BACA meeting minutes 10-7-13

7:05 PM Meeting Called to Order – Geovani A. Bonilla, President

  1. Guest Speakers

a. 7:00-7:25 5th District MPD Public Safety: Lieut. Randy Griffin (PSA 501)

– Geo noted our PSA has lowest crime rate and was selected to be studied as model for Detroit, discussed use of 24/7 crime patrol car in area with most violent crime as well as foot patrol beat

– last few weeks there has been ongoing feud between 1st and O and Sursum Corda, lots of arrests and gun recoveries, crime has been kept down due to aggressive presence

– discussed shooting on First St NW with arrest at CAPCS parking lot last Wednesday

– discussed illegal dice/gambling at Florida Ave Park now moved to adjacent streets

– advised don’t leave valuables visible in car and make sure it’s locked

– request for special attention to 100 block of P Street for drug deals at random times of day

– request for special attention to traffic on P St from North Capitol to 3rd St since speed tables not helping, discussed that DDOT has denied calming devices for unit block but have suggested MPD doing mobile speed camera and no action on that yet

– discussion of how to enforce no trucks/weight limit rule since lots of violations during day hours

b. 7:25 Kristin Scotchmer – Mundo Verde: update on Council schedule and proposals

– proposal package has gone to City Council and there will be hearing on 10/22, doesn’t have time or location yet but she’ll forward them when available, vote on disposition will be 11/5

– hoping to break ground in January, gave more details re parking and traffic proposals including illustrated flyer, zoning hearing is 12/10 so would need vote to be held in November meeting

– 3 proposals: (1) want to create parking zone for parking and drop off on P St and in alley; (2) add curb extension for area for drop off on P St and reemphasize existing crosswalk; (3) parking variance to limit parking onsite to 17 since most of their staff doesn’t drive (would be lower than normally required amount of 50 spots for planned space based on applicable formula) because would rather use parking areas for more environmental features

– discussed that there’s formula for determining how many parking spaces needed for certain amount of faculty/teachers, also girl was hit while trying to cross on faded crosswalk fairly recently, there are currently restrictions on parking on that area of P, changes to parking/drop off zone would only allow parking in alley, parking would be open on nights and weekends

– she will work with Geo more about this and anyone else who wants to meet about it in more detail

c. Update from Revive Catering

– noted nice new mural on side of Revive building; they received grant from Great Streets for improvement of facade including adding lights along alley, hope to get started next few months

– they’re considering possible uses of lot next door that’s currently owned by Dept of Housing, possibly educational or sculpture garden for community use but not something to attract loitering, Councilmember McDuffie is in full support, Geo suggested community garden and noted there is sinkhole in middle of space, we’d be happy to partner in making something out of that lot

– discussed possible approaches to dealing with loitering in front of business – possibly make aware of security camera, attempts to move bus stop, noted there is upcoming bus stop consolidation hearing  and may raise option  again there

d. Councilmember McDuffie’s Office can’t make it tonight, CM and other office representatives were present on Saturday at neighborhood walk and inspection

e.  ANC Commissioner Joyce Robinson-Paul – Community Update

– Dunbar swimming has been delayed due to problems with heating pool but will be open on weekends once that is fixed

– 23 N St resident had whole back of building cave in today, she was working on that today

– DC Health Link new program for mainly low income people, see brochures

– she was out of town so couldn’t make neighborhood walk, waiting on report from mayor’s office

– 1401 1st St house being built has asked for curb cut and parking pad, they didn’t appear for request to discuss at Hanover association so they intend to oppose until they come explain

– discussed several proposals for dealing with Dunbar teachers’ parking from meeting with DGS

– new sidewalk coming soon, asked DDOT to only allow signs restricting parking for when project is about to occur, had them removed but now back because should start soon

– City rescinded parking tickets issued to 15 residents on 1300 block of 1st Street due to street cleaning because had taken down all but one sign, agreed not to ticket residents on that block

– Northwest One library at 1st and L is now open on Sundays from 1 to 5, new rule that children can’t come unless accompanied by someone 13 yrs or older since staff was having to control kids before, discussed possible ways to occupy children including by junior staff or Perry School activities

– Kibar senior program at mosque continues, funded by Dept of Aging for ages 55 and up

– full ANC meeting will be 10/15 at Trinity College at 7pm, rest of meetings for year with be there, they’re going to discuss starting meetings earlier at 6:30 but not definite yet

– discussion of drainage problems and flooding of intersection due to CAPCS parking lot and heavy rain today, DDOE is working with them to get drainage system in place, she didn’t get response from City to her last request for info as to deadline for implementation, noted it helps to sweep leaves away

– she requested Geo to take concerns of cleaning up 1300 block of North Capitol to North Capital Main Street meeting tomorrow, Geo noted DSLBD is in process of selecting Clean Team which would be until January, Comm’r Quinn notes they recommended 1300-1500 blocks of N.Cap for Clean Team

e.  ANC Commissioner Teri Janine (TJ) Quinn – Community Update

– she couldn’t be here at last meeting because was same day as Bloomingdale’s Civic Assoc.

– she doesn’t want ANC meeting to be moved up to 6:30 as suggested by Comm’r Robinson-Paul because difficult for people who work downtown to get there in time, realize that meetings last very long because lots of items on agenda so need to figure out some sort of compromise

– re MidCity East Small Area Plan (SAP): there was Open House on 9/26 and they have released their final report, DDOT portion is available online, strongly suggests that we invite them out for special meeting to just deal with that report not just as part of normal monthly meeting, if there’s something you feel strongly about either in favor of or against in the proposal then make your voice heard, she was surprised about some recommendations even though she attended most meetings

– re request for restricted permit parking on 1600 block of 1st Street: she wrote letter of support and that request is moving forward based on discussions with residents and former ANC Comm’r Bradley Thomas that there was no opposition  when this was raised previously

– re Firehouse development: liquor license application is pending, they don’t appear to be engaging with community and claim they didn’t know they were supposed to do that although at least one owner/ interested party was involved in this process in past, this is concerning because facility could have large capacity and need them to be good neighbor, there are now several protests to the license pending including Bloomingdale Civic Association, other issue is parking

– re Joe Mammo’s project amendment: he wants more units but lower level due to cost and structural requirements, zoning hearing last week granted his request to take out one level of parking despite Bloomingdale’s objection, compromised on request to keep first-floor retail space as planned in that must have retail or show substantial proof of efforts to find retail renter, she also asked to restrict RPP parking for residents in that building to cut down on use of street parking

– question re restrictions on distribution of funds? if there is purpose specified then should stick with that, at some point there will be guidelines on how to spend the money

f.  MPD community liaison Ms. Fayette Vaughn-Lee: discussion re hosting Halloween activities, she encourages us to host block party since not safe for kids to go door to door, there will be event at 5D MPD, some schools have events, noted Bloomingdale is having event and we may have one at Florida Ave Park, MPD would like to know about those to have officers around

g. Geo update on Community Walk-Through:

– very successful event, had reps from lots of agencies and gov’t offices there along with neighbors, still waiting on full report

– focused on maintenance of park, DPR will try to get application for Friends of Florida Ave Park from 2 years ago moving to help with that, rules have now changed to where can have fundraising events at park, suggested having community garden type events to use space, park has electricity outlets but not water, looking for committee chair for Friends of Florida Ave Park to schedule events such as movies and also do maintenance and other fundraising things

– went down R Street down to 4th and NJ Ave which is on Comm’r Robinson-Paul’s side, noted there’s a lot of commercial traffic and parking there, DCRA will be following up to see if there are permits

