The Hill Center Finally Opens

After a year and a half of building renovations and organizing and even more years of planning, The Hill Center has finally opened at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.  Diana Ingram, the Center’s Executive Director, has announced several community events:

12 Nov Sat & 13 Nov Sun, 10am to 3pm: Community Bulb Planting
19 Nov Sat, 1130am to 4pm: Salute to Hill Center: Flag Raising, “Fence Raising” and Open House

More details on these events are at www.hillcenterdc.org along with information on and how to register for a wide range of upcoming programs.

The Center’s liquor license was granted by the ABC Board on October 5.  Usage will be governed by the terms of Voluntary Agreement passed by ANC6B unanimously on June 13, 2011.  A copy of that agreement, signed the next day by ANC6B and The Hill Center is here:  Hill Center Voluntary Agreement 14June2011

The Old Naval Hospital Foundation – Order on Voluntary Agreement with ANC 6B and Withdrawal of Protest 10-5-2011 is the official document from the ABC Board and it details the events leading up the the October 5 approval.

ANC6B has moved back to the Old Naval Hospital and into an office on the 3rd floor.  The monthly ANC meeting and most committee and task force meetings will be held in the building (see schedule under Events & Meetings).

More Cookies Than People …

My SMD04 Gathering on July 10th came off without a hitch except that there were more cookies (several dozen) in attendance than residents (1 dozen).

Still, it was a good opportunity for me to learn from constituents.  Like, folks don’t really understand what attaching a Voluntary Agreement to a liquor license means.  Or, as the Hine project progresses, people are forgetting how it started; i.e., the basis for the whole project.  To me, this means that I am not explaining issues clear enough in my various reports (here and via Beat26 emails).  I should listen more.

While the attendees and I spent considerable time discussing the current “headline” issues: Hine and Hill Center, I started off with a list of the kinds of issues/problems I am working on directly with individual constituents.  Like …  sidewalk repairs, parking enforcement, raccoons, Tyler parking lot, replacing curbside parking on 11th Street, pedestrian crossing signals on 8th St, vacant properties, parking around the “new” Watkins field, the 7th & L Market, and so on.

Questions arose about the ANC’s pending decision on Chipotle’s zoning application to open at 413 8th Street SE [ANC will probably vote to support the request with conditions on July 12], the CSX Tunnel project [project fully funded now but no dates yet available for the public NEPA meetings], and Marine Barracks new BEQ [funding being sought and Square 882 seems to be back as Option 1].

I announced that the rate at the public parking lot under the freeway at 8th & I Streets SE has been cut in half to 75 cents per hour.  Hopefully, once the word gets out, more restaurant diners will park in the lot rather than take up residential curbside space in the Barracks Row area.

As to the headline issues: Most of the Hine discussions are captured in previous postings here.  The Hill Center discussions are covered in a recent Beat26 email that I have posted here.

Many thanks go to Kris and Roy of The Corner Store, who provided the space for the meeting.  To check out the wonderful and varied events at this great art space, go to <http://www.cornerstorearts.org/>.