ANC 6B October Meeting Recap

ANC redistricting, a proposed Hine redevelopment subcommittee, Eastern Market legislation and a contentious public space case took up the bulk of Tuesday’s ANC 6B meeting at National Community Church.  Here are the highlights:

  • Chair Glick announced that ANC 6B has officially moved into an office at the newly renovated Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (formerly the Old Naval Hospital). All future full commission meetings will also be held at the Hill Center. It was great to see Commissioner Glick back leading the meeting after a health-related hiatus. 
  • Albert Karcher of City Year shared information about the organization’s upcoming service day at the DC General Shelter on Reservation 13. The service day will be on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.  Service projects will include painting murals, organizing the donation room and preparing the shelter for the winter season. If you are interested in learning more or participating, contact Mr. Karcher at akarcher@cityyear.org.
  • On an 8-0 vote, the commission approved a redistricting resolution (pdf) urging Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells and the DC Council to enact an ANC redistricting plan that maintains East Capitol Street as the boundary between ANC 6B and ANC 6C. The plan submitted by the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force would shift the boundary to Independence Avenue SE between 3rd and 8th Sts. SE, moving 1,275 current residents of ANC 6B into ANC 6C. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, moving the boundary from East Capitol to Independence is a bad idea.
  • The commission approved the creation of a Hine Redevelopment Subcommittee by a 5-3 vote (I voted in favor). In addition to commissioners, the subcommittee will include representatives from various community groups and residents and will work towards a unified community position as the project enters the Planned Unit Development (PUD) phase. The subcommittee will forward recommendations to the planning & zoning committee and then to the full commission. Ultimately, the full commission will have the final say.
  • I also voted with the majority (5-3) in support of an at-large councilmember outreach plan and talking points. One of the lessons of ward redistricting was that ANC 6B needs to build stronger relationships with our at-large councilmembers.  The talking points will allow ANC 6B commissioners to share the commission’s general position on a number of issues (Reservation 13, traffic on 17th, etc.) with the councilmembers. Commissioners opposed (Green, Metzger, Oldenburg) voiced concern about having commissioners speaking on behalf of the commission to at-large councilmembers and about the talking points. In response, I noted that the commission needs to be proactive in reaching out to our elected officials.
  • The commission unanimously approved hosting a joint community meeting with the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee on Eastern Market legislation introduced by Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells. The meeting will be informational only – ANC 6B will not take any official actions during the joint meeting. ANC 6B will likely consider a resolution on the legislation during the full commission meeting or a special call meeting in November. You can read more about Councilmember Wells’ legislation on his website.
  • On a 7-0-1 vote (Commissioner Glick abstained), ANC 6B voted to oppose a public space permit for the installation of a fence on public property at 768 13th Street SE (next to Jenkins Row) . The fence already exists on public property and was in place when the current owner bought the adjacent rowhouse. Neighbors would like to see the fence removed and the property developed into a community garden. While I’m sympathetic to the adjacent owner’s argument that the fence existed when he bought his property, the fence was clearly built on public space that should be open to use by the community.
  • The commission had planned on hearing the 18th Amendment Bar & Restaurant’s (613 Pennsylvania Avenue SE) request to expand the size of its sidewalk cafe. However, the owner said that the DC Department of Transportation’s Public Space Committee had already heard the case and approved the request without notifying ANC 6B. The commission unanimously approved  a motion offered by Commissioner Ivan Frishberg  to request that DDOT Director Terry Bellamy attend ANC 6B’s November meeting and explain why ANC 6B is not receiving proper notice on public space permits.
  •  I provided a report on the October 5 Hill East Task Force meeting on the future of the Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club Building. I noted that there is interest in hosting a community tour of the building in the near future.
  • ANC 6B’s next full commission meeting will be on Tuesday, November 8, 7 pm at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
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