Tracking ANC6B Issues: 2014

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B gets involved in many issues–large and small.  Some take months or years to resolve.  The info here provides a quick update on the status of major issues ongoing in 2014.  See my various blog articles for more complete details.

NOTE: I am not updating this page currently.  If you wish information about any of these issues, send me an email via either Beat26@aol.com or Kirsten6b04@anc6b.org

Barney Circle-SE Boulevard Transportation Planning Study.  First public meeting of the NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) review process was 21 Feb 2013. The second meeting was held 21 Nov 2013.  ANC6B responded formally at both junctures of the study.  See my April 2013 posting: ANC6B Comments on Barney Circle/SE Boulevard Study and January 2014 posting: DDOT’s Barney Circle & SE Boulevard: Is This What We Want?   As a result of the ANC’s comments on the study outcomes in November, ANC6B encouraged the Office of Planning (OP) to conduct a SE Boulevard neighborhood planning effort jointly with the Commission and DDOT.  This study ran from April 2014, to November 2014; ANC6B held two community meetings to gather input for the effort.  [A discussion of the study was also held at the ANC6B Transportation Committee meeting on July 2.]  A recap of the OP study is in my posting A Neighborhood SE Boulevard along with links to the two meeting presentations (4 Aug 2014 and 11 Dec 2014).  DDOT now says it will conduct a feasibility study in early 2015 on the 3 options that emerged from the OP/DDOT/6B study.  No date is set for resumption of the DDOT NEPA study.

Pennsylvania-Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Pedestrian Safety Study.  First public meeting of the NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) review process was 31 Jan, 2013, and the 2nd meeting was on 16 May 2013.  Four options were presented; ANC6B supported #3 the so-called “T-Intersection”.  At that time, DDOT said the Draft EA would be released and discussed at a public meeting Spring/Summer 2014 with the Final EA scheduled for Fall 2014.  In its testimony before the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment’s DDOT Oversight Hearing on 21 Mar 2014, ANC6B asked for the Committee’s help in securing funding for the implementation of this project.  DDOT informed ANC6B in a meeting on 28 Apr 2014 that $4.7 million has been obligated for this project in FY2016.  In November 2014, DDOT released an Information Display Booth brochure asking for comments on 3 new options for the intersection: Triangle Parks, Rectangle Park, and Ellipse Park.  In negotiations with DDOT, ANC6B managed to get the deadline for comments delayed until 16 Jan 2015 and arranged for a DDOT representative to attend its 7 Jan 2015 Transportation Committee meeting to provide more details on the new options.  DDOT’s revised timeline for the study are: Draft EA (Summer 2015) and Final EA (Winter 2015).

Hine School Redevelopment.  Groundbreaking for this important economic development project in the midst of SE Capitol Hill was scheduled for Summer 2013 after 4-5 years of public discussion, plenty of compromises by everyone involved, and final approvals by the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Zoning Commission (ZC).  But, a handful of residents filed a suit against the ZC at the DC Court of Appeals.  The case was heard in September 2013 and a ruling was issued on August 14.  Subsequently, the litigants filed an appeal to the full Court.  This could further delay the project start up to 6 months.  Details on the approved designs are at this website.

Parking Changes Proposed for Residential Areas of 6B.   In September 2012 ANC6B formally asked DDOT to implement carefully crafted Residential Permit Parking changes to alleviate parking congestion, especially in areas around Eastern Market during weekends.  The Commission has been in interminable meetings with DDOT since 2012, trying to get this relief for residents while maintaining parking for Market customers and vendors.  In March 2014, Councilmembers Wells and Grosso asked DDOT to proceed expeditiously with decision making on this request.  The 2012 Resolution: ANC 6B Resolution PBP Pilot Expansion 9-2012.  However, at a meeting with ANC6B on 28 April 2013, DDOT said that considering this request would not proceed until DDOT has completed its policy review of Resident Only Parking.  DDOT does not have a deadline for completion of this policy review, however.  Given some of the details of the policy review, it appears that the ANC6B request will have to be reformulated.

Marine Barracks Plans for New BEQMeetings and reviews on the Marine Barracks Washington’s plans to located a site for and construct a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters building have been ongoing since 2009.  In September 2013, MBW held a public meeting on a NEPA EIS study and ANC6B voted formal comments on 8 Oct 2013.  A copy of the letter and further details about this issue are in my posting ANC6B Responds to MBW Plans for BEQ.  MBW held a required National Preservation Act “Section 106″ public meeting on 1 Dec 2014.  At its December 2014 meeting, ANC6B voted to send a letter to MBW with comments on the Section 106 information.

11th Street Bridges Project.  At the 10 Mar 2014, Community Communications Committee meeting, DDOT presented a list of the 2014 Milestones for the project.  A summary of the milestones and map is posted on this blog under 11th Street Bridge Project: 2014 Milestones.  As of September 2014, the project was focused on (1) building the new westbound off ramp onto I Street at 9th Street SE, (2) completing all the road, bikelane, and signal configurations on 11th Street between K and M Streets SE, and (3) reopening the old SE Freeway (to which ANC6B is opposed).  All of these sub-projects are slated to be completed by Spring 2015.  The old freeway lanes were opened to traffic in mid-December 2014.  At its December 2014 meeting, ANC6B voted to send a letter to DDOT asking that the pedestrian crossings along 11th Street SE at K and L Streets SE be reinstated.

CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel NEPA Review.  After several years of public meetings, this study’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was released in July 2013 and a Public Hearing was held on Wed 31 Jul.  ANC6B sent formal comments on the draft to DDOT in September 2013.  See my posting ANC6B Comments on CSX VAT Draft EIS for details and link to the ANC letter.  After the formal comment period ended, there was a flurry of political activity by a group of residents opposed to the project.  See my postings on this phase, such as CSX VAT Opposition Misinforms? and Norton Meets on CSX VAT. Again. 

DC Council chair Mendelson held a Committee of the Whole hearing on the project on Wednesday, April 30th.  ANC6B testified at the hearing, based on its September 2013 letter in response to the DEIS and a subsequent letter sent to Mayor Gray in March 2014.

The Final EIS was released by DDOT and FHWA on June 13, 2014 and the agencies held a public hearing on July 1.  Subsequently, the agencies announced that the comment period had been extended to August 12th.  ANC6B held a community meeting on the FEIS on July 10 and submitted its letter to DDOT and FHWA.   [ANC6B FEIS Letter July 2014]  The agencies held a second FEIS public meeting on July 31.  DC Council Chair Mendelson and Councilmember Cheh held a DC Council hearing on the FEIS on August 26.  The usual cast of characters testified but it was unclear what the Council thought it could do about the project.  Finally … FHWA released the Record of Decision (ROD) on November 4, 2015.  The ROD supports the preferred option in the FEIS.  The document is available at the above website.

Not unexpectedly, the Committee of 100 on the Federal City filed a law suit against the decision on November 12.  This most likely delays the start of the project, which was slated to begin in early 2015.  Once construction does eventually begin, the ANC’s role will be to make sure that all the inevitable impacts of the projects are mitigated as planned.  CSX will be setting up a community group to meet periodically on issues that arise.

Master Plan for Eastern Market Metro Park.  This project is being managed by Barracks Row Main Street.  After several public meetings in 2013 and a Task Force meeting in 2014, the Design Team completed a Draft Master Plan, which was presented and discussed in two community meetings: Sat 21 July and Mon 23 July.  The presentation is available online [use the link above and click on Master Plan Presentation] for community review during Summer 2014.  Comment on the draft can be posted on the blog section of the website.  The challenges once the Plan is finished will be to find an agency or agencies who want to champion the project and find the funding for its implementation.  Some of this is now in hand: funds for the library expansion part of the project have been placed in the District’s Capitol Fund and funds and a lead agency (DC Dept of General Services) have been identified to support the required NEPA study.  At its meeting in December 2014, ANC6B voted to send a letter to DGS asking that the NEPA study be started ASAP.

Rodent Abatement of Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  ANC6B Commissioner Ivan Frishberg organized a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH), DDOT, and the Capitol Hill BID earlier this year to get commitments from various stakeholders on efforts to reduce the rodent population in the Metro plaza.  Subsequent to this meeting, DOH provided ANC6B with a set of recommendations.  See, DOH EM Metro Plaza Recommendations Jan 2014.  On Saturday, April 12th, DOH held an extremely informative Ward 6 Rat Summit at the Hill Center.  During June, the DC Dept of General Services implemented the “anti-rat” recommendations, mulching with large white rocks that inhibit rat burrowing.  Also, all the trash cans are to be replaced with solar types that have closed lids.  Within ANC6B04, I am working closely with the establishments that have trash bins in the east/west alley between the 400 blocks of 8th and 9th Streets SE and in the alley within the 500 block of 8th Street SE.

Development at Reservation 13.  For updated information on this project, go to ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flahaven’s blog.

Eastern Branch Building (formerly Boys & Girls Club).  This long vacant building at 261 17th Street SE is finally getting some attention from the DC government.  ANC6B’s Hill East Task Force met on April 9th to discuss plans by the Dept of General Services to issue a Request for Offers.  The Task Force will met again on April 30th on this subject.  The ANC plans to vote at its meeting on May 13th on the views of the neighborhood that DGS ought to consider for its RFO.  As of early November, several groups have expressed an interest in competing for the project.  Complete information is on ANC6B Commissioner Brian Flayaven’s blog.

Proposed Residential Development at 1333 M Street SEThe developer–Cohen Companies–is planning to build up to 4 apartment buildings on land it owns at 1333 M Street SE.  To do so, Cohen needs some zoning relief and has submitted a Planned Union Development (PUD) application to the Zoning Commission.  The ANC has a role in this PUD, primarily in making sure that the benefits and amenities Cohen offers are commiserate with the zoning relief it seeks.   To review the proposal, ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee has set up a sub-committee, chaired by Commissioner Opkins.  The  sub-committee held several meetings to draft a MOA between the developer and ANC.  The MOA was approved at a Special Call meeting on 19 Nov 2014, and the ANC testified on the MOA and its positions on the PUD before the Zoning Commission on 1 Dec 2014.

Updated 30 December 2014

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