DRAFT DRAFT Minutes, July 27, 2006 Public Meeting

Minutes, July 27, 2006 Public Meeting

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

Adopted, September 28, 2006



The meeting was called to order at about 7:15 p.m. at the Paul Charter School Auditorium, 5800 8th Street, N.W. Chair Cherita Whiting presiding. All nine Commissioners were present when the roll was read. Present were Commissioners Whiting, Sara Green, Faith Wheeler, Frederick Grant, Wesley Hickman, Blondine Hughes, Judi Jones, Michael Burke, and Muriel Bowser.



A quorum was present for all votes.


1. In a show of hands, the Commission voted 8-1 to approve Commissioner Hughes' motion to adopt the June 22, 2006 minutes, as amended.


The changes added the words "and submitted" after the word "presented" on page two, Action Item Number 9, line 2.


A new last sentence was added to Action Item Number 9: "Commissioner Jones said her motion was made because the Department of Transportation's report and the Office of Planning's report would not significantly change the West Group's proposal.


Also, John Milligan is the correct name on the first line of page four, not Don Milligan.


2. In a show of hands, the Commission unanimously approved Commissioner Green's motion to approve the agenda with the addition of a report on the July 20th D.C. Zoning Commission hearing about the West Group's Planned Unit Development proposal for 6000 New Hampshire Avenue, N.E.


3. In a show of hands, the Commission unanimously approved Commissioner Green's motion to add to the agenda a vote on a draft resolution supporting full funding for a DNA laboratory for the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office.


4. In a show of hands, the Commission voted 7-2 to approve Commissioner Jones' motion to change the order of the agenda so that grant issues would be considered after the Identity Theft Prevention presentation.


5. In a show of hands, the Commission unanimously agreed to Commissioner Green's motion to give the Black Aesthetics Institute an extension of time to July 25, 2006 to spend the $1,000 grant it awarded to the Institute.




Minutes, July 27, 2006 Public Meeting

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

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The grant was awarded on April 26, 2006 to cover part of the liability insurance premium for the Institute's classes. The Institute did submit documents to ANC

4B in June showing the premium was due in July. However, Lynard Barnum, of the D.C. Auditor's Office, told ANC 4B Treasurer Faith Wheeler that the Commission needs to vote to give the group the extension because D.C. government rules require that groups spend the money and provide receipts within 60 days of receiving the grant.


Corrine Hobbs, the Institute's treasurer, presented the Commission with an invoice showing that the $1,000 was paid to The Hartford Insurance Company on July 24, 2006.


Denise Erskine-Meusa, the Institute's founder and president, explained that there are changes in the program, along with unanticipated delays. The Institute is now partnering with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the program will take place at Emery Recreation Center on Georgia Avenue instead of at Coolidge High School. It will start on August 5, and will continue on Saturdays throughout the year.


6. In a show of hands, the Commission unanimously agreed to Commissioner Bowser's motion to give the Friends of the Takoma Recreation Center until September 18, 2006 to submit a receipt for the remaining $100 out of the $1,000 grant awarded to the group on May 25, 2006.


Friends' President Gina Douglas told the Commission that the group planned to use the $100 for transportation stipends for the fall soccer season, which begins September 9, 2006.


7. In a unanimous show of hands, the Commission agreed to Commissioner Hughes' motion to grant $1,000 to the Lamond Community Development Corporation for awards and plaques to be distributed at its 3rd Annual Community Day.


8. In a unanimous show of hands, the Commission agreed to Commissioner Wheeler's motion to adopt a grant application form with additional language on the first page. That new language is titled "Reporting Requirements," and tells prospective grantees they must submit a statement about the use of their grant, along with receipts, within 60 days following the issuance of a grant.


9. In a unanimous show of hands, the Commission agreed to Commissioner Hughes' motion to table a vote on adopting a letter to accompany grant checks.


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Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

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The letter gives the specific deadline date for report and receipt(s). Several Commissioners wanted clarifications from the Auditor's Office about the letter.


10. In a show of hands, the Commission voted 7-0-1 to approve Commissioner Green's motion to hear the presentation on 7041 Blair Road, NW out of order on the agenda.


11. In a show of hands, the Commission voted 7-0-2 to adopt Commissioner Green's motion about the development at 7041 Blair Road, NW.


It is: "ANC 4B has seen the final designs for the condominium project to be built at 7041 Blair Road, N.W. The Commission has also heard concerns about the final design from Historic Takoma, Inc. We believe that the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) needs to hold another public hearing to resolve concerns about the final design, particularly the penthouse. We authorize Commissioner 4B01 Sara Green to represent ANC 4B before the HPRB on this matter."


The resolution followed testimony from Centex Representative Elizabeth Morse, and a colleague, Historic Takoma Incorporated (HTI) President Sabrina Baron and Vice President Lorraine Pearsal, and Takoma Residents Nancy Smith and Alice Giancola.


The Centex representatives showed updated elevations. They said they wanted to file for a building permit in August and have been working with the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and its staff since January. The building uses "green" technology and is energy efficient, Ms. Morse said. Concerns from the neighboring building, Cedar Crossing, were addressed by putting an elevated planting wall and fence to prevent 7041 Blair Road residents from jumping onto the abutting building, she explained.


Ms. Baron said her group's request to meet with Centex was not denied. Ms. Morse said there was no time. Ms. Smith said Centex has met with the community frequently for more than a year. Both Ms. Smith and Ms. Giancola spoke in support of Centex and its building's design.


Ms. Baron responded that there were a number of meetings with the site's earlier owner, but since Centex became the principal owner, the communication declined. Ms. Morse said she had no intention of meeting on design issues, Ms. Baron added.



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Ms. Pearsal said there is a significant remaining issue with the design. The penthouse looks "plopped down" with "no context" and is not integrated into the

building's design. The penthouse should not have gone to staff, since it is a major issue that should be handled by the HPRB itself in a public hearing, Ms. Pearsal said.


Ms. Morse said the penthouse is the same height as when HPRB approved it and is still within the allowable height for the building.


Commissioner Hughes, in response to the adopted ANC 4B resolution on 7041 Blair Road, said she wants the Commission to be consistent in the way it designates its representatives to D.C. panels and boards. Commissioners should be designated when the site is in their Single Member District, she said.


12. In a 4-0-5 show-of-hands-vote, the Commission adopted Commissioner Jones' motion that "Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 4B07 Judi Jones represent ANC 4B at the West Group hearing on September 7."


Commissioner Jones explained that she made the motion because the Commission ran out of time to complete its discussion on the West Group proposal during its June public meeting and she had not been designated as the representative in the June resolution.


After the vote, Commissioner Jones said, "I am willing to work with anyone" on this issue and to review the Department of Transportation and the Office of Planning reports. She also said she was writing a report and would share it.


Commissioner Bowser said that Commissioner Jones "can only represent what the ANC has voted on" in her submission to the Zoning Board.


Other Presentations and Reports

1. Officer Heather Straker, of the 4th District, detailed recent crimes in the area and answered questions.


2. A representative of a local firm started to talk about his firm's products and services to prevent identity theft. Chair Whiting halted the presentation after the first few minutes when it became clear that the services were not free of charge.


3. Commissioner Bowser reported on Tiger Mart's license to sell beer and wine at its store on 300 Riggs Road, N.E. ANC 4B is protesting the license, she said. She also said she hoped to have an agreement with Tiger Mart on conditions, but would request mediation if the community could not come to an agreement with Tiger Mart. The next hearing on the case is set for August 9, she said.


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4. Commissioner Green said there is a hearing on Safeway's request to sell beer and wine at its store on 6500 Piney Branch Road, NW., on August 16.


Community Concerns


1. Glenda Hairston, of 812 Van Buren Street, NW, said she is concerned about neighborhood cleanliness. ANC 4B refused to distribute her leaflets.


The meeting adjourned at about 9:15 p.m.


--- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary