September 2019 Meeting Report

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

Police Report.  Lt. Ralph Neal reported that there was one violent crime (sex abuse) in ANC 3B in the last 30 days and 23 property crimes—5 stolen cars, 6 thefts from autos, and 12 other thefts.  Compared to the same 30-day period last year, the number of reported crimes was up from 18 to 24. 

Plans for redevelopment of the current Georgetown Carpet building at 2208 Wisconsin Avenue. Abdo Roffe of Coba Properties presented plans for redeveloping the property from a one-story structure to a 4-story structure with first floor retail and 36 market-rate rental apartments on the upper levels.  The redeveloped property will also include an underground parking garage with 20 spaces and a small recessed penthouse area on the roof with deck and outdoor grills for residents.  Construction is expected to start in December 2019 or January 2020 and take 12-15 months.  In response to concerns of nearby residents, Mr. Roffe agreed to meet with them to discuss and resolve issues, and make sure they have a phone number to call him or the construction manager 24/7 so any problems that arise can be addressed immediately.

Discussion of Pepco’s proposed $162 million rate increase and change in ratemaking approach.  Marc Battle, Pepco Region VP, described his company’s request to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for an increase in electric distribution rates over a 3-year period.  Pepco is asking to charge rates to cover forecasted future expenses rather than the current process of requesting increases on an annual basis to cover expenses the utility has actually incurred. Mr. Battle said that implementing a multi-year plan would have benefits for the utility but also would give customers more predictable rates and could save money if the utility doesn’t have to go through a rate case every year. Other elements of the proposal include new performance incentive mechanisms and an annual reconciliation process to assess whether Pepco overestimated or underestimated its expected costs. Anjali Patel from the DC Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) said they are carefully studying Pepco’s request to assess the potential effects on customers, but noted that in recent experience, Pepco forecasts of its expenses have not always been accurate. The PSC is not expecting to issue a decision on the request until September 2020, after full hearings and chances for public comment in the spring. 

Resolution regarding Kimpton Glover Park Hotel proposed roof deck with restaurant/bar.  Commissioner Blumenthal presented a resolution urging ANC 3C and the Massachusetts Avenue Heights Citizens Association (MAHCA) to resolve issues about the plans for the roof deck project so that the Kimpton GP can move forward with plans to open the roof deck space.  She stressed that this type of amenity will be a boon to the Glover Park commercial area. Matt Wexler of Foxhall Partners (owner of the Kimpton property) thanked Commissioner Blumenthal for her efforts and said he looks forward to completing the project. The resolution passed unanimously. 

Letter to DDOT supporting its decision to restore morning rush hour parking on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue in Glover Park.  Commissioner Blumenthal thanked Rich Harrington (the Mayor’s Ward 3 liaison) for getting the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) to finally move on this project.  After the original traffic configuration was restored on Wisconsin Avenue 5 years ago, AM rush hour parking was never re-established despite continued efforts of ANC 3B. Loss of this parking has adversely affected nearby Glover Park businesses as there are very few options for public parking during the morning hours. The Commission unanimously approved a letter to DDOT urging them to move forward with restoring rush hour parking. 

Letter to DDOT on its Final Recommendations in the “Rock Creek Far West Livability Study.”  Commissioner Mladinov gave a summary of the 10 recommendations DDOT is making to address traffic safety concerns in Glover Park and Cathedral Heights, including the serious ongoing pedestrian safety issues on Cathedral Avenue.  A letter to DDOT was unanimously approved supporting the recommendations and encouraging DDOT to implement the near-term improvements. The letter also urges DDOT to continue to work with residents and ANCs on the recommended longer-term studies, share designs and seek public comments as the livability project proceeds. Ted Van Houten, Project Manager for DDOT, said that implementation of the recommendations would take from less than a year to 8 years. 

Letter asking the city to reconsider agreement between Department of Parks and Recreation and Maret School covering the use of the playing fields at Jelleff Recreation Center.  Commissioner Blumenthal presented a letter to the Mayor and the Council Chair urging them to re-consider DPR’s renewed 10-year deal to allow Maret nearly exclusive use of the Jelleff playing fields during weekday afternoons.  The inability to use Jelleff fields deprives Hardy Middle School students and others in Glover Park and Cathedral Heights access to some of the closest and best nearby athletic facilities.  The letter was approved unanimously. Several ANC 3B commissioners also signed a letter with ANC 2B commissioners and other organizations asking Attorney General Racine to investigate the agreement.

The next meeting of ANC3B will be Thursday, October 10.