Regular Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 15, 2014; 7:00 p.m.
School Without Walls – 2130 G Street NW
Call to Order
Chair Patrick Kennedy (01) called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. Commissioners
Rebecca Coder (02), Asher Corson (03), Armando Irizarry (04), Graham Galka (05),
Florence Harmon (06), Jackson Carnes (07), and Peter Sacco (08) were present.
Commissioner Sacco made a motion to adopt the agenda. Commissioner Coder seconded
the motion, which was vote on and passed (VOTES: 8-0).
Officer David Hunter was present to give the safety report. Officer Hunter said that total
crime in the neighborhood was down by seventeen percent and property crime was down
by twenty-four percent.
Commissioner Sacco asked Officer Hunter about a question he had recently received
from a neighbor regarding a lack of police enforcement during the closing and opening
times of the hypothermia warming shelter at the West End Library. Officer Hunter said
that at least once officer spent each night either in the shelter or outside in a cruiser.
Barbara Kahlow, a neighborhood resident, asked what was being done with regards to the
homeless encampments located in between Foggy Bottom and Georgetown. Officer
Hunter said that hypothermia season presented an interesting dilemma and that focus on
homeless encampments would begin in the spring.
Officer Hunter talked about a recent scam where people posing as PEPCO employees
were calling residents demanding money for unpaid bills. He told everyone to avoid any
scams where people demand money over the phone.
Chair Kennedy asked about some recent violent attacks at local clubs. He asked if there
were any visible trends with the attacks. Officer Hunter said that he hadn’t noticed any
trends in our neighborhood.
New Hampshire Avenue Streetscape Update
Ian Swain, the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) representative for the
project, was not present.
Chair Kennedy asked the audience if there were any particular issues that needed
addressing since the project was supposed to finish the next month, and the audience
talked about reccurring issues that had already been discussed at previous ANC meetings.
Report from the Office of Councilmember Jack Evans, Ward 2
Kevin Stogner, General Counsel for Councilmember Jack Evans, was present to give an
update for the Councilmember’s office. He said that the office was working on a tax
series recently raised in the Washington Post.
Commissioner Harmon said that she had not heard from DDOT on the ANC’s resolution
for residential only parking on one side of 22nd Street NW near the Shadow Room
nightclub. She said that she might need help from Councilmember Evans’ office.
Commissioner Irizarry told Mr. Stogner to thank Sherri Kimbel, Councilmember Evans’
Director of Constituent Services, for her help with changing the policies of the
neighborhood senior citizen supermarket shuttle.
Commissioner Sacco made a public announcement regarding the upcoming GW Senior
Commissioner Carnes made a public announcement regarding the D.C. Council’s alley
closing hearing for GW’s Square 75 project, which was set to be held the next day.
Chair Kennedy said that two appeals had been filed of the Zoning Administrator’s
decision to grant building permits for the Hyatt Place Hotel, and that the Board of Zoning
Adjustment (BZA) had scheduled a hearing on the matter.
Chair Kennedy also said that, at the recent quarterly meeting of ANC chairs with Mayor
Gray, the Mayor’s office said that it would be releasing a recommendation on the school
feeder and boundary changes in May. Chair Kennedy said it could be problematic for our
neighborhood because there is a chance that residents living in ANC 2A will no longer be
in-boundary for Wilson High School.
Sara Shapiro, a local resident, talked about the ADA ramps that were set to be installed at
23rd and E Streets NW. She said said that she found no ADA ramps anywhere in the city
that used three parking spaces, and she wondered why E Street had to lose three spaces
for the new ADA ramp. Chair Kennedy said that the work on the ramps had stopped
because of the cold weather. Ms. Shapiro said she wanted to change the plans while work
had stopped, and Chair Kennedy said he was committed to making sure there was no loss
of parking in the neighborhood.
Discussion of Supermarket Shuttle Policies
In giving a history about the situation with the supermarket shuttle policies,
Commissioner Irizarry said that a new supermarket shuttle was created at the Watergate
after the closure of the Watergate Safeway. He said that a new contractor, Terrific,
recently took over for Family Matters as the shuttle operator. He added that the D.C.
Office of Aging pays for the shuttle.
Commissioner Irizarry also said that during a recent snowstorm, only six or seven
neighbors showed up for the shuttle, and were denied transportation because the driver
said that the number of residents that showed up did not meet the minimum number
required to operate the service. Commissioner Irizarry said that he and a few Watergate
residents reached out to Councilmember Jack Evans’ office, and Councilmember Evans
got involved and ensured that the situation would not happen again.
Commissioner Irizarry said that the shuttle driver now knows where he can pick up
neighbors in the case of bad weather. He added that the shuttle runs every Wednesday in
One local resident asked if small shopping carts could be brought on the bus.
Commissioner Irizarry said he believed that they could.
GWUPD Policies Discussion
Commissioner Corson said that he was curious about the G.W. University Police
Department’s (UPD) current door knocking policies. He said that since no one from UPD
was present at the meeting, he would write a letter to UPD regarding the policies instead.
Presentation by Office of Tax and Revenue
Norman Evans from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) was present to talk
about upcoming tax policy changes, including what was new for the 2014 filing season.
Mr. Evans said that OTR was now offering prepaid Visa gift cards as a refund
distribution option for refunds greater than $25 and less than $2,500. He said that the card
would be convenient for those who do not have bank accounts and could be used for
retail shopping and paying for bills online.
Mr. Evans then said that on this year’s tax form, a date of birth box had been added to the
personal information part of the form. He said that this was added to combat identity theft
and to notify taxpayers about benefits they could receive based on their age.
Mr. Evans said that OTR encourages people to file online, one option for which is the DC
Free File program.
Mr. Evans then said that DC residents might be eligible to increase their tax refund. He
said that those who qualify for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit might now be
eligible for the DC Earned Income Tax Credit.
Mr. Evans added that throughout March his office would be holding a series of tax
Sara Maddux, a neighborhood resident, asked where she could pick up tax booklets. Mr.
Evans said that he heard that they were being delivered to libraries. He added that OTR is
printing less and less tax booklets each year as more taxes are being done online.
Commissioner Irizarry asked what services would be offered to local seniors. One local
resident said that AARP and the D.C. Library would be offering services.
Presentation on Prospective P.U.D. Application at 2100 K Street, NW
David Avitabile from Goulston & Storrs was present, representing the applicant for the
Chair Kennedy prefaced that he and Commissioner Harmon had already met with the
applicant. Chair Kennedy said that the applicant had not submitted a PUD application yet
and that an amenities discussion would happen at the next ANC meeting.
Mr. Avitabile said that the property was being presented as a PUD. He added that the
property was located 2100 K Street, adjacent to International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Mr. Avitabile then introduced Mark Helian, the architect for the project. Mr. Helian
showed images of the current site and the plans for the new building. He said that the new
building would seamlessly connect with the IFC building. He added that there would be a
small loss of parking spaces on the site, as well as the removal of the windows on the
back interior portion of the IFC building.
Mr. Helian said that the new building would look distinctly different from the IFC
building, and that it would have its own identity.
Mr. Avitabile said that the alley on the site was a private alley, so there would be no alley
closing process with the DC Council. He also said that the IFC perimeter security barriers
would continue around the rest of the new building. He added that the new barriers would
require a public space application.
Mr. Helian said that new retail space would be introduced at the corner of 21st and K
Street that would connect to a larger retail space on the second floor. He said that there
would be a maximum of 4,000 combined square feet of retail space.
Commissioner Coder asked who the property owner was. Mr. Avitabile said the applicant
was Professional Associates and that the IFC would lease the new space from
Professional Associates with the possibility for the IFC to purchase the space in the
Commissioner Harmon asked where the PUD would apply to. Mr. Avitabile said that the
PUD would apply to the entire block, including both the new project and the current IFC
Commissioner Corson asked if any variances would be needed. Mr. Avitabile said that
there were technically no variances since the PUD would apply to the entire site in order
to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) on the new project building, which would give
the applicant an additional 40,000 square feet on the site.
Commissioner Coder asked why the applicant was applying the PUD to the entire site
and not just to the piece of this new project. Mr. Avitabile said that, by applying the PUD
to the entire site, it would allow the applicant to increase the FAR, where the additional
40,000 square feet would be brought over to the new project site.
Sara Maddux, a neighborhood resident, said that the IFC building was originally
supposed to have a movie theater and space for the community, but that it never
matriculated. She also said that, in order for the project’s new retail space at 21st and K
Street to succeed, the applicant would need to have retail space at the corner of 21st and
Barbara Kahlow, another neighborhood resident, wanted this PUD application to reflect
the prior IFC PUD application, which was withdrawn by the IFC and never acted upon by
the BZA. Mr. Avitabile said that the IFC withdrew their original PUD application
because they were able to build the IFC building to an increased height of 130 feet
through a new law at the time that enabled such added height through transferable
development rights (TDR), which thus rendered the need for a PUD application
unnecessary. Ms. Kahlow said that the neighbors would bring up the prior PUD
application by the IFC, even though the IFC withdrew their PUD application, in this PUD
Commissioner Carnes asked about the history as to why the old IFC PUD benefits were
never provided. Mr. Avitabile said that the benefits were never provided because the IFC
withdrew its PUD application. Ms. Kahlow said that she wanted to do an analysis of this
at the next meeting. Mr. Avitabile added that it was based on the new transferable
development rights (TDR) law that was passed around the same time as the original IFC
project. She said that the IFC was built with purchased TDR credits, rather than pursuant
to the approved PUD.
Report by Ward 2 Education Network
Chris Sondreal, ANC 2A’s representative on the Ward 2 Education Network, was
present. Mr. Sondreal talked about the last network meeting that drew more than 100
residents to talk about changes to school feeder patterns and boundaries. He said that, as a
follow up to the meeting, the network would be making recommendations to D.C. Public
Schools (DCPS) on the changes.
Regarding upcoming neighborhood school events, Mr. Sondreal said that School Without
Walls at Francis-Stevens would be having a partnership event at a local law firm the next
day. He also said that Ross Elementary would be holding its annual auction on March
22nd. He added that the last open house at Francis-Stevens would be held the next
Tuesday, and that the enrollment lottery closes on March 3rd.
Consideration of a Resolution in Support of Garrison Elementary School Modernization
Mr. Sondreal passed out a resolution to the Commission in support of the modernization
of the Logan Circle neighborhood’s Garrison Elementary School. He said that the school
was having a hard time attracting residents of the growing neighborhood. He added that
the school did neighborhood surveys,and local residents said that they did not want to
send their children to the school because of the school’s aging facilities.
Mr. Sondreal said that the school was budgeted to get a phase one renovation in FY 2015.
He then said that the school was among the worst on the current list of schools that have
yet to get a renovation. He added that local residents were asking for the DC Council to
budget for a full modernization of the school in FY 2015.
Commissioner Corson said that talking about walkability and maintaining the students’
ability to walk to school might strengthen the resolution.
Commissioner Coder said she wondered if the Garrison Elementary School renovations
would affect funds for the renovation of the School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens.
Mr. Sondreal said that it should not and that Francis-Stevens was supposed to get a phase
one renovation in FY 2015 as well. He added that the Home and School Association at
Francis-Stevens had been talking to the DCPS Chancellor about moving the renovation
Chair Kennedy added that the School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens received some
minor renovation work in the 2008-09 academic year, while Garrison Elementary School
Commissioner Coder asked for a friendly amendment to add the “West End community”
to the second “whereas” of the resolution.
Chair Kennedy asked to waive the reading of the “whereas” sections of the resolution
based on Mr. Sondreal’s description of the issue, and with no objections, he read the
“therefore be it resolved” clause of the resolution aloud.
Commissioner Carnes made a motion to adopt the resolution. Commissioner Coder
seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed (VOTES 8-0).
Application for a New ABRA License by Café Deluxe
Brian Sullivan, the applicant for the project, and his counsel, Andrew Kline were present
to talk about the application.
Chair Kennedy said that the applicant was asking for an entertainment endorsement until
2 or 3 am. Multiple neighbors were not pleased with the idea of the ANC approving of an
Mr. Sullivan said that he had heard about the ANC’s previous objections on the hours for
the exterior patio, and he said that he would be filing an amendment to the ABRA
application to reduce the hours.
Mr. Sullivan then said that the entertainment endorsement would be used for special
events in an interior ballroom of the adjacent hotel and would not used for the actual Café
Chair Harmon, in whose SMD the project falls, distributed a resolution to the
Commission, which objects to the sidewalk café hours portion of the ABRA application.
She said that if the applicant’s amendment goes through, the ANC would withdraw the
Sally Blumenthal, the President of Condominium Association at 22 West, said that the
residents were excited about Café Deluxe coming to the neighborhood; however, they
were also concerned about the sidewalk café hours. She added that the residents were
also concerned about the entertainment since the architecture of Café Deluxe has glass
windows, which would not do much to contain the sound. Mr. Sullivan assured everyone
that the entertainment would be in the interior hotel ballroom and not in the restaurant.
He added that Café Deluxe’s business model does not call for restaurant entertainment.
Commissioner Coder asked if there would be any outdoor amplified music. Mr. Sullivan
said that two outdoor speakers would be added, which would be just 4 by 6 inches large
and would play music from the interior of the restaurant.
Commissioner Corson said that he prefers what the local restaurant Ris did to what the
West End Bistro did for their sidewalk cafés. He said that Ris’ space makes it feel as
though the public still owns the space.
Commissioner Harmon said that she would like the applicant to amend the application so
that it would state that the entertainment would only be in the ballroom and specifically
not in the restaurant.
Commissioner Corson said that the hours for Café Deluxe should be consistent with other
establishments in the neighborhood and that no other neighborhood establishments have
amplified outdoor music.
Chair Kennedy proposed to amend the resolution to just say that ANC 2A protests the
application based on adverse impacts to peace, order, and quiet, residential parking,
vehicular and pedestrian safety, and impact on residential real property values.
Commissioner Harmon also suggested that the resolution should state that Chair Kennedy
and Commissioner Harmon would represent the ANC on the issue.
Mr. Kline said that, based on the multiple concerns voiced by neighbors, his team would
not recommend that they amend the ABRA application any further in the event that his
team has to go to a hearing with ABRA.
Commissioner Harmon made a motion to adopt the amended resolution. Commissioner
Irizarry seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 8-0)
Public Space Application for Hyatt Place Hotel at 2121 M Street
Commissioner Harmon, in whose SMD the hotel project lies, talked about the public
space application. She said that the ANC does not know if a new public space application
was filed, and since the ANC has only heard that the new application was filed but that
the ANC has not actually received the new application, that the ANC should object to any
Commissioner Harmon presented a resolution of objection to the public space
application. She said the objection was based on the placement of the hotel’s drop-off
zone in the new street bike lane, in addition to other issues that the parties involved were
currently addressing. She added that the ANC could withdraw the objection at a later
point in time.
Commissioner Coder made a motion to adopt the resolution. Commissioner Irizarry
seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed. (VOTES 8-0)
Resolution Regarding Exterior Sign at Hilton Garden Inn
Sally Blumenthal, president of the condominium association at 22 West, presented on the
issue. She said that the Hilton Garden Inn would have a ribbon cutting in a few months
and that residents had concerns about the new exterior sign the hotel installed. She also
said that the ANC previously objected to having a backlit sign on the façade of the hotel
and that the plans approved by the Zoning Commission did not include a backlit sign.
Ms. Blumenthal then said that a backlit sign has recently appeared on the hotel. She said
that she called the hotel’s lawyer for the project, who said that the sign conforms to the
previous zoning order. She added that she then contacted the Zoning Administrator to ask
that they enforce the zoning order and explain why the sign conforms to the order.
Ms. Blumenthal said that she was asking the ANC to support the local residents in
pushing the applicant to change the sign. She said that if the applicant does not change
the sign, a group of local residents would appeal to the Board of Zoning Adjustment
Commissioner Corson asked what the ANC would be voting on. Ms. Blumenthal said
that the ANC would be part of a letter asking the Zoning Administrator to enforce the
zoning order for the sign.
Commissioner Harmon made a motion to support Ms. Blumenthal’s request.
Commissioner Coder seconded the motion. Commissioner Corson asked for an
amendment that the resolution should say that the exterior sign should not be installed.
Both Commissioner Harmon and Commissioner Coder accepted the amendment as
friendly. The final motion was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 8-0)
Application to List the Former O.S.S. Headquarters Building on the National Register of
Commissioners Harmon and Irizarry recused themselves from discussing and voting on
Dr. Peter Sefton, the Landmarks Chair for the D.C. Preservation League, was present to
talk about the matter. Mr. Sefton said that the D.C. Preservation League was looking to
have the O.S.S. Headquarters building added to the National Register of Historic Places.
He distributed a handout summarizing the history of the site.
Mr. Sefton said that the D.C. Office of Historic Preservation believes that the site is
eligible for the National Register of Historic Places; however, the site has not been added
Mr. Sefton added that the State Department, which owns the O.S.S. property, originally
planned to tear down the building in 2008 to make way for a new State Department
complex. He added that, currently, the State Department has promised to preserve the
O.S.S. Building as part of the new complex.
Mr. Sefton said that he believes the National Register listing would help protect the
building from the possibility of the State Department deciding to tear it down. He showed
the Commission an old photo of the O.S.S. complex from the late 1950s.
Commissioner Kennedy asked what protections were in place under the National Register
of Historic Places. Mr. Sefton said that a new federal law says that if a building is eligible
for the National Register for Historic Places, the government should not tear it down or
alter its historical context.
Commissioner Sacco made a motion to send a letter in support of adding the O.S.S.
Headquarters building to the National Register of Historic Places. Commissioner Carnes
seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 6-0, Commissioners
Harmon and Irizarry recused)
Proposal to Install Parking Meters on the National Mall and Consideration of a
Resolution in Support of Expanded Circulator Service
Chair Kennedy talked about a proposal to add parking meters on and around the National
Mall, which would fund a new Circulator route on the National Mall. He added that a
National Mall Circulator route used to exist; however, it was restricted because of the
National Park Service’s exclusive contract with Tourmobile, which has since ceased to
Chair Kennedy said that he is interested in adding another new Circulator route to
connect the National Mall route to the Foggy Bottom Metro station, then on to Dupont
Circle and U Street before ending near Howard University. He added that he is interested
in this additional route because he wants to connect our neighborhood and the National
Mall, promoting local businesses in the process.
Commissioner Coder asked if the parking meters on the National Mall would be on
property controlled by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Chair
Kennedy said that the meters would be on National Park Service property, but that money
collected by the meters would be funneled through DDOT to fund the new National Mall
Chair Kennedy read a resolution aloud, which supports both the National Mall Circulator
route proposal and his proposal for a new Foggy Bottom-Dupont-U Street-Howard
Chair Kennedy made a motion to adopt the resolution. Commissioner Sacco seconded the
motion, which was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 6-0, Commissioners Harmon and
Request by FRESHFARM Market to Reserve Parking Spaces for 2014 Season
Reg Godin from FRESHFARM Markets was present to talk about a request to reserve a
certain amount of nearby parking spaces for farmers to park at during the Foggy Bottom
Farmers Market’s 2014 season. Mr. Godin passed out a letter to the Commission asking
for support from the ANC.
He said that the requested parking spaces would be located on New Hampshire Avenue
next to the George Washington University Hospital between 24th Street and Washington
Commissioner Carnes made a motion to send a letter of support for FRESHFARM’s
request. Commissioner Coder seconded the motion. Chair Kennedy asked for a friendly
amendment to note a previous issue with farmers parking in the residential area near the
market. Commissioner Carnes and Commissioner Coder accepted the amendment as
friendly. The motion was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 8-0)
Proposal to Declare Stevens School as Surplus Property for Disposition
Chair Kennedy said that the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development put
out a notice that a surplus hearing was scheduled for the Stevens School property. Chair
Kennedy asked if the ANC wanted to put any comments on the record for this initial
hearing on the matter.
Chair Harmon asked to defer discussion on the topic, and the Commission agreed to do
so by acclimiation.
Request for Letter in Support of the Marine Corps Marathon
Two representatives from the Marine Corps Marathon were present to talk about the
event. They said that they were waiting on approval from the director of Rock Creek Park
to see if the marathon could go through the park this year.
The representatives said a full cleaning crew goes through after the race and that the
organizers always leave the race cleaner than they found it. They added that the marathon
would be on October 26, 2014. They added that the marathon provides a large economic
benefit to the community.
Commissioner Irizarry said that Watergate residents sometimes complain about a
cheering space being placed along the route by the Watergate. He requested that the
cheering space placement be far enough away from the residential buildings.
Commissioner Irizarry made a motion to send a letter of support for the marathon with a
special note that the organizers mitigate impacts to Watergate residents. Commissioner
Coder seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 8-0)
Approval of 1st Quarter Financial Report
Chai Kennedy noted that the ANC received a full allotment from the D.C. government
during the past quarter.
Commissioner Irizarry made a motion to adopt the 1st Quarter Financial Report.
Commissioner Galka seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed. (VOTES: 8-
Designation of Jackson Carnes to report ANC 2A Before DC Council
Chair Kennedy made a motion to designate Commissioner Carnes as the ANC’s
representative at the upcoming D.C. Council committee hearing on the Square 75 alley
closing. Commissioner Galka seconded the motion, which was voted on and passed.
Chair Kennedy adjourned the meeting at 9:35 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Peter Sacco, ANC 2A Secretary.