Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

June 24, 2013 Regular Public Meeting
Adopted at July 22, 2013 Regular Public Meeting

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM, Sara Green, Chair (and ANC 4B01) presiding.  It was held in the community meeting room, MPD 4th District Headquarters, 6001 Georgia Avenue N.W.  A quorum was present for all votes.  Commissioners present during the meeting were Commissioners 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B03 Fred Grant, 4B04 Brenda Parks, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B06 Ron Austin, 4B07 Judi Jones, 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson, and 4B09 Doug Sloan.

 

Actions:

 

1)         The agenda was presented for consideration.  Commissioner Wheeler requested that the Zoning Regulations rewrite affecting alley lots be removed.  Commissioner Green requested that a resolution to support the Large Retailer Accountability Act as Amended be added to the agenda.  Commissioner Green also requested that the proposed property tax abatement for the Spring Place development be added.  The agenda was approved with these changes.

 

2)         Discussion & Recommendation Vote: Speed Bumps:  300 Block, Quakenbos Street NW, 500 Block, Rittenhouse Street NW

 

Commissioner Austin presented a resolution supporting the petition of residents for speed bumps in the 300 block of Quakenbos Street N.W. and the 500 block of Rittenhouse Street N.W.  Commissioner Jefferson seconded the motion. 

 

Following discussion, Commissioner Sloan moved to table the part of the resolution relating to the 500 block of Rittenhouse Street N.W.  Commissioner Speaks seconded the motion.  The motion to table was adopted by show-of-hands vote, 8 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Austin moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the petition of residents for speed bumps in the 300 block of Quakenbos Street N.W. Commissioner Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 7 yes, 1 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the installation of speed bumps in the 300 Block of Quackenbos Street NW as requested by petition of residents of that block.

 

 

 

3)         Discussion and Recommendation Vote:  Traffic Study Regarding Proposed 255 Unit Residential Development at Takoma Metro Station

 

Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution recommending that a traffic study be conducted for a proposed residential development at the Takoma Metro station before the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors votes to approve the project.  Commissioner Wheeler seconded the motion.  Following discussion, the motion was adopted unanimously, 8 yes, 0 no.

                         

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B  (ANC 4B) calls on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Board  and its Planning, Program Development, and Real Estate Committee (PPDRE) to postpone voting on any contract, contract amendment, or design with respect to new development at the Takoma Metro Station until:

·         A traffic impact study has been completed, which would include WMATA projections for future Takoma transit demand in light of completed and pending local development projects, including the former Walter Reed site;

·         Site plans and elevations for the currently proposed design are shared with the community;

·         Citizens and local officials are afforded a reasonable amount of time, a minimum of a 45-day public period, to review and comment on the design and its traffic impact study; and

·         The WMATA Boards requires that the developer delay filing for a PUD until after the WMATA Compact Hearing and the full Board vote on the specific development plan, following the station-planning study and release of transit-demand projections. 

Then and only then will it be appropriate for the Board to consider the merits of the design and take action.

We call on the DC City Council and the DC Office of Planning and Economic Development to support the recommendations in this resolution.

The traffic impact study is necessary to show how the traffic generated by the 255 apartment/condo units proposed for the site would affect area intersections and other quality of life and safety concerns.  These data should be used to help planners determine the appropriate size for the project and the best design for the site.  These data should be available to WMATA and the community at the beginning of the process, not later during the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process, as is required by DC zoning law.

This is a common-sense approach that will potentially save both WMATA and the developers time and money should the study and the WMATA public hearing show that changes are needed to the initial concept proposal.

WMATA is funded largely by local and federal taxpayers; therefore, WMATA should do much more to demonstrate that its development does not adversely impact its neighbors than a privately-funded property owner. Land that WMATA sells should support not only mass transit, but a car-lite or car-free lifestyle as well. WMATA should also demonstrate that development will not negatively affect the neighborhoods near the Takoma Metro station.

We thank WMATA Real Estate and Station Planning Director Stan Wall for reaching out to Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Sara Green and Faith Wheeler.  We look forward to a community-based, collegial and transparent process as planning for the development of the site continues.

4)         Discussion and Recommendation Vote:  Large Retailers Accountability Act

Commissioner Green stated that the legislation the Commission had supported last month had been amended.  Councilmembers were asking whether ANC 4B supported the amendments.  Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the Large Retailers Accountability Act as amended.  Commissioner Austin seconded the motion.  Following discussion, the motion was adopted by show-of-hands vote, 5 yes, 0 no, 3 abstain.

The adopted resolution:

RESOLVED:

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013 as it was amended by the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

Those amendments require that nearly all retailers with $1 billion in gross annual sales, not just those with stores with at least 75,000 square feet, pay their employees a Living Wage.   This change treats major retail businesses equitably and does not discriminate based on the size of store.  Another advantage is that more DC employees will be covered.

