Adopted Minutes - September 27, 2010
meeting began at about 7:10 p.m.† It was
held at the 4th District MPD Community Room,
Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B03 Monique Michelle Smith, 4B04 James Sydnor, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B06 Idriys Abdullah, and 4B07 Judi Jones. A quorum was present for all votes.
1. In a unanimous 6-0-0 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Sydnor, the agenda was adopted without change.
2. In a 5-0-1 roll-call vote following an initial motion from Commissioner Wheeler, the Commission adopted Commissioner Green's substitute motion. The adopted motion makes several recommendations to the Walter Reed Local Redevelopment Authority (Walter Reed LRA) Committee.† Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Smith, Sydnor and Speaks voted "yes."† Commissioner Abdullah abstained.
The adopted resolution:
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B requests that the Walter Reed Local Redevelopment Authority Committee:
††† 1). extend the deadline for deliberation of its recommendation plan to give the community an opportunity to further understand the proposed plan.
††† 2)† increase the amount of green space on
††† 3)† provide more detail in the plan about transportation access and the massing of buildings.
The vote followed a presentation from Walter Reed LRA Committee Staff Members Eric Jenkins and Andres Losada and a question and answer period.
Jenkins and Mr. Losada said the goals are to create
an exciting space, open up the site, integrate it into its surrounding
is a challenge in designing around the existing historic buildings. Also, work
remains on the transportation access component of the plan.†
The recommendations do not identify specific uses, but are limited to identifying sites slated for retail (9 percent), residential (32 percent), office (4 percent), education (10 percent), arts and recreation (5 percent) and institutional (37 percent). About 65 percent of the space would be open. No decisions have been made about the amount of affordable housing.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Some ideas that have emerged include making the gym on the DC portion of the site and the auditorium in Building 41 available to the public. The fire station proposed several years ago is still being considered, but the
proposed site is the now-vacant residential building at the corner of Butternut
and Georgia (east side).† There are two
large retail sites on the west side of
Avenue Residents Ellen McBarnette and Alpha McPherson
said they are part of a larger group who oppose putting new retail on
Mr. McPherson said the quality of the design should match Walter Reed's reputation.
Marjery Goldberg, of Ward 4, said the LRA Committee did a good job with the redesign and the community and the committee came together very well.
Speaks, an LRA Committee alternate member, said she does not want the duplicate
Wheeler, also an LRA Committee alternate member, said she is concerned about
the density of the development. It is similar to
Green said she would like to see more green space on
Smith said the community voted at an earlier meeting to support new retail on
Commissioner Abdullah said he is concerned that there is no commitment to hire or contract a fair share of the project's jobs to Ward 4 residents.
In a 4-0-1 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Sydnor, the Commission agreed to write a letter of support
to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for a mural to be installed on
an existing blank wall at the
vote followed a presentation from Artist Michelle Marcello, Marjery
Goldberg and Leila Batties all Takoma
Andre Carley, the Vice President of Concerned Neighbors, Inc., said his group supports the mural.† Kenny Peskin, of ANC 4A, agreed.
William Howland, the Director of the Department of Public Works, responded to concerns from Georgia Avenue Resident Michael Sindram that putting a publicly-funded mural on a private business is wrong.† Mr. Howland said that there are dozens of examples of similar projects all over the city and they are very successful.
Presentations and Discussions
1. Phetmano Phannavong, of the Natural Resources Administration, discussed flood insurance and answered questions.† He said that only damage from surface water, but not sewer back-ups or basement flooding from a high water table, are covered by flood insurance.
2.† Commissioner Wheeler submitted a written
report, with receipts, on the $600 beautification grant given to the Old Takoma Business Association for plants at the triangle park
3.† Commissioner Smith distributed a one-page
request for $2,000 for a block party to be held on the 700-Block of
Commissioners Green, Wheeler and Sydnor said they could not support the proposal because there was no budget and many other details were not provided.† Also, Commissioner Smith had earlier promised to submit the proposal to the Auditorís office for review and this had not happened, Commissioner Green said.
Commissioner Sydnor said the proposal should come from the community and residents should demonstrate support.† Commissioner Smith said supporting residents were present but had to leave the meeting.
Commissioner Sydnor said Commissioner Smith should submit the proposal again and include a budget and address Commissionersí other concerns.
1.† Jack Werner, of 6809 Willow Street, NW,† whose home is within ANC 4B07 and the Takoma Historic District, asked the Commission to support
putting a small brick addition to the rear of his home. He presented the
Commission with renderings.†† Vice Chair
Wheeler said Commissioner Jones, who represents
2.† Whitney Parnell and Stefanie Vestal, of City Year, a nonprofit group, described their organization, which, among other things, puts full-time mentors in public schools.
3.†† Andre Carley, of
4.†† Robert Maxwell, of
5.† Perry Redd, of
6.† Paul Montague, of 3rd Street, NW, agreed the meetings should be open.
Several Commissioners responded to concerns about opening the meetings. Commissioners Abdullah and Green said the meetings should be open. Commissioners Speaks and Abdullah noted that nothing secret is said in the meetings, and they are held primarily to set the public meeting agenda.
Commissioner Green also said that the issue reached beyond ANC 4B because every ANC in the city has been told that its planning meetings can be closed. However, if open to the public, ANC 4Bís† monthly planning meetings needed to be noticed and held in a public space and not in the Commission's office building, which is not open to the public in the evenings, she said.
Commissioner Wheeler said that any decision is premature because the issue has been referred to the Office of the Attorney General for a legal opinion.
Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary