BACA minutes Jan. 5, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015; BACA Meeting Minutes

I. 7:00-7:04pm Meeting Called to Order – Geovani Bonilla, Vice-President;

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

III. Treasurer’s Report – Kyle Thomas, Treasurer

  • IRS and DCFA issues due to paperwork overlap from last meeting have been resolved, now in good standing as 501(c)(3)
  • please pay dues $20 per person which will be tax deductible, can do cash/check/paypal but please fill out a form with membership info for all
  • membership allows vote on BACA matters and is used for overhead for fundraising events including Flower Power, spring cleanup/beautification including plants and grant funds and gathering afterwards, flyers, movies in park, National Night Out
  • current balance $3,488.51, up $60 from last time due to 3 new members

 IV. Community Representatives and Guest Speakers

  • 7:04-7:29 pm Council Member Kenyan McDuffie (in person)
    • recently reelected and sworn in, also re-elected by colleagues on Council as chair pro tem of Council and newly appointed as chair for committee on judiciary (lots of involvement in crime and public safety), he has background as trial attorney and public safety; will be putting out monthly newsletter starting within next week
    • any ideas or updates on Mayor’s announcement that she is looking for options on Initiative 71 re legalization of recreational marijuana? Congress added rider onto recent funding bill to essentially prevent implementation, Mayor and Delegate Norton have indicated that they plan to move forward with implementation, question is whether Congress will rely on current language or try to strengthen to prevent implementation, based on his prior experience re statehood issues the CFO will weigh in on this as independent party on what DC can do with budget
    • Update on Mid-City East Small Area Plan (SAP), and what can we do to help fund some of recommendations in SAP such as traffic and beautification? performance and oversight hearings are in March and April, then budget hearings over following 2 months, so we should do outreach to them to let them know our interests, there will be budget shortfalls so depends on budget, he wants to work with us to try to get ideas implemented but can’t promise anything due to fiscal climate
    • update on final disposition on McMillan project? Need to talk to developers more, Mayor’s agent still needs to make a decision on preservation aspect which should happen in next few months, otherwise things should continue to move forward, he will try to get back to us with more specifics after talking with McMillan speaker
    • resident thanked CM McDuffie for holding public safety summit – he thinks it’s important to make sure MPD is spending resources efficiently and public can feel safe, public safety walks with him and city officials can be helpful
    • resident thanked CM for coming and also thanked Kate Mitchell for regular updates at our meeting from his office – CM noted that Ms. Mitchell was recently promoted within his office due to excellent performance
    • question about several properties that still stagnate and are blighted vs other properties where developers are adding 3 and 4 stories, is there anything we can do to help about blighted properties? Generally DCRA and DPW have given good response to issue citations and fines for properties with violations but need DCRA and DPW to be more responsive than in past and to have a “bigger stick”, his office is looking into this, for example with environmental issues they increased fines for violations to get attention of businesses
    • question re CAPCS as they were recommended to have charter revoked, now 3 years in a row on probation, if enrollment declines are there any riders in bonds issued by city on sale of that land to allow city to get that property back as opposed to commercial developing as condos etc if ends up being disposed of, please keep us involved? status is 12/15/14 voted to initiate procedures to revoke CAPCS charter, CAPCS hasn’t yet requested hearing, after then 30 days to decide whether to revoke based on financial mismanagement and other issues – per new ANC Commissioner Bradley Thomas there was revocation clause in sales contract that if property ceases to be used as school then District has 90 days to reclaim, so we can be on top of it
    • About pop-ups, with other communities such as Bloomingdale/Trinidad etc CM worked with residents to write letters to zoning commission saying our preferences, Council doesn’t have authority over zoning commission but he is on record for how pop-ups affect quality of life of neighbors
    • About larger blighted properties such as Langston and Slater schools, city has been putting them out for last 10 years as charter schools but nobody wants them for that, BACA has mentioned projects such as theater or other commercial purposes so what can we do to get city to move away from charter schools to other purposes? Question by CM why not okay to have condos for CAPCS but would prefer that as option for Langston/Slater – Geo pointed out the CAPCS lot is much bigger in size
    • You can sign up for email newsletter at
    • Noted re trash dump (near Home Depot and Giant off Rhode Island)) – in last meeting emergency bill was passed to allow Mayor to use eminent domain to take over trash station, doesn’t mean that Mayor will do so but she now has that option; discussed progress on relocation of DC Water station by agreement, vs discussions with relocating trash station that have not gone well so passed bill
    • Geo (former BACA president, now vice-president) thanks to CM for community support including cleanups, public safety walks, helping with funding of North Capitol Main Street such as for Art All Night, addressing flooding in cooperation with Bloomingdale and ANC Commissioner Quinn
  • 7:30-7:50 pm DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project – Update on Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project – Andrea Williams (senior public outreach officer), Vicky Wilshire (public outreach officer), Justin Carl (project manager), Ainsworth Marshall (project engineer, gave power point presentation
    • Goal is to reduce flooding and combined sewer overflows, project was fast-tracked in response to 2012 flooding – medium-term projects are green infrastructure on Irving Street, used some storage tanks in McMillan for water, 1st St underground tunnel; gave information on location and construction of diversion facilities that involve near surface/roadway construction, full path of tunnel
    • schedule: will relocate utilities starting in 2016, construction from 2017 to 2022, anticipate approximately 24 months for each site
    • question since this is being built on top of existing sewer system, what’s likelihood of water main breaks? they do survey of utilities beforehand to make sure can handle stresses of construction, will have to replace a lot of utilities due to their locations, so slim chance of water main break due to their construction itself
    • question is Florida and 3rd St staging area going to be closed to traffic? No will always maintain 1 lane in each direction on Florida and work will be done in stages, will probably close portion of 3rd St for period of time
    • How will this affect 1st and P flooding? Location at 1st and T is the “bowl” where 2 streets converge and most problems occur, will be retrofitting current bio-retention location to handle water, Mr. Carl noted will be adding several diversion chambers too in addition to surface diversion so will help reduce water runoff down 1st St
    • ANC Quinn thanked DC Water for outreach/responsiveness to Bloomingdale and for coming to BACA to discuss impact, also noted that work in Bloomingdale is very loud and disruptive but she thinks it’s worth it based on experiences with frequent flooding in 2012 on roads and especially with raw sewage in several residents’ basements; noted that DC Water does well in responding to problems in timely manner but we must also work with Washington Gas and Pepco (electric) companies and councilmember to get things coordinated
    • Mr. Carl noted they didn’t have time to coordinate for 1st St but have been working with gas and electric to avoid unnecessary street demolition or repeated projects
  • 7:51-7:53pm David Street from Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
    • pastor has decided to do more outreach, so church now has 501(c)(3) status as P(romote)E(nrich)N(urture)DMV
    • also please join this Saturday 7:00pm for free NSO in neighborhood
  • 7:54-8:07 pm ANC Commissioner Teri J. Quinn (north side of Q St up)
    • Aida Electronics (at Florida and 2nd St) and settlement re synthetic marijuana sales – they were raided after settle agreement so already have hearing coming up on violation, also there’s a sign outside the building saying will be reopening under new name so ANC Quinn called Attorney General’s office and AG assured there was no loophole in settlement agreement allowing to transfer title to someone else
    • Will be zoning hearing re pop-ups on Thursday, January 15, at 6:30pm at Judiciary Square (441 4th St NW) – noted pop-up near 1st and Rhode Island can go up to 50 feet so question is whether they’ve gone above that or exceeded occupancy; zoning hearing will consider change for R-4 (for most of our properties) from building up to 40 feet to lower that limit to 35 feet; zoning commission website has proposed regulation and changes; unsure whether record will still be open after next ANC meeting on Jan. 20, noted possible option of having setback for front aesthetics to remain the same
    • ANC is considering change in bylaws to not require ANC commissioners to present issues to civic association and get input before vote, although commissioner is still not required to vote the way civic association expressed its preference; suggestion was to make that permissive not mandatory and she thinks it should be mandatory; we don’t have a lot of input on whether this changed is passed or not since is administrative but we should beware; discussion of how community can go to ANC (or submit letter or resolution) to express difference in opinion between ANC commissioner and community and ANC as a whole can take that into consideration, which BACA did last year, and that would be difficult to do if ANC commissioners
    • her ANC email hasn’t been working for past few weeks due to limited capacity – she can receive emails but not send them, this morning she got drastic increase in size of her ANC account so shouldn’t be email problems going forward
  • 8:08-8:17pm Commissioner Bradley A. Thomas (south side of Q St down)
    • He’s been following discussion re bylaws in emails although hasn’t responded yet because no ANC account yet – in past commissioners were required to present issues to community and also to get vote of some sort before taking action, so he also definitely agrees civic association must have input into ANC matters
    • question for residents: When is best time for ANC SMD meetings? Week night slightly later than 6:15pm or maybe Saturday morning?
    • Geo noted projects we’d like help with – access to Dunbar’s track, also need “do not enter during school hours” signs on New Jersey side of O Street to be removed
    • Also want to bring back public safety walks, in past we had list of properties and kept up in touch with DCRA on monthly basis which resulted in rehab of 18 Bates
    • Also work on CAPCS project and Langston/Slater development
    • Question any updates on when O St will be opened up through NJ Ave, will DC be putting in a stoplight? He will check up on both of them
    • update on Steve’s Market (at 1st and P St) – per Geo (who shares property wall) it is being totally gutted, demolition permits were holding up work but have started digging out space, will be tearing out addition in back, maintain commercial site on 1st floor and upscale rental unit on upper floor, looking for operator to rent space similar to Big Bear, last thing will be to tear out chain link to put up nicer fence
    • Can he address broken sidewalk On NJ Ave at Dunbar by big tree?
    • No new info on status of Florida and Q development proposals so far
  • 8:18 Geo question what would we like to see on meeting agenda?
    • Invite new at-large councilmember Elissa Silverman
    • Zoning board
    • North Capitol Main Street and development of N. Capitol
    • Email Geovani Bonilla or David Hall with any other ideas
  • 8:19pm Noted Dine-Out Bloomingdale this week through Thursday with small portion of proceeds going to Bloomingdale Civic Association

8:20 PM Adjourn

Next meeting: Monday, February 2, 2015.

Contact Info for BACA President, David Hall: Please do contact me if you have questions or concerns. 202-580-9245 or

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