at a June 1 Community Crime meeting at St. Coletta’s that there is no gang activity in Hill East.  Curry clarified that the definition of “gangs” by MPD means an organization of the scale of the Bloods or the Crips, and while there is no “gang” activity by this definition, there are “crews” operating in MPD District 1.

ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven, chair of the Community Outreach Task Force, has undertaken an initiative to renew the principles of community policing by strengthening the relationship between the community and the MPD.  One of the deficiencies in the concept of community policing revealed in last night’s meeting is the apparent total lack of participation and investment in the concept of community policing by community organizations including, Barracks Row Main Street, Capitol Hill BID, CHAMPS, Community Action Group, Community Connections, Capitol Hill Ministries, Capitol Hill Community Foundation, Capitol Hill Restoration Society and numerous smaller community organizations – not to mention Capitol Hill media organizations.

*PSA (Police Service Area) makes MPD officials available once a month to interact with and answer questions from residents.  PSA 108’s Lt. Dykes (or his designees) meets residents at 7:00pm the third Thursday of the month at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.  PSA 107’s Lt. Fowler meets with residents at 7:00pm the first Thursday of the month in Southeast Library, lower level.

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Community to Get Benefits from Developers of 3 Projects Near SE Safeway

Up to 1200 new residents could be headed for the highlighted areas.

Up to 1200 new residents could be headed for the highlighted areas.

Community to Get Benefits from Developers of 3 Projects Near SE Safeway

Projects (plus Buchanan School) Will Bring In Some 1200 New Residents

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B’s Subcommittee on Public Unit Developments (PUDs) met last Tuesday to begin planning for exacting community benefits from developers of three major projects near SE Safeway.  The benefits come to the community in exchange for allowing developers to build larger buildings accommodating greater density than would otherwise be permitted by zoning regulations.  Joel Lawson from the Office of Planning was present to brief the Subcommittee on the overall PUD process.

The three projects, the developers, and the number of likely residents are as follows:

1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, CAS Riegler, multi-story residential retail building – 400 residents

1300 block of E Street, SE, Opal LLC, Watkins Alley residential project – 100 to 150 residents

1300 block of E Street, SE, Insight Development Group, residential project – 350 to 400 residents

(The nearby Buchanan School Project by Insight Development with some 150 – 250 residents is being built as a matter or right.  The developer is seeking zoning relief but is not pursuing a PUD process which would entail benefits for the community.  Together, the four projects will add up to 1,200 new residents to the neighborhood, some 850 of them in two blocks adjacent to the Safeway. )

Subcommittee Chair Nick Burger, who also chairs ANC6B’s  Planning and Zoning Committee, plans to consider the three projects en bloc, possibly coordinating the benefits for the community from the three projects and avoiding multiple meetings on each project.   Burger said the purpose of the Tuesday’s meeting was to consider “What we’d love to see here and is it feasible?”

Only a handful of nearby neighbors of the projects turned out for the meeting.  Some of the suggestions which came from a brainstorming session on possible benefits included:

Public green space – especially south of Pennsylvania Avenue

Upgrading the space around Peter Bug Academy

Affordable housing

Watkins School swimming pool upgrade

Street scape improvements for Pennsylvania Avenue, E Street, and Ives Street

Lighting for pedestrians on Pennsylvania Avenue

Lawson distributed a handout of information regarding the PUD process, and available on the Office of Planning website (see here:  http://1.usa.gov/1G8F3FH ), which listed other items considered fair game in terms of benefits and amenities for the community.  Some of these include:

Contributions to DC Public Schools, Libraries, or neighborhood centers

Sustainable green building elements

Services for elderly, handicapped, children

Transportation related measures

Community meeting space

Subsidized retail space for local businesses

Burger’s plan is for the Subcommittee to hold two more meetings to discuss a benefits and amenities package.  A July meeting will involve the specifics of a list of detailed proposals.  A meeting in September will be held to modify the list.  The Subcommittee negotiates with the developers to formulate a final package to take to the full ANC for approval.

During its consideration of the developers’ request for zoning changes, the Zoning Commission will consider the list and ensure that the benefits are things that the developer is actually providing.  The developer is required to provide a detailed synopsis of the benefits and how they will be accomplished.   The package is then incorporated into any Zoning Order granting the change in zoning requested by the developer.

