Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A

June 7, 2016 Regular Public Meeting

Approved October 4, 2016

 

The meeting was held at the Ft. Stevens Recreation Center, 1300 Van Buren Street NW.  Commissioner Gale Black, Chair (and ANC 4A08) called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.  Also present were Commissioners 4A01 Acqunetta Anderson, 4A03 Stephen Whatley, 4A04 Patience Singleton, 4A06 Karrye Braxton, and 4A07 Dave Wilson.  Commissioner 4A02 Dwayne Toliver was absent.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

1)         Approval of the Agenda

 

Commissioner Black moved to approve the agenda. Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 4 yes, 0 no.

 

2)         May 3, 2016 Meeting Minutes

 

Commissioner Black moved that the May 3, 2016 minutes be added to the consent calendar at the end of the meeting.  Commissioner Braxton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 4 yes, 0 no.

 

3)         Resolution 4A-16-0601 Gambian Chancery

 

Following a presentation from the attorney representing the Government of the Republic of Gambia, a discussion including comments from the community and Commissioners, and the suggestion of several friendly amendments, Commissioner Wilson moved that the Commission approved a resolution supporting the application of the Government of the Republic of Gambia for a special exception to establish 5630 16th Street, N.W. as a Chancery for the Gambian Embassy.  Commissioner Braxton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted.by roll call vote, 3 yes, 1 no, 2 abstain.

 

The roll call vote:

 

YES                                                    NO                                          ABSTAIN

4A06   Braxton                                  4A03   Whatley                     4A01  Anderson

4A07  Wilson                                                                                                4A04   Singleton

4A08   Black                                                 

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A recommends the approval of 5630 16th Street, N.W., Square 2721 W, Lot 27  (the “Property”) as a chancery for the exclusive use of The Republic of Gambia so long as the following Conditions of the Property are met:

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Property is located in a SSH-1/R-1-B Overlay Zone District, which was established to, among other things, to:

 

“promote the conservation, enhancement, and stability of this low-density, single family neighborhood for housing and neighborhood-related uses.”, 11 DCMR 1551.3(a) and

 

“control the further conversion of residential housing to nonresidential uses in order to maintain the housing supply and minimize the external negative impacts of new nonresidential uses that are permitted in the SSH/R-1-B District in order to preserve neighborhood quality.”  11 DCMR 1551.3(b)

 

CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS USE OF THE PROPERTY AS A CHANCERY.

 

A proposed new nonresidential use should be permitted only as a special exception, if approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment, subject to, among others, the following requirements:

 

The “nonresidential use is capable of being established and operated without adversely affecting the use and enjoyment of neighboring and nearby properties due to traffic, noise, design, or other objectionable conditions.”11 DCMR 1553.2(a); and

 

“There shall be adequate, appropriately located, and screened off-street parking sufficient to provide for the needs of the maximum number of occupants, employees, congregants, and visitors who can use the facility at one time.” 11 DCMR 1553.2(b).

 

The exception sought is literally a special exception and is not a precedent for additional chancery uses, or other nonresidential uses in the SSH Overlay Zone District.

 

THE PROPOSED ORDER AND CONDITIONS FOR USE OF THE CHANCERY

 

The Commission supports the special exception, subject to the following Order and Conditions:

 

1.         The chancery shall be used only for the activities of The Republic of Gambia;

 

2.         The chancery shall retain and maintain the residential nature of the premises;

 

3.         Chancery business hours shall be 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM;

 

4         The chancery will be a small one, occupying 4,123 square feet comprising the first and second floors of the property with the basement level being devoted to an apartment where a Gambian staff member will reside full time;

 

4.        The exterior of the building will be maintained in its current excellent condition and no addition or exterior alteration of the Property will occur, such as an antenna. The chancery may have a small plaque and a flag on a flag pole located in the front of the building indicating the presence of the chancery;

 

5.         The interior alterations will be minor;

 

6.         The proposed chancery use will be a very small operation.  The number of chancery officials and employees, including the Ambassador, on-site at any one time may not exceed six persons;

 

7.         Up to five vehicles will be parked at the chancery’s parking spaces and The Republic of Gambia shall forgo its right to designate on-street parking spaces for diplomatic use; 

 

8.         Pedestrian access to the Chancery shall be from 16th Street N.W.

 

9.         The chancery will receive secret service protection;

 

10.      The chancery will be limited to the use of the Property for large receptions, not more than 60 persons, twice a year;

 

11.      The Sixteenth Street Heights Civic Association (SSHCA) and The Republic of Gambia have agreed to negotiate a procedure for resolving disputes concerning the repair of the Chancery and its grounds should it become in disrepair—the “Arbitration Process”—in which the majority of the SSHCA membership shall submit to the Ambassador of The Republic of Gambia a written notice concerning the disrepair to the Chancery or its grounds (“Notice”); said Notice shall include visible information regarding the disrepair of the Chancery and its grounds, and The Republic of Gambia shall promptly  repair the Chancery, and/or its grounds, or submit itself to the arbitration process; and

 

12.      The SSHCA and the Ambassador of The Republic of Gambia shall hold quarterly meetings to discuss neighborhood issues.

 

WELCOME

 

The Commission and the Sixteenth Street Heights Civic Association WELCOMES The Republic of Gambia to the Sixteenth Street Heights neighborhood and looks forward to having good neighborly relations with The Republic of Gambia at its chancery.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Commission recommends that that the Property shall be approved as a chancery under the Conditions/Order set out above.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

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

 

 

 

4)         R4A-16-0605 - Approving Settlement Agreement with Desta Ethiopian Restaurant, 6128             Georgia Avenue N.W., ABRA #098818

 

Commissioner Braxton moved that the Commission adopt a resolution approving a Settlement Agreement between the Commission and Desta Ethiopian Restaurant.  Commissioner Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 5 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A approves and agrees to become a signatory to the attached Settlement Agreement with Desta Ethiopian Restaurant, 6128 Georgia Avenue N.W., ABRA #098818.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A recommends that Desta Ethiopian Restaurant’s application to renew its Class C Restaurant liquor license be approved.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

Commissioner Karrye Braxton, ANC 4A06, is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative relating to this license application and settlement agreement.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

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

 

5)         R4A-16-0603 - Supporting the Universal Paid Leave Act (Bill 21-415)

 

Commissioner Braxton moved that the Commission adopt a resolution supporting a proposed bill in the D.C. City Council to establish universal paid leave.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

                                                                                                                       

The adopted resolution:

 

ANC 4A appreciates the importance of supporting the people who work in the District of Columbia and the businesses that operate in the District of Columbia and takes note of the following:

 

          Only 13 percent of employees nationwide have access to paid family leave and only 40 percent have access to paid medical leave, and these employees are disproportionately higher-income earners.

 

          Research shows that access to paid leave is associated with economic benefits such as improved labor force attachment, employee retention, employee health and well-being, family income stability, and reduced dependence on public assistance programs.

 

          Evidence from existing state paid family and medical leave programs shows that these programs can have a positive impact on businesses, including small businesses.

 

          The DC Family and Medical Leave Act only provides access to unpaid leave for qualifying employees who work for an employer with at least 20 employees and have met length of employment and hours of service requirements.

 

          The Universal Paid Leave Act, Bill 21-415 (“UPLA”) has been introduced in the District of Columbia City Council to create a city-wide program of universal paid family and medical leave (“UPL”).

