Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D
65 I St., SW
Washington, DC 20024
April 10, 2006
Chairman Andy Litsky called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Present: Commissioners Litsky, Moffatt (arrived at 8:10 pm), Skolnik, Siegel and Sobelsohn
Commissioner Skolnik moved approval of the agenda. It was seconded by Commissioner Siegel, and adopted without objection.
2. Community Comment
Gene Solon presented comments about the ANC’s minutes.
3. February and March Minutes
Commissioner Sobelsohn requested that his specific comments be deleted from the February minutes, specifically: under number 5(Proposed Alley Closing-Square 743N), delete all of the first three sentences, from “Mr. Sobelsohn quoted” through “meeting to discuss these issues.”’ under part 6 (70-100 I Street SE), first paragraph, delete entire last sentence (beginning “Mr. Sobelsohn suggested””); under number 6, 4th paragraph (beginning “Commissioner Williams said”) delete entire third sentence beginning “Mr. Sobelsohn said”; under number 11 (resolution in Support of the Reappointment of Maria Delaney), 2nd sentence, beginning “Commissioner Litsky”: rewrite as “Commissioner Litsky moved to support the reappointment to a second four-year term…”; under number 13 (Resolution on Child Development Facilities Regulations). 3rd sentence. beginning “Commissioner Sobelsohn asked”: delete everything in sentence up to the “and”, so sentence begins “Mr. Skolnik;” under number 14, (Minutes),k rewrite as “Mr. Sobelsohn moved to reconsider the vote by which the January minutes were tabled;” under number 14 (Minutes), 2nd paragraph, add last sentence “Commissioner Sobelsohn abstained.” Without objection, the minutes were so amended. Motion: Commissioner Skolnik moved approval of the February minutes, and seconded by Commissioner Siegel and approved without objection. Commissioner Sobelsohn abstained.
Commissioner Sobelsohn moved the following amendments to the March minutes: under number 4 (Public Safety Report): delete entire third sentence (beginning “Sgt. Talbert said the police…”); under number 5 (Proposed Alley Closing-Square 743N), in the second paragraph, delete second and third sentences, beginning “A question was also raised…”); under number 5, in the 5th paragraph, delete the last two sentences (beginning “Commissioner Sobelsohn said…”); under number 5, delete the seventh—one sentence—paragraph; under number 9 (11th Street Bridges Environmental Impact Study), delete the last sentence (beginning Members of the ANC…); under number 10 (Committees) delete the last sentence (beginning “Jennifer Raichel); under number 11 (millennium Arts Center),. delete first sentence, beginning “Commissioner Sobelsohn was not…); under number 16 (Adjournment) replace Moffatt with Sobelsohn; replace 7-0 with 5-0. Without objection the minutes were so amended. Approval of the March minutes was moved by Commissioner Skolnik, seconded by Commissioner Siegel and passed as amended without objection. Commissioner Sobelsohn abstained.
4. Public safety report
Sergeant Jim Crouch reported that while crime is up 20% in the 1st District, it is down one percent in PSA 104. He said that robberies and burglaries are up, and that theft from autos remains a serious problem. He reported that construction sites are creating pockets of crime, and that the circus is a magnet for theft from auto and stolen cars. He also reported that with warmer weather there are bigger crowds at the waterfront and greater opportunities for crimes of opportunity.
Commissioner Litsky again raised the issue of a bike patrol at the waterfront and was told by Sgt. Crouch that while he can present it, he can’t make it happen. Sgt. Crouch did say it would be a great asset.
5. Old Business
Commissioner Litsky pointed out that there had been no vote on school closings at the March meeting, but the Commission had expressed concern about the prospective closing of Van Ness School. He introduced Ward 6 School Board member Tommy Wells.
Mr. Wells stated that the goal of “real sizing” the DC schools is to reduce that more than 6 million square feet of excess space the system has, saying that part of the system’s problems can be traced to the high operating costs of running so much excess space. The goal of the current plan is to reduce three million square feet by the summer so that schools will be able to plan for the fall term.
He spoke about the Master Education Plan that will enable funds for such things as librarians, and music and art programs. The schools are funded on a per student basis, and 320 students are needed to cover the costs of a school. He suggested that such solutions as cluster schools that share staff and facilities can make that ratio work, and said there will be a series of meetings citywide to help identify one million disposable square feet by May 17th. The Ward 6 meeting will be held on April 27th. He said they would begin implementing the Master Facilities Plan in June.
He said that schools are being entrepreneurial and discussion consolidation and other solutions, and said the first considerations the Board will take into account are such criteria as size and current condition of the facility. He also said that junior high schools are being eliminated and replaced with middle schools to create consistency throughout the city, and so Bowen and Amidon will lose their sixth grades and Jefferson would gain a sixth grade, while losing its ninth grade. He said that excess space in schools will be used for school administration space, or for co-location with charter school or libraries or health care facilities.
Some schools, he added provide unique opportunities and he used Van Ness as an example, saying that a developer could swap the valuable land on which the school sits in exchange for constructing a new school on a nearby walkable site.
He said that teachers will not be affected by the closings, although administrative personnel will. He did not rule out the consolidation of Bowen and Amidon. No school will be sold, but could be transferred to the Mayor’s building inventory and leased, with the money going directly to the school system rather than to general funds. They are also exploring public-private partnerships as an income generator.
Commissioner Litsky said he heard that Bowen might close, and Mr. Wells responded that he was not aware of that, but that Amidon is a high performing school and that makes a difference in considering the closings. He said that Van Ness is not going to go and that it might be used as a “swing” school to house students as their schools are renovated. There was discussion of the number of families with children who will be returning to Capper/Carrollsburg and Commissioner Litsky said that an effort should be made to find out. C.W. Hargrave asked about keeping children in walking distance from their schools. Commissioner Litsky asked about community schools, and Mr. Wells said that there are looking at four schools for the program, and that one, Nalle School, already exists.
Mr. Litsky said that the ANC would postpone action on the issue until closing plans were more definite.
Warren Graves of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, Alan Fitzpatrick, project manager for Clark Construction, Marshall Pernell of Devereaux and Pernell, the local architectural partner of HOK Sport, the stadium’s designer, and transportation consultant Alan Harwood made a presentation on the latest plans for the baseball stadium.
Mr. Graves reported that the City Council will have a hearing on the alley closings required for the stadium on May 4th, after which the project will go before the Zoning Commission for final approval. He said the site was empty, except for the WMATA parking lot, which will be empty by May 8th. He said the asphalt plant has been dismantled piece-by-piece and will be rebuilt on a new site, still be determined.
Mr. Pernell presented a “virtual tour” of the stadium site.
Mr. Fitzpatrick said that work will begin about May 5th, and will start on 1st Street and work clockwise around the site. There will be pile driving and installation of footings during May and early June, to be followed by about nine months of cast-in-place construction and steel work, which will begin in October, and for which the steel has already been purchased. There will be ramp into the site on Half Street, with a secondary ramp on the south side of the site. He said that traffic would be similar to existing patterns. He said it will be 13 months from October to completion of construction work, after which the seats will be installed and the finishing will take place prior to the April 2008 opening date.
Mr. Graves said that purchasing activities were proceeding and that they have already awarded 18 contracts to Small Local Disadvantaged Businesses (SLDB), the goal being that at least 50 percent of all contracts will be given to SLDB firms. The next steps, he said, are providing employment and training opportunities, which are already in progress.
