Minutes - September 28, 2009 Public Meeting

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

Adopted on October 26, 2009


The meeting started at about 7 p.m. at the MPD's 4th District Headquarters Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW., Chair Douglass Sloan (4B09) presiding.


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


1. The agenda was adopted without objection, as amended. All three items in No. 6, the speed hump requests, were cut, along with the recommendation vote for the 402 Aspen Street, NW porch addition. An announcement/discussion about the new location of the Renal Advantage Dialysis Center, Inc. was added in their place.


2. In a 5-0-3 show-of-hands vote following a motion made by Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission adopted a resolution asking the MPD to "consider community policing strategies that include Teams of Two Full Stride Officers."


The complete resolution:




WHEREAS, the purpose of Community Policing is to deter crime;


WHEREAS, Full Stride Officers on mountain bike, segway or on foot become familiar with the people and businesses in the community;


WHEREAS, Full Stride Officers are, therefore, more able to notice potential and full-blown illegal activity than are police officers when they are driving a police cruiser;


WHEREAS, if more crimes and violations were deterred, there would be fewer calls for police cruisers to race to the scene;


WHEREAS, residents of Single Member District 402 have noted an increase in crime and violations particularly along the Aspen Street boundary between Police Service Area 401 and 402 as well as in the Takoma crossroads area, particularly since Full Stride Officer Braxton was reassigned to 16th Street and Holly/Juniper/Leegate Streets;


WHEREAS, when a Full Stride Officer leaves a business or area to check on the next site, that first business can be vulnerable to robbery as has been the case of one of our businesses in Takoma; (more)

Adopted Minutes - ANC 4B - September 28, 2009 - Page Two



WHEREAS, two Full Stride Officers at a time on the same schedule, on the same beat, while taking separate routes as they patrol would provide the possibility of an element of surprise to a would-be offender, and therefore deter some from considering committing a crime or violation;


We hereby recommend that Commander Brown consider community policing strategies that include Teams of Two Full Stride Officers."


The vote followed presentations from 4th District MPD Lt. Vincent Turner, of PSA 401, and Lt. Keith DeVille, of PSA 402.


Lt. DeVille noted that foot beat officers are effective in tackling quality of life issues, including public drinking and urination, but are not as effective with crime prevention. He said he makes adjustments in assignments and coverage when the situation warrants. He also said that manpower is a problem. Citywide, the Department is looking at a 10 percent staff cut, by attrition. The 4th District has the least staff in the city, he added.


3. The Commission agreed to hold a Special Public Meeting on October 15 at 7 p.m., at a place to be determined, to vote on its recommendation to the Historic Preservation Review Board on a proposal to substantially demolish the Takoma Theatre, except for the facade, and to build 43 apartments there.


Chair Sloan also asked that the minutes be added to the agenda at the October 15 meeting.


The agreement to hold the special meeting followed a presentation from Architect Paul Wilson and Takoma Theatre Owner Milton McGinty on the design of the proposed apartment building, along with comments and questions from Commissioners and residents. Mr. McGinty also provided the Commission with some background about his ownership of the theatre.


Residents spoke both in opposition to the demolition and with concern about using the building productively. Speakers included Richard Layman, of Quackenbos St., NW, Richard Holzsager, of Piney Branch Road, NW, Georgia Herron, of 7th St., NW, a resident who asked that his name not be used, Ms. Kazil, of 2nd St., NW, Loretta Neumann, the President of the Takoma Theatre Conservancy, and a Piney Branch Rd., NW resident, Ms. Sanchez, of 5th St., NW, and a resident who lives at 6th and Nicholson St.,NW.


One resident said the theatre is not operational and something more productive should go on the lot. Another, who lives behind the theatre, said the closed building is negatively affecting the value of her home. (more)

Adopted Minutes - ANC 4B - September 28, 2009 - Page Three



Comments opposing the demolition included statements that an active and successful theatre is feasible and needed by the community, that the community does not support demolition and the Commission should support the community. Comments also included statements that Mr. McGinty bought the theatre knowing it was a historic building that could not be demolished, that it is a contributing resource in the Takoma Historic District and one of the only freestanding theatres in the city other than the Howard, and that questions about economic hardship need to be evaluated, but the Commission should first decide if demolition is a good idea.


Commissioners Abdullah and Jones said that they hoped that a compromise could be reached and asked that Mr. McGinty work with the Takoma Theatre Conservancy, the group that wants to purchase the building for a performing arts center.


Announcements, Discussions, Presentations

1. Commissioner Green announced upcoming community meetings, including one on September 30 on a city-funded art project for the Takoma Metro Station. Commissioner Abdullah said that the city should award the contract only to DC artists.


2. Treasurer Jefferson announced that reports from several groups who were awarded ANC 4B grants are due.


3. Commissioner Jones described the Lamond Community Day events, including service awards and performances, which were held on September 11 and 12 at Lamond Community Center.


4. Commissioner Jones said that Secretary Green is "defaming me" in the community. She also said that Secretary Green altered an email distributed with the draft minutes. She asked for a vote to remove Commissioner Green as Secretary. The motion was not forwarded. It was stated by Chair Sloan that it should be discussed in an executive meeting.


5. Cliff Barnes, representing Renal Advantage, Inc., a renal dialysis facility, announced that the facility had been slated for Missouri Avenue, NW, but would instead be relocating to 100 Underwood St., NW in 4B07. Commissioner Jones said her constituents had some concerns about the new location and asked Mr. Barnes to attend a community meeting. He agreed.


Community Concerns

1. Frank Fountain, of Oneida Pl., NW, asked for help. The home next to his on Oneida Place is frequently unsightly, with an unmowed lawn, and the tenants are often disruptive, he said. Requests for help from the D.C. government and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton's office have so far been unsuccessful. (more)

Adopted Minutes - ANC 4B - September 28, 2009 - Page Four



2. J. Carlos Jiacinto, of Aspen St., NW, complained about the behavior of the drunks who frequent the Triangle Park at 4th and Blair, NW and their negative impact on the community.


3. Logan Watts, of Missouri Ave., NW, asked for help getting speed limit signs installed on Riggs Road between Georgia and South Dakota Avenue. He said that vehicles, particularly dump trucks, speed through the area. Also, this street needs repair.


4. Dale Johnson, of Oglethorpe St., NW, asked for information about who to contact for speed hump information.


5. Betty Florence, of Oglethorpe St., NW wants 5th Street to be designated a snow emergency route.


6. Auntoi Libe, who operates a restaurant at 6115 Georgia Ave., NW, described the problems she is experiencing with two young boys who steal ice cream and threaten her with violence. She also said that her customers are being ticketed for parking on Georgia Avenue during a time when the street must remain clear for street cleaning. However, the street cleaning trucks do not appear.


7. Frieda Seward, of Jefferson St., NW, is concerned about boarding houses in her neighborhood and the gambling that occurs there.


--- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary