Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B held its June meeting on Monday evening. The agenda was stuffed like my belly after a Thanksgiving meal. After two and a half hours, the meeting had only reach item twelve on twenty-course menu. I had to push myself away from the table, but I have provided the highlights of our feast below.
Naturally, there is some overlap between some of the local community meetings. In those cases, I will link to our previous coverage.
Jahdal McKenzie of the District Department of General Services and Nicole White from Symmetric Design gave an update on the Coolidge High School renovation. The project recently reached a major milestone with the demolition of the inside of the building now complete. Construction has reached the build-out phase and it is on schedule for opening in School Year 2019-20.
For next school year, DGS is going to reserve 57 on-street parking spaces for school staff. This is necessary because the rear parking lot will be used for construction deliveries. The reserved spaces will be along Van Buren Street and 4th Street NW on the north side of the campus. School staff will receive hanging placards and the spaces will be reserved during school hours only, from 7 am to 5 pm. None of the spaces are current Residential Permit Parking (RPP) spaces.
DCPS has an open call to the community for suggestions on what the name of the new North Middle School should be. If you have a suggestion to share, visit this page to submit your choice. Commissioner Andre Carley has been leading the charge to have the new school named after Paul Quander, a Coolidge alumni and former Federal prosecutor.
DC Consumer Utility Board
Last month, DC Public Service Commission Chairman Betty Anne Kane visited ANC 4B meeting to share information regarding PEPCO’s proposal to upgrade a major service line through the Commission’s area. This week we learned that there is another organization who would like a say in the matter: the DC Community Utility Board.
The DC Community Utility Board (CUB) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a voice for DC ratepayers, taxpayers and residents in matters regarding our public utilities: electricity, gas, water and telecom. Mr. Robert Robinson, president of CUB shared a wealth of information about their years-long fight to provide a better electricity outcome for DC residents.
This organization is opposed to the current form of the Capital Grid project that Pepco/Exelon has proposed, and the Public Service Commission is considering. Instead of asking ratepayers (us) to fund a nearly $1 billion expansion of outdated service to transmit electricity generated hundreds of miles away, CUB recommends a Grid Modernization. This modernization would use locally-produced, renewable energy, home batteries and other technologies to provide electricity more reliably and at a lower cost.
Mr. Robinson indicated that this presentation was just a first visit, and that they would return in the Fall seeking the Commission’s support on a Resolution to support Grid Modernization. 4B07 Cmr. Judi Jones is the First Vice-President of CUB.
Beer and Wine License for Walmart?
With the Ward 4 Full-Service Grocery Store Amendment Act of 2017 now the law of land, it is no surprise that several local grocery stores have applied for a Class B alcohol license to allow them to sell beer and wine. Last month, the Georgia Avenue Wal-Mart received preliminary support from ANC 4B. This month, however, the Riggs Road Wal-Mart faced a harsher outing.
4B09 Commissioner Tischa Cockrell discussed this matter with her constituents at her recent Single Member District meeting and the results were not favorable for the store. Residents raised concerns about shoppers double-parking in front of the store. Litter in neighborhood was also a concern.
Representatives from the Riggs Road Wal-Mart were on hand to plead their case. Several community members were there in support as well. Andre Lee
from Satchel Paige Little League spoke about how helpful the store manager has been to the League and to the families of current and past players.
In the end, the Commission voted to follow Cmr. Cockrell’s lead and officially protest Wal-Mart’s application. This doesn’t mean that the application would not ultimately be successful. The protest allows the ANC to negotiate with the store and document any concessions or community benefits. We will keep you posted on the progress of this application.
Walter Reed Updates
Vicky Davis from Walter Reed Master developer Hines | Urban-Atlantic| Triden was there to present information on their proposed new townhouse development and their request to demolish a building on the site. She has delivered these presentations so many times I bet that she could recite them in her sleep. You can read our full report on these presentations here.
Both ANC 4A and ANC 4B have been aggressively encouraging the Walter Reed developer to extend contracting opportunities to local businesses. This morning, a notice from Ellisdale Construction hit my inbox. They are the General Contractor for two of the buildings on the site and they are seeking qualified subtractors and suppliers for the following trades:
- Concrete & Masonry work
- Carpentry & Millwork
- Waterproofing & Weather Barriers
- Drywall & Framing
- Carpet & Flooring
- And much more!
If you are interested in bidding or finding out more about this project, please contact Ben Finkhousen at BFinkhousen@ellisdaleconstruction.com by close of business on Monday, July 9, 2018.