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A Chastened DGS Hosts 1st Community Meeting on Eastern Market Metro Park Redesign

CM Charles Allen at the 1st community meeting on the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Park: “It can be a model for how we structure all public space around the city.”

Tommy Jones, Chief of External Affairs, DGS (far right), hosted the meeting on behalf of DGS and fielded questions.

Project manager Cassidy Mullen outlined the timeline for the project; “Our purpose is to get a full set of drawings for federal and city approval.

A Chastened DGS Hosts 1st Community Meeting on Eastern Market Metro Park Redesign

by Larry Janezich

The Department of General Services (DGS) hosted the first community meeting on the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Park Thursday night.  They came with what appeared to be a new willingness to acknowledge the work done on the ‘master plan” for the redesign, i.e., the 2015 Weinstein/Oehme van Sweeden (OvS) plan which was the product of extensive community involvement over a 2 year period.  In addition, the agency admitted that their outreach had “not been the best,” particularly with respect to their communications with residents and ANC6B – as well nodding to a new appreciation of the role that the Commission plays in providing input on public projects.

The tone was decidedly conciliatory, in contrast to that taken with the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Team in the meeting last Monday.  (See here:  In a dramatic moment when ANC6B Commissioner-elect Steve Holtzman (whose single member district abuts the Metro Park on the north) raised a challenge to DGS regarding denial of public access to that meeting Council Member Charles Allen intervened, pushing DGS to open the meetings of the Advisory Team which here-to-for have been closed.

Allen said, “I can’t think of a single reason why the meetings can’t be open.  I encourage DGS to look at public meetings.  Let’s do that.”  An off-balance DGS promised to respond to Allen.

At the beginning of the meeting, Allen said the project was an incredible opportunity for the community to rethink the specifics of a legacy type project, taking it from a walk-thru to a walk-to destination as opposed to a “sad little space.”  Allen endorsed the Weinstein/OvS plan as a starting point, citing it as a “strong foundation” with wide community agreement.  He urged DGS to move quickly through the tweaking process, adding, “Let’s get started.”

When DGS took the stage, Project Manager Cassidy Mullen said that the winter would see back and forth on tweaking the master plan.  By summer, the process would produce schematics and changes to the master plan based on feasibility.  Construction will start in August or September of 2019.  To some in the room, the phrase “based on feasibility” introduced an element of uncertainty, perhaps referring to one of the critical elements of the Weinstein/OvS plan benefiting Barracks Row, i.e., moving the bus stop in front of Starbucks to the eastern edge of the part of the plaza with the Metro entrance.  The business community sees moving the bus stop as critical to opening up access to the restaurants and retail beyond the intersection of 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue.  CVS and the design team see problems involving the expense of moving utilities and infrastructure.

For its part, the Moys Design team, charged with creating the final re-design plan, said its goal was to make the park “a third space in your life” after home and work place, and pledged to come back multiple times to tweak and refine the plan.

One of the first community decisions regarding implementation of the plan will be to decide the strategy for development.  DGS will offer the community two options:  1) start on simultaneous development of the playground, the triangle adjacent to Community Connections/Dunkin Donuts, and the triangle adjacent to the day care center in the Hine project, or, 2) develop the playground and an (unspecified) section of the Metro entrance portion of the park.  Details and an online survey will be provided on the DGS website at a future date. (see link below)

Questions from the audience expressed concerns regarding playground safety issues, the bus stop move, the proposed reversal of traffic direction on D Street on the north side of the playground, ADA access, rats, parking of construction worker vehicles, table and chair amenities, public restrooms, process transparency, the wisdom of installing high maintenance lawn areas, bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue, and how better to use the project to connect the business corridors.

Following the meeting, attendees were invited to engage agency officials and design team representatives in adjacent rooms to discuss concerns and specific portions or the plans.

Attendees seemed optimistic about the process moving forward.  Whether the era of good feelings continues depends in part on the participation of residents and business owners in the process, but much depends on how the community perceives whether its voice is being heard and the degree to which residents and business owners are made to feel a part of the process.

Here’s the link to the project website:

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Hill East Task Force Calls Out Deputy Mayor’s Office on RFK

DMPED rep Ketan Gada, (left) with Hill East Task Force Chair Denise Krepp and ANC6B Chair Dan Ridge at Hill East Task Force Meeting on Monday night.

Hill East Task Force Calls Out Deputy Mayor’s Office on RFK

By Larry Janezich

Monday night, Hill East Task Force held the latest in a series of meetings, summoning city agency officials to explain the city’s plans for the future of RFK and Reservation 13 and the Mayor’s lack of transparency thereon.

Coincidentally, the meeting fell three days after the Washington Post published an article stating that the Mayor was working behind the scenes with Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Congressional officials, and the Trump Administration to insert language in a must-pass Congressional spending bill that would, clear the way for a new stadium for the football team.  That idea is strongly opposed by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen as well as many residents in Hill East.  (See text of proposed language below.)

It fell to DMPED representative Ketan Gada to appear before the Task Force to answer questions about the Post article, which appeared to describe the latest in a series of undisclosed plans for development of the valuable river front land, including bids for the Olympics and for Amazon’s HQ2.

When Gada took the microphone, ANC6B Commissioner and Hill East Task Force Chair Denise Krepp’s first question was, “What’s the Mayor doing on RFK?”

Gada replied, “The Mayor is not doing anything.  Since DC United moved to its new stadium RFK has had very little use…it has become revenue obsolete…underutilized.  The options we have are to extend the lease or to acquire the land from the National Park Service.”  He envisioned a future commercial use for the site involving housing and retail as well as recreational uses.

Asked by Krepp if the Washington Post is correct and that the city wants to open up the lease for a new stadium. Gada replied that it was a question for the Washington Post, adding, “If the Redskins want to come they could have come yesterday.”

Referring to a March, 29, 2017 letter from the Mayor to the President asking the administration to consider a lease extension for the RFK site or a land transfer so the land can be put to a more productive use, Gada said “we prefer to acquire the land, but there is no ongoing negotiation or dialogue happening.”

Gada pleaded ignorance on other questions, including whether the mayor is meeting with anybody on RFK (I’m not aware of any contact – I’m not privy to that information) and whether Events DC (the city agency holding the lease on RFK) employs any outside lobbyists to further the Mayor’s agenda,

Unsatisfied with the response, Krepp stated she intended to send an email to the Washington Post asking for clarification on their story regarding the Mayor’s engagement and outreach on RFK, adding, “We’ve not received facts from the Mayor – we’ll move forward, and keep going.”

Krepp subsequently sent the email, copying multiple city officials and news agencies.  The message read in part: “…a DMPED representative told Hilleast residents tonight that Mayor Bowser is not working with Dan Snyder and House Republicans to include language in the appropriations bill.

This information was shared at the Hilleast Taskforce meeting and the DMPED representative was Ketan Gada, the Director for Hill East District Redevelopment.

Residents repeatedly questioned Mr. Gada about the Mayor’s involvement.  These questions were based on the recent Washington Post story written by Mike DeBonis and Liz Clarke.  The story states that Mayor Bowser is working with Dan Snyder and House Republicans to extend DC’s lease of the RFK property and to possibly expand the use of the property to non-sports related activities.

Each time he was questioned, Mr. Gada claimed lack of knowledge and denied that Mayor Bowser was speaking with Congressional representatives.

Given the repeated denials, I’m emailing tonight to seek your assistance.  Please help us understand who Mayor Bowser is talking with in Congress and what help she is requesting.  I’m making this request because Hilleast residents don’t believe the story that was spun by DMPED tonight.”

Afterward, CHC asked ANC6B Chair and Hill East Task Force member Dan Ridge for his reaction to Monday night’s meeting.  Ridge said, he thought that Gada had “used his time to mount a defense of DMPED.  Secrecy is part of the trade craft of the Bowser administration.  When you start with secrecy – everything ends up being secret by default.”  He said he feared that opening up the site to retail would mean theme park retail, allowing Dan Snyder to co-opt revenue, adding, “I don’t think they’re serious about housing.”

On Tuesday night, Krepp reported on the previous evening’s Task Force meeting to the full ANC6B, again questioning the veracity of Mayor Bowser on RFK and on plans for Reservation 13.  “I’m frustrated,” she said, “the nicest thing I can say about the Mayor is ‘liar, liar, pants on fire.  The Mayor has wasted our time and lost our trust.  I’d like to know what she’s going to do to regain it.”

ANC6B Chair Dan Ridge noted that the language proposed to be added to the Congressional spending bill had been made public that day by Martin Austermuhle, WAMU reporter (see below).  Ridge said the language almost looks reasonable, but that its far from clear that Events DC is the best manager to carry out the listed potential uses of the site – Events DC doesn’t do housing – what they do is events and retail supporting events.


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City Off to Bad Start on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza – Community Meeting Thursday

Cassidy Mullen, DGS Eastern Market Metro Park Project Manager, welcomes the members of the community advisory team at it’s second meeting on Monday morning.   Seated to his right are Advisory Team Co-chairs, Martin Smith and Madeleine Odendahl.

City Off to Bad Start on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza – Community Meeting Thursday

by Larry Janezich

DGS and Moya Design Partners got a rude awakening on Monday morning at their meeting with community stakeholders on the redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  The meeting with the Eastern Market Metro Park Advisory Team was scheduled to give the Advisory Team an advance look at and an opportunity for input on the redesign plan to be presented at the first of several community meetings at 7:00pm Thursday night at Hill Center.

According to one of several sources who asked to remain anonymous, the community Advisory Team came to the meeting expecting to discuss taking the plan developed by Architect Amy Weinstein & Oehme van Sweden (OvS) in 2013* and tweaked by DGS, through the entitlement process but found instead they were presented with the fourth version of a new and evolving design developed by Moya Design – a “whole new concept”** as one attendee put it.  (See below for links to the two plans.)

Co-chair of the Advisory Team, Martin Smith, (Executive Director of Barracks Row Main Street), according to an attendee, expressed his concern the design team hired by DGS wasn’t merely tweaking the Weinstein plan, but had undertaken major revisions.  Smith pressed the Moya team whether they had engaged with neighbors and businesses before coming up with a new concept – their answer was “no.”

Smith reportedly said that the community had spent two years developing the Weinstein/OvS Plan and pointed to the failure to engage businesses and residents as a major concern.  Barracks Row MainStreet engaged Weinstein to create the redesign plan in 2013 and paid for her services with a $500,000 federal earmark obtained for that purpose years before.

Co-Chair Madeleine Ondendahl, (Executive Director of Eastern Market Main Street) told CHC that the plan as presented didn’t include key things from the Weinstein/OvS plan which are important to the community, including benefits to the business corridors.  She said she would continue to work to modify the plan to be where we want it to be – a Town Center.

One of the major changes which disappointed the business community was elimination of the proposed relocation of the bus stops.  The city doesn’t want to do it, citing the expense involved with moving utilities.  The Advisory Team pushed back on this, securing a commitment to meet with the Department of Transportation on the issue.  Another was the Moya plan’s proposal to allocate space on the south side of D Street for food trucks, which would not only compete with brick and mortar restaurants, but hide Hill’s Kitchen, FedEx and other D Street retail from the Metro exit.

Weinstein’s proposed entrance to and underground extension of the Southeast Library is gone by necessity since DC Library has deemed it unfeasible.  But also gone is the bosque of trees on the main Metro Plaza.  In addition, the Moya plan would halve the number of proposed trees in their redesign plan as well as eliminate trees from the median strip.  An unwelcome addition in the Moya design was the proposed closure of the short extension of D Street in front of the Hine Project’s day care center.

The consensus of stakeholders is that the first phase of the re-design should be the children’s playground and greenspace on the triangle between 8th and 9th Streets and PA Avenue and D Street.    The Moya design had re-arranged Weinstein’s components of the design for the park, relocating the playground closer to D Street, to the disadvantage of the residences on the north side of the park.

As the result of the concerns, Moya’s 4th version plan will not be presented to the community on Thursday night, rather a new iteration based on input from the Advisory Team will be presented.

Some attendees found “a lot of good things” in the Moya plan and left the meeting encouraged that the design team had listened to the concerns and better understood that the community would resist wholesale changes because of wide community support for the Weinstein/OvS plan and because so much time has already been devoted to that plan.

It was the feeling of some that the design team wanted the community’s input; DGS, not so much.  One attendee felt the room was “universally disappointed” about the way DGS has handled the situation.  Some stakeholders were put off by what they called a lack of sensitivity, e.g., the “very cavalier” way the plan was presented and the thinking the plan would “stick to the wall” without knowing much about the community and its involvement.  Another participant said s/he felt “disrespected,” citing the Monday morning’s meeting being called on short notice and with little or no consultation.  Another cited briefing papers carelessly left by the organizers which, when asked about, prompted a flustered organizer to retrieve them leaving the impression that they didn’t want the Advisory Team to know about them.  One participant thought the organizers fell short by not being more inclusive in the Advisory Team’s membership, especially regarding representation from nearby residents and those who will actually use the park.

The disgruntlement extended beyond the members of the Advisory Team.  When ANC6B Commissioner Jerry Sroufe – a member of the Advisory Team – reported to the full ANC6B about the meeting on Tuesday night, the commission was miffed that there had not been better communication between DGS and the ANC.  Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg said “It is unbelievable DGS hasn’t bothered to contact us on a project of central importance to the ANC.  I had to find out about the community meeting on Thursday night third hand.  Another thing we haven’t heard about from anybody is the temporary playground to be built with PUD community benefit funds from the Hine Project that appears to be underway.”  That temporary playground – long in the works – will be incorporated into the re-design of the park.

Given the apparent short shrift shown the ANC by DGS, the role of the ANC in providing commission-specific input on the project is uncertain, despite the involvement of three city agencies – DOT, Historic Preservation, and the Zoning Commission – which are directly within the ANC’s province.

*See CHC post on the Weinstein plan here:

**For the plan as presented to the Advisory Team on Monday, see here:


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The Week Ahead… Community Meeting on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza – Thursday

Schematic of the refined master plan for the redevelopment of the Eastern Market Metro Park.

The Week Ahead… First Community Meeting on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza – Thursday

Monday, December 10

ANC6D meets a 7:00pm, 1100 4th Street, SW.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Public Safety Report- First District MPD (PSA 105 & PSA 106) Capt. Pulliam, Lt. Lavenhouse.

Races/Runs/Events: Rock & Roll Marathon, DC Bike Ride.

Presentation:  Anacostia Riverkeeper – Trey Sherard

Wise Guy Pizza & Altani Gelato, 202 M Street, SE: new DR Restaurant license and Summer Garden.

Wharfside Bar, 801 Wharf Street, SW: new CT Tavern license w/Entertainment & Dancing and Summer Garden.

1215 Carrollsburg Place, 3rd Story & Rear Addition: Zoning Adjustment Application.

Proposed letter to DCHA regarding temporary extension of authority to use vacant square in 6D as a parking lot, pending development into DCHA housing project.  Zoning Application.

Waterfront Station/1000 4th Street SW PUD: Zoning Application.

861 New Jersey Avenue, TOPS and Zoning Adjustment Application.

Yards Parcel F1, Zoning Application for PUD Extension.

Yards Parcel I Design Review, Zoning Application.

Proposed letter regarding Greenleaf Community Center Security Concerns.

ANC6C will meet at 7:00pm at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Christopher Shorter, DPW Director to address trash, recycling, composting issues.

Discussion:  Maryland Avenue road diet out for bid, construction to begin early 2019.

Discussion:  Washington Gas Maryland Avenue, NE project.

The Dubliner, 4 F Street, NW:  Public Space Application for enclosed sidewalk café.

Fancy Radish, 600 H Street NE: Public Space Application for enclosed sidewalk café.

910 Sixth Street, NE:  Zoning Adjustment Application —Special exceptions to construct a two-story addition.

634 Lexington Place, NE:  Historic Preservation Application – concept approval to alter roofline to create third floor and basement entrance.

Patterson Street, NE:  Four of the six respondents to DMPED’s RFP.

ANC6B Hill East Task Force meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1900 Independence Avenue, SE.


Community meeting to discuss the future of Reservation 13 and RFK, with MDP – LT Ron Wilkins, DDOT – Amanda Stout, DMPED – Ketan Gada, DGS – Jeff Licklider, and developer Chris Donatelli.

Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSIG) will not be participating in the meeting as the agency has not yet selected an awardee for the DC Jail outreach contract. The awardee will be selected by the end of the month and OVSJG has agreed to meet with residents in January to brief them on the contract.

Tuesday, December 11

ANC 6B will meet at 7:00pm in Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

Cocineros, LLC. t/a Taco City DC; 1102 8th Street, SE: Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant license; New restaurant with seating capacity of 45, Total Occupancy Load of 45. The license will include an Entertainment Endorsement.

District Soul Food Restaurant & Lounge, LLC. t/a District Soul Food Restaurant & Lounge; 500 8th Street SE:  New Restaurant serving soul food.  Requesting an Entertainment Endorsement to provide live entertainment inside the premises only.  Sidewalk Café with 40 seats. Total Occupancy Load is 199 with seating for 180.

Emilie’s, LLC. t/a Emilie’s; 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE:  New Class “C” Restaurant serving farm-to-table American dim sum and other Asian-inspired food.  Total Occupancy Load of 150 with seating for 110 patrons inside.

Proposed letter supporting 2019 Rock N’ Roll DC Marathon and Half Marathon scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2019

500 13th Street, SE: Public Space Application for Free Standing Sign.

Proposed letter to DCHA regarding extension of authority to use vacant square in 6D as a parking lot, pending development into DCHA housing project.

Proposed letter to DC Councilmembers on streamlining the alley homebuilding process.

Proposed letter to DDOT on Vision Zero All Way Stops, recommending four-way stops at four ANC6B inersections.

Presentations:  Invitation to DC DoH regarding homeless facilities.

Thursday, December 10

Eastern Market Metro Park Project First Community Meeting, 7:00 – 9:00pm, Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 


The Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation host the first of several community meetings on the transformation of Eastern Market Metro Park into a “Town Square.”  See here for more details:

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Eliot-Hine Modernization Update:  Oni Hinton, Coordinator, Facility Planning and Design, District of Columbia Public Schools

S-Square, LLC t/a Cheers DC! At 1402 H Street, NE:  Vote on approval of a Settlement Agreement with and withdrawal of the license protest.

Proposed letter to HSEMA in support of the revised route for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon.

Proposed written comments to DDOT and letter to the DC Council regarding the proposed regulations for E-scooters and E-bikes expressing these views: 1) General support for the regulations as they will improve public safety with respect to the use of these motorized vehicles. 2) Particular support for the requirement of governors on E-scooters that will restrict the speed to 10 mph until such time as E-scooter operation can be effectively eliminated from sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways. This may require their re-classification so that they are not considered “personal mobility devices” 3) Additionally, helmets should be required when using any of these motorized vehicles, whether E-scooters or E-bikes – as is already required for motorcycles. 4) Cash payment devices should be designed in such a way that they cannot easily be vandalized.

Maury Elementary School:  Proposed letter of support to BZA for a request for variance regarding the location and screening of HVAC units on the lower roof over the kitchen of the new school, and the nature of the parking lot fence for Maury Elementary School at 1250 Constitution Avenue, NE.

201 8th Street, NE:  Proposed letter of support for Historic Preservation Application for redevelopment of an existing medical office building with a surface parking lot into residential use, and on the surface parking lot, to build four condo units on two separate lots at 201 8th Street NE.  Residential Parking Permit restrictions be added to condo bylaws, and consider ways to address parking and congestion concerns.

223 9th Street, NE:  Proposed letter of support for Historic Preservation Application for a three-story addition and renovation to a single-family home at 223 9th Street, NE.

Proposed letter to DC Public School Charter Board regarding notification period to ANCs for key changes to charter schools.

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee meets at 7:30pm, at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE. 

Agenda not available at press time. 

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ROC Has 8 Days to Resurrect Tipped Worker Minimum Wage Issue for 2019 Ballot

ROC Has 8 Days to Resurrect Tipped Worker Minimum Wage Issue for 2019 Ballot

by Larry Janezich

“Save Our Vote” – organized by the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) – launched their effort to resurrect the tipped worker minimum wage issue and put the question back on the ballot in 2019.  To do so, they must collect roughly 25,000 valid signatures from registered DC voters by Thursday, December 13. The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) is a not-for-profit organization and worker center whose mission is to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s low wage restaurant workforce.  This morning, three signature collectors were working the Eastern Market Metro Plaza area, one on the Plaza, one in front of Trader Joe’s, and one in front of Le Pain Quotidian.

Voters approved the original Initiative 77 by a solid majority of 56% last June.  Initiative 77 would have eliminated the tipped minimum wage of (currently $3.89 an hour) and create a single minimum wage for everyone rather than depending on tips to make up the difference or payments from the employer if they do not.

Under pressure from the restaurant lobby, the DC City Council, guided by chair and At Large member Phil Mendehlson, repealed the results of that vote in October.  Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen voted against the repeal.

This latest signature effort amounts to an attempt to place the question of whether to “repeal the repeal” before DC voters.  “Save Our Vote” DC hopes to attract support from voters who agreed with the original ballot initiative, as well as those who object to the DC City Council’s repeal.  That action by the Council threatens the validity of an initiative process.  In recent years, initiatives have been used to alter drug policy, the process by which DC’s Attorney General is selected, and reinforce DC’s desire for budget autonomy.

Initially “Save Our Vote” hoped to secure petitions from the DC Board of Elections and begin collecting signatures last week, but a challenge from the restaurant industry (represented by frequent restaurant industry mouthpiece attorney Andrew Kline) delayed that action by over a week.  In an emergency meeting held Tuesday night, the DC Board of Elections ordered the petitions after a preliminary hearing by the DC District Court cleared the way for the petitioning process to begin.  A second hearing on the lawsuit next week could affect the validity of the effort when has been allowed to proceed on a provisional basis.

For more, see here: and here: and here:




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Housing Authority Says Rebuilding Capper Senior Center Will Take 2.5 Years

Kerry L. Smyser, Senior Deputy Director, DC Housing Authority, briefs ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee Tuesday night.

Housing Authority Says Rebuilding Capper Senior Center Will Take 2.5 Years

By Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, Kerry L Smyser, Senior Deputy Director of the DC Housing Authority (DCHA), told ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee that rebuilding the Arthur Capper Senior Center at 900 5th Street, SE, will take 2.5 years.  A demolition contractor has been selected, and demolition will begin in “the next week or so,” according to Smyser.  The building had a wooden frame; consequently no part of the structure except the concrete can be salvaged.  The intent is to rebuild the exact building.

The building was destroyed by fire on September 19 leaving 160 residents homeless.  Some personal possessions of residents were saved, but much was lost to fire and water damage.  DCHA has issued vouchers for temporary housing for the former residents in the interim. The vouchers gives the residents the option to live in the community of their choice in a rental unit in any privately owned property in the city, as long as it meets Fair Market Rent standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Tenants pay 30 percent of their household income for housing – DCHA pays the rest directly to the landlord.

Smyser said A Wider Circle – a (501(3) charitable nonprofit organization – has engaged with residents to provide furniture, and churches have stepped up to adopt some seniors and provide clothing.

The conversation about Capper evolved out of an appearance by Smyser before ANC6B to enlist its support for a five year extension of a vacant square in ANC6D for use as a parking lot, pending on-going planning for its eventual development into market rate, public, and affordable housing.  The agency has been using the lot for parking for the baseball stadium and for commercial parking for the past ten years, using the revenue for pre-planning for new housing on the site.

ANC6B commissioner and Planning and Zoning Committee chair Nick Burger, pressed Smyser on why DCHA couldn’t move faster to develop affordable housing in the face of the housing “I don’t want to say crisis, but…”  The lot has been used for parking for ten years while plans are developed for the housing project.   Smyser explained the complicated relationship between the DCHA – an independent agency of the city government – and the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, difficulty in getting financing, the scarcity of pre-development funds, tenuous support from other DC agencies, the ongoing redoing of 13 of DCHA’s 56 public housing properties, and the desire of DCRA to maintain control over any housing developments rather than sell land to a developer – all of which work to slow progress on development of vacant land owned by DCRA.

The committee voted 10 – 0 to support continuation of the use of the lot for parking for another five years with the hope that this would be the last request for an extension.  The letter will go to the full ANC6B for final action at its December meeting next Tuesday.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority is an independent government agency whose purpose is to provide affordable housing to extremely low-to moderate-income households.  It is one of DC’s largest landlords, providing some 50,000 low-income residents with affordable housing, tenant- and project-based housing vouchers, and mixed-income properties.

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The Week Ahead….

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, December 3

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

The draft agenda:

Hilton Garden Inn, 1225 1st St., NE – application for a retailer’s Class “C” Hotel and 25% Class B liquor licenses.

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Historic Preservation Committee meets at 6:30pm at Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE.

Agenda not available at press time.

Tuesday, December 4

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

Among items on the draft agenda:

2019 Rock N’ Roll DC Marathon and Half Marathon scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2019.

500 13th Street, SE – Public Space application for a free standing sign, single head or double head meter, and bay window projections.

323 5th Street, SE – concept/two-story rear addition. ***To be handled at HPO staff level***

Wednesday, December 5

ANC6B Transportation Committee will meet at 7:00pm in Frager’s Conference Room, 3rd Floor, the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion on Mayor Bowser’s and CM Allen’s Vision Zero Enhancement Amendment Act of 2018.

Compilation of 6B List of Bike Rack Needs.

ANC6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee meets at 6:30pm, Northeast Library, 7th and D Streets, NE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

910 6th Street, NE, – application for zoning adjustment from rear addition requirements, the lot occupancy requirements to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing semidetached principal dwelling unit.

634 Lexington Place, NE – Historic Preservation application for concept approval to alter roofline to create third floor and create basement entrance.

2 Patterson Street, NE – Presentation: Four of the six respondents to DMPED’s RFP (request for proposals) for development of 42,000sf lot will make presentations and answer questions.

Jefferson Apartment Group/Argos Group/SGC Development.

WC Smith/The Menkiti Group.

Tishman Speyer/Thoron Capital.

Republic Properties Corporation/Urban Matters Development/Capstone Development Partners.

The two other respondents will present at the January committee meeting.

Thursday, December 6

ANC6B Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee will meet at 7:00pm at the Hill Center, 921, Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. 

Among items on the draft agenda:

Cocineros, LLC. t/a Taco City DC; 1102 8th Street SE; Retailer’s Class “C” Restaurant license; New restaurant with seating capacity of 45, Total Occupancy Load of 45. The license will include an Entertainment Endorsement. Hours of Operation and Live Entertainment: Sunday 7am-12am, Monday-Thursday 7am-2am, Friday and Saturday 7am-3am. Hours of Alcoholic Beverage Sales: Sunday 10am-12am, Monday through Thursday 10am-2am, Friday and Saturday 10am-3am.

District Soul Food Restaurant & Lounge, LLC. t/a District Soul Food Restaurant & Lounge; 500 8th Street SE; New Restaurant serving soul food.  Requesting an Entertainment Endorsement to provide live entertainment inside the premises only. Sidewalk Café with 40 seats. Total Occupancy Load is 199 with seating for 180;

Emilie’s, LLC. t/a Emilie’s; 1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE; New Class “C” Restaurant serving farm-to-table American dim sum and other Asian-inspired food. Total Occupancy Load of 150 with seating for 110 patrons inside. Summer Garden with 35 seats. Hours of Operation and Alcoholic Beverage Sales: Sunday through Thursday 8am-2am, Friday and Saturday 8am-3am.

ANC6C Transportation and Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm, at Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, 700 2nd Street, NE, Room G3-G4.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Discussion of Maryland Avenue road work which is out for bid, construction expected to begin in early 2019.

Washington Gas Maryland Avenue NE Project – update for the community on Washington Gas project for Maryland Avenue.

The Dubliner Enclosed Sidewalk Café  – application for a new enclosed sidewalk cafe for The Dubliner.

Fancy Radish Sidewalk Café – application for an unenclosed sidewalk café for Fancy Radish restaurant, 600 H Street, NE.  (Redesign from previous application, which ANC 6C voted to oppose.)

Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) meet at 5:30pm, Southeast Library, lower level. 

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The Week Ahead…MPD updates on Oct 20 Homicide in 900 Block of 5th Street, SE – Tuesday

It looks like CSX Railroad is pretty much finished with tunnel work and appears to be  in the final stages of repaving Virginia Avenue prior to reopening the street. Photo is looking west from 8th and Virginia Avenue. Click to enlarge.

The Week Ahead…MPD updates on Oct 20 Homicide in 900 Block of 5th Street, SE – Tuesday

Monday, November 26

ANC6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street NE in the Parent Center.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Marcus Roberson – WoodBox Farms.

Tuesday, November 27

ANC6B’s Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, to set the agenda for the December 13 meeting of ANC6B.

PSA 106 (Police Service Area) meets at 7:00pm at the Capper Community Center (5th & K streets, SE). 


MPD will give an update on the October 20 homicide and address other resident concerns.   (At approximately 3:53 pm, members of the First District responded to the report of an unconscious person in the 900 block of 5th Street, SE.  Police located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and found that the victim displayed no signs consistent with life. The decedent has been identified as 19-year-old Antonio Dixon, of Southeast, DC.)

Wednesday, November 28

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) meets at 7:00pm in the North Hall, Eastern Market, 225 7th Street, SE.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Report on the Eastern Market Metro Plaza Community Meeting  of Thursday, December 13th.

Market Managers Report.

Holiday Market plans.

Update on status of lease negotiations for the South Hall merchants.

Update on parking issues.

Thursday, November 29

Sustainable Waterfronts will show two short films on DC Waterfronts at 7:00pm at Hill Center:

On the Waterfront with Arthur Cotton Moore.  This film highlights the work that Moore did in the 1960s and 1970s to rescue the Georgetown Waterfront from the stinky slum that it had become.  Arthur Cotton Moore is a world-acclaimed architect for recently refurbished the interior of the Library of Congress.

Capitol Hill and Waterfront: A Bridge Across History.  This new film was made with grant support from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.  It traces the historic relationship of the Southeast waterfront with the Capitol Hill community since the Capital was founded in 1791.

Sustainable Waterfronts is a 5013c foundation that focuses on the historic development of parks and rivers in the District of Columbia and beyond. Its mission is to help preserve the heritage of the city by producing educational films which can be distributed for free to community groups and public schools in the District.  Washington is currently in the throes of great economic changes and social development.  By offering a historical documentary on a vital part of our capitol, Sustainable Waterfront hopes to preserve a visual memory of a past that is slowly disappearing.

Saturday, December 1

Community Litter Cleanup – Free Mimosas, Coffee & Donuts Will Follow.  Volunteers pick up bags and gloves at the following locations:

Fulcrum Properties – 1328 G Street, SE

Trusty’s 1420 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

7-11 – 1501 Independence Avenue, SE

Atlas Vet – 1326 H Street, NE

Chik-fil-A 1401 Maryland Avenue, SE (offering free breakfast sandwich to volunteers)

Volunteers return filled bags to any of these sponsors.  At 10:00am, Fulcrum Properties offers mimosas, coffee and donuts to volunteers.

Info on rain cancellation will be available by emailing here:

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DC General Buildings on Track for Demolition by Next July

DGS Progect Manager Chrir Licklider discusses the time line for the demolition of the DC General Campus buildings. Also shown is ANC6B Hill East Task Force Chair Denise Krepp. (click to enlarge)

Chris Donatelli and Blue Skye’s Scotti Irving provided an update on the construction schedule.

Some two dozen residents turned out for the Reservation 13 update.

DC General Buildings on Track for Demolition by Next July

By Larry Janezich

The ANC6B Hill East Task Force (HETF) met last Monday night at St. Coletta, and some two dozen Hill East residents showed up to hear an update on the development of Reservation 13.

Department of General Services’ Jeff Licklider, project manager for DC General Campus Improvements, provided an update on the demolition of the six buildings comprising the campus.  The six buildings are the Core which includes Buildings 1 – 4, and Buildings 29, and 9 (See first photo above).

Building 9 is gone – already demolished.  Building 29 will be demolished by the spring of 2019 and the 4 Core Buildings will be demolished by July of 2019.  Licklider said the demolition would be done by a low-impact, methodical and safe procedure with the constant use of water cannons to reduce dust.  The sites will be graded and seeded as they are demolished.

Those in the audience hoping to hear from the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Development (DMPED) as to what happens next were disappointed.  Hill East Task Force Chair, Denise Krepp told residents that DMPED had informed her at 5:45am that morning that their top Reservation 13 people would not be able to attend.  Krepp’s efforts to secure the attendance of another DMPED rep – both through DMPED and the Mayor’s Office – were fruitless.  She told residents, “If we want DMPED in the room, it’s going to be on us.  We want to know what the city’s going to do with this property.”

Once DC General is gone, Reservation 13, now in Ward 7, is one of the city’s most valuable undeveloped properties, assuming the likely relocation of the DC Jail.

Developers Chris Donatelli and Blue Skye’s Scottie Irving were on hand, and Donatelli said the developer has completed excavation of the first building – 262 apartments, 13,000 square feet of retail, and 115 underground parking spaces.  Pouring concrete will begin shortly and continue for six months with completion of the first building expected in 18 months.  The developer has not broken ground yet on the second building which will be constructed in tandem.  That building has 91 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail. (For project details announced in October 2014 see here: )   Scottie Irving fielded questions from community members about the company’s hire-locally commitment.  ANC6B Commissioner Chander Jayaraman urged the company to intensify efforts to hire and train residents from the community.

