Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

May 22, 2012 Regular Public Meeting            Adopted 6/25/12

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 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, 4B04 Rebecca Mills, 4B05 Brenda Speaks, Judi Jones 4B07, 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson, and 4B09 Douglass Sloan.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

Actions:

 

1)         Newly-elected Commissioner Rebecca Mills, ANC 4B04, was sworn into office by Councilmember Muriel Bowser.

 

2)         The agenda was adopted in a 5-0 show-of-hands vote following a motion from Commissioner Wheeler.

 

3)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Vote to the DC Department of Health:  Proposed Medical Marijuana Dispensary, 6925 Blair Road, NW

 

The Commission heard presentations by Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn, of theTakoma Wellness Center, Inc., Dr. Feseha Waldu, of the DC Department of Health, and Mr. Phillip Husband, of Office of the Attorney General, regarding the application of the Takoma Wellness Center to become a D.C.-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.  Presenters answered questions and responded to comments from Commissioners and the public.  Following this discussion, Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the Center’s application to the Department of Health, if a series of conditions are met. The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 2 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) supports the application of the Takoma Wellness Center as one of the city’s first medical marijuana dispensaries if the following conditions are met:

1)  That the issuance of this license be delayed until changes in the law and/or the regulations permit the following conditions:

2)  that the applicant sign a binding agreement stipulating the assignment of an on-site security guard or off-duty police officer during all hours that the Center operates as per the applicant’s commitment

3)  That the DC Metropolitan Police Department permits its officers to work off duty and on-site to provide protection for Center patients to and from the Center to transportation during all hours that the Center operates.

4)  That the DC Department of Health, or another department or agency with the ability to revoke the license, enforce the applicant’s written agreement to provide on-site security supervision.

ANC 4B makes these recommendations due to the fact that the area around the Takoma Metro Station, including the vicinity of the Center, have been subject to street robberies. We have valid concerns that the Center could attract additional crime and that frail and sick patients and others might be targets. A successful security program should protect patients as well as the Center from robbery.

We also note that voluntary agreements are used successfully with alcohol licenses to address site-specific community concerns. We strongly recommend that such a mechanism be put in place for medical marijuana establishments as well and ask that the DC Department of Health, the Metropolitan Police Department and the DC City Council act to make all necessary changes to the law and the regulations

 

4)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Vote to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board:  Retail Class A Liquor Store License Renewal, S&S Liquors, 6925 4th Street, NW

 

Following a presentation by Mr. Singh, the owner of S&S Liquors, 6925 4th Street N.W., Commissioner Jones moved that the Commission support the application of S&s Liquors to renew its Retail Class A liquor license.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 8 yes, 0 no.

 

5)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Vote to the DC Department of Transportation:  Application For Curb Cuts, Driveways, Paving, Retaining Walls, 6141 Sligo Mill Road, NE & 6000 New Hampshire Avenue, NE

 

Mr. John Dapogny, of the Comstock Homebuilding Companies, presented their application for a public space occupancy permit at 6141 Sligo Mill Road NE and 6000 New Hampshire Avenue NE to construct curb cuts, driveways, paving, and retaining walls.  Following questions from Commissioners and the public and a discussion, Commissioner Jefferson moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting Comstock’s application.  Commissioner Grant seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 6 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:         That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the application of Comstock Homebuilding Companies Inc., dba 6000 New Hampshire Avenue LLC, for a public space use permit for the purpose of construction of five curb cuts (one on New Hampshire Avenue N.E., two on Sligo Mill Road N.E., one on Peabody Street N.E., and one on Rittenhouse Street N.E.), new curb and gutter, sidewalk, lead walk, ADA ramp, retaining wall 42”, paved area.

6)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Vote to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA):  Application For a Two-Year Extension of BZA Approval, Apartment Buildings, 6923-6953 Maple and 6916-6926 Willow Street, NW

Mr. Paul Nelson, of Douglas Development, presented their application to the BZA  to extend for two years BZA Orders #17679 and 17679-A. The orders apply to two apartment buildings to be located at 6923-6953 Maple and 6916-6926 Willow Streets, NW.  Following questions from Commissioners and the public and a discussion, Commissioner Jones moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the application.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 8 yes, 0 no.

 

 

The adopted resolution:

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (the Commission) supports the application for a two-year extension of Board of Zoning Adjustment approval for two apartment buildings to be located at 6923-6953 Maple and 6916-6926 Willow Streets, NW.

The Commission notes for the record that the applicant has explained in detail to the Commission and to the Commissioner representing single-member district ANC 4B07 the financial situation that makes this application necessary.  The applicant has submitted all information supporting this application in a timely manner.

The Commission further notes that the applicant has not changed the plans approved in Orders #17679 and 17679-A.

The Commission asks that all matters related to this application should be related to Commissioner Judi, Jones, ANC 4B07.

7)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Vote to the DC Department of Housing & Community Development:  Application for Renovation Funding, N.E. 2nd Street Cooperative, Inc., 5700-5748 2nd Street, NE

Ms. Alma Bullock, a member of the Board of Directors of the N.E. 2nd Street Cooperative, Inc., presented their application to the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development for funds to support the redevelopment of the cooperative’s buildings at 5700-5748 2nd Street N.E..  Following a discussion and questions from the Commission, Commissioner Jefferson moved that the Commission send the draft letter of support submitted by the Cooperative to the Commission.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 7 yes, 0 no.

Commissioner Green noted for the record that seven Commissioners were present for the vote:  Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Grant, Mills, Jones, Jefferson and Sloan.

The approved letter:

Mr. John Hall

Director

D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development

800 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20020

 

Dear Director Hall:

 

At its regular public meeting on May 22, 2012 (notice of which was properly given, and at which a quorum of seven of nine members was present), ANC4B voted unanimously (7 yes, 0 no) to support the NE 2nd Street Cooperative’s inclusion in an application for financing through the Spring 2012 Consolidated RFP issued by the DHCD Development Finance Division.

 

Following the purchase of the property with DHCD funding in 2005, the need for renovations to the property has become all the more critical, while the Cooperative has been unable to arrange financing.  Today the property suffers from not only needed renovations, but very high vacancy and delinquency challenges as well.  Consequently, the organization has been unable to meet the intended mortgage payments to DHCD.

 

We are pleased with the plans of the developer, Edmondson & Gallagher, to fully renovate the property, including extensive new systems and finishes for both the interior and exterior.  By virtue of the current development plan, similar to the 1st Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Cooperative Pool successfully completed by the same developer, the residents have an opportunity to enjoy not only quality housing and affordable rents, but an opportunity to repurchase the building in 15 years.

 

We hope that DHCD will provide the financing so desperately needed for this worthy project.  The Commission submits this letter of support under the provisions of DC Code 1-309.10(d) (3)(A) and 1-309.10(d)(3)(B), which require, among other things, that Advisory Neighborhood Commission recommendations be given “great weight” by DC government agencies, that DC government agencies “articulate with particularity and precision the reasons why the Commission does or does not offer persuasive advice under the circumstances.  In doing so, the government entity must articulate specific findings and conclusions with respect to each issue and concern raised by the Commission.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Yvonne A. Jefferson, ANC 4B08

Secretary

 

8)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Vote:  Application for Low Income/Affordable Housing Financing, Mi Casa, Inc., New Apartments, 6925 Ga. Ave., NW

 

Following a presentation by representatives of Mi Casa, questions from the Commission and the public, and an extended discussion, Commissioner Wheeler moved that the Commission support Mi Casa’s application, subject to specific recommendations and conditions.   The extended discussion resulted in several friendly amendments which were accepted by Commissioner Wheeler.  The amended motion was adopted, 4 yes, 1 no.

The adopted resolution:

WHEREAS, ANC 4B submits this resolution at the request of Mi Casa, Inc.  for a letter of support from the ANC to proceed to settlement on the acquisition of a vacant lot at 6925-29 Georgia Avenue, NW.   Mi Casa proposes to build a 27-unit mixed-income rental apartment building on that site.

WHEREAS, Mi Casa, Inc. will use a mix of funding sources to acquire the land and construct the referenced apartments at 6925-29 Georgia Avenue, NW.

WHEREAS, the apartments will be offered as mixed income rental housing.  This includes households under 60% and 80% of Area Median Income (AMI).  The opportunity for rental housing should be made available to all races, sexes, seniors and veterans.  Said rental housing will preserve affordability for the long term and add to the mixed-income housing stock of the District of Columbia.

WHEREAS, Mi Casa believes that by constructing the apartments they will help stabilize the neighborhood, eliminate a vacant lot along Georgia Avenue, and provide much needed mixed-income housing to future residents. 

WHEREAS, another well-managed rental building will not only be a productive asset for the City, but also will provide customers for the businesses along Upper Georgia Avenue.

WHEREAS, Mi Casa agrees to use sustainable, quality building materials which complement the Normandy and the Dahlia apartment buildings on the east side of Georgia Avenue as well as the historic buildings on the Walter Reed campus when constructing the building and when maintenance updates are made to the property. 

WHEREAS, Mi Casa agrees to consider the suggestions made in the 4B02 Single Member District meeting and the ANC 4B Commission meeting:  (1) to use brick on the exterior walls of the building, (2) on the front elevation, to extend toward the south the middle tone of brick so that the front door is in the center of that coloration, (3) explore a more creative design of the parapet and of the windows, (4) explore including solar panels and geo-thermal heating. 

WHEREAS, Mi Casa agrees to apply green environmental principles to add to and promote the aesthetics of the neighborhood and the community whenever possible.

WHEREAS, ANC 4B recommends that the developers agree to hire local residents and actively participate in community affairs whenever possible in order to contribute to the economic stability and viability of the neighborhood.

WHEREAS, ANC 4B recommends that Mi Casa the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, the Department of Housing and Community Development move forward as soon as possible, taking into account the time constraints associated with the financing in place to purchase and construct the apartment building. 

NOW BE IT RESOLVED THAT the ANC 4B supports the modified proposal of Mi Casa Inc., provided that the conditions stated above in this Resolution are followed. 

We designate Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Faith Wheeler to present this Resolution to government agencies and panels if needed. 

9)         Presentation, Discussion & Recommendation Votes To The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB):

 

a.         Application for Curb Cut & New Driveway, 7222 Blair Road, NW

 

Ms. Christy Yahoudi, the owner of 7222 Blair Road, N.W., presented her application to HPRB for a curb cut and new driveway at her residence.  Following a discussion, Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting her application with several additional recommendations about the design.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the installation of a curb cut and new driveway for 7222 Blair Road, NW.  This application is before the DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and has been submitted to the DC Department of Transportation’s Public Space Management Committee (Public Space).

Based on comments from residents, we believe that the driveway and curb cut are appropriate in the Takoma Historic District.  Blair Road is a street with many driveways and curb cuts. 

 We support the Historic Preservation Office’s staff recommendations to HPRB with respect to the design details that will make this an attractive and viable addition to home, but ask that the Board permit the property owner some flexibility to modify the design based on cost concerns.

Also, based on comments from residents, we recommend that the design include a paved “turn-around” area in the rear of the house so that cars do not have to back out of the driveway onto Blair Road.  We ask that pervious materials be used.

 

We also understand that Public Space will review all safety and transportation-related issues and we respect their technical expertise in evaluating this application.

Commissioner Sara Green is authorized to represent this resolution before DC government bodies.

b.         Application for Two Roof Dormers, 6800 6th Street N.W. - Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB)

 

Ms. Stephanie Scott-Melnyk presented her application to HPRB for the construction of two roof dormer windows on her residence.  Following questions and a discussion, Commissioner Wheeler moved that the Commission support the application.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

10)      Presentation, Discussion & Vote: Grant Request -- Community Health Partnership, Health Festival to held at 6000 Georgia Avenue, NW

 

Ms. Elaine Ellis, of the Community Health Partnership, presented her grant application for $2,400.00.  In the course of discussion, it was determined that several of her proposed budget items were expenditures not permitted by the DC Auditor.  Further discussion identified the following acceptable expenditures:

 

$100               Website update

$270               Rental of tables

$60                 Purchase of table covers

$250               Purchase of balloons

$100               Fee to remove street banner

 

These items totaled $780.00.

 

Commissioner Green moved that the Commission approve the grant application in the amount of $780.00.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Green noted for the record that five Commissioners, a quorum, were present and voted:  Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Grant, Mills and Jefferson.

 

Community Concerns

 

Due to technical issues, community concerns were not recorded and could not therefore be transcribed.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Mr. Tony Robinson, Executive Office of the Mayor, presented plans for a memorial park for the victims of the 2009 Metro Red Line crash. Commissioners and the public asked questions and engaged in extended discussion of the proposal.  Commissioners urged Mr. Jefferson to work with Commissioner Jefferson and hold several meetings with the community and the neighbors of the proposed location before finalizing plans and returning to the Commission.

 

2)         Commissioner Grant, ANC 4B’s Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s Report:

 

ANC 4B Treasurer’s Report – May 22, 2012

 

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

 

Checking Account:

 

Balance – 3/30/12                                              $16,936.81

 

Income – 4/1/12-4/30/12                          $5,538.44

 

Expenditures – 4/1/12-4/30/12                $2,190.58

 

Ending balance – 4/30/12                                            $20,284.67

 

 

The following checks were cashed last month:

Date Cashed

 Name

Check #

Amount

Purpose

Meeting Approval Date

4/9/12

Fred Grant

4695

$250.00

Reimburse flyer distribution payments*

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/20/12

James H. Irwin

4696

$461.70

Staff wages

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/20/12

James H. Irwin

4707

$461.70

Staff wages

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/23/12

James H. Irwin

4705

$6.30

Reimburse office supplies purchase

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/23/12

James H. Irwin

4705

$46.41

Reimburse local transportation expense**

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/27/12

Capital Services & Supplies

4700

$157.44

Office Supplies

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/27/12

Jamal’s Takoma LLC

4704

$600.00

Office Rent

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/30/12

U.S. Postal Service

4703

$45.00

Postage

2012 budget

11/28/11

4/30/12

Konica Minolta

4702

161.98

Printing & Copying

2012 budget

11/28/11

 

NOTES:

 

*  Payments for distribution of flyers announcing SMD 4B08-4B09 joint meeting on April 9, 2012 re Fort Totten Square Development.

 

**  Reimburse for personal automobile mileage for posting of meeting notices and supervision of flyer distribution, October, 2011-April 2012.

 

3)         Commissioner Grant presented the FY 2012 Second Quarter Report.  The report was approved by the Commission 5 yes, 0 no.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 PM.