Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

April 23, 2012 Regular Public Meeting  Adopted 6/25/12

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM, Sara Green, Chair (and ANC 4B01) presiding.  It was held at the MPD’s 4th District Community Room, 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW. Also present were Commissioners. 4B02 Faith Wheeler, 4B03 Fred Grant, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, 4B07 Judi Jones, 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson, and 4B09 Douglass Sloan.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

Actions

1)         The agenda was adopted in a show-of-hands vote, 5-yes, 0-no, following a motion from Commissioner Sloan.

 

2)         Commissioner Grant moved that the FY 2012 budget be amended to delete the $6,000 allocated for the purchase of cell phones and cell phone service for Commissioners.  The motion was adopted by a show of hands vote, 5 yes, 1 no.

 

The adopted motion:

 

RESOLVED:

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B hereby amends the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget to delete budget expense item 10B, Cellular Telephone,  in the amount of $6,000.00.

 

3)         Following presentations from Mr. Steve Mordfin, of the D.C. Office of Planning, and Mr. Jamie Wendel and others who represented JBG Developers, Commissioner Sloan moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the Fort Totten Square development at 300-320 Riggs Road N.E. with several recommendations.  Extended discussion included several friendly amendments which were accepted by Commissioner Sloan.  The amended motion was adopted by roll call vote, 5 yes, 2 no.  The roll call vote was:

 

YES                                                    NO

 

Green                                                 Speaks

Wheeler                                             Jones

Grant

Sloan

Jefferson

 

The adopted resolution:

 

WHEREAS JPG Companies and Lowes Enterprises have proposed a mixed use development for the site at 300-320 Riggs Road, NE (Lot 10, Square 3760) which will pair residential with commercial functions;

WHEREAS JPG Companies and Lowes Enterprises submitted a Large Tract Review (LTR) application to the D.C. Office of Planning (OP) in February of 2012;

WHEREAS according to the provisions of the District of Columbia Code: Division 1, Government of District: Title 1 Government Organization, Chapter 3 Specified Governmental Authority, Subchapter V. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 1-309.10(a), 1-309.10(d)(3)(A), 1-309.10(d)(3)(B) and 1-309.10(d)(3)(C), ANCs have “great weight” regarding planning and road construction/traffic issues;

WHEREAS ANC 4B Commissioners from the single member districts immediately affected by the development (4B-09/08) worked closely with the citizens association that serves the affected area (Lamond Riggs Citizens Association) to proactively seek out and obtain area resident input on the proposed development through numerous community meetings and information sessions with the developers and the D.C. Office of Planning;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that ANC 4B supports the Fort Totten Square Development with the following recommendations:

A.  That materials used in the development project be of high quality and color consistent, and that a substantial amount of brick frontage be incorporated into the structure to maintain overall consistency with the character of the surrounding community.

B.  That adequate parking is provided for residents, their visitors, commercial tenant employees and visiting shoppers to ensure minimal adverse effects to the surrounding community.

C.  That the developers make a legitimate effort to incorporate condominiums into their residential development plan that are amenable to home ownership and include appropriate amenities in an effort to maintain a residential continuity of long time senior residents in the area.

D.  That the developers and commercial tenants proactively work with the D.C. Department of Transportation to minimize additional traffic burdens on residential streets surrounding the development to maintain a consistent quality of life for area residents.

E.  That the developers make every effort to incorporate green building alternatives into the development which include but shall not be limited to: solar panels, landscaping, Sedum grass roof matting, mini-windmills and other eco-friendly and environmentally conscious options.   

F.   That the developers make every effort to ensure that an adequate proportion of the units be set aside for mixed income and affordable senior, workforce housing.

We authorize Commissioner Douglass Sloan, ANC 4B09, to represent the Commission before D.C. Government agencies regarding this matter.

4)         Following presentations by Mr. Ravinder Singh  and Mr. Vik Kansal, the owner and the General Manager of the Cork & Bottle Liquor Store, 7421 Georgia Avenue N.W., and Mr. Varinder Dutt, the owner of Woodward Liquors, 6111 Blair Road N.W., Commissioner Green moved that the Commission support renewal of the liquor licenses for both stores.  The motion was adopted unanimously by a show-of-hands vote, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

5)         Mr. Andre Carley, President, Concerned Neighbors, Inc., presented the organization’s grant application for $400.00 for planting of flowers in tree boxes on Georgia Avenue N.W. within the Commission boundaries.  Following questions from the Commission and discussion, Commissioner Green moved that the Commission approve the grant application.  Commissioner Speaks seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously by show of hands vote, 6 yes, 0 no.       

 

6)         Commissioner Green said it is unclear if funding for the Clean Team on Upper Georgia Avenue will continue.  She moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting renewed and continued funding.    Following discussion and friendly amendments to clarify language, which were accepted by Commissioner Green, the motion was adopted unanimously in a show-of-hands vote, 6 yes, 0 no.

The adopted resolution:

            Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) asks that the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) renew the contract for the Upper Georgia Avenue Clean Team, slated to end at the end of April 2012.

Clean Team workers have earned praise from residents and business people for their courtesy and professionalism.  They pick up trash and help with plantings and other beautification programs.  They convey an essential and positive message to residents, existing businesses, potential investors and new businesses.  This program is especially important to a community already suffering from the closure of Walter Reed.

We thank DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew for his commitment, as stated in an April 5, 2012 email, to “identify funds to ensure continuity of the services” and to provide an “update prior to the end of services regarding its continuation.”

The Clean Team is a necessary investment in the redevelopment of Georgia Avenue and other under-developed areas of our community.  We therefore ask that Mayor Vincent Gray and the DC City Council include adequate funding in the FY 2013 budget to continue this program into the coming year, not just for the area from Fern Street N.W. to Eastern Avenue N.W., but for other business and commercial areas within the boundaries of ANC 4B.

We authorize every Commissioner to represent this resolution before DC government bodies as it affects their own Single-Member Districts.

7)         Commissioner Green noted that Councilmember Marion Barry had introduced legislation permitting Advisory Neighborhood Commissions to file lawsuits and expend funds on litigation.  Current law prohibits ANCs from filing lawsuits.  She moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting this legislation.  Following discussion, the motion was adopted unanimously in a show-of-hands vote, 6 yes, 0 no.

The adopted resolution:

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) wholeheartedly supports B19-0716, the “Advisory Neighborhood Commission Empowerment Amendment Act of 2012.”

The existing law is unfair and effectively prevents Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANCs), duly elected officials, from representing their communities and ensuring that the intent and spirit of District of Columbia (DC) laws are enforced.

DC law requires that ANCs receive 30 days’ notice of pending government actions and requires that city government give ANC views “great weight,” among other things.  ANCs should be able to ensure that should a government agency or official ignore the law, either by design or error, that the “great weight” and other provisions of the law are followed.

For example, current law recognizes the importance of land use proposals and alcohol licenses in our neighborhoods.  It gives ANCs automatic party status before the Board of Zoning Adjustment and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC).  However, although other parties in these cases can sue in the courts to overturn a decision, ANCs currently cannot.

This has been an issue in several cases, including one written decision from the ABC Board that did not even acknowledge ANC 4B’s party status in the case, its opposition, or its testimony at a public hearing.

We authorize every ANC 4B Commissioner to testify to represent this resolution before the DC City Council and other DC government bodies.

Community Concerns

 

Ms. Wanda Oates, of ANC 4B05, expressed concern that ANC 4B was holding its meeting in conflict with Mayor Gray’s Ward 4 budget meeting.  She said Michael Sindram, a 4B02 resident, should not have his comments limited.

 

Mr.Michael Sindram expressed concern that the Safeway store on Piney Branch Road NW has still not renovated the bathroom facilities.  He also expressed concerns about some of ANC 4B’s 2005 and 2008 quarterly reports and a 2005 grant. He asked ANC 4B to send a resolution about the city’s new Ethics Board.

 

Commissioner Grant noted that the Safeway store has allocated $20,000 for the renovation of the bathroom, and that it will be done.

 

Commissioner Speaks said she had called City Council Chair Kwame Brown to complain about the Safeway  bathroom. She said Chair Brown sent a representative to Safeway to make sure the work was started

 

Mr. Tony Robinson, of the Executive Office of the Mayor, announced that the Mayor would be unveiling a memorial plaque for the victims of the June 2009 Metro Red Line crash in June, 2012.  He also announced that planning had begun for a memorial park to be established near the crash site.

 

Mr. Darrell Johnson expressed concern that Ward 4 City Councilmember  Bowser and the DC Government were not doing anything about ground contamination from an old Chevron gas station in his Riggs Park neighborhood.  Commissioner Sloan noted that he had met with Mr. Johnson and others regarding this problem and was continuing to work with them on it.

 

Ms. Beverly Hughes, St. Mark’s Baptist Church, 7th and Underwood Streets NW, said that a cracked sidewalk and curb outside the church posed a safety hazard, but the city is unresponsive. Commissioner Grant said he would work with her to get the city to fix the problem.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Councilmember Muriel Bowser reported briefly on the status of the FY 2013 Budget and other issues and answered questions..

 

2)         Commissioner Grant, ANC 4B’s Treasurer, gave the Treasurer’s report:

 

ANC 4B Treasurer’s Report – April 23, 2012

 

As of March 30, 2012 the Industrial Bank checking account balance was:  $16,936.81.

 

As of March 31, 2012, the Industrial Bank savings account balance was $50,484.23.

 

Checking Account:

 

Balance – 2/29/12                                                        $12,988.23

 

Income – 3/1/12-3/30/12                          $6,106.93

 

Expenditures – 3/1/12-3/30/12                $2,158.35

 

Ending balance – 3/30/12                                            $16,936.81

 

 

The following checks were cashed last month:

Date Cashed

 Name

Check #

Amount

Purpose

Meeting Approval Date

3/2/12

James H. Irwin

4692

$13.55

Reimburse office supplies purchase

2012 budget

11/28/11

3/5/12

Jamal’s Takoma LLC

4691

$600.00

Office rent

2012 budget

11/28/11

3/7/12

Sure-Fit Security

4689

$559.18

Purchase of services:  change all office locks

2012 budget

11/28/11

3/12/12

James H. Irwin

4693

461.70

Staff wages

2012 budget

11/28/11

3/20/12

Sara Green

4678

62.22

Reimburse printing costs:  DDOT drawings

2012 budget

11/28/11

3/26/12

James H. Irwin

4694

461.70

Staff wages

2012 budget

11/28/11

 

Savings Account:

 

Balance – 12/31/11                                                      $50,465.36

 

Income – 1/1/12-3/31/12                $18.87 (interest)  

 

Ending balance – 3/31/12                                            $50,484.23

 

3)         Commissioner Jefferson, ANC 4B’s Secretary, presented the minutes of the March 26, 2012 meeting.

 

Commissioner Wheeler noted a spelling correction on page four and corrections to the titles of presenters on page five.

 

The minutes were adopted unanimously in a show-of-hands vote, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Green noted for the record that a quorum was present, with Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Grant, Jefferson and Sloan present and voting.

 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 PM.