Much of the discussion concerned the impact of construction traffic on Hill East residents.  Donatelli said he was fully aware of concerns and pleaded with residents to give him until the next HETF meeting to solve the problem of truck drivers making individual decisions about how to get to the construction site rather than following the traffic plan.

ANC6B Commissioner and Chair Dan Ridge urged DDOT’s Amada Stout and MPD to explore the possibility of using Water Street which runs along the Anacostia River as an alternate route for construction vehicles going to and from the construction site.  Ridge said that the 2010 earthquake left some $10 million in damage to reinforced masonry construction in Hill East, and vibrations from trucks exacerbate the unrepaired damage.  The two agencies agreed that the suggestion “looks good on paper” and pledged to look at the possibility and follow up at the next HETF meeting.

For their part on enforcement of construction traffic violations, MPD officials said they need help from residents to narrow down when and where violations occur “so we can witness them.”  In response to some residents who expressed a desire to take more aggressive and direct action, officials discouraged them, saying “We don’t want a situation where poor decisions are made out of frustration.  We need a safe way to engage construction workers” suggesting action similar to that of the Orange Hat Patrol activity.

Krepp has tentatively scheduled the next Hill East Task Force meeting for December 10.

City Agency officials who attended Monday night’s meeting included:  Jeff Licklider, DGS ; Amanda Stout, DDOT; Chris Donatelli, Donatelli Development; Scottie Irving, Blue Skye Development; Richard Jackson, DOEE; Michelle Garcia, Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants;  Lt. Ron Wilkins and Officer Lee Nobriga, MPD.

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Brainstorming Capitol Hill’s Public Space Issues – Part II – Another Perspective

Capitol Hill residents turned out for the Forum on Public Space in the Hill Center last Thursday night. 

Brainstorming Capitol Hill’s Public Space Issues – Part II – Another Perspective

by Larry Janezich

In Part II, Capitol Hill Corner asked retiring ANC6B06 Commissioner and Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Nick Burger about his thoughts on the Thursday night Public Space Forum.  The following summarizes that conversation.

Burger said he was glad that the forum had been organized and glad see a civil discussion of these issues.  He said he’d not thought of some of the topics, like private streets, and that he would have taken a different tack on some topics.

He agreed with the consensus on scooters, i.e., if we force them off the sidewalks, where do they go, and stressed the need for adequate parking infrastructure.

He supports four way stops at intersections and says that the issue should be reframed by making all intersections four way stops and then asking DOT for justification as to why they need to be changed.  He also supports more technology-based enforcement, saying that cameras on four-way stops would need to be cost effective and wonders if maybe the revenue generated by cameras can cover the cost.  He agrees that Allen’s plan to deputize residents to help with enforcement using photos or video has potential.  And he sees Alpert’s idea about how we structure the lower-fine-but-more-frequent tickets generated by camera enforcement makes sense – as a way to change behavior without being punitive.

Regarding PUD community benefits, Burger sees the ability to add more housing to the community as the real benefit conferred by PUD negotiations, rather than other benefits exacted from a developer.  He wants more guidance for ANCs from the Office of Planning -or alternatively the DC Office of ANCs -on negotiating community benefits.  Given the choice, he said, he would prefer getting guidance from the Office of Planning, drawing on the experience of that agency.  The list of public benefits per project maintained by the city has been helpful in providing guidance, and the PUD process itself is an important way for the community to raise specific concerns.

Burger said that the Residential Parking Permit (RPP) system never felt equitable and the current system is not well structured.  When developers agree to make residents of high rises ineligible for RPPs that penalizes them for coming to the neighborhood second.  He agrees with Fascett’s point that there are ways to make it fair – maybe by charging a hefty price for RPPs with a rebate for residents with lower incomes.  He was hesitant to go to a smaller zone for parking within the ward.  He was sympathetic to the parking plight of small businesses and suggested an equitable allocation of RPPs to businesses for $300 or $500 a year.

A better discussion of dump trucks and construction sites, he said, would have included the use of public space for construction vehicle staging and parking for construction workers.

Asked what other topics he would like to have seen discussed, Burger suggested the following:  a debate and discussion of historic preservation which he sees as “public use of private space, sort of the opposite of private use of public space,” pocket parks and their repurposing, opening up of playgrounds and recreation centers, and a discussion of how to decide how much public space should be allocated in the development of the Southeast Boulevard project.

Hill Rag managing editor Andrew Lightman said that Thursday night’s forum was the first in a series of panel discussion of issues related to urban living and design.  Lightman expects the next forum to be held in February; the topic to be announced.  The Forums are sponsored by the The Capitol Hill Community Foundation and supported by The Hill Rag, The Ward Six Democrats, and The Hill Center.


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