Visits by Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen were the highlights of ANC 6B’s Feb. 10 meeting at the Hill Center. Here is a recap of major actions:
- Mayor Bowser stopped by to talk about her first month in office and the senior team she has assembled. The Mayor took questions on the Hine redevelopment, Potomac Gardens and how to improve pedestrian crossings around the neighborhood. I asked the Mayor about DC General and restated her commitment to close the deteriorating shelter, “hopefully by next winter.” In response to a question about development in Reservation 13, she expressed optimism that the Donatelli/Blue Skye plans will create momentum to develop the rest of the site. You can read more about the Mayor’s comments at Capitol Hill Corner.
- Following the Mayor, Councilmember Allen discussed his priorities for Ward 6 and the city, including his Books from Birth Initiative, a program where the city would mail one book monthly to every child from birth to age 5.
- The commission unanimously elected Commissioners Nick Burger (6B06), Chander Jayaraman (6B08) and Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04) to chair the planning & zoning, alcoholic beverage control and transportation committees respectively. The commission also unanimously appointed resident members to serve on the three committees. A big thanks to 6B09 resident Keith Smith for volunteering to serve on the transportation committee.
- The commission also unanimously approved my bylaws and standing rules amendments to allow ANC 6B residents to chair commission task forces. Residents who have served at least one year as an ANC 6B commissioner or ANC resident member on a committee or task force will be eligible to run to chair the Hill East or Outreach and Constituent Services task force at the commission’s March 10 meeting. More information will be posted soon on the ANC 6B website.
- While tremendous progress has been made on a Settlement Agreement addressing noise and other issues, I voted with the majority (7-0-3) to support the nearby neighbor’s request for a continuance (pdf) in the ongoing protest of the Ugly Mug. The Ugly Mug is seeking a substantial change to its liquor license to allow for a significant expansion of the establishment, including the addition of a retractable roof. I’m hopeful that an agreement between all parties can be reached in March.
- I also voted with the majority (6-3-1) of the commission to send a letter (pdf) to the National Park Service withdrawing ANC 6B’s conditional support of Marion Park as the site of a proposed Francis Marion Memorial. Instead of leading to more neighborhood engagement, the commission’s letter has been misused by NPS to suggest strong community support for the project. The project is currently suspended due to fundraising struggles and the need for Congress to extend its authorization.
- ANC 6B voted unanimously to support commission testimony at a number of DC Council agency oversight hearings (pdf). I plan to testify on behalf of the commission at the Events DC, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration and Department of Human Services hearings.
- The commission voted unanimously to approve its Quarterly Report for FY15, Quarter 1.
- ANC 6B’s March meeting will be on Tues., March 10, 7 pm at the Hill Center.