Minutes - Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

Special Public Meeting, August 14, 2008

Adopted on September 25, 2008



The meeting began at about 7:00 pm at the MPD Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW, Chair Douglass Sloan presiding.  Also present were Commissioners Sara Green (4B01), Faith Wheeler (4B02), Fred Grant (4B03), and Yvonne Jefferson (4B08).   A quorum was present for all votes.



1.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Green, the Commission agreed to add to the agenda a discussion and a possible vote on an ANC Joint Public Hearing and place it on the agenda as Item Number 9. 


2.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission agreed to adopt the agenda as amended.


3.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Grant, the Commission agreed to adopt the minutes for the July 24, 2008 Public Meeting, the July 10, 2008 Special Public Meeting, and the June 26, 2008 Public Meeting, as corrected and amended.


There were no corrections or amendments to the July 24 minutes.


The following corrections and amendments were made to the July 10 minutes:

    a)   Page One, Action 1, Line 1 will read: "Following a motion, the agenda, as amended..."


    b)   Page One, Action 2, 3rd Line will read: "unless another commissioner offered more specific information."


    c)   Page One and Two, Action 3, Paragraphs 3-9 will read:


"Commissioner Wheeler said that some of her constituents who live close to the proposed Georgia and Aspen site have expressed strong opposition to the Aspen and Georgia location because of noise and the physical damage to residents due to noise. She pointed out that her constituents already experience the noise from low-flying military helicopters that fly over her entire SMD before landing at Walter Reed.


The Commission voted after a detailed presentation by D.C. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Dennis Rubin and his staff.  The presentation was followed by a question and answer period and comments from the community.


Chief Rubin said that the Aspen and Georgia corner site is the best and is needed so that Engine Number 22 can move from its late 19th Century building to a site where it can serve most of upper Ward 4 with 4-6 minute response times.  Longer response times threaten lives, he said.                                                                

Sites that were examined and rejected include Georgia and Fern, Georgia and Underwood, Piney Branch and Tuckerman and others.  The corner site is better than using the existing Walter Reed fire station, located about 100 feet down Aspen, he added.                                                                                                


He said the community would be asked for significant input on the exterior design of the new station.  He also said that noise is an issue and the department is working on ways to mitigate it.


ANC 4A03 Commissioner Steve Whatley's Single Member District includes the corner of Aspen and Georgia.  Commissioner Whatley said that his constituents from north of Walter Reed rejected the corner of Fern and Georgia because the helicopter pad and the amputee center are already near there.  He said they support the Aspen and Georgia corner site.  The corner of Fern and Georgia, for example, was considered, but rejected because a helicopter pad and a hospital building are already located there.


Other residents who spoke included Marlena Edwards, who opposed both the Georgia Avenue sites, and Andre Carley, of 9th St., NW.  Ms. Regina Page said she would like to see a new station built to serve this part of Ward 4.  Mr. Carley, the Vice President of Concerned Neighbors, Inc. (CNI), a community group with members who live near Walter Reed, said CNI voted to support the Georgia and Aspen Street corner site."


The following corrections and amendments were made to the June 26 minutes:

    a)  Page One, Paragraph 8, Line 4 will read: "Quarter of FY '08 (Jan. - March '08).  The ending balance was $51,695.81."


    b)   Page Four, Action Item Number 8, Line 3 will read: "of time to start building its Planned Unit Development..."


4.  Following a motion made by Commissioner Grant, in a 4-0-1 show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted the following resolution:


"ANC 4B supports Renal Advantage Inc. establishing a renal dialysis facility in Ward 4 for the benefit of End-Stage Renal Disease patients in Ward 4."


The vote followed a presentation from Clifford Barnes, the attorney for Renal Advantage, Inc.  Mr. Barnes pointed out that Ward 4 has no dialysis center and that the District dialysis facilities closest to Ward 4 are near or at 100 percent capacity.  He also said that Ward 4 has a high mortality rate from diseases related to dialysis, and that rates of End-Stage Renal Disease in DC are increasing.  Location is a critical factor for most patients, due to the fact that they must travel three times a week for treatment.

Mr. Barnes also said that the facility would provide free care, if necessary, but in reality most Medicaid patients qualify for care and there are programs available that can cover

care for those without other insurance. Staff work hard to get patients qualified for coverage, he said.


Several residents supported the resolution.  One resident, Kelly Shuy, said she understands the need for the facility, but is concerned about supporting Renal Dialysis, per se, because it is a business and the quality of the care provided is not known.


5. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Grant, ANC 4B adopted the following resolution:


"Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B opposes the request of Salmeron's Restaurant, Inc., located at 7331 Georgia Avenue. NW, License No. 77994, to remain open additional hours.  The proposed hours are: Sunday through Wednesday from 11 am to 1 am; Thursday from 11 am to 2 am; and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 2:30 am. 


We also oppose extending the hours of sidewalk cafe service. The proposed hours are: Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 2:30 am; Sunday through Wednesday from 11 am to 1 am; and Thursday from 11 am to 2 am.


In addition, we oppose the entertainment endorsement that they seek.  Those proposed hours are 7 pm to 1 am on Sunday, and 7 pm to 2 am Thursday through Saturday.


ANC 4B will work diligently to reach a voluntary agreement.  If that does not happen, we oppose the applicant's requests (as detailed above) due to community concerns about noise and parking.  We designate ANC 4B01 Commissioner Sara Green to speak on this issue before the Board."


The vote followed a discussion and short statements from Andre Carley, of Concerned Neighbors, Inc., and Anna Flores, of Salmeron's Restaurant. 


Mr. Carley said that he had already set up a meeting with the Restaurant's owners to discuss a voluntary agreement.  Ms. Flores said that the printed notice from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is inaccurate.  The owners do not want to add new hours to the outside cafe and do not want to provide music there.


6.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Jefferson, the Commission approved a grant of $1,000 to Citizens Aware, Inc. for the purchase of "Club" style anti-theft auto devices.  The devices are to be distributed at the group's September 20 community gathering. 


Citizens Aware President Gwen Vample spoke in support of the grant and answered questions.                                                                                                   



7.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Grant, the Commission approved adding $800 to its current $1,600 office equipment budget for the purchase of a sound system for Commission meetings. 


The adopted motion specifies that the officers and staff "do thorough research" and "use caution" to purchase a sound recording and amplification system "at a reasonable cost."


Chair Sloan said that such a system could be purchased for less that $800.


8.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Green, the Commission agreed to hold a joint public hearing on September 20 with other ANCs in Ward 4.


The adopted resolution is as follows:

"Resolved, that ANC 4B agrees to participate in a joint Ward 4 ANC Public Hearing on the New Firearms Regulations in the District of Columbia to be held on Saturday, September 20 at Fort Stevens Recreation Center, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.  The Commission will share in the expenses of the hearing (including a postcard mail-out and facility fee), and the final procedures and arrangements for the hearing will be determined by a coordinating committee composed of the Chairperson of each ANC, or their designee."


The vote followed a brief discussion, which included questions about spending Commission money to mail the postcards to announce the hearing.  Chair Sloan noted that the cards will go to every ANC 4B address and will include the 4B public meeting schedule and our office phone number, along with other information.


The meeting adjourned at about 9:15 pm


-- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary