Adopted Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

March 28, 2011


The meeting started at about 7:05 pm, Chair Yvonne Jefferson (also 4B08), presiding.  It was held at the MPD’s 4th District Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW. 


Also present were Commissioners 4B01 Sara Green, 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B03 Frederick Grant, 4B04 Douglas Smith, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B06 Gloria Palmer and 4B07 Judi Jones.  A quorum was present for all votes.



1.   In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Green, the agenda was adopted with one change.  A vote on a resolution to ask for an extension for ANC 4B comment on the Walmart proposal was added and inserted into the agenda between items number six and seven.


2.   In a 4-2-1 roll-call vote following a motion from Commissioner Jones, a $2,000 grant request from Safe Takoma, Inc. for funds for mediation and conflict resolution conference services at Coolidge High School was tabled until the April public meeting. 


Voting “yes” were Commissioners Grant, Speaks, Jones, and Jefferson.  Voting “no” were Commissioners Green and Smith.  Commissioner Wheeler, a member of the Safe Takoma Board, recused herself.  Commissioner Green said she had been a member of the Safe Takoma Board, but has had no role with the group for several years, had no role in the grant, and therefore was voting.


The vote followed a lengthy discussion with Andre Carley, of 9th Street, NW, a member of the Safe Takoma Board, and Terry Goings, Coolidge High School’s parent coordinator and the former chair of the school’s PTSA.  Mr. Goings said the school needs the services Safe Takoma offers. 


Commissioner Speaks, along with Wanda Oates, of 4B05, said the grant is a duplication of the services that the school system is required to provide and that Safe Takoma’s staff are not certified to work with students.


Commissioner Wheeler said Safe Takoma’s two staff members are certified by the Community Conferencing Center in Baltimore, Maryland and have masters’ degrees in their fields.  Safe Takoma has already worked with five student conflict situations at Coolidge and none of the students have repeated the fighting and disruptive behaviors that led to the mediation.  Commissioner Wheeler also said that Chad Ferguson, the head of the DCPS Youth Engagement Center, the department responsible for these programs, said the Safe Takoma program is not a duplication of existing services.  Mr.  Ferguson can attend the April public meeting, she noted. Commissioner Grant said he heard a police officer praise the program.             


3.  In a unanimous 8-0-0 roll-call vote following a motion from Commissioner Smith, the Commission adopted a resolution asking for an extension to the April 22 deadline for ANC 4B comment on the Walmart Large Tract Review submission. The resolution asks that the deadline be moved to May 25. Voting “yes” were Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Grant, Smith, Speaks, Palmer, Jones and Jefferson.


The adopted resolution:

“ANC 4B asks that all agencies of the District of Columbia government as well as Walmart and Site Developer Foulger Pratt extend the deadline for ANC 4B comment on the proposal for the Walmart store at Georgia and Peabody Streets, NW from April 22, 2011 to May 25, 2011.

The extension is necessary because the submission is an extensive and technical document of over 165 pages which will take a substantial amount of time to review and digest and it is unreasonable to expect a community organization to draft a response in one month.

In addition, the current deadline, April 22, 2011, is prior to ANC 4B’s next regular business meeting.  An extension to May 25, 2011, following ANC 4B's regularly scheduled May public meeting, gives ANC 4B ample to time to hear public views, deliberate, and respond.”

The vote followed a discussion.  Commissioners Smith and Jefferson said they want to hold a public meeting with Walmart representatives so that residents and Commissioners can question the company about their final proposal and develop a response.   Commissioner Smith said that if the extension is not granted the Commission will have to meet the April 22 deadline.

Commissioner Jones questioned the need for the extension. She said ANC 4B should not think that it can replace the city’s Large Tract Review analysis with its own and that the best way to respond is by gathering community views.

4.  In a 5-3-0 roll-call vote following a motion from Commissioner Smith, the Commission voted to support the application of Little Rascals’ Doggy Day Care for a special exception to run an animal-oriented business at 5913 Georgia Ave., NW.  Voting “yes” were Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Grant, Smith and Jefferson.  Voting “no” were Commissioners Speaks, Palmer, and Jones.

The adopted resolution:

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the application of Little Rascals Doggy Day Care for a Special Exception to operate an animal-oriented business at 5913 Georgia Avenue, NW.

This business has been operating in the community for several years and it has the support of neighboring businesses. Little Rascals' owner has shared a petition of support from these businesses with us.


 The owner attended ANC 4B's February 28 public meeting to answer questions from the community.  During that meeting, she responded to concerns and criticisms from a few residents that Little Rascals' employees did not pick up dog waste while exercising animals.  We believe these accusations are unsubstantiated.”


The vote followed a discussion with Little Rascals’ Owner Debbie Gomes.  Commissioner Speaks asked to examine the lease.  Ms. Gomes said the lease is not relevant because it does not affect the community. City agencies regulate the business and can revoke its licenses, if necessary.


5.  In a unanimous show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Green, including a friendly amendment from Commissioner Grant to waive reading the motion, the Commission agreed to ask the DC Department of Transportation to respond to a detailed list of questions and requests about the Takoma Transportation Improvement Project.


The adopted resolution:

“Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) thanks the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) for 


·        committing to complete the Takoma Transportation Improvements Project -- Federal Aid Project STP – 8888(2)


·        meeting with Commissioners Faith Wheeler and Sara Green to discuss the status of the Project.


·        committing to work with and meet with the Commissioners and residents of ANC 4B01, 4B02, 4B03 and 4B07 to review the revised designs when they become available.


·        walking the portion of Blair Road in 4B01 to determine where additional truck restriction signage can be installed within the next few weeks.


We ask that DDOT


·        commit to a schedule for the completion of the design and the construction and report these dates to the community.


·        provide a list of all of the sites to be constructed.  If all of the 2009 sites cannot be incorporated in the initial phase of the project, we request that DDOT detail the reasons for the cuts.                                                                          

consider incorporating the changes to the design that were requested by the community during the February 11 2009 public meeting and at other 2009 community meetings, and as detailed in Commissioner Wheeler and Commissioner Green’s 2009 memorandum to DDOT.    If these changes cannot be made, we ask DDOT to detail why the requests are not feasible.


·        as per its commitment, hold community meetings to explain the revised designs, once completed.  These meetings would be in addition to the regular presentation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       at an ANC 4B meeting. The community meetings will give residents an opportunity to understand the final designs and their impact as a whole and provide feedback to DDOT prior to ANC 4B’s recommendation vote.                                                                      


Finally, regarding some improvements which DDOT could make immediately without the need for further study, we ask that DDOT staff, as agreed, work with the community to:    (more)


·        Provide the owners of property along the west side of Blair Road between Piney Branch and Geranium with proof that the city owns the right-of-way to construct a sidewalk in front of their property.


·        Include a sidewalk in front of 7220 and 7222 Blair Road, NW in the revised designs so these properties have safe pedestrian access to Blair Road.


·        Include improvements for the section of Blair Road between Piney Branch and Geranium that eliminate the utility pole(s) and fire hydrant(s) that block the narrow sidewalk on the east side of the road and make it impossible for those in wheelchairs to safely use the street’s one sidewalk.


·        Improve the signage on Blair Road that notifies truck drivers that trucks over 1 ¼ tons are not permitted on portions of the road.


·        Provide other ways to limit the illegal use of these trucks on Blair Road.


·        Coordinate the 2 traffic signals on the north side of Cedar Street, NW at the 5-legged intersection of 4th/Blair/Cedar with EITHER the 4th Street northbound traffic OR the Blair Road northbound traffic, so they are NOT green for both northbound traffic movements as is currently the case.


·        Prohibit a left turn onto west-bound Cedar Street, NW from both 4th Street northbound traffic and from Blair Road northbound traffic.


·        Prohibit a right turn onto northbound 4th Street from westbound Butternut St., NW


·        Prohibit a right turn on red onto northbound Blair Road from westbound Aspen St., NW


·        Prohibit a left turn onto northbound Blair Road from eastbound Whittier Street and from northbound 3rd Street, NW.                                                                  


·        Install signage at 3rd and Van Buren Street, NW and 4th and Whittier Street, NW to advise drivers how to access northbound Blair Road, NW by a) turning east on Van Buren Street and b) by turning north on 4th Street, then east on Aspen Street, respectively.


·        Install a street cut-through from Sandy Spring Road and the 200 block of Van Buren St., NW going south to the 6500 block of Chillum Place, NW.   This will give commercial traffic easier access from major thoroughfares like Blair Road without having to come through the residential areas directly adjacent to the Chillum Place, NW commercial strip.


The recommendations in this resolution are made pursuant to DC Code 1-309.10(a), 1-309.10(d)(3)(A) and 1-309.10(d)(3)(B), which require, among other things, that ANC recommendations regarding a proposed District government action or actions receive “great weight” from the DC government, and that DC government officials respond in writing.  In addition, Section 1-309.10(h)(1) of the code permits ANCs to initiate proposals for DC government action and it requires that the DC government provide a written acknowledgement within ten days and a status report within 60 days of receipt.                                                                                                     


6.  In a 5-1-0 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Smith, the Commission adopted its 2011 budget. 


The adopted budget:

1. Net Salary and Wages        
4. Total Federal Wage Taxes
5. State Wage Taxes
6. Unemployment Taxes
7. Tax Penalties
8. Local Transportation
9. Office Rent
10. Telephone Services
11. Postage and Delivery
13. Printing and Copying
14. Flyer Distribution
15. Purchase of Service
16. Office Supplies
17. Office Equipment
18. Grants
19. Training
21. Transfers To Savings
22. Bank Charges
23. Other
Total Disbursements







The vote followed a brief discussion.  Commissioner Palmer said she understood that the Commission had agreed during its March planning meeting to divide the $18,000 in grants evenly between each Single Member District.  Chair Jefferson said that there was no consensus at the planning meeting, but Commissioner Palmer could ask for a vote to do this as part of the approval of the budget.


7.  In a 5-0-0 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Smith, the Commission adopted the February 28, 2011 minutes.


Community Concerns

1.  Several residents, including Wanda Oates, of 4B05, said they object to amended meeting rules informing meeting attendees that the police would be called to remove anyone disrupting the meeting.  Commissioner Speaks agreed with the objection.  Several Commissioners responded in support of the amended rules.


2.   A woman asked what Advisory Neighborhood Commissions do.  Commissioner Wheeler discussed the ANC’s role with city government.


3.  Ms. Jackson, of Roxboro Place, NW, asked about the status of the Takoma Theatre.  Commissioner Wheeler discussed the community group working to purchase the building and requests that the city require that the owner repair code violations.



Zoe Duskin, the Principal of The Inspired Teaching School, discussed the school’s program and its temporary location at Rudolph Elementary School.


The meeting adjourned at 9:14 p.m.


-- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary