Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B

April 22, 2013 Regular Public Meeting, Adopted on May 20, 2013

 

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM, Sara Green, Chair (and ANC 4B01) presiding.  It was held in meeting room 200, Emery Recreation Center, 5801 Georgia Avenue, NW. 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, 4B07 Judi Jones, 4B08 Yvonne Jefferson, and 4B09 Doug Sloan.

 

Actions:

 

1)         The Commission and public observed a moment of silence in memory of Metropolitan Police Department Officer Kayode Sodimu.

 

2)         The agenda as presented was approved without objection.

 

3)         Discussion & Recommendation Votes: Alcoholic Beverage Class C Restaurant License Renewals

 

3A.      Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the application of Chez Aunty Libe Restaurant, 6115 Georgia Avenue N.W., to renew their Class C Restaurant liquor license.  Commissioner Jefferson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted by show-of-hands vote, 5 yes, 1 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the renewal of the Class C Restaurant Liquor License for Chez Aunty Libe Restaurant (ABRA-089030).

3B.      Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the application of Nile Market & Kitchen, 7815 Georgia Avenue N.W. for renewal of their Class C restaurant liquor license.  Commissioner Grant seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no. 

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B supports the renewal of the Class C Restaurant Liquor License for Nile Market and Kitchen (ABRA-06432).

3C)      The application of Sunshine Bar and Lounge was reviewed.  Mr. Andre Carley spoke in opposition to renewing the license.  The owner and manager of the business spoke in support of renewal.   Following discussion and questions from the Commission and the public, Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution protesting the application of Sunshine Bar & Lounge, 7331 Georgia Avenue N.W., to renew its Class C Restaurant liquor license.  Commissioner Wheeler seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain.

 

 

 

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B protests the renewal of the Class C Restaurant Liquor License for Sunshine Bar and Lounge (ABRA-085239), due to concerns related to peace, order, and quiet.

This protest is based on the business’ s record of three primary tier violations of DC Code Section 25 since January 29, 2012, including violating an ABC Board Order and operating after hours.  The Board has imposed $14,700 in fines, including $4,000 that was not paid by the deadline.  The Board also ordered the business to close for eleven days.

Neighbors report continuing noise problems from this establishment.

We attach the Alcohol Beverage Control Board’s Investigative History of this establishment to this resolution.

4)         Presentation and Approval Vote:  Kids & Culture Camp Scholarships Grant Application- $1,000-$2,000

Ms. Jania Otey presented her application for a grant of $1,000-$2,000 to provide scholarships for children of residents of ANC 4B to attend the Kids and Culture Summer Camp  Following discussion and questions from the Commission and the public, Commissioner Sloan moved that the Commission approve a grant of $1,000 for Kids and Culture Camp.  Commissioner Grant seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 8 yes, 0 no.

5)         Presentation, Discussion and Recommendation Vote:  DC Zoning Regulations Rewrite

Ms. Jennifer Steingasser and Mr. Joel Lawson, Office of Planning, presented an overview of the proposed rewrite of zoning regulations, focusing on the impact on ANC 4B.  Following discussion and questions from the Commission and the public, Commissioner Green moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations to the Office of Planning regarding its report on the zoning regulations rewrite.  Commissioner Parks seconded the motion.  Commissioner Green noted that information provided during the presentation rendered two paragraphs in the section on Industrial Zones in the resolution incorrect.  She asked that the two paragraphs be deleted.  There was no objection and the resolution was amended accordingly.

 

Commissioner Wheeler moved that the resolution be amended to “grandfather” alley lots in residential zones to permit construction.  The motion was not adopted, 3 yes, 3 no, 1 abstain. 

 

The motion to adopt the amended resolution was approved unanimously by show-of-hands vote, 9 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) makes the following recommendations to the Office of Planning (OP) with respect to the Zoning Regulations Review (ZRR).   We ask that OP respond to these recommendations in writing.

OP states that every neighborhood will be able to “customize” zoning regulations after they have been adopted by the Zoning Commission. However, they are giving Georgetown the opportunity to do it now, explaining Georgetown is a “prototype” for a future citywide process.  However, once the new zoning regulations are adopted citywide, property owners and developers will fight any changes that, for example, eliminate uses or decrease densities, and will likely argue that customization effectively reduces individual property values and violates property-owner rights.

Therefore, we recommend:

*  Rescheduling OP’s draft submission to the Zoning Commission to give every community the opportunity to develop its own “customization” proposals and for more comment.  The “great weight” provisions of DC law should apply.

Parking

The current proposal’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to Transit Oriented Development will have a detrimental impact on ANC 4B neighborhoods that are within one-half or one quarter mile of Metro Stations and bus lines, respectively, including Takoma, Lamond-Riggs and Brightwood. 

The OP proposal to eliminate on-site parking requirements in Transit Zones and dramatically reduce parking requirements in other areas is a windfall for developers and property owners without sufficient corresponding public benefits. It simply offloads what is now a private obligation onto the public sphere.  There is no persuasive evidence that developers or property owners will voluntarily reduce rents or sales prices if required parking is eliminated.

Therefore, we recommend:

*     Minimum parking requirements are needed in Transit Zones and for every multi-family or commercial building.  The specific requirements should be determined following studies, as per the provisions of the Comprehensive Plan.

*     OP should consider requirements that mitigate the traffic and other impacts of the building(s) and provide a public benefit. For example, developers could contribute to the cost of municipal parking or share privately-built parking facilities or provide low –income or affordable housing units or public parks in exchange for some reductions in the current levels of required parking.

Accessory Units & Home Occupations

The current proposal expands allowable residential and business uses for properties in residential neighborhoods, with likely accompanying changes in density, noise, and parking demand. 

The proposal would permit, for the first time, the conversion of garages and other outbuildings into businesses or rental units and it would permit these uses as a matter of right unless a new building is constructed or an existing building is expanded.  Currently, these uses are only permitted inside existing homes, and in many cases only by the Board of Zoning Adjustment as a Special Exception.  Some proponents argue that these changes are needed to manage a growing number of Special Exception applications.

In addition, many more home occupations and businesses will be permitted in residential zones, including businesses that generate significant traffic and noise, such as delivery services and fitness businesses. While OP imagines peaceful yoga studios, the regulations would also allow much louder and more intrusive businesses, including Zumba, an exercise program featuring loud music.

There are no requirements for additional parking spaces to accommodate the increased demand for parking from new residents and new business customers. 

Proposed restrictions about the number of employees and vehicle trips, such as the limitation of no more than eight vehicle trips on a regularly basis daily, will be very hard to enforce.

Therefore, we recommend: 

*  New allowable business uses need to be reconsidered, eliminating uses that will logically generate more than eight vehicle trips daily, such as exercise businesses.

*  Special exceptions should be required for all uses – both residential and business – in new and existing buildings located outside the home.   The potential impact on neighborhoods justifies additional resources.

*   Additional parking should be required for business uses in accessory buildings. Business signage should be limited to small, unlighted identifying signs only on the building where the business is located.

Accessory buildings should not exceed one story.

Industrial Zones

There are two CM (Industrial) zones within ANC 4B.  They need to fit in better with the neighboring residential communities.

The current proposal requires a 25-foot landscaped setback from residential properties when the CM zone abuts a residential lot and a 15-foot landscaped setback from the street or alley when a street or an alley serves as a boundary with a residential zone. 

Therefore, we recommend:

*  Larger landscaped buffer and setback areas between CM zones and residential properties.

Corner Stores

Currently, the proposed Corner Store provisions, which would permit new retail, including food, alcohol and other goods, by right in some residential zones, would not apply to any areas within ANC 4B, but it is possible that once established, new zones could be added, and good citywide planning is a concern. 

There are no design guidelines to prevent blight and the permanent disfigurement of residential buildings. There is no requirement that businesses provide the additional fresh food options noted by advocates.  There is evidence that this provision will encourage additional alcohol businesses, retail that is already abundant in many neighborhoods.  Even if every customer arrives on foot, neighbors will be unduly impacted by the delivery trucks. It is also likely that these businesses will compete with existing businesses on Georgia Avenue and other commercial streets that are currently underleased and in need of foot traffic.

Therefore, we recommend:

*  Permitting “corner stores” only as part of a neighborhood “customization” process, with specific uses detailed, such as alcohol sales, and with design standards.

 

Additional Zoning Regulations Needed

Large one-story-only buildings, the Georgia Avenue Walmart, for example, contribute to sprawl.  The zoning regulations should encourage larger-scale, greater height development on main corridors where there are wider streets, more plentiful parking and the best transit options.

Therefore, we recommend:

*  New buildings on main corridors should have minimum FAR requirements to encourage multi-story buildings.

Similar to other jurisdictions, the negative impact of new development, including traffic and the loss of green space, should be mitigated by the developer.

Therefore, we recommend:

*  New zoning regulations mandating impact fees earmarked for public benefits and services, such as water quality, infrastructure and street improvements, parking, mass transit, parks and recreation, and landscaping on public streets.

6)         Revision of 2013 Budget to Increase Flyer Distribution Line Item by $500.00

Commissioner Green noted that flyer distribution to promote a job fair in March exhausted the flyer distribution budget and the line item needed to be increased.  Commissioner Sloan moved that the Commission adopt a resolution amending the FY 2013 budget to increase the flyer distribution line item by $500.00.  Commissioner Parks seconded the motion.  Commissioner Speaks suggested that there should be a limit on individual expenditures of $100.00 and that anything above that should be approved in advance by the Commission.  Commissioner Sloan accepted this suggestion as a friendly amendment.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 7 yes, 0 no.

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B amends the FY 2013 budget as follows:

 

Increase the Flyer Distribution budget line item from $1,000.00 to $1,500.00, provided, however, that any flyer distribution expense exceeding $100.00 shall be approved in advance by the Commission.

 

7)         Recommendation Vote:  Resolution Regarding Additional Funding for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions

 

Commissioner Parks moved that the Commission adopt a resolution addressed to the City Council recommending an increase in funding for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions city-wide in the FY 2014 District of Columbia budget.  Commissioner Grant seconded the motion.

 

Commissioner Wheeler moved that the resolution be amended to specify that the minimum amount per commission be changed to $35,000.

 

The motion to amend was not adopted, 2 yes, 4 no, 1 abstain.

 

The motion to adopt the resolution was approved 6 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain.

Community Concerns

 

Five people addressed the Commission with concerns or questions:

1)         Ms. Wanda Oates, ANC 4B05, discussed the nature of the minutes.

2)         Mr. Lawrence Jones, Office of People’s Counsel, reviewed the Office’s role and services.   

3)         Mr. Robert Richards, Sr., ANC 4B07, discussed contacting his commissioner.

4)         Minister Alfreda Chi Mauuso discussed previous requests to the commission.

5)         Jocelyn Johnson, 807 Tewkesbury Place NW, discussed the nature of the minutes.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

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

 

ANC 4B Treasurer’s Report –April 22, 2013

 

As of March 29, 2013 the Industrial Bank checking account balance was $5,428.10.

 

Balance – 2/28/13                                                    $  8,504.89

                                                                                   

Income – 3/1/13-3/29/13 (interest)                        $         0.28

 

Expenditures – 3/1/13-3/29/13                              $  3,077.07

 

Ending balance – 3/29/13                                                                          $5,428.10

 

As of March 1, 2013, the Industrial Bank savings account balance was $50,532.86.

 

Interest income – 12/31/12-3/31/13                      $12.46

 

Ending balance – 3/31/13                                                                         $50,545.32

 

The following checks were cashed between 2/1/13 and 2/28/13:

Date Cashed

 Name

Check #

Amount

Purpose

Meeting Approval Date

3/6/13

Jamal’s Takoma Park LLC

4787

600.00

Office rent

2013 budget

11/26/12

3/11/13

James H. Irwin

4795

7.57

Postage

2013 budget

11/26/12

3/11/13

James H. Irwin

4794

31.77

Office supplies

2013 budget

11/26/12

3/11/13

James H. Irwin

4793

70.40

Local transportation

2013 budget

11/26/12

3/11/13

James H. Irwin

4792

461.70

Staff wages

1/28/13

3/14/13

Verizon

4791

39.99

Internet

2013 budget

11/26/12

3/14/13

Verizon

4790

118.10

Landline phone

2013 budget
11/26/12

3/18/13

Konica Minolta

4789

137.65

Printing & Copying

2013 budget
11/26/12

3/18/13

Capital Services & Supplies

4788

148.19

Office supplies

2013 budget
11/26/12

3/22/13

James H. Irwin

4796

461.70

Staff wages

2013 budget
11/26/12

3/26/13

CAMCBA

4797

1,000.00

Flyer distribution

2013 budget
11/26/12

 

2)         Commissioner Jefferson, Secretary, presented the draft minutes for the March 25, 2013 regular public meeting.  Commissioner Grant moved that the minutes be approved.  Commissioner Wheeler seconded the motion.  Commissioner Green asked that the minutes be corrected on page seven, item four to correct the spelling of Mr. Toussaint Tyson’s name and on page eight, to substitute “Representative from…” for the inaudible name on the audio tape.

 

The minutes as corrected were adopted unanimously by show-of-hands vote, 7 yes, 0 no.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:36 PM.