Five intrepid ANC commissioners and a handful of residents interrupted their summer sojourns to consider the agenda of a Special Public meeting on Monday evening at the MPD Fourth District HQ Community Room. Luckily the schedule was light and the meeting was concluded in just over an hour.
Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners – 218 Vine Street
Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners is proposing to build 114 units of senior, affordable housing on an empty lot at 218 Vine Street NW, in the Takoma neighborhood. Because this project is subject to Historic Preservation Review, the Commission’s input is required. Single Member District Commissioner Judi Jones had a lot of concerns about pedestrian and vehicle safety and the project’s overall impact on the immediate neighborhood impact.
Ms. Kaleena Lee, Development Manager for Jair Lynch Partners, came to the meeting to present many of the changes that have been made to the plans in light of the ANC’s and the Design Review Committee’s concerns. Most notably, an entire floor of apartments was removed from the plan.
In an earlier meeting, the Design Review Committee voted 5-1 to support the application. The Jair Lynch team will return to the September meeting where it will likely receive the support of the full Commission for its Historic Preservation application.
Jackie Lee’s Liquor License
The Commission voted 4-1 to support the application of this restaurant for a new Class C Tavern Liquor License. The restaurant will be located at 116 Kennedy Street NW.
Public Works/Infrastructure Committee Lighting Presentation
Resident Faith Wheeler gave a comprehensive presentation about the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee’s (PW/I) work in researching appropriate street lighting for the Takoma, DC business district in the 4th St/Blair Road/Cedar Street intersection.
In general, a lighting assessment conducted by the DC Department of Transportation in February 2017 found that the sidewalk areas are “still quite dark”. Newly installed overhead lights improved lighting conditions for motorists, but not for pedestrians. The dim lighting has contributed to a serious concern about crime and pedestrian safety, which has begun to negatively affect the local businesses.
These lamps are called Washington Globes. In addition to the attractive, historic appearance, the design of the lamps ensures that light from the bulbs is able to shine downward and illuminate the sidewalks below. The challenge of this style of lighting is the cost and the fact that they must be wired from below. The Cleveland Park business district had these lights installed several years ago at a cost of over $500,000.
The Commission voted 4-1 to support the Resolution for recommendations regarding lighting, including asking DDOT to conduct a pilot study of the Washington Globe lamps.