The U Street Neighborhood Association will be having their monthly meeting at 1516 U Street (thanks Brink for hosting us) June 12th 7 pm. We will be discussing the film series at Harrison Recreation Center and other neighborhood issues.
U St. Neighborhood Association had their general membership meeting Thursday August 11th covering many items of interest to the neighborhood including Level 2 Development's revised plans for their project at 14th St NW/Wallach St.
U Street Neighborhood Association General Membership Meeting Minutes August 11th 2011 at Source Theatre
President’s Remarks & General Business
· Status of website – Is up and running, but under construction
· ANC Redistricting – Christine mentioned that the Ward 1 Task Force had its first meeting August 2nd. Allen Roth is chairing the process. They are considering creating an additional ANC district within Ward 1. Next meeting will be the week of labor day. They are also considering splitting ANC 1B02 in two distinct ANC.
· Insurance Renewal – Insurance for liability for officers for the U St. $574, due Sept 1. Motion made “To allocate $574 for payment of the liability insurance. “ Motion carried.
· ANC1B02 – New Commissioner TBD. Aaron Spencer stepped down. Notice of opening goes up, petition period is until September 6th.
· Dog Days Recap – Sucesssful day on Saturday passing out membership and flyers for the movie series. Got two new memberships.
· Seeking volunteer for Transportation and Parking Chair – still seeking volunteers for these chairs.
· Sharon presented financial statement for July – ending balance for U St. NA is $15,217.46 (includes $45 in dues; and $1,303.50 for postcards printing and mailing). Ending Balance for Harrison Recreation Center is $8,056.74 ($159 donations from last movie night; $350 expenditures for DJ – Martin Shepp).
o Presentation of New Apartment/Retail Project at 1905 – 1919 14th St., Level 2 Development/Eric Colbert project architect/Jon Kardon Sr. Development Mgr Level 2 Development/David Franco Level 2 Development
§ Level 2 Development presented to U St NA 2 months ago. Since then, based on community meetings, and the HPRB review they have revised their plan for a residential building at 1905-1917 14th Street They have reduced overall massing, increased more setbacks to reduce impacts on Wallach St. Thye revisited the design to incorporate characteristics of the neighborhood. They also met with Wallach St residents last week to review the design.
§ The new design is still 7 stories tall, however the massing has been shifted to the southern end, where the entrance was repositioned, and the overall density has been decreased, allowing for a more significant stepback at the back of the building (to an adjacent commercial rowhouse and Wallach Place residents across an alley).
§ Level 2's plan for 154 units has been shaved down to 144, with a loss of approximately 4,000 s.f. overall - a net loss of ten, cozy 400-s.f. studio units - the same floor plan that makes up the majority (approximately 85-percent) of the building.
§ A decorative cornice has been added around the 4-story (northern) section of the building and the two 4-story projecting bays on 14th Street. The new design has an exterior that is less glassy (i.e. windows have been broken down into smaller sizes), possibly in an attempt to make the building look "less commercial."
§ The building's footprint remains unchanged, at nearly 16,000 s.f., and includes ground floor retail. Based on meeting with Wallach St they are going to adjust portions of the Wallach St front facing based on that meeting. They will be meeting with the ANC1B Design Review Committee (Aug. 15th). The development team will seek full approval with ANC1B on Sept. 1st and then revisit the HPRB.
§ They stated that 50% of commercial tenants will have to meet criteria of the Arts District Overlay.
§ Most of the units will be a mix of 1 bedrooms and efficiencies.
§ For the Zoning Variance they expect to come back in November.
§ Motion was made to “provide a letter of support for the historical conceptual design for the Level 2 Development 1905-1919 14th St NW building.” - Motion carried.
o Presentation of New Apartment Project at 15th and V St., Jair Lynch – confirmed for September
o HPO Seeking Information on Window Repair and Replacement Preservation and Design Guidelines
§ This guideline is intended to provide property owners information on the technical and aesthetic considerations for window repair and replacement on designated historic property.
§ It outlines the preservation and design principles applied in the review of this type of work to ensure that changes are compatible with the character of the property.
§ The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has released a draft guideline for the repair and replacement of windows on historic property. The guideline provides in depth technical and aesthetic information for property owners, and outlines the design and preservation principles applied in the review of this type of work to ensure that changes are compatible with the character of historic property. The guideline also discusses the environmental and sustainability implications of window repair and replacement, and provides property owners with links to further information and a directory of contractors that specialize in this type of work.
§ The guide is accessible on the HPO website at: http://tinyurl.com/4xjztwf
o There is an ANC 1 Design committee meeting on Monday, August 15 at the Thurgood Marshall Center at 6 30 pm (1816 12 st nw) agenda includes (For more information, contact Commissioner Tony Norman, Chairperson, at 202-319-0955):
§ Review of revised design for 1905-1917 14th Street N.W. - Level 2 Development
§ Review of design for Wonder Bread building, Georgia Avenue NW - Douglas Development
§ Review of application to Board of Zoning Adjustment for The Independent, 715 Florida Avenue N.W
o HPRB calendar update are posted directly to the new list serve focused on historical development.
o The PSA 305 meeting on August 9th – notes from meeting will be posted to www.ustreet-dc.org
o Lt. Jova reported that crime has decreased overall with increases in burglary, theft, and theft of bikes.
o Burglaries are occurring in the mid-morning largely, although there was an incident on 1900 11th St in which the house was broken into with the residents sleeping. In that incident the owners hadn’t activated their alarm – residents are encouraged to use their alarm systems.
o Many of the thefts that are occurring are happening in restaurants where purses, or wallets inside purses are being stolen – residents are encouraged to be careful with their purses in public.
o CM Graham’s office representative Calvin Woodland discussed the effort that CM Graham’s office; CM Wells office and PSA 308 have been engaged in to improve safety in some of the large housing projects where there have been safety issues. A meeting was held last week with John Detaeye (CM Graham’s office); Naomi Mitchell (CM Wells office); ANC Alex Padro, and Lincoln Westmoreland 2. At this meeting they discussed strategies to coordinate among the housing projects in a manner similar to “Safe Passages” a program that was down in Columbia Heights. Another meeting will be occurring with more housing projects in attendance. At a later point they will include neighborhood folks in these meetings.
o Two representatives from Lincoln Westmoreland 2 addressed the residents at the meeting. Lincoln Westmoreland 2 is the Section 8 garden apartments (not the high rise which is Lincoln Westmoreland 1) near 8 & S Street NW. They discussed the measures that they are using for public safety including cameras on site (monitored offsite); screening/removal of residents for felonies (gun/drug); and use of barring notices for non-residents that are problematic. They also mentioned that they had a large drug raid recently and are in the process of removing the residents involved. They attributed many of the issues near them to non-residents who hang out near Lincoln Westmoreland 2, but on the public portion. Lincoln Westmoreland 2 is broken up by 8th St and is separated from Lincoln Westmoreland 1 by a public alley. They described residents as afraid of being labeled as a “snitch”, preventing them from pushing for better safety. They said they have also been having problems with their security gate being broken multiple times requiring thousands of dollars to replace.
o An update on the 1900 block of 9th St reimbursable officers effort was provided by Calvin Woodland (CM Graham’s office) & Skip Coburn (Nightlife Association). A group of establishments has been contacted about participating in a reimbursable effort and expressed willingness, including: 901 Restaurant; Ambassador Bar & Restaurant; Asefu’s Restaurant & Bar; Axum Restaurant; DC9; Dickson Wine Bar; Dodge City; Etete; Ghion Restaurant; Little Ethiopia Restaurant; Martin’s Lounge; Nellies Sports Bar; Portico Restaurant; Queen Makeda Ehtiopian Restaurant; Salina Restaurant; Shashemene Restaurant; Velvet Lounge; and Zula Restaurant & Bar. Skip & John Detaye are working to get these businesses to support the reimbursable. Some hurdles they are working to overcome include ABRA cost share of reimbursable; how to proportionately split the costs among businesses; reluctance to pay for MPD when they are already paying taxes; and other concerns about how the reimbursable service works.
o Howard University reported that they students will be returning back to campus August 12-15th.
o Large drug bust occurred at 7th & O St NW near Kennedy Recreation Center August 9th http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/post/feds-mpd-bust-up-shaw-drug-ring/2011/08/10/gIQACWeh6I_blog.html?wprss=mike-debonis
o The Deputy Mayor for Public Safety did a walk through of the neighborhood August 10th with various city services focused on 6th & T St. NW. Thirty folks were there, a large amount of DC services. Expect that a lot of action will be taken on issues discussed – noise issues, graffiti, and other items.
o Committee update
o U Street Movie Series Update – movie series continues to be a success. Last month showed documentaries on Howard Theatre and 930 club. Next is August 23rd with National Treasure II, starts at sundown. Will have moonbounce, cotton candy, face painting.
o Friends of Harrison received a grant from Building Hope to have a test fit done for a playground renovation. KUBE Architecture did some drawings. This is not a final design—more of a wishlist of things we would like to have on the site to use for fundraising efforts including grant applications. Committee meeting will be held in September to solicit input.
o We missed the deadline for the Kaboom grant for the summer but will be applying in the next cycle (this fall). Living City block interns have identified several other grants and will be helping me draft the applications. In addition, I am working on identifying other fundraising opportunities. Friends of Harrison is launching a backpack school drive for users of the site, they are asking for donations for this.
o Lunchskins Fundraiser (reusable snack bags) environmentally friendly alternative to a sandwich/ snack bag were purchased as a fundraiser for Friends of Harrison. To date we’ve sold: 3 snack bags = 23.85; 8 sandwich bags = 71.60. We will be selling them at the next movie night on Tuesday, August 23. Please stop by our table if you’re interested in buying some. They are a great idea for back to school, as well as the holidays that will be here before we know it! All of the proceeds go directly to the Friends of Harrison Recreation Center.
o Committee update
o Committee update – Tucker encouraged folks to check out his blog. - UStreetBeat
o Utopia Development should be under construction soon. Subway should be open soon. Blackbird has opened. Orange and Black hamburger place 1900 14th St has stated that they will be open until 4 or 5 am. MOVA new bar @ 14th/W is progressing. Catch a Fire, barbecue chicken at Vermont & U. 900 block of U St has a lot of new ABRA applications coming in. ANC expressed support for El Rey ABRA license with a Voluntary Agreement. Sushi place at 12 & V is still supposed to be coming in.
o Committee update – Scott said that the office of planning is heading up the coordination of a city sustainability plan, plans that they Green committee will be helping on this.
o Living City Block update – end of July put in community garden outside Dunbar Apartments. Worked with DC Greenworks on this.
o Next month expects office of people’s council to speak about smart meter installation.
o Waiting for Superman Update – October 22, 12 – 4:30 pm at Shaw at Garnett Patterson School - We have received the endorsement from Principal Kimberly Douglas to use the Shaw @ Garnet Patterson auditorium for the event on Saturday, October 22. We’re still waiting for the office of property management to approve our request, but that should be known by the end of the month. Rental fee of the auditorium is $137. 00. I ask that we approve this amount, knowing the education committee will work to get the fee waived, or reduced.
o Insurance for event – Alice contacted three companies.
§ Asurion—the USNA holds directors & officers insurance though Asurion, but they don’t sell event insurance to non-profit neighborhood associations.
§ Allstate office in our neighborhood located at 1512 U St. NW 2nd floor. Gave a quote of $305.00.
§ Rich Reilly Insurance Agency came in with a quote of $383.
o Motion was made to allocate up to $500 funds towards expenses associated with the showing of Movie Waiting for Superman to cover insurance and Shaw Garnet Patterson rental fee if required. Motion carried.
o Garrison Elementary Library Makeover Day – Seeking Volunteers – August 25
o Annual DCPS Beautification Day, August 20 – Seeking Volunteers – Register at http://dcps.dc.gov
o K-12th graders at all DCPS schools begin Monday, August 22; PS/PK students at DCPS have transition week beginning the week of August 22, with the first official day of school being Monday, August 28.
o Meridian Charter School begins on Monday, August 22.
o Booker T Washington PCS 1346 Florida Ave serving 9-12 graders in the technical arts and adults in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical begins classes for both children and adults on September 6, 2011.
o Schools always accept donations of new supplies for students. If you feel so obliged, you can contact schools directly, or use me as a resource to connect you to the right person to accept your donation.
o Membership Count & Committee Update – currently have 80 members; 22 since the postcard
o DC is looking at plans for street changes on Florida Ave NW, Christine will ask them to present plans.
· Other -