Minutes – Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A

May 3, 2016 Regular Public Meeting

Approved June 7, 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 7:05 PM.  Also present were Commissioners 4A01 Acqunetta Anderson, 4A03 Stephen Whatley, 4A04 Patience Singleton, 4A06 Karrye Braxton, and 4A07 Dave Wilson.  Commissioner 4A02 Dwayne Toliver was absent.  A quorum was present for all votes.

 

1)         Approval of the Agenda

 

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

 

2)         Approval of Minutes

 

Commissioner Anderson, Secretary, presented the draft minutes of the April 5, 2016 meeting.  Commissioner Black moved that the minutes be approved.  Commissioner Whatley seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

3)         FY 2016 Second Quarter Report

 

Commissioner Braxton, Treasurer, moved that the FY 2016 Second Quarter Report be approved.  Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion.  The motion was approved, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

4)         Consent Calendar

 

Commissioner Braxton moved that the Commission approve the first two items on the consent calendar:

 

     ANC Omnibus Bill (introduced by Councilmember Anita Bonds)

     Letter of  Support regarding 1339 Ft. Stevens Drive

 

Commissioner Wilson seconded the motion.  The motion was approved, 5 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

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

·         The Commission has received notification that DC Council Member Anita D. Bonds has introduced legislation aimed at updating the rules that govern the DC Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs).  The bill would make far-reaching changes to the way the ANCs currently operate by requiring more notice to the ANCs, permit the ANCs to impose infractions for non-compliance, provide for ANC stipends and provide greater administrative support.

 

·         The Commission was informed that our comments would be welcomed and encouraged us to submit the comments as soon as was feasible, although no hearing has been scheduled;

 

·         ANC 4A is an interested party and stakeholder.  ANC 4A covers more than 16,000 DC residents and includes the Ward 4 neighborhoods of Brightwood, Colonial Village, North Portal Estates, Crestwood, Shepherd Park, and Sixteenth Street Heights;

 

·         The Commission supports the effort to enhance the effectiveness and accountability of the ANCs. We also commend the Council Member Bonds for her initiative and outreach to 175 commissioners.  We recognize that the proposal reflects an effort to address the commissioners’ concerns.

 

Areas of Agreement:

 

We support more enforcement of the existing law and support the following provisions:

 

·         Permitting electronic payments for recurring expenses

·         Being provided, upon request, with a list of prohibited grantees

·         Being provided assistance with managing and updating the ANC website and social media accounts for the ANC

·         Having a single repository for all ANC resolutions and motions

·         Ensuring that the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commission is serving Commissioners as efficiently and effectively, as resources permit

·         Being provided electronically a calendar of all hearings, round tables, and mark-ups scheduled to take place within the following month

·         Being permitted a nominal amount for refreshments at the ANC meetings

·         Being provided access to a Communications Division and a Legal Division within the Office of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions

·         Clearer delineation of the responsibilities for the Executive Director and expectations and performance measurements, and

·         Being provided with the legal definition of the term “single-member district.”

 

Potential Areas of Concern:

 

We are concerned, however, with regard to some of the other recommendations, as presented. This proposal appears to place additional burdens on both the ANC commissioners and the agencies and could be cost-prohibitive.

 

·         The current inadequate funding level is of great concern and will be aggravated if this bill becomes law.  For example, ANC4A is currently on the edge of bankruptcy due to

o   the cost of renting an office.  ANC 4A currently has a small rental cost of $2,400 a year while the building in which its office is located is going through a zoning procedure, which, if implemented, will result in the razing of the building and the need to find a new office, at an estimated cost of approximately $12,000 a year, i.e., $1,000 per month.

o   paying office expenses, such as telephone, Internet etc. ($5,350), and

o   employing an office manager ($18,200 per year).  Total current expenses are $35,550 per year.

o   Since the District of Columbia gives ANC 4A approximately $19,150 per year, ANC4A is in deficit by $16,400 and is currently able to meet its financial needs only because it has savings and is operating out of a building that will be razed in the near future. Thus, in a few years, ANC 4A will be unable to continue its current operations as it relocates to a building that charges near market rents and spends down its savings.

o   Moreover, the deficit will increase if the ANC Amendments are enacted because fulfilling the increased responsibilities will necessitate hiring additional staff and possibly leasing a larger office.

o   In sum, ANC 4A is currently on the path of impending bankruptcy and adding additional responsibilities will only increase its deficit.  Thus, we recommend that the allotment to ANC4A be immediately increased to meet current expenses and an additional allotment be granted if the ANC Amendments are enacted.  Clearly, the ANCs provision of services to DC’s citizens cannot continue if the Council does not increase the allotment to the ANCs.

 

·         We do not agree with the requirement that the ANCs must publish the agendas seven days before the ANC meetings since the agendas are not final until they are voted on at the meeting.

·         We are concerned about any requirement for an ANC Performance plan with key performance indicators.

·         We don’t think that allowing the ANCs to issue Notices of Infractions to agencies after 3 violations will help us achieve compliance with the notice requirements.

·         We disagree with requiring secret ballots for Commission officer elections. The ANCs should be allowed flexibility to follow their bylaws.

·         Having Commissioners evaluate the performance of their fellow commissioners could be counter-productive and divisive.

·         We believe that each Commission should establish its own tie-breaking protocol – rather than having one imposed.

·         We do not believe that the 311 request lists will be worth the time and money it would take to compile.

·         We do not think that having a single hub for the Ward will be as effective as our current office arrangements, which have the benefit of being of having an ANC office located within the ANC 4A area and accessible 24/7.

·         Stipends could reduce the available ANC allocations by 20% and are not necessary.  A $50 payment could also make commissioners “DC employees” with many unintended consequences.

·         We do not agree that an ANC Task Force is wise.

·         We recommend that the Council adopt a requirement that no DC government action could be finalized or implemented without proof that the ANC received adequate notice, the opportunity for comment, and a response showing that the ANC comments were appropriately considered by the DC Executive or Legislative Branch (Department, Council Committee or issuing unit).

·         We also think that the timing of the notice needs to be spelled out and the term “substantive analysis” explained.

·         Finally, we think that the costs and increased burdens for each of the proposed items should be carefully considered before the bill is passed.

·         Generally, before this proposal is implemented, there should be a showing that the changes will strengthen the ANCs and help the ANCs to function more efficiently and effectively and that there is no less costly or burdensome alternative to reaching the goals of the proposal.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Ø  That, given the above considerations and concerns, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A does not believe this proposal, as introduced, should be adopted.

 

Ø  That the Commission strongly recommends that the DC Council consider, and provide great weight to, the Commission’s concerns as expressed herein.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That ANC 4A Chair (Commissioner Gale Black, ANC 4A08) and Vice Chair (David Wilson, ANC 4A07) are hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representatives in all matters relating to this resolution.

 

The approved letter of support:

 

Ms. Polly Donaldson, Director

DC Department of Housing and Community Development

 

Mr. Anthony Waddell, Director

DC Housing Finance Agency

 

Dear Ms. Donaldson and Mr. Waddell:

 

I am writing as Chair of ANC 4A.  On May 3, 2016, Matt Engel and other representatives from Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) met with the full ANC regarding their proposed renovation and preservation of 1339 Fort Stevens Drive NW as affordable housing.  Also present was Genora Keenan, president of the 1339 Fort Stevens Drive NW Tenants Association, Inc.  CPDC staff indicated that the building is in need of substantial renovation to meet current life safety code, to improve the marketability of the units and the living conditions of the residents.

 

This letter is to confirm that the ANC 4A voted to support the project’s application to DHCD and DCHFA for financing.

 

Sincerely,

 

Gale Black, Chair

ANC 4A

 

 

5)         ◦Resolution on Walter Reed Building 14 and Affordable Housing

 

Commissioner Whatley moved that the Commission approved a resolution regarding Building 14 on the Walter Reed site.  Commissioner Braxton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted. 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

This resolution is an affirmation of ANC 4A’s resolution of June 2nd, 2015.

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A takes note of the following:

 

·         It is anticipated that 67 acres of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) will be developed by The Parks at Walter Reed (TPWR), a joint venture of Hines, Urban Atlantic and Trident Development, once the land has transferred from the United States Army to the District of Columbia to TPWR.

 

·         In accordance with the WRAMC Small Area Plan (SAP), TPWR’s Master Plan includes both affordable and market rate housing across the project, including a mixed-income senior housing village.

 

·         TPWR, in a joint venture with Transitional Housing Corporation (THC), plans to develop the following program by rehabbing the central portion of WRAMC Building 14, aka “Abrams Hall”:

 

§  80 Affordable Senior Units, restricted to 50% Area Median Income (AMI)

§  Office Space for THC, a nonprofit organization that has been based in Ward 4 since its inception in 1990, which strives to end family homelessness in the District of Columbia through the provision of a continuum of housing opportunities wrapped by comprehensive supportive services

 

§  Senior Wellness Space

 

·         TPWR and THC plan to submit an application to the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for financing of this project through a combination of DHCD funding including Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

 

·         ANC 4A affirms its support for the goals of the SAP and TWPR to create a mix of affordable and market rate housing, including Senior Housing, within the new WRAMC campus.

 

RESOLVED, that, upon considering the foregoing at the meeting, a majority of the duly named Advisory neighborhood Commission 4A, with a quorum present, voted to affirm its support of the TPWR-THC plan to develop the above-described program within Building 14, as well as  its application to DHCD for financing of the project.

 

6)         Resolution Regarding Private Security Cameras Program

 

Commissioner Anderson moved that the Commission adopt a resolution making recommendations regarding a private security cameras program.  Commissioner Black seconded the motion.  In discussion, suggestions were made to refine and clarify the language of the resolution.  Without objection, these suggestions were referred to the office manager for inclusion in the resolution, subject to Commissioner Anderson’s review.  The motion was adopted, 6 yes, 0 no.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

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

 

·         The Private Security Camera Incentive Program, administered by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, creates a rebate for residents, businesses, nonprofits, and religious institutions to purchase and install security camera systems on their property and register them with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

 

·         The program provides a rebate of up to $200 per camera, with a maximum rebate of up to $500 per residential address and $750 for all other addresses. This program is intended to help deter crime and assist law enforcement with investigations.

 

·         The Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants will give priority consideration to properties, businesses, and religious institutions in the following Police Service Areas (PSA):103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 202, 207, 208, 302, 303, 305, 307, 308, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 409, all PSAs in the Fifth Police District, 602, 603, 604, 607, 608, and all PSAs in the Seventh Police District.  PSA borders can be found online at http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/police-districts-and-police-service-areas.

 

·         Cameras are shown to be a deterrent to crime and useful in the apprehension and conviction of perpetrators of crime.

 

·         The Commission seeks to improve the treatment of victims of crime by providing victims with the assistance and services necessary to speed their restoration after a violent criminal act, and to support and aid them as they move through the criminal justice process in the District of Columbia.

 

·         The Commission notes with great concern that PSA 401 is not included in this program.  PSA 401 includes the northern part of ANC 4A, including Colonial Village, Shepherd Park and 16th Street Heights.  Residents of this PSA have also experienced an increase in crime, especially theft from auto and break-ins.

 

·         Evidence from the increase in break-ins, theft from auto and other crime warrants that all PSAs incorporating the area within the boundaries of ANC 4A, including PSA 401, be included in this program so that all residents of ANC 4A are eligible for security camera rebates.  

 

RESOLVED: 

 

That the Commission urges the DC Mayor, DC Metropolitan Police and the DC Council to include all of ANC4A, including PSA 401, in the DC Private Security Camera Incentive Program, administered by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, thus providing a rebate for all ANC4A eligible residents, businesses, nonprofits, and religious institutions to purchase and install security camera systems on their property and register them with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Acqunetta Anderson, ANC 4A01, 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.

 

7)         Liquor License Renewal Application:  Serengeti, 6210 Georgia Ave NW

 

Commissioner Black moved that the Commission adopt a resolution approving a settlement agreement with Serengeti, 6210 Georgia Ave NW.  Commissioner Singleton seconded the motion.  The motion was adopted, 4 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain.

 

The adopted resolution:

 

RESOLVED:

 

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A (the Commission) approves and agrees to become a signatory to the attached Settlement Agreement with Serengeti, 6210 Georgia Avenue N.W., ABRA-022889 (the Applicant).

 

FURTHER RESOLVED:

 

In the event the Applicant fails to agree to and sign the attached settlement agreement, the Commission shall protest this license application for a Class C Restaurant Liquor License on the basis of peace, order, quiet, and concerns about parking.

 

FURTHER RESOLVED: 

 

That Commissioner Patience Singleton, 4A04, is hereby authorized to serve as the Commission’s representative regarding 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.

 

Community Concerns

 

1.    Mr. David Schwartzman, DC Fair Elections Coalition, urged the Commission to adopt a resolution supporting the small donor financing of elections.

 

2.    Ms. Phyllis Green expressed concern about the presence of asbestos in buildings on the Walter Reed site that might be released when those buildings are demolished or renovated.

 

3.    Mr. Michael Sindram urged the Commission to support Veteran’s Court and complained that there is no oversight of condominium associations.

 

Presentations and Reports

 

1)         Mr. McAuley, 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.

 

3)         Mr. Mark_________, DC Office of Aging, gave a presentation on the office’s services.

 

4)         Ms. Talia Brock, Tenant Organizer, Latino Economic Development Center, gave a presentation regarding her work with the tenants’ association 1405 Somerset Pl, 1450 Somerset Pl and 1451 Sheridan St NW, and the problems they have had with their landlord.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.