What Is WRONG with DDOT, Anyway? Do They Treat All ANC’s This Way?
H Street’s Chupacabra Space Permit Negotiation Vexes ANC
by Larry Janezich
ANC6B has struggled for months with the casual treatment and attention paid by DDOT to their concerns, from extending the performance parking, alleviating traffic congestion around the Navy Yard, unilaterally granting a public space license to the 18th Amendment, and slow-walking the resolution of objections to a private fence on public space near Barney Circle. The pattern has been familiar: give the ANC short shrift, show up at the next ANC meeting with hat in hand to apologize and promise to do better, and then immediately resuming the dismissive treatment.
Now, last Thursday night at ANC6As July meeting, Matthew Marcou, Chair of the DDOT Public Space Committee which oversees public space permitting at DDOT, made a personal appearance to apologize for 1) not providing notice to ANC6A of the DDOT Public Space Committee meeting with the owner of H Street restaurant Chupacabra ( ) to consider an application for a sidewalk café, and 2) negotiating ANC6A concerns with the owner of the restaurant without the participation of ANC6A. The issue is particularly prickly because ANC6A is trying to rein in the restaurant which is the last holdout on H Street which stays open until 3:00am. Chupacabra wants to operate the sidewalk café to the latest hours permitted by their license, over the objections of the already peeved nearby neighbors.
Chair David Holmes chastised Marcou for DDOT’s shortcomings, and Marcou promised to do better(!) Marcou’s appearance was in response to Holmes’ letter of complaint to his boss, DDOT Chief Terry Bellamy, and to Mayor Gray.
Subsequently, the owner of Chupcabra offered to cut back the hours for operation of the sidewalk café to 11pm weekdays and 12 midnight on weekends, in the hopes that later hours could be negotiated somewhere down the line based of a record of good behavior. Holmes offered that the ANC was willing to listen to the proposal, but made no commitment.
2 responses to “What Is WRONG with DDOT, Anyway? Do They Treat All ANC’s This Way?”
Mr Marcou also appeared at the ANC6A Transportation and Public Space committee the following Monday and could explain virtually nothing as to how a private citizen could have been granted permission to use landscaping to incorporate Federal land under DDOT’s management into the adjoining private property, to the detriment of District citizens’ right to free access. “But it’s so pretty now” seemed to be the only fact on which anyone could agree. Federal Reservation 266 at 147 Tennessee Ave NE, for your reference.
The restaurant has, what, a single picnic table outside? Give me a break. We need to attract all the business we can to H Street to clear out the remaining empty/dilapidated storefronts. H Street is and has always been a commercial thoroughfare. I, for one, support all the small business start-ups trying to make a go of it out there.