Monthly Archives: July 2019

CM Charles Allen Pushes His Vision Zero Bill – Acknowledges Controversy

CM Charles Allen Talks Vision Zero at last Thursdays ANC6A Meeting.

CM Charles Allen Pushes His Vision Zero Bill – Acknowledges Controversy

By Larry Janezich

CM Charles Allen appeared before ANC6A last Thursday night to support his Vision Zero Omnibus bill.  Allen said that an omnibus designation means the legislation contains a bunch of different ideas – 25 in this bill.

To emphasize urgency, he pointed to the traffic related deaths the day before of two residents who were killed as they sat on a park bench near GW Hospital when a driver lost control of a vehicle.  He also referenced three deaths caused by vehicles on April 19, including that of DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh.

Allen asked, “How do we assure safer space for our neighborhoods and stop these deaths?”  Some of the answers, he believes, are in the proposed legislation:

  • build a better infrastructure by requiring developers and businesses to institute curbside management plans to prevent parking in crosswalks and bike and bus lanes
  • speed up the process for DDOT installing significant traffic safety improvements
  • require contractors to restore crosswalks and bike lanes after street construction under penalty of at $10,000 a day fine
  • revise guiding traffic safety documents every two years

In addition, there are some more controversial provisions:

  • ban right turn on red consistently across the area and lower the speed limit to 20 mph
  • require re-testing (written) for driver license renewal or transferring from another state
  • institute a one year citizen enforcement parking pilot program

Regarding the controversial parts, Allen says his approach is, “Try something – if it doesn’t work, go back and fix it.”  He says he doesn’t want a fight over policy issues to result in paralysis.

Later, during Q&A, Allen said that earlier this spring the city council funded a DDOT study to evaluate congestion pricing – imposing fees on downtown driving, for example – and to make recommendations.  (In New York City, drivers will be paying more to drive into downtown Manhattan starting in 2021.)

The night before the ANC6A meeting,  ANC6C bordering on the west, had taken up the Omnibus Vision Zero Bill and were generally supportive, although Commissioner Joel Kelty was adamantly opposed to the citizen enforcement pilot program, on the grounds that “citizens should not be tasked with enforcing the law – the city is paid to do that.”

Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler backed the program, calling it a creative proposal which would do more good than harm, and stating that he could see no harm in a one year pilot program.  The ANC subsequently voted 5- 0-1 to support the bill, with Kelty abstaining.

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The Week Ahead….And a Photo of DC Biker Party on Barracks Row Last Friday

D.C. Bike Party on Barracks Row. D.C. Bike Party is a monthly bike ride around the Nation’s Capital. Last Friday, they held a special celebratory 4th birthday ride that started at DuPont Circle and followed a route through the city that lead down Barracks Row and eventually to ride’s end at Wunder Garten, 1101 1st Street, NE. D.C. Bike Party is a no trace event and the group promotes responsible biking.  The ride has an MPD escort.

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, July 15, 2019

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm at 1100 4th Street, SE. 

Among items on the agenda:

Safety Report with MPD representatives

Presentation:  Wharf Phase II Update

Presentation:  DDOT Notice of Intent:  Parking restrictions for PUDO Research

Presentation:  Solar for All Program

Presentation:  Request for assistance re the Kiley Construction Project

Presentation:  Bridge Community Concerns

ABC Committee Report:

Mary, 2100 2nd Street, SW.

Dacha, 79 Potomac Avenue, SE.  Protest of entertainment endorsement.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

ANC6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G Streets, NE. 

 Discussion of restaurant alcohol beverage license application for Daruwalla, at 1451 Maryland Avenue NE.

The ANC Barracks Row Working Group meets at 6:00pm, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – First Floor Conference Room.  Entrance to the left of Trader Joe’s.

Agenda:

Safety:

Update Report on Crime & Safety in the community from MPD

DDOT’s Barrack’s Row Sidewalk Update/Plan – The Public Space Maintenance Contracting Authorization Act

Additional Ideas for Improvements

Positioning/Marketing:

New Marketing Plans for the Main Streets

Additional Ideas for Improvements

Wednesday, July 17

The ANC6B Livable Communities Task Force meets at 7pm in the first floor conference room of the Yard, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, entrance is to the left of Trader Joe’s.  

The purpose of the meeting will be to plan the process for ANC6B formal review of the DC Dept of General Services Eastern Market Metro Project (EMMP) submission to the DC Public Space Committee (PSC). The EMMP project is scheduled to be considered by the PSC at its August 22nd hearing. The deadline for submission of ANC6B’s review to the PSC is August 16th.

Agenda

Introduction: Stocktaking of process to date and summary of current DGS design plan submitted to PSC.

Current Status of DGS Transportation Study

Timeline and inputs for preparation of ANC review

Community consultation process and components

Setting objectives and dates for additional community meetings.

Scheduling ANC special call meeting

Preparation and submission of ANC review to PSC

Conclusions and follow up actions.

ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee is scheduled to meet at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G Streets, NE. 

Agenda was not available at press time.

 

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ANC6B & 6C at odds with Restoration Society over Folger addition

Last  Tuesday, ANC6B votes 7 – 2 to not support Landmark Status for the Hartman Cox addition to Folger Library.

On Wednesday, ANC6C voted 6-0 against Historic Landmark designation.

ANC6B & 6C at odds with Restoration Society over Folger addition

By Larry Janezich

The DC Preservation League – over the objections of the Folger Library itself – is seeking Historic Landmark designation for the 1983 Hartman Cox addition to the south side of the Library which has  been lauded in peer review.  The Library opposes the designation, claiming it will tie their hands regarding any future expansion as demand on the Library’s resources grows.   The original Folger Library, built in 1932, was designed by renowned architect Paul Cret and most of exterior and interior of the current structure is already Landmarked.

The League maintains treating the addition as a separate element minimizes the “magnificence of [the building’s] full conception,” and that it merits Landmark designation as being highly significant to the development of cultural institutions in DC, and further achieves significance under the criteria of Architecture and Urbanism, Artistry, and Work of a Master.

In a letter to the Historic Preservation Board – where the issue will be decided on July 25 – the Capitol Hill Restoration Society says, “The Hartman Cox addition masterfully carries on Paul Cret’s union of style and function and makes reference to his design without imitating it.   We agree the Hartman Cox addition meets National Register Criterion….We are sympathetic to Folger Library concerns.  If Hartman Cox addition is landmarked Folger will lose a chance to add to their building on approximately 20’ wide strip of land to the South….[But] The nomination makes a strong argument for preserving Hartman Cox addition, the argument we find convincing.”

ANC6B and ANC6C didn’t see it that way.  Both ANCs met this past week and considered the League’s request for support for Landmark designation and heard from both the League and from the Folger.

Tuesday night, ANC6B found fault with the exterior and interior of the addition on multiple grounds which amounted to a finding that it didn’t merit Landmark status.  Chairman Chander Jayaraman stated what may have been for many their best reason for not supporting the nomination, saying he has greater faith in the Folger’s ability to make decisions about its long term future and that he didn’t trust HPRB to handle it.  The Commission also found that the interior of the addition wouldn’t qualify for Landmark designation even if HPRB finds that the exterior qualifies.  The vote was 7 – 2.

Wednesday night, ANC6C Commissioner Christine Healy said the addition didn’t rise to Landmark status “because it is a subordinate part of the building;” Commissioner Joel Kelty, himself a licensed architect, said “though a great piece of architecture, it does not yet rise to Landmark status.”  In contrast to 6B, however, 6C recommended that if HPRB approves Landmark status for the exterior, 6C supports the interior alteration.  The vote was unanimous, 6 – 0.

It’s not surprising to find lack of agreement between the ANCs and the preservationists.  They are often at odds regarding preservation matters before the HPRB.  Sometimes the ANC prevails in such a contest, though not often.  The dispute reflects the different and opposing approaches of the respective organizations to the future of the city.  The ANCs are elected officials, often focused on what to do about the lack of affordable housing and how to increase density in accordance with currently popular new urbanism models. The work of the preservationists can be seen as an impediment to these goals.  This case is unusual in that we have an already Landmarked institution fighting regulation of its right to expand without having  restrictions imposed on them by preservationists – an argument many residents residing outside the city’s historic districts understand.

The Folger Library is scheduled to close for two years in 2020 for construction of an underground expansion and renovation of the front approach to make the Library more accessible and to provide outdoors green spaces and gardens.  The nomination of the Hartman Cox addition is not directly related to this project.

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City tosses membership question back to Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee

EMCAC met last on June 26th in the North Hall of Eastern Market.

City tosses membership question back to Eastern Market’s Community Advisory Committee

by Larry Janezich

Last week, Chuck Burger, Membership Committee Chair of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee asked the Office of Attorney General (OAG) for a legal opinion on whether a newly incorporated organization has standing to apply for a seat on the Advisory Committee.  Word came down Tuesday from OAG that it was up to EMCAC to determine whether an applicant is qualified.

Burger, told CHC, “We will be moving ahead and I have requested that they [the new organization] deliver bylaws, incorporation papers and any additional relevant information to our Membership Committee…  We will examine and review and make a recommendation to EMCAC.”

The organization in question is newly incorporated as of January, 2018, and has adopted the name of a now defunct organization which is entitled by city statute to a seat on EMCAC – the Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation (EMPDC).

At issue, Burger says, is whether adopting the name of a defunct organization entitles the new organization to the legal rights which have been accorded to the original organization, and whether the applicant meets the statutory requirements for membership on the Advisory Committee.

The representative of the original incarnation of that body has continued to occupy an EMCAC seat without a sponsoring organization, benefiting from inertia and a change in the statute that eliminated term limits for EMCAC members.

Here’s a link to CHC coverage of a press conference held by organizers of EMPDC in July of last year:  http://bit.ly/2IGgDzY

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Ambar on Barracks Row Plans Expansion to 3rd Floor and Retractable Roof

Ambar, 528 8th Street, Barracks Row

Here’s the plan.  Click to enlarge.

Ambar on Barracks Row Plans Expansion to 3rd Floor and Retractable Roof

by Larry Janezich

Ambar, the Balkan concept restaurant on Barracks Row for seven years now, has plans to add 63 seats on a third floor which will feature a retractable roof for drinking and dining en plein air.  They also want an entertainment endorsement for their liquor license, though ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee is leery about what kind of entertainment and when it will be allowed while the roof is open.

The plan anticipates adding some 56 seats on the third floor.  For now, the ANC Committee supported the renewal of the current license, but since it will be at least September before construction on the expansion gets underway, the Committee wants them to come back then to hammer out the details regarding regulations for the new space.

Ambar’s representative at the Alcohol Beverage Committee meeting last Thursday night said he didn’t think the restaurant would have trouble filling the additional seating.  Asked where the clientele comes from, he said that many are from the neighborhood, but 30% of the customers are tourists.  He attributes this to Ambar’s number one rating on Trip Advisor:

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The Week Ahead…CM Charles Allen on Vision Zero Omnibus Bill Thursday at ANC6A

Mural on the side of a townhouse in the 1000 block of 7th Street, SE, between L Street and Virginia Avenue. July 5, 2019.

The Week Ahead…CM Charles Allen on  Vision Zero Omnibus Bill Thursday at ANC6A

By Larry Janezich

The Week Ahead….

ANC6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Kaiser-Permanente, 700 2nd Street, NE. 

Draft agenda:

Rice Bar, 625 H Street, NE, new restaurant license.

The Red Boat, 500 H Street, NE, new restaurant license.

Tuesday, July 9

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm, and Hill Center. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation

Jessica Sutter, DC State Board of Education, Ward 6

Alcohol beverage license renewals:

Le Pain Quotidien, 666 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – restaurant license.

Bombay Street Food 2, 524 8th Street, SE – restaurant license.

Ambar, 523 8th Street, SE – restaurant license

Ambar, 523 8th Street, SE – substantial Change Application to expand to 3rd floor, adding 56 additional seats and increasing total occupancy from 140 to 196.

Discussion:  Public Space Permit application for temporary playground in the park bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, D Street, 8th Street, and 9th Street, SE.

Letter to Mayor’s Special Task Force regarding Road Closure on East Capitol Street, between 6th & 11th Streets for Halloween.

323 5th Street, SE – Zoning adjustment for Special Exception to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing, attached principal dwelling unit.321 6th Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – Concept for two story rear addition and basement dig out.

1104 C Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – Concept for new areaway and basement entrance, interior renovations.

639 E Street, SE – Historic Preservation Application – Concept for new 3 story rear addition.

201 East Capitol Street, SE.  Historic Preservation Application – Amendment of existing nomination to include 1980s wing and interior. Applicant: DC Preservation League.

201 East Capitol Street, SE.  Historic Preservation Application – Concept of Modifications to interior Historic Landmark– Bond Reading Room; Applicant: Folger Shakespeare Library,

530 11th Street, SE. Concept: two-story rear addition.

530 11th Street, SE.  Zoning Adjustment Application – Special exceptions (lot occupancy, rear addition (10 feet past adjacent building) to construct a two-story rear addition.

Installation of Parking Restriction to remove two parking meters and create a commercial vehicle unloading zone in the 200 block of 3rd Street, SE, for DDOT Research & Data Collection.

Letter of support for CHAW Alphabet Animal Project.

Letter to DOH and DOEE Requesting Assessment on the Health Impacts of 5G Small Cells.

Wednesday, July 10

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C meets at 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:  

Presentation:  Florida Avenue project, DDOT representative.

Rice Bar, 625 H Street, NE, new restaurant license.

Le Pain Quotidien, 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, restaurant license renewal.

Discussion:  West Virginia Avenue, NE, improvements and proposed closing between K and 8th Streets, NE,

Junction Bistro, Bar, & Bakery, 238 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  Public Space Application for sidewalk café.

Discussion:  Florida Ave NE, Interim Safety Improvements.

Discussion:  Vision Zero Omnibus Bill, B23-0288.

Discussion:  Scooter Bill, B23-0359.

Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol, Historic Preservation Application, landmark designation.

Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol, Historic Preservation Application, concept approval, interior modifications.

616 D Street, NE, Historic Preservation Application, three-story rear addition.

501 H Street NE, Zoning Application – modification of consequence to a PUD, office use 2nd floor, four glass windows on south and east of building.

224 C Street, NE, letter to Zoning Administrator, commercial use in residential district.

Logan School, 215 G Street, NE, Historic Preservation Application, concept approval, modernization and addition.

Capitol Crossing Center Block, Zoning Application –  modification of consequence, office, hotel, college or university educational uses in addition to ground floor retail use.

Discussion: NoMa Parks Foundation update.

Discussion:  Historic police/fire call boxes.

Discussion:  Board of Elections, proposed new precinct—Mr. Eckenwiler.

Thursday, July 11

ANC6A meets at 7:00pm at Miner Elementary School, 601 Fifteenth Street, NE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Update on Vision Zero Omnibus Bill – Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen.

Florida Avenue, NE, Project Update – Emily Dalphy, DDOT.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) – 1D Representative and 5D Representative.

Suggested Motion: ANC 6A continue its protest of RedRocks’ (1348 H Street NE) request for a change of hours for alcohol service and live entertainment unless a settlement agreement is submitted that limits the rooftop deck hours to 11:00 pm on weeknights and 12:00 am on weekends and prohibits the use of any entertainment (as defined by ABRA) on the roof deck.

Suggested Motion: ANC 6A continue its protest of 12 Twelve DC/Kyss Kyss’ (1210- 1212 H Street NE) request for a sidewalk cafe endorsement unless a Settlement Agreement is submitted that limits the hours of operation on the sidewalk cafe to 11:00 pm on weeknights and 12:00 am on weekends.

Suggested Motion:   ANC 6A protest the license application of The Pursuit (1025 H Street NE) unless a signed settlement agreement is submitted before the protest deadline.

Suggested Motion:  ANC 6A take no action regarding the request for a change of hours by On the Rocks (1242 H Street NE).

Suggested Motion: ANC 6A protest the license application of Daru (1451 Maryland Avenue NE) unless the ABL Committee recommends no action at its July 2019 meeting.

Recommendation: ANC 6A send a letter to DDOT requesting bike share station expansions or new locations at: Intersection of Maryland Avenue,10th Street and E Street NE (relocation, and subsequent additional station); 11th and C Streets NE ( new station, tentative); Kingsman Field on 1300 block of D Street NE (expansion of existing station); 15th and East Capitol Streets NE (expansion of existing station); and the North side of East Capitol Street NE in front of Eastern High School (new location).

Recommendation: ANC 6A send a letter to DDOT in support of application for access across public space in the alley behind 1519 Constitution Avenue, NE.

Recommendation: ANC 6A send a letter of support to DDOT Public Space Committee for the sidewalk café application at 1025 H Street, NE, subject to the following conditions:

The applicant only operates the sidewalk café space during those hours stipulated in the Settlement Agreement;

The applicant will take reasonable efforts to contain noise within the sidewalk café space ….;

The applicant will only use the sidewalk café space for food and drink service, and not for any playing of music, amplified or otherwise, or for any other use, including live performances;

If the applicant installs fencing around the sidewalk café area, it shall be consistent with DDOT specifications and the fencing enclosing other sidewalk cafes within our ANC ….;

The applicant will use easily moveable chairs and tables that shall be moved to the side and locked up when not in use;

The applicant will ensure no trash container of any sort will be stored anywhere on public space ….;

The applicant will regularly maintain the adjacent tree boxes and keep all areas in front of the business and within the sidewalk café area clean, including the adjacent sidewalk and street gutter.

Letter of support to DD0T for the revised plans as presented by Rosedale Development LLC for alley lots 179-186 behind 410-417 17th Street, NE.

Recommendation: ANC 6A protest the insufficient notice period for public space application at 1537 Gales Street NE) and request that the case remain open until the ANC has a chance to consider it at its September 19, 2019 meeting.

Discussion of potential request for Road Closure on East Capitol Street, between 6th & 11th Streets for Halloween.

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Belly Dancers on Barracks Row – Brick Lane Morphs into Marrakech 

Marrakesh – formerly Brick Lane on Barracks Row

Belly Dancers on Barracks Row – Brick Lane Morphs into Marrakech

By Larry Janezich

Brick Lane Restaurant on Barracks Row quietly morphed into Marrakech last week, though they haven’t changed their sign yet – that will come on Tuesday.  The Marrakech, formerly located in DuPont Circle at 2147 P Street, NW, closed this spring with word that it was “relocating.”  It landed on Barracks Row at 517 8th Street, SE.

The former American comfort food outlet, similar to its popular sister restaurant on 17th Street, NW, will feature belly dancers from 8:00pm until 9:00pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and authentic Moroccan fare.

Why Moroccan?  Brick Lane’s co-owner is from Morocco – Brick Lane’s webpage says “It’s a story of the American Dream. A Moroccan entrepreneur meets a Mexican chef, and together, an idea is born: a bistro founded on three principles – kindness, quality, and community.”  That’s the idea behind the opening of Brick Lane.  But a new cuisine substantially different from what other restaurants on Barrack Row offer, seems like a better idea.

Here’s the menu:  Please note that gluten free and vegan can be accommodated for most dishes.

 

 

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The Barracks Row Fourth of July Parade – Photos

The Barracks Row Fourth of July Parade – Photos

by Larry Janezich

Marchers and parade watchers defied sweltering heat and humidity to participate in the annual July Fourth Parade.  This year’s parade seemed a little shorter than usual and featured the usual politicians including Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and Mayor Muriel Bowser who pushed a stroller holding her infant daughter, Miranda Elizabeth Bowser.  Councilmember Elissa Silverman was represented by marchers and a banner but marched well behind the contingent.  There was a notably increased MPD presence, and – perhaps for the first time – parade participants included MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane and DC Chief of Police Peter Newsham.  Eastern High School marching band was back – a welcome return – after having missed it last year.

The Marine Band and the Marine marching contingent step off promptly at 10:00am, whether the rest of the parade is ready or not.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Miranda Elizabeth Bowser.

MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane. Behind her, DC Chief of Police Peter Newsham.

Eastern High School Marching Band – The Blue and White Marching Machine.

And the political parties – Ward 6 Democrats…

and – maybe for the first time – a small contingent of DC Republicans.

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society marched…

and so did the Capitol Hill BID – “The Men in Blue” – who don’t get enough credit for all they do to care for the Capitol Hill Business District.

The Capitol Hill Continentals were back.

The Capitol Hill Little League marched this year in memory of Coach Bud Johnson whose death following an altercation outside a bar in Southwest is still under investigation.

ANC6B Chair and Little League Umpire Chander Jayaraman.

The Bolivians performed…

and the Peruvians wrapped things up.

 

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