Commissioner Litsky asked about parking and pedestrian access to the stadium and requested that a written plan be developed, so the community can have an idea of what to expect. He was told that truck traffic cannot go through the residential area, that speed limits on M Street will have to be obeyed, and that there are bi-weekly meetings with DDOT to monitor the traffic situation. Alan Harwood suggested that RFK stadium is providing a good laboratory, with No Parking zones in residential areas. He said there will be no stadium parking in Southwest, and that there will be a tow truck in the area to make certain. He said that the residential streets will be closed.
Mr. Graves announced the first meeting of an advisory committee comprised of ANC Commissioners, civic association, public housing and local church representatives was going to occur on April 18th at Friendship Church.
6. New Business
100 M Street SE (Square 743N)
Norman Glasgow of Holland & Knight and Steve Cohen of Faison Associates, the building’s developer, presented a request for support for their project at 100 M Street SE for a technical design review at the Zoning Commission. Mr. Cohen said the building meets the height and FAR requirements of the Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay. They are, he said, working with the Office of Planning to make certain the project meets the criteria established by the Overlay. Discussion focused on the space between the building and residential building on the same site, which is 20’ and has facing windows in both buildings. The Commission was also told that the sidewalk setback is 15’ from the curb, and that there would be parking in the building. . Motion: Commissioner Sobelsohn moved that the ANC support b before the Zoning Commission the proposed design for 100 M Street SE. It was seconded by Commissioner Skolnik and passed 4-0-1, with Commissioner Siegel abstaining.
900 New Jersey Avenue SE
Norman Glasgow, representing JPI developers along with Doug Watkins of the Preston Partnership, the project’s architect, presented a request for support for a special exception and a variance at the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA).
The special exception is to enable the separation of roof stairwells and HVAC units onto each side of the residential building. The applicant says having two HVAC systems will improve the building’s energy efficiency.
The variance is being requested for a reduction in the required residential recreation space. They plan to provide 23,00 square feet of space, including a 10,000 square foot pool deck, a community pub room, a fitness room and a conference room, as well as 5,000 square feet in exterior space. This is less than is currently required by current regulations, but, according to JPI’s experience, is what residents prefer.
It was suggested that the two requests be considered separately. Motion: Commissioner Sobelsohn moved that the ANC support the variance for the roof structures. It was seconded by Commissioner Siegel.
Mr. Moffatt said that if there are regulations about size and height requirements, they should be followed. He was told that they wanted to build less structure, not more. If the special exception is denied, they will have to build more structure. In response to a question about affordable housing, Mr. Glasgow said that the building is in a transferable development receiving (TDR) zone, and have purchased the right to develop the lot to the maximum square footage, and the project is not priced to allow affordable housing.
Mr. Solon said as there was no provision for affordable housing, the ANC should not take vote no and tell the BZA that was the reason why.
The motion failed 2-3, with Commissioners Litsky and Sobelsohn in favor, and Commissioners Moffatt, Skolnik, and Siegel in opposition.
Motion: Commissioner Sobelsohn moved to support the request for support of a variance for a reduction in the amount of residential recreational space at 900 New Jersey Avenue SE. It was seconded by Commissioner Siegel.
Commissioner Litsky addressed the issue of the Commission’s view that affordable housing should be included in all new housing being built in Southwest. Commissioner Sobelsohn amended his motion to include “contingent on the developer’s provision of affordable housing up to 15% of the additional FAR it was granted.”
Commissioner Litsky suggested that the matter should be referred to the Development Committee, with the developer making a good faith effort to address the issue of affordable housing. He said there was still time prior to the BZA hearing for the Committee to act and return the matter to the full ANC.
Motion: Commissioner Moffatt moved a reconsideration of the first vote on the special exception for the roof. It was seconded by Commissioner Skolnik, and passed 4-1, with Commissioner Siegel in opposition. Motion: Commissioner Sobelsohn moved to refer both issues to the Development Committee. It was seconded by Commissioner Skolnik and passed 5-0.
