Wrapping Up The Week
Crime – Stuart Hobson – Eastern Market Legislation – CHRS’s $250,000 – Info Hub
by Larry Janezich
Almost 200 community members turned out for Wednesday night’s Public Safety Meeting hosted by Councilmember Wells (new Chair of the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee), at Maury Elementary School. MPD was represented or accompanied by a host of officials, including Chief Lanier, Deputy Chief Grooms, 1st District Commander Hickson, 5th District Commander Solberg, Lt. Kaufman of the Homicide Unit, city attorneys, and officials from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. The large turnout of public officials was apparently meant to demonstrate the city’s commitment to solving two recent community-alarming crimes on Capitol Hill: the murder of Jason Emma and the shooting at 14th and K. Chief Lanier detailed the status of these investigations, but divulged more details on the latter.
Police continued to be close-mouthed about the Emma shooting, but acknowledged that the community had generated 70 or 80 phone calls offering information. Police also pointed to a distinctive outer garment worn by one of the two persons of interest caught on Maury Elementary schools camera who are being sought in connection with the crime, and they asked the public to be alert for the jacket.
Council Chair Mendelson who attended to announce his support for $2.8 million in funding for hiring 90 officers this year – news those present welcomed with applause – but there were no updates on the issues which could have more to do with reducing crime on Capitol Hill: namely the expired police contract, a commitment to gun-focused enforcement, and a strategy for dealing with juvenile crime and detention.
Stuart Hobson Middle School
Stuart Hobson is adding a major museum/arts addition and the initial concept design was sent back to the drawing board by HPRB for additional work. Initially, both ANC6C and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society had issues with the design. After design modifications were made for an upcoming HPRB reconsideration (though it is not on HPRB’s schedule for January 24), the ANC signed off on it, and the CHRS (really its Historic Preservation Committee) backed off slightly from opposing it to not supporting it. HPRB staff has found the design “not inconsistent” with the historic district. Neighbors of the school and parents of children attending are extremely anxious about moving the project forward and have brought some pressure on CHRS to not do anything to delay the project. Last week the board voted to send a letter to the Stuart Hobson PTA saying in effect, they are one voice among many and the final decision lies with HPRB.
Eastern Market Legislation
Councilmember Wells plans to reintroduce his bill to create a new managing authority for Eastern Market. Last year’s bill died at year’s end, unable to find the light of day after Mayor Gray announced his opposition. The new bill will be tweaked before being reintroduced, but no indication yet what that tweaking will involve. The resolution of the flea market issue is still outstanding; efforts at finding a solution having stalled last fall prior to the general election.
CHRS Receives $250,000 As Part of the PUD Settlement for H Street NE Project
Several years ago, a protracted negotiation with Louis Dreyfuss Property Group over the PUD application for the company’s development between 2nd and 3rd Streets on H Street, NE, ended with a settlement under which CHRS was granted $83,000 to support historic preservation efforts outside of the historic district. That money was devoted to the “Beyond the Boundaries Project.”. Another part of the agreement pledged $250,000 to be allocated by the developer for two programs: $150,000 for repairs within view of public space to homes between 2nd and 4th and F and H Streets, NE. Another $80,000 would be to increase energy efficiency and other improvements to the homes. CHRS was awarded $20,000 to administer the programs. CHRS has not yet set up a process to determine which projects would be funded, but one suggestion at Tuesday night’s CHRS board meeting was that CHRS appoint a committee of residents in the square to determine how to allocate the money. Another suggestion was that CHRS use its $20,000 to expand the Capitol Hill Historic District to that area.
Info Hub for Eastern Market Metro Back on Track
After stalling last year, the Eastern Market Metro Hub seems to have its wheels back on and it’s likely Chuck Burger will be able to announce that a memorandum of understanding has been reached with the city that will allow the project to go forward this year. The endeavor has seen stop and go progress since it was first put forward in December of 2010.