Reservation 13, a proposed doggie daycare facility, bylaws amendments and comments on the Penn-Potomac Ave Intersection Pedestrian Safety Study were among the many issues on ANC 6B’s June 11 meeting agenda. Here is a brief meeting recap:
- The commission voted unanimously (10-0) to send a letter (pdf) to Victor Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, urging his office to move forward with the Donatelli/Blue Skye proposal for parcels F1 & G1 of the Hill East Development/Reservation 13. The commission’s letter also includes specific comments on the Donatelli/Blue Skye plans and urges Mayor Gray and DMPED to take action now to prepare the remaining parcels on the 67-acre site for development. A big thanks to my commission colleagues and the many residents who provided feedback on the proposal and on early drafts of the letter.
- I announced that BB Otero, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and David Berns, Director of the Department of Human Services had agreed to discuss the future of the DC General shelter at a June 27 ANC 6B Hill East Task Force meeting. The meeting will be from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue SE.
- After lengthy discussion and debate, the commission voted 9-0-1 to support a special exception and variance request that would allow City Dogs, a doggie daycare and boarding facility, to open at 1310 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. This was a very difficult case, particularly since one of the adjacent neighbors had converted her property from a commercial to residential use. City Dogs’ willingness to agree to additional operating conditions (pdf) with the commission ultimately persuaded me to support the case. I also agreed with the majority of commissioners that the commission should request that Board of Zoning Adjustment review the use after a certain period of time to ensure that all conditions are being met. Kudos to Commissioner Nichole Opkins (6B06) for her hard work in getting to an acceptable compromise.
- The commission unanimously supported sending a letter (pdf) to the District Department of Transportation outlining our views on the Pennsylvania-Potomac Avenue Intersection Pedestrian Safety Study. In the letter, the commission supports concept 3, which would create “T-intersections” and significantly improve pedestrian safety around the Potomac Avenue Metro plaza. Kudos to Commissioners Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04), Sara Loveland (6B07) and Nichole Opkins for their work on the letter.
- Given my previous work on improving ANC 6B’s bylaws, I was extremely pleased that the commission overwhelmingly approved two amendments to the bylaws. The first amendment, which passed unanimously, clarified that Commissioners can only nominate resident members who live in their Single Member Districts (SMDs) to committees and task forces. The second, which passed 8-1 (7 votes needed), finally allows resident members to vote in ANC 6B committees and task forces. Now residents who take the time to serve on committees can vote on recommendations to the full commission. A big thanks to Commissioner Brian Pate (6B05) for introducing the amendments.
- On an 8-0-1 vote, the commission approved a package of letters on problematic vacant and blighted properties in the commission area. One letter (pdf), addressed to the Vacant Buildings Unit at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, lists problematic vacant properties in each ANC 6B Single Member District, including 6B09. The commission will also send letters directly to vacant property owners urging them to improve their properties and comply with the law.
- Commissioner Oldenburg provided an update on efforts to support Frager’s and the other businesses impacted by the June 5 fire. She mentioned the Friends of Frager’s website, where individuals can make tax-deductible contributions to support Frager’s through the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, and encouraged attendees to visit the Frager’s Garden Center “pop up” across from Eastern Market.
- The commission heard a presentation by Juan Thompson of Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, who discussed the office’s efforts to emergency training preparedness efforts. The office is currently looking to recruit residents to serve in neighborhood corps, volunteers who would be able and willing to help neighborhood’s respond in the case of an emergency. You can read more on how to get involved in these efforts on the Serve DC website.
- ANC 6B’s July meeting will be on Tues., July 9, 7 pm at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.