Monthly Archives: November 2011

Traffic Control Cameras Coming to Capitol East’s 17th Street Speedway?

 

Traffic Control Cameras Coming to Capitol East’s 17th Street Speedway? – MPD Gears Up For New Year With $1M in New Photo Traffic Enforcement Equipment

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B’s Transportation Committee, Chaired by Kirsten Oldenburg, has approved a recommendation from ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven that the full ANC6B urge MPD to deploy new mobile-enhanced photo enforcement equipment to address speeding on 17th Street, SE.  The recommendation would come in the form of a letter from the ANC to MPD’s Photo Enforcement Program.  The full ANC will take up the matter at its November meeting at Hill Center next Tuesday night, at 7:00pm. 

Speeding on 17th Street, SE, is a long standing problem.  The street is heavily trafficked by commuters travelling from East Capitol to Barney Circle, SE, to connect with the Southeast/Southwest Freeway.  Only two stoplights – at Massachusetts Avenue, SE, and Potomac Avenue, SE – slow them down.  Speeding up to make the light at Potomac Avenue has resulted in a number of major accidents.  At Flahaven’s request, MPD surveyed traffic on 17th Street, and agrees a problem exists. 

A letter to the Photo Enforcement Program encourages deployment of speed monitoring cameras at the following 17th Street intersections: 

Massachusetts Avenue, SE;

Potomac Avenue, SE;

Barney Circle, SE;

Independence Avenue, SE.

MPD is working to finalize procurement of the new mobile-enhanced photo enforcement equipment, which will include the following: 

Portable cameras capturing intersection violations (speeding, red light running)

Portable cameras capturing stop sign violations

Portable cameras capturing crosswalk violations at un-signalized intersections

Laser-based speed enforcement equipment for tunnels and hills

Overweight commercial vehicle and truck detection equipment

Since the expenditure for this new equipment will exceed $1 million, the DC City Council must approve before a contract can be signed.  According to Flahaven, Councilmember Wells believes this is a straightforward request which should get easy approval.  Flahaven said, “While MPD can give no assurances, they think 17th Street is a prime candidate for the new equipment.”  Their goal is to deploy the new equipment early in 2012.

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Pound Seeks Beer and Wine License – Will Offer Full Dinner Service in December

 

Pound Seeks Beer and Wine License

Pound Seeks Beer and Wine License – Will Offer Full Dinner Service in December

by Larry Janezich

Last Thursday night, ANC6B’s ABC Committee, chaired by Commissioner Carol Green, heard a request from Karl Johnson, one of the owners of Pound at 621 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, for a new beer and wine license.  Pound anticipates offering full dinner service seven days a week inside, in its private garden, and at the sidewalk café in front.  If all goes well, Johnson said, the dinner menu will be available the second week of December. 

Commissioner Ivan Frishberg – who lives behind the coffeehouse – requested that this issue be forwarded to the full ANC without recommendation pending his checking with nearby neighbors on a proposed 10:30pm closing time for the private garden.  Frishberg was optimistic the neighbors would sign off on this request.

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La Plaza Expands – Adds Second Floor – 34 Seats

 

La Plaza - As Envisioned

La Plaza - Current Version

La Plaza Expands – Adds Second Floor – 34 Seats

by Larry Janezich

Next Tuesday night, ANC 6B will be asked to approve Henry Mendoza’s application to add 34 seats and a second floor to La Plaza, at 629 Pennsylvania Avenue.  The popular Mexican/Salvadoran restaurant has a large attic and Mendoza wants to replace the plywood and concrete block with brick, add three windows, skylights and detailing at the roof line.  ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee recommended the full ANC approved the additions.  ANC6B will meet on next Tuesday at 7:00pm at the Hill Center to vote on the request. 

Although the Restoration Society has not considered the request, its Historic Preservation Committee is scheduled to consider it on Monday, and the Historic Preservation Board has put the request on its agenda for the November 17 meeting.

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Tune Inn Re-opens – Photos

Tune Inn Reopens Today, Friday, November 4

by Larry Janezich

The Tune Inn reopened today, after the fire four and a half months ago that required renovation.  Much of the feel of the original place remains intact, and the Friday afternoon crowd comprised many of the regulars who welcomed the restaurants return from the ashes.

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ANC6B Forges Stakeholders’ Coalition On Hine Zoning Change – Final Opportunity For Community to Win Concessions From Developer

ANC6B Forges Stakeholders’ Coalition On Hine Zoning Change – Final Opportunity For Community to Win Concessions From Developer

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC6B Commissioner Francis Campbell’s Planning and Zoning Committee approved the makeup of its thirteen member Subcommittee on the Hine Public Unit Development (PUD) process by a vote of 8 – 0 – 1. 

At its last meeting, ANC6B authorized the creation of the Subcommittee – which will include resident members – to negotiate the deal which will allow Stanton/Eastbanc  Development to change the Hine site’s zoning, permitting the greater density the project requires.  Any recommendations the Subcommittee makes will have to go before Campbell’s committee before being referred to ANC6B for final action.  

Stanton/Eastbanc is expected to file an application to start the rezoning process by month’s end.  That will initiate a series of meetings, hearings, and negotiations which will play out over the next several months – possibly longer.  It will be the final opportunity for the community to win concessions from the developer, or be compensated in terms of “amenities” for the impact increased density will have on the neighborhood. 

The Subcommittee is chaired by Commissioner Ivan Frishberg.  Brian Pate is the Vice Chair.  Under the resolution creating the Subcommittee, resident members were nominated by Frishberg, Pate, and ANC6B Chair Neil Glick.  The Planning and Zoning Committee’s vote sends the proposed makeup to next Tuesday’s full ANC6B meeting for final approval. 

Frishberg explained that the new procedure involving appointment of a special subcommittee was to facilitate the development of a community consensus by pulling more of the community into the process and strengthening ANC6B’s  position in negotiations with the developer.

Voting in favor of the motion to approve the resident members: Chair Francis Campbell and Commissioners Brian Pate, Jarad Critchfield, Carol Green, Dave Garrison, Ivan Frishberg, Brian Flahavan, and 6B03 Resident Commissioner (for absent Norm Metzger) Ryan Benjamin..

Abstaining:  Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg.

ANC6B Chair Neil Glick and Commissioner Norm Metzger were absent. 

Debate on the resolution was not without controversy.  Commissioner Oldenburg raised the issue of three of the proposed resident members of the Subcommittee being representatives of nearby neighbor civic organizations.  She called the choices “biased” saying “all of us are aware of their voices on Hine – they bring nothing new to the table.”  She foresaw the emergence of a strong voting bloc on the Subcommittee if Frishberg and Pate decided to represent the interests of these nearby neighbors at the expense of the larger community.  Commissioner Garrison said he shared Oldenburg’s concern noting “some issues of the nearby neighbors may win the day by force of numbers.”

Frishberg rebutted the contentions, pointing out that all recommendations had to come back to the Planning and Zoning Committee and the full ANC, and that each of the three nearby neighbor groups had different agendas.   He agreed with one concern Garrison made, that it would be difficult for the Planning and Zoning Committee to unravel the Subcommittee recommendations and would be under pressure to approve a package they did not fully agree with or have time to explore.  To that end, Frishberg said “it would be foolish to embark on exercises with which the ANC is not fully engaged.  My hope is that this will be a consensus process.”    

Garrison suggested enlisting the aid of former ANC Commissioner Ken Jarboe, citing his experience and understanding of the zoning regulations.  Frishberg and Pate agreed to reach out to Jarboe and the final recommendation to the full ANC included a space for Jarboe.  This seemed to satisfy Garrison, who ended up voting for the Subcommittee makeup.  Jarboe subsequently accepted Pate’s invitation to join the Subcommittee.    

In addition to Jarboe and those commissioners who asked to serve on the Subcommittee (Frishberg, Pate, Green, Garrison, Oldenburg, and Critchfield), the following representatives of stakeholder organizations will make up the Subcommittee. 

Monte Edwards – Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) representative.  Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board Member and Chair of its Transportation Committee.  Member of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association.  Member of the Transportation Committee of the Committee of 100.  

Julia Christian – CHAMPS (Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce) representative.  Executive Director of CHAMPS.  Former head of Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.   

Gary Peterson – Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) representative.  Board Member and Chair of CHRS Zoning Committee.  CHRS representative to various H Street PUD processes.

Roger Tauss – Eastern Market Metro Community Association (EMMCA) representative.  Former VP of the National Transportation Workers Union.

Steve Sweeney – Eyes on Hine (EOH) representative.  Senior EPA attorney.  Former President of the Tyler PTA

Bill Pate (no relation to Brian Pate) – North Neighborhood Coalition (NNC) representative.  Small business owner specializing in advanced analytics and statistical data analysis.  Served as Assistant Director for the American Physiological Association’s Center for Workforce Studies. 

ANC6B will next meet on Tuesday, November 8, at 7:00pm.  The meeting will be in the Benjamin Drummond Room, First Floor, The Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Resident members of the Planning and Zoning Committee who were present at Tuesday night’s meeting included Ryan Benjamin (6B03), Ksenia Kaladiovk (6B09), Steve Merrill (6B04), Susan Eads Role (6B05), amd Bren Barnett (6B10).

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