We support the bill because it should be the policy of the District of Columbia government to ensure that its workers have a basic standard of living.  Currently, many DC workers do not earn enough money to purchase adequate market-rate housing and private health insurance, requiring that DC taxpayers provide subsidies.

We are not convinced that the bill will result in store closures or undue economic hardship for large retailers.

5)         Proposed Spring Place Development Property Tax Abatement

Commissioner Green noted that the developers of the Spring Place 150-unit apartment complex at the Takoma Metro station had applied for a property tax abatement of over $9 million over 40 years.  The City Council was considering legislation authorizing this property tax abatement.  Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations regarding this proposal.  Commissioner Wheeler seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted by show-of-hands vote, 7 yes, 1 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B reaffirms its support for affordable housing in our community.

The Spring Place Real Property Limited Tax Abatement Assistance Act of 2013 would give the developers of this affordable housing project a property tax abatement of $9.1 million over 42 years.

A concern is the impact on the FY 2013 and FY 2014 through FY 2017 budgets.

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) report concludes that “funds are not sufficient in the FY 2013 budget and the proposed FY 2014 through FY 2017 budget and financial plan to implement the bill.”   Given this issue, what would change in the budget if this abatement is granted?  Would other city programs or affordable housing projects be cut?  Which ones?

In addition, the developer proposes including only studio, one and two-bedroom units in this project. Citywide there is a shortage of three-bedroom units.  As a result, many families cannot find appropriate housing in the city.

Therefore, we recommend that the Mayor and the Council, as a matter of public policy, require that this project and all other taxpayer-subsidized affordable housing programs include three-bedroom units.  

Our support for this legislation is contingent upon the developer including three-bedroom apartments equal to 10% of the total affordable housing units.

Community Concerns

 

Seven people addressed the Commission with concerns or questions:

1)         Ms. Wanda Oates, ANC 4B05, discussed commissioner meeting attendance.

2)         Ms. Jocelyn Johnson, ANC 4B03, requested that various issues be included on the Commission’s meeting agenda.

3)         Commissioner Jones, ANC 4B07, read a memo regarding the performance of the Commission.

4)         Michael Sindram, ANC 4B02, addressed various concerns and issues.

5)         Ms. Lisa McGinty Toppin discussed plans related to the Takoma Theater, located in ANC 4B02.

6)         Mr. Paul Montague, ANC 4B07, discussed a communication he had presented at the May 24 Commission meeting.

7)         Mr. Richard Wegan (?), representing Roadside Development, discussed their application for the Master Developer of the Walter Reed site.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Mr. Brian Lozano, representing Councilmember Muriel Bowser, reported on issues that the Councilmember is working on and answered questions from the Commissioners and the public.

 

2)         Mr. Nate Sloan, former Chair of the D.C. Statehood Commission, gave a presentation on efforts to get full statehood for the District of Columbia.

 

3)         Commissioner Grant, Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s Report:

 

ANC 4B Treasurer’s Report –June 24, 2013

 

As of May 31, 2013 the Industrial Bank checking account balance was $24,180.64.

 

Balance – 4/31/13                                                    $15,776.84

                                                                                   

Income –

5/6/13             DC Allotment                                                $  5,217.67

5/29/13           DC Allotment                                                $  5,489.27

4/30/13           Interest                                               $         0.82

 

Expenditures – 4/1/13-4/30/13                              $  2,306.96

 

Ending balance – 4/30/13                                      $24,180.64                           

 

 

The following checks were cashed between 5/1/13 and 5/31/13:

Date Cashed

 Name

Check #

Amount

Purpose

Meeting Approval Date

5/1/13

James H. Irwin

4809

461.70

Staff wages

2013 budget

11/26/12

5/2/13

Fred Grant

4807

72.00

Flyer distribution

2013 budget

11/26/12

5/6/13

Jamal’s Takoma Park LLC

4808

600.00

Office rent

2013 budget

11/26/12

5/16/13

James H. Irwin

4814

11.84

Office supplies

2013 budget

11/26/12

5/16/13

James H. Irwin

4813

18.87

Local transportation

2013 budget

11/26/12

5/17/13

James H. Irwin

4615

461.70

Staff wages

2013 budget

11/26/12

5/29/13

Konica Minolta

4810

96.80

Printing & Copying

2013 budget
11/26/12

5/31/13

Verizon

4812

39.99

Internet

2013 budget
11/26/12

5/31/13

Verizon

4811

79.36

Landline telephone

2013 budget
11/26/12

5/31/13

James H. Irwin

4817

461.70

Staff Wages

2013 budget

11/26/12

 

4)         Commissioner Jefferson, Secretary, presented the draft minutes for the May 24, 2013 regular public meeting.  Commissioner Sloan moved that the minutes be approved.  Commissioner Parks seconded the motion.  The minutes were adopted by show-of-hands vote, 7 yes, 1 no.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:02 PM.