– identified a lot of graffiti issues including unit to 200 blocks of Q Street and also vacant properties, DCRA will follow up, noted Q Streeet has more trash than other streets, comment that south side has lots of trash because Co-op has people who clean their side but then people just stand on other side, Geo suggested getting 2-hour parking restrictions on south side of Q and willing to help go through process but he’s not going to collect signatures himself, also identified on walk open-air drug market on Q Street

– went down alley of Revive down to P Street, such as back of 1512 North Capitol with collapsing walls and trash etc, also note space next to Revive with sinkhole and open windows

– Slater and Langston schools with trash and broken fence in back, DGS will follow up

– question re development next door to Slater/Langston – DGS went in and they did have permits

– discussed drainage on corners of 1st and P and smell of sewage that comes up, also traffic and grid lock on NY Ave that backs all the way up 1st Street, enforcement for no-through trucks

– comment many thanks to Geo for organizing walk and helping out with that!!

Reminders re upcoming events:

– Comm’r Robinson-Paul SMD meeting tomorrow 10/8

– ANC meeting 10/15 at Trinity School

– MPD awards ceremony Thurs 10/24 at 6:30: tickets available to BACA dues-paying members for $20 instead of $40 regular price, nice for us to show our support, need names in advance for security

– BACA resident artist Jason Miccolo Johnson’s exhibit had write up in Washington Post – info on website, started on Oct. 4 and ongoing until Oct. 30

– Fall event such as planting perennial bulbs: David Hall volunteered to be committee chair/coordinator – need volunteers to help with project, likely to be in early November

h. Mayor’s Office update – Marc Williams, Mayor’s Liaison for Ward 5:

– he was at walkthrough on Saturday and thought it was productive – will be following up on issues

– update on illegal construction of 144 parking spot parking lot at CAPCS

– DDOE is working on getting them into compliance, next step may be to lay down grass while getting water drainage and hose system in place, don’t know timetable for completion but he is staying in contact, Geo showed picture of flooding at intersection due to rainfall earlier today and noted that this is why drainage is important

– question re are fines still racking up because would be about $200K so far? he believes they are still going to be enforced, want to do whatever is necessary to get them into compliance including fines; also question is owner going to be allowed to pay fines out of CAPCS funding because if so that’s no incentive at all and is just coming out of residents’ tax dollars, he inquired but hasn’t followed up yet

– he suggested that CAPCS/owner may be resistant to coming into compliance if fines continue due to spite, Comm’r Quinn pointed out that this makes no sense because it’s against their best interest to have fines continue to accrue, he will double check to see if fines can come out of CAPCS tax funds

– discussion re BACA’s preference is to have parking lot removed, not just put in storm drainage to retrospectively bring into DOE compliance – he’s not aware of any rules that say if don’t apply for permit in advance then have to rip it up, discussed how residents would have to tear down project if didn’t get advance permit, he explained that more than likely parking lot is not going to be ripped up because from DCRE’s perspective they’re not in compliance so now trying to get in compliance with DOE

– question re environmental toxins from tar and concerns for neighbors across street

– lots of comments how isn’t fair and doesn’t make any sense to just let them keep going now, Geo noted that we can try to take additional steps if we as community don’t agree with city’s approach to the problem, we need something official from mayor’s office as to what their planned approach is, requested documentation from mayor’s office as to their approach

– question re what is status of our resolution to have lot removed from last BACA meeting? Geo requested to get it on agenda for next ANC meeting, Comm’r Quinn says it’s on the draft agenda for the meeting but that’s not final

– Geo noted intersection at Florida and 1st is horrible for residents and Dunbar teachers, cars block pedestrian crosswalks and is safety hazard, discussed that is up to MPD chief to determine if can put camera up, crossing guard has helped but is still bad, resident suggested that have signal of “no left turn” off 1st Street onto NY Ave during rush hours

– Comm’r Robinson-Paul raised concerns about 1500 block of North Capitol in Hanover boundaries, had mostly private discussion with Mr. Williams re has anything been done

3.  8:48 Adjournment

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