Minutes of Public Meeting
May 12, 2014
Chevy Chase Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G
Chevy Chase Community Center
5401 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015
1. Call to Order and Quorum. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by Chair McCarthy. Commissioners present: McCarthy, Speck, Cook, Maydak, Griffin, Engel, Thompson. A quorum was declared.
2. Attendees. Approximately 50 persons were present.
3. Agenda. The agenda was agreed to by a vote of 7-0.
Commissioner Cook announced the meetings of the Club 60 Plus in the Chevy Chase Community Center.
Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Michelle Caron, PSA 201, introduced herself and made a short report.
Representatives from Councilmember Bowser’s office and Representative Cheh’s office were in attendance.
Samantha Nolan of the Chevy Chase Citizen’s Association announced the CAC second district police luncheon.
Anne Renshaw announced the DC Federation of Citizens Associations May 20th program and discussion of Mayoral elections.
5. Transportation Task Force. Commissioner Thompson presented the task force report and introduced the task force members. He reviewed the report beginning with the on-going problem of continuing the E-6 bus line. He discussed other bus lines in our neighborhood and other transportation and traffic problems including those which had been included in the previous Livability Study of several years ago. Comments included the transparency of the report and the opportunity to review and make proposals including such areas as the proposed raised sidewalk near Lafayette School (which will be renovated within the next few years) as well as bike stations and zip car stations at Lafayette School. After discussion, the task force chair indicated that meetings had been open to all and that no responses had been received since the report was posted on the listserv. A friendly amendment was accepted regarding the lack of E-6 signage indicating there is no weekend service. Commissioner Cook offered an amendment to delay the vote which, not being seconded, died for lack of a second. The report was agreed to by a vote of 6-1 (Cook).
6. Special Exception for BZA application 18777. A special exception application for property located at 3120 Patterson Place, NW, to allow a rear yard addition to an existing one family detached dwelling not meeting rear yard requirements was discussed. The owner, Mr. Speece, made a presentation regarding his house and lot and indicated that he had discussed this matter with his neighbors and they had no objections. Commissioner Maydak offered a motion in support of the special exception for this property. Commissioner Maydak will serve as our representative for any and all hearings related to this application. The commission voted 6 – 0 in support of this application (Commissioner Thompson was not present for this vote having temporarily left the room).
1. Kimberly Cestari made a presentation for the Friends of Lafayette Park (FOLP) for a grant of $1500.00. The funds will be used to purchase new plants, weeding, replenishment of sand for the tot lot, and sand bags for soil erosion control. The chair noted that as the sand had already been purchased and a grant funds could not be given to reimburse a previous purchase.
2. Barbara Baldwin made a presentation on behalf of the Chevy Chase Citizens Association in the amount of $455.00. The fund will be used for the beautification of the tree boxes on Connecticut Avenue and the Rain Gardens at the Chevy Chase Community Center. Items for purchase include mulch, compost and garden supplies, annuals, perennials and other shrubs and pervious pavers. A method of reducing the infestation mealy spores is being studied by the group.
A motion was made to suspend the normal procedures (to vote only at a future meeting on such grants) and to vote on these grants at this meeting. This was agreed to by a vote of 5 -2 (Griffin, McCarthy).
A motion was made to grant CCCA $455.00 and FOLP $455.00. An amendment was offered to raise the FOLP grant to $750.00 which was agreed to by a vote of 4-3 (McCarthy, Griffin, Cook). The motion was then modified to increase the budget for grants in the current fiscal year by $1,205.00. The motion as amended was agreed to by a vote of 6-1 (Griffin).
8. Ingleside at Rock Creek: Lynn O’Connor made a presentation regarding the proposed future plans for development at Ingleside. She indicated which buildings would be maintained and which would be renovated or new on their property. A major concern was vehicle delivery trucks and their access to the property. She indicated that they desire to have a second entrance from Military Road (near 30th Place) further east of the current entrance. This would require the use of public space for a curb cut. She reviewed how they anticipated traffic would enter Ingleside for this new entrance as well as the current entrances on Military Road and Broad Branch Road. She indicated they may be requesting the use of public space for the curb cut as early as July 3. Ingleside plans to have several public meetings for citizens and residents to review and discuss their plans.
