BACA Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2009

Here’re my unofficial notes from today’s BACA meeting

Flower Power

Mary Ann presented awards to the Flower Power winners. Cake and punch was shared by all and presents given out. (Some photos forthcoming.) Big kudos to the hard work of the Flower Power Team. They really went above and beyond.

Mary Ann especially thanked Mr. Howland from DPW, who has been a big help for Flower Power and has been very supportive to our community. Mr. Howland helped present the awards.

Some of the Sponsors
•    Professional Health Care Resources
•    Wendell Butler
•    Old City Green
•    Big Bear Café
•    4th Street Cleaners
•    Timor Bodega

FlowerPower funding update:  Raised $1135

Flower Power Awards
Derek (dasherdad) is going to send out the list of folks and properties that won awards for their properties.  Please send along photos of the yards too if any can be found.

Fenty’s walk through

Last Friday Mayor Fenty walked through our neighborhood with an entourage of about 40-50 folks.  Residents of the Bates and Hanover areas got to tell the mayor the major and minor problems affecting our neighborhoods.

Anita Bonds ran through some of the issues discussed and said the mayor would be visiting our area again in October as a follow up for progress on the following items:

  • Loitering – O St/Unit block – commitment to get the commander to meet with merchants and citizens around the area to address the problem.
  • Commissioners Anita Bonds and Sylvia Pinkney – are planning a meeting with the liquor store owners in our general area to see what we can do about the loitering.  Mr. Corley started this with Sunset Liquors.  Put some planters in front.  What are ways to work within our existing constraints?
  • Florida Park  (at 1 and Florida St NW) – Anita Bonds – paid out of pocket to paint the Florida Park recently. The mayor said the park will be renovated eventually. The walls/fence around it will come down.  An architect has been designated.  She said this was on a fast track.
  • Dunbar High School Pool – Renovation is set for the pool.  Also on the Fast Track;
  • Dunbar Track – Residents want access.  Fenty said it was open for exercise  at 6am. The argument deflated because some residents said they could access the track in the morning.
  • Egress on P St NW – This is a narrow entrance to the alley near 1st St. It is dangerous and for years has been an attraction for vagrants. DPW was already there this morning cleaning up the egress. Also on the fast track.
  • JF Cook School/LAYC – The Mayor kept asking, “Are you sure the decision is finalized.”  The main point was that the community cannot handle another social service entity.
  • The billboard at 4th and P.  See update below.

On the walk through was Mr. Nick Majett  –  DCRA contact for this area.
nicholas.majett@dc.gov   Contact him for DCRA related items (vacant properties)

Billboard Update

Denise gave an update –  The most recent breakthrough has to do with zoning; The lot was originally zoned  for residential use with the billboards getting only a temporary exception of three years.  Denise left a packet with the mayor with a petition of over 200 people.

She would like to hear from the community what do you want to see there?  There was discussion over how the land could be alternatively used.   Denise would also like volunteers tow ork on this issue with her. Also, any probono lawyers wanting to work on this?

Anita discussed ideas on how to work with the community – Clear Channel has a foundation;  perhaps they would be willing to give back to the community;  government can acquire the property through imminent domain – assess this property.

LAYC Update – by Commissioner Pinkney

Still circulating the petition both online and in person against the Latin American Youth Center’s use of the JF Cook School. This would be discussed in the mayor’s October 5 meeting.
Jim Berry talked about the Small Neighborhood Plan – Economic Development Committee for this area to have a strategy.

North Capitol problems

•    Loitering – why is that? Because of the methadone clinic at NY Ave and N St NW. Also because of SOME.
•    New Subway on North Capitol – catching hell.  Difficult for them to operate because of the people hanging around;
•   Luciana Café closed. Owner of buildings priced them out.  They also just got tired of repairing windows multiple times; ATM destroyed.
•    Comish Pinkney said the Urban Land Institute said that North Cap wasn’t suitable for development because developers would not want to invest in an area laden with so many social services.

•    NOMA cleans up the block on North Capitol
•    Commissioner Bonds talked to the mayor about being a part of NOMA. BID provides for street patrol and clean up.   Would mandate the facades to be cleaned up.
•    North Cap just received a grant to improve facades.
•    Comish Pinkney talked to NorthCap stakeholders. At the end of session.  They told us what we could have – North Cap b/w R and Seaton, there could be some nice development.  Too many social services, developers don’t want to come in with people laying around.
•    We need more density.  Median income has to go up for certain kinds of retail to come out. Right now retail is $59,000.
•    Pinkney – Firehouse is not a good place to be developed for anything other than office.
A woman from North Capitol Collaborative – bring together all of these social services in this area to figure out what these orgs can do to help the community.
•    Have a meeting, and ask these groups how can we resolve this?
•    Have the mayor there. So that he can see.
•    Real issue is our quality of life.
Discussed the abundance of Social Services. And the routine that those who come for SOME services.

Other updates

Environmental Services Committee – Pete is heading that committee which will include neighborhood cleanups.
Public Safety – Jon and Geovani will be planning for national night out  National Night Out.

North Cap Collaborative (http://www.north-cap.org/)
•    Taking 63 families to Cameron Run, They are accepting recommendations for families
•    They are seeking Back to School items.
5th District MPD – Camp Brown fund.  Openings for kids ages 7 to 18, a week at camp. If you know any young people that are interested, MPD can give them free tuition.

Next month a member from the Friends of Bundy will come to discuss the Bundy Park and the application for a dog park in the parking lot space behind the school.


4 thoughts on “BACA Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2009

  1. Re: Dunbar Track

    It’s only recently that it has been opened at 6am for residents. I would suspect that the Mayor had this done to address the issue before the meeting. No notification has been given regarding it being opened to the public and the track coach hasn’t said a word about it.

  2. well, we should post it here and at various list servs then. Do you have an idea until what time it is open?

  3. I saw that the gate was wide open this morning until I left for work at 8:30 am. The problem knowing was that previously the gate would be open and if people went inside the field, they were chased away. If it is actually open to the public in the mornings that would be great. Did the Mayor say that it would also be open when school starts back up and it’s not light at 6am?

  4. Dunbar Gate update … it only seems to be open to the public on weekday mornings. This weekend is was locked both Saturday and Sunday all day – except for the private functions going on during the day.

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