Monthly Archives: July 2011

Eastern Market Update: Weekend Flea Market, North Hall, Weekday Farmers’ Line

Eastern Market Update:  Weekend Flea Market, North Hall, Weekday Farmers Line

by Larry Janezich

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) chaired by Donna Scheeder,  met Wednesday night for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  Among the items they considered were the following.

Weekend Flea Market

Following emmcablog’s report that the current Stanton/Eastbanc plan for accommodating the weekend flea market on the new Hine development’s plaza provided only 68 spaces for tents, EMCAC member Monte Edwards told the Committee:  “An essential element of the market experience is the weekend flea market.  It has been recognized in legislation, by EMCAC, and in the RFP for the Hine development.  Over 100 spaces were to be provided – 120 to 180 are needed.  We should continue advocating at least as many spaces as currently provided for the flea market vendors.”

EMCAC voted 8-0 to send letters to Stanton/Eastbanc, ANC6B, Council Members, and the Deputy Mayor in support of maintaining the current size of the weekend flea market.  EMCAC’s ANC representative Brian Pate abstained, noting that he had already voted on the issue, in support of similar supporting language he had sponsored in a measure which came before the ANC on Tuesday night.  ANC6B voted to ask the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) to consider recommending more space for the weekend flea market in the Hine development (see emmcablog posting on Wednesday July 27).   A subsequent Historic Preservation Office staff report which will go to the HPRB states:  “This is primarily a programmatic issue related to use and thus outside the Board’s jurisdiction.  The applications are encouraged to continue discussions with the community and with flea market management on this issue.”

Weekday Farmer’s Line

Market Manager Barry Margeson is attempting to find farmers who will commit to selling produce on a weekday on the Eastern Market farmer’s line.  In addition to the difficulty in finding farmers to come into the city midweek is the fact that growers need to plan a year in advance where they will sell produce.  This makes it unlikely anything can happen until next summer.   EMCAC members Chuck Berger, Brian Pate, and Richard Layman will form an ad hoc committee to assist Margeson in making the weekday farmer’s line a reality.

North Hall Rules

Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson is drafting rules for daytime public use of the North Hall.  The city will not close the doors to public use during the day, but users should expect a ban on rollerblades, bikes, soccer, and unsupervised play, as well as other restrictions.  There may be a small fee imposed for organized activities, such as the popular Thursday music programs for children.  Margeson will bring the proposed rules to EMCAC for their consideration.  It seemed to be the consensus of the committee that they do not want to interfere with public access to the North Hall for use as a community center – but the feeling was strong that it should not be an unregulated recreation center.

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Hill Center Refuses to Negotiate With Protestors on Voluntary Agreement

The Hill Center on July 29, 2011

Site of the Center's Summer Garden

Hill Center Refuses to Negotiate With Protestors on Voluntary Agreement -Hours of Operation and Liquor Sales “Non-negotiable”

by Larry Janezich

Representatives of some 150 neighbors protesting Hill Center’s application for a liquor license met with Hill Center attorney Paul Pascal and Foundation Chair Nicki Cymrot on Thursday, July 28 for a mediation session.  The protest representatives, Pope Barrow, Barbara Eck, and Jill I. Lawrence, hoped the meeting with the Hill Center would result in a new Voluntary Agreement to reduce noise and related issues associated with indoor and outdoor alcohol service events late at night at the soon-to-open Center.   

On the key issue of closing hours, the protestants asked that the Hill Center close at the times specified on the Hill Center’s Web site and other publicity instead of the later hours agreed to in the Voluntary Agreement with ANC 6B.  The protestors want a new agreement that puts the Hill Center’s self commitment in writing.

According to Barrow, after an initial discussion about minor issues not within the jurisdiction of the Alcoholic Beverage Review Board, the attorney for the Hill Center announced that hours of alcohol service and hours of operation inside and outside the building were non-negotiable. In addition, he said that the Hill Center would refuse to enter into any voluntary agreement with citizens dealing with any issue whatsoever. 

The neighbors’ representatives felt they had no choice but to adjourn the meeting.  Barrow said it was unclear what the next step would be. 

A comparison of the hours in the original application, the ANC Voluntary Agreement, the Hill Center Web site, and the protestants’ request follows:

House of sales and service:


Original application:    2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

ANC VA:                   1am Sun-Thurs  2am Friday & Sat

Hill Center Publicity   11pm Sun-Thurs  11pm Friday & Sat

Protester’s request:      11pm Sun-Thurs  11pm Friday & Sat


Original application:    2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

ANC VA:                   9pm Sun-Thurs  10pm Friday & Sat

Hill Center Publicity   8pm Sun-Thurs  9pm Friday & Sat

Protester’s request:      8pm Sun-Thurs  9pm Friday & Sat

Hours of Operation:


Original application:    2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

ANC VA:                   2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

Hill Center Publicity   11pm all days

Protester’s request:      11pm  all days


Original application:    2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

ANC VA:                   10pm Sun-Thurs  10pm Friday & Sat

Hill Center Publicity   9pm Sun-Thurs  9pm Friday & Sat

Protester’s request:      9pm Sun-Thurs 10pm Fri& Sat

Entertainment  hours:


Original application:    2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

ANC VA:                   9pm Sun-Thurs  10pm Friday & Sat

Hill Center Publicity   11pm Sun-Thurs  11pm Friday & Sat

Protester’s request:      11pm Sun-Thurs  11pm Friday & Sat


Original application:    2am Sun-Thurs  3am Friday & Sat

ANC VA:                   8pm Sun-Thurs  9pm Friday & Sat

Hill Center Publicity   8pm Sun-Thurs  9pm Friday & Sat

Protester’s request:      8pm Sun-Thurs  9pm Friday & Sat


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United ANC6B Wants Change in C Street Building on Latest Hine Plans; Divided ANC Passes Second Memo Listing Remaining Concerns

Commissioner Green, Chair Glick, and Commissioner Pate at Tuesday Night's ANC Special Call Meeting on the Hine Development

United ANC6B Wants Change in C Street Building but Endorses Latest Hine Plans; Divided ANC Passes Second Memo Listing Remaining Concerns

by Larry Janezich

In a rare unanimous vote, ANC6B asked Stanton/Eastbanc, developers of the Hine Project, to move the 5th floor of the project’s C Street residential building farther toward 7th Street in order to address the concerns of 8th Street residents whose two story homes the building would overlook.  Apart from this, ANC 6B generally expressed support for Stanton/Eastbanc’s latest drawings.  The action came on a measure sponsored by Vice Chair Ivan Fischberg and Commissioner Brian Pate.  Both received plaudits from Commissioners Garrison and Metzger, who have often found themselves at odds with the ANC majority.

In addition, the ANC declared they had no issue with the height and massing of the Plaza residential building (formerly referred to as the 7th Street residential building), urging only additional symmetry in the C Street façade of that building.  The ANC praised the west façade, calling it “well designed.”

The action came at an ANC Special Call meeting on Tuesday in preparation for the hearing before Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) August 4th for height, massing, and design approval of the C Street residential and the plaza residential buildings and for the project’s landscape design.

The final recommendations passed on a 9-0 vote.  Commissioner Campbell was absent.  The project’s other two buildings were approved by HPRB on June 30.

The united front of the Commission dissolved once Commissioner Brian Pate called up a second memorandum expressing concerns with the historic review process for the project, concerns with the overall project itself, and concerns with the overall lack of guidance and precedent on the construction of sustainable projects and transit oriented development in historic districts.

Regarding the process, the memo criticized HPRB’s decision to review the historic application in pieces, undermining the ability to look at the whole project at once.  The “exceedingly short timelines for review” were also singled out for criticism.

During the discussion, Frischberg joined Chair Neil Glick and others in voicing concerns on the lack of time for review.  When Frischberg pressed Eastbanc developer Joe Sternlieb on why the HPRB review could not be delayed for a month to allow more time for input, Sternlieb replied that filing for the Public Unit Development process cannot be done until after the HPRB review, hence a delay would reverberate beyond the HPRB process alone.  Stanton/Eastbanc “has a team of people we’re paying,” Sternlieb told Frischberg, and “without HPRB approval, [architect] Amy Weinstein can’t go ahead.”

The memo listed the ANC’s remaining concerns with the overall project as follows:

  • Need for reduced height or a set back at entrance of 8th Street residential building;

•     Need for further design work at roofline and on windows of 8th Street residential building;

•     “The building at 8th and D, especially in the context of the 7th and PA Ave building is not acceptable.  We must reinforce that we believe the design falls short of the distinctive and Hill appropriate architecture that this space deserves”;

•     Need for continued efforts to reduce the visual impact of mechanical penthouses;

•     The evolution of the courtyard from open, public space to closed private space and attendant negative impact on massing pedestrian access and potential future programming of the space.

Finally, the memo called upon HPRB to elucidate principles for large scale, sustainable developments in historic districts.  The memo suggests the Historic Preservation Office staff partner with historic preservation organizations and smart growth oriented urban planning organizations to discuss formulation of principles.

The memorandum passed the ANC on a vote of 5 – 2 – 2.  Voting for:  Critchfield, Frischberg, Green, Glick and Pate.  Against:  Flahaven and Metzger.  Abstaining:  Oldenberg and Garrison.

As previously reported on emmcablog, at its Tuesday night Special Call meeting, the ANC6B recommended as part of its first memorandum, agreed to unanimously, that HPRB consider ways to accommodate more of the flea market than the 68 tents which the current plan anticipates for the plaza.  That language, sponsored by Commissioner Brian Pate, stimulated action the next day on the part of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) in support of the flea market.  When Donna Scheeder, appointed by Council Member Tommy Wells and current chair of EMCAC, gaveled the Wednesday night meeting into session, EMCAC members proceeded to authorize sending letters to the City Council, Office of the Deputy Mayor, and the Historic Preservation Review Board to urge that the Hine development accommodate a number of spaces equal to what is currently available for the weekend market – more than twice the number in the Stanton/Eastbanc plan. Representatives of EMCAC are seeking a meeting with Stanton/Eastbanc, the project’s developer.


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Size of Weekend Flea Market Cut in Half in Hine Development Plan

Size of Weekend Flea Market Cut in Half in Hine Development Plan:

Developer Suggests Options Exist for Accommodating Overflow Elsewhere

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, the ANC6B passed a recommendation to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on the two remaining Hine buildings coming before the Board next week.  The memo expresses the ANC’s concern about the downsizing of the popular weekend flea market as the result of confining it to the plaza planned for the intersection of 7th and C Streets.

The memorandum notes, “[w]hile the size of the plaza itself has not changed since February, the number of tents it is depicted to support has changed.”  The memo goes on to note that the original RFP (Request for Proposal) plans called for support for over 100 tents.  “Plans presented in February 2011 depicted 72 tents,” the ANC noted, and “the latest design depicts 68 tents.  The current weekend market supports up to 140 10×10 tents. While the Board (HPRB) has given preliminary approval to the overall site plan, the apparent reduction of weekend market space suggests that the Board might want to review alternate configurations that would meet the terms of the city agreement and respond to community input.”

In a meeting with neighbors last Sunday night, StantonEastbanc suggested that there were ways to accommodate additional tents.  Ideas floated at that meeting included closing C Street between 6th and 7th Street, or 7th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and C Streets on weekends.  Those ideas, however, appear problematic, at least on their face, given the controversy which arose over Mayor Fenty’s decision to close 7th Street next to Eastern Market on weekends.  Another idea which has emerged in previous neighborhood discussions is using Eastern Market Metro Plaza for part of the weekend market.

Commissioner Garrison urged, while making clear he was not pushing for an increase in the number of spaces for tents,  that the developer enter into a conversation with “Eastgern Market” about how many tents were actually needed for the weekend market. Commissioner Metzger suggested that a reduction in the total number of tents might be beneficial, raising the “quality,” though he did not specify what he meant by that.

The final version of the memorandum, which passed on a 9-0 vote, contained an ANC recommendation that the developer discuss the weekend market with flea market managers. Commissioner Brian Pate noted that the language was being agreed to in the context of new legislation from Councilmember Wells’ office to restructure the Eastern Market management.  It is unclear how this may affect the timing or nature of these discussions.

The developer’s current plan for a double row of back to back tents on the project’s plaza can be viewed here:  (Scroll down to L-03, about 19 pages down in the document.)


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Hine Project Landscaping Plans to Be Considered by Preservation Board Next Week – HPRB Will Also Rule on Project’s 7th Street and C Street Residential Buildings

Hine Project Landscaping Plans to Be Considered by Preservation Board Next Week – HPRB Will Also Rule on Project’s 7th Street and C Street Residential Buildings

by Larry Janezich

Hine neighbors met with Stanton Development Sunday night to hear the developer’s presentation on the plans which will be before the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on Thursday, August 4.  The plans, which will include the layout for the weekend flea market will be presented to the larger community at ANC6B’s Special Call Meeting, set for Tuesday, July 26, 7:00 -9:30 pm, People’s Church/National Community Church, 535 8th Street, S.E.

Following are the main points which emerged from the presentation and the discussion which followed.

  • The 7th Street residential building may yet be a hotel.  Stanton says that two hotels have expressed interest.  Each have their own criteria and are awaiting number crunching and HPRB design approval to determine if the space will work for them.
  • Like other buildings in the project, the façade designs of the 7th street and C Street buildings have been simplified and parts of the C Street building have been lowered by two feet.
  • The current plan is for the interior courtyard to be private.  A discussion revealed considerable support for public use of the space among the neighbors.  The developer suggested one way to accomplish this would be for public events to be hosted in the courtyard, should a hotel end up occupying the 7th and C Street residential building.
  • No contracts with retail outlets will be sought until construction is well underway, about two years from now.
  • The amount of parking in the building is still uncertain.  The developer says that whether there will be more than one level of parking is still undecided.
  • Joel Larsen, from the city’s Office of Planning, will make a 20 minute presentation explaining the Planned Unit Development process ANC6B’s Special Call Meeting on Tuesday.  That process will begin sometime next spring and will be the community’s last chance to win concessions (amenities) from the developer regarding the project.
  • Stanton’s Design Concept for the two buildings and the landscaping can be viewed here:

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The Week’s Wrap Up: ANC Committee, ANC Taskforce, and CHRS Meetings – New Development at the old Pennsylvania Avenue KFC?

The Week’s Wrap Up:  ANC Committee, ANC Taskforce, and CHRS Meetings –New Development at the old Pennsylvania Avenue KFC?

by Larry Janezich

Hill East Taskforce to Discuss New Development at Old KFC Site

Commissioner Brain Flahaven announced on Friday the agenda for the Capitol Hill East Taskforce which will meet for the first time on Wednesday, July 27, at 7:00pm, at St. Coletta School, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE.  The meeting will establish the boundaries for its jurisdiction – essentially define the nebulous “Hill East” – and discuss a new proposed development – mixed retail/residential (21 units, retail on the first floor) – of the Old Kentucky Fried Chicken Outlet at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.

Commissioner Brian Pate’s Community Outreach and Constituent Services Taskforce

The Taskforce met Wednesday night – perhaps for the last time in the current ANC office space rented from The Tipton Group.  ANC6B hopes to move into new quarters on the top floor of Hill Center in early August.


Among the topics addressed was the need for a clarification of the by-laws.  ANC6B Parliamentarian Brian Flahaven will undertake the project, which comes in the wake of bylaw violations by three of ANC6B’s Commissioners involving testimony in support of the Hine Development before the Historic Preservation Review Board.  The case provided a revealing look at the ambiguities contained in the rules.


Pate’s taskforce is addressing website, technology and media issues.  Committee members and resident members brought ideas to the table for improving existing web-based communication and adopting practices already employed by other ANCs.  .

Liaising with City Council Members

One of Pate’s goals is outreach to City Council Members at Large.  To that end, he is developing a plan to invite at large members of the council to address the ANC at their monthly meetings on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Resident members.

Commissioner Pate is actively soliciting the participation of resident members to serve on ANC6B Committees and Taskforces.  Currently, one resident per single member district (i.e., one resident per commissioner) can serve on a committee.  Resident members may vote on issues before committees within their single member district, or when their commissioners are not present.  There is no limit on the number of resident members who may serve on an ANC taskforce.  There are three standing committees:  Alcohol Beverage Control, Planning and Zoning, and Transportation.  The first two have official cachet with the DC city government.  Transportation is a newly established committee trying to carve out a role for itself on transportation and parking issues.  The two current taskforces are the Community Outreach and Constituent Services Taskforce, and Commissioner Brian Flahaven’s Hill East Taskforce.

ANC6B will fine-tune the process for approving resident members at the September ANC meeting.

Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg’s Transportation Committee

CSX Tunnel

At Wednesday’s Transportation Committee Meeting, officials from CSX gave the new committee an update on the plan to widen and heighten the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.  The plan entails “double tracking and double stacking” the 3800 foot tunnel between 2nd Street and 11th Street, S.E., on the south side of the Southwest Freeway.

Construction will likely start in March of 2013.  A ways off, but what concerns the ANC is the potential for traffic disruptions occasioned by the beginning of construction on the tunnel and its impact on traffic issues complicated by the rebuilding of the 11th Street bridge.  DDOT is seeking ways to smooth the flow of traffic over the new bridge during this period without having the preferred route become filtering through Capitol Hill residential streets.

DDOT, working closely with CSX officials, assures that the reconstruction plan will leave all north-south streets under the Southwest Freeway open, with the exception of Sixth Street.  Formal Plans will likely be revealed to the public in November with a final proposal ready early next year.

Planned Performance Parking Fund Projects

In other work, the Transportation Committee is formalizing a procedure to encourage the promulgation of ideas for projects which could be eligible for funding through the Performance Parking Fund.  Details are still being worked out, and should become clearer by the next ANC6B Meeting on September 13.  (There is no ANC6B meeting in August.)

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board Meeting

The CHRS Board, Chaired by Beth Purcell, met on Tuesday night and after conducting routine business of approving the minutes and hearing the financial report, went into executive session for almost two hours to formulate the budget for the next year and to discuss renting office space from Hill Center.  Information from Hill Center distributed at the meeting shows nine office spaces on the building’s third floor, with monthly rates from a low of $750 to a high of $1050 a month.  At last month’s meeting, CHRS contributed $5,000 toward the restoration of the fence surrounding the Center.  CHRS currently rents space from the Architectural firm Architrave, at 410 10th Street, SE.


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EMMCA President Riehle Files Objection to Hine Timeline with Historic Preservation Office

EMMCA President Riehle Files Objection to Hine Timeline with Historic Preservation Office

by Larry Janezich

Today, EMMCA President Barbara Riehle sent the following letter to the staff of the Historic Preservation Office, which participates in the review of the historic preservation application for the Hine Development.  The staff will write a report to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on the remaining buildings for consideration.  While HPRB had originally set July 28 to hear from the developers and the community regarding the design of the 7th Street residential building and the C Street residential building, the date for the hearing has been moved to the 4th of August.

Stanton-Eastbanc will deliver their latest drawings to the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) as previously scheduled, Thursday, July 21.  The plans go to the HPRB on Friday and will be posted on the Stanton-Eastbanc website,

The ANC has scheduled a special call meeting for Tuesday, July 26, to hear a presentation from the developers on the two buildings remaining for consideration, hear from the community, and formulate a response to the designs for submission to HPO on Wednesday, July 27.

On July 29, the HPO staff will file its report on the buildings with HPRB.

Although the hearing has been pushed back a week, the remaining aspects of the schedule have not changed, so the community will have a very limited window in which to deliver a response to HPO.  To ensure that written comments will be seen by HPRB members, those comments must be filed by July 27.  Members of the community may appear in person during the public hearing on August 4 to make a presentation without filing an advance copy of the remarks.  At the HPRB hearing on June 30, a number of supporters of the Hine project joined EMMCA and other local groups to offer testimony on the project.  For the most part, supporters of the project offered testimony on their perception of how the project would benefit the community rather than on the historic preservation aspect of the project.  To that extent, the testimony of these advocates appeared more orchestrated than spontaneous to some observers.

The letter from Barbara Riehle:

Mr. Steve Callcott and Ms. Amanda Molson

Historic Preservation Office

Dear Steve and Amanda,

The timeline for the Historic Preservation Review Board’s (HPRB) and ANC6B’s consideration of the remaining aspects of the Hine project is deeply troubling. As you know, EMMCA – Eastern Market Metro Community Association – represents more than 100 households in the neighborhood surrounding the Hine site. Ensuring that each of EMMCA’s members has an opportunity to shape EMMCA’s position on issues is an integral part of our organization, and, I believe, sets us apart from groups whose decision-making rests with a select few.

Until now, the Hine developers have been accommodating to neighbors and interested parties in terms of making plans accessible in a timely manner. Regrettably, the current timeline – even with a one week delay by HPRB – is insufficient to permit informed community input.  Much was made, in testimony before HPRB last month by individuals testifying in favor of  the current designs, about not delaying this project any more than it already has been. It is important to clarify that no delays to the project have come from community members.

In fact, the only delays that have occurred were sought by the developers and granted by the City.  Permitting adequate time for the community to review and comment on the plans, which will alter permanently the character of the neighborhood, assures the integrity of the process.

The next phase of the Hine project is the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.  No schedule or notice for the PUD process has been provided yet, and there is no reason to believe that providing additional time now for community review will have any impact on that next phase.

All the best,

Barbara Riehle

President, EMMCA

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Hill Center and Neighbors to Begin Mediation on Voluntary Agreement for Alcohol License

Hill Center and Neighbors to Begin Mediation on Voluntary Agreement for Alcohol License

by Barbara Riehle

This morning, about twenty neighbors of the soon-to-open Hill Center met at the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA) on 14th  and U Streets, NW, to begin the formal protest and mediation process triggered by the Hill Center’s application for a liquor license.

Last month, ANC6B, by a vote of 8-0, approved a modified version of the Hill Center’s liquor license application over the objections of neighbors, several of whom noted that they only learned about the Hill Center’s application through EMMCAblog.  The action resulted in an organized protest of the license application with the purpose of strengthening the ANC-approved voluntary operating agreement which the neighbors considered inadequate.

In today’s action by ABRA, twenty five of the more than 150 residents who signed a related protest petition, were designated as official parties to the protest.  Pope Barrow, Kenneth Cooper, and Jill Lawrence were designated as official representatives of the protestants.  Nicky Cymrot, President of the Old Naval Hospital Foundation, and Paul Pascal, attorney for the Hill Center, were present on behalf of the applicant.  On Thursday, July 28, at 10 a.m. LaVerne Fletcher, the mediator, will begin mediation between Protest Representatives Barrow, Cooper, and Lawrence and Hill Center Representatives Pascal and Cymrot.  The purpose of the mediation is to hammer out a voluntary agreement on hours of operation, number of patrons, entertainment, parking, and the like. The Hill Center’s application seeks operating house from 7a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and until 3 a.m. on weekends, with up to 500 patrons and amplified music inside and in the summer garden.  Partly in response to neighborhood concerns, Hill Center has posted alcohol service and entertainment policies on its website which are considerably scaled back from what the extremes of the application would permit.

Neighbors want these additional restrictions – as well as a few more – agreed to in writing as part of a new voluntary agreement.  A Status Hearing is tentatively scheduled for August 17, although attorney Pascal requested an earlier date due to vacation plans.  When the meeting does occur, ABRA will be informed about whether the two parties to the mediation process have reached agreement.  If the applicant and the protestants cannot reach agreement, a Protest Hearing is set for October 5.


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ANC 6B Approves Chipotle Application; Vows No Alcohol Moratorium for Barracks Row For Now; Accepts Finding of Fact on Bylaw Violations

ANC 6B Approves Chipotle Application; Vows No Alcohol Moratorium for Barracks Row For Now; Accepts Finding of Fact on Bylaw Violations

by Larry Janezich

In a varied and lengthy meeting Tuesday night, ANC 6B unanimously approved the application for a special exception in order to allow Chipotle Mexican Grill to open a restaurant on Barracks Row.  In other business-related news:  Pitango Gelato, now open on 7th Street, obtained ANC 6B’s blessing to provide outdoor seating on benches outside their storefront; and Pound on The Hill was also approved for outdoor tables and chairs.  Most significant, the Commission voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the ANC’s Retail Mix Taskforce that the ANC forgo discussion of an alcohol moratorium on Barracks Row for the time being.  Commissioners concerned with the removal of this “tool” from the ANC “toolbox” accepted the resolution once language was added clarifying that the Commission reserves the right to revisit the question of a moratorium should conditions or constituent sentiment seem to warrant it.

The Commission also voted unanimously to accept the guiding principles set forward by the Retail Mix Taskforce outlining what should be under discussion when considering a liquor license application.  These principles stressed alleviating undesirable neighborhood effects, including encouraging staff to park their cars on non-residential blocks or to take public transportation.

In other business, the Commission voted to accept the findings of fact approved at Monday night’s Executive Committee meeting that stipulated the violations of the bylaws that occurred when Commissioner Garrison testified before the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) regarding the Hine project.  The findings extended to Commissioners Metzger and Oldenburg, on whose behalf Garrison also spoke.  The vote to approve the findings was 7 – 0 with three abstentions (Garrison, Metzger, and Oldenburg).  The Commission then voted to send a letter detailing the violations for the benefit of the HPRB and clarifying the position of ANC 6B on Hine for their record (abstaining on this vote were Campbell, Garrison, Metzger, and Oldenburg).  Taking a tack Garrison had refused in Monday night’s emergency Executive Meeting on the matter, Commissioner Oldenburg read a statement on behalf of herself, Metzger and Garrison.  Included in the statement was an acknowledgment of the infractions as well as an expression of “regret,” followed by an apology, and then a promise to “fully comply” with the bylaws in the future.  This statement seemed to mollify the Commissioners who seemed the most upset at the absence of “contrition” at the Executive Committee meeting last night; it also seemed to obviate the need for a lengthy and contentious discussion.

Near the meeting’s end, the Commission voted to send a letter – the exact content of which was to be determined – objecting to the abrupt removal of Councilmember Wells from his duties as Chair of the DC Council’s Transportation Committee today.  Seven Commissioners voted to approve the effort, while Commissioners Green and Critchfield opposed it and Commission Chair Neil Glick abstained.

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ANC 6B Executive Committee Finds Three 6B Commissioners in Violation of Bylaws – Votes to Correct the Record with Historic Preservation Review Board on Hine

Commissioner Dave Garrison (File Photo)

ANC 6B Executive Committee Finds Three 6B Commissioners in Violation of Bylaws – Votes to Correct the Record with Historic Preservation Review Board on Hine

by Larry Janezich

Monday night, at an emergency meeting of ANC 6B’s Executive Committee, three ANC 6B Commissioners – Dave Garrison, Kirsten Oldenburg, and Norm Metzger – were found to have violated ANC 6B bylaws in presenting a joint statement to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) during a June 30 hearing on the Hine Development.  The three commissioners made a statement strongly supportive of the project, in contrast to the official statement of ANC6B which raised numerous issues with the project and recommended several major design changes.  The three were charged with failing to explicitly state that their testimony was not representative of ANC 6B; failing to explicitly state whether and when their testimony was contradictory of official ANC positions; and of seizing an “opportunity to stress several points not made in ANC 6B’s formal testimony” without stating that at least one of those points addressed an issue that the Commission had not yet deliberated upon.

Of the three Commissioners found to have violated the bylaws, Garrison was the only one present for the meeting.  At various points in the occasionally contentious discussion, Garrison stipulated that he had violated the bylaws, but insisted that he had done so unintentionally and without consequence.  He added that he had corrected the record with HPRB by correcting his testimony after the hearing.  In fact, the corrected testimony filed after the fact differed only in that it included the disclaimer “We are not speaking on behalf of ANC 6B.”

Though prompted by his colleagues at several points, Garrison offered no apology.  ANC 6B chair Neil Glick went so far as to characterize Garrison’s representation before the HPRB as “dirty testimony.”  Glick and others belabored the “lack of contrition,” as Commissioner Brian Pate put it, in both Garrison’s remarks during the meeting and Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg’s effort to correct the testimony after the fact, which she presented to constituents as a clerical error (“I goofed and attached the wrong version….”) rather than as an effort to correct a violation of ANC 6B bylaws.

While the discussion of contrition elicited the strongest remarks, the most pointed part of the meeting came when Commissioner Garrison insisted that the punitive sanctions for infractions against the bylaws listed in ANC 6B bylaws (Section 2 of Article Six) did not apply to the violations he admitted committing, so ANC 6B had no authority to impose any.  If it did so, Garrison threatened, the Commission would have to “talk to my lawyer” and “answer to the Attorney General.”  A close reading of the paragraph on sanctions reveals ambiguity regarding exactly which infractions the sanctions apply to, depending on whether the language is interpreted broadly or narrowly.  The Executive Committee opted to recommend to the full ANC that a letter be sent to the HPRB detailing the violations of the bylaws and correcting ANC 6B’s position on the Hine Development for the record.

ANC 6B will discuss and vote on the recommendations put forward by the Executive Committee on Tuesday night during its regularly scheduled meeting.  Voting in favor of the findings of fact that violations of the bylaws had indeed occurred and voting in favor of a letter to HPRB as the proposed remedy were Commissioners Critchfield, Frishberg, Glick, Green, and Pate.  Commissioner Garrison abstained from all votes.  Though the complaint originally lodged by Commissioner Pate listed only Commissioner Garrison as having violated the bylaws, the Executive Committee amended the findings of fact to list Commissioners Metzger and Oldenburg as having violated them as well.

Perhaps more than any other issue, deliberation over the Hine Development has introduced tension on ANC 6B.  At the meeting Monday night, Commissioners Pate and Glick referred back to the efforts made to include or accommodate Commissioners Garrison, Oldenburg, and Metzger, first in the original Hine resolution, and later in the memorandum reiterating components of the ANC 6B position on Hine for the benefit of the second HPRB hearing held to discuss it.  It was at the latter hearing that the bylaw violations occurred.  Garrison offered no rebuttal or comments on that point, instead arguing that the gathered Commissioners “were beating up on us” and using procedural arguments to critique substantive positions.  In defending his testimony as representing Oldenburg and Metzger as well, Garrison said only that “a sense of efficiency” encouraged them to consolidate their positions – though he also insisted that doing so did not constitute a “minority report.”

Tuesday night, ANC6B will take up the motions put forward by the Executive Committee, along with its regularly scheduled business including a special exception to permit a Chipotle on Barracks Row and final action on the recommendations of the Retail Mix Committee.  The  meeting will occur at the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 522 7th Street, SE, (The Old Safeway Building), 7:00 p.m.


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