Minutes Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

February 22, 2007 Public Meeting

Adopted on March 22, 2007

Revised on January 22, 2009



The meeting was held at Lamond Recreation Center, 20 Tuckerman St., NE.  It started at around 7:30 p.m., Chair Blondine Hughes (also ANC 4B05) presiding. 


Also present when the meeting started were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B03 Fred Grant, 4B06 Gloria Palmer, 4B07 Judi Jones, 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson and 4B09 Muriel Bowser.  4B02 Commissioner Faith Wheeler arrived after the minutes were accepted.  A quorum was present for all votes.



1.   In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, the Commission accepted Commissioner Green's motion to accept the minutes for Jan. 25, 2007.


2.   In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, the Commission approved Commissioner Jones' motion to spend $25 to join the city's ANC Security Fund Program. 


3.   In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted Commissioner's Bowser's motion to adopt a resolution in response to concerns voiced by parents and teachers from Whittier Elementary School, 6201 5th St., NW.


That resolution calls on ANC 4B to write a letter to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, with copies to the D.C. City Council stating the Commission's concerns about the school and the principal. The resolution asks that the Mayor send a neutral person to monitor Whittier.  It also asks that the Commission receive a report within 14 days.


The Chair asked Commissioner Grant to walk through the school and ascertain the problems. Whittier is located in Commissioner Grant's Single Member District, 4B03. 


4.  In a 5-0-3 show-of-hands vote, the Commission accepted Commissioner Bowser's motion to ask Loretta Neumann, of 7124 Piney Branch Rd., NW, to speak about the Takoma Historic Historic District Boundary Expansion Study.

The motion was in response to Commissioner Jones, who said she asked to put the item on the agenda but now wanted to remove it, and did not want Ms. Neumann to speak.


Ms. Neumann explained that a study is proceeding, but there is not yet a proposal.  A historian is researching Takoma's architecture and its past, she said. His work and the community's deliberations will continue and the issue will return to ANC 4B for a recommendation before being presented to the city's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for approval, she said.  She asked for volunteers for the study committee.


Background materials and a map showing the streets being studied in ANC 4B01, 4B02 and 4B07 were distributed.


5.   In a 7-1 show-of-hands vote, the Commission agreed to adopt a motion made by Commissioner Bowser to send the draft letter she distributed to the


Commission supporting Dakota Square, LLC's variance request before the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA Application No. 17600). 


Developers seek a variance from the residential loading berth size requirement in Section 2201.1 of the D.C. Zoning Regulations for its residential units at 300-320 Riggs Road, NE, now a strip mall.  The developer proposes building 420 apartments/condos and 85,000 square feet of commercial space. The requested variance would permit a 30-foot loading berth instead of the required 55 feet, and is needed for adequate parking at the residential portion of site, said Architect Geoffrey Griffis. The commercial portion will have the required 55-foot loading berth, he added.


Mr. Griffis detailed the proposal, presented a site plan and maps, and answered questions. A special exception will be requested in the future for a related project on South Dakota Avenue, NE, but at this time the applicant is asking only for the variance, Mr. Griffis said.  He also said the developer is negotiating with the District of Columbia to buy a vacant triangle of land adjacent to the project. There will be some "work force" and "affordable" housing, Mr. Griffis said.


Gwen Vample, the secretary of Citizens Aware, a Riggs Park community group, said her organization supports the project and the variance. Ms. Vample said that there have been several community meetings to discuss the project and related issues, particularly traffic and a new street configuration, she said.


Commissioner Wheeler said she supports the proposal. The developer is asking for a small change to build a big project, she said.


Community Concerns

1.  A woman said she is concerned about teens staying out too late.  She supports a return to the 10 p.m. curfew. She said she is concerned about two area establishments selling cigarettes to minors and selling without checking IDs.


2.  Mr. Thomas asked to hear from the D.C. Auditor's Office, as promised last month, about its recent letter to ANC 4B. Chair Hughes said she asked Mr. Lawrence Perry, of that office, to come and speak.  Mr. Perry's name was called, during the meeting, but he was not present.


3. Mr. Thomas also said he wants to be certain that all Commissioners and the public have access to ANC documents and the ANC office.  Chair Hughes said all Commissioners will have keys to the office and the public will have access to documents, upon request.


Presentations and Reports

1. Commissioners Wheeler and Palmer each presented packages of ANC 4B documents, including minutes and grant applications, to Paul Montague.  Mr. Montague had requested the documents.


Chair Hughes said that Mr. Montague was welcome to ask Commissioners questions about the documents after the meeting ended.


2.  Police Officer Heather Straker discussed area crime statistics.  There were three car jackings during a one-week period and car thefts are still "high" for the month of February, she said.  There are new foot patrol beats throughout the area, she added.


She also warned residents about a scam artist who is going door to door in PSA 402 and 403 asking to shovel sidewalks.


The meeting adjourned at about 9:30 p.m.


                                                              ----- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary