Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A

January 5, 2016 Regular Public Meeting

 

The meeting was held at the Ft. Stevens Recreation Center, 1300 Van Buren Street NW.  Commissioner Stephen Whatley, Chair (and ANC 4A03) called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.  Also present were Commissioners 4A01 Acqunetta Anderson, 4A02 Dwayne Toliver, 4A04 Patience Singleton, 4A07 Dave Wilson, and 4A08 Gale Black.  Commissioner 4A05 Kim Worthy was absent.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

1)         Approval of the Agenda

 

Commissioner Whatley asked for any amendments to the agenda.  He asked that consideration of Councilmember Anita Bonds’ Condominium Owners Bill of Rights legislation be removed and postponed to the February 2, 2016 meeting.  There was no objection.  Commissioner Black asked that the Jewish Primary Day School be moved up to first on the agenda, followed by the Alley Closure resolution.  There was no objection.

 

Commissioner Black moved to approve the agenda as amended.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 6 yes, 0 no.

 

2)         Election of Officers

 

Commissioner Andre Carley, ANC 4B01, conducted the election of officers for 2016.

 

Commissioner Whatley nominated Commissioner Black for Chair.

 

There were no other nominations.

 

Commissioner Black was elected unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Black nominated Commissioner Wilson for Vice-Chair.

 

There were no other nominations.

 

Commissioner Wilson was elected unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Whatley nominated Commissioner Braxton for Treasurer.

 

There were no other nominations.

 

Commissioner Braxton was elected unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Whatley nominated Commissioner Singleton for Secretary.

 

Commissioner Singleton declined the nomination.

 

Commissioner Black nominated Commissioner Anderson for Secretary.

 

There were no other nominations.

 

Commissioner Anderson was elected unanimously.

 

Commissioner Black assumed the Chair.

 

2)         Approval of 2016 Meeting Schedule

 

Commissioner Black moved that the Commission approve the following meeting schedule for 2016:

 

All meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of the month, at the Ft. Stevens Recreation Center, 1300 Van Buren Street N.W., beginning at 7:00 PM.

 

February 2 (alternate severe weather date:  February 10)

March 1 (alternate severe weather date:  March 9)

April 5 (alternate severe weather date:  April 13)

May 3

June 7

July – No meeting

August – No meeting

September 6

October 4

November 1

December 6

 

Commissioner Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

2)         Approval of Minutes

 

Commissioner Black moved that the minutes of the September 1, 2015 meeting be approved.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Black presented the minutes for the November 3, 2015 meeting.  Commissioner Whatley noted that the minutes should read that he moved to table consideration of the September and October minutes, not postpone them. There was no objection to the correction.

 

Commissioner Singleton noted that she either abstained or voted no on the application for a zoning variance at 7300 Georgia Avenue.  Commissioner Black noted that she had voted no.  There was no objection to these corrections.

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the November 3, 2015 minutes be approved as corrected.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Black presented the minutes for the December 1, 2015 meeting.

 

Commissioner Black moved to approve the December 1, 2015 minutes.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion. 

 

Commissioner Whatley said that the staff representative for Councilmember Brandon Todd was Sherryl Newman.  Her name will be corrected in the minutes.  Megan Kanagy is the DDOT staff person.  Her name will be corrected.

 

Commissioner Tolliver asked about the 16th Street Circle resolution, which had not yet been inserted into the minutes.  It was not yet available.  Commissioner Black moved that the consideration of the December 2015 minutes be postponed to the next meeting so that the resolution can be added.  There was no objection.

 

3)         FY 2015 4th Quarter Report

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission approve the FY 2015 4th Quarter Report.  Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

4)         ANC Security Fund

 

Commissioner Black moved that the Commission approve participation in the 2016 ANC Security Fund, approve the Security Fund agreement, and approve the payment of a $25.00 participation fee.  Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

6)         Purchase of Office Safe

 

Commissioner Black moved that the purchase of a safe for the office be approved.  Commissioner Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

7)         Jewish Primary Day School Application to Board of Zoning Adjustment for Variance and Special Exception

 

Following a presentation by representatives of the Jewish Primary Day School (JPDS) and their attorney, Mr. Marty Sullivan, and questions and discussion, Commissioner Wilson moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the JPDS application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A (the Commission) takes note of the following:

 

·         The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital (the Applicant), located in single-member district ANC 4A07, has applied to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for variance relief and special exception approval under the D.C. Zoning Regulations to permit it to expand at its northern campus located at 6045 16th Street N.W., ANC 4A07, including the addition of the middle school grades seven and eight.

 

·         The Application proposes an increase in the maximum student enrollment from 275 students to 350 students and an increase in the maximum allowable staff from 56 to 72.

 

·         Currently, 140 students who attend the Applicant’s school live in the District of Columbia; of those, seventy-six students live in Ward 4.

 

·         The application requests a variance from the off-street parking requirements of 48 spaces, which is based on the staff cap of 72 persons.  The Applicant proposes to provide 36 parking spaces on-site and 25 spaces off-site, including 8 on-site spaces which comply with all zoning requirements, including size, access and location requirements, and 28 other spaces which do not fully comply with all the requirements of the Zoning Regulations, including 7 compact tandem spaces, and 21 full-sized tandem spaces.  The 25 off-site parking spaces will be located at Ohr Kokesh Synagogue located at 8300 Meadowbrook Lane in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  A staff person will shuttle staff to and from the school.

 

·         The Applicant has a subsidized bus program by which it subsidizes ridership to incentivize use of the bus program.  Seventy-five percent of the students at the north campus use the program, which reduces the traffic caused by the school.

