Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Week Ahead….

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, April 1

CHRS Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Wednesday, April 3

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington.

Among items on the agenda: 

Zoning adjustments for 80 plus residential unit building at 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – variances from the off-street parking provisions, the size of parking space requirements, and the loading requirements.

Public space request from National Community Church, 535 8th Street, SE (apparently a request to extend the front of the Church into public space for construction of a ticket booth).

Frager’s Hardware infill project on 11th Street SE.

Changes to the facade of the Banana Cafe building at 500 8th Street, SE.

New concept design for the Beer Garden previously approved for the corner of 8th  and L Streets, SE. 

Wednesday, April 3

CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE,

Thursday, April 4

ANC6B ABC Committee meets at 7:00 p.m., in Hill Center.

Among items on the agenda: 

Liquor license renewals for We, The Pizza; Tortilla Coast, Acqua al 2, Young Chow, Aatish On the Hill, Tash, Nooshi, Mr. Henry’s, Capitol Hill Club, Sizzling Express, Good Stuff Eatery, Trattoria Alberto, Sonoma; Belga Café; Hunan dynasty, Saipan, Montmarte, 7th Hill Pizza, Lavagna, American Legion, Szechuan House, Café 8, and the Silver Spork. 

Monday, April 8

ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 6:30pm (currently scheduled for Hill Center, but location could change).   

Among items on the agenda:

Drafting of a letter to DDOT on Barney Circle/SE Boulevard.

 Discussion of DDOT 2013 Parking Action Agenda.

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CHRS Says DDOT Has Not Made Case for Proposed Southeast Boulevard

CHRS Says DDOT Has Not Made Case for Proposed Southeast Boulevard

Board Urges Use of Tax Funds for Other Capitol Hill Transportation Projects

by Larry Janezich

In a strongly worded letter to DDOT, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) Board of Directors told DDOT it has neither made the case for the $20 million Southeast Boulevard nor the case this is the best use of DC taxpayers’ money.  The proposed Southeast Boulevard (possibly four lanes) would replace the closed sunken portion of the end of the SE/SW Freeway access to Barney Circle.  Barney Circle would become an actual circle. 

CHRS says that there are two other Capitol Hill transportation projects which are more important than the Southeast Boulevard, both of which, they say, need attention and funding.  The first: improvements connected with the Pennsylvania-Potomac Avenue, SE, Intersection Pedestrian Safety Study; the second: improvements connected to the intersections of 7th, 8th, and 9th Streets and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  One proposal for the latter was the $30 million-plus so-called “Town Square Project,”  This project, a favorite of former CHRS President and urban activist Dick Wolf who died last year, has been stalled since 2009 for lack of funds, despite a strong support group organized by the Barracks Row and Eastern Market area businesses.    

In a related development, ANC6B and its Transportation Committee have begun the initial consideration the Southeast Boulevard issue.  More than 20 people showed up for the ANC6B Transportation Committee meeting on March 13, mostly to express concern that their voices were not being heard by the city.

ANC6B Chair Brian Flahaven recapped what happened at DDOT’s February 23, Scoping Meeting which he said was the first step in engaging the public on this project.  He said, “DDOT wants to hear the community priorities which they will then develop into concepts before coming back to the public for further discussion.”  He stressed that DDOT is not advocating anything but is “throwing everything on paper for prioritization.”  The recommendations resulting from the meeting could range from doing nothing to specific plans.  Flahaven said he was disappointed that there was no talk at the Scoping Meeting about redoing Barney Circle, citing its importance to neighbors on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, and those residents south of Pennsylvania Avenue. 

The proposed boulevard would be raised to grade level and provide vehicular integration with the adjacent neighborhoods between the 11th Street Bridge and Barney Circle.  DDOT has set aside $20 million for the project and is looking for matching federal funds to complete it.  The use of federal funds requires an environmental assessment, now underway, which may in turn require an environmental impact study.  Also likely is a study on the impact on the Capitol Hill Historic District. 

DDOT has floated the idea – subsequently endorsed by Councilmember Vincent Orange – to use the space under the elevated boulevard for a bus terminal for tour buses.  This proposal in particular has alarmed nearby residents.

Orange is looking for a solution to the problem of what to do with tour buses bringing people to DC for tourism or other events.  Crummell School in Ivy City once put forward by DC as a site for bus staging, is no longer an option, after opponents sued the city for reneging on a promise to make the site a community facility.  Ivy City in central Northeast DC east of Gallaudet University is between West Virginia Avenue and New York Avenue.  It lies in Ward 5 which Orange represented from 1999 to 2007. 


Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg’s ANC Transportation Committee will next meet on April 8. Oldenburg has stated that she doesn’t know whether the committee will weigh in with a letter on the issue.  However, one item on the agenda is likely to be consideration of a response to what is seen as Councilmember Orange’s unwelcome intrusion into the dynamics of the concept development process on behalf of the bus terminal.  Oldenburg urged residents to address Orange directly on the issue, saying, “the more people who get to him and say back off, the better.”  Flahaven added, “Ten people going down to his office is a very effective way to get his attention.”

The environmental study draft could be done by the end of summer and could lead to the necessity of an environmental impact statement.  A public meeting is currently scheduled for some time late summer, which may be optimistic given the delays which inevitably arise.    

Any recommendation from the Transportation Committee meeting on April 8 (at 6:30pm in Hill Center) will be considered by the full ANC6B at its April meeting on April 9, at 7:00pm in Hill Center.


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ANC6B Suggests City Up Cost of Street Parking More Than One Vehicle

ANC6B Suggests City Up Cost of Street Parking More Than One Vehicle

Says DDOT Policies Undermine Goals of More Housing and Less Traffic

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B suggests the way to increase housing and reduce traffic on Capitol Hill is to increase the cost of street parking for households with more than one vehicle.  ANC6b bluntly told the Office of Planning (OP) that liberal parking policies by DDOT undercuts OP’s goals of providing more housing in the city and as well as the “desired effect” of reducing the number of cars on the street.  The ANC suggests one remedy might be to increase the cost of a Residential Parking Permit for more than one vehicle per household.  It seems likely that the cost would have to be significant in order to be effective. 

At its March 12 meeting, ANC6B endorsed the Office of Planning’s proposed change in the Zoning Regulations to eliminate the requirement that developers build a minimum number of off street parking spaces in new small residential developments and for all those close to public transit.  The language regarding the effect of DDOT policy and suggestion about increasing parking fees was attached to the letter to Harriet Tregoning, Director of the Office of Planning supporting doing away with the minimum parking space requirements.  ANC6B urged OP to “use its authority under the city Comprehensive Plan to guide DDOT toward a revised Residential Parking Permit policy” including research on whether differential pricing of second or more permits would reduce demand. 

Other remedies are under consideration.  A DDOT comprehensive parking study underway will consider capping parking permits per household and zone based parking – parking by neighborhood rather than wards.  Whether any of these ideas is politically feasible is uncertain. 

At first glance, it would seem that the proposed parking changes gives a green light to developers.  But the ANC’s veiled warning appears to be that by shifting the burden of parking from the developer to the neighbors in areas where parking is already tight, any proposed new development runs the risk of significant opposition from the neighbors resulting in delay, red tape, lawyers, hearings, etc.

Such a case could be developing regarding the proposed 80-84 condo development at 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  The developer of the project, which is aimed at attracting young professionals rather than families, is seeking a variance from the parking requirement to provide a total of 31 parking spaces rather than the more than 40 required under current regulations.  Neighbors have expressed concern about the effects of parking on the neighborhood, as well as the target demographics.  The project is very close to the Potomac Metro stop. 

This case points up one possible effect of the elimination of the parking minimums.  It seems likely that units built without parking will most likely appeal to singles and couples without children which changes the character of the neighborhood and the types of retail and commercial establishments it would attract.  Again, removal of the minimum is no guarantee that developers won’t provide parking, depending on market pressure from potential buyers for guaranteed parking even at the increased cost per unit that would entail. 

The ANC Planning and Zoning Committee will consider the variance request at its April second  3 meeting at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington.  The issue will come before the full ANC at its April 9th meeting.  The matter foes before the Bureau of Zoning Administration on April 30, and they will have the final word.


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The Week Ahead…and a Look at Last Week: Capitol Power Plant, Hine Redux

The Week Ahead…and a Look at Last Week

Capitol Power Plant, Hine Redux

by Larry Janezich

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, March 26

Update.  The Executive Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, March 20, owing to the beginning of Passover.  ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the April ANC meeting on April 9.

Wednesday, March 27

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in the North Hall, Eastern Market. 

A Look at Last Week

Capitol Power Plant Update

Opponents of increased emissions and continued use of coal by the Capitol Power Plant will continue their efforts to broaden support within the Capitol Hill community to bring pressure on Mayor Gray and the DDOE to restrict emissions by the Capitol Power Plant in the interests of protecting the health of the nearby neighbors.  Opponents, whose efforts are supported by the Sierra Club, will seek meetings with DC City Councilmembers, solicit signatures for a petition at Eastern Market on weekends, and distribute yard signs (No Coal). 

A recent non-binding offer by the AOC to eliminate the use of coal at the plant after five years was deemed by the community to not sufficient to protect the health of the community. 

According to some community members close to the organizers, failure to achieve a hard deadline for ending coal use at the plan and restrictions on use of coal during construction of the new cogeneration burners (see February 9 posting below), a legal challenge against the AOC’s application for a permit to increase the emissions level could ensue. 

Hine Redux

On March 18, a nearby neighbor of the Hine project, Christopher Howell, filed a request with the Zoning Commission to allow him to file a motion for reconsideration of the Hine PUD.  The motion alleges errors in the application of the Zoning Commission’s application of law and regulations to the evidence presented by opponents of the scale and mass of the project: 

I. The proposed PUD is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan (Historic Preservation Element Policy HP-2.4.6)

2. The proposed PUD is within the Capitol Hill Commercial Overlay District and subject to its height and floor area ratio development standards.

The motion can be found in its entirety by going to the Zoning Commission’s website

( and doing a case search for 11-24.  Howell’s request is the last filing on page 12 of the list of documents filed with the Commission. 

Demolition of Hine school is scheduled to begin this fall.  Asbestos removal is scheduled to begin in July.


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The Week Ahead……

The Week Ahead……

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, March 19

Capitol Hill Historic Society Board Meeting, 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE.

Thursday, March 21

PSA 108 Meeting, 7:00pm, Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE,

With MPD Lt. Michael Thornton.

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Barracks Row Soft Talk

Shakespeare Rehearsal Space On The Block?

Shakespeare Rehearsal Space On The Block?


Barracks Row Soft Talk

Shakespeare Rehearsal Space On The Block?  Tash/Nooshi Mural a Done Deal

by Larry Janezich

Shakespeare Theater Company Rehearsal Space on the Block?

Capitol Hill Corner hears that real estate agents and developers have been poking around the Shakespeare Theater Company Rehearsal Space at 507 8th Street on Barracks Row.  The building could provide one of the largest retail spaces on the Row, and speculation is that it would be retail rather than another restaurant.  Another source says the building is owned by the owner of the parking lot next to Tash/Nooshi restaurants and the building which houses Fusion Restaurant.  Property records lists the owner as Elul Joint Venture Harry W. Goldberg. 

Mural on Tash/Nooshi a Done Deal

Tash/Nooshi co-owner Vanessa Lin told ANC6B last Tuesday night that she has commissioned the Baltimore street artist Gaia to create a mural on the south side of the former Animeaux Chataux building which is now the location of the two restaurants owned by Lin and her husband.  The mural (see concept below posted March 14) has alarmed some of the nearby neighbors and half a dozen showed up at the meeting to express their unhappiness.  The opposition was based on concerns that the proposed mural would have a negative effect on the charm and character of the neighborhood. 

The mural had its supporters; Phil Hutinet, editor of East City Art, extolled Gaia’s talent saying “[Opposition to the mural] is like saying I don’t want Picasso or Van Gogh painting on the side of this building.”  Additional support came from some residents who said it would add to the street’s vitality and make a boring building come alive. 

DC has no rules on paint or paint colors on any building – residential or commercial – whether in a historic district or not. There are rules for billboards, and some residents complained the mural was a substitute for a billboard advertising the restaurant. 

Lin pointed out that given the commercial value of the parking lot which the mural would overlook it could have a short lifespan.  Lin and her husband do not own the lot. 

Gaia is a 24 year old artist who has shown his work internationally and achieved considerable critical acclaim and significant museum showings.  He takes his name from the Greek earth goddess and uses animal imagery to bring nature to the cityscape.  He often uses enlargements of photos or woodblocks which he prints on paper and pastes to the sides of buildings.  No word yet on what medium he will use on Tash/Nooshi.  Lin said during the meeting that she expects Nooshi to open in early April.  For more on Gaia:

Kraze Burgers Update

Kraze Burgers’ structural build out is complete and they could open in 60 days or so. 

Miracle Theater

National Community Church is expected to apply soon for a public space permit that would allow them to build a ticket booth on the front of the church.  The church will also modify the façade of the building to install two double doors to replace the one double door currently opening onto 8th Street.  Digging out the basement for a refreshment stand is still under consideration. 

Sneed’s Barbershop Ripe for Redevelopment

Developer Douglas Jamal bought Sneed’s for $900,000 in mid-December.  Jamal has another project down Pennsylvania Avenue where the old KFC building site at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE: will be transformed into a two story retail and office building. 

Bavarian Beer Garden

Mark Brody, who bought the corner lot at 8th and L Street on lower Barracks Row is now looking at different variations for the location that might be a better fit for the street.  He apparently is still wedded to the idea of having and open air venue of some sort. 



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Piece of the Story – Featuring the Work of Joseph Snyder

E Pluribus Unum

E Pluribus Unum

Piece of the Story – Featuring the Work of Joseph Snyder

Editor:  Larry Janezich

Joseph Snyder: 

When art is partisan, it often degenerates into propaganda.  However, for those who believe that most every action or inaction is in some way inherently political, then art is also inherently political.

‘E Pluribus Unum’ is a sketchbook line drawing elaborated with ink, inkwash and watercolor in the context of a bookplate.  The greatest joy of drawing is the freedom to just make things up, even with the constraints of verisimilitude and my modest understanding of anatomy and perspective. 

This particular sketchbook treatise is inspired by Honore Daumier’s 1848 painting ‘La Republique’, which was a competition entry for an official tableau of the Second Republic.  Daumier depicted France personified as woman on a throne much like Lincoln in his memorial, but with France suckling two presumably French children.  As I sometimes do, I thought – what would Daumier do today?

Joseph Snyder is a resident of Capitol Hill.  He sells his art on weekends at Eastern Market.

 Ed. – feature “Piece of the Story” presents an image of a work by a local artist and a paragraph written by the artist explaining how the piece tells the story of the artist’s recent work.  If you are interested in contributing, please send an image and 200-300 words, including any biographical info and any venue where your work can be viewed, as well as contact information to: ljjanezich@hotmail.

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The Week Ahead…. Mural, Zoning Regs, PA Ave Development?


The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, March 12

ANC6B meets for its regular monthly meeting at 7:00pm in Hill Center.


Consent Calendar

The following items are on the Consent Calendar, which means they will be approved en bloc without debate or further consideration, unless a commissioner announces prior to taking the vote that s/he wishes that item removed and dealt with separately. 

Among the items on the Consent Calendar are the following:  Change in operating hours for The Silver Spork, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Gandel’s Liquors, JJ Mutts Wine & Spirits, World Liquors, Capitol Hill Wine and Spirits, unenclosed sidewalk café for Tash, 524 8th Street, SE


Among the scheduled presentations, Tash House of Kabob co-owner Vanessa Lin will make a presentation on a proposed mural on the exterior of 524 8th Street, SE (Tash).

Development and Parking Issues:

A two year extension for a variance from lot occupancy requirements for off street parking to allow conversion of the existing laundromat at 732 15th Street to a three story apartment building.  (Photo above)  The owner of the site is negotiating with the owner of the adjacent former Domino’s Pizza site on Pennsylvania Avenue, holding out the possibility that the plan for the three story apartment building could become considerably larger, but wants the extension in the meantime should he be unable to acquire the additional property.  The ANC’s Planning and Zoning took no position on the extension, in the hopes the developer will agree to address requests from nearby neighbors that the developer clean up the building and façade of the laundromat in the interim, pending development. 

The main portion of the meeting will be given over to discussion of Planning and Zoning recommendations regarding the Office of Planning’s proposed revisions of the Zoning Regulations, the chief effect of which would be to increase density near transportation lines and Metro stations, by removing the requirement that developers provide parking at the rate of .6 spaces per residential unit in multi-unit residences, city wide.  Opponent’s main objection is that the change would make the difficult Capitol Hill parking situation even harder.  The impact will be felt more strongly in those areas outside the Historic District, especially Hill East, where there are fewer restrictions on development.  The Planning and Zoning Committee endorsed the revisions at its meeting last Tuesday. 

Wednesday, March 13

The ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 6:30pm in Hill Center, to discuss the Pennsylvania-Potomac avenue Intersection Study and the Barney Circle SE Boulevard Study. 

Wednesday, March 13

Barracks Row Main Street Annual Meeting, 6:00pm, at Tabula Rasa, 731 8th Street SE.  See

Thursday, February 14

CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm at 420 10th Street, SE.

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Controversy Over Mural Proposed for Barracks Row

Proposed Mural for Tash/Nooshi on Barracks Row

Proposed Mural for Tash/Nooshi on Barracks Row

The Side of 524 8th Street Is the Site of the Proposed Mural

The Side of 524 8th Street Is the Site of the Proposed Mural

Neighbors Question Taste and Appropriateness of Proposed Barracks Row Mural

by Larry Janezich

Tash and Nooshi co-owner Vanessa Lin will make a presentation on the proposed mural, pictured above, at Tuesday night’s ANC6B meeting at 7:00pm in Hill Center.  Nearby residential neighbors have expressed their displeasure about the mural to their ANC6B representative, Kirsten Oldenburg.  “Taste aside, we believe the mural is ill-suited for our historic Capitol Hill neighborhood,” said one concerned neighbor. 

The building at 524 8th Street, SE, formerly occupied by Chateaux Animaux, currently houses Tash House of Kabob, run by Lin’s husband, Nariman Modanlou, on its first floor.  A second floor restaurant, Nooshi (noodles and sushi) will be run by Lin and is scheduled to open at the end of March.  The couple owns two other similar restaurants – the original Nooshi downtown, and Moby Dick House of Kabob in Ashburn.


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Art Market

Art Market

Art Market

Jackson Collins sells his art at Eastern Market on weekends..

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