Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A held its June 2020 Virtual meeting last night. The meeting was lengthy, but a few important stories emerged.
The Mayor’s Office – Gabrielle Priest
Ms. Priest shared information about the city’s Phase One stage of the coronavirus recovery. To learn the full details, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov/phaseone.
Later in the meeting, she presented an overview of the Mayor’s proposed budget for FY21, which she tags as #DCHOPE. Visit the mayor’s budget page (link) to see where she is placing her priorities for next year in the face of falling revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. There will be a legion of budget hearings over the next few weeks. Visit dccouncil.us to see the full list of budget oversight hearings. Though most committees will not offer live online testimony, residents are encouraged to submit their testimony in writing or via voicemail.
Councilmember Todd’s Office – Sherryl Newman
With the Primary Election votes still being tabulated, yesterday was surely an interesting day inside the Councilmember’s office. Nevertheless, his Chief of Staff, Sheryl Newman, joined the meeting at the appointed hour to provide the latest update for the community.
The first thing she did was to acknowledge the election results. She stated that the Ward will most likely have a new Councilmember next year.
Ms. Newman illuminated an early conversation about the status of two major retail stores on the Georgia Avenue corridor. The Target store at Georgia and Eastern and the CVS store at Georgia and Van Buren Street have been temporarily closed (Target has since reopened). Target was closed by its corporate headquarters because of the ongoing unrest set off by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The CVS was actually robbed twice over the weekend. Groups of thieves raided the pharmacy and looted the contents of the medical safe. Both stores are expected to reopen once things settle down.
Plans for the annual CityOpen Tennis championship are currently underway. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the organizers are considering several contingencies, ranging from limited ticket sales to having no fans at all. Ms. Newman promised to follow up with more information once the office knows more.
Finally, she spoke a bit about the performance of the Board of Elections during the primary cycle. The Board of Elections is an independent agency not under the Mayor’s control. However, it is imperative that citizens speak out about its performance before the November election. The primary was marred by absentee ballots that never arrived and excruciatingly long lines at the limited number of voting centers. Despite an aggressive campaign to promote absentee voting because of the coronavirus, 33,194 voters showed up at the polls on Election Day. It has been reported that some voting centers stayed open until 1:00 am to accommodate citizens waited to exercise their franchise.
Aspen Street NW Widening Project
We have reported extensively (link) on the city’s plan to widen Aspen Street NW, which lies directly south of the upcoming Walter Reed mixed-use development. In short, the master developer of Walter Reed is returning 20 feet of right-of-way to the city for the purpose of improving pedestrian assess. The problem was that two “historic” sheds sit on that right-of-way (these are building 31 and 84 in the image below). The Department of Transportation has been doing planning and design for over a year without knowing whether those buildings could be removed or not.
In a bit of late-breaking news, Randall Clarke, the chair of the Local Redevelopment Authority in charge of Walter Reed, announced that earlier on Wednesday the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation ruled in favor of allowing the two sheds to be demolished. The DDOT team who was delivering the presentation hadn’t even been informed yet!
The proposed development will offer several benefits to the community:
- 10-foot wide multi-use trail on the north side of Aspen Street
- 6-foot wide sidewalk on the south side
- Traffic signal upgrades
- New turning lanes
- Street lighting upgrades
- Drainage and stormwater management improvements
- Landscaping and new street trees
- Bio-retention planters
- The parking lane will be made from porous asphalt (link) to allow stormwater to seep into the ground
Now that the issue of the historic sheds has been finalized, the DDOT can proceed with the next step on the project timeline. The sheds will be demolished and 100% final design will be completed this summer. Construction should begin in the spring of 2021.
About Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 4A represents the Ward 4 neighborhoods of Colonial Village, Shepherd Park, Brightwood, 16th Street Heights, and Crestwood. An ANC is a non-partisan, neighborhood body made up of locally elected representatives called Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. The Commissioners are elected to two-year terms and serve without pay.
The ANCs’ main job is to be their neighborhood’s official voice in advising the District government. Although they do not have to follow the ANCs’ advice, District agencies are required to give the ANCs’ recommendations “great weight.”
These are the members of ANC 4A:
|Single Member District||Commissioner||Neighborhood|
|4A01||Phyllis Caudle Green||Colonial Village||4A01@anc.dc.gov|
|4A02||Stacey Lincoln||Shepherd Park||4A02@anc.dc.gov|
|4A03||Stephen A. Whatley||Shepherd Park/Walter Reed/Brightwood||4A03@anc.dc.gov|
|4A06||Candace Tiana Nelson||Brightwood/16th Street Heights||4A06@anc.dc.gov|
|4A07||Marlene Moss||Brightwood/16th Street Heights||4A07@anc.dc.gov|
|4A08||Gale B. Black||Crestwood||4A08@anc|
Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services Ward 4 Liaisons
Gabrielle Priest – firstname.lastname@example.org | (202) 603-7182
KeShawn Harris – email@example.com | (202) 724-7672
Councilmember Brandon Todd Office