Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A

March 1, 2016 Regular Public Meeting

Approved April 5, 2016

 

The meeting was held at the Ft. Stevens Recreation Center, 1300 Van Buren Street NW.  Commissioner Gale Black, Chair (and ANC 4A08) called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.  Also present were Commissioners 4A01 Acqunetta Anderson, 4A04 Patience Singleton, and 4A07 Dave Wilson.  Commissioner 4A02 Dwayne Toliver and Commissioner 4A05 Kim Worthy were absent.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

Commissioner Black called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

 

1)         Approval of the Agenda

 

Commissioner Anderson moved to approve the agenda as presented.  Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 6 yes, 0 no.

 

2)         Approval of Minutes

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the December 1, 2015 minutes be approved.  Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the February 2, 2016 meeting minutes be approved.  Commissioner Black seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

3)         FY 2016 1st Quarter Report

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the FY 2016 1st Quarter Report be APPROVED.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 6 yes, 0 no.

 

4)         Transfer of Savings Account Funds to Checking Account-Closure of Savings Account

 

Commissioner Black moved that the Commission adopt a resolution approving transfer of funds in its Wells Fargo savings account, in the amount of $40,267.47 to the Commission’s Industrial Bank checking account, and that the Wells Fargo account be closed.  Commissioner Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 

In the interest of efficiency and accountability, I move that Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A close its savings account and have the funds transferred immediately to the ANC 4A checking account. The interest on the savings account is so minimal that closing it will actually increase the Commission’s financial credit.

 

I also move that we notify the DC Auditor’s Office and the banks of our intent to make these changes.

 

5)         Vote on seeking Office of the Chief Technology Officer support on recording of meetings and website

 

Commissioner Black moved that the Commission adopt a resolution requesting assistance of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer in recording its public meetings.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:  

 

That ANC 4A request the assistance of the DC government, particularly OCTO, in the recording and publication of our public meetings.

 

6)         BZA 19239 – 7723 Alaska Ave NW – Application for Special Exception – Request for Extension of Time to File Recommendations

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission adopt a resolution requesting an extension of the deadline for filing comments on an application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.  Commissioner Anderson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A (the Commission) takes note of the following:

 

·         The Commission has received notification from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) of a public hearing on BZA 19239, application for special exception at 7723 Alaska Avenue N.W.  The notice was received on February 17, 2016.

 

·         The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

 

·         The Commission’s regular public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 7 PM.

 

·         The application for a special exception provides for conversion of an existing dental office building into eleven residential units.  This proposal raises significant issues for the surrounding community which requires consultation with the applicant and residents.

 

·         Receipt of the notice on February 17, 2016 did not permit enough time to properly vet the application and consult with residents before the Commission’s regular public meeting on March 1, 2016.

 

·         Under the circumstances, the Commission cannot file its comments and recommendations with the BZA in a timely manner.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Ø  That, given the above points of concern, the Commission respectfully requests that the Board of Zoning Adjustment hold open the record to allow the Commission to file its comments and recommendations regarding this application until Friday, April 8, 2016.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Dwayne Tolliver, ANC 4A02, is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative relating to this resolution.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

That, in the event the designated representative Commissioner cannot carry out his representative duties for any reason, the Commission authorizes the Chairperson to designate another Commissioner to represent the Commission relating to this resolution.

 

7)         16th Street Transit Study 

 

Commissioner Black moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations regarding the 16th Street Transit Study.  Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion. 

 

Following discussion, Commissioner Black moved to postpone consideration of the resolution indefinitely.  Commissioner Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was not adopted, 3 yes, 3 no.

 

Commissioner Anderson moved to amend the main motion to adopt the resolution by striking all resolved paragraphs except the paragraphs calling for a study of making 16th Street one way southbound during the morning rush hour and northbound during the evening rush hour.  Commissioner Black seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 4 yes, 2 no.

 

On the main motion, the Commission voted by roll call to adopt the resolution as amended, 4 yes, 2 no.

 

 

The roll call vote:

 

YES                                                    NO                                          ABSTAIN

 

4A01 Anderson                                4A03 Whatley

4A04 Singleton                                4A06 Braxton

4A07 Wilson

4A08 Black

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A (the Commission) takes note of the following:

 

·         The Commission has received notification that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has proposed to designate one of the existing traffic lanes on 16th Street NW for bus use only during the time period 7:00 am-10:00 am Monday-Friday southbound and 4:00 pm-7:30 pm Monday-Friday northbound;

 

·         The ANC 4A commissioners were informed that our comments would be welcomed and encouraged us to submit the comments as soon as was feasible;

 

·         The stated objective of the proposed plan is to improve traffic reliability and to improve travel for people using the bus, particularly to reduce end-to-end travel time.

 

The dedicated bus lanes would be in effect from 16th & Arkansas (Crestwood Apartments) down to H Street NW. 

 

·         ANC 4A is an interested party and stakeholder.  All of ANC 4A is affected by the recommendations proposed.  One of 4A’s single member districts falls within the scope of the proposed area slated for change.  Specifically, Single-Member District 4A08 (Crestwood) includes the intersection at Arkansas Avenue NW and 16th Street NW.  This intersection, as well as other neighborhoods, could be negatively impacted by this proposal, particularly because access from residential streets such as Shepherd, Upshur and Allison Streets NW could be continuously blocked by the increased congestion caused by the loss of a travel lane.

 

·         The Commission 4A supports the effort to enhance safety and reduce the time for bus travel. 

 

·         We support more enforcement and the towing of illegally parked cars.

 

·         We support the elimination of parking along 16th Street NW during rush hours.

 

·         We support the reconfiguration of lanes to facilitate the safe flow of travelers, whether on the bus or other modes.

 

·         We support the concept of requiring passengers to pay before boarding the bus.   

 

·         We note that DDOT acknowledged that it had not considered making 16th Street NW one way southbound during the morning rush and one way northbound during the evening rush.  This alternative would preserve the same number of lanes currently available to the motoring public.

 

·         We strongly recommend that in its next phase, DDOT consider the alternative of converting 16th Street NW to one way southbound during the morning rush hours of 7 AM-10 AM Monday-Friday and one way northbound during the evening rush hours of 4:00 PM-7:30 PM Monday-Friday.  This would retain the same number of lanes, while permitting a dedicated bus lane. However, the proposed plan would only save 4 minutes per bus on the S1/S2/S4 bus lines southbound and 3.9 minutes northbound. 

 

·         The DDOT’s proposal notes that the “high volume” 16th Street NW commuter route serves 20,000 bus riders per day.  The plan did not state the number of the motoring public using 16th Street, which exceeds 20,000 people. 

 

·         We are also concerned that the recommended alternative may not accomplish its stated goal.  Moreover, many of those utilizing 16th Street NW are not bus riders. As presented, this proposal appears to place the burden primarily on those who drive, by eliminating one of the currently available travel lanes that drivers used during rush hour. 

 

·          The Commission is also concerned that the Level of Service (LOS) on 16th Street is at “Level D or worse,” which means that 16th Street is already over capacity.

 

·         Taking away an available lane does nothing to address the real problem of too many cars entering DC and taking away a lane could be hazardous to the members of the public who drive and rely on 16th Street to meet their travel needs.

 

·         The motoring public already experiences “significant queuing” (traffic back-up) during rush hours.  Because the volume along 16th Street already backs up during the rush hours and we envision more cut-through traffic, the neighborhoods represented by the Commission 4A, particularly ANC 4A08, could be adversely impacted if this proposal was implemented, as presented.

 

·         The plan would also have automated camera enforcement which could result in a fine of $500 if a member of the motoring public is caught in the wrong lane.

 

·         We suggest that DDOT consider possibly adding a pilot bus lane on a trial basis.

 

·         The Commission is concerned that DDOT is not ready to move forward to the design stage with this proposal because it has not conducted an adequate capital and operating cost estimate.  It still needs verification of the feasibility and availability of the physical space that would be required for the pre-board fare payments, as one example.  

 

·         Generally, before this plan is implemented, DDOT should demonstrate  the need for these changes, that the changes would provide the maximum public benefit, be cost efficient, and that no other alternative could better meet the city’s needs.  However, DDOT acknowledges that it has not even considered making 16th Street NW one way southbound during the morning rush and one way northbound during the evening rush.  This alternative would preserve the same number of lanes currently available to the motoring public.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Ø  That the Commission strongly recommends that DDOT thoroughly study and consider the alternative of converting 16th Street NW to one way southbound during the morning rush hours of 7 AM-10 AM Monday-Friday and one way northbound during the evening rush hours of 4:00 PM-7:30 PM Monday-Friday to retain multiple traffic lanes while providing a dedicated bus lane.

 

Ø  That the Commission respectfully requests that DDOT, as required by law, responds to the recommendation stated in this resolution with as much specificity as possible and as soon as possible.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Gale Black, ANC 4A08, is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative in all matters relating to this resolution.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

That, in the event the designated representative Commissioner cannot carry out her representative duties for any reason, the Commission authorizes the duly elected Chairperson (Gale Black) to designate another Commissioner to represent the Commission relating to this resolution.

 

8)         ◦Discussion – FY 2017 DC Government Budget Priorities

 

Commissioner Black led a discussion of DC Government budget priorities for FY 2017.  A survey was distributed to the audience and Commissioners.

 

9)         ◦Resolution on Potholes

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the Commission adopt a resolution requesting that the District Department of Transportation conduct a study of street conditions within the Commission area and immediately repair potholes.  Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted 6 yes, 0 no.

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A requests and strongly recommends that the District Department of Transportation immediately conduct a study of the condition of streets within the boundaries of the Commission and immediately repair the potholes and other damage to streets resulting from the severe winter weather.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Commission designates Commissioner Acqunetta Anderson, ANC 4A01, to represent the Commission relating to this resolution. 

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that, in the event the designated representative Commissioner cannot carry out her representative duties for any reason, the Commission authorizes the Chairperson to designate another Commissioner to represent the Commission in all matter relating to this resolution.

 

10)      Resolution Making Recommendations to Historic Preservation Review Board Regarding Walter Reed Site – Proposed Charter School and Gym

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations to the Historic Preservation Review Board regarding a proposed charter school and gym at the Walter Reed site.  Commissioner Braxton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

The Commission takes note of the following additional points discussed concerning development of the DCI School Concept/Gymnasium Addition and Alterations to Delano Hall:

 

·         New buildings or additions to existing buildings on historic sites should not replicate historic architecture, but should be visually compatible with the historic district and their historic neighbors.

 

·         There is a concern about the stark contrasting color of the east façade of the gymnasium. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

Ø  That the Commission continues its support of the proposed footprint and massing of the proposed building.  The rhythm, scale, and proportions of the windows are pleasing for the east and west elevations.  The translucent glass panels are acceptable, and the fiber cement panel system may be acceptable provided the following:

 

Ø  That the school explore integrating another color and material into the east façade of the gym that visually references and ties the gym more directly to the historic façades of the existing historic building and 

 

Ø  ANC 4A acknowledged in its resolution submitted to the HPRB that the Master Plan is consistent with the SAP and W.R. Zone, and ANC 4A desires to see the redevelopment of The Parks at Walter Reed commence as quickly as possible in order to bring new amenities and overall economic revitalization to the local community;

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Commission designates Commissioners Stephen A. Whatley, ANC 4A03 to represent the Commission relating to this resolution. 

 

FURTHER RESOLVED, that, in the event the designated representative Commissioner cannot carry out her representative duties for any reason, the Commission authorizes the Chairperson to designate another Commissioner to represent the Commission in all matter relating to this resolution.

 

11)      Recommendations Regarding Councilmember Anita Bonds’ Condominium Owners Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2015

 

Commissioner Braxton moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations regarding the Condominium Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2015.  Commissioner Whaley seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A (the Commission) takes note of the following:

 

          The Commission has received notification that the District of Columbia Council has proposed action to amend the condominium Act of 1976, to strengthen the ethical and fiduciary obligations of executive boards of unit owners’ associations; to establish a Condominium Association Advisory Council (CAAC); to require mediation before a units owners’ association may foreclose on a unit for the recovery of condominium assessments, fees, charges, or other penalties owed by the unit owner; to establish a Condominium association Bill of Rights, and require that the Bill of Rights, along with a copy of the fiduciary responsibilities of members of the executive board of condominium associations, be furnished to purchasers of condominiums.

 

          The Commission does NOT concur with the purpose of the CAAC, or with the creation of the CAAC with its membership as noted in the bill.  The Commission feels that the purpose of the CAAC impedes the fiduciary responsibility of Condo Associations and allows free riders to shirk responsibilities associated with common building ownership.  It is also redundant given existing legal remedies.

 

          The Commission concurs with the definitions and descriptions as noted in the bill.  However, the Commission finds that an undue burden is placed on the remaining Unit Owners when those in default do not pay their condo fees, late fees, etc., thereby affording more protections for those in default than those Owners who honor their financial commitments, i.e., more financial burden is placed on the remaining Owners.

 

          The Commission feels that legal remedies such as mediation are already available to those Unit Owners who have difficulty paying their fees, assessments, etc. Unit Owners should seek redress through these already-existing remedies by law, rather than adding bureaucratic costs to the District Government.

 

          The Commission notes the requirement that the Bill of Rights, along with a copy of the fiduciary responsibilities of members of the executive board of condominium associations, be furnished to purchasers of condominiums.  However, the issuance of these documents may not be sufficient; there should also be a list of fiduciary responsibilities of Unit Owners in general, so that Purchasers understand the responsibilities of common building ownership.  Should this bill be passed, there should be a requirement that these documents be explained by the association or the real estate agent to the purchaser at the closing.  The question arises if the same documentation should be provided to current owners within six months of the passage of the bill.  The Commission recommends that the same documentation be provided to all current owners subject to this bill within six months of the passage of the bill.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That, given the above considerations and recommendations, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A does NOT support DC Council Bill, entitled “Condominium Owner Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2015”, B21-0443.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Karrye Braxton, ANC 4A06, is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative relating to this resolution.

 

 

 

 

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

That, in the event the designated representative Commissioner cannot carry out her representative duties for any reason, the Commission authorizes the Chairperson to designate another Commissioner to represent the Commission relating to this resolution.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Mr. Michael Long, Ward 4 Liaison for Mayor Muriel Bowser, gave a report on current issues and concerns being addressed by the Mayor.

           

2)         Ms. Sherryl Newman, representing Councilmember Todd, gave an update on issues of concern to Ward 4.

                                     

Commissioner Whatley moved that the meeting be adjourned.  Commissioner
Wilson seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted unanimously.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:41 PM.