It took 10 Commissioners almost 3 and a half hours on Tuesday night to get through a very extensive agenda. First we had to sort through all the historic preservation (HP) and zoning cases on the consent agenda. Many of the HP cases that the Planning & Zoning Committee had plowed through a week earlier it turned out would not be heard by the Historic Preservation Review Board until September. Since plans we viewed in July could be changed by September, about half the HP cases were deferred to September. (That included the condo project for 900 11th Street SE.)
All of the HP and zoning cases that remained on the Agenda were approved. The most hotly debated was the zoning case for &pizza to locate at 405 8th Street SE. After several motions and lots of discussion, it was approved by a vote of 6-4. I voted in opposition because–bottom line–I do not think any management scheme attached to a BZA order will change the negative impact of another fast food operation on this block.
Under the Transportation Committee section of the agenda, the Commission voted 10-0 to send letters to DDOT (asking for an extension of the comment period of the moveDC draft and to hurry up with a traffic calming request for the 300 block of 8th Street SE); to DC Water about its plans to replace a water main on 17th Street SE that will further delay implementation of the pedestrian safety changes to that street; to MPD (asking for an update on a suggested Stop Sign camera at the north 8th & D SE intersection); and a Resolution (to WMATA) on Metrobus plans to eliminate some stops along the 30’s bus line.
I also announced during the Transportation portion of the meeting that the ANC will be holding a Community Meeting on the SE Boulevard planning study now underway in conjunction with the Office of Planning and DDOT; the date will most likely be Monday August 4th but an official announcement will be sent out with the details. Meanwhile, you can check the Transportation Committee’s July Report for details on the study.
Other approvals, all with 10-0 votes: (1) Testimony before the Council’s Committee on Human Services on a Sense of the Council for Closing DC General Shelter Resolution of 2014 (PR20-845); and (2) a letter to DGS requesting a market study in support of Eastern Market’s business planning efforts. And, (3) the ANC’s April-June 2014 Quarterly Financial Activity Report.
The Treasurer also prepared a “burn rate” by Quarter of our financial situation. Since the renovation of the Hill Center, the ANC has been paying both office rent and for the services of our (excellent) parttime executive director. In anticipation of this situation, the ANC many years ago conducted a savings campaign. Since we moved back into the Center, we have had to spend some of that savings to cover our monthly costs. As part of the negotiations on the Hine project, the developers are obliged to give ANC6B reduced rate office space. But, given the delay in getting that project even started, that space won’t be available for several years. Our burn rate suggests that we cannot afford both an office and staff beyond the 3rd Quarter of 2015. The ANC has to have office space within its borders and CM Wells’ office is checking out all DC government properties within 6B where the Commission would be entitled to free office space.
The Commission heard a presentation by Mr. Marc Battle of Pepco about the proposed Exelon-Pepco merger. Mr. Battle’s bottom line seemed to be that Pepco customers would not “see” any change as the current Pepco entity would continue to operate as is. A version of the fact sheet handed out at the meeting is available.
Commissioner Pate, chair of the Outreach & Constituent Services Task Force, announced that at the next TF meeting–Wed 16 July, 7pm, Hill Center–the members will discuss and update the 6B Vacant properties list and discuss a planned Fall Public Safety event.
And, then we all went home. Or, somewhere else.