Minutes - July 24, 2008

Adopted August 14, 2008

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

 

 

The meeting was held at Emery Recreation Center, 5701 Georgia Avenue, NW.  It started at 7 pm, Chair Douglass Sloan (4B09) presiding.  Commissioners Sara Green (4B01), Frederick Grant (4B03), Judi Jones (4B07) and Yvonne Jefferson (4B08) were also present.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

Actions

1.  In a 6-0-1 show-of-hands vote on a motion made by Commissioner Green, the Commission adopted the agenda, as amended.  A grant request from Citizens Aware and a presentation from Mr. Clifford Barnes, representing Renal Advantage, Inc. and Minority Nephrologists of Washington, D.C., were added, along with a discussion and possible vote about a stop sign for the corner of Blair and Geranium Streets, NW.

 

2.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote on a motion made by Commissioner Green, the Treasurer's monthly report was adopted, including a friendly amendment suggested by Commissioner Jones to add the words "Ending Balance" to the last number on the page. 

 

Treasurer Grant reported that the Commission's checking account balance as of May 30, 2008 was $46,600.55.  June expenditures totaled $1,902.11.  The closing checking account balance was $44,698.44.  There were no changes to the savings account.

 

3.  In a 4-1-0 show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted a motion made by Commissioner Green establishing standing committees. 

 

Adopted Motion on ANC 4B - Standing Committees

 

ANC 4B establishes five Standing Committees as detailed in its Bylaws. (Copied below).

 

Their mission is to gather information and make recommendations to the full Commission on issues of concern to the residents of ANC 4B, including, but not limited to, on-going problems identified during ANC meetings, Single Member District Meetings, or community meetings, pending legislation before the D.C. City Council, and other proposals before a D.C. city government board or commission or other decision-making bodies.

 

The Commission is establishing Standing Committees because it recognizes that some issues require more time and investigation than is possible during a regular monthly meeting and are best handled in a separate public session(s) by Commissioners who have made a commitment to work on the issue.  Committee members are encouraged to invite speakers and solicit expert opinion and views from, among others, DC   government staff and elected officials, organizations, neighborhood groups, educators, businesses and residents.

 

Committee recommendations are nonbinding.  They require approval by the full Commission in a public meeting. 

 

The ANC 4B Chair will accept a motion from the Commission on whether to assign an issue to a committee.  The Chair will then designate the appropriate Committee.

 

Each Committee will be chaired by a Commissioner who will be appointed by the Commission by a majority vote.  Committee membership is open to every ANC 4B Commissioner upon that Commissioner's request.  ANC 4B residents and businesses are encouraged to join the Committees.

 

Committee meetings will be announced at least seven days in advance via email, the ANC 4B web site, or by announcement at public meetings, where possible, and are open to the public.  Committee chairs must invite the Commissioner(s) whose constituents are affected by the issue under discussion to all meetings and discussions on the issue so the Commissioner(s) can be included in the Committee's work and participate.

 

Committees will be governed by Robert's Rules of Order.  They will report on their activities and recommendations to the full Commission at the Commission's next regular meeting and will provide the full Commission with a brief written report.  Both majority and minority views will be included in reports.

 

The Standing Committees are:

 

1. Economic Development/Land Use

    Includes Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement, Business Issues, Housing

 

 2. Education/Libraries/Recreation

    Includes Schools, Libraries, Public Parks, Recreation

 

3. Public Safety/Alcoholic Beverages

    Includes Police, Fire and Rescue Services, and Alcohol Regulation

 

4. Public Works/Infrastructure

    Includes Public Transportation, Roads, Water and Public Utility Regulation, and Other Public Works Projects

                                                                                                          

5. Social Services/Health

    Includes Welfare and Public Assistance Services, Food Stamps, Foster Care, Family Services, Domestic Violence, Senior Citizens' Services, Medicaid, Health Insurance, Hospitals

 

Discussions

 

1.  Salmeron's Restaurant, 7331 Georgia Avenue, NW

Restaurant Co-Owner Ms. Jensy Medima, and her employee and translator, Ms. Anna Flores, spoke about the restaurant's request to add hours and provide entertainment. They answered questions.

 

Ms. Medima said they want to

  a) add hours inside the restaurant only, not at their outside tables

  b) keep the outside cafe hours the same -- 11 am to 11 pm

  c) add two hours to service inside the restaurant from Thursday through Saturday

  d)  provide Karaoke inside the restaurant

  e)  permit those who rent the private party room to bring in live bands

 

Ms. Medima said 

*  she did not meet with the public on July 19, as requested, because no English-Spanish translator was available then and none could be found to telephone Commissioner Green to decline the invitation.

 

* she received a notice of violation from an ABRA inspector for permitting a live band to play at a private party on June 7 in violation of their existing license. She said she did not understand that there was anything wrong with this. This is why she later applied for the entertainment endorsement.

 

* the police came to the restaurant in response to noise complaints, but the police said the noise was not a problem.

 

* disputed statements from neighbors Vera Carley, Andre Carley, and Tom Black that the music on the evening of July 19 ended at about 1:30 am, over an hour past the restaurant's closing time, and was loud enough to be heard two blocks away

 

* noted that in May, she turned off the music at the outside cafe, in response to a request from Commissioner Green

 

* she did not know about the voluntary agreement signed by the former owner.

 

* she did not know if her partners would sign a voluntary agreement and did not know if she would support doing this.

 

Others who spoke in opposition to the restaurant's requests included Mr. Sam Sharpe, and Ms. Gertrude Jones, who live within several blocks of the restaurant, and ANC 4A Commissioners Steve Whatley and Jourdinia Brown.  Both 4A Commissioners said that their constituents live near the restaurant and oppose the license changes.  They said ANC 4A would vote on the issue as well.

                                     

Commissioner Green asked those in the audience to stand up if they supported the new hours, and asked again if they supported the entertainment. No one stood up.

 

Commissioner Green asked those in the audience to stand up if they opposed the new hours, and asked again if they opposed the entertainment.  Over twenty people stood up to oppose both requests.  Mr. Carley said that his organization, Concerned Neighbors, had a meeting and members unanimously voted to oppose the requests.

 

Chair Sloan said he hopes the community will support the restaurant by becoming customers and will not simply oppose new proposals.

 

Commissioner Jones left the meeting before a vote on the Commission's recommendation on the restaurant's requests to the ABC Board could be held. After her departure a quorum was not present. The Commission informally agreed to hold a special public meeting prior to the ABC Board's August 25 deadline.

 

Commissioner Green noted, for the record, that the comments of those who took the time to attend ANC 4B's July 24 public meeting will be included in the minutes so that they could be shared with the full Commission when it votes its recommendation. 

 

2.  Geranium Street & Blair Road Stop Sign

 

Dr. Ron Ragland, of Blair Road, NW, also an officer with the Brummel Manor Homeowners Association Board, as per the Board's June 30 vote, asked ANC 4B  to act to have a 3-way stop sign installed at the corner of Blair and Geranium Streets, NW.

 

He said he was concerned the intersection, which is curved and has difficult sight-lines, is dangerous for the pedestrians who use it to walk to the Takoma Metro Station.  Ms. Lisa Martinez, also of Brummel Manor, Mr. Mike Turner, of Blair Road, and Mr. Andre Carley supported Dr. Ragland's statements.

 

3.  Ms. Lisa Adams, of Council Member Muriel Bowser's Office, reported on jobs available at the U.S. Census Bureau.                                          

 

4.  Mr. Clifford E. Barnes, a lawyer representing Renal Advantage, Inc. and Minority Nephrologists of Washington, D.C., and Dr. Cossette Jamieson, an affiliated physician,

discussed their proposal to locate the Ward 4 Dialysis Care Center at 3739 Missouri Avenue, NW. 

 

The Center would be a new state-of-the art facility that would fill a need in the area, they said.  Currently, there is no dialysis center in Ward 4 and patients must travel significant distances for care. The Center is the only joint venture with minority physicians in D.C., they added.

 

They asked for a letter of endorsement to the District of Columbia licensing officials who would determine whether a Certificate of Need will be granted. The deadline for the letter is August 20.

 

Commissioner Grant said he knows people who have to travel to Northeast Washington, D.C. for treatment and sees a real need for this facility.

 

The meeting adjourned at about 9 pm.

 

--- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary