The Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 4A) meeting for the Colonial Village, Shepherd Park, Brightwood, 16th Street Heights and Crestwood neighborhoods for the month of June took place on Tuesday evening at the MPD Fourth District HQ Community Room. The agenda for this month was light but did touch on some important issues for the community.
Report from the Mayor’s Office
Gabrielle Priest spoke on behalf of the Office of the Mayor. The biggest item that she presented was the establishment of the Mayor’s Commission on Healthcare Systems Transformation. The goal of this task force is to study the current state of the city’s complex healthcare delivery system. It would then make recommendations on strategies to improve access and equity across the city. The closure of Providence Hospital and the ongoing uncertainty over United Medical Center in Ward 8 make this especially important.
Report from Councilmember Todd’s Office
Sheryl Newman, CM Todd’s chief of staff presented the report from Councilmember Todd’s office. She cheerfully rattled off the many budget achievements that the office can claim. Highlights include all Ward 4 schools with renovation needs being placed on the city’s capital improvement project, with secured funding.
Other wins include funding set aside for various recreation center projects, like the creation of a public entrance to the Roosevelt High School pool, a new roof for the Takoma Aquatic Center and securing the planning funds for the highly anticipated Walter Reed pool. The city will build a new playground for the Crestwood neighborhood.
On the small business front, she announced the pending publication of a Request for Proposals for an Upper Georgia Avenue MainStreet. This area would cover from Missouri to Eastern Avenues. This organization can help local small business modernize their business practices and learn how to market themselves in the digital age. The councilmember also found funds to expand the availability of the DPW Clean Team to help makes our streets and public spaces more appealing places to work and shop.
Finally, she stated that the agreement with the Maryland Department of Transportation to redesign the 16th Street “Circle of Death” at the border has been finalized. The completed intersection will feature traffic signals at every entrance to the circle and improved crosswalks. A date for the next step in this project is forthcoming.
Report from Councilmember Robert White’s Office
Dexter Williams from Councilmember Robert White’s Office came to last night’s meeting to give a legislative update as well. He focused on a package of budget items that CM White secured to benefit the operation of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions city-wide:
- $100,000 was earmarked to create a mobile app that will improve communication between ANCs and the public
- $80,000 will provide for American Sign Language Services
- $255,000 will be used for language access services for non-English speakers
Mr. Williams also made note of CM White’s recent legislative proposal to restore the voting rights for incarcerated citizens.
Walter Reed Update
The design teams for two of the residential buildings in the new town center area of the developing Walter Reed campus were present to share their latest images and seek the ANC 4A’s support via resolution. The teams will present these drawings to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) at the end of June.
As you can see, the designs are very attractive. Keep in mind that this section of the project has an intentionally modern take on some of the classical features seen throughout the historical portions of the campus. The architects changed the designs in several places in response to feedback from earlier community meetings.
There was a sense of urgency around these resolutions. The developer is in negotiations with a prospective grocery store tenant. That potential tenant remains unnamed due to a confidentiality agreement. However, this operator has made it known that it wants building O and P to be constructed and opened at the same time as building I and J where the store will be located. That is why it was important for this design to go through before the June 27 HPRB meeting.
After a brief discussion, ANC 4A passed both resolutions.
Washington Gas Update
Finally, representatives from Washington Gas shared information about their infrastructure replacement project, called Project Pipes. The utility periodically upgrades its pipeline system to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses. It will replace street mainlines and service lines to homes and businesses. Lastly, the contractors will also move any interior gas meters outdoors. There is a current project in the area of 14th and Nicholson Street NW. Washington Gas will schedule other sites in ANC 4A in the future.