9. American City Diner Public Space Application no. 93763: Jeffrey Gildenhorn, owner of American City Diner, made a presentation to request additional use of public space in front of the diner for an outdoor café with approximately 28 seats. He pointed out that such additional seating would be good for the neighborhood, the other restaurants and the tax base for the city. He indicated that while other restaurants in the area would have less public space footage than he would have, this is understandable as he had more front footage on Connecticut Avenue. He presented a rendering of the projected use of the public space. The chair noted that this commission had already approved a nearly identical application from American City Diner for a sidewalk café 15 years ago, and that the owner had built an addition to the diner that did not conform to the plans presented at that time. The chair referred to the minutes of July 26, 1999 where the commission voted to check the box “no objection” but to add the sentence “we recommend that handicap accessibility be considered.” The motion in the July 26, 1999 minutes was approved unanimously. The chair continued with showing the 1999 form sent to the public space committee showing “no objection”. Further, he reviewed and discussed the plans that had been submitted with that application which reflected the proposed deck with the height not exceeding 24 inches. Mr. Gildenhorn then presented an approved building permit for an enclosed (tent) use of the space which was dated 1994. Since that had not been built it was assumed that his permit had lapsed. After some discussion, commissioner Speck offered a motion to “object” as this was more public space use than the other restaurants in the area. As there was no second, the motion died. Discussion continued with Mr. Gildenhorn asserting that he had always been a good neighbor and has never been cited by anyone for any violation. A letter dated August 4, 2000, from DCRA administrator Armando Lourenco indicated that in response to an ANC letter, the deck was inspected for compliance for approved plans and permit. The inspector found the deck to be in excess of 24 inches. The letter further stated “a $500.00 citation had been issued to the owner for contracting an unapproved deck. An additional citation is pending for the use of the deck without proper approval.” It was further pointed out that the building permit applications for the period October 2 – 6, 2000 reflected “revised permit B 429461 to change ramp and deck by owner Jeffrey Gildenhorn.” In a letter dated May 14, 2001, DCRA deputy administrator Denzil Noble indicated “In addition, the applicant was initially issued a building permit on February 29, 2000, to construct a sidewalk deck. Two subsequent revisions were applied for and approved in addition to a permit for a pipe frame awning with a canvas cover. All building permits were issued pursuant to the requirements of title 12 DCMR. Further, inspectors visited the site regularly and found no further violations.” Mr. Gildenhorn expressed the problems between DCRA and Public Space committee were government problems and not his.
Chair McCarthy offered a motion to object to the public space permit with the following:
“ANC3/4G, at a duly noticed public meeting, May 12, 2014, voted for 3 (McCarthy, Thompson, Griffin) – against 2 (Cook, Maydak), abstain 2 (Engel, Speck) (a quorum being 4) to object to the Public Space application submitted by American City Diner (DDOT Tracking No. 93763) to use public space to construct a deck for a sidewalk café adjacent to its premises at 5532 Connecticut Avenue, NW, unless the Diner agrees to dismantle its current enclosed structure and build an outdoor deck as specified in the application for public space approved by this Commission on July 26, 1999.” It was agreed that commissioner McCarthy would represent the ANC at any and all meeting and hearings regarding this public space application.
10. Commission Business:
1. The minutes of the April 28, 2014 public meeting were approved by vote of 7-0
2. Checks approved: $186.05 (IRS April Federal withholding)
3. Items for the next meeting on June 9 include:
Liquor License application from American City Diner
Office copy machine
ANC3G website and social media
Review grant policies
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:50 pm.
The next scheduled meeting of the Commission is Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm.
Jim McCarthy David Engel