ANC5c01 report to BACA

MARCH 7, 2011

The last month has been a very active one in Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 5C generally and our Single Member District (SMD) ANC5C01 in particular.


The last meeting of the ANC took place on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at the Summit at St. Martins.  All 12 commissioners of ANC5C were present.

  • First on the agenda, after certification of the quorum and adoption of the minutes, was Ward 5 City Council Representative Harry Thomas, Jr. who reported that legislation has been introduced to reinstate District government employees, both teachers and others, who have been successful in arbitration. The legislation is designed to circumvent the cost of protracted court litigation.  He also provided updates on the recent fatal shootout between home robbers and police in Brookland, the D.C. emergency alert system, and a new initiative which will pay mortgages of residents of Wards 5, 7 and 8 whose unemployment benefits have expired.
  • The Councilmember’s wife, Diane Romo Thomas spoke on behalf of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance to promote the 6th Annual SunTrust National Marathon. The marathon, scheduled for March 26, 2011, will pass through all wards of the city except Wards 3 and 4, including several streets in ANC5C.
  • MPD 4th District Commander Kimberly Chisley-Missouri, who was invited to appear because part of ANC 5C is actually serviced by the Fourth District, gave a crime report in which she stated that while overall crime in down, certain crimes such as car thefts by juveniles, are on the rise.
  • MPD 5th District officers confirmed that general crime picture from their 5D perspective.
  • Commissioner Tim Clark, who chairs the commission’s Finance & Grants Committee proposed a moratorium on issuing new grants until outstanding grants have be reconciled and new grant procedures have been put in place.  A proposal to approve plans to proceed with the Planned Unit Development of the Washington Gateway Project at the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues passed without opposition.
  • Closer to home, Aaron Rhones, representing the District’s Department of Transportation reported that DDOT had essentially dropped the ball with respect to the ANC’s July 2009 resolution to support the installation of speed bumps in the 100 and 200 blocks of P Street, N.W. According to Mr. Rhones, P Street is considered a “collector” street which is designated for channeling traffic onto a major artery, and therefore is not eligible for speed bumps.  Nevertheless, he said DDOT should have reported back to the ANC and the community.  He promised that there would be a new field assessment followed by a report back to the ANC which will include alternate solutions such as speed tables and speed cameras.
  • A number of additional local proposals were presented and approved, details of which should be available in the official minutes of the ANC when they are published.
  • The final major announcement came from Commissioner J. Jioni Palmer, ANC5C08, who announced that he is resigning from the ANC to accept a position with the Obama Administration.  A special election to fill Commissioner Palmer’s seat will be held.  Stay tuned for details.


On Friday, February 25th, I attended the ABCs of ABC Law, a three hour training session for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners conducted by and at the offices of the District’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).  The session included an overview of ABRA and the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board, the process of protesting the grant of ABC licenses, how voluntary agreements work, how to obtain ABRA records, and how the enforcement process works.  While enforcement is important, it was stressed that educating the community is also key.  For example, I learned that some establishments have been getting around the single sales moratoriums that are in place in most communities in the city (except Wards 2 and 6 and Mount Pleasant) by binding singles together into “two packs.”  I also learned that while the ABC Board is not bound by the position of the ANC in determining whether to grant or renew a liquor license, the Board is required to give the ANC’s recommendation (the full commission, not the SMD rep) “great weight” and must articulate in writing the reasons for going against that recommendation.  Citizens who observe alchohol being sold to minors (under age 21) are encouraged to call 311 and ABRA will send out enforcement officers at any hour of the day or night to investigate.


Saturday, February 26th, the first meeting of the newly formed Advisory Cabinet of ANC 5C 01 was held at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.  A variety of concerns were expressed and decisions were made regarding the upcoming Public Safety/Quality of Life Walk-Through, including the distribution of promotional flyers and the planning of the walking route.  The cabinet decided to meet on the morning of the last Saturday of each month until further notice.  Meeting locations will rotate and be determined on a month by month basis.  Five of those present expressed an interest in the work of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) of ANC 5C which I have been elected to chair.  Notice regarding the EDC has been published on the ANC 5C website and submitted for publication by the sites and blogs of various neighborhood and civic association throughout the ANC.


The final activity of this reporting period was the Public Safety/Quality of Life Walk-Through which was conducted on the morning of Saturday, March 5th.  The turnout for this event was very good with about 40 residents in attendance.  We also had representatives of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Transportation (DDOT), and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) who walked with us for more than an hour and a half.  The walk focused mainly on the alleys and a number of issues were identified.  The governmental reps in attendance promised to take appropriate action to address our concerns and we collectively agreed to investigate the possibility of developing the city owned plot in the unit block of Florida Avenue into a community garden.  B.A.C.A. Board Member Jon Hasse indicated that he could bring some resources to bear and Dunbar Shaw Community Homeowner’s Association President Jennifer Ragins proposed that before proceeding with development of the garden, we should determine whether the city owned building on the site has any historical significance.


The next meeting of ANC5C is scheduled for 7 pm on Tuesday, March 15th, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 160 U St., N.W.  As always, B.A.C.A. members are encouraged to attend.

That’s my report.

Bradley A. Thomas
(202) 670-0151

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