2017

ANC 3/4 G Public Meeting
Monday, January 9, 2017
Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00-9:00 pm
5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20015

Call to Order and Quorum:  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Chair Randy Speck.  Present:  Speck, Fromboluti, Tuck-Garfield, Maydak.  Absent:  Bradfield.

A quorum was declared.

Approximately 25 people attended the meeting.

Adoption of Agenda:  The agenda was adopted by a vote of 4 – 0.

Commissioner Announcements:
Chair Speck:
The Commission is continuing its ongoing investigation of the future of the Chevy Chase Community Center.  Several commissioners and interested residents met on December 13 and discussed a possible survey to identify how the community uses the Community Center and what improvements they might want.  A working group agreed to develop a survey form that would focus on gathering information about what we need in a community center.  We requested and have now received data on classes offered at the Community Center and the numbers of people enrolled.  We also arranged with DPR for us to visit three other community/recreation centers in the District, and several of us went to the Deanwood Recreation Center today as the first of those visits.  We will visit Raymond and Rosedale on Thursday and Friday of this week.  The next meeting to discuss the Community Center’s future will be on Monday, January 30, and we hope to refine our plans for a community-wide survey.  We urge everyone to attend and participate in this year-long process.

On January 6, the Board of Elections formally declared vacancies in ANC 3/4G01 and 3/4G05.  Beginning January 9, petitions may be picked up at the Board of Elections, 441 4th Street, NW, Room 250N.  Petitions must be returned with at least 25 signatures of registered voters in the respective SMD by January 30.  Petitions may be challenged between Thursday, February 2, 2017 and Wednesday, February 8, 2017.  If only one person submits a valid petition, that person will be sworn in as Commissioner, hopefully in time for our February 13 meeting.  If more than one person completes valid petitions, we will announce at our February 13 meeting that there will be an election at our February 27 meeting.  If there is an election, any registered voter in the single member district may vote at the meeting, and the person with the most votes will be elected commissioner and, if possible, will be sworn in immediately.  The commission is aware of at least two people who have expressed an interest in running for the vacancy in 3/4G05 and at least one person in 3/4G01.  Anyone interested is urged to participate in this election process.

The ANC Omnibus Amendments Act of 2016 was passed on the second reading at the DC Council on December 20, 2016.  The bill that the Council passed was substantially different from the bill that had been developed with input from Commissioners, that was the subject of Council hearings, and that our ANC commented on in a resolution last summer.  The commissioners on our Commission and across the District were concerned about both the process that the Council used in adopting an entirely new bill without giving ANCs an opportunity to express their views and with the substance of the bill, which placed additional burdens on the commissions and failed to address important issues like an enforceable requirement that agencies give ANCs notice and provisions that would give teeth to the requirement that agencies give ANC views “great weight.”  On December 26, I sent an email to the Mayor urging her to veto this bill so that the Council could address the ANCs’ concerns in 2017.  Several other ANC Chairs sent similar emails.  The bill has not yet been transmitted to the Mayor, so the time to veto or sign the bill has not yet begun to run.

DDOT still has not confirmed that it will provide a bench and install it on Connecticut Avenue in front of the Community Center.   This bench will honor Julian Bond, in accordance with the ANC’s resolution.  We will bring this up with DDOT at our next meeting if it is not resolved sooner.

Commissioner Maydak indicated that the ANC lighting task force will restart reviewing various LED light proposals including those which have been recommended by the American Medical Assn.  Commissioner Maydak also indicated that the Farmers Market will continue to meet at the Chevy Chase Community Center location until the spring.  After that time, the market will return to the Lafayette School location.

Commissioner Fromboluti noted that DDOT had issued its “NOI” (notice of intent) regarding the 39th Street and Reno Road traffic patterns.  There will be a 30 day comment period in which our ANC as well as ANC 3E will have input.

Election of ANC Officers:
Commissioner Speck moved a proposed slate of officers for 2017 (pursuant to by-laws Article IV, Section 1) as follows:
Chair:  Commissioner Speck
Vice-Chair:  Commissioner Fromboluti
Secretary:  Commissioner Maydak
Treasurer:  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield

The slate of officers was adopted by a vote of 4 – 0.

Bylaws:  A motion was made to reconfirm the bylaws for 2017, unchanged from the previous year.
The motion was agreed to by a vote of 4 – 0.

The chair noted that some of the ANC by-laws provisions may be affected by the ANC Omnibus Amendments Act.  For instance, the legislation would eliminate the use of any proxy votes while our by-laws adopt Roberts Rules of Order, which permit written proxy votes.  The new law would also require different procedures for voting for officers.  Until the new law takes effect, however, we need not change our by-laws.

The ANC meeting schedule is similar to those as in years past — meetings will be held on every second and fourth Monday except when that falls on a holiday.  In 2017, we will meet twice each month except for August, when we traditionally have no meetings.  We will also meet only once in October, on the fourth Monday, and only once in December, on the second Monday. The schedule is:

January 9 and 23

February 13 and 27

March 13 and 27

April 10 and 24

May 8 and 22

June 12 and 26

July 10 and 24

August Break

September 11 and 25

October 23

November 13 and 27

December 11
No Through Street sign to Military Road:

Discussion began on a request to DDOT for installation of a “No Through Street to Military Road” sign at 32nd Street, NW, and Broad Branch Road, NW.
As discussed at our December 12 meeting, there is a need for DDOT to install a sign at the intersection of Broad Branch Road and 32nd Street warning drivers, “No through Street to Military Road.”  32nd Street is one way south bound from Military Road to Jocelyn Street and two-way in the block from Jocelyn to Broad Branch, but cars — and particularly trucks — go north illegally all the way to Military Road.  The same situation exists on Broad Branch Road from Nevada north to Military Road.  We have asked Metropolitan Police Department to enforce the one-way street, and that has helped, but a sign should alert drivers that they should not attempt to access Military Road via 32nd Street from Broad Branch or Broad Branch from Nevada.  The chair moved that the ANC pass a resolution requesting that DDOT install these signs.  The motion was agreed to by a vote of 4 – 0.

DC Water and Sewer Authority Discussion on Sewer Pipelines:
A presentation on the Oregon Ave and Bingham Drive Sewer Rehabilitation Project was
led by Tanya M. Hedgepeth, Construction Outreach Coordinator, Department of External
Affairs, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

Ms. Hedgepeth from the DC Water and Sewer Authority has asked to make a
presentation about upcoming rehabilitation work that will be done on sewer lines
along Oregon Avenue and Bingham Drive.  She was joined by Todd Brown, project
manager for Bradshaw Construction, DC Water’s contractor for this project.

The project involves replacement of about 4500 feet of affected sanitary sewer pipe.
This project is limited to sanitary sewer and does not include any work on storm
sewers or water lines, though both may need improvements.  The affected lines run
down Oregon Avenue from Beech Street to Bingham Drive and under Bingham
Drive to Beach Drive.  The work will necessitate partial or complete closures on
Oregon Avenue from now until April 2019, and complete closure of Bingham Drive
for the duration of the construction.

The sewer lines are about 50 feet deep and will be excavated using tunnel boring
equipment.  The spoils from the excavation will be removed at the intersection of
Oregon Avenue and Bingham Drive and will be hauled out by truck south on Oregon Avenue to Military Road.

DC Water has contracted with a company to survey residents’ structures that may
be impacted by the construction, primarily at a few locations along Oregon Avenue.
This survey is to identify current conditions so that they can determine later
whether the vibrations from construction have caused any damage.  Damage is
highly unlikely because there will be no blasting or pile driving, and the tunnel
boring will be at a significant depth.  Nevertheless, they will notify residents that
they may have a survey taken of their property.

The discussion from Commissioners and residents focused on the need for coordination with other concurrent projects.  Among the other projects that may affect or be affected by the sewer replacement are the following:  (1) DDOT’s long-planned reconstruction of Oregon Avenue, which had been scheduled to begin construction in 2017; (2) Phase III of the National Park Service’s reconstruction of Beach Drive, which would be impacted by the sewer replacement project at Bingham Drive and Beach Drive; (3) DC Water’s Pinehurst, Sherrill, Fenwick Sewer Rehabilitation Project, which will cross the work being done on Oregon; (4) Ingleside’s expansion project, which is slated to begin this spring and continue for 30 months and which will impact construction traffic on Military Road; and (5) St. John’s expansion of its athletic facilities, which will impact construction traffic on Oregon Avenue.

The Commission expressed its very strong insistence that all of these construction projects be coordinated to minimize the adverse impact on Oregon Avenue residents and on residents in nearby communities.  DC Water said that its project manager, Willis Thomas, had been coordinating with DDOT, but he was not at this meeting.  The Commission specifically requested that DC Water (and preferably Mr. Thomas) attend its January 23rd meeting when DDOT representatives will also be here to report on the status of its construction projects, including the Oregon Avenue reconstruction.  The Commission also requested that DC Water provide its traffic plan for the project so that we could understand where trucks are permitted to travel and where workers will be permitted to park.

The Commission and residents also emphasized the need to assure both normal and emergency access to the Knollwood community throughout this project.  In particular, because access from Knollwood to Oregon Avenue will be difficult at times, DDOT should modify the current exit from Knollwood to Tennyson so that vehicles can make a left turn onto Tennyson.  This will provide an alternative entrance and exit from Knollwood to avoid the Oregon Avenue construction.  DC Water should also take steps to be certain that emergency vehicles will always have access to Knollwood and that emergency organizations are notified of any relevant traffic pattern changes.

Kristine Marsh from WMATA also reported on the impact of DC Water’s project on the E-6 bus route.  Substantial changes will be necessary, including the elimination of some stops on Chestnut Street for part of the construction.  The Commission asked what notice would be given to residents about these changes.  Ms. Marsh indicated that WMATA treats this as a long-term change and will post signs at bus stops with the changes and will adjust bus timetables to reflect the new routes.  The Commission requested that there be at least two-weeks notice before the changes are implemented, and both DC Water and Ms. Marsh indicated that they could provide that notice.

Bonding of Chair and Treasurer for 2017:  The chair moved that the Commission adopt the following bonding resolution:  Resolved that this Commission approves the ANC’s participation in the Advisory Neighborhood Commission Security Fund and authorizes the Treasurer to pay the $25 fee for the period January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.  The Chairperson and Secretary are authorized to execute the required agreement.

The motion was approved by a vote of 4 – 0.

Minutes: The minutes of the December 12, 2016 meeting were approved by a vote of 4 – 0.

Checks:  The following checks were approved by a vote of 4 – 0: $112.03 Verizon, $139.99 IRS December Withholding, $338.50 DC Tax Withholding 2016, $41.76 DC Unemployment October –December 2016,  $25.00 ANC Security Fund

Items for the January 23 meeting may include: Presentation by DDOT and discussion of outstanding issues (e.g., status of Oregon Avenue reconstruction, safety improvements at the Reno Road/Ingomar/39th Street intersection, pedestrian crosswalks at Chevy Chase Circle, “no right turn” during morning rush hour sign at Nebraska and Jenifer, sidewalk repairs on Kanawha between 38th and 39th, need to relocate utility pole in sidewalk on 31st Street, missing sidewalks on Utah near Pinehurst Circle, and “no through street to Military Road” sign at Broad Branch and 32nd Street); presentation by Samantha May from CulturalDC on art at Walter Reed, No left turn from garage to alley at 5333 Connecticut Avenue (apartment building), public space application at 5336 29th Street, October-December quarterly financial report.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.

Signed:

____________________________                ____________________________

Randy Speck                                                                   Rebecca Maydak

Chair                                                                                Secretary

 

ANC 3/4 G Public Meeting
Monday, January 23, 2017
Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00-9:00 pm
5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20015

Call to Order and Quorum:  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Chair Randy Speck.  Present:  Speck, Fromboluti, Tuck-Garfield, Maydak, Bradfield.(arrived approximately 7:40 pm).
A quorum was declared.
Approximately 50 people attended the meeting.
Adoption of Agenda:  The agenda was adopted by a vote of 4 – 0.

Commissioner Announcements:
Chair Speck: The Commission is continuing to gather information about the future of
the Chevy Chase Community Center.  During the week of January 9, several of us visited
the Deanwood, Raymond, and Rosedale recreation or community centers to see what
facilities and programs are available in other neighborhoods.  Photos and notes from
those visits are available at the ANC’s website, ANC3G.org, under “Task Forces,”
“Chevy Chase Community Center Renovation.”  Our next meeting devoted entirely to the
Community Center will be on Monday, January 30, where we will refine plans for a
community-wide survey to determine what the community needs from the Community
Center.  The Commission urges everyone to attend and participate in this year-long
process.

As the Commission has previously announced, there are two vacancies on our Commission, in ANC 3/4G01 and 3/4G05.  Petitions to run to fill these vacancies may still be picked up at the Board of Elections, 441 4th Street, NW, Room 250N.  Petitions must be returned with at least 25 signatures of registered voters in the respective SMD by January 30.  Petitions may be challenged between February 2nd and February 8th.  If only one person submits a valid petition, that person will be sworn in as Commissioner. If more than one person completes valid petitions, we will announce at our February 13
meeting that there will be an election at our February 27 meeting.  If there is an election,
any registered voter in the SMD may vote at the meeting, and the person with the most
votes will be the commissioner.  At least two people have expressed an interest in
running for the vacancy in 3/4G05 and at least one person in 3/4G01.  Anyone interested
is urged to participate in this election process.

Commissioner Maydak continued the discussion regarding the ANC Lighting Task Force and indicated that the Lighting Task Force will restart reviewing various LED light proposals including those which have been recommended by the American Medical Association.

