The final ANC 4A meeting of the calendar year took place on Tuesday evening at the MPD 4th District headquarters building on Georgia Avenue. This was a very informative meeting which at times had comedic undertones. Commission Chairman Steve Whatley (SMD 4A03) was in rare form. Determined to keep the meeting on schedule, he swung the gavel like The Mighty Thor wielding Mjolnir. Every speaker was held to one comment or question whether they were finished or not. It certainly made for an entertaining conversation.
The notes from my meeting highlights are below.
Report from the Mayor’s Staff – Phil McCauley
Mr. McCauley chose to highlight the following points:
- EdFest is coming this Saturday at the D.C. Armory from 11 am to 3 pm. Over 150 DCPS and Charter schools will be present to share their offerings. Visit MySchoolDC.org for more information.
- The DC Snow Program for Seniors is ramping up. They are looking for volunteers to help shovel walks and driveways for neighborhood seniors during the upcoming winter months. Visit snowteam.dc.gov to learn more.
- He also spoke about OSSE’s internal investigation into the graduation scandal at Ballou High School.
Report from the Councilmember’s Staff – Sheryl Newman
Ms. Newman shared the following items:
- With the Coucilmember Todd’s leadership, the recent bills to create an Office of American American Affairs and lift the Ward 4 moratorium regarding full-service grocery stores and their ability to obtain a Class B retailer’s license (beer and wine) both passed.
- The long-awaited livability study for neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park and north of Missouri Avenue NW will begin in the new year. There will be a series of meetings to explain both the process and the results of the study. After the study is complete, certain traffic remedies such as speed bumps MAY become easier to coordinate.
- CM Todd’s office is conducting a Constituent Service Blitz throughout our neighborhoods this week. Three teams are out both during the day and in the evening to make note of issues that need additional attention. Please contact the office to learn more.
- Finally, the Ward 4 holiday party and New Coat Drive will take place on Saturday, December 16th from 6 pm to 8 pm at Lafayette Elementary School. Contact Malcolm Jolly at mjolly @dccouncil.us to learn what size coats are requested for a Ward 4 student in need.
More 16th Street Bridge Repairs
As if the Metro Red Line construction and closing of Beach Drive weren’t enough transportation pain for our community, representatives from the D.C Department of Transportation were there to scare us straight about the upcoming renovation of the the 16th Street Bridge that crosses Piney Branch Parkway, just south of the Crestwood neighborhood. The bridge is now more than 100 years old and is due for a major overhaul. As an interesting fact, the representatives told us that this bridge is the first concrete, parabolic bridge in the United States.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018 and includes features such as improved lighting, replacement of pedestrian fencing, sculpture restoration and more.
During construction, traffic will be restricted to three lanes (down from the current five).
DDOT will be out in force with notifications and new signage to encourage drivers to “take other routes” during the construction phase.
Report on Takoma Place Apartments
Mr. Mansur Abdul-Malik, assist Vice President, development for the NHP Foundation was present to thank the commission for its support at last month’s meeting for a mortgage to help stabilize a large number of affordable housing units at the Takoma Place apartments, which are located at the corner of Georgia Avenues and Aspen Street NW.
Mr. Abdul-Malik outlined a list of upgrades and services that the tenants can expect to receive over the next 18 months which include renovated apartments, a new laundry area, security cameras and tenant support programs. In addition, all tenants will be able to live on site during the construction.
Frankly, their program sounds fantastic and those residents are lucky to have found this organization.
New Special Committees
Commissioner Stacey Lincoln (SMD 4A02) continued to expand his service portfolio by introducing resolutions to create a
“Special Committee on Education” AND a “Special Committee on Transportation”. These follow on the heels of the implementation of the new ANC 4A Community Design Review Committee.
The resolution for the “Special Committee on Education” includes the following description:
“…the Special Committee on Education (the Committee) shall review issues and concerns related to all levels of education (including charter schools) in the District of Columbia, and especially within the boundaries of the Commission, and shall make recommendations to the full Commission on such issues and concerns.”
After a series of passionate statements by neighbors who supported the concepts, both resolutions were passed and the Committees were established.
Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Settlement Agreements between the commission and two recent alcoholic license applicants have been signed. Oohhs and Aahhs Soul Food restaurant and Lena Market worked out satisfactory agreements with commissioners Karrye Braxton (SMD 4A06) and Patience Singleton (SMD 4A04), respectively. We look forward to having these businesses serve the community for many years to come.
Commissioner Stacey Lincoln (SMD 4A02) shared this update about the Harris Teeter project at Georgia and Eastern Avenues:
A sharp-eyed neighbor found this link where you can follow the progress of the two appeals court case filed by neighbors who are suing the DC Zoning Commission over the Georgia-Eastern Avenue site. Interestingly, one of the lawyers engaged in this case is a central figure in a slew of Zoning Commission appeals across the city. Industry critics say that a broken appeals process is restricting the District’s housing supply and stifling the city’s growth.
Happy Holidays to you and yours! I hope that you have a safe and Happy New Year!