Gibbs School awarded to Monument Academy and Community College Prep Academy

Gibbs School awarded to Monument Academy and Community College Prep Academy

Will Start Operating in the 2015-16 School Year

by Larry Janezich

The Gibbs School at 500 19th Street NE was awarded to the Charter School Incubator Initiative, which will house Monument Academy and Community College Preparatory Academy Public Charter Schools.

According to a press release dated today, “Monument Academy PCS, which will operate as a weekday boarding school, seeks to serve 160 students in grades 5-8 who are currently in the foster care system or who have touched the system. It is the first program of its kind in the District geared towards this population of students, which typically has poor outcomes in traditional school environments. Monument Academy staff will be specifically trained to provide students with intensive social supports, alongside a strong academic program. Community College Preparatory Academy adds an adult education component to the site and will operate two sessions per day serving approximately 50 adults seeking to complete their high school equivalency examination and to equip themselves with the skills necessary to move into the workforce and post-secondary opportunities.”

See full text of press release here:  http://1.usa.gov/13c6Sju

For more, see CHC posting here:  http://bit.ly/1wbwVi7

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ANC6B Holds Emergency Sunday Meeting to Save Funding For Payne

Payne School, 9:00am, Monday morning

Payne School, 9:00am, Monday morning

ANC6B Holds Emergency Sunday Meeting to Save Funding For Payne

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B Chair Brian Flahaven convened the ANC’s Executive Committee on Sunday afternoon in emergency session to authorize sending a letter to the DC City Council urging support for a proposal by Mayor Gray and DC School Chancellor Henderson to reprogram unneeded school funds in wards 4 and 7 and use them to complete school modernization in Wards 6 and 8.

 Update:  On Monday, December 15, CM Yvette Alexander announced Mayor Gray had rescinded the reprogramming.  See herehttp://bit.ly/1qW9v3U

Nine million dollars of the $16 million in question would allow the completion of modernization of  Payne Elementary School, the first phase of which took place in FY14.  Funds for completion were not included in the FY15 budget.  The proposal would allow all Payne students to have access to modernized classrooms and make the school compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act by adding an elevator, new ramps, and a connector bridging the two wings of the school.

Mayor Gray and Henderson say that the reprogramming would not threaten new schools in Wards 7 and 4 where the funds were originally allocated.  None the less, Council Member Yvette Alexander of Ward 7 has introduced a resolution of disapproval of the reprogramming which will be considered by the Council on Wednesday, December 17.

The ANC’s letter avoided criticizing Alexander, saying only, “We are particularly disappointed at some of the rhetoric being used to describe this reprogramming, including a statement that funding is being taken away from Ward 7 students.  In addition to serving Ward 6 students, Payne Elementary School serves a significant number of Ward 7 students, including students who live in the Temporary Emergency Family Homeless Shelter at DC General located in Ward 7.  These students, many of whom live in extreme poverty, deserve to go to a school that is fully modernized and accessible.”

Others were not so reticent.  Long time Hill activist Jim Myers posted to the newhilleast listserv the following:  “Is it possible that Ward 7 Council Member Yvette Alexander does not even know that Ward 7 children have been attending Payne School, even though it is in Ward 6? The DC General Family shelter and other facilities on Res. 13 have been part of Ward 7 since the last redistricting by City Council….So now it seems that Alexander wants to deny modernization funds for the school that little Relisha Rudd attended, because it is in Ward 6.  For shame.”  And ANC6B 10 Commissioner elect Denise Krepp – who attended Sunday’s meeting – “It seems terribly un-Christian to take this funding away from the children who attend Payne in this holiday season.”

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The Week Ahead….And a Look Back

East side of Hill Center, from the Pennsylvania Avenue median

East side of Hill Center, from the Pennsylvania Avenue median

The Week Ahead….And a Look Back

by Larry Janezich

A Look Back….

ANC6B’s Last Hurrah

Last Tuesday, ANC6B met for the last time in this two year term.  Six of the ten current commissioners did not seek re-election and one resigned.  It will next convene on January 13, 2015, in Hill Center with the three returning and seven newly elected members. Pictured below is the current commission in its last meeting.

Left to right:  Commissioners Campbell (retiring), Opkins (retiring), Peisch (retiring) Pate (retiring) Flahaven (returning)

Left to right: Commissioners Campbell (retiring), Opkins (retiring), Peisch (retiring) Pate (retiring) Flahaven (returning),

Frishberg (retiring), Loveland (retiring), Jayaraman (returning), Oldenburg (returning).  Commissioner Garrison, not pictured, resigned earlier this year.

Frishberg (retiring), Loveland (retiring), Jayaraman (returning), Oldenburg (returning). Commissioner Garrison, not pictured, resigned earlier this year.

ANC6B Supports Making It Harder to Build Pop Ups

At its last meeting on Tuesday, ANC6B voted 6-3 to in favor of an Office of Planning proposal to limit the matter-of-right height for townhouses in residential zones from 40 feet to 35 feet.  The OP will consider the proposal next year, taking into account the opinion of the ANCs.  The current 40 foot height limit would still be allowed under a special exception if certain criteria are met, as follows:  The applicant shall demonstrate the overall building height will not have a substantially adverse effect on the use or enjoyment of any abutting or adjacent dwelling or property, particularly regarding light and air, privacy of use and enjoyment of neighboring properties, and that the resulting building or structure height, as viewed from the street, alley and other public way, shall not substantially visually intrude upon the character, scale and pattern of houses along the subject street frontage.

Commissioners Flahaven, Campbell, Frishberg, Pate, Oldenburg and Jayaraman voted for the limit, citing opposition to the increasingly frequent pop ups on Capitol Hill.  Asked why they voted against the measure, the three commissioners who voted in opposition provided the following:

Sara Loveland:  “I support increased density for my SMD and many r-4 zones around the city that have similarly awesome transportation networks.  Modest pop ups are one great way to add it and either allow families to grow in their homes or provide some of the smaller unit sizes and workforce housing we are particularly lacking in this neighborhood.  I don’t see the need to make home owners jump through hoops for that extra five feet.  Arguments required to request a special exception to build to 40′ under the new code would require highly subjective interpretation. Design is key but the ANC isn’t a design committee.  I think decreasing the height limit might also actually exacerbate undesirable design when combined with space constraints of small lots.  Facade and street view are covered in Historic districts and we do need the city beyond those to evolve.”

Phil Peisch:  “I do not think the “pop-up” problem warrants decreasing the by-right height limit across the entire R-4 district.  The proposal is overbroad and will have unintended consequences.  It will require special exceptions for far more than just pop-ups and there is a real cost to that.  In addition, I think the test proposed for the special exception is extraordinarily subjective.  As a result, it is impossible to tell exactly what will and will not be prohibited.  There is some subjectivity in many zoning inquiries, but the level of subjectivity proposed here is unprecedented (in my experience) on the zoning side (more akin to a historic review analysis).”

Nichole Opkins:  “I felt that the proposed language was overbroad.”

Planning Commission Nods at Marion Park for Swamp Fox Statue

On Wednesday, December 3, The National Capital Planning Commission supported locating the proposed memorial to Francis Marion in Marion Park. In its comments the Commission recommended that if the sponsor chooses Marion Park as the preferred site they should develop design concepts that protect open space and public uses in the park.

CM Tommy Wells voted against the Marion Park site along with Commissioners Robert E. Miller, and Ellen McCarthy, reportedly after expressing reservations about Marion’s background.  See CHC post here:  http://bit.ly/1wzFEQs

The Marion Park site is the only one of the five sites under jurisdiction of the NPS – the other alternative sites belong to the District.  Given the strong feelings about Marion’s background, it seems unlikely the District would cooperate with the federal government to make any of the sites under its control available for the memorial, thus increasing the likelihood that Marion Park will become the statue’s destination.

Excerpts from the NCPC PROJECT SUMMARY

Public Law 110-229 authorizes the Marion Park Project to establish a commemorative work that honors Brigadier General Francis Marion on federal land in accordance with the Commemorative Works Act (CWA).  In accordance with the CWA, NCPC approves site and design for new commemorative works.

The National Park Service, on behalf of the Marion Park Project, submitted the Marion Memorial Site Selection Overview, a preliminary study of six potential sites, to the National Capital Planning Commission for review and comment. The Site Study alternatives include:

  1. Garfield Park (West), between New Jersey and 2nd Street, SE
  2. Garfield Park (East), between 2nd and 3rd Street, SE
  3. Marion Park, on South Carolina Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets, SE
  4. Pennsylvania and South Carolina Avenues, SE
  5. South Carolina Avenue and C Street, SE
  6. South Carolina and Massachusetts Avenues, SE

The Commission is not formally approving a site at this time. Moving forward, the memorial sponsor will take NCPC’s comments into account as it identifies a preferred site and develops design concepts.

Marion Barry

Through the gate of Congressional Cemetery.  Straight ahead to the chapel and turn left.  Take the next right.  The grave site is on the right hand side, half way down.

Marion Barry.  March 6, 1936 – November 23, 2014

Marion Barry. March 6, 1936 – November 23, 2014

The Week Ahead…..

Monday, December 15

The second leaf pickup period starts today and runs through the 27th.  Leaves should be piled in tree boxes for removal.

Monday, December 15

ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee Meets at 7:00pm in Capitol Hill Towers (900 G Street, NE).

Among items on the agenda:  

Update from DC Streetcar officials regarding the final stages of the project and commencement of revenue service.

Request from residents for traffic calming on 15th Street NE near Miner Elementary School.

Tuesday, December 16

ANC 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center (10th and G NE).

Among items on the agenda:

Class C Tavern license renewal for Lattice Partners LLC t/a Copycat Co. at 1110 H Street, NE.

Discussion of request by 1101 Convenience Mart for an exemption from the Ward 6 Singles Ban.

Wednesday, December 17

ANC 6B Executive Committee Meets at 6:30pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the January 13, 2015, meeting.

Wednesday, December 17

ANC6A’s Economic Development and Zoning committee meets at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Special exceptions for residential properties at 240 9th Street, NE, 815 8th Street, NE., 915 C Street, NE, and 1020 F Street, NE (might be a pop up).

Wednesday, December 17

ANC 6B’s Outreach and Constituent Services (O&CS) Task Force meeting at 7:00pm, is cancelled.

Wednesday, December 17

DC Public Service Commission meets at 6:00pm in the Commission’s hearing room at 1333 H Street, NW, 7th Floor East Tower, on the proposed Exelon and Pepco merger.

ANC6B passed a resolution last Tuesday requesting the City Council to not the merger without assurances that the merger will enhance availability of local, clean, affordable, reliable electricity for all customers in DC.  The vote was 6-0 with 3 abstentions.

Thursday, December 18

PSA 108 Meets at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue.  The meeting will feature Lt. JB Dykes.

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A First Look at Office of Planning’s Three Concepts for Southeast Boulevard

A First Look at Office of Planning’s Three Concepts for Southeast Boulevard

by Larry Janezich

Last night, some 70 residents attended a meeting on the Southeast Neighborhood  Planning Study to offer input on three concept designs unveiled by the Office of Planning (OP) for a proposed Southeast Boulevard connecting 11th Street, SE, to Barney Circle.

CM Tommy Wells, who hosted the meeting, told the audience that the original plan for the boulevard designed by DOT traffic engineers had been a disappointment.  Wells got the Office of Planning involved to explore opportunities to “knit the community together,” he said.

The three options presented by OP provide three different approaches to doing this, though all have the common feature of connecting the residential area south of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, to the Anacostia Waterfront.  Two of the options would address Capitol Hill’s tour bus problem, providing low visibility below grade parking for buses which now traverse and sometimes park on Capitol Hill streets.  The plans for all three options will be available on the Office of Planning’s website on Monday.  http://1.usa.gov/1Ar1XWE  Contact information for project manager Dan Emerine is on this page and comments may be emailed to him.

The first option would provide a FOUR lane boulevard separated by new townhouses and multifamily housing and provide parking for buses under the boulevard.

Concept A.  4 Lanes, Residential, Bus Parking (Click to enlarge)

Concept A. 4 Lanes, Residential, Bus Parking (residential construction in yellow)

Concept A looking Southeast

Concept A looking Southeast 

Concept A looking Southwest

Concept A looking Southwest

The second option would provide a TWO lane boulevard with parking on both sides, and new separated by townhouses and multifamily housing but no parking for buses.

Concept B.  2 lanes, residential, no bus parking. Note floating swimming pool in river, bottom center.

Concept B. 2 lanes, residential, no bus parking. Note floating swimming pool in river, bottom right center.

Concept B.  Looking Northeast.

Concept B. Looking Northeast

Concept B.  Looking Southeast.

Concept B. Looking Southeast.

The third option provides a FOUR lane boulevard split around a long park – two lanes on the north and south sides, no additional housing, and bus parking under the park.

Concept C.  4 lanes separated by broad greenspace/park.  No residential but parking for buses.

Concept C. 4 lanes separated by broad greenspace/park. No residential but parking for buses.

Concept C.  Looking Southeast.

Concept C. Looking Southeast.

Concept C.  Looking Southwest.

Concept C. Looking Southwest.

One question a resident asked for which no direct answer was provided was why the boulevard is necessary at all.  Reasons offered during different portions of the meeting to justify the project included:  to accommodate current and future traffic, to provide access to new development on the Anacostia Waterfront, and to provide easy access from Ward 7 to downtown.  DDOT was not prepared last night to discuss expected traffic loads for the boulevard or to say how the project would fit into the traffic patterns in neighborhoods to the north.

The designs are preliminary and will be modified by community input.  The next step will be for DDOT to undertake a feasibility study to determine which elements of the three plans are actually possible.  Some of the issues that will be considered could include changing the classification of the land in question, the cost of the infrastructure, what’s underneath the land, the impact of a four vs. two lanes, bus issues, and the impact on Ward 7.

One theme that emerged at several points during the meeting concerned the heavy hand exercised by DDOT in carrying out its plans; even CM Wells said at one point that his office had not been kept aware of DDOT’s intentions.  ANC6B commissioner Brian Pate reinforced that notion, telling CHC that DDOT had not been transparent in relating to either the ANC or the community as it moved ahead with re-opening the Southeast Freeway or with planning the proposed Boulevard.

Asked to react to the proposed concepts, ANC6B Chair Brian Flahaven told CHC:  “All the OP concepts are much better than the initial freeway replacing freeway concepts provided by DDOT. All extend the neighborhood grid and connect residents to the Anacostia waterfront. While I appreciate DDOT support and involvement in the OP study, I am concerned that DDOT is not willing to put a timeline on the feasibility study that they say they need to conduct of the OP alternatives. I plan to urge the agency to expedite this additional study.”

A DDOT representative present pledged to meet with ANC6B on a quarterly basis to keep them abreast of the progress on moving to the feasibility study phase for the project.

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Frager’s Rebuild – Expected by 2017 – Will Include Nearly 40 Residential Units

About 70 residents gathered in Hill Center last night to provide input on rebuilding the Frager's site.

About 70 residents gathered in Hill Center last night to provide input on rebuilding the Frager’s site.

Frager’s Rebuild – Expected by 2017 – Will Include Nearly 40 Residential Units

By Larry Janezich

Roadside Development, who will rebuild the Frager’s site, told about 70 residents last night that the project would include 38-39 residential units in addition to the hardware store, and will possibly include other retail and/or office space.  The builder will stay within the 50 foot matter of right height which zoning regulations permit.  The company is committed to preserving the façade of the original store.  If all goes well, the project would see completion in the spring of 2017, though a more modern Frager’s could reopen ahead of other parts of the project.  Update:  Frager’s owner John Weintraub said during the meeting that the temporary garden center in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue on property owned by Larry Quillian was indeed only temporary.  Space for a garden center is likely to be incorporated in the new project.  

The company is in the preliminary stages of considering market analysis and design options and last night’s meeting was the first of what could be a several seeking community input as the project moves forward.  Elements of the project which are still undecided include the layout, size, and location of the residential units; whether they will be rentals or condos; space for retail beyond Frager’s; and even the number of stories for the project.  One location for residential units being looked at, said Richard Lake of Roadside, is the space between the pizza carryout and the east end of the former Frager’s building – Roadside prefers to separate the residential and retail components of its projects.

Hill East resident Pat Taylor, representing Capitol Hill Village, made a pitch for units that would be 1.5 bedrooms and larger to accommodate Capitol Hill residents who want to age in place.  Lake said the residential units would be built for multiple markets and said of Roadside, “We’re not micro unit developers.”  In response to a question, he said that there would be no public financing involved in the project and that the company will adhere to city Inclusionary Zoning requirements for any residential project over ten units.  Inclusionary Zoning regulations require a developer of a project this size to set aside 10% of the residential units for affordable housing.  That would mean pricing those units for households making 50% or 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  In DC, that’s about $50,000 and $78,000, respectively for a family of three.

Attendees at the meeting raised several concerns related to increase density, notably the effect on parking and traffic.  Some nearby neighbors raised concerns about increased massing, including privacy, views, and light.  Some raised concerns about trash, rodents, and deliveries.

Lake told the crowd that Roadside is not looking for any variances and will provide parking as required by code.  He envisions a highly energy efficient, bicycle friendly project and said that charging stations for electric cars are under consideration.

Moving forward will progress involve two transactions.  Roadside has not acquired the site yet and Lake said it is unusual for them to hold a public meeting before buying the property.  The property is still owned by John Weintraub and Roadside hopes to close on the purchase next spring.  Weintraub will get a long term lease to re-open the hardware store.

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The Week Ahead…..ANC’s Consider Regs To Make It Harder to Build Pop Ups

Eastern Market Farmer's Line, Sunday Morning

Eastern Market Farmer’s Line, Sunday Morning

The Week Ahead…..ANC’s Consider Regs To Make It Harder to Build Pop Ups

Also:  Community meeting on Frager’s, SE Boulevard Meeting, Pepco-Exelon Merger

by Larry Janezich

Monday, December 8

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, 1100 4th Street, SE, DCRA, 2nd floor meeting room.

In this, the least transparent of the Capitol Hill ANC’s – and as is usual for this ANC – the agenda has not been posted (apparently on the theory that government works best at the lowest level of visibility).

Monday, December 8

ANC6C meets at 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  (Note change from regularly scheduled Thursday meeting, owing to venue unavailability.)

Among items on the agenda:

Pepco-Exelon merger debate: energy delivery in the future.  Exelon and Pepco Holdings Inc., the parent company of Pepco, have filed a joint $6.8 billion application for merger before the DC Public Service Commission (PSC).  The PSC will hold a hearing on the proposed merger, December 17.  (One issue here is whether this would make installation of solar panels more problematic for residents).

Revised PUD applications for 1270 4th Street N.E. and 1309 -1329 5th Street, N.E.   (This is the 11 story, 110 foot mixed-use development adjacent to Union Market planned by EDENS.)

Variances for parking and loading requirements and special exception from overlay requirements for 646-654 H Street N.E.  (This is the 26 unit condo project planned by Rock Creek Property Group and Cornerstone Development Group.)

Proposed zoning regulation amendment limiting heights and minimum lot dimensions in residential zones.  (This is the proposal to limit pop ups.)

Request for entertainment permit to be added to restaurant alcohol beverage license for Po Boys, 709 H Street N.E.

Status of 6th and H Street Bar and Grill, 523 H Street N.E.

Tuesday, December 9

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center. at the Old Naval Hospital

Among items on the agenda:

Ed. Note.  The following two items are not on the agenda for the December meeting.  

Public space permit for Ugly Mug Dining Saloon for additional furniture, sidewalk café.

Public space permit for Ugly Mug Dining Saloon to expand operations to second floor and install sliding glass roof.

Letter to Department of General Services Regarding Initiation of Environmental Assessment of Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redesign Plan

Proposed zoning regulation amendment limiting heights and minimum lot dimensions in residential zones.  (This is the proposal to limit pop ups.)

Resolution on Exelon-Pepco Merger.  Exelon and Pepco Holdings Inc., the parent company of Pepco, have filed a joint $6.8 billion application for merger before the DC Public Service Commission (PSC).  The PSC will hold a hearing on the proposed merger, December 17.  (One issue here is whether this would make installation of solar panels more problematic for residents).

Wednesday, December 10

Community meeting regarding redevelopment of the Frager’s Hardware Store site at 1101 – 1117 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  7:00pm at Hill Center.

The purpose of the meeting is for the community to provide input, offer ideas, and ask questions about the future development for the site.  The meeting will also include a brief update from Richard Lake, founding partner, Roadside Development, and John Weintraub, owner of Frager’s.  If you would like to share ideas or comments in advance of the meeting, you can provide them via e-mail at fragers@roadsidellc.com or phone at 202-375-7942.

Thursday, December 11

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm, Miner Elementary, 601 15th Street, N.E.

Among items on the agenda:

Community Presentation on Pepco-Exelon Merger – Mr. Robert Robinson, Grid 2.0 Working Group.  Exelon and Pepco Holdings Inc., the parent company of Pepco, have filed a joint $6.8 billion application for merger before the DC Public Service Commission (PSC).  The PSC will hold a hearing on the proposed merger, December 17.  (One issue here is whether this would make installation of solar panels more problematic for residents).

Request for variances from lot occupancy, FAR and on site parking for 1401 H Street, N.E.

Request for rezoning from commercial to residential of property bounded by East Capitol Street, Fifteenth (15th) Street, A Street, and Sixteenth (16th) Street N.E.

Proposed zoning regulation amendment limiting heights and minimum lot dimensions in residential zones.  (This is the proposal to limit pop ups.)

Thursday, December 11

Southeast Boulevard Neighborhood Study meeting: 7:00pm – 9:00pm, at the Friendship Chamberlain Elementary School, 1345 Potomac Avenue SE.

Councilmember Tommy Wells will host the meeting.  Following a presentation by the Office of Planning (OP), Councilmember Wells will lead the community in a discussion of the current concepts for Southeast Boulevard and Barney Circle that have emerged from the study initiated by OP in the spring of 2014.

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National Park Service Hosts 2nd Contentious Meeting on “Swamp Fox” Memorial Site

Peter May, National Park Service (upper left) addresses Marion Park residents last night at Southeast Library

Peter May, National Park Service (upper left) addresses Marion Park residents last night at Southeast Library

National Park Service Hosts 2nd Contentious Meeting on “Swamp Fox” Memorial Site

By Larry Janezich

Last night, at a second “scoping meeting” at Southeast Library, the National Park Service (NPS) tried to assure neighbors of Marion “Turtle” Park that siting a memorial to Francis Marion (the “Swamp Fox”) in their neighborhood park was not a done deal; that the park is not (yet) “the preferred site for a memorial.”  But many of the 40 or so residents greeted this assurance with skepticism, noting a National Capital Planning Commission’s staff report that promotes Marion Park as a proposed site for the memorial and which disregards neighborhood opposition to a statue situated in the center of the park.

Given the track record of both local and federal government agencies in dealing with District residents, that skepticism appears justified.  As was pointedly noted by residents last night, without voting representation in Congress, DC residents lack the mechanisms to exert any influence over the National Park Service, a federal entity.  At the same time, neighbors of the park noted that the green space was a much-loved “backyard” to them, a place to walk dogs, let children play, and build the ties that strengthen and define our community.

The acrimony of the meeting culminated in a series of questions posed by resident Randy Steers, who accused Park officials of being “disingenuous” in claiming that Marion Park is not the “preferred site.”   NPS official Peter May objected, saying he would not stand for being called a liar, and that there was no preferred site until the end of the process.  Nonetheless, the recommendations from commissions responsible for weighing in on the matter are piling up, and there appears to be no support from formally designated stakeholders for siting the memorial elsewhere.

Some residents perceived disingenuousness from the meeting’s beginning, when project sponsor John McCabe’s gave a selective historical account of Francis Marion, who he called South Carolina’s “favorite son,” and listed a command of what he called the “first integrated fighting force” in US history as among Marion’s achievements.  Resident Kathleen Frydl later challenged that assertion, saying Francis had commanded his slaves into battle, and noted integration on the battlefield was achieved only during the Korean War, and in the face of opposition from states like South Carolina.

In the main, residents near the park spoke passionately of their feelings for the park as a community gathering place for neighbors and their children, one saying that “It’s alive – an integral part of the community – and any memorial needs to value the park’s uses.”  Several residents urged consideration of a historical memorial other than a statue – which one resident said would obstruct normal uses of the park and portray Marion’s complicated historical legacy as a story that underestimates the public’s ability to assimilate and accept the flaws of founding fathers as part of their commemoration.  On this point, Frydl raised the question of why the NPS has not designated the church designed by local figure Calvin T.S. Brent, located across the park and built by freed slaves, as one of the several historical markers with which a memorial to Marion must coexist.  No answer was provided, but May did acknowledge that this question has come up before.

The inability of local residents to influence meaningfully the siting of the memorial and the inability of DC residents to prod the NPS to construct a memorial that interacts respectfully with DC history is well summarized in the teaser to The WaPo Express article from yesterday: “Don’t Want a Federal Monument in your Park?  Tough Luck,” see :  http://wapo.st/1rZIWWx

Submit comments on-line here:  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/marionmemorial

For previous posting on CHC see here:  http://bit.ly/1wMtAve

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The Week Ahead…Update on 7-11 at Remington’s & ANC Committee Considers Popup Policy

A Couple of Hundred Capitol Hill Residents Turned Out for the Lighting of the Holiday Tree on Eastern Market Metro Plaza Saturday Night.  A Menorah Will Be Lit on the Plaza December 16.

A Couple of Hundred Capitol Hill Residents Turned Out for the Lighting of the Holiday Tree on Eastern Market Metro Plaza Saturday Night. A Menorah Will Be Lit on the Plaza December 16.

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton Officiated

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton Officiated

Councilmember Tommy Wells Was Also in Attendance

Councilmember Tommy Wells Was Also in Attendance

The Main Attraction, Celebrated by a Youth Choir

The Main Attraction, Celebrated by a Community Choir

The Week Ahead…Update on 7-11 at Remington’s & ANC Committee Considers Popup Policy

Also….Photos From Eastern Market Metro Holiday Tree Lighting

by Larry Janezich

Update on 7-11 at Remington’s

The manager of the Barracks Row 7-11 told CHC that the Barracks Row 7-11 will remain open after the 7-11 scheduled to move into the former Remington’s becomes operational.  Formerly, he said, 7-11’s company policy was that no 7-11 could open within a five block radius of a 7-11 in operation.  The manager said that a recent change in company policy allows a 7-11 to open up “next door” to an operating 7-11.  The announced intention to open a nearby second 7-11 on Pennsylvania Avenue has met with considerable community opposition.  Commissioner Ivan Frishberg has announced that he will ask ANC6B – at its monthly meeting on December 9 – to consider a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) asking them to allow community/ANC review of the new Sprint and 7-11 stores going in on the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

7-11 plans to open the new store in the former Remington’s as a “matter of right” meaning that it intends to conform to existing zoning regulations and that the community will have no say regarding the opening.  The one caveat is that any change to the structure or façade of the building may be reviewed by HPRB providing an opportunity for the community and the ANC to weigh in on the store’s public face.  Frishberg’s proposed letter seems aimed at alerting HPRB to the Commission’s interest in any proposed change.

EMCAC SNAFU Leads to New Election for Officers/Community Representative

After failure to give timely public notice of the election of officers and Community Representative of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, last month’s election was declared invalid and public notice was given in late November for a new election which will take place on January 28, 2015.  Election is by simple majority of the standing EMCAC members.

In October, the election of officers and Community Representative took place but questions were raised by vendor Joe Snyder and others regarding whether appropriate public notice had been given as is required by city regulations.  The internal affairs of the Committee have been in disarray for some time as evidenced by the Committee’s inability to produce a current version of the body’s bylaws.  Despite public assurances given that one need only ask for a copy of the bylaws, an up to date version of those bylaws appears to be unavailable, and it is uncertain whether an accurate copy of the current bylaws exists.

Only current EMCAC member representatives are eligible to serve as officers and according to a notice distributed by Vice Chair Chuck Burger, “it is requested that all nominations be received by January 7, 2015.”

EMCAC is the District’s legislatively established body entrusted with advisory and oversight responsibilities for the operations, management and renovation of Eastern Market.  Current members include representatives from ANC6B, Capitol Hill Restoration Society, Capitol Hill Association of Merchants, Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation, Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, a community representative, Ward 6 Council Office, the Mayor and representatives from the South Hall, Farmer’s Line and non-food merchants at the Market.  Please call for information or questions: Chuck Burger, Vice Chair at 202-258-5316 or email at cburger@cbmove.com.

Steve Cymrot, Prime Mover Behind Hill Center/Capitol Hill Community Foundation Dies

Steve Cymrot succumbed on Saturday to injuries sustained when he was hit by an truck at 4th and East Capitol at about 9:00am a week before Thanksgiving.  For more on the story see The Hill Rag here:  http://bit.ly/1pDdkKy and The Hill Is Home here:  http://bit.ly/1vYSNTE

Update, December 1, from MPD:

Traffic Fatality: 400 block of East Capitol Street, SE
(Washington, DC)-Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Major Crash Unit are investigating a traffic fatality which occurred in the 400 block of East Capitol Street, SE.
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, at approximately 8:43 am, the operator of a 2007 Ford truck was attempting to execute a left hand turn from southbound 4th Street, NE onto East Capitol Street, SE on a green light.  Upon entering the 400 block of East Capitol Street, SE, the Ford truck struck a pedestrian who was walking northbound crossing East Capitol Street outside of the crosswalk.  The pedestrian was transported to a local hospital and was admitted for treatment.
On Saturday, November 29, 2014 at approximately 1:45 pm, the pedestrian succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
The decedent has been identified as 72 year-old Steven Cymrot of Southeast, Washington, DC.

The Week Ahead….

Monday, December 1

CHRS Historic Preservation Committee, Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Tuesday, December 2

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

Among items on the agenda:

Public Space permit for The Ugly Mug at 723 8th Street SE

Letter to Department of General Services Regarding Initiation of Environmental Assessment of Eastern Market Metro Plaza Redesign Plan

Office of Planning Text Amendment regarding Popups, ahead of a Zoning Commission Hearing scheduled for Thursday, January 15, 2015.  For more, see WaPo article here: http://wapo.st/1y1lRF4

Wednesday, December 3

The National Park Service will hold a second scoping meeting on the proposal to locate a memorial to Francis Marion – aka “The Swamp Fox” from 6:30pm until 8:30pm in Southeast Library.

For the NPS press release and to comment on the proposal on line, see here:  http://1.usa.gov/1v8gZ3Q

Wednesday, December 3

ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Hill Medical Center/Kaiser Permanente, 700 Second St. NE (2nd & G NE).

Among items on the agenda:

Revised PUD application for massive development at Union Market, 1270 4th St. NE.  The related Map Amendment proposes to rezone the site (approx. 51,000sf) from C-M-1 to C-3-C.  In total, approximately 420 to 520 residential units (containing approximately 368,400 gross square feet of residential space) with approximately 39,600 gross square feet of retail will be created as a result of this project. The project will contain approximately 8.0 FAR, for a total of approximately 408,000 gross square feet, and have a height of 110 feet

Application for variances and special exception for 646-654 H St. NE as follows:

  1. a variance from the parking requirements under § 2101.1,
  2. a variance from the parking space size requirements under § 2115.2,
  3. a variance from the loading requirements under § 2201.1, and
  4. a special exception from the HS Overlay requirements under to allow an addition that increases the gross floor area of an existing building by more than 50% on a lot that has 6,000 square feet or more of land area in the District

Application of  Planned Unit Development for 1309-1329 5th St. NE for a first-stage and a consolidated Planned Unit Development and related map amendment for the property.  The Applicant proposes a development comprising two buildings on the property, to be constructed in two phases if approved by the Zoning Commission. In total, up to approximately 541,400 gross square feet, or up to approximately 6.30 FAR, is proposed for the entire project.

For the first phase, the consolidated PUD, the Applicant proposes to construct a new structure above The Market building at Union Market, an existing two-story building on the south portion of the property. The new structure will include an approximately 38,000-42,000 gross square foot theater above the existing Market building, and an approximately 104,000-112,000 gross square foot, four-story office component atop the theater. Once complete, this building will have a total floor area of approximately 204,400-216,400 gross square feet and a building height of approximately 120 feet.

For the second phase, the first-stage PUD, the Applicant proposes to construct a new building containing between approximately 25,000-35,000 gross square feet of retail use and approximately 260,000-290,000 gross square feet of office or residential use on the north portion of the property. This building will have a total floor area of approximately 285,000-325,000 gross square feet and a building height of approximately 120 feet. This building will contain approximately 300-475 parking spaces below grade.

Proposed zoning regulation amendment to Zoning Regulations regarding Pop Ups. 

Wednesday, December 3

ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 7:00pm, Hill Center

On the agenda:

Letter to DDOT requesting that 800 blocks of Virginia Avenue &  L Street SE & 1000 & 1100 blocks of 9th Street SE be converted from one way to two way streets

Thursday, December 4

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Committee meeting on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at 7:00 PM, is cancelled.

Friday, December 5

Capitol Hill Village holds seminar on Saving on Your Utilities, 10:00am – 12:00noon, at Northeast Library, 330 7th Street, NE.

Saturday, December 6

The Fridge Presents:  David Molesky – RIOT – Through January 14.

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 6, 7-11 pm, 516 8th Street SE, Rear alley

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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 Northeast 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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