Monthly Archives: July 2014

DDOT Fails to Act In Face of Looming Eastern Market Parking Issues

Evian Patterson, DDOT, (center) Was Taken to Task by ANC6B Commissioners on Parking Issues Wednesday Night

Evian Patterson, DDOT, (center) Was Taken to Task by ANC6B Commissioners on Parking Issues Wednesday Night

DDOT Fails to Act on ANC6B Parking Issue Affecting Eastern Market Area Parking

ANC Commissioners Lambaste DDOT Reticence

by Larry Janezich

Wednesday night, ANC6B Commissioners Ivan Frishberg and Dave Garrison took Evian Patterson, Citywide Program Manager, DDOT, to task for his Department’s failure to act on ANC6B’s request to extend the city’s Performance Parking program north of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Patterson appeared before ANC6B’s Transportation Committee last Wednesday night to continue a discussion about protecting resident parking in the near term during demolition and construction of the Hine Project and to explain why DDOT has failed to act on extending the Performance Parking Plan.

Regarding the former, once the Hine project gets underway, it will exacerbate the already serious weekend parking problems for Eastern Market patrons and vendors as well as residents in the surrounding area.  ANC6B has been working with DDOT to get ahead of the problem and that effort continues. Regarding the latter, ANC6B’s effort to address the larger issue of parking around Eastern Market and other congested areas north of Pennsylvania Avenue all the way to East Capitol has been stonewalled by DDOT.  Patterson told the committee that “there is no basis in law for expanding the resident only parking,” and that a policy was being developed.

An annoyed Frishberg told Patterson that the ANC has been trying to get action on this issue for the past 3 and a half years and it has been a “comedy of errors…DDOT has forgotten the ANC…you can’t get this done because you are so caught up in the tools of implementation.”

Commissioner Garrison agreed with Frishberg, saying he was puzzled by an assertion by Patterson that “resident only parking would not solve the issue of overnight parking for residents,” saying the ANC had never raised that issue.  He asked Patterson directly where the Department was on policy.

Patterson said he didn’t make policy, but he has to implement it.  Frishberg pointed out that there is no policy – that by Patterson’s own admission, it is in the process of being developed.  Patterson said he would “ask permission to send you the draft policy,” and went on to say that  the policy doesn’t address the Eastern Market issue.

Frishberg told him, “You don’t have a policy – policy is not the law – you are saying ‘no’ to us on the basis of a policy which doesn’t exist.”  Garrison addressed Patterson, saying, “In this particular geography, you have the authority – I’m confident of that – you made a similar decision around the ball park and you can make it now.  The policy is that DDOT is not going to expand the resident only parking and we don’t understand the basis for this.  It is in your discretion to expand north of Pennsylvania Avenue, and it’s not clear why you’re not.

Patterson said he would go back and find out.

Reached later by CHC to ask his timeline for reporting to the ANC, Patterson responded by email:  “Unfortunately I do not have a timeframe.  This is a matter that I would like to engage legal counsel on and would request the ANC’s consideration for the time to obtain the information.”

DDOT has been the bad boy of the city agencies.  Both ANC6B and ANC6A have expressed frustration numerous times with DDOT’s operations.

CHC has filed 10 stories on this issue since March 10, 2011.  To see all of them, enter Performance Parking” in the search prompt on the home page.  To see the most recent, filed almost exactly one year ago, go here:  http://bit.ly/1jWUZ2T

Editor’s Note:  An earlier version of this posting did not make clear that Pattereson discussed two separate, though related issues with the Transportation Committee.  CHC thanks Commissioner Oldenburg for her clarification in the comment’s section.  

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DC Police Shut Down Lincoln Park Firework Celebration

District 1 MPD Officers Shut Down Lincoln Park Fireworks Display

District 1 MPD Officers Shut Down Lincoln Park Fireworks Display…

....And Confiscate Fireworks They Say Are Illegal

….And Confiscate Fireworks They Say Are Illegal

Early in the Evening

Early in the Evening….

...And Later

…And Later

129 135

DC Police Shut Down Lincoln Park Firework Celebration

by Larry Janezich

Last night at about 10:10pm, a half dozen MPD officers from the First District closed down a DIY firework celebration in Lincoln Park, citing numerous complaints from neighbors.  Police confiscated several bags of fireworks which they said were illegal.

According to one participant, the informal neighborhood July 4th celebration has been a community tradition for more than 20 years.  It was unclear whether the move was a part of a larger crackdown on fireworks in the city, but police on the scene said that similar celebrations “all over the city” were being shut down tonight, not just Lincoln Park.

The fireworks started around 9:00pm, with standard fare widely available at licensed firework stands.  As the evening progressed, larger fireworks which may have been responsible for complaints began to be set off.  According to a recent WRC-TV news report, “In general, any fireworks or firecrackers that explode — such as cherry bombs, roman candles, or floral shells — are illegal.”  Some of the fireworks set off last night seemed to fall in that category.

