The Week Ahead…Mayor Bowser at ANC6D on Monday

Work continues on Aaron Silverman’s Hill Center coffee and wine bar, “Little Pearl”. Silverman hopes to open for breakfast and lunch during November.

The Week Ahead…Mayor Bowser at ANC6D on Monday

By Larry Janezich

Monday, November 13

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Quarter Community Center, 1000 5th Street, SE (Note temporary change in venue)

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation by Mayor Muriel Bowser, followed by questions from the commission and the community.

Public Safety Report- First District MPD (PSA 105 & PSA 106) Lt. Queen, Lt. Robinson.

2018 Rock N Roll Marathon and Half Marathon (Diane Romo Thomas).

Presentation:  DC Water – Sewer Rehabilitation in Navy Yard Neighborhood (Tanya Hedgepeth).

Friendly’s Food Market – 1399 Half Street, SW. – Class B Renewal + revised CA.

7-11 – 1101 S. Capitol Street, SW – Class B Renewal w/ ANC letter to ABRA/ABC Board.

Requin – 100 District Square, SW – Amend. to CA: addition of 40 seats in summer garden.

Officina – 1120 Maine Avenue, SW – New Class B + CR w/ entertainment endorsement & 3 summer gardens w/ entertainment endorsement.

Capitol Yacht Club – 800 Wharf Street, SW – ANC letter supporting request for stipulated license.

Cornercopia, Sal’s Café, Smiles – renewal of Class B Licenses.

Randall School Project – Community Engagement Efforts.

25 M Street, SE – Mixed use building. Modification of Consequence, digital signage design update.

Southwest Community Library Renovation Project.

1900 Half Street, SW – Modification of Significance.

Riverfront Phase II Modification – PUD Modification.

100 K Street, SE (GH Group, LLC) – Special Exception.

SW Waterfront Park Bus Prohibition.

Tuesday, November 14

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Councilwoman Elissa Silverman.

L Street Market Inc., 7th L Street Market, 700 L Street, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

3rd & Pennsylvania, LLC, Roland’s Grocery, 333 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Park & Song Inc., Congress Market, 421 East Capitol Street, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Radici Uno (One Root), LLC, Radici, 301-303 7th Street, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Trader Joe’s East Inc., Trader Joe’s  #622, 750 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Midagra, LLC, DCanter, 545 8th Street, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Lola’s LLC d/b/a Lola’s, 711 8th Street, SE – Amendments to correct Settlement Agreement to permit use of summer garden that was incorrectly designated as sidewalk cafe in last renewal conforming amendment to Settlement Agreement regarding total seating and capacity.

Wineandbutter, LLC, P & C Market, 1023 East Capitol Street, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Cho’s Family Market Inc., Mott’s Market, 233 12th Street, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Harris Teeter, LLC, Harris Teeter, 1350 Potomac Avenue, SE – Renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

716-718 L Street SE, Concept: three-story rear addition and two-story rooftop addition.

421 Seward Square SE, Concept: rooftop addition.

Recap of Hill East Task Force Community Meeting on Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club Building and discussion on ANC action.

DC Food Trucks Parking Regulations.

Feasibility and possibility of bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Letter to DGS in support of Councilmember Allen and EMCAC to request that DGS get a formal opinion from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the Eastern Market Special Use Area prior to mandating or initiating new requirements.

Letter to ANC7F requesting a speedy election.

Letter to the Mayor’s Office, DMPED and other city agencies stating that ANC 6B as an affected ANC with respect to Reservation 13.

Wednesday, November 15

ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee meeting has been cancelled.  

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Preservation Café:  Shotgun House Revisited.  Ruth Trocolli,the DC Historic Preservation Office’s District Archaeologist, and her associates, will be the featured speakers at 6:30 p.m. at the Northeast Library is located at 330 7th Street, NE.  Dr. Trocolli directed the excavation of the site at 1229 E St. SE, a pre-civil war home which is often referred to as “the shotgun house” for its architectural style.  New information completes the story of this historic property.

Saturday, November 18

Free One-Day Paint Drop-off Event in DC:  PaintCare will host a special one-day paint drop-off event on Saturday, November 18th at the DC Armory. District households and businesses are invited to drop off leftover house paint in any amount without charge.  We’ll accept all brands of old house paint, stain and varnish. Proof of District residency required. Businesses are encouraged to call PaintCare for details on oil-based materials.  An electronic flyer with event details is available here: https://www.paintcare.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/dc-flyer-event-DC-Armory-111817.pdf. District households and businesses can find the nearest year-round drop-off location by using a site locator tool on PaintCare’s website (https://www.paintcare.org).

The Capitol Hill Art League’s reception for “Life off the Hill” – an Art Exhibit: 30 pieces of art (paintings, sculptures and photography) featuring local artists.  5:00pm – 7:00pm, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th Street, SE.  Free admission.

Kingman Park Historic District.  The Office of Planning will hold a public meeting on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 10 am – 12:00 noon at the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 1636 East Capitol Street NW on the historic district designation process.  Consideration of the proposed Kingman Park Historic District (Case 16-19, all properties between East Capitol, 19th and M Streets, NE and Maryland Avenue, NE and the Anacostia River) has been deferred until the January 25, 2018 HPRB meeting.

Barracks Row Engine Co. 18 Open House, 10:00am – 2:00pm.  Engine 18 (and Truck Company 7) are housed in the Barracks Row Firehouse at 414 8th Street, SE.

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Flea Markets at Eastern Market Set for Major Change This Weekend

November 2, circa 5:30pm looking east on C Street  between 7th and 8th Streets. Working late to get the C Street Plaza ready for the flea markets next weekend.  

Flea Markets at Eastern Market Set for Major Change This Weekend

By Larry Janezich

On Saturday and Sunday, November 11 and 12, the two weekend flea markets, currently operating on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, will expand their operations to the newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets, SE.

The flea markets were evicted from the Hine Jr. High playground 30 months ago and relocated to 7th Street during the construction of the Hine Jr. High School redevelopment project.  The city closed the 300 block of 7th Street to vehicular traffic on weekends to accommodate the flea markets, the plan being to relocate them on C Street once construction was complete.

The move was scheduled to happen September 30, but construction delays on C Street forced a postponement until the coming weekend.  Whether the 300 block of 7th would remain closed to weekend vehicular traffic was uncertain until recently, when it became clear that it was the overwhelming desire of the community that it remain closed.  Bowing to public opinion, the city offered to extend the flea market managers’ licenses to operate on the 300 block of 7th through the end of next May, at a 52% increase in rent while a strategic plan is developed for long term vending on the block.

The delayed move has been problematic for the flea market managers.  Many of their former vendors have already committed to other venues for the upcoming holiday season.  And the outdoor vending slowdown during the coldest months of the year means that it will be spring before the flea markets are back to being a full and healthy marketplace.

Sunday flea market manager Mike Berman told CHC, “We are going to open a market on the new C Street Plaza on Sunday.  We will not be filled, but we will start using it and working out the logistics.  We will play with configurations and layouts and try to accommodate our exhibitors as best we can into the space.”

Saturday flea market manager Carole Wright characterized the change as “bittersweet”, adding, “The many delays have thrown us into a soft opening in extremely cold temperatures.  Because we were unable to guarantee a move-back date to our vendors for the last four months, many are doing indoor shows and some are awaiting a guarantee of space for vending“.  On the other hand, she said, “Just standing on the new C Street and looking at the historic market from this angle is a great feeling. Convincing our vendors to come back this late in the year is our new focus and challenge.  It might take time, but after vending between cranes and construction mud, it will be a thrill.  Our vendors will be taking turns on 7th and C Streets to see where they best fit in”.

The recent decision to keep 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenues closed to traffic on weekends has caused some grumbling among the South Hall food vendors in Eastern Market, who blame the loss of parking as responsible for a decline in business.  Eastern Market manager Barry Margeson is working on a plan to provide validated parking to address these concerns.

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Senior Cohousing Gets ANC Committee Nod for Hill East Boys and Girls Club Development

Hill East Boys and Girls Club, 261 17th Street, SE (For a rare look inside the Club, see CHC photo essay here:  http://bit.ly/2gsF8CZ)

Senior Cohousing Gets ANC Committee Nod for Hill East Boys and Girls Club Development

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee, chaired by Commissioner Nick Burger, voted to approve a motion to recommend that the full ANC send a letter of support to the city for Century Associates’ proposal to turn the former Hill East Boys and Girls Club into senior cohousing*.  A competing proposal would have provided a more conventional multi-generational condo development.  (For more detail on the two proposals offered for development of the Boys and Girls Club, see the CHC post here: http://bit.ly/2ytuip2)

The vote was 6-0-1 with Commissioners Burger, Ridge, Oldenburg and Resident Members Danks (6B04) and Howard (6b09) voting for the motion.  Commissioner Krepp abstained**.

Commissioner Dan Ridge, in whose single member district the project lies, made the motion that the Committee endorse the cohousing option on the basis that it is more consistent with the District’s Comprehensive Plan, one of the goals of which is to further the city’s commitment to providing social services.

Ridge told CHC “I think (Century Associates’) model is a social service even when muted by private condo ownership. I think the active experimentation they will do is itself a social service.  I would have supported the senior cohousing at the density they want with the parking they want just about anywhere in ANC 6B.  I think we should demand a project like this on Reservation 13.”

Asked to comment on the Committee action, Burger said “The committee felt that of the two options on the table this one was most consistent with a community serving function … we will also voice our view to the city that every effort needs to be made during the selection process to increase affordable housing including affordable housing for older adults, and to require more detailed plans on how the proposed community space will be programmed and managed, including long-term sustainability and effectiveness.”

At the insistence of community members one of the city’s requirements for developing the Boys and Girls Cub was that community space be included, to address in part the loss of the social services formerly provided by the Boys and Girls Club.  Ridge reacted to the community space allowance in both of the submitted proposals, saying, “The basement community space offered by both teams is worth very little to the community without an operator. Neither team proposes an operator.”  Both developers told the Hill East Task Force meeting last week that use of the community space would be determined after assessing the desires and needs of the community.

The Committee recommendation now goes to the full ANC which meets next Tuesday, at 7:00pm in Hill Center.  The full Committee will discuss the recommendation and vote whether to accept the Committee’s recommendation or modify it.

On Thursday, November 16, the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development (DMPED) will hold a disposition hearing at 7:00pm at St. Coletta’s which will mark the end of the public comment period and provide an opportunity to provide final comments.  DMPED hopes to make a decision on awarding the project this year.

*“Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens.

Households have independent incomes and private lives, but neighbors collaboratively plan and manage community activities and shared spaces. Community activities feature regularly-scheduled shared meals, meetings, and workdays. Neighbors gather for parties, games, movies, or other events. Cohousing makes it easy to form clubs, organize child and elder care, and carpool.”  From The Cohousing Association of the United States – see here:  http://cohousing.org/node/4005

** Commissioner Krepp explained her vote to abstain:  “I abstained because I wasn’t satisfied with either presentation.  Neither developer could tell me what the market rate will be for their condo units and I’d like to know this information before I vote. I’ve asked that they be prepared to share this information at the full ANC meeting on Tuesday.”

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The Week Ahead….Boys and Girls Club Proposals Up before 6B Planning and Zoning Committee Tuesday

Hilloween at Eastern Market, circa 7:00pm, October 27

The Week Ahead….Boys and Girls Club Proposals Up before 6B Planning and Zoning Committee Tuesday

by Larry Janezich

Monday, November 6

ANC6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Kaiser Permanente Center, 700 2nd Street, NE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

Giant of Maryland, LLC, 300 H NE – application renewal of alcohol beverage retailer’s license.

Edgy Craft, LLC t/a Craft Beer Cellar DC, 301 H Street, NE – application for single sales amendment to alcohol beverage retailer’s license.

Relish Food 2, LLC d/b/a Carving Room Kitchen & Bar, 130 M Street, NE – new alcohol beverage license application

Tuesday, November 7

ANC 6B Planning & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

716-718 L Street SE, Concept – Historic Preservation application for a three-story rear addition and two-story rooftop addition.

421 Seward Square SE, Concept – Historic Preservation application for a rooftop addition.

Recap of Hill East Task Force meeting on redevelopment of Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club Building and discussion of ANC action.

ANC 6C Parks and Events Committee meets at 7:00pm at Kaiser-Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center 700 2nd Street, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon – Discussion about the scheduled 6th running of this race on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

NoMa Parks Projects – Update from NoMa Parks Foundation concerning the status of NoMa parks projects and discussion about persistent delays in delivery.

NoMa Underpass Projects/Homeless Encampments – Discussion about status of encampments at the various underpasses due for development by NoMa Parks Foundation.

Wednesday, November 8

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  John Green, DC Office of Attorney General.

Presentation:  Celeste Duffie on DPW trash collection and parking enforcement.

Giant of Maryland, 300 H Street, NE – renewal of Class B alcohol beverage license.

Edgy Craft, t/a Craft Beer Cellar DC, 301 H Street, NE – application for Class A, single sales.

Carving Room Kitchen & Bar, 130 M Street NE – Class C, application for new alcohol beverage license.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon, March 10, 2018.

NoMa Parks projects.

NoMa Underpass Projects/homeless encampments.

NoMa Bicycle Study, K to N Streets, 6th Street, NE to 6th Street, NW.

K Street, NE Traffic Safety Study.

Bills concerning parking ticket fines.

1121 Abbey Place, NE – application for zoning adjustment to add a third floor and construct a four-story rear addition to an existing one-family dwelling.

19 Fourth Street Rear, NE – application for a zoning adjustment to allow a one-family dwelling in an existing structure on an alley lot.

Proposed DC Comprehensive Plan amendments.

Bill 22-0382, Union Market Tax Increment Financing Act of 2017.

November 14 Council Hearing on DCRA Management of the Vacant and Blighted Property Program.

November 9 Council hearing on stop-work order disclosure and ANC notice of vacant/blighted designations

ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

DC Food Truck Parking Regulations.

Feasibility and possibility of bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Thursday, November 9

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

Presentation:  Benefits of Solar Power in the District – Micah Feigelson, Community Solar Associate, Sun Power.

Consideration of a motion to approve the grant application for $1500 for replacement supplies for the Eastern Senior High School Blue and White Marching Machine.

Consideration of a motion that ANC^A send a letter seeking funding to renovate the Miner Elementary School playground.

Consideration of recommendation that ANC6A take no action on a request by On the Rocks (1242 H Street, NE) for changes to its settlement agreement.

Consideration of recommendation that ANC6A take no action on the application for liquor license renewals of the following establishments:  1101 Convenience Mart’s license (1101 H Street, NE), China House (1601 Benning Rd., NE), DC Supermarket (539 8th Street, NE),J & K Market (234 15th Street, NE), The Cupboard (1504 East Capitol Street, NE), Economy Market (1804 D Street, NE).

Consideration of recommendation that ANC6A support the Historic Preservation application for 1015 D Street, NE, subject to the developers meeting certain listed conditions: The developers make best efforts to obtain letters of support from the certain nearby neighbors at 1013 D Street, NE; 1009 D, Street, NE; 338 11th Street, NE; 336 11th Street, NE; and 334 11th Street, NE; as well as submit plans showing the rear parking area and how it will address concerns about access to the alley, consider changes to the exterior treatment, and submit a sun study to show the impact to neighbor’s light and air.

ANC6B Alcohol Beverage Control Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

L Street Market Inc., 7th L Street Market, 700 L St. SE – renewal of Class B Retail Grocery License.

3rd & Pennsylvania, LLC, Roland’s Grocery, 333 Pennsylvania Ave. SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Park & Song Inc., Congress Market, 421 East Capitol St. SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Radici Uno (One Root), LLC, Radici, 301-303 7th St. SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Trader Joe’s East Inc., Trader Joe’s  #622, 750 Pennsylvania Ave. SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Midagra, LLC, DCanter, 545 8th St. SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Lola’s LLC d/b/a Lola’s, 711 8th St., SE – Amendments to correct Settlement Agreement to permit use of summer garden that was incorrectly designated as sidewalk café.

Wineandbutter, LLC, P & C Market, 1023 East Capitol Street, SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Cho’s Family Market Inc., Mott’s Market, 233 12th Street, SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

Harris Teeter, LLC, Harris Teeter, 1350 Potomac Avenue, SE – renewal Class B Retail Grocery License.

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Developers Present Two Starkly Different Choices for Hill East Boys and Girls Club

Residents turn out for Thursday’s Hill East Task Force meeting to hear proposals for development of the Boys and Girls Club

Developers Present Two Starkly Different Choices for Hill East Boys and Girls Club

by Larry Janezich

Thursday night, ANC6B’s Hill East Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Dan Ridge, hosted a community meeting to hear from the two developers who responded to the city’s Request for Proposals (RFPs) to redevelop the Boys and Girls Club: Morningstar Development and Century Associates.

The proposals share much in common:  both leave the massing and height and building footprint unchanged, both provide community amenity space, both provide around a dozen on site below grade parking spaces, both provide 30% percentage of affordable units required by city regulations, both add new windows, both preserve the “Wall of Fame”, and both provide for home ownership.

The major differences are that the Century Associates team would provide senior co-housing – 29 age-restricted 1, 2, and possibly 3 bedroom condo units with 2 caretaker units and about 1850 square feet of community space.

The Morningstar development team would provide a 31 conventional multi-generational 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condo units and about 3000 square feet of community space.

Century Associate’s team says senior co-housing (a concept developed in Scandinavia in the 1970s) provides an opportunity for Capitol Hill seniors to age in place and stay in the neighborhood.  The plan envisions a range of unit sizes, some as large as 1300 square feet – which could be three bedroom units.  The developer says the planned 1850 square feet of community space could be enlarged based on community needs and desires.  An unusual feature is a mechanical lift to move cars from surface level to garage, affording up to 15 parking spaces.  Century Associates lists Capitol Hill Village as a “community engagement partner” and says it would plan on delivering a finished product by the end of 2019.

Morningstar’s team envisions a more conventional layout for 1, 1 + den, 2, and 3 bedroom condos – larger units suitable for families, they say.  Their plan would provide about 3000 square feet of community space and parking for 11 cars with an entrance ramp from C Street.  Morningstar says that construction would take 7 to 8 months after the permitting process and zoning adjustments are completed.

The requirement for community space was made a requirement of the RFPs for development of the site by the city at the insistence of neighbors, to address in part the loss of the social services formerly provided by the Boys and Girls Club.  Various proposals for programming the space have been mentioned, but both developers say this will be decided after consultation with the community.

Ridge appeared skeptical that the proposals and the RFP requirements furthered the city’s goals of increasing social services in the face of losses to the community such as the Boys and Girls Club and Friendship House.

ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee, chaired by Commissioner Nick Burger, will consider the proposals at its regular monthly meeting next Tuesday, November 7th, at 7:00pm at St. Coletta’s.  The committee will hear from the community and may or may not recommend one of the proposals to the full ANC.  The full ANC will meet to consider which of the proposals to recommend to the city one week later, on Tuesday, November 14, a 7:00pm in Hill Center.  Two days later, on Thursday, November 16, the city (DMPED*) will hold a disposition hearing at 7:00pm at St. Coletta’s which will mark the end of the public comment period and provide an opportunity to provide final comments.

DMPED hopes to make a decision between the two proposals this year.

*Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

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The Week Ahead….Developers Present Plans for Boys and Girls Club on Thursday

Really?
A furniture delivery on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, , circa 9:00am, October 23, 2017.

The Week Ahead….Developers Present Plans for Boys and Girls Club on Thursday

by Larry Janezich

Monday, October 30

  1. ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center, to set the agenda for the full Executive Committee meeting on November 14.

Wednesday, November 1

  1. ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Northeast Library, 7th & D Streets, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

1121 Abbey Place, NE: Zoning Application for special exceptions to add a third floor and construct a four story rear addition.

19 Fourth St. NE/rear:  Zoning Application for a special exception to perit a one family dwelling unit in an existing structure on an alley lot.

Discussion of proposed D.C. Comprehensive Plan amendments.

Discussion of Bill 22-0382, Union Market Tax Increment Financing Act of 2017.

Discussion of Nov. 14 Council Hearing on DCRA Management of the Vacant and Blighted Property Program.

Thursday, November 2

  1. ANC 6B Hill East Task Force meets to discuss proposals received the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) for the reuse of the former Boys and Girls Club, 7:00pm, St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE.  Task Force Char and ANC6B Commissioner Ridge has invited representatives of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) and developers selected by DMPED to share proposals and answer questions from Commissioners and residents.

2.        PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm, SE Library, 402 7th Street, SE.

3.         Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) meet at 5:30pm SE Library, lower level.

 

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Councilmember Charles Allen Wades into Eastern Market Rent War

Eastern Market, South Hall, view from the original Market Manager’s Office, May 26, 2016

Councilmember Charles Allen Wades into Eastern Market Rent War

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, CM Charles Allen told the Director of DGS, Ms. Greer Gillis that Eastern Market is a public good and that outweighed the city’s goal of making the Market self-sustaining. The statement was directly related to the city’s controversial appraisal of merchant stall space inside Eastern Market.  The appraisal recommended substantial increases in the rent for South Hall food merchants in apparent violation of a cap on rents provided in statute.*

Allen later told Capitol Hill Corner that “Eastern Market is absolutely a public good.  It is a public good to have a healthy and thriving market.  I’m not looking for fees that would make the Market entirely self-sustaining.  The question is can DGS increase the rent beyond what the law allows.  Director Gillis says yes – my recommendation is that DGS provide a written legal opinion” justifying that assertion.

Last night, Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) chair Donna Scheeder – an Allen appointee to EMCAC – who along with Vice Chair Chuck Burger had attended Allen’s meeting, brought the appraisal issue up for discussion.

As previously reported (http://bit.ly/2fTLhsv), EMCAC has rejected the DGS appraisal and the substantially increased rents for the South Hall as flawed in conception and conclusion.  But EMCAC is an advisory body, and DGS is not bound by their decisions.

As part of their right to respond to the city’s appraisal, the South Hall merchants are contracting for their own appraisal and a new scope of work based on what they think is important.  Any substantial differences between the two appraisals will be referred to a third appraiser for a final recommendation.  The city wants the second appraisal in hand by January 22, a deadline that the South Hall merchants and EMCAC says is too short, given the demands of the upcoming holiday season.

Scheeder moved that EMCAC send a letter to Mayor Bowser, CM Allen, and DGS urging that the timeline be suspended and any requirement for a second appraisal by the South Hall merchants be stayed until DGS renders a legal opinion on how the city can set a new rent level in contradiction to existing statute.  EMCAC asked for the opinion by the next regular EMCAC meeting on November 29.  The motion was agreed to unanimously.

Scheeder said that in addition to the appraisal, the participants in Allen’s meeting discussed the use of the 300 block of 7th Street (currently used by the weekend flea markets) and an overview of Eastern Market and it’s Special Use Area.**

Weekend Flea Market Managers agree to 7 month vending license extension at higher rent

Market Manager Barry Margeson reported to EMCAC last night that both weekend flea market managers had signed a seven month vending license extension at a 52% increase in monthly rent for the 300 block of 7th Street, as recommended by the city’s appraisal of the block.

Sheeder said that EMCAC’s position is that 300 block needs sustained activity. She complained that the Committee did not have input on the statement of work for the appraisal of flea market vendor spaces on the 300 block, nor was it given time for review, both of which are required by the statute governing Eastern Market.***

Scheeder moved that EMCAC go on record as stating the Special Use Area** should be appraised as a whole and not piecemeal, that EMCAC’s advisory role had been ignored, and that EMCAC rejects “everything in the process” concerning the appraisal of the vending spaces on the 300 block of 7th Street and the appraisal of the South Hall.  The motion was agreed to unanimously.

Vice Chair Chuck Burger then moved that the Committee go on record as stating that the rent for the flea market vending spaces should not be increased because EMCAC had rejected the appraisal.  That motion carried 8 – 1.  (The vote will have no effect on the flea market managers’ rents since both have signed license extensions with the city at the higher rent.)

CHC followed up with Allen and asked him about the need for an overall business plan for the Market.  Allen said that he believes we need a strategic plan involving all the stakeholders. While there is currently no money in the budget for such a study, he said, “I’m prepared to go to bat to make sure we get the resources we need.”

