Minutes - May 18, 2009 Public Meeting - Adopted June 22, 2009

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B




The meeting began at 7:10 p.m at the 4th District MPD Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW, Chair Douglass Sloan (4B09) presiding. Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B03 Monique Michelle Smith, 4B04 James Sydnor, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B06 Idriys Abdullah, and 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson.



1. Hearing no objections, the agenda was adopted following a request from the Chair.


2.  Following a motion from Commissioner Wheeler, and in a 6-0-1 show-of-hands vote, the Commission agreed to hold a special public meeting to discuss and vote on its recommendation on a request by the owners of Haydee's Restaurant, 6303 Georgia Ave., NW to operate a nightclub.  The Commission agreed to hold the meeting at least three days prior to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board's deadline for comment.


3.  In a 5-0-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Sydnor, the Commission adopted its 2nd Quarterly Report for 2009 (January - March 2009).


According to the report, the checking account balance forward is $55,669.06 and receipts totaled $31.58, for a total of available funds of $55,700.64.  Total disbursements for the period totaled $7,200.62.  The ending balance is $48,500.02.


The savings account balance forward is $42,751.76.  Interest for the period totaled $55.05.  The ending balance is $42,806.81.


4.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Abdullah, the Commission agreed to sign a voluntary agreement with the owners of the Cedar Crossing Tavern and Wine Bar, 343 Cedar St., NW.  The motion included an agreement to withdraw the Commission's protest of the bar's application for a tavern license, pending the approval of the voluntary agreement by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.


The vote followed a presentation from Sharon Giles, of 343 Cedar St., NW, a resident who led the community committee that negotiated the voluntary agreement.  Takoma Residents Doug Payton and Kathleen Sullivan spoke in



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support of the agreement.  Commissioner Wheeler said she is concerned that the limited number of permitted special events at the tavern is too severe and there seems to be a conflict between requesting a good variety of food and the reluctance to allow the tavern a cooking hood.


5.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission adopted a resolution requesting that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) improve the maintenance of its complex new facilities.


The Resolution:

"ANC 4B requests that the Department of Parks and Recreation include a line item in its budget for maintenance, preventative maintenance and the operation of all building systems with sufficient funding."


The vote followed a discussion with Friends of Takoma Recreation Center President Gina Douglas on the ongoing problems at the Takoma Recreation Center Pool due to the inadequate number of DPR staff able to operate the pool's computer system. 


6.  In a 4-3-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Green, the Commission agreed to grant the Community Health Partnership $952.94 to purchase a color printer.  The vote followed a discussion and presentation with the Elaine Ellis, of the Partnership.  The grant will be used to forward the group's program to provide interactive health information kiosks at several recreation centers in ANC 4B, including Emery and Riggs Lasalle.


Community Concerns, Discussions and Presentations

1. Edna Doggett said she thought the meeting was to start at 6:30 p.m. and that the new 7:00 p.m. starting time was poorly advertised.


2.  Michael Sindram, of Georgia Ave., NW, noted several issues, including the use of the Curtis Chevrolet site (Georgia and Peabody) for parking for Walter Reed Army Medical Center employees, digital television conversion, and wine tastings at city liquor stores.


3.  Tanya Topolewski, of Aspen Street, NW, asked the Commission for a status report on the new fire station, slated for the corner of Georgia and Aspen on the grounds of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Ms. Topolewski questions the delays in starting construction and the viability of the site. 





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DC Fire and Rescue Services Batallion Chief Christopher Gordon said that funding a needed environmental study of the site had delayed the project, but it will go forward. A noise survey was done and concluded that a light at the corner of Aspen and Georgia will reduce noise from the station.


The Commission agreed to put the item on its June agenda.


4.  Raigan Welters, of 931 Longfellow St., NW, said her building had just become a cooperative and that she is a new unit owner there and a member of the Cooperative's board.  She said her Board is concerned about the pending development of the nearby Curtis Chevrolet site.


5.  Wanda Oates said she just learned about the use of the Curtis site as a parking lot for Walter Reed Army Medical Center employees and is concerned about it.


6.  Chair Sloan noted that the S & S Liquors agenda item would not be discussed due to Commissioner Jones' absence.


7.  David Janifer, of the Department of Parks and Recreation, reported that the completion date for the new ballfield at Emery Recreation Center has been delayed until July 1 due to the heavy rains.  He also reported on repairs at the Takoma and Lamond Recreation Centers.


8.  Daniela Grigioni, also of the Department of Parks and Recreation, responded to the Commission's questions about the use of the Takoma Recreation Center fields by the Montgomery Rams, an adult semi-professional football team based in Montgomery County.  Ms. Grigioni said an examination of the permits showed that although there was a request by an adult football team, no permits were issued.  An adult team was twice removed from Takoma and Park Rangers will do so again if informed of an unauthorized use.  She told residents to call Alex Carozza at 202 701-4903 (cell number) if they observe violations.


9.  A representative from Performance Video Systems described his firm's service, providing LED and Projection Screens for outdoor displays and programs, including performances at Strathmore Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival and the recent Presidential Inauguration.  Commissioner Smith said she would like the firm to provide a screen for a summer outdoor movie program at the Takoma Recreation Center ball field.  Commissioner Smith said she has a commitment of financial support from Comcast for the program.  Chair Sloan said the program would be discussed at an upcoming ANC 4B special public meeting.



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10.  Steve Morfin and Malaika Abernathy, both from the D.C. Office of Planning, distributed a report in response to the Commission's letters about the Curtis Chevrolet site at Georgia and Peabody Streets. The site is currently slated for up to 400 apartments plus ground floor retail space.  Ms. Abernathy said that the developers are not asking for any zoning changes, which means that the project can proceed as planned.  The developers must apply for building permits, which will be reviewed by city agencies, Ms. Abernathy explained.


Commissioner Speaks and several residents, including Wanda Oates, Edna Doggett, Raigan Welters, and Ruth Drucker, said they oppose the project.


Karima Simmons, a resident, said she supports the project.  Commissioner Wheeler said that Georgia Avenue is a major street that is six lanes wide and is the best place for a large apartment building.


Chair Sloan said that the Commission has discussed the program during the last five out of six meetings and has forwarded its comments on the Curtis project to the city and has made sure that residents' questions have been answered.  He asked that residents continue to work on the issue at Single Member District meetings.


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