Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Week Ahead …

The Week Ahead …

by Larry Janezich

Monday, December 19

7pm.  ANC6B’s Special Call Meeting on Eastern Market Legislation, to recommend amendments to the bill establishing a new governing authority for Eastern Market. The Community Church (Formally The Peoples Church), 535 Eight Street, SE.  Expect EM vendors and merchants to turn out in force. 

Tuesday, December 20

7pm.  ANC6B’s Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force. The Hill Center, 3rd floor conference room.   

Tuesday, December 20

6:30pm.  CHRS Board of Directors meeting.  Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE, second floor.  Open to members of CHRS.

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Stanton Development Appears to Deny Accuracy of Emmcablog Article on Community Support for Hine Project Posted 11/27

Stanton Development Appears to Deny Accuracy of Emmcablog Article on Community Support for Hine Project Posted 11/27

by Larry Janezich

Today, in response to questions by an emmcablog reader put to Stanton Development on Twitter regarding manufactured support for the Hine Development, Stanton Development tweeted:

“@Stanton_DevStanton Development

@*** we would b happy 2 explain how that article is incorrect if u want to come by & discuss. We have been 20+ yrs in community.”

Stanton is welcome to make those corrections publicly, in the comment area below.

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CSX Plays Cards Close to Vest on Impact of Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project – Major Disruption of Community Will Trigger Compensating Benefits

CSX Plays Cards Close to Vest on Impact of Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project – Major Disruption of Community Will Trigger Compensating Benefits

by Larry Janezich

By participating in several public meetings and putting every possible option for the tunnel project on the table (whether feasible or not), CSX appears to be trying to fully engage the community on the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel (VAT) project. 

However, so far, CSX presentations have been lacking in any real information about the impact of the project on the community.  The VAT, according to former CHRS President Dick Wolf, will be the most disruptive project on Capitol Hill since the Metro.  (Reflecting on that experience for those around long enough to remember it brings to mind the word “mud”.)  And the consequences for those businesses, buildings, and residences near the dig will be severe for several years.  In addition to keeping its own counsel on the project, CSX has been courting community good will; witness the considerable public relations dollars spent in support of the Barracks Row Fest this fall, which featured the CSX logo naming its sponsorship of some of the most expensive exhibitions. 

Tonight at 7:00pm in Hill Center, ANC6B will consider recommending to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and DDOT that certain principles be used to evaluate the six proposals to rebuild the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel before CSX brings its short list of options before the public next February.  It was the consensus of the committee that the “rebuild” options – Options 2-7 on the CSX website  are the most viable.   (Click on Public Involvement and the download the November 30 alternatives presentation)

A preliminary list of principles – in brief – is as follows, though these could be altered or expanded at tonight’s ANC6B meeting.

Minimize transportation disruptions and risks.

Minimize damage to homes and businesses.

Minimize environmental impacts.

Minimize the length of construction.

The ANC will also likely express its desire to know about any plans CSX has for mitigation – benefits to the community for the impact of the construction on the quality of life. 

On Friday, December 9, at a CHRS-sponsored public meeting on the CSX project, a CSX representative stated that the railroad’s priorities include maintaining traffic flow during construction, minimizing construction impact on the neighborhood, and providing community enhancements.  Regardless of CSX’s intent and the ANC efforts, the consequences of the dig for whichever option is finally selected will make the quality of life for many Capitol Hill businesses and residents difficult – if not miserable – for years.

That’s why the mitigation issue is an important part of both the ANC’s concerns and CSX’s priorities.    

While CHRS has been positioning itself for several months to have a voice in the conversation regarding what benefits the community should reap for the disruption the construction (and possibly the aftermath) the project will cause, the subject is just being broached within ANC6B. 

CHRS has applied for “consulting party” status under the National Historic Preservation Act.  This status entitles them to receive information and documents, raise objections to agency findings, be consulted before and notified after issuance of FHWA findings, and consulted on identifying ways to minimize adverse effects on the community.  In addition, “consulting parties” are provided with a Memorandum of Agreement that stipulates mitigation measures. 

Some stakeholders are automatically entitled to “consulting party” status. Individuals, businesses, and organizations that believe they will be affected by or have a vested interest in the impact of the project should seriously consider seeking “consulting party” status, and CHRS has urged them to do so.  Details and an extensive list of contacts can be found in the latest CHRS newsletter (which – as of this writing – has not yet been posted to the CHRS website, but which will soon be) at:

It is somewhat unclear whether ANC6B is automatically entitled to consulting party status, and, to date, it is a question that ANC6B appears not to have asked itself.  While the DC Preservation Office regards ANCs eligible for “consulting party” status, the federal guidelines:  “Involving Local Governments in Section 106 Reviews for Transportation Projects” at  are more ambiguous. 

“Depending on its interests and its role in Section 106 review, a local government may be represented by the governing body, an elected official, or staff with responsibilities for planning, recreation, or historic preservation. Historic Preservation Commissions, appointed by the governing board, may participate to provide expertise on local ordinances protecting historic districts, design review, and the identification of properties of local or regional significance. Elected officials may also wish to participate directly in consultation, particularly if the project and the Section 106 review process are of high public interest.”

This is not definitive with respect to ANCs’ status, but it seems broad enough to include the ANC. 

If the Historic Preservation Act Section 106 review already initiated by FHWA shows that historic properties are adversely affected – and it is hard to see how they will not be, since anything built before 1945 (including the Virginia Avenue Tunnel itself) qualifies – FHWA will continue consultation with “consulting parties” to reach agreement about ways to avoid, minimize, and or mitigate adverse effects.  Those who are likely to be affected need to be part of this consultation.


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The Week Ahead ……

The Week Ahead ……

by Larry Janezich

Monday, December 12

CHRS  Zoning Committee chaired by Gary Peterson hosts a presentation by Stanton-Eastbanc on the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process for the Hine development.  7:00pm, Hill Center

Tuesday, December 13

ANC6B Monthly Meeting chaired by Commissioner Neil Glick.  7:00pm, Hill Center.

Issues to watch:

Discussion on CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project

Eastern Market Report (Announcement of Special Call Meeting on proposed legislation for Eastern Market New Governing Structure on December 19, 2011.  7:00pm until 10:00pm.  Location: TBD)

Capitol Hill East Taskforce (Update on redevelopment of the Capitol Hill Boys and Girls Club)

Wednesday, December 14

ANC6B Hine Planned Unit Development (PUD) Subcommittee Meeting.  7:00pm, Hill Center.   This will be a working meeting on Wednesday December 14th to review the progress of the working groups and to further develop plans for participation in the PUD process.

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ANC6B Transportation Committee Hears from DDOT on Sidewalk Repair

ANC6B Transportation Committee Hears from DDOT on Sidewalk Repair

by Larry Janezich and Barbara Riehle

Wednesday night, Aaron Rhones, DDOT Program Manager for Traffic Safety, was on hand at Commissioner Oldenburg’s ANC Transportation Committee to talk about sidewalk repairs. He is in charge of a new approach to managing repairs called “CityWorks,” and his purview includes street repairs, sidewalks, alley and trees.  Currently Rhones is working on completing a backlog of requests for repairs citywide, 722 in Ward Six alone.

According to Rhones, under the new “City Works” program, the response system has been streamlined and improved.  The best way to get service, he says, is to call 311 or file a request online with the call center. The complaint gets a number which can be tracked by Rhones’ department.  Residents can also enlist the aid of their ANC representative.  Rhones agreed to provide ANC6B with a prioritized list of the 722 Ward 6 projects, and it’s likely the ANC will weigh in with their own take on prioritization in 6B. 

Mr. Rhoens expects all 722 Ward 6 projects to be competed in 2012. The citywide budget for sidewalks is between $2-2.5 million annually.  Given the limited size of the DDOT sidewalk budget, Commissioner Brian Pate raised the possibility of using Performance Parking Funds for repairs, which apparently would meet the program’s criteria that projects by non-vehicular and transportation-related.

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ANC6B Likely To Back Plan to Alleviate Police Parking Issues at Marion Park Substation

ANC6B Likely To Back Plan to Alleviate Police Parking Issues at Marion Park Substation

 by Larry Janezich and Barbara Riehle

A new parking plan for E Street between 4th and 6th Streets, SE on the northern side of Marion Park looks certain to receive the endorsement of ANC6B at next week’s December meeting. 

The plan, worked out between residents and police officials by Commissioner Norm Metzger, anticipates that parking on the south side of E Street would be restricted 24/7 to police parking only.  Zone 6 residential parking along the north side of E Street between 4th and 6th Streets will be extended, 7:00 am until midnight, seven days a week.  Police would not be permitted to park their personal or MPD vehicles in these residential spaces on D and E Streets.

The proposed changes would become permanent after a trial period, if the new plan successfully resolves the frictions between the MPD and Substation neighbors.  These frictions – double parking, difficulties for resident parking, blocked cars,  etc., are especially acute during shift changes, according to a draft letter from ANC6B to DDOT’s Transportation Operations Administrator, Damon Harvey.

The next meeting of ANC6B will be Tuesday, December 13, 7:00pm at The Hill Center.

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Mt. Joy Baptist Church Condo Project Gets First Hearing before CHRS Committee – Developer Seeks Historic Preservation Approval

Rendering of Restored Facade of Mt. Joy Baptist Church

Mt. Joy Baptist Church Condo Project Gets First Hearing before CHRS Committee – Developer Seeks Historic Preservation Approval  

by Larry Janezich

Monday evening, Altus Real Estate principal Charlie Kehler and representatives of Cunningham and Quill architects, appeared before the Capitol Hill Restoration’s Society (CHRS) Historic Preservation Committee, the first step in getting approval for the historic preservation application for conversion of Mt. Joy Baptist Church and adjacent townhouse into 12 condo units.  The developer and architect team is also converting The Maples – formerly Friendship House – into residential units, a process currently underway. 

The familiar white painted façade of the Church and townhouse at 514 4th Street, will be stripped to the original mid-19th Century brick, and restored to their original appearance, with no major changes to the historical aspects of the structure, though a utilitarian addition at the rear of the church dating to the early 20th Century will be removed. 

There will be a total of 10 condos in the former church and two in the adjacent townhouse.  The project will provide 6 to 10 underground parking spaces (probably 6) in the church.  Residents in units without underground parking will use street parking – less impact, the architects point out – than regular parking by a 300 member congregation. 

Each of the condos will have two bedrooms, with the largest unit on the church’s third floor spanning the width of the building and overlooking 4th Street.  This unit will benefit from all three of the arched windows on the building’s front.  The architects predict that construction will take about a year and is tentatively scheduled to begin in the fall of 2012.   

The developer and architect are scheduled to appear before Commissioner Francis Campbell’s ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:00pm at St. Coletta’s School, 1901 Independence Avenue SE.  The full ANC6B will consider the application at their regular meeting on Tuesday, December 13, at 7:00pm at The Hill Center.  The historic preservation application goes before the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on December 22.

The CHRS Historic Preservation Committee is chaired by Nancy Metzger, whose nomination to the Historic Preservation Review Board by Mayor Gray was announced last month.  Metzger is also active with the Historic Districts Coalition.  Her nomination was endorsed by the Committee of 100, but not the D.C. Preservation League or the DC Business Industry Association (DCBIA).  DCBIA is the main non-profit trade association representing the real estate development industry in the District of Columbia. 

Altus Realty Management is an Arlington-based firm that provides brokerage services and property and construction management.  The firm is headed by Terry Hindermann and Charlie Kehler, both listed as principals on the company website.

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Forecast for ANC6B

Forecast for ANC6B

by Larry Janezich

8th Street Pizza

Steve Salis, the entrepreneur who hopes to open up a gourmet pizza place in the space formerly occupied by China Wall, may still have some heavy lifting to do before getting ANC approval.  He’ll have to find a way around the moratorium on fast food places on Barracks Row, despite what appears to be community enthusiasm for the new pizza place with gluten free options.  It’s not yet clear when the proposal will come before the ANC. 

Eastern Market Governing Authority Legislation 

ANC6B will announce a date soon for a Special Call meeting on proposed Eastern Market governing authority legislation.  The date will likely be December 19th in the Peoples Church, contingent on approval of parties involved.  ANC6B Commissioner Brian Pate is drafting a resolution of recommendations to be brought before the ANC and the community which he expects to make public on December 12th.   The legislation is not likely to be taken up by the City Council until January. 


Look for ANC6B to come out in opposition to DC government sanctioned iGaming (internet gambling) within DC at its next meeting on Tuesday, December 13.  The City Council sees this as a revenue-enhancing measure to ease budget shortfalls.  The need for cash is a hard argument to overcome.  

Hine Zoning Subcommittee Website

ANC6B’s Subcommittee on the Hine Rezoning process (PUD) is planning to launch a website to distribute information and possibly elicit community feedback. 

18th Amendment Sidewalk Cafe

ANC6B will have another crack at the application of the 18th Amendment for a sidewalk café.  The ANC’s feathers were ruffled when the DOT Public Space Committee granted the restaurant a permit for a sidewalk café without running it by the ANC.  However, the fact that the restraint’s voluntary agreement with the neighbors will have to be amended by the Alcohol Beverage Review Administration (ABRA) gives the ANC an opportunity to weigh in with an opinion.  That will happen first on this coming Thursday before the ABC Committee which will meet in The Hill Center at 7:00pm.

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7th Street Wine Bar to Open by Month’s End – Exclusive Photo

Boxcar, Across from Eastern Market, Will Open Later this Month

7th Street Wine Bar to Open by Month’s End – Exclusive Photo

by Larry Janezich

Boxcar, Xavier Cervera’s new wine bar, across from Eastern Market in the space once occupied by Petite Gourmet, is scheduled to open by the end of December, according to Cervera.  Named, perhaps, for the room’s long narrow shape, the new bar is the latest in a growing list of Cerverea’s Capitol Hill bars and restaurants including, Lola’s, Molly Malone’s, The Chesapeake Room, and Senart’s.  Also being added to the list is the old Hawk & Dove which Cervera purchased earlier this year and which has been completely gutted for renovation.


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Eastern Market Report – New Rules Coming for North Hall

Eastern Market Report – New Rules Coming for North Hall

by Larry Janezich

North Hall

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Market Manager Barry Margeson announced that a full time manager for the Market’s North Hall has been hired to schedule and manage events in the facility.  The North Hall manager will have an office in the North Hall in space previously reserved for use of caterers.  Margeson also said part of the new manager’s responsibility will be to “curb excessive use” of the hall by nannies and children who congregate there during the day on a regular basis.  He said that new rules governing the day time use of the Hall will be forthcoming.  Members of EMCAC have recently expressed concern regarding liability issues for the new governing authority, as well as excessive wear and tear occasioned by use of the facility as an unrestricted play zone.   

New Governing Authority for the Market

Vendors, farmers and merchants are still grumbling about the as-introduced version of the legislation put forward by Councilmember Wells to create a new governing structure for the Market.  They feel the measure does not protect their rights regarding grandfathering and right of first refusal.  “Grandfathering” refers to protecting the status of those vendors and merchants who were with the market when the last legislation governing the market was passed in 1997.  “Right of first refusal” refers to those vendors and merchants who have come to the Market since 1997 but have been there long enough to deserve protection. 

The timeline for passing the bill has been pushed back into the new year, allowing additional time for meetings and stakeholder input, and it seems likely that some of these concerns will be addressed before the bill is finalized.  A meeting of EMCAC’s Committee of the Whole to consider final recommendations on changes to the legislation will be held Tuesday, January 3 at 7:00pm in North Hall.  The meeting will be open to the public but since it is a working meeting, there will be no opportunity for public comment.   (An article on EMCAC’s discussion of possible changes to the legislation will be posted this weekend.) 

Rent Increase for Farmers and Vendors

As of December 1, rent increases for the farmers and food vendors who work outside the market went up 10 percent.

The new rates for farmers and food vendors range from $30 a day for a tent to $44 a day for a bay beneath the farmer’s line shed.  For non-food vendors,  rates run from $28 a day to $44 a day, depending on location. 

EMMCAC’s next regular meeting will be on December 28.


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