Special Exception Application for a side and rear yard setback to build a deck at 3125 Worthington Street, NW (BZA Case 19419):  Stephen and Jennifer Cummings seek an exception to the rear yard set-back requirements to build a deck.  The deck would be three feet from the property line in the rear.  Mr. Cummings described the application and reported on efforts to obtain the views of the adjacent neighbors.  Chair Speck indicated that he had received a supporting email from one neighbor, Bayard Brewin.  Mr. Cummings said he had not yet been able to connect with the rear neighbor.  Chair Speck noted that this location is in ANC 3/4G01, and since there was no commissioner at this time, he moved that the Commission support the application, contingent on receiving a written indication from the remaining neighbor that he or she has no objection to the proposed deck.  The motion passed by a vote of 4 to 0.  Commissioner Speck will represent the ANC.

Presentation by DDOT and discussion of outstanding issues:  Chair Speck introduced this discussion by noting that in January 2015, the Commission had devoted most of its meeting to a discussion with DDOT’s then-new Deputy Director Greer Gillis about a list of the Commission’s long-standing concerns.  Many of those same specific concerns remain today, two years later.   There have been a very few bright spots in our relations with DDOT, but on the whole, our relationship with DDOT continues to be characterized by a lack of communication and non-responsiveness to a persistent list of problems.

As a result of our complaints to Director Lief Dormsjo, DDOT’s Chief Performance Officer, John Thomas, has assumed responsibility to coordinate responses on the specific concerns the Commission has raised.  All of these issues have been on our previous agendas but continue to be unresolved.  The two most serious issues are the reconstruction of Oregon Avenue — which is now complicated by the need to coordinate with DC Water’s sewer reconstruction project — and the need for safety improvements at the intersection of Reno Road, Ingomar Street, and 39th Street.  Several other issues have been unresolved for months or even years, without resolution.

1) Status of Oregon Avenue reconstruction and coordination with DC Water projects:  Chair Speck recapped the discussion at the Commission’s January 9 meeting with DC Water about its sewer rehabilitation project on Oregon Avenue and Bingham Drive that will continue until April 2019.  Tanya Hedgepath, DC Water’s Construction Outreach Coordinator, introduced Willis Thomas, construction manager for the rehabilitation project, who will be responsible for coordination of DC Water’s work with DDOT’s reconstruction of Oregon Avenue.  Mr. Thomas indicated that he had been in contact with Paul Hoffman, DDOT’s manager for the Oregon Avenue project, to begin that coordination.

DDOT’s John Thomas reported that the Oregon Avenue reconstruction is ready to solicit bids and that Mr. Hoffman was aware of DC Water’s project.  The DDOT project will need to adjust its schedule to accommodate DC Water’s work as well as Phase 3 of the U.S. Park Service’s Beach Drive reconstruction project (north of Broad Branch Road).  Consequently, he said, it may be necessary to bid the Oregon Avenue work in stages — e.g., the area south of Bingham Drive, the area north of Beech Street, and the Pinehurst Tributary Bridge.  He said that bidding the work to be undertaken in stages will help to contain costs.

Mr. Thomas said that Mr. Hoffman will conduct a community meeting in February to discuss DDOT’s latest plans.  Chair Speck proposed that this be a separate meeting from the ANC’s regular meetings, as has been the case for Oregon Avenue meetings in the past.  At that meeting, DDOT should present specific plans for coordination of its planned work with the DC Water project.  He asked particularly how DDOT was going to accommodate DC Water’s plan to use Oregon Avenue southbound from Bingham to Military Road as a primary truck route for removing tunneling spoils.  Mr. Thomas said that Mr. Hoffman would address this concern at the February meeting.

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield, whose SMD includes Oregon Avenue, expressed a concern that the residents’ interests be considered in the plans to coordinate the DC Water and DDOT work.  This will be an exceptionally disruptive construction period, and the community’s needs should be given a priority.  She emphasized the value of weekly progress reports from both DC Water and DDOT so that the residents will know what to expect.  The Commission also asked that DDOT update its Oregon Avenue project website, which is now woefully outdated, so that it can be an effective communications link to the public.

In particular, DDOT should consider the paramount needs of the residents at Knollwood to assure access to public transportation and emergency services.  Knollwood has designated a staff person as its coordinator, and the Commission asked that DC Water and DDOT maintain contact with him.  Mr. Thomas indicated that DDOT would remove the barrier so that Knollwood would have complete access for ingress and egress on Tennyson Street, which the Commission had requested.  A resident from Unicorn Lane also emphasized the need to consider their access throughout these projects since their only entrance is on Oregon Avenue.

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield also requested that the projects designate a contact person to whom we can report problems.  She cited safety concerns that arose in the first days of the DC Water project when drivers were not aware of or disregarded restrictions, creating a hazardous condition.  Commissioners had to contact multiple people in an attempt to resolve the issue when we should have a single point of contact to address such concerns.

Chair Speck emphasized the necessity for close cooperation between DDOT and DC Water given the extreme complexity of conducting simultaneous projects in a limited space while assuring residents’ safety and access.  The Commission asked to see a detailed, written description of how this coordination would be accomplished.  Mr. Thomas said that Mr. Hoffman would provide that information at the February meeting.  Some residents suggested that if DDOT needs more time to assure this coordination, they should defer this meeting until they are ready.  In particular, the website should be updated before the meeting so that residents can be prepared with questions or comments.

2) Notice of Intent for changes at the Reno Road/Ingomar/39th Street intersection:  Commissioner Fromboluti recounted the history of meetings with DDOT about safety concerns with this intersection.  He reviewed DDOT’s initial description of four options:  (1) making 39th Street one-way northbound in the block before Reno Road; (2) a four-way stop at the intersection; (3) a traffic signal at the intersection; or (4) no action.  On January 9, 2017, DDOT issued a Notice of Intent (NOI), to implement the first option.

Commissioner Fromboluti reported that he has met with his constituents in the immediate area on the south side of Reno Road, and there is very substantial opposition to making 39th Street one-way.  The residents are concerned that this will divert substantial traffic to other streets, particularly Jenifer Street.  After consulting with residents, he supports a four-way stop at the intersection, coupled with removal of shrubs and trees as necessary.  One-way traffic on 39th Street is unlikely to resolve the most important concerns about the intersection (e.g., the speed of drivers on Reno Road) and will likely cause undesirable consequences on other streets.

Leon Anderson, DDOT’s transportation engineer, described DDOT’s considerations in deciding that making 39th Street one-way northbound was the preferred solution.  He said that one criterion for a four-way stop is that the traffic in each direction be approximately equal.  If one direction has much more traffic, over time, those drivers will tend to ignore the stop sign because there is rarely another car at the intersection.  He said that was likely to happen at this intersection since the traffic on Reno Road is much greater than on 39th Street.  Similarly, a traffic signal requires a minimum level of traffic on each side of the intersection, and the 39th Street side would not qualify.  DDOT considers making 39th Street one-way the best solution.

A number of residents then spoke in opposition to DDOT’s proposal.  They cited the speed of traffic on Reno Road as the major concern, which would not be addressed at all by DDOT’s proposal.  They proposed that DDOT examine traffic calming measures on Reno Road.  Others noted the danger to pedestrians attempting to cross Reno Road at this intersection, which is heavily used by students from Deal, Wilson, Murch, and Blessed Sacrament.  Pedestrians have no place where they can safely cross Reno Road, and a four-way stop would provide an opportunity.

Several residents disputed DDOT’s argument that a four-way stop requires approximately equal traffic volume in each direction.  They cited numerous examples of other arteries comparable to Reno Road that have four way stops at intersections with substantially lower volumes.  They also indicated that compliance with a stop-sign on Reno Road could be improved with the use of a stop-sign camera.  Moreover, even if there is not 100% compliance, drivers on Reno Road would be more likely to slow down at the stop sign, improving safety.  Residents also emphasized that this intersection includes three streets, and a four-way stop would simplify drivers’ decisions.

Residents also cited the difficulty entering Reno Road from Jenifer Street — where traffic would likely be diverted under DDOT’s proposal.  Drivers would be required to look back at a 45 degree angle to see traffic coming from the south on Reno, and the sight lines north will still be impeded.  Residents on Jenifer said that they would lose necessary parking spaces that are already in short supply because they are used by residents on Reno Road and elsewhere.

A smaller number of residents at the meeting (including some who live on the north side of Reno Road) indicated that they support DDOT’s proposal.  They do no believe the amount of traffic diverted to other streets would be substantial, and they are concerned with an increase in pollution it DDOT were to install a four-way stop or a traffic signal, which would create more idling time at the intersection.

Chair Speck indicated that with the NOI, the Commission must take action to express its views to DDOT.  ANC 3E, which borders Reno Road on the north, would also consider the NOI at its meeting in February and offer its views.  Any individual may offer comments on DDOT’s proposal as well.  DDOT will then make its decision on how to proceed, giving the ANCs’ views “great weight.”  DDOT emphasized, however, that although it considers all comments in response to the NOI, its engineering and safety judgment would be the most important factors in its decision.  They urged all commenters who oppose the proposed solution in the NOI to offer viable alternatives that might be considered.

DDOT clarified that the NOI permits comments within 30 business days.  Given the holidays and weekends and the Commission’s scheduled meeting on February 27, DDOT agreed that it would accept comments through February 28, 2017.  Commissioner Fromboluti suggested that the Commission defer any action on the NOI until its February 13 meeting.  In the mean time, the Commission will actively seek out further comments from residents about the proposal (which may be sent to Commissioner Fromboluti at 3G07@anc.dc.gov or to the ANC office at ChevyChaseANC3@verizon.net).  Chair Speck indicated that if issues remain open at the February 13 meeting, the Commission may continue its consideration at its February 27 meeting.  We will also work with ANC 3E in an attempt to reach a consensus.

3) Signage at Chevy Chase Circle pedestrian crosswalks:  Chair Speck described the Commission’s long-standing request for signage comparable to that at the pedestrian crosswalks on the Maryland side of the Circle.  He recounted prior assurances that DDOT would address this issue because it was important to the Mayor’s program to reduce pedestrian casualties to zero by 2020.  DDOT said that they were in the process of having the signs made and that they would be installed within 30 calendar days — i.e., by February 22, 2017.

4) “No right turn during morning rush hour” sign at Nebraska and Jenifer Streets:  Chair Speck indicated that the Commission had passed a resolution in July 2016 asking DDOT to install two signs precluding right turns into Jenifer Street from Nebraska during morning rush hours.  DDOT’s Leon Anderson said that they will begin an analysis of this request that will be completed within 120 days — i.e., by May 23, 2017.  Mr. Anderson had no explanation for the delay in beginning this analysis until now.

Commissioner Tom Quinn from ANC 3E04 raised a question about the ability of residents on Jenifer Street to access their homes from Nebraska during rush hour if DDOT installs the requested sign.  He argued that one-way streets on Ingomar and Jocelyn would make it difficult for residents to drive to their homes on Jenifer.  He said that this restriction would affect residents in his SMD as well as in ANC 3/4G.  DDOT said this would be one consideration in its analysis.  Commissioner Fromboluti noted that 100% of the residents in the block of Jenifer nearest to Nebraska had signed a petition asking for the signs prohibiting a right turn during morning rush hours so were apparently unconcerned about access to their own homes.

Chair Speck suggested that if DDOT does not agree to install the requested signs, it should consider the rationale for the ANC’s resolution — that commuters were cutting through on Jennifer, driving above the 25 mile per hour speed limit, and endangering pedestrians and bicyclists using the designated bike way.  If a prohibition on right turns is deemed not feasible, DDOT should propose a solution that will deal with the safety concern that residents and the Commission identified.

5) Sidewalk repairs on Kanawha between 38th and 39th  Streets:  Mr. Thomas indicated that this sidewalk would be repaired within two weeks — i.e., by February 6, 2017.  Commissioner Fromboluti said that there were others problems with sidewalks in this area that needed to be addressed.  Mr. Thomas said that they are surveying sidewalks in the entire ANC to identify others that need repairs.  The commissioners asked that DDOT notify us of the schedule for those repairs so that residents will know when to expect construction.

6) Need to relocate utility poles in sidewalk on 31st Street.  Although this concern has been raised at prior meetings with DDOT, Mr. Thomas did not have the locations of these poles.  Chair Speck indicated that they are in the middle of the sidewalk between 7008 and 7014 31st Street and between 7052 and 7060 31st Street.  DDOT will get back to the Commission on these poles.

7) Missing sidewalks on Utah near Pinehurst Circle:  Mr. Thomas indicated that all of these sidewalks in the 6500 block of Utah are on the list to be completed, but the 5500 block of Utah is higher on the list.  Given the limits on funding, these sidewalks are a lower priority and will not be built in the near-to-mid-term.  Residents on the 6500 block said that they do not want sidewalks and are content to delay installation.  They also raised a question about who was responsible for the small park across from 6509 Utah — the District or the Park Service.  Mr.  Thomas said that he would check and report to the Commission.

8) “No Through Street to Military Road” sign at Broad Branch and 32nd Street and Broad Branch and Nevada Avenue:  Mr. Anderson indicated that there is a sign on Broad Branch Road coming from the Park that directs Military Road traffic ahead to Nevada Avenue.  He said that this sign is old and may not be as visible as it could be.  DDOT will refurbish this sign to make it more effective.  Mr. Anderson also noted that there are “Do Not Enter” signs at the 32nd Street intersection with Jocelyn Street and at Broad Branch and Jocelyn.  Chair Speck indicated that those signs have been ineffective for trucks that have continued to Military Road.  (They cannot be seen by drivers coming from Linnean Avenue, which has been the source of many recent truck violations.)
Mr. Anderson said that this was an enforcement issue; Commissioner Speck responded that MPD has put an officer at the intersection, and it deters violators while the officer is there, but is not a long-term solution.  In any case, DDOT said that it will not install additional signs.

9) Installation of “No Left Turn” sign at exit from alley behind 5333 Connecticut to Military Road and “No Left Turn” sign into the alley from Military Road:  Chair Speck said that DDOT had committed to the installation of these signs as part of the agreements related to the construction of 5333 Connecticut.  A February 2013, DDOT study of the traffic impact of the apartment building at 5333 Connecticut included a recommendation that “[t]he 20′ wide north-south portion of the alley [behind 5333 Connecticut] should be modified to be right-in/right-out only from Military Road.”  Now that the building is completed and tenants have moved in, we asked Sam Zimbabwe at DDOT to confirm this recommendation — which he did — and then to implement it.  Nothing has been done.  Mr. Thomas indicated that he would look into it with Mr. Zimbabwe and would get back to the Commission with a timetable for implementation.

Commission Business:
Minutes: The minutes of the January 9, 2017 meeting were approved by a vote of
5– 0.

Checks: The following checks were approved by a vote of 5 – 0: $ $114.11 Verizon, 42.00 USTreasury

Items for the February 13 meeting may include: Presentation by Samantha May from CulturalDC on art at Walter Reed; public space permit application at 5363 29th Street, NW (DDOT Tracking Number 186076); presentation by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network on environmental justice legislation before the Council in 2017; presentation by Douglas County, Maryland on the retrocession option; discussion and possible vote on DDOT’s proposed NOI for the intersection of Reno Road, Ingomar Street, and 39th Street, ANC Quarterly Financial Report October – December 2016.

The meeting adjourned at 9.30 pm.

Signed:

____________________________                ____________________________
Randy Speck                                 Rebecca Maydak
Chair                                              Secretary

 

ANC 3/4 G Public Meeting

Monday, February 13, 2017

Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00 to 9:00 pm

5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20015

 

Adoption of Agenda:  The agenda was adopted by a vote of 6 – 0.

 

Present:  Speck, Maydak, Fromboluti, Tuck-Garfield, Bradfield, Clayman.  A quorum was declared.  Approximately 65 people attended the meeting.

 

The Commission welcomed new Commissioner Abe Clayman, who represents SMD 3/4G01 (Hawthorne and Barnaby Woods).

 

Commissioner Announcements:

 

Community Center Meeting — On February 28, the ANC will sponsor another in its series of meetings on the future of the Community Center and the surrounding area.  The meeting will be held at the Community Center from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and all are invited to attend.  (This meeting is separate from the ANC’s regular meeting on Monday, February 27.)

 

Bus Turnout:  Preliminary work has begun on restoration of the bus turnout building just south of Chevy Chase Circle.  ANC 3/4G has been working with WMATA, the DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO), and Historic Chevy Chase DC for several years to have repairs made on the bus depot.  With our encouragement, WMATA applied for and received a Federal Highway Administration grant to make the repairs.  After a lengthy planning and review process, HPO approved the plans, concluding that “the detailed scope of work indicates that the majority of the existing historic fabric will be repaired and that that which is beyond repair will be replaced in-kind.”  HPO “concurred with FHWA’s determination that this undertaking will have ‘no adverse effect’ on historic properties.”

 

Oregon Avenue Watershed Green Streets Project:  On February 7, DDOT held its first public meeting on a green streets project in the Oregon Avenue Watershed, which bounded very roughly by Western Avenue, Oregon Avenue, the north side of St. John’s campus, Utah Avenue, Rittenhouse Street, and Broad Branch Road (e.g., parts of SMDs 3/4G01, 3/4G02, and 3/4G04).  The project plans call for installation of “green infrastructure,” including bioretention areas with vegetation and drainage to the ground water and permeable pavements so that water can seep into the ground before it reaches storm drains.  They have identified 60 proposed sites in this area and will choose about 30 to be built.  The construction budget is “more than $1 million and less than $5 million.”  DDOT’s Project Engineer, Ty Asfaw, will make a short presentation at our February 27 meeting, and there will be another public meeting in late-spring.  This project will need to be coordinated with multiple other projects in the same area, particularly DC Water’s sewer reconstruction and DDOT’s Oregon Avenue reconstruction.

 

Oregon Avenue Reconstruction:  Paul Hoffman, DDOT’s Program Manager, will be also be at our February 27 meeting to discuss plans for coordinating the Oregon Avenue reconstruction project with the other multiple projects that will impact residents.  He indicated that DDOT will also hold a community meeting “before the Ides of March” that will be dedicated to discussing the plans for the Oregon Avenue Reconstruction.

 

Bench to Honor Julian Bond:  Our efforts to get a resolution from DDOT still have not been successful.  The Deputy Chief of Staff, Todd McIntyre, reported the following on February 10:  “Unfortunately, since this requires a different approach than is usually the case where an entity sponsors and requests a permit for such an installation, we have been working through a process and policy for us to do it. We expect to have resolution on that in the next couple of weeks.”  We hope to hear from DDOT soon.

 

Community Announcements:

 

Ian Maggard and Phil McAuley, from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services, announced the upcoming budget engagement forums.  The nearest meeting will be held at 6:30 pm on February 23rd at Wilson High School.  Other meetings will be held at the Department of Employment Services (4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE) at 1:00 pm on February 25th, and on February 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus (3101 16th Street, NW).

 

Jay Thal expressed a concern about what he considers to be DPR’s unwillingness to listen to concerns from senior citizens.  The Chair indicated that this topic would be addressed later on the Commission’s agenda.

 

Anthony Cassillo indicated that oversight hearings for the Office on Aging would be held on February 16 (contact Oscar Montiel, omontiel@dccouncil.us, to testify) and for DDOT on March 13 (contact Aukima Benjamin, abenjamin@dccouncil.us).   Testimony may also be submitted after the hearing.  The Chair urged residents to let the Council know particularly their concerns about DDOT, which have been discussed in many Commission meetings.

 

Elizabeth Engel indicated that the Friends of Lafayette Recreation and Park will meet at the Community Center on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 7:00 pm.

 

Anne Renshaw asked that the Commission look into the continuing problem with speeding on Military Road.

 

Special election rules to fill the commissioner vacancy in ANC 3/4G05:  Two candidates — Jerry Malitz and Naveen Sidhu — completed valid petitions to run for the vacant commissioner position for ANC 3/4G05.  Thus, our Commission must hold an election or — technically, a “vacancy filling procedure” — to determine who will be the commissioner for ANC 3/4G05.

 

Chair Speck indicated that most of the procedures for filling the vacancy are governed by statute.  The first step is for the Commission to adopt a resolution setting the conditions for the election.  The draft resolution, which was posted on the ANC’s website and on the community listserv, sets the election for the ANC’s regular meeting on February 27, 2017, in the Community Center from 7:05 pm to 7:45 pm.  Only registered voters living in SMD 3/4G05 will be eligible to vote, and they must have a voter identification card listing SMD 3/4G05, or they must be on the voter registration list provided by the Board of Elections.  Someone from the ANC Office or the Board of Elections will verify the eligibility of each voter.  There will be no absentee ballots, and anyone wishing to vote must come to the meeting.

 

Voters will deposit their ballots in a ballot box located in the meeting room.  After the voting period ends at 7:45, votes will be counted by two impartial vote counters, and results will be submitted to the Chair and read aloud.  The Commission will then vote on a resolution naming the winner and asking the Board of Elections to declare the vacancy filled.  All registered voters in ANC 3/4G05 are encouraged to participate in this election on February 27.

 

The resolution establishing the procedures for the special election to fill the vacancy in SMD 3/4G05 was passed by a vote of 6 to 0.

 

DDOT’s Notice of Intent to make changes at the intersection of Reno Road, Ingomar Street, and 39th Street:

 

Commissioner Fromboluti briefly reviewed the Commission’s extensive consideration of community concerns about this intersection over the past two years or more.  Most recently, ANC 3E discussed DDOT’s Notice of Intent (NOI) at its meeting on February 9.  Commissioner Fromboluti also mentioned that a newly available accident report indicated that in 2013 through 2015 there were an equal number of accidents from both directions on 39th Street.  The NOI solution thus only addresses Southbound traffic on 39th Street which is only 50% of the problem.

 

Commissioner Fromboluti then allocated equal time for comments from those who supported the NOI and from those who opposed it.

 

Several residents spoke first in support of DDOT’s proposed solution in the NOI — to make 39th Street one-way northbound — which they believed would significantly improve the current situation but may still be an “imperfect solution.”  They said that this would be the least disruptive approach because it would not require the traffic on Reno Road to stop at the intersection.  They were concerned that a four-way stop would increase air pollution and would cause drivers to seek other routes through the neighborhood to avoid the congestion at the stop sign — the only one on the full length of Reno Road.  They cited speed on Reno Road as one cause of accidents and suggested speed humps or speed cameras to control traffic.  The supporters of the NOI emphasized that there is no consensus about what should be done, so it would be prudent to take the smallest step first.  They also support traffic calming measures and pedestrian protections.  They believe that under the NOI proposal, southbound traffic on 39th Street would flow mostly to the easiest route to Reno Road — i.e., on Jenifer — not to 38th Street.  They suggested that the accident data showing an equal number of accidents from either direction on 39th Street was misleading because the primary problem from southbound traffic could contribute to accidents northbound.

 

An approximately equal number of attendees opposed the NOI.  They noted that more than 130 residents have now signed a petition opposing DDOT’s proposed solution.  They criticized the NOI because it does not address the significant pedestrian hazard at this intersection, which students at Wilson, Deal, and Blessed Sacrament use.  There are no protected pedestrian crossings anywhere on Reno Road between Fessenden and Military Road.  They suggested that the one-way block of 39th Street may cause additional hazards because of the contra-flow bike lane and because some drivers are likely to ignore the one-way restriction and drive illegally (as they have done on the one-way block of 32nd Street south of Military Road).  Diverting traffic to Jenifer is also hazardous because it is a neighborhood bikeway.  One resident at the corner of 39th and Jenifer said that diverting traffic to Jenifer was likely to make this intersection more dangerous.  The NOI opponents also cited speed on Reno Road as a core problem that will not be addressed by the NOI.  The opponents further called for greater trimming of the bushes and trees to improve visibility.  Some opponents also suggested that mini-circles should be considered as a speed control measure.

 

The Commissioners acknowledged the absence of any consensus solution but emphasized the need to address this serious safety concern before someone is badly injured or killed.  We have gone too long without any significant attempt to remedy this unsafe intersection.  The Commission particularly lamented the lack of underlying DDOT analyses or studies that would be useful in assessing the proposed NOI.  At the Chair’s request, almost all of the attendees — both supporters and opponents of the NOI — agreed that if DDOT determined that the only way to create adequate sight lines would be to remove the two trees on the southeast corner of Reno Road and 39th Street, they would support the removal.  An attendee objected, however, because she didn’t believe the trees are the real impediment to sight lines.

 

Given the lack of any clear consensus and the need for additional data and information from DDOT, the Commission agreed to defer consideration of a resolution on the NOI until its February 27 meeting.  In the meantime, the Commission would seek more information from DDOT and would attempt to meet with DDOT to find the best solution.  A question was raised about whether the NOI was valid since it is not currently posted on DDOT’s website (and may not have been posted appropriately before).  The Chair indicated that regardless of whether the NOI was properly posted, the ANC and any others wishing to offer comments should submit them to DDOT before February 28.  DDOT has indicated that it will provide an email address to which comments may be submitted, and all comments — even those previously submitted — should be sent to that address, which will be posted on the ANC’s website.

 

Magruders’ application for a Special Exception (BZA Application No. 11212A) to continue its 56 accessory parking spaces for a ten-year term:

As at the Commission’s December 13, 2016 meeting, Magruders’ owner, Mr. Ki Yoon, made a presentation regarding the application to renew the special exception for Magruder’s parking lot, including approval for ten years rather than five years, as was the case in past special exceptions.  Mr. Yoon said that the primary reason for this request was the cost of the application process — about $15,000, including attorney’s fees.  Mr. Yoon indicated that he has made significant improvements to the lot and is committed to maintaining it.  He noted that if any concerns arise (e.g., with respect to noise, cleanliness, or other problems), Magruders must renew its liquor license every three years, and such concerns can be raised in that context.

 

The Chair indicated that former Commissioner Mary Rowse had submitted an email opposing a ten-year term for the special exception, citing the parking lots at other area businesses as precedent for shorter terms.  The Chair indicated, however, that CVS has a special exception for its parking lot that is for 10 years, and by order of the BZA — over the ANC’s and DCRA’s objections — Safeway was granted a special exception for its parking lot that has no time limit.  Thus, a ten-year special exception for Magruders will be comparable to other businesses along Connecticut Avenue.

 

Commissioner Bradfield offered a motion that the Commission support Magruders’ application for a ten-year special exception (including other conditions that are stated in the application).  Commissioner Bradfield will represent the Commission.  The motion was approved by a vote of 6 to 0.

 

Requests for senior activities at the Chevy Chase Community Center:

 

Loretta Kiron indicated that a group of seniors had been asked by DPR staff to prepare a list of additional free programs at the Community Center that senior citizens would like for DPR to support.  Ms. Kiron described programs in four areas:  physical fitness, seminars/lectures and talks on timely topics, art classes, and an activities room (including a seniors’ program manager at the Community Center to manage these programs).  She focused on the possibility of initiating these programs in the short term, recognizing that the ANC was investigating the community’s needs for the long-term future of the Community Center.  Deean Rubin, president of the Chevy Chase Citizens Association, indicated that she would work with the seniors to help provide several of the programs that they were seeking.  Commissioner Maydak noted the need to coordinate any requests to DPR through the ANC so that DPR gets a consistent message about community needs.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield emphasized that the ANC is committed to supporting seniors, recognizing that there are fewer facilities dedicated to seniors in Ward 3 and Ward 4 west of the Park.  Commissioner Speck said that he would prepare a letter to the Director of DPR for the Commission’s consideration.

 

CulturalDC art project at Walter Reed:

 

Samantha May from CulturalDC described art projects that are being planned and implemented at the Walter Reed complex.  Among other programs, she encouraged participation in the “Collected Memories” project, which is soliciting stories and experiences from Walter Reed.  There will be an art, music, and local food celebration at the campus on April 8, 2017.  Ms. May asked the Commission to help disseminate the word about these events at Walter Reed, and the Commission said it would post them on its website (http://www.anc3g.org/resources/community-resources/) and on the community list serv.

 

Proposal for retrocession of the District to Maryland to create Douglass County, Maryland:

 

David Krucoff described his efforts to promote retrocession of the District’s non-governmental core to Maryland as an alternative to Statehood.  He is at an early organizational stage and has not yet spoken with policy makers in Maryland about this proposal.  He has established a 501(c)(4) organization to work on this proposal and is seeking donations (which are not tax deductible).  The Commission emphasized that it was not taking any position on Mr. Krucoff’s proposal but was giving him an opportunity to describe this alternative approach to achieving Congressional representation for the District’s residents.

 

Chesapeake Climate Action Network proposed environmental justice legislation:

 

Jeremiah Lowery indicated that the Chesapeake Climate Action Network is working on legislation to introduce at the Council that would establish a carbon fee that would be paid by carbon producers and a compensating dividend system that would return fees to ultimate customers.  The legislation would be intended to create market incentives to promote non-carbon emitting energy sources, with any increase in costs for customers offset by dividends paid from the carbon fee.  One audience member remarked that there was a bipartisan proposal last week for a carbon tax that might supersede this approach in the District.  Mr. Lowery said that more information was available at CheaspeakeClimate.org.

 

Commission Business:

  1. The minutes of January 23, 2017, meeting were approved by a vote of 6 – 0.
  2. The Commission approved the October – December 2016 Quarterly Financial Report by a vote of 6 – 0 with the understanding that the beginning balance provided by the DC Auditor’s office is incorrect and that the Auditor is working on correcting it.
  3. The Commission approved a check in the amount of $158.01 for IRS Tax Withholding January by a vote of 6 – 0.

4          Items for February 27, 2017 agenda may include:  Special election to fill commissioner vacancy in ANC 3/4G05; presentation by At-Large Councilmember Robert C. White; discussion and possible vote on DDOT’s NOI for the Reno Road/Ingomar/39th Street intersection, presentation by June B. Kress, Executive Director, Council for Court Excellence, on its “Beyond Second Chances” report; presentation by Ty Asfaw on DDOT’s Oregon Avenue Watershed Green Streets project; presentation by DDOT’s Paul Hoffman on the status of the Oregon Avenue Reconstruction project in light of other projects; consideration of and possible vote on testimony at DDOT’s oversight hearing on March 13.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.

 

Signed:

 

______________________________                        _______________________________

Randy Speck                                                               Rebecca Maydak

Chair                                                                            Secretary

 

 

ANC 3/4G Public Meeting Minutes

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20015

 

Present:  Speck, Fromboluti, Maydak, Tuck-Garfield, Bradfield, Clayman.

Newly sworn in Commissioner Gerald Malitz joined the meeting at 8:10 pm.

 

Attendance:  Approximately 52 people attended the meeting (not including persons who only came to vote).

 

Adoption of Agenda:  The agenda was adopted by a vote of 6 – 0.

 

ANC 3/4G05 Election:  The Chair announced that two candidates — Jerry Malitz and Naveen Sidhu — have qualified to fill the commissioner vacancy for ANC 3/4G05, thus requiring an election to fill the seat.  The Chair indicated that all registered voters within the boundaries of ANC 3/4G05 are eligible to vote, and voting will begin at 7:05 in accordance with the special election rules that the Commission adopted at its February 13, 2017 meeting.  The Commission designated Gottlieb Simon, Executive Director, Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, to be the election manager to verify the eligibility of voters, conduct the election, and supervise counting the ballots.

 

The Chair indicated that voting will conclude at 7:45 pm, but anyone in line to vote at that time will be permitted to vote.  The ballots will be counted by two impartial vote counters.  The Chair will then announce the winner, and the Commission will vote on a resolution stating the name of the winner and asking the Board of Elections to declare the vacancy filled.  Councilmember White will then swear in the winner, and the new commissioner will join the Commission and sit at this meeting.

 

Commissioner Announcements:

 

Chair Speck:

 

Community Center Meeting:  On Tuesday, February 28, we will hold the third ANC-sponsored meeting dedicated to reviewing the future for the Chevy Chase Community Center and surrounding area.  This meeting will focus on further developing a needs assessment survey of the community to gather information about what is needed to better meet the needs of the community it serves. This includes items such as facilities, hours of operation, programs offered, etc.  The meeting will be from 7:00 until 9:00 in the Community Center.

 

Ingleside ExpansionSome preliminary work has begun on the expansion project for Ingleside at Rock Creek.  The ANC’s Ingleside Expansion Task Force has been meeting with Ingleside monthly for some time to review various plans that Ingleside was required to prepare under the terms of a December 8, 2014 Memorandum of Understanding between the ANC and Ingleside.  Abe Clayman has agreed to step in for Commissioner Tuck-Garfield as the second ANC member on the Task Force.  Many thanks to Commissioner Tuck-Garfield for her service on the Task Force.  The other members represent nearby residents and institutions who will be affected by the expansion project, including Ingleside’s current residents who will be most acutely impacted.

 

The Task Force has been working through Ingleside’s detailed permitting, parking and transportation, construction management, subcontracting, and traffic control plans.  The initial site preparation work and improvements to the Ingleside entrances has begun.  Some demolition work will start in May.  The ceremonial groundbreaking is tentatively set for June 6.  Ingleside is committed under the MOU with the Commission to complete the work within 30 months.  At our request, Ingleside is meeting on February 28 with DC Water, DDOT, and St. John’s College High School to discuss coordination among the various construction projects that will be ongoing at the same time as the Ingleside work.

 

Outstanding DDOT Issues:  The ANC has followed up with DDOT on all of the issues discussed at our January 23, 2017 meeting.  Unfortunately, none of those issues has been resolved, despite several DDOT commitments that should have been completed by now (e.g., the improved signage and crosswalk markings at Chevy Chase Circle that was to have been completed by February 22).  We have asked DDOT for very specific timetables to resolve each issue.

 

Julian Bond Memorial Bench:  Chair Speck noted that DDOT still has not developed a procedure for installing a bench on Connecticut Avenue honoring Julian Bond, despite repeated inquiries.

 

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield:  The DC Department of Employment is conducting a survey regarding summer youth programs and residents in Wards 3 and 4 are particularly urged to participate.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield also reported on MPD’s program for reserve officer training and urged anyone interested to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Community Announcements:

 

Ian Maggard from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services, reported on the budget forums that have been conducted to obtain community input on the Mayor’s budget.  The last of the three meetings was held on February 27.

 

Jackson Carnes from Councilmember Todd’s office announced that the Councilmember will hold office hours at the Community Center on March 18 from 9:30 to 11:00 am.  The Councilmember is also conducting oversight hearings for agencies under the purview of the Government Operations Committee, which he chairs.

 

Anthony Cassillo from Councilmember Cheh’s office announced that oversight hearings are continuing in the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, including hearings on March 13 for DDOT and on March 16 for DPW.  He also reported that Phase I of the National Park Service’s Beach Drive rehabilitation will not be completed until August — a two-month delay from the original projections.  The schedule has been lengthened because some work for DC Water and for DDOT (e.g., on the bike paths) has been completed simultaneously.  Phase II of the Beach Drive rehabilitation (from Park Road to Broad Branch Road) may take less than the originally planned six months.  Commissioner Speck asked for a more specific schedule for when this work would begin since this portion of Beach Drive provides key access across the Park for many in our neighborhood.  Mr. Cassillo said he would get that information and report to the Commission.

 

Tony Townes, Community Outreach officer for the Office of the Attorney General, described the OAG’s mid-term report, which reviews the accomplishments over the past two years.  He invited anyone interested to subscribe to the OAG’s newsletter on its website, oag.dc.gov/.

 

Presentation by and discussion with At-Large Councilmember Robert C. White:

 

The Chair introduced Robert White, who has been our At-large Councilmember since September 2016 and was elected to a full four-year term in November.  He had previously been legislative counsel for Delegate Norton.  The Councilmember is on the following committees:  Finance and Revenue, Education, Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, Human Services, and Labor and Workforce Development.

 

Councilmember White said that when he joined the Council, he created a transition committee to address several issues:  (1) education, (2) affordable housing, (3) strengthening the work force and creating jobs, and (4) addressing the problems of returning citizens.  Based on the transition committee’s recommendations, he is planning to introduce legislation to address these issues.  With respect to the problems of returning citizens, he is addressing sources of funding for affordable housing, how to provide transportation for adult learners, and the need for two more employees for the Office of Returning Citizens.  In education, he is seeking ways to better evaluate school performance.

 

Councilmember White was asked about the status of Airbnb legislation, and he indicated that some new legislation would likely pass.  He emphasized the need to balance protection of the existing housing stock that could be used for traditional affordable rentals with residents’ desire to have an alternative source of income.  He was also asked what can be done to prevent the kind of abuse the Washington Post reported by Sanford Capital, which seemed to have slipped between the jurisdictions of various agencies.  The Councilmember indicated that someone has to take responsibility, and tenants should be entitled to a residence that is dignified.

 

Another question related to plans to close DC General and to build transition housing in all eight wards.  The Councilmember indicated that the Mayor’s plan was sound, but it was not always executed well.  In some instances, as in Ward 4, the proposed new facilities are not located close to public transit.  The government needs continuing feedback from the community, but these facilities and urgently needed and should be built.  Another question related to the increasing parking density around the Connecticut Avenue corridor, and the questioner noted that Residential Parking Permit restrictions end at 6:30 pm, which permits some people living in apartment buildings like 5333 Connecticut Avenue to skirt the permit requirement by parking  from 6:30 pm until 9:00 am the following day.

 

Finally, the Councilmember was asked how the District can increase the availability of affordable housing in areas like ours where market forces have increased the price of real estate and rentals.  He suggested that we need to think out of the box, and one idea might be for the District to acquire housing and attach affordability covenants that would assure long-term affordability.  We also need additional financial incentives for builders to provide affordable housing.

 

Announcement of the winning candidate who will fill the vacancy in SMD 3/4G05 and

vote on a resolution confirming the election winner:

 

The Chair thanked Mr. Malitz and Mr. Sidhu for their interest in the ANC and their willingness to take on this volunteer responsibility.  After counting the votes, Mr. Malitz received 47 votes, and Mr. Sidhu received 42 votes, so Mr. Malitz was declared the winner and will be the Commissioner for ANC 3/4G05.  In accordance with the Board of Elections’ requirements, the Chair moved that the ANC adopt a resolution affirming the election results and asked the Board to certify Mr. Malitz as the winner.  The resolution was approved by a vote of 6 to 0, and the Chair congratulated Mr. Malitz.

 

Councilmember White swore in Mr. Malitz, and he joined the other Commissioners for the remainder of the meeting (at 8:10 pm).

 

Discussion and vote on DDOT’s NOI 17-02-TOA to modify the Reno Road/Ingomar/39th

Street intersection:

 

Commissioner Fromboluti opened the floor to comments and questions from anyone who had not previously been heard at the ANC’s meetings.  One resident noted that the Federal Highway Administration has best practice guidelines for testing sight lines, but DDOT has not performed these simple tests.  He suggested that DDOT should complete a full sight line assessment in all directions before determining what steps to take.  Another resident indicated that paragraph 23 of the ANC’s draft resolution was misleading because it did not reflect that 100 people had signed a petition supporting DDOT’s NOI.  A resident at 39th and Jenifer suggested that there should be a compromise solution and that every alternative had not been considered (e.g., the use of speed cameras on Reno Road).  Another resident suggested that although drivers on Reno Road may not be exceeding the posted speed limit, they were traveling too fast for this intersection, and there should be a sign or signal indicating “Slow Dangerous Intersection Ahead” or “Blind Intersection.”  Another speaker proposed that DDOT report back to the community after six months on the results of any changes to the intersection.  Others expressed skepticism about the thoroughness of DDOT’s study and proposed that the ANC send it back to DDOT to “start over” and to provide a basis for its conclusions.

 

Commissioner Fromboluti then proposed the draft resolution and accepted modifications to include the comments made at the meeting (e.g., the absence of a sight line test, the petition by 100 residents supporting the NOI, and the possibility of using speed cameras to slow traffic at the intersection).  He indicated that DDOT’s justification for its NOI was unimpressive and that the ANC needs to take a firm position.  The NOI will divert traffic to other intersections and will not solve the problem.

 

Commissioner Speck stated that this serious safety hazard has persisted for much too long, and immediate action is necessary to mitigate the danger posed by this intersection, particularly when there had been another accident on February 23rd.  He said that DDOT’s proposal does not address all aspects of the problem, particularly the hazards for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers attempting to cross Reno Road on 39th Street northbound.  Removing the large trees at the intersection — which are not the only sight-line problems — should be a last resort, not the first step.  A four-way stop is the simplest, most efficacious solution and is consistent with the views of at least a substantial number — if not majority — of the residents.  DDOT should also consider lowering the speed limit to 20 miles per hour on Reno Road and installing speed cameras.  If DDOT is concerned about compliance with a four-way stop, it should install a stop-sign camera.

 

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield cited her personal experience witnessing a crash at the intersection on February 23rd and the need for immediate action by DDOT to provide for residents’ safety.

 

After discussion, the Commission voted 6 to 0 to approve the proposed resolution, with the modifications that had been discussed.