1000 South Capitol Street SE
Kyrus Freeman of Holland & Knight, representing Lerner Associates, requested support for the closing of an 808 sq. ft. portion of an alley at a building at 1000 South Capitol Street SE. It is a 100% office building, with three levels of parking, providing 195 parking spaces. It is a matter of right building, and the alley space will be used for a loading dock area. The portion of the alley is unnecessary for public use, and the necessary agencies have signed off on its closing, including WASA, PEPCO, DDOT, etc.
Mr. Freeman said he knows that affordable housing is an issue with the ANC, and the developers will obey the regulations, which say that any new construction requires (1) the inclusion of affordable housing, or (2) a contribution to the District’s Housing Investment Trust Fund. Lerner will contribute $26,549 to the HITF.
Motion: Commissioner Sobelsohn moved to refer the project to the Development Committee. It was seconded by Commissioner Skolnik.
Commissioner Siegel said that the amount being contributed to the HITF is paltry compared with the value of the 808 square feet to the developer. Mr. Freeman responded that the amount strictly follows the formula set out in the zoning regulations. He cited case law going back to the founding of the District in 1781, when nine landowners donated their property to form the capitol, and said alleys revert to the adjacent property owners, not the District. The developer was urged to consider setting aside some space in the building for use by local community or non-profit organizations. The motion to refer was passed 5-0.
Commissioner Litsky said that the ANC had been asked to support the routes of several races, and that the representatives of the organizations appearing had written letters saying that their organizations would be responsible for any expenses for city services that they incur.
Race for the Cure
The Commission was asked for its support of the 19th Annual Race for the Cure on June 9th. Motion: Commissioner Moffatt moved that the ANC support the Race for the Cure. It was seconded by Commissioner4 Skolnik, and passed without objection.
The Commission was asked for its support of the 22nd Annual Army Ten-Miler on October 8th. Motion: Commissioner Moffatt moved that the ANC support the Army Ten-Miler. It was seconded by Commissioner Skolnik, and passed without objection.
Marine Corps Marathon
The Commission was asked for its support of the 31st Annual Marine Corps Marathon. Motion: Commissioner Sobelsohn moved that the ANC support the Marine Corps Marathon. It was seconded by Commissioner4 Skolnik, and passed without objection.
7. Committee Reports
Committee Chair Naomi Monk reported that the Committee was looking at three candidates for grants and the next Committee meeting will be held on Sunday, April 24th at 4 pm, at 240 M St. SW. (Committee minutes attached).
Jennifer Rachels delivered a report on procedures developed for the Development Committee to organize the operations of the committee (report attached).
A liquor license renewal notice from the ABC for Capitol Gift Shop Ventures in the Marriott Residence Inn Hotel at 333 E Street SW was referred to the Alcoholic Beverage Committee.
Suggested By-Laws Change
Commissioner Skolnik called the Commissioner’s attention to the by-laws change he is suggesting for the section of the by-laws referring to Committees, which will be discussed at the next meeting.
12. Treasurer’s Report
Commissioner Skolnik gave the treasurer's report for March 13 – April 10, 2006. A copy of his report is attached to these minutes. ANC 6D has $39,714.80 in current funds. The savings account has $5,102.33. The report includes expenses submitted for approval of staff salary $554.10 (Check #256), and telephone of $90.38 (Check #257); of postage $75.00 (Check #258); petty cash, for $86.94 (Check #259); and telephone, $93.93 (Check #260). Motion: Commissioner Skolnik made/Commissioner Sobelsohn seconded a motion to approve the December-January report and to authorize payment of the expenses. The motion passed 4-0-1, with Commissioner Siegel abstaining.
C.W. Hargrave inquired as to how the grants awarded by the ANC will be paid, and was told that checks will be written by the Treasurer and given to the awardees.
14. Audience Comment
C.W. Hargrave and Gene Solon made comments. Mr. Solon asked about the Development Committee meeting and was told the time and place.
Commissioner Skolnik made/Commissioner Moffatt seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion passed 7-0. The meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.