*Annual rent increases for any operators shall be limited to 102% of the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), or to an additional amount to reflect the cost of additional services provided, except that in no instance shall the annual increase exceed 110% of the CPI.

**The Special Use Area is generally speaking the portions of 7th Street and C Street being used by the flea markets as well as the sidewalks around the Market and the plazas on the north end of the Market and in front of the Rumsey Aquatic Center.

***Here’s a link to the statute governing Eastern Market:  http://bit.ly/2y7cmAu

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Here’s a Hill East Branch of DC Public Library You Don’t Know About

Entrance to the DC Jail’s Correctional Treatment Facility. The facade of the building looks east toward the Anacostia River.

Here’s a Hill East Branch of DC Public Library You Don’t Know About

by Larry Janezich

DC Public Library has partnered with the DC Department of Corrections and established a branch library in the DC Jail.  Capitol Hill Corner visited the jail and talked to the library staff on Monday afternoon.

The library is housed in the Correctional Treatment Facility, one of the two main wings of the jail – the other wing being the Central Detention Facility.

The Correctional Treatment Facility has been in operation since 1992 as a specialized medium security institution.  Prior to February 1, 2017, DC Jail was run by CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America), the largest for-profit correctional facility operator in the country, and a company plagued with a history of bad – even abusive – management practices.  On March 31, 2017, CoreCivic’s contract expired and Mayor Bowser announced the DC Department of Corrections, headed by Director Quincy Booth, would take over the jail.  The ReThink Justice-DC coalition was one group who opposed the city contracting with private corrections corporations.

One of the benefits for inmates that came with government control was a brand new library which opened in the Correctional Treatment Facility last March.  The jail had an existing law library comprised of mostly legal reference books and a few leisure reading books which were transferred to the DC Jail’s  Central Detention Facility from Lorton Prison when it closed in 2001.

At the end of March the Library was moved to its present location in the Correctional Treatment Facility.  In the new library, access to legal research was provided through 8 computer work stations featuring LexisNexis instead of legal code reference books.  In addition, staff stepped up the total amount of material available and diversified it. The Library now boasts about 10,000 books including fiction, nonfiction, large print, Spanish, etc.  Audiobooks are on the way which will benefit illiterate and visually challenged patrons.

The library is staffed by contractors through the DC Public Library.  Librarian Danielle Zoller said that in addition to a full time librarian, there is one full-time associate librarian and one part time reference worker.  Asked to explain the operation of the library, Zoller said that each of the DC Jail housing units gets access to the library once a week  – women in the morning for two hours and men in the afternoon for two hours.  She says that the library can serve up to 40 patrons at a time, though the actual numbers vary from day to day.  Patrons can browse the stacks and check out materials two at a time.  They do not have access to the internet.  Zoller says “what’s popular on the street is popular here,” and that what the library doesn’t have, we can ask DC Public Library to purchase, noting that “we order books continuously.”

For patrons who can’t come to the library – juveniles, those in a witness protection program, and those in restricted housing units – the library goes to them via library cart.

The DC Jail branch is a standalone library that does not share with other libraries.  Staff interacts with the other 27 branch libraries via listservs.

Library patron and work detail guide Joel Casto’n stressed the usefulness of having legal resources searchable by jurisdiction for patrons researching cases relevant to their own.  He also cited how critical access to Microsoft Word and appropriate legal templates are for patrons, not only to help prepare court documents, but also to assist in re-entry planning.  The Department of Corrections emphasizes the importance of inmates leaving DC Jail with a re-entry plan.

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The Week Ahead….EMCAC Takes Up Flea Market at Eastern Market Issues on Wednesday

Carvings. Sunday Flea Market at Eastern Market. October 22, 2017, circa 9:05am.

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, October 23

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm in Maury Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room, 1250 Constitution Avenue, NE.

Agenda:

Letter of Support from ANC request for Miner Playground Renovation.

Wednesday, October 25

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

Among items on the agenda:

Responses received from DGS re the 300 block and the appraisal process.

300 block appraisal report.

Parking task force.

Leases for South Hall merchants.

Thursday, October 26

ANC6C Grants Committee meets at 7:30pm, 7:30 at Kaiser-Permanente, 700 2nd Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Set Grant and Meeting Calendar for 2018.

Grant Committee on Social Media .

Discussion of Spring Presentation:  Dates, participation of ANC6A and speakers.

Grants Cycle 4 – Nov. 2nd deadline.

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City Extends Weekend Eastern Market Flea Market Use of 7th Street for 7 Months. But…. 

300 block of 7th Street, 7:00am, August 12, 2017

City Extends Weekend Eastern Market Flea Market Use of 7th Street for 7 Months. But….

by Larry Janezich

On October 12, the Department of General Services offered to extend the license agreements with the two weekend flea market managers, to allow them to continue to operate on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, from November until the end of May, 2018.  During the period, DGS will develop an official Request for Proposals (RFP) process for any and all potential managers of the Saturday and Sunday flea markets on the 300 block of 7th Street, SE.  Attached to the offer was a substantial increase in rent for the space.

Currently, the total rent the two managers pay the city for use of the street is $4000 a month. The new rate based on the findings of an MAI Certified Appraiser will be $6100 a month.  Currently the two operators pay a total of $48,000 per year.  Under the higher rent, the operators would pay $73,200, a difference of $25,200, roughly an additional $1000 a month increase for each flea market manager.

Barry Margeson, Eastern Market Manager for DGS, says that the Market pays DDOT $56,000 a year for the loss in weekend parking revenues for the 300 block of 7th Street.

The current licenses for operating on the 300 block expire at the end of October, upon which the flea markets are scheduled to re-locate to the newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets.  The re-opening is now projected to be the first weekend in November.

The community strongly supports continued closure of 7th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue, but there is uncertainty how the 300 block will be used, with much depending on the voices of the future retail merchants who will occupy the first floor of the Hine project.

Saturday flea market manager Carole Wright is cautiously optimistic and intends to use both C Street and the 300 block of 7th Street during the 7 month extension.  She says, “We intend to have a wraparound market ….however, we are still not able to lock in the date of completion for C Street”.  Regarding the use of the 300 block after the seven months, Wright says, “We do not know if those new stores will even want vending in that block.”

Sunday flea market manager Michael Berman says he strongly objects to the increased rent and that the extension should be at the current rent, given the lack of notice and due process.  He says, “We are not able to pass cost increases on to vendors in form of rent increase to them.”  Berman called the appraisal flawed as the result of faulty input involving a disparity in size, rent and amenities of the spaces which were used as comparables.

Berman says, that the Sunday flea market will continue on the 300 block of 7th through Sunday, October 29 – “The continuation after that is uncertain.”  Berman would like the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC)  to give the flea markets the same deal they gave the South Hall Merchants in delaying any increase in rent until a strategic plan for all outdoor vending areas under Market control is developed.

EMCAC chair Donna Scheeder held out little hope that would happen.  She told CHC “I don’t have a problem with increased rent for public space when the goal is to make Eastern Market self-sustaining and I think most members of EMCAC would agree.  I think the 300 block on 7th Street has been underpriced and I’d like to see some of the increased revenue go into an increased safety and security plan.”

That position seemed to be at odds with EMCAC’s response to DGS’s request for comment on the 300 block of 7th Street.  On September 19, EMCAC voted 4 – 3 for language supporting “DGS proceeding to have the value of this public spaces (sic) assessed and no rents, permits or contracts for occupying that space should be done until the assessment is completed. The appraisal of space used for market activities should be looked at as a whole and not in 3 individual pieces.”

The proposed rent increase did not sit well with ANC6B Commissioner Diane Hoskins, unhappy at the lack of community consultation regarding the rent increase.  Hoskins said, “This is really disappointing. This completely contradicts the will of the community to maintain the weekend flea market. The September 12 letter from ANC6B to DGS asked that DGS take no actions that would change the current use and operations. A dramatic increase in rent certainly would be a major change”.

EMCAC will consider the 300 block appraisal report at its next meeting at 7:00pm on Wednesday, October 25, in the North Hall of Eastern Market.

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