Minutes - ANC 4B - May 24, 2010 Public Meeting

Adopted on June 28, 2010


The meeting started at about 7 pm at the MPD's 4th District Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW, Chair Yvonne Jefferson (also 4B08) presiding.


Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B04 James Sydnor, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B07 Judi Jones, and 4B09 Douglass Sloan.  A quorum was present for all votes.



1.  Following a motion from Commissioner Green, the agenda, as amended, was adopted in a unanimous show-of-hands vote with one change.  The Quarterly Report will be discussed as the first item.


2.  In a 6-0-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Green, the Second Quarterly Report for FY 2010 (January - March) was adopted.


3.  In a 5-1-0 roll-call vote following a motion made by Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission agreed to hold a hearing or a special public meeting before June 24 to discuss ANC 4B's April 26 motion to support dancing and a 2 a.m. closing at the Nile Market and Restaurant, 7815 Georgia Avenue, N.W.


The April 26 motion:  "ANC 4B is in support of the Nile Restaurant extending its hours until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday to include the sale of alcohol and dancing."


Voting "yes" to May 24 motion were Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Sydnor, Jefferson and Sloan.  Commissioner Jones voted "no."


The vote followed a discussion with Commissioners and residents, including Andre Carley, a 9th Street, NW resident and the Vice President of Concerned Neighbors, Inc., and Mattie Jones, of 8th Street, NW.


Mr. Carley and Ms. Jones said that the Commission did not adequately hear community views on April 26 when it voted to permit dancing and a 2 am closing. The community does not want nightclubs on Georgia Avenue and is concerned that the disruptive businesses that gave the area a bad reputation in the past will return, Mr. Carley said.


Commissioner Sydnor and Commissioner Jones said the Nile had been in business for 13 years with no problems. The community should not stand in the way of a good business, but should support its requests, Commissioner Sydnor said. 


Commissioner Jones noted that the Commission voted on April 26 to sign the voluntary agreement with the 1 am closing because it wanted to be sure it was part of a voluntary agreement. The resolution stating support for a 2 am closing and the addition of dancing also reflects the views of the Commission. The Commission's adopted resolution did not note when the 2 am closing should go into effect, Commissioner Jones said.


Commissioner Green said that one vote contradicted the other. She said she has not yet sent a letter to ABRA with the Commission's resolution in support of the 2 am closing, but would do so when the questions are resolved.  She asked that residents' views be heard at a special meeting before a final decision is made.


Commissioner Wheeler agreed that the community should be heard and that a special meeting or a hearing is the place to do this.


4. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Green, the Commission voted to support permanent legislation regulating pawnbrokers that would also give Advisory Neighborhood Commissions "great weight" with respect to the issuance of a pawnbroker license.


The adopted motion: "ANC 4B supports the enactment of the Predatory Pawnbroker Regulation and Community Notification Act of 2010.


We urge the City Council to include provisions in the adopted legislation that give Advisory Neighborhood Commissions "great weight" in the issuance of any pawn broker license and that put pawnbrokers under the jurisdiction of the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. 


In addition, we recommend that maximum annual interest rates, including fees, be capped at 24 percent for all pawnbroker loans made in the District of Columbia within 30 days of the adoption of the legislation."


The vote followed a report from Commissioner Green about the upcoming City Council public hearing.  Copies of PR18-0715, the "Predatory Pawn Broker Regulation Act of 2010," and PR18-0826, the "Predatory Pawn Broker Regulation and Community Notification Emergency Act of 2010," were distributed.


5.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission agreed to award a $1,000 grant to Trinity Episcopal Church, 7005 Piney Branch Road, NW.  The grant is for software and other materials the church needs for the after-school and summer tutoring programs the church offers to Takoma Education Center students.


The Reverend Canon John T. W. Harmon made a brief presentation and answered questions.  He said that the program is geared to students with academic problems who are recommended by teachers. 


Community Concerns

Paul Montague, of 3rd Street, NW, said there is a 19-year-old problem with ANC 4B's financial records.  The Commission owes the Xerox Corporation $1 million.


Presentations and Reports

1.  Lt. Vincent Turner, of the 4th District MPD, discussed the most recent crime statistics and answered questions. For example, thefts from autos are up  in PSA 401 and burglaries are down..  There has been a problem with thefts in stores on Georgia Avenue and elsewhere.


2.  Kathryn Fairley, of the Board of Elections and Ethics, demonstrated the city's new voting machines and discussed the many changes in the City's voter registration law and answered questions.  For example, voters will be able to register to vote on September 14, 2010 and vote in that day's primary election.


3.  Nona Richardson, of the D.C. Charter School Board, discussed the Board's application, approval, and oversight process. She also addressed concerns about the way charter schools obtain space and their impact on the community, including the Kansas Avenue area in ANC 4B07. The law giving charter schools the right to lease vacant school buildings has been ignored, she said, noting that schools must rent whatever space they can get, even if it does not provide a playground or other traditional spaces.



--- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary