ANC 3D Minutes for May 07, 2014

About

ANC: 3D

Meeting Date: May 7, 2014

Uploaded on: Aug. 17, 2014

Download Original

Edit This Information

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
 
ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3D
PALISADES · KENT · SPRING VALLEY · WESLEY HEIGHTS ·
NEW MEXICO/CATHEDRAL · THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY · FOXHALL VILLAGE
 
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D Minutes
Regular Meeting
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
 
The regular monthly meeting of ANC3D was held at the American University School of International Service,
Room 333, Washington, DC, 20016, on the first Wednesday of the month, March 5, 2014. Chair Gayle Trotter
opened the Executive Session of the meeting at 7:00 PM. Other Commissioners present: Penny Pagano, Rory
Slatko, Kent Slowinski, W. Philip Thomas, Nan Wells, and Joe Wisniewski, Stu Ross, and Thomas M. Smith.
Commissioner Michael Gold was absent.
 
7:30 Opening of the Meeting to the Public - There were over 50 people in the audience during the session.
 
Police Report: Officer Tony McElwee reported that auto and thefts from autos were up from this same time
next year. He reported that three American University students have been charged with aggravated assault of
another American University student for an incident that occurred on April 7, 2014. He also reported robbery
of a citizen at the Citibank ATM located at the intersection of MacArthur Blvd., NW and Arizona Ave, NW.
 
Community Concerns:
Chris Archer, a resident of Manning Place, NW, reported an increase in traffic on his street which he attributed
to motorists avoiding the new stoplight at Loughboro Road and Dalecarlia Parkway and would like to have a
“Do Not Enter” sign installed at the Manning Place NW entrance.
 
Todd Anderson, a resident of Green Place, added that his neighborhood sees too much cut-through traffic be-
tween Canal Road and MacArthur Boulevard which he believes are Maryland commuters. He asked for rush-
hour restrictions or speed humps.
 
Commissioner Wells reported that the Army Corps of Engineers seems to have identified an alternative site for
a planned ground-water monitoring well near the intersection of Glenbrook Road and Rockwood Parkway. An
earlier plan called for the well to be located in Spring Valley Park on Rockwood Parkway which would have had
a negative effect on greenery and use of the park.
 
Agenda:
American University –David Dower, Asst. VP for Planning and Project Management, and Linda Argo, Assistant
Vice President, External Relations and Auxiliary Services gave a PowerPoint presentation about AU’s East
Campus plans (Attachment 1).
 
Mr. Dower said that American University (AU) plans to build the East Campus in compliance with the zoning
order. He said that the increased gross floor area computations for the new buildings are based on reducing
the size of internal mechanical equipment which isn’t counted in that metric. Ms. Argo said
 
1
that AU statements at a March 11 pre-construction meeting that the project comprises 400,000 square feet
were in error.
 
Commissioner Smith noted that only 5 parking spaces had been planned for being located under the Building
#5 that will not be built. Mr. Dower said there is now a 2-story underground garage proposed on one side of
the underground garage. He said it is necessary to expand the two-story garage to two levels because AU is
delaying construction of one of the buildings approved for the site. The underground parking was to extend
under a portion of this building. He said this necessitated dividing the parking spaces into two floors. Mr.
Dower said that there would no longer be a bus turn around in the two-story parking garage. Commissioner
Smith said that the underground parking garage was designed in part to have a bus turn-around so that char-
ter buses would not use the surface parking lot that will be located immediately adjacent to residential homes.
Mr. Dower did not commit to a location for the future bus turn-around.
 
Commissioners expressed concern about the impact of deeper excavations at the garage site and the potential
for water damage to the foundations of neighboring homes. There are concerns that groundwater at the site
may be a source of perchlorate contamination which raises added concerns with respect to any water damage
to neighboring property. Commissioner Smith said that by excavating deeper, the project possibly exposes
neighboring property to additional risks that were not anticipated as part of the proceedings two years ago
that resulted in approval of a one-story underground parking garage.
 
Residents and Commissioners also raised concerns about the buffer between the East Campus and the
Westover residential homes, building heights, and mechanical penthouses.
 
Commissioner Smith said that he would have a motion on this issue before the Commission Business section
of this meeting.
 
Commissioner Smith said he would like a follow up meeting between residents and AU representations about
the East Campus plans and Chair Trotter asked that he coordinate that with Mr. Dower and Ms. Argo.
 
American University student conduct issues –Dr. Gail Hanson, VP for Campus Life, American University, said
that AU has a code of conduct which serves AU well in enforcing out standards for student behavior and it ap-
plies to students off campus. Dr. Hanson said that the April 7, 2014 assault on campus was very rare in the
history of AU. Another recent incident was the April 17, 2014 revelation of an anonymous email string which
described despicable behavior in tough language. AU is investigating who wrote the emails and there is no
evidence that any of the actions mentioned in the emails has occurred.
 
Dr. Hanson said that AU hopes that 590 students who live in the community will move to the East Campus up-
on its completion. Recognized student organizations (sororities, fraternities, and athletic teams) who have
three or more members who rent an off campus property are asked to register their address to the Greek Life
or Athletics office. Dr. Hanson said that AU’s Community Liaison Committee is a forum for the community to
come forward and present problems they are having with students living in the community or any other stu-
dent incidents with students. Commissioners express frustration that AU doesn’t expel or suspend students
who have committed egregious acts. Dr. Hanson said that AU does that but the information on those cases is
confidential.
 
BZA Application # 18775 for 2824 Hurst Terrace, NW - Applicant Teresa Barger presented information for her
application for a special exception to allow a one story rear addition to an existing one-family detached dwell-
ing. Ms. Barger and her husband have lived at this address for 26 years and want to do a small addition to back
2
of house which exceeds the set-back on the left side of the lot. The addition does not block light of adjacent
properties, is impossible to see from street or from adjoining neighbors when they are in their homes, and she
presented letters of support from the three adjoining neighbors.
 
Commissioner Thomas moved to approve the application; Commissioner Trotter made a friendly amendment
to have Commissioner Thomas testify at the application’s hearing if necessary; the friendly amendment was
accepted. Commissioner Smith seconded and the vote was 9-0-0 in support of the motion (Attachment 2).
 
BZA Application # 18708 for 4509 Foxhall Crescents Drive, NW – Patrick Brown, representative for the owner,
highlighted several features of the design for this project including the inclusion of a 2-car garage to replicate
the designs of the other homes in the original designs of the development, a much smaller impervious foot-
print of other properties in the area which is significant for stormwater management issues, and an infiltration
trench.
 
Robert Sharkey, Vice President of the Foxhall Crescent Citizens Association, said that the Association opposes
this application and that they had only received communications from Mr. Brown this afternoon to discuss ac-
commodations with the neighbors. Commissioner Pagano noted that this application has been before ANC3D
in January and February because neighbors had concerns and that the applicant had agreed to meet with
them.
 
Commissioner Pagano moved that ANC3D ask the BZA to delay the July 8, 2014 hearing date for this applica-
tion until September 2014 at the earliest because of the controversy surrounding this proposed construction
and so the community, the owner of the property, and the developer can meet to address these concerns.
Commissioner Wisniewski seconded the motion. Commissioner Thomas made a friendly amendment that if
BZA doesn’t grant the extension that the ANC3D oppose the construction, the amendment was rejected by
Commissioner Pagano, and the vote was 5-3-1 in support of the motion; Commissioners Smith, Slowinski and
Tomas opposed; Commissioner Wells abstained (Attachment 3).
 
Mr. Brown said that the applicant would not oppose the motion made by Commissioner Pagano to delay the
hearing date until September 2014.
 
BZA Application 18738 for 4527 MacArthur Blvd NW - Marty Sullivan, legal representative for the applicant,
and Ali Ajalli, architect for the application, presented information on this application for a special exception to
construct a new five-unit apartment house at premises 4527 Mac Arthur Boulevard, N.W. Mr. Aljalli met with
the neighbors and has tried to address the seven major points of their concerns about this proposed construc-
tion. He said the new design addresses 6 of neighbors’ points but that the property owner would not reduce
the plan by one unit.
 
Frank Staroba, MacArthur Boulevard NW resident, distributed a document outlining issues that had not been
addressed by the applicant including:
1) the structure of the building is too large to front on MacArthur Boulevard;
2) the orientation of the building from a front entrance to several side entrances remains out of
character with the neighborhood;
3) the floor area ratio at the site will be too large even under the revised application, and this will
create a significant increase in the intensity of the use for the property;
4) the revised application still provides for five units although this will provide greater stress on
the neighborhood and the applicant has not made provisions for parking beyond five cars;
 
3
5) the building threatens the investments made by neighbors and continues the domino effect of
turning single family homes into apartment buildings in this fragile and cherished neighbor-
hood;
6) the applicant has not worked with the neighbors to address these concerns adequately.
 
Commissioner Trotter moved the ANC3D oppose this application based on the specific objections that Mr.
Staroba has outlined for us in his letter which carry over from out last letter to the BZA and ask that the BZA to
deny the application because it does not meet the legal requirements for a special exemption under Section
3104 and is not in harmony with the existing zoning code and has negative impact on the neighbors. Commis-
sioner Wisniewski seconded, and the vote was 9-0-0 in support of the motion (Attachment 4).
 
Draft Resolution on Bus Shelters – Commissioner Smith requested to table his resolution on the Bus Shelters
and wants to introduce a resolution on AU instead.
 
American University East Campus Resolution: Commissioner Smith moved that ANC3D calls on the Zoning
Administrator to require American University to submit a modification of Zoning Commission Order 11-07 to
the Zoning Commission because the plans for a 2-story underground parking garage are different than pro-
posed by American University and approved by the Zoning Commission as part of the further processing order.
Commissioner Ross seconded. Commissioner Slowinski made a friendly amendment addressing the buffer
zone for the residential homes which was not accepted. The vote was 6-3-0 in support of the motion with
Commissioners Slatko, Pagano, and Wisneiwski opposed (Attachment 5).
 
American University’s Control of Student Behavior in ANC3D Neighborhoods Resolution – Commissioner
Slowinski presented this resolution drafted by resident Chuck Elkins (Attachment 6). The resolution was
drafted taking into consideration what other neighbors are doing regarding student behavior. Commissioner
Smith said that AU needs to engage with neighborhoods regarding student behavior in terms of how they re-
late to neighborhoods and that the University should be meeting with the neighbors on an ad hoc basis to ad-
dress some concerns about transparency.
 
Commissioner Pagano thinks there are things that ANC3D can do to be proactive about relationships with AU
and AU students and interact with the students in a positive way.
 
Commissioner Slowinski moved to support the resolution. Commissioner Smith seconded, and the motion
vote was 4-4-1 with Commissioners Smith, Thomas, Wells and Slowinski in support of the motion; Commis-
sioners Slatko, Ross, Pagano and Wisniewski opposed; Commissioner Trotter abstained.
 
Commissioner Smith objected that, according to ANC3D bylaws, Commissioner Pagano vote on this issue be-
cause of her past employment at AU and that she is a Board member of an affiliated organization, the Ameri-
can University Alumni Association.
 
Commissioner Wisniewski read sections from Article 3, section 5 from ANC3D By-laws including the Commis-
sion’s Conflict of Interest Policy. Commissioner Pagano asked for clarification about that ability of a commis-
sioner to vote on an issue relating to an entity when that commissioner is part of a private law suit against that
entity.
 
Commissioner Slatko said he would like the record to reflect that, similar to Commissioner Pagano, his vote
would be in violation because he was an AU employee in the summer of his freshman year which was two
years ago.
4
Commissioner Ross said that in connection to this motion that AU has no business before us. Commissioner
Smith said he was inclined to agree with Commissioner Ross.
 
The vote stands until there is a judgment on the conflicts of interest questions raised.
 
Commissioner Wisniewski announced that he is resigning after the June 4 meeting because he is relocating for
employment.
 
Commission Business:
Approval of the March and April 2014 Minutes was postponed to the June 4, 2014 meeting.
 
Treasurer’s Report – At the present time there is a balance of $15,302.73 in the Bank of America account.
 
Quarterly Report – Commissioner Slatko moved to approve the January – March 2013 Quarterly Report.
Commissioner Pagano seconded; and the vote in support of the motion was 8-0-0. Commissioner Ross was out
of the room at the time of the vote.
 
Commissioner Trotter moved to approve cost for sending a courier of the remand to the Zoning Commission.
Commissioner Pagano seconded, and the vote in favor of the motion was 8-0-0. Commissioner Ross was out of
the room at the time of the vote.
 
Commissioner Smith moved to extend Administrator’s Contract for a month and to take up the discussion of
the contract at the next meeting. Commissioner Thomas seconded, and the vote was 9-0-0 in support of the
motion.
 
Commissioner Wells said the Commissioners should share with Adrienne at this time what has happened to
the draft the job description and get her response.
 
The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
 
Stu Ross
Interim Secretary, ANC3D
 
Date of Approval: 7/6/14
 
Attachments:
1 AU PowerPoint presentation about East Campus plans
2 ANC3D May 2014 ltr to BZA re app 18078 for Foxhall Cresents Drive NW
3 ANC letter to BZA Application 18738 for 4527 MacArthur Boulevard NW
4 ANC3D letter on AU Campus Plan to Zoning Administrator May 9, 2014
5 American University’s Control of Student Behavior in ANC3D Neighborhoods
 
 
 
 
5
ANC3D’s next Regular Meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at
Wesley Theological Seminary, 4500 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016,
meeting room to be determined.
Contact ANC3D: www.ANC3D.org; telephone: 202-363-4130; 3D@anc.dc.gov
 
 
 
 
6
Government of the District of Columbia
ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3-D
P.O. Box 40486
Palisades Station
Washington, D.C. 20016
 
 
May 8, 2014
 
 
Mr. Lloyd Jordan, Chair
Board of Zoning Adjustment
441 Fourth Street, NW
Suite 210S
Washington, D.C. 20001
Email: BZAsubmissions@dc.gov
 
RE: BZA application 18078 for 4509 Foxhall Crescents Drive, NW
 
Dear Mr. Jordan:
 
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D (ANC3D) held its regularly scheduled meeting on May
7, 2014 at the Lab School of Washington, and with a quorum present at all times, voted 5-3-1 in
support of a motion to ask the BZA to delay the scheduled July 8, 2014 hearing for construction
of a single-family home on a theoretical lot (Square 1397, Lot 960) in the R-1-A District at 4509
Foxhall Crescents Drive.
 
The original BZA hearing date for this application was February 11, 2014. The applicant
appeared before ANC3D on January 8, 2014, and asked the ANC to postpone consideration until
its February 5, 2014 meeting in order to address concerns raised by neighbors and their Foxhall
Crescent Homeowners Association..
 
At the ANC3D meeting on February 5, 2014, the applicant requested a postponement until the
ANC3D meeting on May 7, 2014. The applicant also requested a postponement of the BZA
hearing until July 8, 2014.
 
ANC3D understood that this delay would allow additional time for the applicant to meet with
neighbors and address their concerns. According to the neighbors, their only meeting with the
applicant, builder and their attorney was on January 27, 2014.
 
The applicant’s attorney presented several proposals to address neighbors’ concerns at the
ANC’s May 7, 2014 meeting which neighbors saw for the first time.
Because of the controversy surrounding this proposed construction, and the need for
neighbors’ concerns to be addressed, ANC3D is requesting that the BZA delay the hearing date
until September 2014 at the earliest. The applicant’s attorney indicated a willingness to
consider a postponement.
 
Accordingly, ANC3D requests that the BZA approve its request for a delay in the BZA hearing
and that its request be afforded “Great Weight” in the consideration of this application. D.C.
Code 1-309.10(d)(3)(A).
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Gayle Trotter
Chair, ANC3D
Government of the District of Columbia
ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3-D
P.O. Box 40486
Palisades Station
Washington, D.C. 20016
 
 
 
May 21, 2014
 
SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY
 
Mr. Lloyd Jordan, Chair
Board of Zoning Adjustment
One Judiciary Square
441 4th Street NW
Suite 210S
Washington, DC 20001
bzasubmissions@dc.gov
 
Re: BZA Application 18738 for 4527 MacArthur Boulevard NW
 
Dear Chair Hood:
 
At its regularly scheduled meeting on May 7, 2014, with a quorum present at all times, Advisory
Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3D voted 9-0 to recommend that the Board of Zoning Adjustment
(BZA) reject Application 18738 seeking Special Exception relief (Section 3104.1) pursuant to
Subsection 353 for the construction of a new 5-unit apartment house in an R-5-A District at 4527
MacArthur Boulevard NW (Square 1363, Lot 50).
 
ANC 3D’s action was taken after a presentation by the owner’s architect and after hearing comments
from several neighbors in opposition to the application. Based on the application and the
information provided by the architect and the neighbors, ANC 3D determined that the application still
did not meet the criteria for Special Exception relief outlined in Section 3104.1 because the proposed
new development is 1) not in harmony with zoning regulations and 2) adversely affects use of
neighboring property.
 
The neighbors shared with the ANC that many of the concerns raised by the ANC in its letter to the
BZA dated April 8, 2014, had not been resolved. These include:
1) the structure of the building is too large to front on MacArthur Boulevard;
2) the orientation of the building from a front entrance to several side entrances remains
out of character with the neighborhood;
3) the floor area ratio at the site will be too large even under the revised application, and
this will create a significant increase in the intensity of the use for the property;
4) the revised application still provides for five units although this will provide greater
stress on the neighborhood and the applicant has not made provisions for parking
beyond five cars;
 
1
5) the building threatens the investments made by neighbors and continues the domino
effect of turning single family homes into apartment buildings in this fragile and
cherished neighborhood;
6) the applicant has not worked with the neighbors to address these concerns
adequately.
 
The ANC continues to believe there may be steps that can be taken to improve this proposed project
that will align with the requirements of the zoning code and reduce the negative impact on
neighbors.
 
ANC 3D has reviewed the revised application and determined that, in its current form, the application
does not meet the requirements for Special Exception relief under the Zoning Code.
 
Thus, ANC3D opposes BZA Application 18738 as it currently stands and encourages the BZA to deny
this application because the project has a negative impact on neighboring property and is not in
harmony with the intent of the zoning regulations for an R-5-A district.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Gayle Trotter
Chair, ANC3D
 
 
 
 
2
Government of the District of Columbia
ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 3-D
P.O. Box 40486
Palisades Station
Washington, D.C. 20016
 
 
May 9, 2014
 
Mr. Matt LeGrant
Zoning Administrator
DC Department of Consumer and
Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
1100 4th Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
 
Re: Zoning Commission (Z.C.) Order 11-07 – American University Campus Plan
And Further Processings
 
Dear Mr. LeGrant:
 
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3D invited representatives of American University to its
May 7, 2014 regularly scheduled monthly meeting to provide an update on plans for construction of the East
Campus. As you know, a Further Processing for the East Campus was approved by the DC Zoning
Commission on March 8, 2012. Zoning Commission Order 11-07 approving the Further Processing plans for
the East Campus was issued on May 17, 2012 and outlines the specific plans and conditions for construction of
six new buildings on the East Campus located on Nebraska Avenue NW between New Mexico Avenue NW and
Ward Circle. The East Campus will include new student housing, classrooms, administrative offices,
underground parking, and a surface parking lot. The 8-acre site is currently used as a surface parking lot.
 
ANC 3D included the East Campus construction update on its May 7, 2014 agenda due to concerns by
residents – expressed during the Community Concerns section at the ANC 3D April 2, 2014 meeting – that
AU’s plans for construction of the East Campus were not in compliance with Z.C. Order 11-07. Residents,
including representatives of the Spring Valley-Wesley Heights Citizens Association and Neighbors for a
Livable Community, informed ANC 3D that AU representatives would not meet with them to discuss these
concerns because final construction plans had not been completed. ANC 3D had invited AU to attend the April
2 meeting to provide an update on its East Campus construction plans, but representatives of AU with
knowledge of the plans were not available to attend.
 
Consequently, Ms. Linda Argo, the Assistant Vice President for External Relations and Auxiliary
Services, and Mr. David Dower, Assistant Vice President for Planning and Project Management, presented the
updated information to ANC 3D and approximately 60 members of the public in attendance at the May 7
meeting.
 
