October 2018 Meeting Report

All Commissioners were in attendance: Ann Mladinov (3B01), Jackie Blumenthal (3B02), Melissa Lane (3B03), Mary Young (3B04) and Brian Turmail (3B05).

Police Report.  Lt. Ralph Neal, Second District, MPD, reported that there had not been any violent crimes in the area over the previous 30 days. In ANC3B 15  property crimes  had occurred   compared to 8 in  the same 30-day period a year ago.  Lt. Neal was asked about steps to remedy compared to 8 the continuing speeding issue on Cathedral Avenue between Massachusetts and New Mexico Avenues.  He said he would request a speed camera to be installed on that street.  Lt. Neal also addressed the status of the incident that occurred at Commissioner Blumenthal’s house in September when a person put a fist through the plate glass storm door.  The charges have been dropped in that case because of lack of direct evidence, and  the person charged, who is homeless, remains on the street but has been arrested and charged for other crimes.  Commissioners Turmail and Blumenthal will be meeting with MPD and DC Dept of Health Services staffs on October 17th to discuss the process for getting help for troubled homeless people and also keeping the community safe.

 Resolution on DDOT Guidelines for Small Cell Technology.  DDOT’s Public Space Committee will be holding a hearing on October 15 on proposed guidelines for “small cell” antennas and related infrastructure to support 4G and 5G networks in DC.   A number of ANCs including 3B are concerned that DDOT has not allowed enough time for ANCs and the public to consider and comment on the guidelines and provisions for review of proposed installations. Some telecommunications companies are planning on erecting their own utility poles to hold the small cell equipment, and DDOT is proposing to allow each company to use its own poles rather than using existing poles or sharing poles.  Commissioner Mladinov introduced a resolution asking DDOT to delay implementation of any guidelines until there has been adequate time to evaluate the effects of the proposed guidelines and ensure that DDOT is taking into account all comments.. The resolution was approved unanimously.

Resolution on Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 (B22-0904.  At the ANC 3B meeting in September, CM Cheh’s Legislative Director, Nicole Rentz, briefed on the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018 that was introduced by the Councilmember.  The act proposes to raise renewable energy standards in DC, require the city to adopt performance standards for the energy efficiency of buildings in the District, raise a small fee on utility bills to fund research on energy efficiency and assist low income residents to pay for  energy efficiency improvements at their homes, and enable the Mayor to coordinate with nearby states on clean energy programs such as a “carbon tax.”  Commissioner Mladinov introduced a resolution supporting CM Cheh’s proposed legislation, which was approved by unanimous vote.

 Updates and Information

  •  Commissioner Lane reported that Glover Park Day on September 15th was a success. Commissioner Blumenthal described two activities sponsored by the Glover Park Business Task Force at the event.  One was a selfie-station where participants took pictures holding signs expressing why they want the Glover Park Whole Foods to reopen in the neighborhood.  The second was a resident survey to find out what kind of retail the community would like to see on the Wisconsin Avenue commercial strip.   About 350 questionnaires were completed.  Results are being tabulated and will be made widely available via the listserv, social media, etc.
  • Commissioner Mladinov spoke of increasing community concerns about safety at the intersection of Fulton Street and Wisconsin Avenue, NW, which has seen a number of recent crashes and close calls for vehicles and pedestrians.  This intersection has been of particular concern for a long time.  DDOT will not put a traffic signal at that intersection because it does not meet federal standards for a signal, largely because there is already a signal one block north at Garfield and another signal one block south at Edmunds.  Some community members have asked for a HAWK signal to be installed.  ANC 3B will follow up with DDOT again about ideas for improving the safety of that crossing.

 Open Forum

  • David Rydeski spoke about the DC College Savings Plan. It is a DC program administered by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and allows families to save money for college tuition, vocational training, and high school tuition, and receive tax breaks on the savings.  Rydeski has been tasked by the OCFO to promote the program throughout DC.  More information is available at dc529.com.
  • Vicki Gersten, a resident of Massachusetts Avenue Heights, spoke of her neighborhood’s opposition to the proposed development of a memory care facility at 2619 Wisconsin Avenue, NW. For more information, the opposition group has established a web site, guestservicesdc.com, where r residents are asked to sign a petition against the development.  Such a facility would require a zoning exception from BZA.  A hearing is currently scheduled for November.
  • David Krukoff, Executive Director and Founder of the organization called “Douglass County, MD,” spoke of the group’s efforts to advocate for “retrocession” of much of the District of Columbia that was originally carved out of the State of Maryland in order to give residents voting representatives in the U.S. Senate and House. See douglasscountymd.org.

The next meeting of ANC3B will be Thursday, November 8.