Please note: In addition to the text and vote counts of the official actions taken by the Commission, these minutes may contain
summaries of comments that were made and discussions that took place at the meeting. Such summaries are not intended to be a
verbatim account of the meeting.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C
Minutes of May 7, 2014
I. Call to Order and Introduction of Commissioners
A regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C was held on May 7, 2014 at
Mary’s Center. Chair Simpson called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Approximately 40 members of the
public attended. In attendance were Commissioners Brian Hart (1C01), Martis Davis (1C02), Ted Guthrie
(1C03), Gabriela Mossi (1C04), Elham Dehbozorgi (1C05), Billy Simpson (1C06), Wilson Reynolds
(1C07), and Jimmy Rock (1C08).
II. Officers’ Reports
a. Chair’s Report
Chair Simpson moved to amend ANC 1C’s grant guidelines to bring them into conformity with the
Commission’s bylaws as amended last Fall. The grant guidelines would advise applicants that
notice of a grant request must be posted three weeks prior to a committee meeting so as to
enable the Committee Chair to provide the information to the community on a timely basis.
Commissioner Davis seconded the motion. Commissioner Hart agreed with the proposed
guideline revision and thanked Commissioner Davis for alerting the Commission to the
inconsistency in the guidelines. The motion passed by a vote of 6 to 0 (Commissioners Mossi and
Debhozorgi had not yet arrived).
b. Secretary’s Report
Secretary Guthrie moved for approval of the minutes for the March 25, 2014 special forum and for
the April 2, 2014 ANC1C meetings. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion which passed by a
vote of 6 to 0.
c. Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Dehbozorgi noted that she is preparing the next financial report which is due at the end
of the month.
Chair Simpson moved to pay Mary’s Center $110 for use of that space for the Planning, Zoning,
and Transportation Committee meeting that was held at the Center in April. Commissioner Rock
seconded the motion that then passed by a vote of 7 to 0 (Commissioner Mossi had not yet
Chair Simpson offered a procedural motion to include on the agenda payment for upgrading and
redesign of the ANC 1C website on the basis that consideration of this item without the generally
required two week advance notice would not be adverse to the community. Commissioner
Guthrie seconded the procedural motion which passed by a vote of 7 to 0.
Chair Simpson explained that the website software was out of date and no longer technically
supported. He moved to have the ANC pay Maureen Gallagher $1500 for her work to upgrade
and redesign the website. Commissioner Reynolds seconded the motion. Other Commissioners
commented that they had seen a preview of the new website and they approve of the
enhancements. The motion then passed by a vote of 7 to 0.
III. Commissioner Announcements/Comments
Commissioner Rock noted that he and four other Commissioners attended a hearing that day
(May 7) of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on the alcohol license moratorium in Adams
Morgan. Commissioner Guthrie thanked the members of the public who attended the hearing
and waited for the opportunity to speak.
IV. Public Announcements/Comments
Daniel Hornal, an attorney with Talos Law, said he could answer questions about the settlement
between the Champlain Street Neighbors and the Adams Morgan Historic Hotel.
Kristen Barden, Executive Director of the Adams Morgan BID, reminded everyone that May 16 is
bike to work day and that there would again be a pit stop at Unity Park with free food and
giveaways provided by local businesses.
Kristen Barden also announced that the annual summer concert series sponsored by the Adams
Morgan BID would be held Saturday afternoons in May and June on the plaza in front of the
Chris Otten announced that the Zoning Commission would be considering comments on the
Zoning Regulations Rewrite at a May 12 meeting.
Kristen Barden announced that the DC Arts Center on 18 street would be holding a 25
Anniversary Gala on Thursday, May 29 at Meridian House. Information is on the DC Arts Center
A resident suggested making parking on Ontario Road residential priority parking.
Monica Green, a recruiter with AARP, said she is in need of volunteers at least 50 years of age
who can tutor reading and provided information on the back table. (This announcement was
made at the end of the meeting.)
V. Upcoming Meeting Agendas for March
Chair Simpson announced that the agendas for ANC 1C committee meetings in May could be found on
the reverse side of the ANC agenda.
Commissioner Rock, Chair of the Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee said he would be
adding to the committee agenda Buca di Beppo’s application to DDOT for valet parking that differs from
what they originally presented. He noted they would also be hearing a presentation from DDOT officials
on the proposed public transportation improvements on 16 street.
VI. Scheduled Business
a. Public Services and the Environment
i. Update on grant to Adams Morgan Basketball Association
Commissioner Davis introduced the officers of the Adams Morgan Basketball Association (AMBA)
who gave an overview of their organization and how they are expanding their programs for young
people. They reported that they are applying for 501c3 tax status and to be a DC after school
program and they have a schedule of new programs beginning with a basketball clinic for children
on May 17.
Commissioners commented favorably on the presentation and noted that an AMBA fundraiser
would be held on June 19.
A member of the public asked about who would be served by the programs. The officers
answered that the skills clinic would be for children ages 6 through 15 and that going forward the
tournaments would be co-ed and for various age groups.
Kristen Barden asked about the status of the 501c3 application and the representatives answered
that it is going to be submitted this month.
ii. Grant request from Fund for Kalorama Park
Commissioner Davis reported that the Public Services and the Environment Committee
recommended that the Commission approve a grant request by the Fund for Kalorama Park for
$1,000 for planting at the entrances and other locations in the park. Commissioner Davis moved
that the Commission approve the grant. Because it was recommended out of Committee, it did
not require a second.
Lisa Duperier, Vice President of the Fund for Kalorama Park, provided an overview of plans for
the proposed landscaping and explained that it does not duplicate work of the Department of
Parks and Recreation. The motion to approve the grant passed by a vote of 7 to 0.
iii. Presentation on Ward 1 School Boundaries
Commissioner Hart raised the issue of boundaries for Oyster Adams Elementary School. A guest
speaker on the issue was unable to attend the ANC 1C meeting. Commissioner Hart explained
that children who live on the streets surrounding Oyster Adams are not eligible to attend that
school. He has testified before the State Board of Education on the issue and noted that the
Mayor is considering proposal to address the boundaries. Commissioner Reynolds thanked
Commissioner Hart for taking on this issue.
b. Planning, Zoning, and Transportation
i. Update on Adams Morgan Historic Hotel
Chair Simpson introduced Steve Harloe of the Sydell Group to give an update on the Adams
Morgan Historic Hotel. Chair Simpson noted that the focus of the discussion would be on the
prospective schedule of the project and the timeline for developers’ obligations to the community.
Steve Harloe said that permits are in process and that work on demolishing the former City Paper
building on Champlain will begin this summer. He estimated it will take two years before the new
building is up and running.
Chair Simpson asked for a month-by-month breakdown of steps in the project. Steven Harloe
said it would take one to two months to demolish the former City Paper building; excavation
would take 4 to 5 months; and building the superstructure above grade would take another 8
Commissioner Davis asked about plans to fulfill the obligations to community-based
organizations. Commissioner Reynolds said he would provide Mr. Harloe with a copy of the
agreement and series of commitments including cleaning of residential streets and tree
preservation. Commissioner Reynolds said they need to begin working now on how these
commitments will be achieved, that a representative from the developers should report monthly
on it, and that contact information for people onsite should be made available in order to report
problems. Mr. Harloe said he would be the contact point for now and that he would set up a
meeting that will include the development people.
Chair Simpson asked for information about construction traffic. Mr. Harloe said he would bring in
the operations team to share the discussions that are underway with DDOT about how to
organize the hotel construction traffic.
Commissioner Davis asked whether there would be an emphasis on hiring workers from Ward 1.
Mr. Harloe said their contractors are obligated to follow DC Department of Employment Services
rules for hiring.
Questions from members of the public
A resident asked about emergency contacts during excavation and the possibility of cracks or
other damage to surrounding buildings. Mr. Harloe said that contact information will be provided,
that the general contractor follows a safety program, and that notifications will be provided during
excavation. The neighboring resident asked that contact information also be provided to
property managers of adjacent buildings.
A resident asked about whether subcontractors would hire locally, and whether food and
entertainment for the hotel would be purchased locally. Mr. Harloe said hiring requirements will
be passed down to subcontractors. He did not have answers for hotel operation questions.
Margaret Jackson, a resident for 50 years and wife of a former commissioner, asked about the
proposed flow of traffic on Champlain Street. Chair Simpson said that developers had agreed to
use valets; direct delivery traffic through the alley; and sit down with the ANC 1C and neighbors to
discuss other ways to keep hotel traffic out of the residential streets.
Another resident expressed concerns about traffic during construction. Mr. Harlow said plans
have been submitted to the District. Chair Simpson suggested organizing a meeting of interested
parties including ANC 1C, neighborhood associations, and concerned neighbors to look over
those plans. Several neighbors volunteered to participate.
Matt McCarthy asked about Mr. Harloe’s past affiliation with Loews Hotels.
The president of a cooperative at the corner of Champlain and Kalorama expressed concern
about the impact from construction since they had a sinkhole in front of their building from a
previous construction project. Mr. Harloe said he understands the concern, that they are in
conversation with DC Water on water main improvement, and that the excavation is reviewed by
Margaret Jackson asked if Mr. Harloe would take their email addresses to send updates. Mr.
Harloe said he would work with the ANC on the most efficient way to send updates.
A neighbor asked about plans for Unity Park. Mr. Harloe said the plans have not yet been
developed and they have to have discussion with DC Parks and Recreation. There was also a
suggestion that it may be Federal Park property.
Other residents asked about financing issues and operations. Mr. Harloe said he works on project
delivery and did not have answers to financing or operations questions, but he would look into
them and report back.
In answer to a question about preserving the front of the Church, Mr. Harloe said it is no longer a
house of worship and that the name of the Church will be removed but all other aspects of the
façade, including columns and doors, will remain. He added that it has a historic designation and
that the Historic Preservation Review Board has reviewed the plans.
Benedicte Aubrun asked about how many parking spots would be lost during construction. Mr.
Harloe said he would have to look at the overall traffic plan and they may have to get temporary
permits for some spaces.
Denis James asked how the name of the Church would be removed from the facade. Mr. Harloe
did not know what method would be used.
Lillian Perdomo asked if updates could be posted on a website. Mr. Harloe agreed to work on
Another resident asked about the size of the hotel. Mr. Harloe answered that it would be 7 floors
with a total of 220 rooms.
Chris Otten asked about when permits would be granted. Mr. Harloe answered that they are
using a permit expediter to move things along.
Lisa Duperier said a visible timeline of the project would be helpful. Chair Simpson said that a lot
of the information can be added to the ANC 1C website.
Commissioner Mossi said the hotel had its own website at adamsmorganhistorichotel.com with
some 3D presentations. She noted that many of the relevant documents are on the ANC website,
as well. Commissioner Rock added that the documents can be found on the ANC 1C website
under Proposed Hotel at First Church of Christ, Scientist.
Chris Otten asked whether a meeting with the public will take place before permits are approved
and for more information about the role of the expediters. Mr. Harloe said the permit package
should be in to the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) at the end of
May. He said the expediters are chosen from a list of approved vendors who provide these
services to DCRA.
Commissioner Reynolds suggested that collective bargaining should be on the list of things to
discuss with the developers.
Commissioner Davis moved to adjourn at 8:32 pm. Commissioner Rock seconded the motion which
passed by a unanimous vote.