Feb. 3, 2014 BACA meeting minutes (belated)

Here are the somewhat abbreviated minutes from last months BACA meeting, held at Mt. Sinai Church, 3rd and Q St NW.  Sorry for the delay….

I.    7:02 Meeting Called to Order – Geovani A. Bonilla, President

II.   Review of Last Meeting Minutes – Christa Fields, Secretary

III.    Treasurer’s Report – Kyle Thomas: please pay yearly dues for 2014, must be member to vote, total balance about $2,800, shoot for 50 or more members

IV.    Introduction of Guest Speakers – David Hall, Vice President

a. 7:05-7:20 5th District Metropolitan Police Dept – Sgt. John Durrough (new Acting Ltnt. for area): Community Safety Updates

–  last year PSA 501 had overall decrease in crime of 30% which is very good, for this year right now violent crime is no change, still significant increase in crime from autos in 5th district from last year so trying to raise public awareness e.g. don’t leave valuables in cars

–  discussed recent hand assaults and violent robberies, several cases closed, noted sometimes crime in businesses is related to businesses doing things they shouldn’t

– discussed homeless men aggressively hitting cars while panhandling at 1st and NY Ave, panhandling is illegal but not everyone enforces it, call 911 about it

– discussed complaints of drug activity at 1st and O and 1st and Q, also middle of Q St

– discussed loud music in cars and loitering at Bates and N. Capitol, appear to be making loop down street, would be helpful to report “suspicious vehicle” with tag number etc

– discussed possibility of no-drug zones as in past, he doesn’t think MPD is still doing those due to legal challenges in other states, can address large group blocking entrance etc under disorderly laws that were passed about 4 yrs ago that say “no blocking passage”

b.  7:20-8:05 Ms. Tania Jackson (Outreach Coordinator for Vision McMillan partners) and Mr. Christian Calleri (architect/urban designer): discussed McMillan Development Plans and status of Community Engagement and Benefits Package

– Status: plan was approved by Historic Preservation Review Board, next step is to mayor’s agent and zoning commission, that will be next opportunities for community input

– Slide presentation with architectural renderings and short video, see also handouts with rendering and quick facts re green space, housing, businesses including medical offices, commercial and retail, community center with pool, construction jobs and revenue, historic preservation; see also www.envisionmcmillan.com

– community center will be ADA accessible, right now DPR doesn’t want to manage the park/pool/community center so will be working with ANC 5E etc on devising management structure including possible hybrid private/public structure, will be lots of senior programs, pool will be senior accessible and only 25 meters (smaller) to make regional use

– parking will include garages and underground parking for housing and businesses, 100 street parking spaces, idea is for parking not to have impact on surrounding neighborhoods

– there will be another stoplight for pedestrian crossing across Michigan Ave/ N. Capitol, phase 3 of light rail includes to Michigan Ave but that is in future

– discussed amount of affordable housing in multi-housing and row houses

– community benefits process: will be negotiated by ANC 5E with input from other neighborhoods; thoughts include scholarships for medical and historical/architectural related careers, docents and guides for site, local small business incubators with “pop up” businesses to keep up traffic and grow local business opportunities, beautification of surrounding neighborhoods like BACA who aren’t right next to site to benefit from parks on actual site e.g. tree boxes etc, recommendations need to come from ANC

– MacMillan Advisory Group (MAG) plans on soliciting input from community – funds of $300 were approved by ANC so should be ready in next couple weeks, please volunteer if interested helping distribute flyers or collect data (update as of 3/10/14: flyers were distributed by Bradley Thomas as MAG member, but may still need help assembling data)

– request for recreational facilities such as skating rink, Chuck-E-Cheese, bowling alley – currently no retail has signed on, park space around community center is all for recreation

– they are committed to advocate for change for transportation through DDOT for things they can’t directly control, there is planned transit hub on site, noted need additional public transportation in area and traffic problems on Michigan/N.Cap/First St, thinking about shuttles for seniors, they are making very small blocks to make more pedestrian friendly

– Geo noted this is Envision McMillan, there is also Save McMillan group with different ideas about project, traffic and development will impact us so please be involved

c. 8:05-8:33  Mr. Kent Amos (Founder of Community Academy of Public Charter School (CAPCS)): update on parking lot activities

– Geo noted past problems with flooding, sewage etc; we want to talk about future with parking lot not past problems that have been discussed, noted BACA resolution passed, mayor’s office and DC agencies have done inspections and issued report, want to discuss findings and recommendations from agencies and how to deal with those items

– Mr. Amos discussed growing up in the area, CAPCS sees itself as part of community

– CAPCS now has all required permits for lot and plan for storm water management but that hasn’t been implemented, waiting for bids from contractor who put in parking lot but may have to go out into public for bids, by law is required to bid out anything over $25,000

– requirements of plan include installing trench along inside of fence line of parking lot that will be filled with materials to filter and disperse water and topped off with grass (this is what is waiting on bids); also considering installing shrubbery over trench

– discussed reopening of O Street, still in discussions re curb cut from lot onto O Street, he doesn’t think having all traffic exiting back on P Street will be good

– discussed traffic problems at corner of 1st and O Street in mornings; noted difficulties with routing traffic back onto P vs O Street, suggestion of school crossing guards or asking CAPCS staff to help direct traffic for safety – he has different understanding of traffic flow based on info from CAPCS staff but will talk them about possibly helping with traffic

– noted it’s unclear how much water flows off of black top, they looked into using pervious materials but was cost prohibitive, will look into adding more greenery to help with water

– noted budget/funding was primary consideration, he doesn’t know how many teachers use lot on regular basis, they made the lot larger to accommodate theater capacity too

– acknowledged that he did not come to BACA meetings in past to engage with community despite saying would do so when first moved CAPCS into community, will have a CAPCS representative at BACA meetings on regular basis, ask if we want him to personally appear

– he didn’t want church to stay for 5 years instead of 2 years as originally indicated, church isn’t meeting their financial responsibilities but he doesn’t want to force church to leave

– he can’t say why they didn’t tell BACA or residents about parking lot in advance although church knew about it, they were moving quickly to finish before beginning of school year

– he’ll ask the church leader to partner to help beautify neighborhood since they use it so much if necessary but his real focus is to get them out of building not invest in community

– Geo noted Mundo Verde has come to association a lot in advance, we want to be able to share concerns with proposed developments for parking lot and otherwise in advance in future, want to balance quality of life in neighborhood and development in future, want to do some sort of agreement of lessons learned/past steps to avoid problem in future

d. 8:33-8:35 Ms. Kristen Scotchmer: update on Mundo Verde charter school

– reduced parking variance and loan were approved, construction trailer is in place, she will provide direct point of contact at Forrester Construction in addition to her at meetings

– time limits of parking zone on P Street hasn’t been finalized yet

– parking lot isn’t on their property – was in past but is now part of House of Lebanon

V. Community Events/Updates/Concerns

 a.  8:35-8:40 update from CM McDuffie’s Office: Kate Mitchell – kmitchell@dccouncil.us

– upcoming hearing on transportation environment committee for private solid waste transfer stations, explained difference in treatment and control over public and private waste facilities

– last week identified very large budget surplus, mayor approved CM McDuffie’s bill to require 50% to go to Housing Production Trust Fund which helps with affordable housing

– see handout for performance oversight committee hearing schedule, please give input

– Comm’r Robinson-Paul would like CM McDuffie to address problems with recreation in neighborhood at performance oversight hearings such as Dunbar pool access – noted director of agency will be at hearing, can help for residents to appear and question directly

– Geo thanked CM McDuffie’s office for help getting trash picked up after missed days

 b.  8:40-8:50 ANC Commissioner Joyce Robinson-Paul updates

– she testified on AMI at zoning hearing, law says 10% of construction should give current residents in that location opportunity to live there, higher incomes in MD and VA skew the numbers and cause problems in DC, hoping Housing Trust Fund with help with that

– re Small Area Plan (SAP) she met with director etc about community input, need people to contact Office of Planning if something not good for us, noted one suggestion was to turn baseball field at NY Ave and First into soccer field but thinks multipurpose would be better

– at last ANC meeting she moved to rescind BACA resolution re removal of parking lot at CAPCS because she thought it was too severe fines, etc on Mr. Amos, she wants to work together in future to avoid need for resolution, ANC voted down her motion to rescind so it continues in effect; residents commented on how City imposed fines etc. not BACA

– ending balance in ANC budget is $45,531, wants good fund for community projects

– her next SMD meeting will be second Tuesday in March, will have on quarterly basis

– noted they are reinstalling track and field next to Dunbar on north side of N St

c. 8:50-8:55 ANC Commissioner Teri Janine Quinn updates

–  Full ANC held elections, new chair is Sylvia Pinckney, Comm’r Quinn is still vice chair

–  ANC is planning on moving meeting location but currently still at Trinity, may go to CAPCS since Mr. Amos offered as location at ANC meeting

– it is important for residents to be involved in projects such as Small Area Plan, please give her your thoughts especially about McMillan, she usually goes with majority and takes ideas seriously when we give her input although may not be able to make it all happen

– recent hearing on Firehouse restaurant lasted 7 hours, see her for more info

d. resident and former ANC Gigi Ransom noted curb cut at 83 O Street (corner of 1st and O St in Hanover) was done with false signage and permits, she wants DC impose harsher fines, Geo noted that was issue with CAPCS that they installed the lot first without getting permits etc and then wasn’t fined as promised, Geo indicated he would speak with Comm’r Robinson-Paul as ANC for Hanover area about steps to address curb cut after meeting

e.  resident Terry Thomas noted at last ANC meeting Mr. Amos confirmed that he/CAPCS has not been fined as indicated initially by DC Office of Environment but only $2,000

VII.  9:00pm Adjourned

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