 

Presentation by Ty Asfaw, DDOT Project Engineer, on DDOT’s Oregon Avenue Watershed Green Streets project:

 

On February 7, DDOT held its first community presentation on a planned Green Streets project in the Oregon Avenue Watershed, which encompasses the area roughly west of Oregon Avenue, north of St. John’s, east of Utah, and south of Western and Chestnut.  DDOT’s Project Engineer for this project provided a brief description of the planning for this project, which will include about 30 bioretention areas located in the road rights of way and several areas where permeable pavement will be installed.  The objective would be to capture storm water runoff before it reaches Rock Creek.  She indicated that DDOT would be holding future community meetings to discuss the plans as they developed.  The next meeting would probably be held in late April.  Work on the project would likely begin in about the spring of 2018.

 

Commissioner Maydak asked about DDOT’s experience in installing permeable pavement in several alleys.  That work was completed about two years ago, and residents had indicated that the installations seemed not to have worked effectively to capture storm water runoff, even when new.  These permeable pavements also require significant maintenance in order to be effective.  Ms. Asfaw was not aware of any analysis, though she believed they were evaluating the permeable pavements that had been installed.  Commissioner Maydak emphasized the need to understand how well existing installations have performed before beginning another costly project.

 

Presentation by Paul Hoffman, DDOT Program Manager, on the status of the Oregon Avenue reconstruction project:

 

Paul Hoffman, DDOT’s Program Manager for our neighborhood, identified six projects — the first three of them major — that affect our ANC’s residents:  (1) the Beach Drive reconstruction, especially Phases 2 and 3, which will not end until late 2018 or early 2019; (2) DC Water’s sanitary sewer rehabilitation along Oregon Avenue and Bingham Drive; (3) the Oregon Avenue reconstruction that has been in the planning phase for many years; (4) DDOT’s Green Streets program for the Oregon Avenue Watershed; (5) possible construction of sidewalk on Chestnut Street (depending on the results of a feasibility study); and (6) planned repaving of Connecticut Avenue from Nebraska to the Maryland line.

 

Mr. Hoffman said that, in light of DC Water’s sewer rehabilitation project, DDOT is considering three options for conducting the Oregon Avenue reconstruction:  (1) wait to begin the Oregon Avenue reconstruction until DC Water competes its work; (2) phase the work so that the northern portion is undertaken first, the southern portion next, and the middle portion after DC Water has finished its work; or (3) bid the work in two pieces and let the contractors do the work that they can while the DC Water project is ongoing and then complete the work after DC Water is done.

 

The first option seems unlikely because it would mean four-and-a-half years of constant construction for the residents to endure.  No decision has been made on how DDOT will proceed, but because of the change in plans, about 20% of the design plans will have to be modified.  No contractor has been selected.  Mr. Hoffman said that he will be working with the Commission as they adjust their plans.  An Oregon Avenue resident asked when DDOT will hold the promised 90% or 95% design completion meeting.  Mr. Hoffman said it would have to be after a decision is made on the phasing options.

 

Mr. Hoffman acknowledged that coordination between DDOT and DC Water “fell down,” but he ascribed the blame to DC Water, which went around him, as well as the ANC.  He said that he knew in September 2016, however, that DC Water had obtained its permit for the sewer rehabilitation project, but did not know about DC Water’s schedule until January 2017, when it started work.

 

A resident on Chestnut Street recounted the history of meetings with DDOT about sidewalks and the miscommunications that have plagued this process.  He asked Mr. Hoffman for a timetable for the feasibility analysis that is being conducted.  Mr. Hoffman said that DDOT will soon issue a notice to proceed to the contractor that will be doing the analysis, and they should be able to hold a community meeting at the beginning of May 2017.  The Chestnut Street resident express frustration that this process has dragged on for more than a year with no resolution in sight.

 

The Commission asked DDOT to hold two community meetings separate from the ANC’s regular meetings to address the feasibility analysis for Chestnut Street sidewalks and to discuss the options for phasing the Oregon Avenue reconstruction work.  The Commission said that we should get at least three weeks’ notice for these meetings so that they can be publicized and so that the community can make plans to attend.

 

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield called DDOT to task for its repeated failure to communicate with the ANC and the community.  She said that the ANC only gets notice at the same time as the general public, which does not give us an opportunity for input and leaves us in the dark when constituents ask questions.  She said that the ANC needs to be part of the meetings where decisions are made.  The ANC is an integral part of the District government, and it should not be bypassed by DDOT, as has been the usual case for the last several years.  She emphasized that DDOT’s performance is not acceptable.  There must be accountability within DDOT for its failure to perform.  Mr. Hoffman said that he understood the Commission’s concerns.

 

Consideration of and vote to testify at DC Council’s oversight hearing on DDOT March 13:

 

The Chair indicated that ANC 3/4G has experienced a long string of problems with DDOT relating primarily to three shortcomings:  (1) poor communications from DDOT to the ANC or to the community; (2) inadequate coordination of DDOT’s work with other entities (e.g., Washington Gas, DC Water, Pepco); and (3) lack of performance on commitments and responsibilities.  These problems have persisted for years with no improvement.  It’s been especially disconcerting that key people that the Commission relied on at DDOT — e.g., Deputy Director Greer Gillis, ANC Liaison Rodney Foxworth, and DC Council Liaison Khalil Thompson — have left DDOT without any notice to the ANC or designation of replacements that we could contact.

 

The Chair noted that the Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold oversight hearings on March 13 beginning at 11:00 am.  Councilmember Cheh chairs the Committee, and Councilmember Todd sits on the Committee, so concerns from ANC 3/4G should have some weight.  Chair Speck reported that he gave Councilmember Todd a brief overview of ANC3/4G concerns with DDOT at his annual meeting for ANCs on February 25.  The Chair proposed that ANC 3/4G should let this Committee know about our dissatisfaction with DDOT’s performance.  As one constituent in Hawthorne reminded the Commission, we are DDOT’s customers, and if we are not satisfied with the service we receive, we should let the managers — in this case, the Council and the Mayor — know, and we should demand improvements.

 

Upon motion, the ANC agreed to testify at the Council hearing on March 13, 2017, by a vote of 7- 0.  It was agreed that either Chair Speck or Treasurer Tuck-Garfield will provide testimony.  It was further agreed that testimony would be prepared for commission approval by email vote.

 

Presentation by Emily Tatro, policy analyst at the Council for Court Excellence:

Ms. Tatro discussed the recently published report, “Beyond Second Chances” which emphasized  citizens participation in court matters.  The full report is available at the Council’s website, http://courtexcellence.org.  She indicated that she was a member of Councilmember White’s transition task force and fully subscribes to the task force’s recommendations.

 

Commission Business:

 

  1. Minutes:  The minutes of the February 13, 2017, were approved by a vote of 7 – 0.
  2. Checks: $112.85 Verizon was approved by a vote of 7 – 0.
  3. Items for the March 13, 2017 meeting may include: Discussion of possible Memorandum of Understanding between DPR and DCPS on the use of Lafayette School facilities.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm.

 

Signed:

 

__________________________                                            _________________________

Randy Speck                                                                           Rebecca Maydak

Chair                                                                                       Secretary

 

ANC 3/4G Meeting Minutes

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20015

Present:  Speck, Fromboluti, Tuck-Garfield, Clayman, Malitz

Absent:  Maydak, Bradfield

Attendance:  Approximately 28 people attended the meeting.

Adoption of Agenda:  The agenda was adopted by a vote of 5 – 0.

Commissioner Announcements:

Chair Speck:

Age Friendly DC — Age Friendly DC is holding community consultations at the Chevy Chase Library on April 7 from 9:30 to 11:30 to discuss its Strategic Plan.  The topics for this discussion include:   Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Communication and Information, Community Support and Health Services, Emergency Preparedness and Resilience, Elder Abuse, Neglect, Fraud, and Other Legal Issues, Food Security, and Caregiving.  There will be similar meetings at other locations through the end of April.  More information is available at the Age Friendly DC website, http://agefriendly.dc.gov/page/community-consultations-0.  Residents need to register to attend.

Ingleside — The ANC’s agreement with Ingleside at Rock Creek includes provisions that protect nearby residents and institutions from the remote possibility that their buildings might be damaged by construction activities.  Before any construction begins, Ingleside is required to offer a free survey for any residences or institutional buildings within 200 feet of the site to establish the pre-construction conditions.  This baseline can then be used to determine whether there might be any damage caused by the construction.  Ingleside sent notices the week of March 20 to those nearby residences and institutions inviting them to take advantage of this free survey.  They should respond to Steve Van Dorpe at Ingleside (SVanDorpe@inglesideonline.org) by April 6, 2017.  This date may be extended to April 13.

In addition, any other resident or institution that is located more than 200 feet from Ingleside may ask for a survey if there is a reasonable possibility that they might be affected by a specific action during construction of the expansion project.  If they wish to request a survey, they should also contact Steve Van Dorpe (SVanDorpe@inglesideonline.org) by April 6, 2017.

Julian Bond Memorial Bench — At the DDOT oversight hearings on March 13, Councilmember Cheh observed that it was “beyond absurd” that DDOT had not worked out the arrangements to install a bench in front of the Community Center to honor Julian Bond, and she reported that DDOT would install the bench if the ANC would provide the plaque to go on it.  After the hearing, however, DDOT’s Public Space Committee Chair wrote Chair Speck that the ANC would have to take responsibility for the bench, which had been the impediment before.  Three different people at DDOT had given three different answers about what needed to be done.  Finally, on March 27, DDOT’s Deputy Director indicated that he had “asked our team to install a standard black metal bench that we have available from a previous streetscape project.  I am awaiting a timeframe for that installation, and will try to get that for you in the next day or so.”

Public Service Commission Hearing — The Public Service Commission has set a final community hearing for April 12 on Pepco’s request for a $77 million rate increase.  The Office of People’s Counsel opposes Pepco’s rate increase.  Anyone wishing to testify may do so at the PSC community hearing on April 12th, contact the Office of the Commission Secretary by 5 p.m., April 7, 2017 at (202) 626-5150 or psc-commissionsecretary@dc.gov.  Walk-ins also will be allowed.  The PSC will accept written comments until April 25, 2017, which may be dropped off at its offices at 1325 G Street NW or submitted at the PSC’s website, www.dcpsc.org.

People’s Climate March — People’s Climate March will be held on April 29th.  For more information, go to their website at http://www.peoplesclimate.org/.

Councilmember Bonds — At-large Councilmember Anita Bonds is holding a Community Coffee Hour at “Politics and Prose” on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 10:00 am.

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield

DDOT Oversight Hearings — Commissioner Tuck-Garfield testified on behalf of the ANC at the Council’s DDOT oversight hearings on March 13, summarizing eight recent concerns with DDOT’s performance.  The testimony was well received, and both Councilmembers Cheh and Todd expressed their support for the ANC’s concerns.  The testimony is available on the Committee’s website, http://dc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3799, and the ANC’s testimony begins about two and a half hours into the hearing.

DC Housing Expo — The DC Housing Expo and Home Show will be held on June 24 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Convention Center.  This program is presented by the District Department of Housing and Community Development.  Workshop topics include Aging in Place and Senior Friendly Housing Alternatives, Energy Efficiency, and Strategies for Reducing Clutter.

Quarterly Report — Commissioner Tuck-Garfield thanked Allen Beach and Jeralynn Graham for their work in preparing the ANC’s quarterly report.  The ANC’s reports are in good standing with the Auditor.

Commissioner Fromboluti

Attorney General’s Legal Forum — Commissioner Fromboluti reported on the March 18 legal forum sponsored by the District’s Attorney General.  Gottlieb Simon, Director of the ANC Office, described the new ANC legislation and its impact on Commissions.  The Director of the Office of Consumer Protection identified scams that residents should watch out for and offered to come to a future ANC meeting to describe those scams for the community.  The Director of the Office of Government Ethics spoke on ethical rules for ANC commissioners.

Reno Road and 39th Street Intersection.

Reno Road — Commissioner Fromboluti described his March 21 meeting with MPD Second District’s Lt. Alan Hill and several of the residents near the Reno Road and 39th Street intersection.  Lt. Hill was very accommodating during the hour-long meeting and will participate in a meeting with Councilmember Cheh and DDOT in an effort to arrive at a solution that meets the residents’ concerns.  Lt. Hill identified the problem as primarily one of poor visibility, not excessive speed on Reno Road.  Among other possible solutions, Lt. Hill suggested installation of a flashing yellow light.

Commissioner Malitz

Bells at Blessed Sacrament — Commissioner Malitz indicated that Blessed Sacrament would meet on March 27 to discuss plans for resuming use of the bells at the church.  The church has been forthright in addressing this topic with the community.  Some residents support the bells, but there are some that have expressed concerns.

Community Announcements:

Ian Maggard from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services invited residents to attend the Mayor’s State of the District address on March 30 at 5:30 at UDC’s Center for Performing Arts.

Jackson Carnes from Councilmember Todd’s office indicated that the Councilmember recently met with the new Rock Creek Park Superintendent, who is committed to working with District residents to make the Park accessible.  The Councilmember also held hearings on his bill to provide protection for pets during extreme weather and participated in the DDOT oversight hearings.  A resident asked whether the Councilmember would support providing senior services at the Chevy Chase Community Center comparable to those at the Fort Stevens Recreation Center.

Anthony Castillo from Councilmember Cheh’s office announced the schedule for budget hearings before the Councilmember’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment, including DDOT on April 24 and the Department of Parks and Recreation on April 26.  He also reported that DDOT has agreed to install a bench on Connecticut Avenue to honor Julian Bond, and he committed to working with the ANC and Mr. Bond’s family on the wording for a plaque.  A resident also asked what the Councilmember was doing to provide senior services in Ward 3, and Mr. Castillo reported that she was working on creating “virtual senior centers” since there is no brink-and-mortar senior center.