 

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Barracks Row July 4th Parade – Photo Essay

David Catania, Independent Mayoral Candidate, Solicits Support Before the Parade

David Catania, Independent Mayoral Candidate, Solicits Support Before the Parade (click to enlarge)

The Parade Forms Up on 8th Street, Beneath the Freeway

The Parade Forms Up on 8th Street, Beneath the Freeway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Honor Guard

The Honor Guard

Parade Watcher

Everybody Loves a Parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flags

Flags

 

Tim Krepp, Candidate for DC Congressional Representative

Tim Krepp, Candidate for DC Congressional Representative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANC6B Chair Brian Flahaven, Working the Crowd for Catania

ANC6B Chair Brian Flahaven, Working the Crowd for Catania

Capitol Hill Continentals

Capitol Hill Continentals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Commander In Chief

The First Commander In Chief

Charles Allen, Democratic Candidate for Ward Six Councilmember

Charles Allen, Democratic Candidate for Ward Six Councilmember

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liveable, Walkable

Liveable, Walkable

BID Contingent, The Men In Blue, Passed Liberty Crowns to the Crowd

BID Contingent, The Men In Blue, Passed Liberty Crowns to the Crowd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Liberty Is on a Short Leash

Sometimes Liberty Is on a Short Leash

Pride on Parade

Pride on Parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Dames

Las Dames

Los Hombres

Los Hombres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody Loves a Parade

Everybody Loves a Parade 2

Zaymoney Bard Rocked

Zaymoney Band Rocked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Fighters of Engine Company No. 7 Celebrate Independence Day

Fire Fighters of Engine Company No. 7 Celebrate Independence Day

Everybody Loves A Parade 3

Everybody Loves A Parade 3

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Restaurateur Hopes To Open Specialty Market/Restaurant at 13th and PA Avenue, SE

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

DC Restaurateur Hopes To Open Specialty Market/Restaurant at 13th and PA Avenue, SE

by Larry Janezich

DC restaurateur Ari Gejdenson wants to open a ground floor specialty food market – items generally unavailable elsewhere, but which will complement shopping at nearby Harris Teeter – and a restaurant at 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Gejdenson, owner of Mindful Restaurant Group, which includes Acqua al 2 (where he is the chef), Ghibellina in Logan Circle; and Harold Black – the speakeasy above Acqua al 2 – is talking to the building’s owner, Douglas Development, about the project.

Currently, only the ground floor is zoned commercial.  The development company has applied for a revised zoning variance to allow commercial zoning, renovation and expansion of the building’s second and third floors.  Once zoning relief is granted, Gejdenson hopes to negotiate a lease with Douglas.

Asked for comment, Gejdenson said he has enjoyed being on Capitol Hill, and “hopefully, we can get these landlords to work with us.” Gejdenson is set to open a liquor bar in another Douglas Development building at 600 F Street NW, in late summer or early fall.  The bar, Denson’s (a play on Gejdenson’s last name), will feature a drink menu heavy on scotch and craft beer and a limited food menu.

If brought to fruition, the Pennsylvania Avenue project would be a welcome addition to a developing section of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, where several residential projects catering to singles and couples are in the works.  Douglas Development is also behind the large commercial

building at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Tuesday night, ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee voted to support the zoning variance, 10 – 0, forwarding the matter to the full ANC at its monthly meeting next Tuesday.  Douglas Development bought the building at auction a year ago and has run into unexpected construction issues, increasing construction costs considerably.  Originally, it was slated to become an office building by matter of right, requiring no zoning changes.

Gejdenson grew up on Capitol Hill and played international soccer in Florence, Italy, where he opened his first restaurant which served American food.   He opened Acqua al 2, across from Eastern Market, in 2010.

 

 

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Images of Madison Investments’ Proposed 49 Unit Residential Project at 11th and I Streets, SE

North and West Elevations, 900 I Street, SE

North and West Elevations, 900 11th Street, SE (click to enlarge)

Sia Madani of Madison Investments (seated) and Jeff Goins of PGN Architects, Present Rederings of 900 I Street Development to ANC6B's Planning and Zoning Committee

Sia Madani of Madison Investments (seated) and Jeff Goins of PGN Architects, Present Renderings of 900 I Street Development to ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee

Images of Madison Investments’ Proposed 49 Unit Residential Project at 11th and I Streets, SE

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, Sia Madani of Madison Investments and Architect Jeff Goins of PGN Architects revealed renderings of Madison’s new matter of right residential building planned for 900 11th Street, SE.   The presentation was in support of a Historic Preservation (HP) application for new construction of a 49 unit residential building at the site, a block north of the Southeast – Southwest Freeway at 11th Street, SE.

Moving against the current development trend of building units to accommodate a transient life style skewed toward young couples and singles, Madison plans units which will average 870 square feet – with 40 to 50% of them aimed at a two-bedroom family lifestyle market. Ten percent of the units (4 – 6) will fall in the affordable category, under inclusionary zoning requirements.   The project will provide 7 street level parking spaces, and additional 23 spaces in a partly underground garage, and 26 bike spaces.  Pricing for the units has not yet been determined.

