May 2021 Meeting Report

 

Police Report.  Lt. Paul Johnson, 2D, gave the police report.  For the past 30-day period, there were 6 thefts, 2 stolen autos and one theft from auto.  The same as last year.  Per the question from the last meeting about the activation of the stop sign camera, he said that DDOT activated the camera based on a request from someone in the community.

Discussion of DCPS proposals for planned new schools at Hardy Rec property near Foxhall Road and Reservoir Road and at the former Georgetown Day School campus on MacArthur Boulevard.

Claudia Luján, DCPS Deputy Chief, Strategic School Planning and Enrollment and Andrea Swiatocha, DCPS Deputy Manager of Facilities, gave an overview of plans for development of two new schools in the Foxhall/Palisades neighborhood. The goal of these new facilities is to relieve the overcrowding at existing area schools, though the proposals would not totally solve the capacity challenges at Stoddert or at Deal or Wilson  A new elementary school is proposed on the site of the Hardy Rec Center and park,  near the Old Hardy School which is under long-term lease to the Lab School.  It would be new construction and not available for occupancy until August 2024.  The student population would either be drawn from Stoddert, Key, and Mann elementary schools through a change in boundaries or by having only only 3rd-5th graders from Stoddert and Key attend the new school, leaving the pre-K to 2nd graders at their current schools. The second proposed school would be located in the Georgetown Day School on MacArthur Boulevard.  Because it is an existing building, it could be ready for occupancy by August 2022.  The options for this property would be either a) a new high school, b) a new middle school, either supplementing Hardy Middle or moving Hardy Middle to the new site and using Hardy Middle property for a 9th grade academy to alleviate crowding at Wilson High School. DCPS would not be providing transportation to these new facilities.

These proposals were developed by DCPS in consultation with a community working group created by the school system to assess school options in the Wilson High School feeder network.  ANC 3B was not initially asked to participate in this group but has recently been invited.  Commissioner Turmail will represent 3B.  Public comment on these proposals is due by May 20th.

Jorge Highland, Stoddert PTO Co-President, commented that Stoddert is the most heavily affected school under the proposed options for an elementary school, and from the perspective of parents, both would be unacceptable as they split Glover Park in half either geographically or in terms of the current teaching team.  Either option would create logistical problems for Glover Park families to get students to and from the proposed new schools, especially for those without a car, because the two school sites on Foxhall and MacArthur have very limited Metrobus service and are too far away for most area students to walk there.  The PTO urges DCPS to go back to the plan to expand Stoddert to address the overcrowding issue and keep the Stoddert boundaries intact.

Commissioner Turmail expressed several concerns with the current proposals on behalf of ANC 3B.   He introduced a letter opposing the two options proposed by DCPS and asking for the funding for the capital project at Stoddert to be stored. The letter was unanimously approved.

Presentation of Request for Zoning Special Exception for Addition at 2131 Observatory Place.  Jeremy and Rachel Robinson presented plans proposing a 2-story addition which would increase their lot occupancy to 44%, triggering a requirement for a special zoning exception.  The Robinsons had support letters from their adjacent neighbors at 2129 and 2201 Observatory.  The Commission voted to support the application and will file a letter to the BZA in the zoning case.

DC Food Project Presentation of $2,500 Grant Request for SouperGirl Soup Project.  Krista Weymouth presented a proposal to provide fresh soup to families in need, and also to purchase T-shirts for staff and volunteers working on distribution of the food assistance. The organization, founded in Glover Park, has been very successful and is about to deliver their one-millionth meal.  The Commissioner voted to approve the grant.

Stoddert PTO Presentation of $1,750 Grant Request for Tent and Fans for 5th Grade Graduation.  Jorge Highland, Stoddert PTO Co-President, presented a grant request for $1,475 to rent a tent and fans for the fifth-grade graduation at Stoddert on June 18, which has to be held outdoors because of COVID restrictions. The Commission voted to approve the grant.

Proposed Letter to DDOT with Recommendations for Post-Pandemic “Slow Streets” Initiatives.  DDOT has asked for comments by the end of May on how it can achieve the goals of the recently closed 2020 “Slow Streets” program that DDOT launched last summer during the COVID-19 emergency.  Within the previous weeks, DDOT had taken down the barricades on 39th Street from Fulton to Massachusetts Avenue and removed the designation of that route as a “Slow Street.” Commissioner Mladinov presented a draft letter to DDOT including the recommendations to consult with ANCs and the community about projects proposed on local streets and to issue a standard Notice of Intent (NOI) for public comment.  The Commission voted to approve sending the letter to DDOT.

Presentation by Breadsoda at 2233 Wisconsin Avenue (next to Ace Hardware) requesting an amendment to its Settlement Agreement with the ANC (attached to Breadsoda’s liquor license).  Dominick Garzaniti and Steve Teague from Breadsoda request a change in their settlement agreement with the ANC to extend their open hours on the top patio to 2 am on weeknights and 3 am on weekends.  Commissioner Blumenthal said she would put out a call for public comment and the ANC would vote on the request at its June meeting.  Pending approval and a new settlement agreement, Breadsoda would then be able to apply to the ABC Board for an additional entertainment endorsement.

 Updates and Information

  • Commissioner Turmail reported that he participated in a bike ride with Mary Cheh, DDOT representatives and others about the DDOT proposals for bike lanes on New Mexico Avenue, Tunlaw Road and 37th He repeated the ANC 3B request for a broader corridor study that includes an analysis of mobility and safety needs for all modes of transportation on those streets including requirements for bus stops, delivery trucks, pedestrians, parking, etc.  On Monday, May 17th, several Commissioners scheduled a walk-through of the Tunlaw Road corridor with Councilperson Cheh to go over specific areas of concern.
  • Commissioner Elson gave an update on the Cathedral Avenue corridor. She, Tony Donaldson from MOCRS, Donise Jackson and her colleagues from DDOT did a walk-through of the area to discuss pending long-term safety issues including crosswalks, signage, parking, etc.  Donise had updates on the status of these requests and sent out a schedule for addressing them.

Next meeting: June 10, 2021