December 2015 and January 2016 Meeting Report

Changes Made and Coming, Plus Calls for Comment

At ANC3B’s December meeting, we heard from Adam Hiltebeitel of Arcuri restaurant, 2400 Wisconsin Ave., who explained that Arcuri was applying to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for approval to have live entertainment. He asked for support from the ANC citing as reasons Arcuri’s underground location, lack of nearby residences, and its reputation as a good neighbor. The ANC agreed that noise was unlikely to be an issue for the neighborhood and wished him well.

The bike route on 37th and Tunlaw Road is nearly finalized, with most street markings and signage in place. The route now runs between Burleith and American University. Be aware that much of the route through Glover Park is shared between bikes and cars.

Savoy Suites hotel, which is now part of the Kimpton chain, has temporarily backed off from its request for alcohol service on a new roof deck due to an error by the District, which issued a permit for building on the roof without first consulting the surrounding residential neighborhood. Once the permitting issue is settled, the hotel will re-apply for permission to use the roof deck for dining and drinking. ANC3B and ANC3C both had opposed the roof deck application out of concern about hours, entertainment, and potential noise issues.

In January, the ANC raised the question of whether or not residents wanted us to weigh in on the move to ban gas-powered leaf blowers. Other ANCs have taken up this issue and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh is sponsoring legislation to ban them in the District as of 2022 with the goal of encouraging companies to switch to quieter, battery-powered machines. We are interested to hear from residents on this issue and request comments to be sent to info@anc3b.org. Please include your street address with your comment.

The ANC is also seeking comments about the new Rite Aid’s quest for a retail liquor license. Rite Aid is moving in to the space that once housed our beloved hardware store and is directly across the street from CVS. Due to liquor license proximity regulations, Rite-Aid cannot apply for a Class B (beer and wine) license because it is too close to Whole Foods, which has a Class B. Therefore, Rite Aid wants to apply for a Class A one, which would allow them to sell hard liquor as well as beer and wine, but the Glover Park Moratorium prevents the issuing of any new Class A licenses. Pearson’s and Wide World of Wines both have Class A licenses. Rite Aid’s lawyers argued at the ANC meeting that removing Class A from the moratorium would not mean Glover Park would be overrun by liquor stores because of the 400-feet distance requirement. But residents in attendance noted that Rite Aid is already challenging CVS by selling tobacco products, which CVS doesn’t, and that CVS could not get a liquor license if Rite Aid did since it is closer than 400 feet. The discussion was lively and generally opposed to changing the moratorium to accommodate Rite Aid. What do you think? Let us know before February 11 at info@anc3b.org. Be sure to include your street address.

Speaking of Glover Park Hardware, the store should re-open soon, once the District signs off on the addition of a sprinkler system, the lack of which became a last-minute permitting problem that has delayed the opening by months. And more changes to our retail mix are coming as the Holiday Inn site is redeveloped into rental apartments and ground floor storefronts, including possibly a Trader Joe’s. The ANC will host the developers at a meeting this fall after plans are more complete.

DDOT and ANC3B have been working on resolving two major issues that have been left hanging for far too long. One is to restore morning rush hour parking to the east (northbound) side of Wisconsin Avenue. The parking was lost when the roadway was reduced from six lanes to four, but now that Wisconsin Avenue has been restored to its original lane configuration, we’ve been asking for the parking back, too. Patrons of Monarch Paint, Bruegger’s and Einstein Bagels, local consulates and other early-opening businesses have nowhere to park. DDOT has said that if it was there before, it should be grandfathered back in, even if Wisconsin’s lanes are a bit narrower than regulations require. Keep your fingers crossed.

ANC3B and ANC3C also got a commitment from DDOT to review the lack of accessibility to Glover Park from outbound Massachusetts Avenue that forces cars to cut through the residential streets of Mass. Ave. Heights. It makes no sense that there is no left turn allowed during afternoon rush hours on any non-residential street leading to Wisconsin Avenue between Sheridan Circle and Idaho Avenue. We are seeking to lift the no left turn from Observatory Circle and add signaling to regulate the flow of traffic. This process will take some time so watch for more information later.

The next meeting of ANC3B will be on Thursday, February 11. The agenda will be posted at www.anc3b.org, as well as being emailed to the ANC and Glover Park list serves. Note that our March meeting will be on March 17, not March 10.