 

          The proposed UPL program would benefit qualifying DC workers by providing access to paid leave during times of medical need for themselves or their families, or the addition of a child to a family through birth, adoption, or fostering; and 

 

          ANC 4A believes that establishing such a program would contribute to the needed diffusion of paid leave programs throughout the region and nationwide; and

 

          The proposed UPL program would also impose new costs on DC businesses, which would be responsible for financing the program through a tax on salaries and wages; and

 

          ANC 4A strongly supports the goal of UPL for DC workers and believes any such program adopted by the DC Council should, to the greatest extent possible:

 

         Cover all District of Columbia employees;

         Include a progressive wage replacement structure;

         Ensure that program qualifications do not disadvantage our lowest-income earners;

         Define “family” broadly to include, at a minimum, close blood relatives, domestic partners, and spouses;

         Cover conditions and situations sufficiently broadly to include mental health, end-of-life care, outpatient care, family care, and gender-neutral parental leave; and

         Include mechanisms, such as triggers, to adjust the length of leave to best meet the needs of DC families without exceeding available funding; and

          ANC 4A also strongly supports our local business community and believes that the cost of financing a UPL program must not create an undue burden on DC businesses;

 

RESOLVED THAT ANC 4A urges the DC Council to adopt a program of UPL that balances costs and benefits, adopting as many of the above principles as possible without placing an undue burden on local businesses or increasing the initial employer contribution rate.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED that ANC 4A urges the DC Council to disseminate to the public an analysis of the economic impact, including costs and benefits, that the UPL program would have on DC businesses and the business climate as a whole.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Karrye Braxton, ANC 4A06 is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

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

 

6)         R4A-16-0604 – Making Recommendations Regarding DC Marijuana Laws

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations regarding DC marijuana laws, particularly with regard to the use of marijuana in private residences.  Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  Following discussion, the motion was not adopted by roll call vote, 3 yes, 3 no.

 

The roll call vote:

 

YES                                                                NO                                                      ABSTAIN

4A01 Anderson                                            4A06 Braxton

4A03 Whatley                                               4A07 Wilson

4A04 Singleton                                            4A08 Black

 

7)         R4A-16-0602 – Resolution Making Recommendations Regarding Proposed Walter Reed Historic Preservation Guidelines

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations regarding the historic preservation guidelines for the Walter Reed site proposed by the developer, Urban Atlantic.  Commissioner Braxton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously 5 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

8)         Grant Application – 1425 Sheridan Street Tenants Association - $491.00

 

Ms. Talia Brock, Tenant Organizer, Latino Economic Development Center, gave a presentation regarding her work with the tenants’ association at 1405 Somerset Pl, 1450 Somerset Pl and 1451 Sheridan St NW, and their application for a grant to pay allowable expenses, including a tent, tables and chairs, for a block party.  Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission approve the grant application to cover expenses allowable under D.C. Auditor rules.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

9)         15th Place Alley – Marking Public Property Line

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the Commission request that the District Department of Transportation mark the 15th Street Alley (off Alaska Avenue N.W.) to clearly designate the public property line.  Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 3 yes, 2 no, 1 abstain.

 

10)      Letter to the Zoning Commission Regarding ZC15-29, Jamal’s Gateway DC LLC and Impact on Residential Parking

 

In response to concerns expressed by residents of the 1100 block of Kalmia Road NW about the loss of residential parking due to construction of the proposed planned unit development, Commissioner Black moved that the Commission send a letter to the Zoning Commission communicating its concern about the loss of parking;  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

Community Concerns

 

1.    Mr. Ralph Blessing asked about a liquor license application for the new restaurant at 7716 Georgia Avenue N.W.  Commissioner Black replied that the Commission had not received notice of a liquor license application.

 

2.    Rev. David Jefferson informed the Commission of a proposal by the District Department of Transportation to remove residential parking in the 1100 block of Kalmia Road N.W. and requested that the Commission oppose this plan.

 

3.    Ms. Naima Jefferson complained that her single-member district commissioner was unresponsive, especially with regard to the Jamal’s Gateway LLC project on Georgia and Eastern Avenues,

 

4.    Mr. Jim Coleman informed the meeting of the 14th and Kennedy Farmers Market and the many products available.

 

5.    Ms. Stacey Herndon expressed concerns about the Gambian Chancery and the lack of notice to neighboring residents.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Mr. McAuley, 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.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.