For the most part, the ANC liked what it saw regarding the HP application, the only quibble being raised by Commissioner Garrison, who commented that “the building does not speak to me as residential – it doesn’t have the feel of residential.”  Goins replied that PGN Architects is still making modifications to the design to take neighborhood concerns into consideration.

The Committee agreed to support the HP Application, 9 – 0 – 1, forwarding its endorsement to the full ANC6B which will next meet on July 15.

For more on this project, see the CHC post here: http://bit.ly/1n5MjJn

 

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Historic Townhouse/Frame Shop Near Eastern Market Likely To House New Restaurant

Sheehy House at 317 7th Street Likely to become Restaurant

Sheehy House at 317 7th Street Likely to become Restaurant

South Elevation of Provisional Plan Showing Two Story Rear Addition

South Elevation of Provisional Plan Showing Outline of Two Story Rear Addition

South Elevation Provisional Plan Showing Two Story Addition, Mechanicals, and Emergency Exit Stairway

South Elevation Provisional Plan Showing Two Story Addition, Mechanicals, and Emergency Exit Stairway

Provisional Plans Showing Layout of First and Second Floors with Kitchen Indicated by the Dark Area on the Lower Image

Provisional Plans Showing Layout of First and Second Floors with Kitchen Indicated by the Dark Area on the Lower Image

Sheehy House, Provisional 7th Street Elevation

Sheehy House, Provisional 7th Street Elevation

Sheehy House, Rear View, Showing Single Story Addition Slated for Demolition

Sheehy House, Rear View, Showing Single Story Addition Slated for Demolition

Historic Townhouse/Frame Shop Near Eastern Market Likely To House New Restaurant

by Larry Janezich

Last night, at ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, Capitol Hill developer Ken Golding presented plans to re-develop the Sheehy house at 317 7th Street, SE, across the street from the Hine Project.  The plans propose turning the former frame shop and residence into a restaurant, though Golding expressed hope that a retail client could be found.  Given the likely rent for a small property in that prime location, the odds would seem to favor a restaurant as a likely occupant and Golding admitted as much, saying “there are not as many retailers as there used to be.”  Golding presented the planned changes in connection with a Historic Preservation Application which he hopes to take before the Historic Preservation Review Board at its next meeting.

The plans call for demolishing the single story structure at the rear of the building, adding a two story attachment with a new emergency exit stairway in back, and replacing windows and second story French doors on the 7th Street façade.  Golding, a partner in Stanton Development which is developing the Hine project, was representing a new entity developing the Sheehy house – 317 7th Street LLC – comprised of himself and his two sons.  Stanton Development owns numerous properties on the block, including several fronting Pennsylvania Avenue.

Commissioner Ivan Frishberg said he had no problem with the Historic Preservation request, but raised concerns regarding the lack of an enclosed trash facility, citing the burgeoning rat and rodent problem plaguing neighborhoods which have restaurants.  Commissioner Dave Garrison urged Golding to anticipate problems and deal with them in advance, emphasizing that rats are a huge problem in the neighborhood.  He noted, “Residents back up on the alley – they will be all over you like a blanket.”

The Historic Preservation application was a late-breaking item placed on the committee’s agenda after the ANC’s Executive Committee meeting on June 24.  Commissioner Brian Flahaven said that this was the result of the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) notifying the ANC of the Historic Preservation application after the Executive Committee had met, and that consideration on short notice was necessary to allow the application to be come before HPRB at its next meeting.

While the addition of a late breaking item to the agenda is not unusual, the fact that this project is in the middle of one of Capitol Hill’s most important retail corridors and that it could appear on the ANC’s agenda on short notice means that ANC review will take place with limited neighborhood input. Indeed, in contrast to homeowners for whom historic preservation applications require extensive documentation and consultation with neighbors, the ANC Commissioners posed no questions regarding neighborhood review to Golding.  In response to a question regarding opportunities for community input last night, Frishberg suggested that local media could publicize the project before the ANC6B meeting next Tuesday. To that end, the developer initially agreed to forward digital plans to Capitol Hill Corner (the plans are a matter of public record once they are submitted to the ANC – as they were last night).  Subsequently, the developer informed CHC that “we are doing some tweaks to the plans in line with comments (at the meeting) and will have something by middle of next week.”  CHC took this to mean the plans would be shared after the ANC6B meeting next Tuesday and obtained a copy of the provisional plans submitted last night.

The committee voted 10 – 0 to take “no position,” referring the application to the full ANC without recommendation.  Frishberg urged the developer to consider all options regarding a trash enclosure and to work with the Department of Health and the BZA toward that end.

The Sheehy house came on the market listed at $875,000 this spring.  The listing agent was Kitty Kaupp of Coldwell Bankers and Stanton Development.  Since 1967, it had been “The Frame Up” – the studio, shop, art gallery, and home of prolific artist Richard Sheehy.  Sheehy died in February, 2014.

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