Minutes from May 2015 BACA meeting (belated)

BACA Meeting Minutes – Monday, May 4, 2015; Mt. Sinai Church, 3rd and Q ST NW

1. 7:06pm Meeting Called to Order – David Hall, President – brief agenda summary

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

3. Community Representatives

  • 7:09-7:23 ANC Comm’r Bradley A. Thomas – SMD 5E05 (south side of Q St down)
    • At last SMD meeting he set up task forces and some of them have started meeting; next meeting is Saturday, May 9, 9:30-11:30 at Dunbar HS – see flyer for more info
    • Protest has been filed by ANC 5E re Ben Ben Liquors license renewal, next step is to work on voluntary agreement which should be starting soon
    • question re space off NY Ave where library kiosk used to be and if DGS has plan
    • Noted 3rd and Q developed is allowed to go up to 40 feet (or possibly 35 feet based on recent amendment to zoning regulations so may need variance for that too if don’t finish project first), but not necessarily going back so that is subject of discussion re variance
    • Question re construction paint on P Street and scope of pipe replacement project
    • Question re is there any coordination between DCWASA and DDOT for projects? Should be talking about that at upcoming SMD meeting
    • Question re construction on N. Capitol between P and NY Ave, noted there are no signs to close sidewalk and it is unsafe
    • Question re who is contact for our area specifically at DCRA? Per Tommy Wells, there is no specific Ward 5 person so you can either go through ANC representative or use 311 or use twitter or other social media to complain about certain issues such as blight
  • 7:23-7:39 ANC Comm’r Teri J. Quinn – SMD 5E06 (north side of Q St and up)
    • Anxo does have date for placards for ABRA application so time to vote to support would probably be at next month’s meeting – per owner they will be posted this Friday, noted that they also came to Bloomingdale’s meeting which is appreciated but it is Bates’s boundaries so Bloomingdale won’t get involved in those terms
    • DCity Smokehouse got their ABRA placards so Bloomingdale will be voting on that this month, so far she has only heard support, next should be ANC vote; there is new owner for their current building who also owns corner liquor store, not sure what will happen
    • Re issue on unit block of Q St NW of picking up homeless people to carry out evictions and having done similar thing in past without paying them properly, National Coalition for the Homeless successfully pursued lawsuit against this company and others, company has agreed to have someone from SOME to reach out to homeless people in that area and see what details of situation are at this time re payment, etc and then go from there
    • Re North Capitol Main Street – she and Bradley Thomas are both on its Board – will be doing Art All Night again; there is also a proposal for series of concerts over 2 weekends from Friday through Sunday so she raised concerns about noise but Board is still wanting to move forward with idea, noted that Board does not have to obtain permission to do this but have asked them to reach out to affected community members which is mostly Florida and unit blocks of Bates and Q to coordinate re hours and noise
    • Question can there be more activities for youth in addition to adults for events – would probably be feasible to do that with concert series but probably not Art All Night since it is mostly at night, she is not sure how many more activities will be planned this year because need to focus on fundraising but also getting people aware of what NCMS does
    • Noted that may want to consider indoor venues such as Mundo Verde or CAPCS theater spaces for concerts and other loud events, also might be more cooperative with neighbors do not have too much noise and inconvenience, also backup plan for weather
  • 7:39-7:58 Tommie Jones, Ward 5 Liaison, from Mayor’s Office
    • Please fill out card with community issues in addition to contacting him otherwise to help build individual relationships and connections better
    • Thanks to our area of ANC 5E for participating in clean-up and Earth Day activities, our area and civic associations were most active for that day so thanks for helping DC
    • Mayor’s budget has been announced and council will approve or edit in coming weeks – can see budget on mayor.dc.gov to give comments to Councilmembers etc
    • Mayor is introducing campaign in response to Baltimore violent protests called “I wish you knew” to give youth opportunity to get their views and wishes heard
    • This is small business month, mayor is encouraging small businesses to find ways to be part of DC government, calling campaign “InnoMaytion”
    • They will be making reports of issues received and responses to ANC commissioners
    • Question re DCRA because 108 Bates St NW has been continuously vandalized and concerned about drugs or other dangerous activities that might threaten personal and property safety, she confronted resident and blocked egress from alley and he was upset, police came out and claimed there was nothing they could do about it but this situation has been ongoing for years – he will personally contact DCRA about it tonight to see if property is considered vacant and what they already know about it, he will follow up with her and with ANC Commissioner Thomas, in meantime please don’t take law in your own hands in future because don’t want you to be in danger
    • Also asked to get DPW to come in and clean alley because it is very dirty and causes problems with access – he will reach out about that but DPW can’t do everything, also encourages people to pick up things as much as they can to keep up community
    • Noted he doesn’t usually go to ANC SMD meetings on regular basis (as opposed to civic associations) because it tends to end up with duplication of services, want to let ANC commissioner get through items on agenda and have more speakers
    • Question about bricks on sidewalk of Bates on unit block in disrepair – resident has made reports through 311 app and sent in bricks, crew came after about 6 months and did bad job and didn’t finish but then never returned, seems like projects get marked as “completed” even though they’re not actually completed – important to send in requests through 311 because that’s how DPW and DDOT figures out what areas need attention, he will look at response to see if they’re really saying is “complete” or if just in progress

Community Concerns

  • 7:58-7:59 David Hall noted you can also contact him if want quicker or response than from mayor’s liaison or ANC commissioner etc, he will work with you to get an answer
  • 8:00-8:02 David and Christa discussed experiences with River Smart and pervious pavers and other incentives, speaker will be here soon
  • 8:02-8:05 BACA Beautification Day follow-up
    • We purchased plants through Old City Farm and Guild on Rhode Island to support local businesses, he gave us a great deal and also made suggestions on durable plants – if you want plants for Flower Power tell him you’re in BACA and he will give 15% discount
    • in coordination with SMD broken glass syndrome task force possibly will do fall clean-up/beautification day for bulbs to plant then and come up in spring, also encourage people to focus on keeping up our own tree boxes and areas right next to yours too
  • 8:06 Treasurer’s update, Kyle Thomas – we spent about $525.80 for clean-up day, also payments for 501(c)(3), we have 23 members and please join if you haven’t yet

Guest Speaker

  • 8:06-8:20 Lauren Linville with Department of the Environment – River Smart program
    • Financial incentives to lessen storm water runoff – upfront funds and technical assistance, also rebates on top of or in addition to grants, there is about a 4-month waitlist for the upfront grants so rebate program is more popular right now
    • We are in Bloomingdale watershed – rebate of $10 per sq ft to remove impervious and replace with pervious, no limit to amount, there are also free pavers that usually cost $5, usually costs about $25 per sq ft to remove and replace (so you get $15 toward that), monies are available through end of this fiscal year in September and is funded through city council/budget, they probably won’t run out of pavers but they’re available until they’re gone, pavers are installed on top of gravel to improve drainage
    • David Hall noted he has youtube video of start to finish for doing project in his back yard in coordination with neighbors, saved money by doing together with neighbors
    • Is there financial difference between rebate vs grant program? Citywide rebate can be combined with grant program – maximum for city-wide is $1,200 for rebate and $1,200 for grant, but can’t combine with Bloomingdale program
    • Grant program is $1,200 for one of three programs (rain garden, bayscape planting, or pavers); but for pavers the Bloomingdale rebate program is better and more funds
    • on top of those programs can also can do trees (as many as you want for $50 each) and rain barrels (two per property at $45 each)
  • 8:20-8:25 Flower Power event, David and Christa – probably in mid-June this year, need committee head and members, location, this is primary annual fundraiser for BACA funds and great way to meet more neighbors and encourage people to beautify yards in general
  • 8:25 suggestion for beautification day maybe have someone assigned to babysit plants and answer questions next time, also in support of having fall beautification day as well, many thanks to Anxo for having snacks and refreshments after event
  • 8:26-8:28 Annetta Nicholas – 32nd DC Senior Games have begun and kick-off was today, anyone 60 or older can participate and runs through May 15, there is also Ms. Senior DC competition through June; Joyce Robinson-Paul noted there are bowling and other sports

8:30 Adjourned

Next meeting: Monday, June 1, 2015

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