Monthly Archives: March 2012

ABC Committee Lends Conditional Approval to Acqua Al 2 Expansion


Acqua al 2 at 212 7th Street, SE

ABC Committee Lends Conditional Approval to Acqua Al 2 Expansion – Some Neighbors Raise Strong Objections

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B Commissioner Carol Green’s ABC Committee last night endorsed Aqua al 2 restaurant’s request to add seating for 36 guests upstairs and extend hours of operation until 1:00am on weekdays and 3:00am on weekends.  The approval was conditional on the restaurant agreeing not to use either the back of the second floor or the first floor rear garden for guests, to provide an additional trash container in the rear, and to discourage parking in the alley and deliveries to the rear of the business.  The restaurant, at 212 7th Street, SE, across from Eastern Market, specializes in Tuscan fare and tends to attract a tony clientele. 

Some nearby neighbors objected to the expansion, saying it will make existing problems concerning trash, noise, and deliveries worse.  They also said it would be a bad precedent for other restaurants and bars on the block and those which might come. 

Co-owner Ari Gejdeson, appeared before the ANC to support the application.  He stressed that the expanded hours were meant to accommodate late=staying diners rather than to encourage a late night bar scene. 

Much of the neighborhood unhappiness stems from the narrow alley separating the rear of 7th Street restaurants from their back yards.  Of particular concern are deliveries to 7th Street restaurants that block the alley and prevent access to garages.  Gejdenson explained the lengths he goes to in order to be a good neighbor, an assertion supported by several neighbors who suggested that he provides a good example of a business owner taking responsibility for the conditions which his business created and who works with the neighbors to ameliorate those conditions. 

The ABC Committee voted unanimously to forward the application to the full ANC for consideration at its meeting next Tuesday.

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Sapore Moves Into Former Quizno’s on Pennsylvania Avenue

Sapore Arrives on Capitol Hill

Sapore Moves Into Former Quizno’s on Pennsylvania Avenue

Artisanal Oils & Vinegars – Pasta – Salts

by Larry Janezich

Sapore Oil & Vinegar has leased the space in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, which formerly housed Quizno’s Subs.  Owner Renee Sheilds Farr, awaiting one more city permit, hopes to open the doors on Sunday, March 18.  The store will be DC’s first purveyor of fresh, premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, according the Farr. 

Sapore (Italian for “taste” or “flavor”) will carry 16 traditional and flavored extra virgin olive oils, 12 basalmic vinegars, a variety of specialty oils and exotic salts, including Himalayan Pink, Fleur del Sel, Indian Black, Hawaiian Red and Wood Smoked.  The store will also carry a variety of pastas. 

In keeping with the tradition of many European olive oil outlets, customers will be encouraged to sample before they buy.

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ANC6B to Take Up Requests for Hine Design Changes/Benefits & Amenities

Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Francis Campbell (third from left) leads the vote to send requests for Hine development design changes to the full ANC

ANC6B to Take Up Requests for Hine Design Changes/Benefits & Amenities – Schedule Released Leading Up to Zoning Commission Hearing

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC Commissioner Francis Campbell’s Planning and Zoning Committee voted to forward initial requests for design changes to the Hine project as well as a list of initial requests for benefits and amenities to the full ANC.  Following consideration at next Tuesday’s ANC meeting at Hill Center, the ANC’s Hine Subcommittee, chaired by Commissioner Ivan Frishberg,  will begin negotiations with Stanton/Eastbanc to achieve these goals.

Additional benefits, amenities, and mitigations are being worked on by the Subcommittee’s working groups: i.e., Design, Transportation, Open Space, and Retail.  The Subcommittee will meet later this month to consider these additional issues.

The first group of requests regarded changes in the project’s design:

  1.  Lowering of the residential building at 8th and D and redesigning the façade to be more “outstanding;”
  2. Redesign the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue to create a focal point through greater articulation at street level;
  3. Lowering the height of the 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue building;
  4. Reconsideration of the entrance to the office building to ensure an outstanding façade on Pennsylvania Avenue;
  5. More open and public use space in the Plaza.

The motion to forward these requests to the full ANC was agreed to 6-1, with Commissioners Campbell, Critchfield, Frishberg, Pate, Metzger and resident member Wildermann voting for the motion and Commissioner Oldenberg voting in the negative.

The second group of requests concerned “big ticket” benefits and amenities:

  1. A greater percentage of local retail than offered in the current application;
  2. More exterior open space for public use;
  3. Interior community use and meeting space;
  4. Subsidized non-profit office space;
  5. Developer support for an infant and toddler care facility to be run by a third party.

A motion to forward these requests to the full ANC was agreed to unanimously.

There is strong sentiment among ANC commissioners and members of the community that the façade of the 8th and D Street building fails to achieve the distinction that the signature buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue require; further consideration of this issue awaits the developer’s response to similar concerns by the Historic Preservation Review Board.  The developers are scheduled to present new drawings to the Board on March 23.

Other major issues which are expected to be addressed in the near future include the height of the office building on 7th Street, the interior courtyard, space for the weekend flea market, and maintaining of a buffer between the project’s retail component and nearby residences in the neighborhood.

The proposed schedule for further consideration of the project and management of negotiations with the developer is as follows:

March 13         Developers submit a design revision to HPRB to respond to requests made in HPRB’s preliminary review in 2011

March 20         Hine Subcommittee meets to review the proposed list of mitigation issues and additional benefit/amenity issues for the April ANC cycle

March 29         Hine Subcommittee continues work from the March 20 meeting, including consideration of a response to the design revisions presented to HPRB

April 3             Planning and Zoning Committee considers recommendations on full amenities and benefits list, mitigation list and recommendations to HPRB

April 10           ANC6B considers recommendations from Planning and Zoning Committee

April 26           Hine Subcommittee meeting on tentative agreements with developers

May 1              Potential action from Planning and Zoning Committee

May 8              Potential action from the ANC

May/ June       Possible Hine Subcommittee and ANC special call meeting to    prepare for Zoning Commission hearing

Late June         likely beginning of Zoning Commission hearing


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The Week Ahead ….

The Week Ahead ….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, March 5

6:30pm CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 420 10th Street, SE, first floor.  (Agenda when available)

Tuesday, Marcy 6

7:00pm ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee meets at St. Coletta’s School, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE. 

Report from Commissioner Ivan Frishberg on Hine PUD Subcommittee on major recommendations regarding Hine Design Changes

Letter to Deputy Mayor on Marathons on Capitol Hill

Resolution regarding Reservation 13

Wednesday, March 7

6:30pm ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at Hill Center.  Discussion of what the community wants the developer to do to compensate for the transportation problems created by the Hine development. 

6:30pm EMCAC Committee of the Whole meets in the North Hall of Eastern Market.  To discuss taking a formal position on three issues concerning the Hine development.

  • Fees charged the flea market vendors for use of the newly reopened C Street and the plaza and the developer’s plan to charge the vendors for parking their vehicles in the 50 allotted parking spaces in the development on weekends.
  • Closing the 300 block of C 7th Street to accommodate the weekend flea market since the newly reopened C Street and associated plaza will accommodate less than half of the current maximum number of vendors.
  • How to assure that the retail mix in the new development complements Eastern Market

Thursday, March 8

7:00pm ANC6B ABC Committee meets at Hill Center. 

  • Consideration of application of Acqua Al 2,  at 212 7th Street, SE to expand to the second floor with additional 36 seats and change of hours of operation and sales.

7:30pm CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 420 10th Street, SE, first floor.(Agenda when available)

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Residents Weigh Extending Parking Restrictions North of Pennsylvania Avenue

ANC Commissioner Brian Pate (white shirt at table) Explains Performane Parking Restrictions to Constituents

Residents Weigh Extending Parking Restrictions North of Pennsylvania Avenue

by Larry Janezich

About 25 residents of ANC6B Commissioner Brian Pate’s Single Member District (SMD05) met Thursday night to hear a proposal to extend the Performance Parking Pilot north of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Recently, DDOT informed commissioners in ANC6B that the department would support extending the program north of Pennsylvania Avenue, but the initiative had to come from the ANC and subsequently the residents of the streets affected.  DDOT has also stated that the program must be extended in the four adjacent ANCs, 6B01, 6B02, 6B05, and 6B04, rather than piecemeal.  Commissioners Pate in 6B05, Garrison in 6B01, Oldenburg in 6B04 support the extension.  Commissioner Frishberg in 6B02 is still assessing the views of his constituents.  (See map:

The program anticipates addressing parking problems by imposing restrictions, as follows:

  • one side of each block will be restricted to Zone 6 Permit holders only during the days and hours of enforcement; the other side of the block continues with a current two-hour grace period for cars without permits;
  •  each residence receives annually one guest parking pass for permanent parking;
  • coverage extends Monday through Saturday;
  • normal Monday through Saturday hours are 7:30 am to 9:30 pm (effectively meaning that cars without permits can park on the grace period side of blocks after 7:30 pm and let the remaining enforcement hours expire.)

As Commissioner Pate explained it, residents will have to weigh the pros (the permanent guest parking pass, parking protection, access to Performance Parking Funds for non-transportation projects) vs. the con (difficult parking for guests for dinner or other gatherings who park between 7:30am and 9:30pm).

The Performance Parking Pilot program was started in 2008 around Nationals ballpark to address the parking problems associated with the ballpark.  The affected areas benefit from a “Neighborhood Revenue Share” program funded by the parking pilot under which the affected areas receive grants for non-automotive transportation improvements.  Currently, some $750,000 is expected to accrue to the fund from parking proceeds.  Applications for grants are processed through the ANCs or directly by DDOT.

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Developer Releases Winter/Summer Shadow Studies on Hine Development

Shadow Studies – Winter

Shadow Studies – Summer

Developer Releases Winter/Summer Shadow Studies on Hine Development

by Larry Janezich

Stanton/Eastbanc has released projections of how the sun’s shadow will affect the surrounding streets and buildings in summer and winter.   The studies are required by the Planned Unit Development appication necessary to change the zoning of the Hine site in order to accommodate greater height and density.  Consideration of the height issue by community organizaitions has been delayed pending receipt of the studies.  Consideration of the scale and mass continues to await the arrival of the three dimensional model of the project and the surrounding blocks scheduled to be available in mid March.   The ANC6B Hine Subcommittee working group on design will meet at 5:00pm today, to continue its work on design issues given this new information.

For additional information on shadow studies, click here:

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