As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a work trip last week and had to miss the April 12 commission meeting. A big thanks to my colleague Commissioner Jared Critchfield (6B06) for helping me pull together a recap. Here are the highlights:
- The commission voted 5-3 to send a letter to the District Department of Transportation indicating support for a new information hub and its design at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza. Once completed, the hub will replace the current info. tent at the plaza. You can read more about the hub and its design on the Eastern Market Metro Community Association’s blog.
- Before the final vote on the hub letter, the commission passed an amendment (5-3)introduced by Commissioner Ivan Frishberg (6B02) that inserted language into the letter indicating the commission’s desire that DDOT also use funds to upgrade landscaping at the metro plaza. Three commissioners – Dave Garrison (6B01), Norm Metzger (6B03) and Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04) – voted against the amendment, arguing that landscaping was beyond the scope of the project. The same three voted against the final letter with the landscaping language. For the record, I would have voted in support of the amendment and the final letter. The info hub will be much more welcoming if the plaza around it is spruced up. And it won’t happen unless we ask.
- Councilmember Tommy Wells shared his intent to introduce legislation that would create a new governing structure for Eastern Market. Currently, EM is run by the DC Dept. of Real Estate Services and overseen by the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee. Councilmember Wells would like to see EM have a governing body with full authority over the market’s finances and operations. Councilmember Wells asked ANC 6B to hold a public hearing on the proposed legislation when it is introduced and to consider a resolution or recommendations on how the legislation should be amended. He hopes to have the DC Council vote on the legislation prior to their July 15 recess.
- During the community speakout portion of the agenda, a resident who lives on the 1800 block of Bay Street complained about noise levels from April 9 event at the DC Armory. Commissioner Campbell has asked the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, the entity with jurisdiction over the Armory and RFK Stadium, to make sure their events comply with DC’s sound ordinance. WCSA replied that they will ensure that future events do not disturb the neighborhood.
- On an 8-0 vote, the commission supported a new voluntary agreement with Pacifico, paving the way for a liquor license for the new Barracks Row establishment. The new agreement adds 20 new seats to the restaurant’s proposed roof deck in exchange for the deck closing an hour earlier. With the agreement, a group of residents who live on the blocks adjacent to 8th St. SE have dropped their plans to protest the license.
- On unanimous 8-0 votes, the commission supported three requests by restaurants to renegotiate the terms of their voluntary agreements. Lola’s and Acqua Al Due want to seek additional seating while Zest Bistro would like to open earlier for bruch. All three establishments would have to present their plans at future commission meetings.