A few very quick updates:
December ANC Meeting
The ANC’s final meeting of the calendar year is tonight, starting at 7PM at the Hill Center. You can find the agenda here. One item I’ll be moving tonight is a motion to endorse plans to renew and redesign the Eastern Market Metro Plaza (plans here), and request that the DC Department of General Services initiate an Environmental Assessment process to keep the project moving forward. That letter is attached. My sense is that the City is committed to the project, but it’s important to keep our attention on it so that the inertia of the Mayoral changeover does not stall the effort.
As I worked a case last month that clearly I had not communicated well enough to impacted neighbors, it dawned on me that I should share a full proof method for obtaining the agenda. For those who would like to reliably receive the ANC agenda every month, I recommend signing up for the ANC e-mail list by sending a request to be added to the distribution to office. In addition to the ANC agenda, you’ll get 2-3 e-mails a month announcing various city happenings and programs.
Community Meeting on the Redevelopment of the Frager’s Site
Last week Frager’s stakeholders announced a community meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the site. Here are the details:
Roadside Development, LLC, is hosting a community meeting about the redevelopment of the Frager’s Hardware Store site (1101-1117 Pennsylvania Avenue SE) at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The purpose of the meeting is for the community to provide input, offer ideas, and ask questions about the future development for the site. The meeting will also include a brief update from Richard Lake, founding partner, Roadside Development, and John Weintraub, owner of Frager’s. If you would like to share ideas or comments in advance of the meeting, you can provide them via e-mail at fragers or phone at 202-375-7942.
SE Blvd and Barney Circle Concept Unveiling
On December 11th from 7-9PM at the Friendship Chamberlain Elementary School ((1345 Potomac Ave SE), CM Wells and ANC6B co-host a meeting with the DC Office of Planning to present and discuss the results of a rapid planning study to develop alternative designs for the SE Blvd. I shared draft plans a month or so ago. While the plans have evolved, you get a general feel for the concepts by reviewing the attached October report.
2024 Olympics on Cap Hill??
Our November meeting was attended by Robert Sweeney, a community outreach coordinator for Washington 2024, the group putting together the City’s bid for the 2024 summer olympics. He confirmed that the group is looking at the RFK and Reservation 13 sites as a venue and possible Olympic Village. The Commission requested a meeting with representatives from the group to learn more about their plans, which he committed to do in the very near term (no dates yet). You can learn more about the bid at dc2024.org.
My Vote on the Hill Center – Bayou Bakery Liquor License
I want to quickly explain my vote on this license, as I received some criticism for voting in favor of the license application. First, I am very much supportive of efforts to control externalities (trash, rats, etc.) resulting from the growth of restaurants on Barracks Row, that’s why I’ve pushed for rat proofing of the EM Plaza, organized a rat summit with the City’s Department of Health, and insisted on indoor trash storage and other best practices on the Row, to include opposing the Ugly Mug’s ill-conceived plans for adding 100 seats to an establishment that is already operating in violation of their agreements with the community. I hate rats, period. In the case of the Bayou Bakery, and the Hill Center by extension, there are two reasons I voted in favor of the application:
1. I trust the Hill Center and the people that run it. These are our neighbors and friends. They have a track record of exceptional programming, attention to detail and responsiveness to concerns. In my opinion, that earns them credit and faith that an unknown external restauranteur or an existing non-compliant business have not earned. We have leverage over the Hill Center that extends well beyond licensing and regulatory regimes.
2. Use of the Carriage House and the revenue it generates is important to the financial viability of the Center. Simply put, they need the revenue in order to continue the level of programming that we’ve come to enjoy and the community accessibility that we’ve come to expect.
This will not be my final e-mail as your Commissioner. I’m close to completing the Alley Survey I started this summer (working draft below) and will deliver this, along with an updated list of vacant and blighted properties to the City before leaving office. If there are any other outstanding issues, please send them my way so that, at a minimum, I can pass them on to my successor, Steve Hagedorn (Congrats Steve!).