Burger urged attendees at the meeting to reach out to nearby neighbors and urge their participation in future meetings.  CHC will provide notification of the meetings as they are scheduled in the regular Sunday posting, “The Week Ahead.”

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Buchanan Developer Considers Second Major Project Near SE Safeway

Three photos showing the size of the lot at 1337-1323 E Street, SE, which could be the site of the next Insight Development Group residential project

Three photos showing the size of the lot at 1337-1323 E Street, SE, which could be the site of the next Insight Development Group residential project

Photos show the site from left to right, facing South, viewed from the north side of E Street

Photos show the site from left to right, facing South, viewed from the north side of E Street

The south side of Safeway is behind the photographer

The south side of Safeway is behind the photographer

Buchanan Developer Considers Second Major Project Near SE Safeway

Is Residential Market Becoming Oversaturated?

By Larry Janezich

ANC6B’s Subcommittee met last night to discuss what benefits and amenities might be exacted from developers who are seeking Planned Unit Development (PUD) status for residential projects near the SE Safeway.   (Under the PUD process, a developer seeks a change in zoning to permit greater density than the zoning for a site would otherwise allow and the community receives benefits in exchange for the impact of the greater density on the community.)  During the discussion, the community learned that Insight Development Group, the developer of the Buchanan School behind SE Safeway, is considering a another major residential project in the 1300 block of E Street, SE, on the large site currently occupied by Bowie Trash and Signature Auto, directly across E Street from Safeway.  OPal LLC has already announced plans to build a residential complex in that block (See here: http://bit.ly/14qcnLZ) and will seek PUD status, as will CAS Reigler for its nearby development at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  (See http://bit.ly/1F6lYGl )  The Buchanan School development is being built largely as a matter of right, though the developer is seeking some zoning relief in order to maximize the number of units without going through the PUD process.

Though no public meetings on the Insight development have been held, CHC learned in early May that Insight was conducting a feasibility study for the Bowie/Signature site at 1323-1327 E Street, SE.  Given the certainty with which the project was described at the public ANC Subcommittee meeting last night, the project appears to have advanced beyond the study stage.  The project was described as comprised of 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments in a building comparable to CAS Riegler’s 180 unit building at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Insight Property Group is not only the developer behind the Buchanan School project, it is also behind the Apollo H Street project at 600 H Street, NE, a mixed use project with 432 rental apartments and retail that will feature the H Street Whole Foods.

During last night’s meeting, one attendee – Gary Petersen, Chair of the Capital Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee – issued a note of caution, speculating that the new residential market on Capitol Hill is becoming “oversaturated.”

Asked for additional comment, Peterson elaborated, “The number of people moving into the District has dropped below what it was six months ago.  The developers near the ballpark in SE have gone through a bust and are now slapping up apartment buildings as fast as they can.  Everybody is racing to get their building done so they can get it rented up.”

He pointed to the 673 unit project at 1333 M Street, SE; the 158 unit Hine project; and the 81 unit Buchanan School development and said, “I doubt there’s enough demand to fill all these places.”

(In addition, there is Goldstar’s 41 unit building at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue which is just about to start marketing units, Donatelli/Blue Skye’s 354 residential unit building near Stadium Armory Metro stop on Reservation 13, a possible new mixed retail/residential Frager’s building, and the the Boys and Girls Club on 17th Street, SE.)

Peterson says if a project is not currently in the pipeline now, “it begins to look iffy.”  Specifically, he pointed to the two proposed projects near the SE Safeway and the one at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – although he noted that the last has filed a PUD application.  Peterson predicted that not all of these will get built.

As this was being posted, CHC received the following comment from Trent Smith of Insight Development Group:

Thank you for reaching out. We are under contract on the Bowie’s trash and Signature Collision sites and are studying the possibility of redeveloping the sites into a multifamily community. We are still early in the planning process and are anxious to engage the community with more details soon. The proposed project would be four stories plus some residential basement and penthouse space. The current concept has approximately 160 units made up of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes.

 We look forward to working with you and the community on this opportunity in the near future.