Ruth Robbins, President of the Friends of Chevy Chase Circle, described their efforts to improve and beautify Chevy Chase Circle.  The Circle is National Park Service property, and the Friends have partnered with NPS.  They are currently conducting their first fund raiser in 25 years.  Donations may be made at their website, http://friendsofchevychasecircle.org/donate.php.  With the assistance of Casey Trees, they are planting six new trees in the Circle.  They have a $35,000 grant to replace the benches in the park, the first replacement in 60 years.  Finally, they are placing plantings in the Connecticut Avenue triangle in front of the bus turnout in what they hope will be more extensive plantings in tree boxes along Connecticut Avenue.

Deean Rubin, President of the Chevy Chase Citizens Association, announced that the CCCA’s public safety meeting would be held on April 6 at 7:30 at the Community Center.  Lt. Hill from the Second District will make a report and take questions.  On April 18, the CCCA will hold its annual “green” meeting at 7:30 at the Community Center.  The Chesapeake Foundation will make a presentation on solar energy.

Discussion of a survey plan to help identify community desires and needs for the Chevy Chase Community Center and Surrounding Facilities:  Chair Speck indicated that for several months, the ANC — in conjunction with the Chevy Chase Citizens Association — has been considering the future of the Community Center facilities.  Over the course of several meetings, the ANC has been developing a plan to survey residents and Community Center users to determine how they currently use the Community Center and the types of facilities and programs that they want for the future.

Chair Speck reported that Amy Mack, with assistance from Patrick Williams and others, has been especially helpful in putting together a proposed survey plan.  The group’s objective would be to conduct the survey in late April or May, before the summer holidays.  After analyzing the survey results, the group hopes to begin formulating recommendations to the Council and the Mayor by about September.

Ms. Mack described the proposed survey plan that has been developed over the course of three community meetings since December.  She emphasized that development of the survey was community led.  It began with consultations with the Palisades group that conducted a survey for their recreation center.  For our survey, the focus was on residents in ANC 3/4G and Community Center users, regardless of where they live.  We hope to get DPR’s assistance in getting the survey to Community Center users.  The survey is intended to identify the ways that the Community Center is currently used and what people want and need for future uses.

A resident emphasized that the Community Center is used by residents outside ANC 3/4G, and they should be included in the survey.  The Chair indicated that everyone is welcome to participate in the survey and that no one will be excluded, no matter where they live.

Residents also noted the need to improve services at the Community Center in the near term — e.g., removal of trash, cleaning the bathrooms, fixing locks, and generally improving the condition of the building.  The Commission agreed that these conditions need to be addressed, including at higher levels within DPR and DGS.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield indicated that the Commission might consider resolutions to seek correction of these problems.

The next steps for the survey will include review by the Commissioners, possible testing on a representative focus group, and finalization of the survey plan.  The Commission will address these issues at its April 24 meeting.

Discussion with Tanya Hedgepeth, Construction Outreach Coordinator for DC Water,

of DC Water’s updated plans for the Oregon Avenue sanitary sewer rehabilitation project,

and discussion of coordination with other prospective and pending projects:

Ms. Hedgepeth indicated that DC Water had been coordinating with DDOT, the National Park

Service, Ingleside at Rock Creek, St. John’s College High School, and Knollwood as it progresses with the sanitary sewer rehabilitation that runs below Oregon Avenue and Bingham Drive.  This project began in December 2016, and is scheduled to be completed in April 2019.

Ms. Hedgepeth said that beginning on April 3, DC Water will close Oregon Avenue entirely between Oregon Knolls and Private Drive.  This closure in both directions will continue until December 2018.  Oregon Knolls and Unicorn Lane will still be accessible on Oregon Avenue from Tennyson, and that stretch of Oregon Avenue will be two-way.  The private drive residents may access their homes from Chestnut Street.  Residents will always have access to their homes.

Because of the increased traffic on Tennyson, residents asked whether signs will be placed to alert drivers to children in that neighborhood.  DC Water did not know since that would be a DDOT responsibility.  There will be no construction work on Tennyson.

Kristine Marsh from WMATA explained that the E-6 bus would continue to access Knollwood from the main entrance on Oregon Avenue.  The bus will come down Tennyson to Oregon Avenue, pick up passengers at Knollwood, and continue south on Oregon Avenue.  This new route necessitates a new schedule, which will mean a few more minutes between buses.  WMATA is considering adding a temporary stop on Tennyson to accommodate passengers who had previously boarded the bus on Oregon Avenue north of Tennyson.  Operators are being trained on the new route, which will begin on April 3.  Notices for the new route reportedly went up on March 21.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield asked that WMATA check to see that those notices are still being displayed.

Paul Hoffman, DDOT’s Program Manager, indicated that he has been following DC Water’s plans since January to assess the impact on plans for the Oregon Avenue reconstruction.  DDOT will hold a “design wrap-up” meeting on Tuesday, April 18, from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Community Center to present its final designs for the Oregon Avenue reconstruction project.  This meeting will address the community’s previous comments and will show the impact of the construction on trees and vegetation along the right-of-way.  DDOT is sorting out issues with DC Water’s project, which requires resequencing the Oregon Avenue reconstruction.  They now plan to begin work on the northern section, from Beech Street to Western, then move to the southern portion from Rittenhouse to Military Road, and then to do the central section from Rittenhouse to Beech Street once DC Water has completed its work.  They now anticipate starting work in the first quarter of 2018 and finishing in 2020.

Councilmember Todd – Councilmember Todd joined the meeting and indicated that he met with the Mayor and DDOT Director Dormsjo about our ANC’s concerns with DDOT’s performance.  He said that they are all committed to improving DDOT’s responsiveness.  They are working on identifying a DDOT liaison person for the ANC.  The Councilmember also indicated that he has met with the Office on Aging to address seniors’ issues in the Ward.  With respect to the budget process, he said that he supports additional money for infrastructure improvements.  Finally, he recently met with the Rock Creek Park Superintendent and discussed the Beach Drive closure.

A resident suggested that the traffic on Utah Avenue from Northampton to Military Road has increased significantly since the closure of Oregon Avenue, and it would increase still more once Beach Drive opens to Broad Branch Road.  He asked that this portion of Utah Avenue be monitored both by DDOT and MPD.  The Councilmember indicated that he would alert those agencies to this concern.

Presentations by DC SUN and the District’s Sustainable Energy Utility on consumers’

guidance for residents considering going solar:  Chair Speck said that some companies

have recently emailed Commissioners and residents with offers to install solar panels

on residential homes.  Since these offers come from for-profit companies and may not be

in home owners’ best interests, some of the Commissioners suggested that it would be helpful

to have a more unbiased presentation of options for solar installations.

The Chair introduced two of the most knowledgeable sources for this information — Anya Schoolman, the founder of the non-profit solar consumer advocate, DC SUN and the Community Power Network, and Ted Trabue, the Managing Director of the District’s Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU).

Ms. Schoolman described the origins of DC SUN and its efforts to organized neighborhood co-ops who collaborate to solicit competitive bids for installation of residential solar.  By banding together, residents can significantly reduce their installation costs and up-front costs for ownership of their solar systems.  She indicated that there are currently co-ops forming in Manor Park and Georgetown, and one need not reside in those communities to join the co-op.  Additional information is on DC SUN’s website, dcsun.org.  Ms. Schoolman also indicated that recently adopted rules now allow for “Community solar” so that District residents who cannot install solar panels on their own roofs (e.g., because their house is shaded or has a slate roof or because they are renters) may still go solar by owning a portion of the solar installation on another rooftop, and they will receive the same benefits as if they had the panels on their own roofs.

Mr. Trabue described the SEU’s efforts to expand solar in Wards 5, 7 and 8.  The SEU has installed solar at no cost to residents who cannot afford solar otherwise.  He noted that for those who cannot afford to own a solar installation on their roofs, they may lease the solar panels at no cost to the resident.  They would not receive the tax benefits or the Renewable Energy Credits, but they could reduce their electricity bills.  Finally, he described the “Energy for All” program administered by the District Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE).  This program will be funded with $13 to $14 million for solar, and there may be another $20 million within three months.  He urged the ANC and residents to be alert for these programs, and they may wish to contact DOEE to learn more.  The objective is to add 100,000 new solar installations in the District.

Presentation by Karima Holmes, Director, DC Office of Unified Communications:

Director Holmes heads the District agency that is responsible for emergency 911, non-emergency and basic city service 311 call activities for the Metropolitan Police Department, DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, and the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center.

Ms. Holmes described her 17 years of experience in call centers, beginning as a 911 operator.  She has been the Director of the Office of United Communications since January 2016.  The call center handles about 4 million calls a year, 1.8 million of which are 311 calls that are dispatched to other agencies.  Her agency is also responsible for hand-held radios and radio towers and has about 400 employees.

Ms. Holmes established a 311 Task Force to improve 311 service.  Among other issues, the Task Force addresses the criteria for closing a 311 call, the creation of a training and quality assurance division, and the need to hire new call takers to relieve burned out employees and to reduce call hold times.    Our ANC has had 6,465 311 calls in this fiscal year, most related to trash pickup and potholes.

For 911 calls, Ms. Holmes said that 60% to 90% of these calls are not emergencies, and her office began a campaign to educate the public about when to call 911, when to call 311, and when to simply look up the needed information.  She emphasized that the 911 call taker is not the dispatcher, and the call taker may continue to gather necessary information after the dispatcher has already sent responders.  Her office also provides 911 recordings to the Attorney General if they are needed in legal proceedings.

Finally, Ms. Holmes described the Smart 911 program, which allows residents to create a profile that will be retrieved when they make a 911 call and may be used by first responders to enhance their ability to address the situation.  This profile information is only available to the police or fire responders, not to other agencies or the public.  Ms. Holmes also said that pressing and holding “9” for four seconds will automatically call 911.

Proposed resolution on meeting procedures and video recording of meetings:

Commissioner Malitz described the benefits of a video recording system for ANC meetings, including enhancing the ability of more people to be involved in our meetings, accessibility of the full meeting to those who cannot attend, and improved transparency for Commission activities.  Video recording is now inexpensive and can be easily made available to the public through the Commission’s website and social media.

Commissioner Clayman described the process that the ANC will follow to implement video recordings.  First, the Commission will adopt norms for how the meeting is run.  Although some of these norms are followed some of the time, a more uniform procedure will improve the quality of video recordings and the Commission’s meetings.  Included in these norms are (1) speakers will address the ANC from a microphone at a designated spot, (2) the Chair (or a designee) will recognize speakers so that only one person will speak at a time, (3) no one will speak twice on a topic until everyone has been heard, and (4) the Commission may adopt time constraints for speakers.  Commissioner Clayman indicated that these norms would be implemented at our next meeting in April to test their effectiveness, and we would implement video recording no later than the ANC’s first meeting in June.  Video recordings will be made available to the public as quickly as reasonably possible after meetings beginning at the second meeting in June.

The resolution was offered with amendments to describe the review process more completely and to permit the Chair to designate another Commissioner to recognize speakers.  With those modifications, the resolution passed by a vote of 5 to 0.

Commission Business:

Minutes:  February 27, 2017 meeting minutes were adopted by a vote of 5 to 0.

Checks:  $55.45 Petty Cash Replenish, $113.64 Verizon, $21.97 Dan Bradfield (commissioner business cards) approved by a vote of 5 to 0.

Items for the April 24, 2017 meeting (no meeting on April 10 for Passover):  Presentation by Director Nancy Ware of the District’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency; ANC January-March Quarterly Report; implementation of norms for conducting ANC meetings.

 

Signed,

 

 

________________________                                                               ________________________

Randy Speck                                                                                                      Rebecca Maydak

Chair                                                                                                                      Secretary

 

ANC 3/4G Public Meeting
Monday, April 24, 2017
Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20015

Present:  Speck, Fromboluti, Tuck-Garfield, Maydak, Clayman, Malitz, Bradfield

Attendance:  Approximately 20 people attended the meeting

Adoption of Agenda:  The agenda was adopted by a vote of 7 – 0

Commissioner Announcements

Commissioner Speck

Ingleside — In anticipation of upcoming construction work, Ingleside has placed a number of traffic control signs on Military Road, Broad Branch Road, and Nevada Avenue.  These signs are currently covered but will be used to alert traffic to changes over the course of the work on Ingleside’s expansion project.  Some preliminary work has begun, including widening the access road to Broad Branch Road and enhancing utilities that will have to be installed under Broad Branch.  That work will require this section of Broad Branch Road to be closed for about two weeks.  Ingleside will let the community know when that closure will begin.

Iona Senior Services — Commissioners Malitz and Speck took a tour of Iona Senior Services, located near Tenley Circle.  Iona has been in our community for 42 years, but many don’t know the services it provides.  They are offering tours to inform the community about how they are helping seniors, and you may contact them on their website, iona.org, or call them at (202) 895-9448.  Iona’s role in providing senior services is particularly important as the District tries to create a seniors’ virtual wellness center for Ward 3 and Ward 4 west of the Park.

Lafayette Elementary Historic Designation — The District’s Department of General Services has applied for historic landmark designation for Lafayette Elementary School, and the Historic Preservation Review Board will have a hearing on this application on May 25 at 9:00 am at 441 Fourth Street, NW, Room 220 South.  Our Commission will consider this application at the ANC’s May 8 meeting.

Commissioner Maydak

Lighting Task Force — The ANC’s Lighting Task Force will meet on April 26 at 7:00 pm at the Community Center to discuss the lighting planned on Oregon Avenue based on the modified reconstruction schedule.  This will also be a reactivation of the Task Force to address the LED lighting issues more generally.