Based on the information provided by AU representatives at its properly-noticed May 7, 2014 meeting
held at the Lab School of Washington, ANC 3D voted 6-3, with a quorum present at all times, to request that
you, as the Zoning Administrator, require that AU seek a modification of Z.C. Order 11-07 on the basis that its
new construction plans vary significantly from those approved by the Zoning Commission, as outlined in Z.C.
Order 11-07. Particularly significant is AU’s plan to construct a two-story underground parking garage for 150
parking spaces when the Zoning Commission approved a plan for a one-story 150-space underground parking
1
garage with a charter bus turn-around. Consequently, we expect that you would withhold any permits for
construction until the Zoning Commission has reviewed and approved the new plans, according to established
procedures.
 
AU’s plans for a one-story parking garage are outlined in Exhibit 50A of the record in Zoning Case 11-
07. At no time during the zoning hearing process did AU indicate its plans for construction of a one-level
underground parking garage had changed.
 
The underground parking garage was designed to have a bus turn-around so that charter buses would not
use the surface parking lot that will be located immediately adjacent to residential homes. Currently, bus
parking on the Nebraska Avenue surface lot has been a source of ongoing objections from adjacent residential
homes because of the bus idling and exhaust fumes. AU representatives advised neighbors and the Zoning
Commission during the campus plan hearing process that including the turn-around in the underground parking
garage would provide relief to neighboring residents and address any objections to the more intense uses
planned for the East Campus.
 
At the May 7, 2014 ANC 3D meeting, AU representatives indicated that there would no longer be a bus
turn around in the two-story parking garage and refused to make any commitment about whether buses would
use the remaining Nebraska Avenue surface lot – much as they do now.
 
AU representatives also said that it was necessary to expand the underground parking levels to two
levels because it would not build one of the buildings approved for the site. The underground parking was to
extend under a portion of this building. According to AU representatives, this necessitated dividing the parking
spaces into two floors. However, that portion of the underground lot only included 10 parking spaces, as
outlined in Exhibit 50.
 
AU representatives said that other engineering issues with the entrance off New Mexico Avenue
necessitated the changes. However, errors by the design team do not immunize AU from adhering to the zoning
rules, which require an applicant to seek a modification of a Zoning Order when the plans for that project must
change – even due to human error.
 
Moreover, ANC 3D is deeply concerned about the impact of deeper excavations at the site and the
potential for water damage to the foundations of neighboring homes. Precisely because AU had represented to
the neighbors and the Zoning Commission that it was building only a one-story underground garage at the site,
there was minimal attention to groundwater-related issues at the site. That groundwater at the site may be a
source of perchlorate contamination – an issue still being explored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers –
raises added concerns with respect to any water damage to neighboring property. In other words, the potential
exists not only for property damage, but also risks to human health and well-being. There are four wells
currently located at the site assessing levels of perchlorate in the ground water. The concerns are so significant
as AU has already committed to monitor and sample the level of perchlorate in the groundwater during the
construction process.
 
By excavating deeper, the project possibly exposes neighboring property to additional risks that were
not anticipated as part of the proceedings two years ago that resulted in approval of a one-story underground
parking garage.
 
Although AU is required under Z.C. Order 11-07 to compensate residents for any damage to their
property due to construction, AU representatives refused to commit at the May 7, 2014 ANC meeting that this
would include water damage to neighboring properties, including foundations and basements, resulting from
 
2
changes in water flow. The issue is particularly important for neighboring homes as they are down gradient
from the new development.
 
A new proceeding would enable AU, residents, and their experts, including hydrologists and engineers,
to assess and testify to the potential for added risks to property and health and determine if the proposed two
story underground parking garage meets the zoning standards that it is “not likely to become objectionable to
neighboring property because of noise, traffic, parking, number of students, or other objectionable conditions.”
Such a determination should only be made by the Zoning Commission consistent with the standards outlined in
the Zoning Code.
 
Although ANC 3D understands that residents may have other concerns that the plans are not in
compliance with Z.C. Order 11-07, ANC 3D focused primarily on the underground garage due to time
constraints on our agenda. That the ANC focused solely on the underground garage is not intended to dismiss
other concerns from residents. ANC 3D, however, believes that the change from a one-story underground
garage to a two-story underground garage (without a charter bus turn around) is so significant that it, alone, is
sufficient to warrant a decision by the Zoning Administrator to require AU to file a request to modify the Order.
 
We are happy to meet with you to discuss this recommendation in more detail. Thank you for the
opportunity to express our views and concerns on this project and we ask that you give this recommendation the
great weight to which it is entitled under DC Statute 1-309.10(d)(3).
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
 
Gayle Trotter
Chair
 
 
cc: Councilmember Vincent Orange
Councilmember Mary Cheh
Mr. Anthony Hood, Chairman
DC Zoning Commission
 
 
 
 
3
Resolution
 
American University’s Control of Student Behavior in ANC3D Neighborhoods
Whereas:
 
 ANC3D notes that there are a significant number of American University students, both
undergraduate and graduate, who live in off-campus housing in the ANC’s neighborhoods and
who are good citizens and good neighbors.
 ANC3D has been made aware, by means of complaints from neighborhood residents, of the
adverse impact that the behavior of a small number of AU students can have on the peace and
quiet of the ANC’s neighborhoods, including, but not limited to, excessive noise, underage
drinking and its consequences, and inadequate attention to lawns and trash disposal.
 ANC3D is also aware of recent news reports that describe an unofficial fraternity’s members’
behavior, including sexual assault, much of which presumably took place in one or more houses
in our neighborhoods, which is even more unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in our
neighborhoods and must be dealt with effectively by the University.
 ANC3D is also aware of reports of the misuse and trashing of parkland in ANC3D neighborhoods
that has been ascribed to the behavior of AU students.
 ANC3D understands that the University has made improvements in its supervision of student
behavior in the past few years, but that neighbors believe that an unacceptable level of
misbehavior still takes place in our neighborhoods.
 While the University may have in the past considered these matters to be entirely within the
discretion of the University to determine whether or not and how to take action, ANC3D wishes
to impress upon the University that these matters are spilling out into our neighborhood and
thereby threaten the safety , well-being, and peace of our community. These are therefore
legitimate issues on which the community has a right to demand action by the University and
expects the University to recognize and respect the legitimacy of the community’s intervention
in these matters and right to have a seat at the table as solutions are devised and put into
action.
 ANC3D joins in a spirit of cooperation with the students and faculty of American University who
are calling on the university administration to take pro-active responsibility for controlling the
behavior of its students.
 
 ANC3D believes that there are additional steps that other Universities in the DC area have taken
that American University should consider adopting in order to deal more effectively with the
problems surrounding off-campus housing and the use of neighborhood facilities and resources.
 
Therefore,
 
 ANC3D requests that American University officials: (1) conduct a series of meetings with ANC3D
neighbors to (a) develop an understanding from the neighbors’ perspective of the adverse
impacts of its students’ behavior on neighborhood residents and resources, (b) examine jointly
in detail “best practices” from around the city and country with regard to the control of student
behavior off campus, and then (2) discuss jointly possible new policies and practices and then
adopt those that will represent the “best in the city” in order to demonstrate the University’s
city-wide leadership in proactively preventing and mitigating the adverse effects of its students’
behavior in off-campus housing and in the use of facilities and resources in the neighborhood,
including its parkland.
 
 
 ANC3D calls upon the university to recognize the fact that illegal actions committed against or
by its students in off-campus housing may in fact be occurring and that these actions can be as
serious in nature as the same actions would be if they occurred on campus. Despite the lack of a
legal requirement that the University report these illegal actions, ANC3D calls upon the
university to proactively seek out information about these illegal actions in off-campus housing
and report them to the larger community on a periodic basis, along with summary information
about the disciplinary actions taken as a result of these instances, while preserving the privacy
of involved persons, to the extent required by applicable law.
 
 
 
 ANC3D, as an additional contribution to the joint solution of these problems in off-campus
housing will develop: (a) a page on its website that will provide advice to landlords in the
neighborhood about steps they can take to reduce the chances that their properties will be used
improperly by student renters; and (b) a page on its website that will provide advice to
neighbors about how they can pro-actively and constructively react to disturbances and
suspicious activity in student rental houses in their neighborhood, including how to involve both
the university and if necessary the metropolitan police, in dealing with the situation.