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ANC6B Outreach Committee Launches Public Safety MPD Liaison Effort

ANC6B Residents Attend a Community Crime Meeting at St. Coletta's on June 1

ANC6B Residents Attend a Community Crime Meeting at St. Coletta’s on June 1

ANC6B Outreach Committee Launches Public Safety MPD Liaison Effort

“If you don’t feel safe walking around – that should be the number one priority”

by Larry Janezich

Last Thursday night, Brian Flahaven, Chair of the ANC6B Community Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force, launched a renewed effort to better engage MPD with the ANC6B community.  Flahaven crystallized the importance of the issue late in the meeting during a discussion of whether using ANC meeting time to further interaction between the community and police would cut into other ANC business when he replied, “If you don’t feel safe walking around – that should be the number one priority.”  Flahaven characterized the effort as establishing a better partnership with MPD, since, he said, “Our goal is their goal – to create a safe community.”

The effort is timely.  This evening, Hillnow reported on “multiple violent robberies” in the Hill area over the weekend.  See here:  http://bit.ly/1GIFIDc

There are two recurring points of interaction between the community and the MPD, both the outgrowth of community policing.

One is the regular PSA (Police Service Area) meeting​, ​where police officials share monthly crime statistics and answer questions from community members. ​ The second point of interaction is the community crime meetings, which usually occur following a spike in violent crime and are often convened at the request of councilmembers or ANC Commissioners​ in order​ to heighten police awareness of community concerns and to allow residents to hear what measures police are taking to address those concerns.

At Thursday night’s meeting, residents and commissioners spoke to the ineffectiveness of these two points of interaction and a need for the ANC to step up and create a more systematic ​communication bridge with the MPD​ that covered multiple PSAs.​

The two PSA meetings in ANC6B – PSA 107 meeting on the first Thursday of the month, and PSA 108 meeting on the third Thursday are generally poorly attended by residents​​. The message received by MPD is too often​:​ ​ ​the community doesn’t care.  ​​When attendance is poor, MPD officials occasionally fail to show up, without notice.  See here:  http://bit.ly/1DVUoMM

In contrast, community crime meetings​, while generally very well attended (see here:   http://bit.ly/1AJSVcM and http://bit.ly/1tTTI2N),​ ​also tend to be inconclusive and sometimes seem to function primarily for the purpose of public relations​:​  there is an airing of issues, reassurance by the police, and then nothing happens.

​At both sporadic community and PSA meetings, ​the police tend to shift the blame for crime to the victims with advice not to leave items of value in cars and not to walk on the street while talking on a smart phone or listening to music with earphones. ​These are valuable messages in a neighborhoods that regularly welcomes new residents, many of whom have never lived in a city, but they also can be tedious to those of who heard these many times before.  ​

Several positive ideas came out of the Task Force’s  brainstorming session regarding how best to create a better sense of understanding between MPD and the community.  Some of these included:  c​reate additional points where MPD can interact with the community, including meetings with the community by CM Charles Allen, ANC Commissioner “town hall meetings” scheduled with their constituents, and at block parties.  Also, the ANC should encouraging ANC commissioners and resident members to attend PSA meetings.

Other ideas which emerged which could be useful in strengthening the dialogue between MPD and the community include:

Create a communications mechanism to ensure that community concerns reach Sergeants in charge of MPD roll calls where officers are apprised of matters of continuing​​ concern w​hen rotating onto a shift;

Make an opportunity for interaction with the MPD a regular part of ANC or ANC Committee or Taskforce meetings;​

Create a priority list of long standing issues which the ANC can ask MPD for follow-up reports on what’s happening;​

Restoring the practice once used by the​ MPD​ to release a narrative context neighborhood crime statistics​;​

Plan for regular community crime meetings in the spring, when crime seems to spike with the arrival of warmer weather;​  (Crime spikes around Christmas as well, when holiday shopping provides more opportunities for criminal activity)​;​

​and ​encourage MPD to monitor listservs to raise awareness of community concerns​.

Flahaven said he would carry a report on tonight’s discussion as well as any recommendations for actionable items to the next ANC meeting on July 14.

PSA 107’s Lt. Fowler meets with residents at 7:00pm the first Thursday of the month in Southeast Library, lower level.  PSA 108’s Lt. Dykes meets residents at 7:00pm the third Thursday of the month at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.

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