Lafayette Spring Fair — The Lafayette Spring Fair will be held on May 13 from 11 am to 4 pm.  There will also be a yard sale from 9 am until noon, and residents my reserve a table for $25.  The Farmers Market is also targeted to return to Lafayette as soon as possible.

Lafayette Recreation Center — DPR will begin holding community meetings in May to discuss plans for the Lafayette Recreation Center.  The planning process will likely take about six months..

Commissioner Clayman

Pinehurst Cleanup — The Commission appreciates the work of John Burwell in organizing the Pinehurst cleanup on Saturday, April 22.

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield

DC Water Project — DC Water’s project to rehabilitate the sanitary sewer line under Oregon Avenue will require Saturday work beginning immediately.  The work will be between 7 am and 7 pm in the same project areas along Oregon Avenue.  The contact person for any concerns about this Saturday work is Todd Brown, 443-864-6641.

Commissioner Fromboluti

Reno Road and 39th Street — Another accident occurred at this intersection on April 24, caused by a northbound vehicle on 39th Street pulling out in front of a car going southeast on Reno Road.  The driver of the car on 39th Street was taken to the hospital.  It is notable that this accident would not have been effected by DDOT’s proposed Notice of Intent for changes at this intersection because the car on 39th Street was heading north, a configuration that would remain unchanged by the NOI.  Neighbors indicated that there are also numerous near misses at this intersection, but DDOT has not even taken minimal steps to improve safety — e.g., improved striping for the crosswalks or signage that warns vehicles of a hazardous intersection.  It is essential that DDOT take action to address these safety concerns.

Community Announcements

Ian Maggard, from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations reported on the Earth Day cleanup that had been coordinated with the Rock Creek Conservancy.  He also announced a food waste drop-off program that the District has initiated in cooperation with farmers’ markets.  In Ward 3, residents can drop off food wastes for composting at the UDC Farmers Market beginning on May 20 from 9 am to 1 pm.  Finally, he reported that the Mayor has presented her FY 2018 budget, and an administration official will attend ANC 3/4G’s May 8 meeting to answer questions about the budget.  More information is also available at mayor.dc.gov.

Anthony Castillo from Councilmember Cheh’s office announced that budget hearings would be held for the Office on Aging on April 25 and for the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Public Works on April 26 at 10 am.  The record will remain open for two weeks after the hearing for anyone to submit testimony or comments.  The Councilmember will also hold hearings on DDOT’s LED lighting program on May 3 at 11 am.  The hearings will explore the experience in other communities installing LED lighting.  He reported that the Councilmember has received informal assurance from DDOT Director Dormsjo that, pending a review of the program, LED lights would not be installed in residential neighborhoods unless requested by the ANC or MPD, but installations would continue for highways.  Commissioner Maydak clarified that installations would also continue in commercial districts.  The Councilmember has reintroduced her bill to eliminate gas powered leaf blowers and has sent a second letter on the homeless shelter in Ward 3.

Jackson Carnes, director of constituent services for Councilmember Todd, reported that the Councilmember will have office hours April 25 from 5:30 pm until 7:00 pm at the Gold Coast Cafe, 14th Street and Kennedy.  The groundbreaking for Walter Reed was on April 24, and there will be a Walter Reed block party on April 29 from 2 pm to 5 pm.  Entrance to the event will be at Georgia Avenue and Butternut Street NW.  In response to a question, Mr. Carnes indicated that the Walter Reed development will include housing (one-third of which will be affordable), a recreation center, grocery store, and retail stores.

Gerri Carr, Vice President of the Friends of Chevy Chase Circle, welcomed Commissioner Bradfield as a new board member and announced that there will be a pruning party on May 6 from 9 am to 1 pm to reduce the height of the azaleas in the Circle to two feet.  A National Park Service horticulturalist will also hold a teach-in on May 5 at 3 pm on proper pruning techniques for azaleas.  Casey Trees has recently planted six willow oaks on the Circle bringing the Circle to its full complement of 30 trees.  Friends of Chevy Chase Circle are also planning plantings in the islands north and south of the Circle.  These plantings will be low shrubs that are drought and salt resistant.  The organization is working with the National Park Service to repair or replace the benches in the Circle.  Donations may be made at http://friendsofchevychasecircle.org/donate.php.

Implementation of norms for conducting ANC meetings in anticipation of future video recording

In planning for video recording of the Commission’s meetings, Commissioner Clayman described the meeting norms or expectations that the Commission has adopted to improve efficiency and fairness.  These norms are consistent with the Commission’s by-laws and Robert’s Rules of Order:  (1) the chair or designee will recognize speakers one at a time; (2) speakers who address the ANC will speak from a microphone, if physically able, located at a designated spot in the meeting room; (3) no attendee may speak twice on the same issue until everyone who wants to speak has been given a chance to speak once; and (4) the ANC may limit the time for speakers in order to allow everyone to speak.

Commissioner Malitz explained that the Commission will be testing the video recording process beginning with this meeting.  The plan is to have microphones for the commissioners and for speakers from the audience.  After a test period, the recordings will be posted so that anyone who could not attend the meeting will be able to see and hear what happened.  The recordings will also be keyed to the agenda so that viewers will be able to skip to the spots when particular items were addressed.  The recordings are not a substitute for written minutes but will provide a more complete record of meetings that will be accessible to the community.  The test period will work out any potential issues, e.g., the best place for the lectern.

Discussion of and possible vote on a needs assessment survey plan for gathering information
about how the community uses and wishes to use the Chevy Chase Community Center

Commissioner Speck described the Commission’s efforts since the fall of 2016 to assess the community’s needs from the Chevy Chase Community Center.  He noted that since December, a group of commissioners, the Chevy Chase Citizens Association, and members of the community (especially Amy Mack, Patrick Williams, and Jay Thal) have worked on a survey to gather data on how the community uses the Community Center and what services and facilities the community would like to have from the Community Center.

Commissioner Malitz then described a draft pilot survey that incorporates the previous work and reformats it so that we can use Survey Monkey to perform the survey and analyze the results.  In preparing this version, he reviewed similar surveys conducted around the country and the kinds of analyzes that were performed.  The survey has been consolidated to ten questions (the maximum permitted in the free version of Survey Monkey) so that it can be completed in about ten minutes.  Although the draft pilot survey appears to be somewhat shorter than earlier drafts, in reality, it is not because it was possible to capture all of the substantive topics by combining and reformatting some questions.  The pilot survey also uses DPR’s terminology for programs whenever possible.

Commissioner Malitz suggested that the pilot would be used to determine whether the survey was clear for respondents and whether there were any omissions.  For example, the space provided to suggest “other” responses could be used to determine whether the survey should include additional potential answers.  This pilot would seek responses from less than 100 residents, and these responses would not be included in the final survey but would help in finalizing the survey for widespread distribution.  The pilot will allow each commissioner to send the Survey Monkey link to 10 diverse constituents (although it would be impractical to attempt to devise a statistically representative sample).  Additional paper survey forms will be available at the Community Center and at the Library.  (Those paper forms will be entered on-line through Survey Monkey so that all the results can be consolidated and analyzed.)  The pilot will be conducted in May, any necessary modifications would be made by early June, and the full survey would be conducted in June.  The full survey would be distributed as broadly and comprehensively as is practical.

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield raised questions about how the proposed pilot survey compares with the previous draft of the survey that were the product of the community meetings and that had been presented to the Commission at its March 27 meeting.  Commissioner Speck indicated that the objective had been to incorporate all of the substantive portions of the previous draft, and if there are any omissions, they can be added.

Former Commissioner Beach noted that we may want to have questions about the condition of the building and grounds, noting that trash around the building has made it less inviting.  He also noted that the building once housed a vibrant theater group, but it was discontinued because of the fees charged.  He also asked whether there was any budget to pay for a survey if costs need to be incurred, and the commissioners indicated that there is no current budget so there would have to be a vote of the commission to spend any money on the survey.

Jay Thal indicated that most of the programs for seniors at the Community Center were offered through the YMCA, not DPR, and that DPR had not been as hospitable for seniors as at other centers in the District.  He said that there were few programs and few rooms being used between 9 am and 3 pm on weekdays.  He also emphasized that the Community Center serves all of Ward 3 and Ward 4 west of the Park and is not limited to the boundaries of ANC 3/4G.  He suggested that other Ward 3 ANCs be notified about the survey, and the Chair indicated that was a good idea and would be done.

Patrick Williams described his work in developing an early draft of the survey based on work that was done for the Palisades Recreation Center.  He said that the evaluation of the Community Center’s future may need a dedicated website where all of the information can be consolidated and easily accessed by the community.  Commissioner Maydak suggested that DPR or DGS should provide such a website.

The Commissioners agreed to send the pilot survey to their constituents in May, as Commissioner Malitz proposed.

Discussion of detours required during DC Water’s sanitary sewer rehabilitation project on
Oregon Avenue, including temporary E-6 bus route changes on Tennyson Street

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield described her efforts with Commissioners Clayman and Speck to improve the signage for detours around DC Water’s sewer rehabilitation project on Oregon Avenue.  She said that she and Commissioner Speck met with DC Water at the site on April 9 and discussed recommended changes to the signage.  DC Water agreed to those changes, and will be installing 20 new signs.  The signs will give specific directions around the construction area and to guide Knollwood visitors.  A temporary flashing sign at Tennyson and Utah will be replaced with these specific signs.  DC Water is also exploring the possibility of installing an interim stop sign at Tennyson and 29th Street in light of the increased traffic on Tennyson.

Commissioner Tuck-Garfield also reported that the E-6 bus route will continue on Tennyson to Knollwood.  Although DC Water and WMATA had evaluated other alternatives, they concluded that this was the best route to serve Knollwood.  WMATA has, however, added an E-6 “cut-through” bus from Pinehurst Circle to Friendship Heights.  Thelma Marzek, a Knollwood resident, indicated that the E-6 bus has often been late or has not come at all.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield reported that the schedule for the E-6 will be updated in June to reflect the times for the new route, and by then, the schedule should be more reliable.

In response to a constituent’s inquiry, Commissioner Speck reported that he asked DDOT to consider safety measures that could be implemented at the intersection of Military Road and Utah Avenue in light of the detoured traffic around Oregon Avenue, which has increased the volume of eastbound vehicles turning left on to Utah.  There is a potential hazard to vehicles and pedestrians at this intersection.

Discussion of and possible vote on requested letter of ANC support for a permit from DPR regarding the Theater Lab’s use of the Lafayette Park Gazebo on July 15 from 5 to 7 pm for a celebration of the non-profit’s 25th anniversary  (Commissioner Maydak)

Dane Peterson from Theater Lab indicated that they have applied for a DPR permit to use the Lafayette Park gazebo on July 15 for their 25th anniversary.  They had previously used it for their 20th anniversary celebration.  Bryce Selty said that they anticipate 50 to 75 people will attend.  The event will be catered, but there will be no food trucks and no music.  There is a potential question whether they will be required to provide a port-a-john, but Commissioner Maydak indicated that she is trying to work this out with DPR so that they can use the bathrooms in the Park.  The Commission voted 7 to 0 to send a letter supporting the application.

Commission Business

  1. Minutes:  The March 27, 2017, meeting minutes were approved by a vote of 7 to 0.
  2. Checks: $160.57 IRS, $48.89 DOES, $15.90 Jerry Malitz (expense reimbursement for business cards), $83.07 Jeralynn Graham (expense reimbursement for commissioner business cards), $114.05 Verizon, $210.04 Canon approved by vote of 7 to 0.
  3. ANC Quarterly Financial Report for January – March 2017 approved by a vote of 7 to 0.
  4. Items for the May 8, 2017 meeting: presentation by the Federal Highway Administration and DDOT about restoration of the Chevy Chase Circle bus turnout; discussion and possible vote on historic landmark designation for Lafayette Elementary School; presentation by City Administrator Rashad Young on the Mayor’s proposed FY18 budget, Lafayette School/PTA Fair use of Lafayette Playground on May 13.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.

Signed,
Randy Speck                                                               Rebecca Maydak
Chair                                                                     Secretary

 
 
Minutes of ANC 3/4G Public Meeting
Monday, May 8, 2017
Chevy Chase Community Center, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20015
 
Present:         Speck, Tuck-Garfield, Clayman, Bradfield
Absent:          Maydak, Fromboluti, Malitz
Attendance:  Approximately 20 people attended the meeting
 
Adoption of Agenda:
The Chair announced two modifications to the published agenda:  (1) City Administrator Rashad Young has asked to move up his presentation to 7:25 so that he can leave for another engagement by 8:00; (2) WMATA and DDOT have asked to defer their presentation on the Chevy Chase Circle Bus Turnout until June, when they will have a more complete design.  The agenda, as amended, was adopted by a vote of 4 – 0.
 
Commissioner Announcements:
Commissioner Speck
Ingleside provided the following information to the ANC’s Ingleside Task Force at its meeting on April 26: (1) work began last week on widening the driveway connecting Ingleside with Broad Branch Road; (2) beginning the week of May 15 Ingleside will start connecting their water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer utility lines to the main lines on the other side of Broad Branch Road, which will require closing about 40 feet of Broad Branch Road to through traffic for two to three weeks; (3) in late summer or early fall, work will begin to expand the driveway entrance from Ingleside to Military Road and installing curbs and ADA ramps, but it will only affect the entrance and sidewalks, not Military Road; and (4) construction will begin on the main part of the expansion facilities over the summer and will continue for about 30 months, but it will not involve closure of any roads.
 
The traffic control measures for each phase of the work have been approved by the ANC Task Force (which includes neighborhood representatives) and DDOT. The signs that have been posted but covered will be uncovered, when appropriate, for each phase of the work.  They did unveil the “No Access to Military Road” and “No Construction Traffic” signs at the Broad Branch and Military Road entrances to 32nd Street, which are applicable to all ongoing activities.  Any questions may be sent to the ANC Task Force (3g03@anc.dc.gov) or to Ingleside’s project manager, Steve Van Dorpe (SVanDorpe@inglesideonline.org).
 
Commissioner Maydak asked that we announce that the Lafayette Elementary School Spring Fair is this Saturday, starting with a yard sale from 9am – 12 pm and the fair itself from 11am – 4pm.
 
Commissioner Tuck-Garfield
DDOT will hold a Final Design Review Public Meeting for the Oregon Avenue reconstruction at the Community Center on May 17, 2017, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.  Both DDOT and DC Water will be at this meeting.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield thanked the Mayor’s office and Councilmember Todd’s office for their assistance in getting this meeting rescheduled.  In light of the rescheduling, a resident asked that DDOT distribute flyers on this meeting to affected residents, and Commissioner Tuck-Garfield said that she would pass this recommendation on to Alberta Paul, the coordinator at DDOT.
 
Commissioner Bradfield
Commissioner Bradfield thanked the Friends of Chevy Chase Circle for organizing a “pruning party” to trim the azaleas in the Circle.  Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Explorers joined the National Park Service staff for about 30 total participants, despite the rain.  This is expected to be an annual event.
 
Community Announcements:
 
Phil McCauley, from the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations provided a three-page overview with highlights of the Mayor’s FY 2018 budget.  Full information is available at mayor.dc.gov.  He also indicated that the Mayor had participated in the Funk Parade and had talked at ANC 4A and 4D meetings.
 
Anthony Castillo from Councilmember Cheh’s office announced that the Councilmember had sent a letter expressing concerns about proposed budget cuts for Wilson High School that would eliminate positions for two guidance counselors.  The Councilmember is also calling for hearings on a proposed ban on backyard chickens and licensing for cats.  She cannot support those measures without thorough Council review.  Mr. Castillo said that collections for composting will begin this month at the UDC farmers market and at the 14th and Kennedy farmers market from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays.  There will be an update on the status of the Beach Drive reconstruction at a meeting on May 23 at the Chevy Chase Library from 7:00 to 8:00.  He announced that the Councilmember would conduct a pool readiness tour next week.  Finally, he said that red top meter enforcement has begun in the Central Business District, and only vehicles with handicap license plates or a handicapped hang tag would be permitted to use those spaces
 
Kimberly Manning from DDOT announced that DDOT will hold a meeting to discuss the “Concept Design” for Chestnut Street sidewalks from Oregon Avenue to Western Avenue on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, from 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm at the Chevy Chase Baptist Church, 5671 Western Avenue, Washington, DC.  The design is only 15% complete, and DDOT is looking for community input.
 
Presentation by and questions for City Administrator Rashad Young on the Mayor’s
proposed FY18 budget:
 
City Administrator Young asked to speak with the Commission on Mayor Bowser’s FY 2018 budget.  The budget process is well underway, with several community meetings and recent Council hearings on each agency’s budget.  He indicated that the budget reflects community input to establish the administration’s priorities.  Although the budget is $13.8 billion ($7.6 billion from local funds), it is necessary to make tough choices in order to provide the greatest benefit for District residents.
 
Among the budget’s priorities are:  (1) education, including $1.3 billion in capital expenditures, with a focus on child care (creating 1300 additional child care slots and training 300 residents to get infant and toddler certifications); (2) public safety, including $11.7 million for recruitment and retention of MPD officers, funds for a “nurse triage” unit in the 911 call center, and increases for EMS and 48 additional fire fighters; (3) housing, including $100 million for the housing trust fund to provide new housing, to preserve existing housing, and to leverage private funding and $15.2 million for reducing homelessness and tenant reforms; (4) a returning citizen portal to reduce recidivism; and (5) increased funding for road and alley repairs.
 
Commissioner Speck indicated that our Commission is especially interested in the proposed Capital Improvements Plan for the Chevy Chase Community Center.  Our Commission has initiated a process to assess the community’s needs and to make recommendations to the Mayor and the Council.  The FY 2018 Capital budget carries forward projected funding from FY 2017 “for the Community Center to make ADA improvements, new elevators, new multipurpose rooms and a new and expanded program space,” which it describes as “part of an ongoing effort by DPR to improve the current facility inventory for programs at our facilities.”  The plan calls for $3.5 million in funding for FY 2019 and $4.5 million for FY 2020 and envisions start of design in October 2018, completion of design in April 2020, start of construction in June 2020, and completion of construction in July 2021.  Commissioner Speck asked Mr. Young to describe the Mayor’s plan for the Community Center and how the Mayor would consider community’s input in deciding on Community Center improvements.  Mr. Young indicated that he expected DPR to go through a community engagement process that would be open and flexible.  He said that as the ANC works with the community to develop its plan for the Community Center, it should not do so in a vacuum but should keep DPR involved.
 
Commissioner Tuck-Garfield emphasized that our ANC includes a larger proportion of seniors and young families than the District as a whole and that budget priorities for our neighborhood should reflect that demographic.  First, she asked whether the nurse triage program would be available District-wide, and Mr. Young indicated that it would be within the 911 call center and, thus, available to everyone.  It would also include provisions for alternative transportation that would not require ambulances.  Second, she asked about the supermarket tax credit and where those credits would be available.  Mr. Young indicated that this program was intended to incentivize location of supermarkets in underserved communities.  It has not yet been used to provide incentives for supermarkets to remain in an area when they threaten to move.  Third, Commissioner Tuck-Garfield asked about programs for seniors.  Mr. Young indicated that the budget includes an additional $4 million investment for the Office on Aging.
 
Commissioner Bradfield asked whether there was an overview fact sheet for Ward 3, and Mr. Young indicated that it would be provided.  He said that Ward 3 budget proposals include funding for local roads across all Wards.  Commissioner Bradfield asked how the District’s budget would be affected by proposed cuts in Medicaid and the House-passed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.  Mr. Young indicated that they are monitoring developments at the federal level.  The current House bill, if enacted with no changes, would require the District to provide an additional $58 million annually to maintain Medicaid benefits.  The Mayor is concerned about what will happen in the District based on federal changes.  As a result, the administration is planning on allocating 50% of any revenues above projections to be used to compensate for federal cuts and 50% for likely cost increases (e.g., additional costs as a result of labor agreements).
 
Former Commissioner Lee Schoenecker said that funding for housing was unlikely to address concerns raised by gentrification, and the administration may need to consider a moratorium on development.  He also said that the District should consider a Metro funding formula that recognizes the disproportionate use of the system by the District and the inner suburbs.
 
Former Commissioner Allen Beach asked whether the proposed budget includes an exemption for Ingleside and other continuing care retirement communities from property taxes, and Mr. Young indicated that it did.  Information from the Mayor’s office indicated that this exemption was a result of an act passed in 2016, which this ANC had vigorously supported.   He also noted that ANC proposed funding is actually reduced by $25,000 from the previous year under the budget proposal, and that should be a concern to all ANCs.
 
Another resident asked whether the budget included the tax exemption for seniors that would be implemented under a bill being considered by the Council.  Mr. Young indicated that it does not, but would be included if the Council bill is enacted and becomes law.
 
Discussion and possible vote on proposed pilot survey to determine the community’s
needs for the Chevy Chase Community Center:
 
Commissioner Speck indicated that at the last Commission meeting, the commissioners discussed a draft pilot survey to be used in assessing the community’s use of and needs for the Community Center.  This was another step in the Commission’s and the Chevy Chase Citizens Association’s long-term review of the future of the Community Center.  After that meeting, several commissioners raised concerns about the process used in developing the pilot survey.
 
Based on those concerns, the Commissioner Speck talked with Amy Mack (who had been instrumental in developing the survey with a working group) and several commissioners about the draft pilot survey.  He concluded that it was not feasible to conduct further community meetings and to modify the survey to everyone’s satisfaction and still be able to conduct the comprehensive survey before summer vacations begin.  Implementing the survey during the summer will not be optimal and might not produce the kind of robust results that we want.  For these reasons, the Commissioner Speck proposed that the Commission set at least one more community meeting to discuss the survey plan — including whether to conduct a pilot survey — probably at the beginning of June.  We can then finalize the survey and conduct a pilot test, if that is deemed desirable, over the summer.
 
The Chair suggested, however, that the Commission and the community should not stop moving forward with an evaluation of the Community Center’s future.  He proposed that the Commission and the CCCA continue to have information-gathering meetings with the community over the summer to explore further potential ways to upgrade the Community Center’s ability to serve our constituents and the District’s residents.  These special meetings may include presentations by various experts to help the commissioners and the community to understand fully what options are available.  The meetings that we’ve had and the visits to other community centers have been enlightening, and there is still much more we should explore before we can develop informed recommendations for the Mayor and the Council.
 
In light of the discussions we’ve had over the past several months, the Chair suggested that it may be appropriate to divide the focus of our continuing efforts into two categories — (1) the short-term improvements that can and should be made within the context of the existing facilities and (2) the long-term assessment of the best facilities that can serve the District.  While the working group to date has concentrated on long-term issues, we should not overlook the Community Center’s current deficiencies when there are remedial steps that can be taken now.  By separating long- and short-term concerns and solutions, we can give each the attention they deserve.  The Chair proposed that we designate one or more commissioners to work with each of these groups and to report back to the full Commission by the end of the summer.
 
Commissioner Tuck-Garfield reiterated that we have heard from residents about short-term needs at the Community Center, and there are things that can be done now to implement creative interim options. She also suggested that there should be a schedule for decisions.  Commissioner Bradfield noted the shifting demographics of our neighborhood and that the analysis needs to capture that shift.  Even after a survey, he suggested that we should conduct focus groups to elicit the “emotional” reactions to the Community Center that may not be apparent in the survey.  He said that although we cannot structure the focus groups in a rigorously scientific way, they should be diverse and roughly representative of the community.  Commissioner Clayman emphasized that we should focus on when we need to have a report to the Mayor in order to affect the budget process.  Since the budget process for FY 2019 (when there are funds in the capital budget for the Community Center) begins next fall, we should consider how to influence that process in a timely way.  Commissioner Speck indicated that the budget process would continue through the spring of 2018, but we should certainly be prepared to engage in a timely way to be effective.
 
Amy Mack said that flexibility was useful in developing the survey, but decisions were needed about the scope of the survey and its direction.  Commissioner Tuck-Garfield indicated that after the working group developed the survey plan it would need to be approved by the full Commission.  It was proposed that the pilot survey be limited to 10 questions so that it could be done at no charge and with comment fields for all the substantive questions we would learn if we needed more questions for the final survey.  This was also stated at the April 24 meeting.
 
Based on the discussion, the Chair proposed the following resolution:  The Commission (along with the Chevy Chase Citizens Association) will hold a meeting in early June to develop a survey plan to assess the community’s uses of and the needs for the Community Center and to propose a timeline for the process.  The Commission and the CCCA will also set community meetings over the summer to gather additional information to understand the available options for the Community Center facilities.  In addition, the Commission and the CCCA will set community meetings over the summer to assess the short-term needs for improving the Community Center and the programs that it offers that can be made without significant facility modifications or improvements.  The Commission approved the resolution by a vote of 4 to 0.
 
Discussion and possible vote on the Department of General Service’s application to the Historic Preservation Review Board for historic landmark designation of Lafayette Elementary School, Application Number 17-08:
 
In the absence of Commissioner Maydak, Commissioner Speck described the application for historic landmark designation.  According to Hartman Cox, the architects for the Lafayette Elementary School Modernization,
the Lafayette project, like all DC Public Schools, involved public funds,
a public site and a public use.  As such, it fell under the review purview
of Historic Preservation Office in the Office of Planning. During the
early schematic/design development stage, HPO stated that, because the
original school building was a good example of the typical “DC
Schoolhouse Typology,” they would like DGS to prepare and submit
the building for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
DGS agreed to this request and an MOU was prepared between the two
agencies.
 
As part of the submission, the team documented the historic “existing” condition, the 1970s non-contributing additions, and the current proposed project (which included the demolition of the 1970s non-contributing structures and the construction of the current compatible non-contributing structures).  While the entire scope of the final condition was included and documented in the submission, the only portions receiving the “historic designation” status would be the 1930s buildings.  The new construction, while included in the submission, are non-contributing to the existing DC Schoolhouse prototype and would therefore not be subject to historic limitations on future  construction or renovation.
 
The approval of this submission should not be an issue as the historic designation was requested by HPO, they reviewed the early draft of the submission prior to the project completion and had no comments and they reviewed the final submission following the completion of the project and had no comments.
 
The ANC is not required to submit its views, but we may offer support and/or comments.  Commissioner Bradfield moved that the Commission support DGS’s application for historic landmark designation for the 1930s portion of Lafayette Elementary School.  Commissioner Clayman seconded the motion, but proposed that we also ask the Historic Preservation Office to specify how the historic designation affects the building going forward — e.g., what kind of routine maintenance can be done, what changes can be made, and who will have to pay for steps to maintain the historic character of the building?  The Commission agreed that these questions, which will apply to any historic landmark building, could be answered through a presentation at an upcoming meeting from the Historic Preservation Office.  With that proviso, the resolution to support the application passed by a vote of 4 to 0.
 
Commission Business:

  1. The April 24, 2017, meeting minutes were approved by a vote of 4 – 0
  2. The following checks were approved by a vote of 4 – 0: $160.57 IRS (Federal Tax Withholding – April), $113.12 Jeralynn Graham for office copier toner (2 units)
  3. Items for the May 22 meeting: There are currently no items for the scheduled May 22 meeting, and the Chair will notify the Commission and the community if there is no need for this meeting.

Signed:

_________________                                              ________________
Randy Speck                                                    Rebecca Maydak
Chair                                                          Secretary