 

·         The requested expansion will permit the establishment of a middle school that will serve children in 7th and 8th grades, in addition to the existing grades 2-6.

 

·         The Applicant also requests variance relief from the lot occupancy requirements of the Zoning Regulations, as the proposed addition will result in a building lot occupancy of 43.87%, which is 3.87% over the maximum permitted forty percent, and from the loading berth and loading platform requirements.

 

·         The Applicant is also requesting special exception approval under the roof structure provisions of the Zoning Regulations, in order to provide two separate rooftop equipment enclosures, rather than one single, larger enclosure; and special exception approval for the height of a proposed retaining wall on the property, which will be two feet above the maximum height of six feet for a thirty-foot portion, and which is being provided to support a required ADA walk-way on site.

 

·         The Applicant has duly and properly notified affected residents.  Leaflets announcing its expansion plans were widely distributed in the community.  (Exhibit A attached)  In addition, the Applicant presented its plans to the Sixteenth Street Heights Civic Association (SSHCA).  In response, Mr. Pedro Rubio, SSHCA President, sent a letter to the Applicant stating that it “had strengthened our neighborhood as a whole. . .” and that SSHCA is “very appreciative of [the Applicant’s] recent community outreach and improvement efforts this past year and looks forward to continued collaboration with your teachers, parents and students in the following months and years.” (Exhibit B attached)

 

·         In addition, the Applicant has presented its plans to the Shepherd Park Citizens Association (SPCA).  In response, Mr. Mark Pattison, President of SPCA, sent a letter to the Commission stating that the Applicant parents “contribute to a generations-long tradition of civic activism and betterment that makes Shepherd Park, Colonial Village, North Portal Estates and the surrounding neighborhoods better places to live.”  Mr. Pattison also stated:  “I’m satisfied with the purpose behind the request, and the thoughtful effort made into fulfilling the needs of their growing student body.  I can add that the other SPCA officers in attendance at our meeting also appeared to be satisfied, and nary a discouraging word was heard at the October 20 Shepard Park Citizens Association meeting.” (Exhibit C attached)

 

RESOLVED:

 

Ø  That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A determines that the special exceptions and variances requested by the Applicant create no adverse or unacceptable impacts on the residents of ANC 4A or on the Applicant’s programs, activities or missions as they relate to the children.

 

Ø  That the Commission understands that residents and community groups within the boundaries of ANC 4A have strongly recognized and appreciated the Applicant’s mission and commitment to its neighboring communities, and have expressed support for this application for special exceptions and variances.

 

Ø  That the Commission finds that its residents will benefit by having additional opportunities to obtain the education that is provided by the Jewish Primary Day School, and that approving this application would be in the best interests of eligible residents of ANC 4A as well as residents of the District of Columbia generally.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

That the Commission supports this application for special exception and variance and strongly recommends that the BZA approve it.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Dave Wilson, ANC 4A07, is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative in all matters relating to this resolution.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

That, in the event the designated representative Commissioner cannot carry out his representative duties for any reason, the Commission authorizes the Chairperson to designate another Commissioner to represent the Commission in all matters relating to this resolution.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

Consistent with DC Code §1-309, only actions of the full Commission voting in a properly noticed public meeting have standing and carry great weight.  The actions, positions and opinions of individual commissioners, insofar as they may be contradictory to or otherwise inconsistent with the expressed position of the full Commission in a properly adopted resolution or letter, have no standing and cannot be considered as in any way associated with the Commission.

 

8)         Alley Closure-Alaska Avenue NW, Square 2736, Lots 0035, 0036

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the erection of barriers at the entrances to the alley at Alaska Avenue NW, Square 2736, Lots 0035, 0036.  Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  Commissioner Anderson noted that, although the alley has been officially closed for years, vehicles still use it, posing safety concerns for pedestrians.

 

Following extended discussion, the motion was not adopted, 3 yes, 3 no.

 

Commissioner Anderson requested and it was agreed that the resolution would be considered at the next meeting following clarification of current ownership of the alley.

 

9)         Mayor’s Homelessness Initiative – Resolution of Support

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting the Mayor’s Homelessness Initiative.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  Following discussion and questions, Commissioner Whatley withdrew his motion and agreed to present the resolution again at the February meeting following clarification of some language.

 

10)      Settlement Agreement – Desta Ethiopian Restaurant, ABRA 098818, 6128 Georgia Avenue N.W.

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission approve a settlement agreement with the Desta Ethiopian Restaurant.  Commissioner Toliver seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 4 yes, 0 no, 2 abstain.

 

Community Concerns

 

1)         Mr. Michael Sindram stated his support for Councilmember Anita Bonds’ Condominium Owners Bill of Rights legislation.

 

2)         Ms. Annie Whatley expressed her concern about the continuing problem of poor maintenance of the Walter Reed site.

 

3)         Mr. Kevin O’Day informed the Commission of his application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment for a variance to construct a deck on the rear of his house and of the upcoming BZA hearing.

 

4)         Ms. Olie Alao, 16th and Oglethorpe Streets, expressed her concern about escalating violence and vandalism in her neighborhood.

 

5)         Ms. Diane Epstein, Fern Street, called the Commission’s attention to the dangers of crossing 16th Street NW.  Drivers are not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalks.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Mr. Khalil Thompson, Ward 4 Liaison for Mayor Muriel Bowser, gave a report on current issues and concerns being addressed by the Mayor.

           

2)         Ms. Sherryl Newman, representing Councilmember Todd, gave an update on issues of concern to Ward 4.

                                     

Commissioner Anderson moved that the meeting be adjourned.  Commissioner
Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:02 PM.