The June 14th meeting went on so long (7p to 10p) the Commission had to cut out several items at the end of the agenda as our host had expected us to end the meeting by 9pm. Still, post meeting, we have been accused of not letting residents speak as long as they wish …
What took up about 1 hour of the 3 was the discussion about and vote on the liquor license application for The Hill Center. During the week between the ABC Committee meeting (6/9) and the ANC meeting, I spent considerable time communicating with residents who live south, north, east and west of the Center and with Center principals to get their views about the contents for a Voluntary Agreement with the intent to further restrict certain aspects of the license. As a result, the Center came to the ANC meeting with several changes to the draft and I offered 3 amendments, which were accepted by the Center and other Commissioners. In the end, the ANC voted unanimously to support the license application and amended VA. After the vote, there was a loud boo from many in the audience, mainly my constituents. I know my vote in favor of the license/VA has angered many of those whose lives have been negatively impacted by the growth of licenses along Barracks Row. Some think I ought to have offered up even more stringent terms. I could have done that but would not have gotten concurrence from the rest of the Commission and we all may have ended up with less in the end.
The other controversial item on the agenda was Chipotle‘s application for zoning relief so they can open a fast food restaurant at 413 8th St SE. Even with several corporate folks attending, the Commission could still not get clear answers to questions. So that matter has been put off until the ANC July meetings for resolution.
What else happened? We had two interesting presentations. One from Respect DC and the other by Pepco explaining their electric meter replacement program. DC Respect is an organization of people concerned about the quality of life in DC’s communities and committed to securing decent, living wage jobs. A current campaign is centered on Walmart’s plans to open stores in DC. [Go to <www.respectdc.org>; for more information] Pepco is currently installing Smart Meters at all residences in DC. The meters are intended to help customers better manage their energy use. The installation process is quick but most likely will require a cut in electric service for a short time. [Call 202-833-7500 for more information] If you have critical equipment at home that would be damaged by a cut in service, you should definitely call and let Pepco know.
Other votes. The Commission approved a substantial change to the Lola’s (711 8th St SE) ABC license so it can expand two floors above the current ground floor operation. Two pool tables, a shuffle board table, and a bar will be located on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Also approved were Verizon’s plans to add three sets of 5 wireless service antennas to the roof of 801 Pennsylvania Avenue SE and Aqua Al 2 restaurant’s historic preservation application to build a one-story addition at the rear of its building (212 7th St SE). The Commission also approved up to $600 to cover moving expenses for the hopeful move of its office back into the Old Naval Hospital. Dropped from the agenda due lack of time: the Transportation Committee and the Eastern Market Reports.