Monthly Archives: June 2014

Madison Investment Plans 49 Unit Higher End Residential Project for 11th and I Streets, SE

912 11th Street, SE.  Future Site of Madison Investment's 49 Unit Residential Building

912 11th Street, SE. Future Site of Madison Investment’s 49 Unit Residential Building

Madison Investment Plans 49 Unit Higher End Residential Project for 11th and I Streets, SE

by Larry Janezich

Madison Investments President Sia Madani revealed plans to develop a 49 unit residential building at 912 11th Street, S.E. – the current location of the Washington Auto Club – at ANC 6B’s June meeting last night.  The project is three blocks from the lower 8th Street and Barracks Row; close to M Street, SE, and the Navy Yard; and diagonally across 11th and I from the Tyler School playground.

According to representatives of Madison, the units will be heavily weighted toward the two bedroom models.  The project is in the Capitol Hill Historic District and will be subject to HPRB review.  Madison hopes to go before HPRB at the end of July and will appear before ANC6B’s  Planning and Zoning Committee in early July to support its historic preservation application.  The company anticipates breaking ground in December of 2014 and that construction will take twelve months.

Madison (father Madini and sons) Investment, based in D.C., was established in 2006. The family owned firm has focused on the development of luxury condominiums.  Its first project, completed in 2007, was on Capitol Hill at 652 Massachusetts, Avenue, NE.  Madison has developed several residential/retail projects in NW since then.  A project currently in the pipeline and scheduled for completion in mid-2015 is the Elysium 14 Gallery at 1925 14th Street NW.


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The Week Ahead…..The ANCs Meet

Crushfunk was busking at Eastern Market Metro on Thursday evening.

Crushfunk was busking at Eastern Market Metro on Thursday evening.










The Week Ahead…..The ANCs Meet

by Larry Janezich

Monday, June 9

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm, DCRA Meeting Room, 1100 4th Street,  SW, 2nd Floor

On the agenda:

Zoning application for Capper/Carrollsburg

Wharf Update of Construction & Entertainment

Historic Designation: Capitol Park Towers

Historic Designation: Randall Recreation Center (Stables/Dog Pound)

Museum of the Bible

Tuesday, June 10

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.

One the agenda:

Presentation:  Overview of DC Water Clean Rivers Project-Anacostia River Tunnel

Presentation:  Overrview of 11th Street Bridge exit ramp for 395 N to 11th Street

Sidewalk café for Capital Teas at 731 8th Street SE, Capital Teas

Request from EnvisionCare Health Services, 1426 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, for a certificate of need to provide home health services

Historic Preservation application for multiunit building at 1220 Potomac Avenue SE

Historic Preservation application for demolition at 1229 E Street, SE

&Pizza request for a fast food exception and variance at 405 8th Street, SE

DDOT Performance Parking Community Benefit Program awards

Office of Planning’s Neighborhood Study on Southeast Boulevard

Deputy Mayor for Education’s Student Assignment & School Boundary Review

Letter to Community Action Group/Department of Housing and Community Development seeking additional information related to project at 124 15th Street, SE

Wednesday, June 11

ANC6C meets at 7:00pm at Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE

On the agenda:

Excelon-Pepco acquisition—Marc Battle, Donna Cooper

Third Street tunnel project, Massachusetts and H, 2nd and 4th Streets

Update, 7th/D/Maryland Avenue

Specialty Hospital,700 Constitution Ave. NE., brick wall near trash compactor

Michio’s, 500 H Street NE, restaurant ABRA agreement under development

Stuart Hobson School parking plan

Heritage Foundation, renewal of accessory parking space, 3rd and 4th, D and E Streets               NE

Thursday, June 12

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm, Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE

On the agenda:

Josh Kern, Court-appointed receiver for Options Charter School will discuss future plans for the school.  Mr. Kern is seeking community input on the following: 1) improving communications between school administrators and community, 2) thoughts on current operations, e.g. are the Segway patrols effective, and 3) improving the exterior appearance of the school, e.g. suggestions on landscaping and alterations to those large concrete sculptures on the front grounds.

Application for a tavern license for Mythology & Lore at 816 H Street, NE

Application for a multipurpose license for Gallery O on H at 1354 – 1356 H Street

Request by Little Miss whiskey’s Golden Dollar at 1104 H Street

Thursday, June 12

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


Victims of the Isherwood explosion fire last week still need help:  Please consider donating here:


The Week at Southeast Library:  Zumba Class, Database Demonstration, Job Seekers Clinic, Book Sale, Programs for Teens, Kids, Infants.

To see the complete schedule and for additional information, go here:



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More on MPD Disconnect With Residents on Crime Alerts

Guardian Angels Have Been Collaborating with DC MPD for the Last Three Months

Guardian Angels Have Been Collaborating with DC MPD for the Last Three Months


More on MPD Disconnect With Residents on Crime Alerts

Report from Last Night’s PSA 107 Meeting in Southeast Library

by Larry Janezich

Recent crimes committed on Capitol Hill have revealed unresolved communication issues between MPD and District residents.  Last night, MPD Inspector Mario Patrizio of the First District made a rare if not unprecedented appearance before the PSA 107 meeting, in anticipation, perhaps, of questions regarding police response to the two recent Capitol Hill slasher/robbings, and questions regarding a morning-time robbery on June 4th.

Information reaching the community, and the awareness and preventive steps that community members might take to thwart crime, were recurring themes at last night meeting.

It became clear that residents learn of crime by various methods: traditional news media, listservs, monthly reports from commissioners, or DC Alerts sent via email or followed on Twitter.  The latter is a popular option among people who do not want a clutter of emails, but, as the MPD acknowledged once again last night, not every crime is posted on Twitter – only those for which the MPD has reason to hope that a community member may spot a suspect get posted.  An attendee at last night’s PSA 107 meeting summed it up as follows:  “It sounds like police policy regarding Twitter crime alerts has not caught up with how District residents are using the information.”  Patrizio agreed.

One resident reiterated last night that residents use the alerts to heighten awareness of precautions which need to be taken to ensure personal safety for themselves, friends, and family.  (At the bottom of this post there is a list of resources to learn more about local crime.)

As previously reported on CHC, police failed to alert the neighborhood to the first attack on May 15.  The first attack was followed by the second similar attack four seven days later.  MPD has apologized for the error, and Commander Brown of the First District has taken responsibility.

At PSA 107 last night, Inspector  Patrizio said that “steps had been taken to insure that the information goes out.”  This was initially interpreted by those attending the meeting to mean that cases involving threats to the public safety would be tweeted and/or emailed out.  Parizio cited changes which have been instituted to insure that “prior to officers leaving a tour of duty, any crime in the PSA has been addressed. Tweets go out – the listserv is always in place.”

As follow-up questions from the audience attempted to emphasize the importance of the tweets/emails to situational awareness, Patrizio was pressed for clarification. Subsequent questioning revealed that at present there has been no change in Twitter policy.  Currently, decisions about what to tweet are made at the Inspector level.  The policy is under review, and any changes will have to come from Chief Lanier.  Timing of the policy of review is uncertain, and Patrizio said he would have to check.  It seems clear that this is a critical and District-wide issue and one which may deserve the attention of the City Councils’ Public Safety Committee.

Additional information from last night’s meeting is as follows:

  • There is nothing new on a suspect regarding the slash/robberies and MPD is still working the same leads.  Patrizio said that his conversations with detectives working the case indicated that the wounds suffered by the two female victims of the robberies likely occurred because a sharp object was held closely to their neck – apparently, very closely – as opposed to the assailant deciding at a specific moment to slash his victims.
  • Despite additional police presence on Capitol Hill, one resident reported coming home to Eastern Market 10:00 pm last Saturday night with no visible police presence in the area, despite the fact that MPD has a fixed, uniform post in the area.  Commissioner Oldenberg, who attended last night’s meeting, responded to the resident’s concern by saying that she walks home from the Metro “too quickly” to notice whether the police are present or not.  The resident then offered that, after noticing no police, she ran home in the street to avoid making herself a target.
  • There has been a rash of thefts from cars, often involving electronics.  Residents can help protect themselves by recording the serial number of their devices and emailing it to themselves.  Enabling tracking devices on iPhones can help police track suspects in cases of snatch and run cell phone thefts.  Patrizio said police will absolutely track from the scene if the capability is enabled.  Another resident remarked that the rash of computers or other electronic thefts from cars may not be as high as the official tally, and may instead be a function of people with “high deductibles” on their car insurance.   Without question, the “thefts from auto” category has seen the largest spike, while all other crimes either match seasonal norms or are below them.
  • The drug market involving synthetic marijuana on the Eastern Market Metro Plaza Park on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets, SE, which contains the “guerilla playground,” is difficult to control because K-2 (synthetic marijuana) is not illegal.  Patrizio said he would request assistance from US Park Police, under whose jurisdiction he understood the park to fall.   One resident urged that more aggressive police tactics be used in the area, regardless of jurisdiction.
  • Patrizio said that it is not a police tactic for numerous – sometimes as many as five or six – bike cops to ride patrol together.  More likely, he said, they were on their way to a common point where they would disperse.

Patrizio emphasized the importance of calling 911 to report suspicious activity and urged residents to call him the First District Watch Commander or Patrizio himself directly if they believed that police were deficient in responsiveness or in providing police services, including reluctance to file reports. He said, “We’re very responsive.”  Those numbers are as follows:

1D Watch Commander           202 437-7632

Inspector Mario Patrizio         202 345-0392 cell – email:

Lieutenant Eddie Fowler        202 425-2826 cell

MPD District 1 Website

MPD listserv                 

MPD Twitter alerts       

MPD crime map            

The Hill Rag publishes a daily Crime Blotter which is useful in helping residents track crime on Capitol Hill:


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A Selection of Sticker Art and Tags From Around the Neighborhood


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ANC Committee Again Rejects &Pizza for Barracks Row

Notice Given of Request for Special Exception and Variance for &Pizza on Barracks Row

Notice Given of Request for Special Exception and Variance for &Pizza on Barracks Row

Barracks Row Street Scape, Wednesday Morning, Outside Proposed &Pizza Location

Barracks Row Streetscape, Wednesday Morning, Outside Proposed &Pizza Location

Commissioners Frishberg, Peisch, Campbell, Oldenburg and Garrison Vote No on Special Exception for &Pizza

Commissioners Frishberg, Peisch, Campbell, Oldenburg and Garrison Vote No on Special Exception for &Pizza

ANC Committee Again Rejects &Pizza for Barracks Row

Over-Saturation and “Near Universal Opposition” of Neighbors Cited

by Larry Janezich

At ANC 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting last night, Steve Salis of & Pizza made a last ditch effort to appease the ANC and overcome the opposition of nearby neighbors opposed to his plan to open up a mostly carryout pizza place at 405 8th Street, SE.  He made his case during a re-consideration of Salis’ request for an exception to the ban on fast food restaurants on Barracks Row.

CHC has reported previously on the Committee’s vote to oppose the exception and on the full ANC’s decision to allow additional time for Salis to negotiate with the neighbors before taking a final vote on the issue.  See here:  and here:

Salis came to last night’s meeting armed with legal counsel and an extensive and detailed list of proposed operating conditions which he offered to make part of a Board of Zoning Adjustment order granting a fast food exception.  The list included conditions Salis said his proposed restaurant would address regarding trash, rodents, noise, odor and cleanliness.  Salis said his list was not exclusive and he remains open to additional conditions.  The application for a special exception was accompanied by a request for a zoning variance necessary for construction of an extension of the building to provide interior space for holding trash, regarded by experts as an essential component in fighting the rodent problem.  Under DC Code, a variance can be granted if the building site has unique features which impose hardship.  A hearing before the Board is scheduled for June 17 on the applications for an exception and a variance.

Nearby neighbors opposed to the exception came with a petition signed by 92 Capitol Hill residents declaring opposition to any more fast food restaurants on 8th Street.  The petitioners also demanded that all new restaurants meet best practices standards (indoor trash storage, state-of-the-art sound proofing of mechanicals, odor mitigation, food delivery from 8th Street).  Fifty-nine of the 92 signers indicated support for a moratorium on liquor licenses for Barracks Row, an indirect method to effectively put a stop to new restaurants.  A spokesperson for the signers expressed how upset the neighbors are “about conditions which have resulted from the Barracks Row Food Court…a destination attracting suburban residents who are followed by criminals.”  Another resident said, “Conditions are already objectionable – adding any more fast food restaurants is just crazy.”

A list of the restaurants and food outlets on the block in question includes:  Starbucks, Popeye’s, Chipotle, (Kraze Burger – currently not in operation), Pizza Bolis, Tandoor Grill, 7-11, Subway, Old Siam, The Sweet Lobby, and Baskin-Robbins.  Arguably, 9 of these 11 spots depend on carryout food for a large portion of their revenue.

Once commissioners started asking questions, it became clear that the application was in trouble.  Commissioner Ivan Frishberg expressed concerns about issues which Salis’ proposed conditions did not and could not address – front of the house issues about what happens to food and containers after they leave the restaurant – and the difficulty in getting the city to enforce provisions of agreements such as Salis proposes.

Commissioner Dave Garrison supported Frishberg’s concern that notwithstanding any agreement another fast food restaurant is “an inappropriate use of the space, given everything else that’s going on up there.”  Garrison also doubted that the case presented by the applicants demonstrated that the site meets the uniqueness and hardship criteria needed for a variance; instead, Salis’ uniqueness and hardship claim is founded on the proposed use of the building for a fast food outlet, and – “[T]he hardship can’t flow from use.”

Commissioner Phil Peisch, in whose Single Member ANC District the address falls, moved to oppose the application for the exception.  He said Salis’ proposal was a good effort but “it has gone as far as it can go,” and leaves too many outstanding issues.  Peisch said, “I started out deeply skeptical that the block could support another fast food restaurant and that’s where I end up.”  He cited the trash problem and the objections of neighbors, telling Salis, that there was effectively nothing Salis could do to address carelessness and human error or provide any guarantee that a subsequent manager of a franchise operation in that location could be held accountable.

Before the vote on the Peisch’s motion to oppose, Brian Flahaven moved to amend the motion by offering a motion to support the exception with the Salis’ conditions attached.  Flahaven said that Salis had “bent over backward” to accommodate neighbors’ concerns, citing the level of detail in the proposed operating conditions.  He worried that if the ANC failed to approve the exception, the building’s owner will put a restaurant in there as a matter of right.  Flahaven said, “It is in our best interests to support a restaurant who will work with us as opposed to one who is under no obligation to at all.”  The vote on Flahaven’s motion to support the exception failed, 3 – 5 – 1.

Peisch’s motion to oppose the exception subsequently passed, 5 – 3 – 1 with Commissioners Campbell, Peisch, Frishberg, Garrrison, and Oldenburg voting to oppose the exception. Commissioners Flahaven and resident commissioners Brynn Barnett (SMD 10 – Campbell) and Nicholas Burger (SMD 6 – Opkins) voted to support the exception.  Commissioner Nichole Opkins abstained.

A subsequent Peisch motion to support the variance to extend the building for trash containment passed 6 – 2 – 1.  The Committee’s recommendation now goes to the full ANC for consideration at their June meeting next Tuesday, where only the ten elected commissioners will vote.

Gary Peterson, Chair of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s Zoning Committee told CHC regarding the exception “we are opposed.  We will wait to send a letter (to BZA) in case the applicant does something to correct the application.  In any event we would want the special exception for only two years to make sure he lives up to his promises.”  As readers may know, the CHRS weighs in on all zoning applications that come up in Capitol Hill’s Historic District.

At the root of much of the ongoing tension between the neighbors and the restaurants of Barracks Row is the tendency of some landlords – not all – to squeeze every last dollar out of their properties regardless of the impact on the community.  Frishberg spoke to this issue last night, correlating the high rents on Barracks Row with low wage and high volume requirements that make all the problems worse.  Flahaven’s admonition about a future restaurant going into 405 8th Street as a matter of right – and the wisdom of working with the devil you know – should not be disregarded, especially in light of DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) willingness to overlook ANC objections and voluntary agreements and grant liquor licenses liberally.  On the other hand, moratorium discussions have had traction before and they may well do so again, and it would be wise for Barracks Row landlords to take heed before blunt instruments are applied to resolve the issues of a complicated and evolving commercial corridor.



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The Past Week and The Week Ahead…..

Two Ways to Ride.  Saturday Morning.

Two Ways to Ride – Saturday Morning.  (Click to enlarge)

The Past Week and The Week Ahead…..

Bowser Signs Petition to Put Legalization on Ballot, More Bankruptcy Drama, MPD Pull Back

by Larry Janezich

The Past Week

Bowser Supports Putting Legalization of Marijuana on Ballot:  Saturday, DCMJ – the group campaigning to legalize marijuana here – reported that Democratic Candidate for Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilmember Tommy Wells had signed the petition to put the issue on the ballot this fall.  On Sunday, Wells and Councilmember Dave Grosso attended a rally in Stanton Park in support of legalization.  DCMJ reports having more than half of the 23,000 signatures required.  In a related matter, the decriminalization of marijuana (as opposed to legalization) is set to become effective July 17, barring any unexpected recess of Congress.  For more on that, go here:

More Bankruptcy Drama for the Cervera Restaurant Group:  Katy Stech of the WSJ reported last week that Richard (Ricardo) Cervera misled a bankruptcy court about his personal holdings when he filed for personal bankruptcy last year after a group he was a member of bought the nine Capitol Hill restaurants co-owned and managed by his brother, Xavier Cervera.  For the WSJ story go here:

MPD appears to pull back after ten days of intense deployment on Capitol Hill following two slasher/robberies in mid-May:  Saturday night and during the day today there was little evidence of MPD on Barracks Row or around Eastern Market Metro following the slasher/robberies on May 15 and May 19.  Lt. Eddie Fowler will hold a PSA 109, on Thursday, June 5 at 7:00pm in Southeast Library if residents want to follow-up.  There was a community crime meeting last Wednesday night where residents expressed general dissatisfaction with several aspects of MPD performance.  Rather than focusing on that, several news organizations which covered the event focused on the call for increased street lighting and on advice police gave on ways residents can protect themselves.  For the post on that meeting, go here:

The Week Ahead:

Monday, June 2

Correction:  June 9,  The ANC6B PUD Subcommittee on the mixed use development at 1333 M Street, SE, meets at 7:00pm on Monday in Hill Center.  The Subcommittee will negotiate a package of benefits and amenities on behalf of the community in exchange for supporting the developer’s request for a change in zoning to accommodate the development.

Monday, June 2

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

Tuesday, June 3

ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm, at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, SE.

Among items on the agenda:

Public Space Permit for Capital Teas, 731 8th Street, SE.

EnvisionCare Health Services, 1426 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, certificate of need to provide home health services.

&Pizza – Special Exception to allow a fast food pizza restaurant – 405 8th Street SE.  (An ABC notice in the window of OXXO Cleaners at this location indicates the owner of the building anticipates ANC approval of the &Pizza request for the exception, or indicates his intention to locate another restaurant at that location by matter of right.)

Wednesday, June 4

ANC6B Transportation Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center

On the agenda:

Discussion of District Department of Transportation’s Performance Parking Community Benefit. Program awards for Capitol Hill/Ballpark District.

Discussion of Office of Planning’s Neighborhood Study on Southeast Boulevard.

Discussion of dangerous and/or problematic 6B intersections.

Wednesday, June 4

ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee meets at 7:00pm in Capitol Hill Medical Center/Kaiser Permanente, 700 2nd Street, NE.

On the agenda:

Heritage Foundation application for continued use of accessory parking lot.

Concept application for roof top HVAC at 700 Constitution Avenue, NE

Wednesday, June 4

CHRS Summer Membership Meeting and Forum on DC Zoning Regulation Rewrite.  6:45pm, Hill Center.

Wednesday, June 4

Eastern Market Metro Community Association meets with Democratic Ward Six Council Candidate Charles Allen at the Southeast Library, 403 Seventh St., SE, on Wednesday, June 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.  The meeting is open to anyone who wants to come.  This community meeting is to initiate discussions with our probable councilmember about neighborhood interests and concerns.  EMMCA does not intend for this to be a political forum.

Wednesday, June 4

Watkins Farmers’ Market resumes, 4:00pm – 8:00pm at 13th and E Streets, SE.

Thursday, June 5

ANC 6B Alcohol Beverage Control Committee meets at 7:00pm, the Hill Center

On the agenda:

John Neal, 1360 G Street SE, 6B06

Thursday, June 5

PSA 107 meets at 7:00pm, Southeast Library, with Lt. Eddie Fowler

Thursday, June 5

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


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