Minutes - Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

July 27, 2009 Public Meeting

Adopted on October 26, 2009


The meeting was held at the 4th District Metropolitan Police Department's Community Room at 7 pm, Chair Douglass Sloan presiding.


Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B03 Monique-Michelle Smith, 4B04 James Sydnor, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B06 Idriys Abdullah, 4B07 Judi Jones and 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson.  A quorum was present for all votes.



1. Without objection, the agenda was adopted, with one change.  Item Number 8, the Curtis Chevrolet site recommendation, was moved to Item Number 4.


2. In a 7-1-1 show-of-hands vote, Commissioner Green's amendment to Commissioner Speaks' resolution on the Curtis Chevrolet site (5927 Georgia Ave., NW) failed.


3. In a 6-3-0 show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted Commissioner Speaks' resolution on the Curtis Chevrolet site (5927 Georgia Ave., NW). The resolution details the problems that an apartment/retail project would bring and resolves that the residents of Single Member Districts 4B04 and 4B05 "strongly recommend" that ANC 4B "support an all commercial development" at the site.


The adopted resolution:



- I have had seven SMD meetings about the Curtis Chevrolet Development located at 5927 Georgia Ave., NW.



- Our Community is homeowner-based and family oriented, we want to maintain the character and integrity of our community.



- Our community has an abundance of apartment buildings already established, and we do not want to inundate the area with additional apartment buildings because there is enough density of apartment buildings.



- The construction of a commercial complex would keep monies and resources in the District of Columbia, and further, the construction of a retail development would attract other desired businesses to the Georgia Avenue corridor and create jobs.



- With the addition of over 1000 (one thousand) more residents in a compact area the likelihood of crime and violence increases dramatically.



Adopted Minutes - ANC 4B - July 27, 2009 - Page Two



- A commercial development would be beneficial for senior citizens of the community to have easy access to stores, restaurants, movie theaters, medical facilities and other services.



- Our young residents will have easy access to movie theaters, restaurants and other fun places to go within a close walking or driving distance of the community.


BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the residents of SMD 4B04 and SMD 4B05 strongly recommend that the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B support an all commercial development at 5927 Georgia Avenue, NW.  A commercial structure would be less taxing on the infrastructure, business will contribute to the infrastructure, the city would better be able to monitor money through the tax structure and that we request the zoning be changed to commercial only."


The vote followed a lengthy discussion with residents, including Lynn Welters (spelling may not accurate), of the Brightwood Gardens community, Edna Doggett, of 4th St, NW, Mr. Giacinto, who described himself as a new area resident, John Vreeland, of Longfellow St., NW, Raquel Brown, of Sheridan St., NW, Walter Mallett, of 4th St., NW, John Vreeland, of Longfellow St. NW, Wanda Oates of 4th St, NW, and Richard Holzsager, of Piney Branch Rd., NW..


Nearly all of the residents' comments supported the resolution. Among the comments were concerns about increased crime and traffic, statements that there are a number of existing vacant apartments and condos in the area, that several 4B Commissioners are not listening to the community's views, which are overwhelmingly opposed to the project as it is now designed, and that public transportation and other services are inadequate for the site's estimated 1,000 new residents.


Several residents said that high-quality retail is key. One resident also said that asking developers to exclude residential in projects could discourage investment.


Several Commissioners, including Commissioners Speaks, Sydnor, Smith and Abdullah, said the Commission is obligated to support what the community wants. Commissioner Smith called for health, food, and computer businesses at the site. Commissioner Sydnor also said he talked to the developer and asked for alternatives to the current design.


Commissioner Green said that Georgia Avenue, a main thoroughfare, is ideal for a mixed-use building. Commissioner Wheeler agreed and also called for a building that                                                                                          

meets national Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design (LEED) standards.


4.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following Commissioner Wheeler's nomination, Commissioner Jefferson was elected as the Commission's Treasurer. She replaces Commissioner Sydnor, who resigned.                                                         (more)


Adopted Minutes - ANC 4B - July 27, 2009 - Page Three


5.  In a 6-0-3 show-of-hands vote, the Commission approved the Third Quarterly Report for FY 2009 (April - June). 


The checking account balance forward was $48,500.02 and receipts totaled $23.06.  Disbursements totaled $3,922.54.  The ending balance was $44,601.44.  The savings account had a balance forward of $42,806.81.  There was $53.36 in interest income.  There were no disbursements from the savings account. The new savings account total is $42,860.17.


The vote followed a discussion with Commissioner Jones and others about the documentation provided with quarterly reports and a concern about a check for $80.44 that was written to Commissioner Green to reimburse her for photocopy costs.  Commissioner Jones pointed out that the packet did not have a complete set of invoices, as promised, and that the invoice for the check to Commissioner Green was missing. 


Commissioner Green said the invoice is on file. She explained that the office photocopy machine was broken and that materials for the May public meeting needed to be copied.


6. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Jefferson, the Commission awarded a $1,000 grant to Citizens Aware for the purchase of 72 Steering Wheel Club Locks.


7.  In an 8-0-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Sloan, the Commission awarded the LaSalle P.T.A./Lamond Riggs Athletic Association $1,000 to help cover expenses at their August 1, 2009 Riggs Park Community Day event.


8.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Smith, the Commission awarded a $3,000 grant to Arts For Our Children, Inc. for a ballet and etiquette training program for young people who live within ANC 4B.  The adopted motion states that the grant is "contingent upon the Auditor's approval of the selection process in the grant."


The vote followed a discussion about questions that D.C. Office of the Auditor

Financial Auditor/ANC Program Manager Lynard Barnum had about the grant. 

Mr. Barnum asked that the selection process for participants be detailed in the grant application.  Beatrice Davis-Williams, the group's executive director, said students will be selected based on talent, and agreed to include language to that effect in the grant application to be submitted to Mr. Barnum.


Commissioner Jones said she wanted to be sure that participants were verified to be ANC 4B residents.  Ms. Davis-Williams agreed to do this. 


Commissioner Sloan said he was concerned about the amount, $3,000.  Commissioner Jones said that the Commission had awarded a grant of that size in the past.  Commissioner Wheeler said the Commission needs to treat everyone equitably. (more)


Adopted Minutes - ANC 4B - July 27, 2009 - Page Four


9.  In a 5-3-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Sydnor, the Commission agreed to sign a new voluntary agreement with the owners of Haydee's Restaurant, 6303 Georgia Ave., NW, which endorses the restaurant's operation as a nightclub and stipulates that "[a]nnual sales of food from the establishment will be at least 10 percent of gross sales."


Several Commissioners said they did not want to vote to sign the agreement that evening because they had not seen the legal document in advance of the meeting.


10. In a 4-2-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Jones, the Commission voted to change the wording of the motion (Item No. 2, Page One) in the June 22 draft minutes. That motion was to hold a Special Public Meeting on June 29, 2009 to vote on a recommendation for a proposed Planned Unit Development at the Cafritz site (South Dakota & Riggs). Substitute language was not provided. There was no vote to adopt the June 22 minutes.


The vote followed a discussion.  Commissioner Jones said that her motion was incorrectly stated in the draft minutes.  Secretary Green disagreed. 


There were two other corrections to the draft June 22 minutes. Commissioner Wheeler asked that the words "from Aspen Street Resident Tanya Topolewski," be                                                                                                                   inserted after the word "questions" in Item No. 6 on Page Five.  Also, Rev. Chi Mauuso, of 929 Sheridan St., NW, asked that she be identified by name in Item No. 2 on Page Five.


Community Concerns & Comments

1. Michael Sindram, of Georgia Ave., NW, made an announcement about an upcoming Board of Elections meeting.  He raised several issues, including concerns that some Commissioners may not be nonpartisan. He requested that ANC 4B provide a grant to pay for residents' conversion to digital television.


2. Ward 4 Council Member Muriel Bowser announced that the Emery Recreation Ballfield was to be dedicated on Wednesday, July 27, 2009.


3. Regina Page, of Eastern Ave., NW, reminded the Commission that she has been asking them to purchase an amplification system for several years.  Commissioner Abdullah said he would find an acceptable system for the Commission's purchase by December 31, 2009.


The meeting ended at about 9:45 p.m.


-----   Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary.