Present: Ken Jarboe, Acting Chair; Francis Campbell,
Commission Jarboe informed the Commission that both the Chair and Vice Chair would not be present at the meeting tonight and that the Chair had appointed him as the Acting Chair to conduct the meeting.
The Acting Chair (Commissioner Jarboe) informed the Commission and the community that this was a Special Call meeting of the Commission and as such only those items listed on the agenda could and would be discussed at the meeting.
The Acting Chair (Commissioner Jarboe) stated that a number of months ago the Marine Corp Marathon group made a presentation about their upcoming Marathon and even though the Marathon is not coming through Capitol Hill this time, they would like for the Commission to support their public space application for temporary street closings, additionally they will be conducting their expo at the National Guard Amory this year, which everyone is invited to participate in. The Acting Chair then made the motion that the Commission supports their request for temporary street closings. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Garrison.
The Acting Chair realized he had not had the Commissioners introduce themselves to the audience, and proceed to do so. The Acting Chair then announced that the Commission did have a quorum for conducting business. This was due to the fact that one of the Commissioners (Commissioner Antonette Russell) had resigned, meaning that there are only 8 active Commissioners, which mean 5 Commissioners makes for a quorum.
The Acting Chair then recognized that Council Member Tommy Wells and Lars Etzkorn, Director of the Office of Property Management had joined the meeting.
The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (5-0).
Property Management Advisory Committee’s Recommendations for the
The Acting Chair turned the meeting over to Aimee Occhetti who is with the Office of Property Management.
Ms. Occhetti stated that the
Ms. Occhetti then introduced Mr. Lars Etzkorn. Mr. Etzkorn thanked everyone for attending
the meeting and stated that this meeting was a very important part of the
process. He went on to say that as soon
as he took his position with the Office of Property Management, he realized that
they had the opportunity to return this (
The meeting was turned over to the
Guy Martin, Board Member, The Old Naval Hospital Foundation
Mr. Martin provided everyone with a brief description of
The Old Naval Hospital Foundation and its involvement in the restoration project
since 2002. The Foundation’s central
idea is broken down into 3 main parts.
The first is to see that the
Betty Ann Kane, Board Member, The
Bill Malley, Board Member, The
Tom Regan, Regan Associates, The Project
Bill Whiting, Whiting-Turner Construction, General Contractor
Nicky Cymrot, Board Member, The
The above individuals made a brief presentation regarding
their portion of the plans for the restoration of the
Due to the various speakers distance from the microphone and low volume of their voices, their comments were not auditable enough for transcription.
Included in the handout was a breakdown of the projected income for the project, which was as follows:
Hill Center Membership 5.2%
Fundraising Events and Grants 18.2%
Endowment Income 11.0%
Meeting and Conference Space Rental 13.0%
Special Events Space Rental 8.8%
Carriage House Café Space Rental 9.7%
Offices for Community Organizations Space Rental 9.8%
Programming Partners Space Rental 17.5%
Direct Program Income 6.6%
The Acting Chair introduced and asked Councilman Tommy Wells to make a few comments.
Councilman Wells thanked everyone for attending the
meeting and stated that the ANC plays a very important role in hosting and
bringing this very important issue to the community. Councilman Wells also commended ANC 6B for
passing a resolution directly to the Office of Property Management highlighting
the importance of this building for community use. He also thanked the Office of Property
Management for moving forward on this issue because the building has been in
limbo for a number of years and the great work of the community’s neighbor,
Aimee Occhetti, who knows the community quite well. Councilman Wells also thanked the Friend of
Councilman Wells stated that with the proposal from the Old Naval Hospital Foundation that this was a really incredible day in the history of this building that has so much history. He went on to say he was aware of how things moved forward will depend upon the outcome of this meeting.
Councilman Wells remarked about his past experience and current
concerns regarding what would happen to the
The Acting Chair then asked Greg Richey, a member of the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital Foundation and a member of the selection committee, if he had any comments regarding the committee. Mr. Wilson stated that the selection committee took every proposal very seriously and they thoroughly examined each one on its merits and based upon the findings he was confident in their selection.
The Acting Chair asked if OPM could discuss any of the
other proposals. He went on to say that
there was a press story circulating that states the three finalists were the
Ms. Occhetti responded that they had received 6 responses to their bid, but they were not able to discuss individual bids, at this time.
The Acting Chair then recognized Mr. Harold Gordon, Co-Founder and President of The Holy Comforter St. Cyprian Community Action Group (CAG) for comments.
Mr. Gordon thanked Commission Jarboe and the Commission for allowing him to speak. Mr. Gordon also recognized Councilman Wells. Mr. Gordon stated that he and his wife have been residents of Capitol Hill for over twenty years and they live at 327 – Street, SE. Mr. Gordon went on to say that as the director of CAG they have served the people the community from the Carriage House for over 17 years. He continued by saying that seventeen years ago they appear before this same ANC and were blessed with its concurrence for the use of the property to help disadvantaged individuals of the city. Mr. Gordon stated that he believes they have been outstanding tenants, that they have paid their rentals, which are current, and that they have saved many lives. Mr. Gordon then introduced his Senior Pastor at The Hold Comforter St. Cyprian, and several other individuals representing groups that have work with CAG over the years. Mr. Gordon stated that they had agonized over the proposal for many months and had lain out a detailed presentation, but due to the heat in the building and the level of frustration that had been building in the community over the Carriage House he was going to be speaking to the main points.
Mr. Gordon stated that the proposal was flawed in that
there were two critical flawed areas.
The first was that CAG was totally forgotten, in that they (the
selection committee) got caught up with the city in their rush for economic
development. In the rush for economic
development they forgot about conditions that are critical and crucial to
low-income people. They did not think
about the thousands of families that are between
Mr. Gordon stated that the second fatal flaw to the proposal was that they ignored CAG’s 17 years of service. He went on to say that it was humanly inconceivable that a community of concerned folks would discount the thousands of lives as illustrated in many of the pictures of people being displayed tonight, and many of the men and women in attendance tonight are people who have been through the doors of the Carriage House and that they are now productive citizens in the community. He then asked OPM how they could ignore the real issues confronting this city and community when they published the RFP. Additionally, he stated he would not get into the legitimacy of a process, a process that ask a non-profit like CAG to develop a proposal in 30-days, when the other community has had two years to develop their proposal. Mr. Gordon then asked how fair is it when he writes to the mayor asking for a 90-day extension so that they could complete a competitive project, and in the end they were awarded only 15 additional days. He went on to say that at another time, this would have aroused terrible unrest, but he was grateful to God because on yester years they would have been out in the streets cursing, hitting people in the head, but thanks to the goodness of the Lord, they are now clean and sober, and productive citizens. And for that sacrifice, you say lets convert the Carriage House into a café. That is an insult. Mr. Gordon went on to say that he was a citizen of this community and that he was open minded, and lives in the community, his family lives in the community, his church is in the community. He added that he has worked with the members of the Capitol Hill Foundation and he is a recipient of the Capitol Hill Foundation’s Good Citizen Award. He then stated that he thought it was morally irresponsible for a building of this size with all the potential to do good in your community and that they have no problems with whatever happens here in this build and they endorse the plans for it. They are willing to bring their low-income children in to do the recitation to build a computer training center and are willing to be participants, but they want to be left alone to continue to save lives out of that building the Carriage House.
Mr. Gordon stated that he hopes that somehow the madness
will stop and he prays that this Capitol Hill community can thrive and go forward. He then stated that they had nothing to say
when their facilities were torn down on M Street because the naval operation
was coming there. They did not say
anything when the families were evicted from
The Acting Chair asked if there were any other comments. The Acting Chair then stated that he wanted to ask a fundamental question about the Carriage House. The Acting Chair then told Mr. Gordon that the two of them have gone way back on things and his fundamental concern is what is so special about that (the Carriage House) building. He then stated that that was what people were asking because CAG has other facilities and they (the city) just did a 3 million dollars grant on the other stuff, so to please help them understand why the rental space in that building as opposed to any other rental space in the city is so important to his mission.
Mr. Gordon responded that in any community and society there needs to be a beacon to look to fight the stress and that is what the Carriage House means to thousands of people in the community. He then asked what makes it less special for CAG to continue its services than what is regarded as specialty when it comes to putting in a café. He went on to say that that was what the insult was, to be asked the question of why is the Carriage House was so special and what about it makes it so special to be placed above doing a café. Mr. Gordon said they had a quote that says “lunches or lives.”
The Acting Chair then asked Mr. Gordon to not insult him because he was just trying to figure this situation out and he was not trying to make this personal because he understands him (Mr. Gordon) and he (Mr. Gordon) understands him (Commissioner Jarboe) and this is not personal. But he was beginning to take umbrage to what he (Mr. Gordon) had just said about him (Commissioner Jarboe) on that issue. Because Mr. Gordon had just stated he was insulted that he had asked the question about why the building was so important and his intent was only to try and figure out its importance. The Acting Chair then stated that he understood that this was a very important issue for him (Mr. Gordon).
Mr. Gordon told Commissioner Jarboe (Acting Chair) that they have been friends for a long time and he had nothing in his heart to believe that Commissioner Jarboe would have caused to be insulting to him.
Mr. Gershon Peaks, the Parish Council President of Holy Comforter St Cyprian Church, which is located at 14th and East Capitol Street, rose and commented to Commissioner Jarboe that the CAG community was started because Mr. Gordon and his wife saw a need, and they saw people who had a need and they were one of the few, at the time when Capitol Hill was not the composition that it is now, took action. He went on to say that everyone could see the people and the pictures being held that illustrated those people who had gone through CAG and it is personal to those people. One of the things that has happen to people in this particular area of the city, people who are longtime residents who happen to be African-American, they have been displaced. What has been happening is that property has been bought up from them. He then stated that as Mr. Gordon had mention, the other organizations had had over two years to put their plan together for this property and out of common courtesy could CAG not been included at that time so they could have be able to mount an adequate response to the RFP, and that apparently has not happened. He went on to say that when people move into an area like this they do not understand what has happened in the past. But don’t come into his neighborhood and say I am going to change things and not talk to him about it. Additionally, these are people who have been longtime residents and things have happened not because of their own fault, but there is a need to talk to people about making changes.
The Acting Chair stated that the issue is not the operation of CAG and the great job they are doing, but what he is trying to figure out is the importance of the building.
Mr. Michael Jackson, a member of the CAG staff, stated that the significance of the building is just as Mr. Gordon had stated, it is a beacon for the city for services that are provided through CAG. He went on to say that there are other cafes around the city and down the street, and to take this building (CAG), which is the last community group that is servicing this part of Capitol Hill the whole city, is not fair. He further stated that to have in the plan for the community a café and not have included an organization that is on-going in terms of increasing the viable workforce in the community, is not right. And to realize that this process is going forward without the consent of CAG or to even invite CAG into the process to give some input and to make a community decision about what is needed for the community is wrong. Mr. Jackson stated that he has lived in the community for 53 years and he has seen the Hill change, he has seen the city change, and by disturbing the eco-system of what CAG has done is not going to be helpful for the city in general, nor Capitol Hill.
Mr. Peaks stated that this particular process has been disrespectful, especially to a program that has been so helped to so many people in the city that has very few services for them. No matter what color or culture, this process has been incredible disrespectful and this is the reason these particular people are incensed about it and not that it is anything personal, but it is just another thing for this particular community in the city in this particular process of neighborhood change that has happened.
Mr. Darrel Featherstone, who has been a resident of the
The Acting Chair stated that the discussion is not about CAG’s work because they know that, but he would like to move on to other questions about the building.
The Monsignor stated that he thought the best way to answer the Acting Chair’s question might be to make it personal. The Monsignor then asked if he (Commissioner Jarboe) was being asked to move out of his home to make room for a highway or something, why should you have to move if he had been living here in your home for 17 years. He went on to say that this same type of situation is where people are having the problem, because they are being asked to move their home (CAG), and it is very painful and many people know where CAG is located and will come to this location for help.
A lady in the CAG group rose and stated that the building
is a landmark, it was a landmark of hope, it is a landmark that saved her life
and it is a landmark of hope for a lot people in the community. She went on to say that you could ask almost
any person on the street where is CAG and they will tell you it is over on 9th
Mr. Pecks asked Commissioner Jarboe what was going to happen to CAG. Commissioner Jarboe responded that he did not know because it was up to the Office of Property Management to make the decision. Commissioner Jarboe stated that the Commission will make it recommendation to the Office of Property Management, and he’s not sure what the final recommendation of the Commission would be because the Commissioners themselves will have to decide. The Acting Chair then stated that he would like to hear from the other Commissioners.
Commissioner Garrison asked the representatives of the Office of Property Management if they had any thing to say about their plans for discussing the plan with their tenant (CAG) regarding what their prospects are, because this is their (OPM’s) plan and not the Commission’s.
Mr. Etzkorn stated that he had heard tonight the great passion this facility, the Carriage House, holds for CAG. He went on to say that long before now or as of last week when the recommendation was made public, he had already begun to think that if indeed this proposal is endorsed by to community and it is moved forward, that the good work of CAG must continue and must continue in a space that is appropriate for CAG. He continued by saying that that was something he certainly pledge, that if indeed it is not possible to work CAG into this campus (the Carriage House) that the good work of CAG must continue and must be in a space that is appropriate, that serves the needs not only of the program but serves the other needs that have been so eloquently spoken of tonight so that it can be again a beacon of hope.
A gentleman with CAG rose and stated that the reason they were present was because they loved the facility that sits on the property and they don’t want to take anything away from OPM’s endeavor in reference to the building and they are behind them one-hundred percent. But all he would ask is, if they (OPM) could use the empty lot behind the building to build their café and if so, they will be will to help him build it with their blood, sweat and tears.
Another gentleman with CAG, whose name was not recorded, stated that he would like to illustrate why the Carriage House continued presence is so important to the city. He continued by stating that any agency within the city should want to disassociate itself from any other real gentrification economy that has become a run away train in the city. He loves the city but it now embarrasses him when he looks at U Street, M Street and other area because people are strategically situated in agencies where they are using their skills to configure nickel and dime policies and practices that they think justify these immoral acts, so it is important for the city’s sake to avoid further tarnish of its image by no longer, at least not in this instance, engaging in further gentrification because you do yourself well, if you fight the CAG case.
Commissioner Garrison asked Mr. Bill Malley if he could say something about the endowment piece of the plan, what the source would be and how they would get it.
Mr. Malley stated that there was already an existing account and the amount was 2.25 Million Dollars. Commissioner Garrison then asked if the 2.25 Million Dollars were currently in the bank and he responded that he was correct. Commissioner Garrison then asked Mr. Malley if the amount represented the 11 percent on his chart. Mr. Malley responded that it represented a portion of the endowment that will be used for the construction costs and approximately half of the endowment will remain to generate the development of the center.
Ms. Nicky Cymrot stated that the endowment was the congressional appropriation to the Old Naval Hospital Foundation a couple of years ago. She went on to say that it has been in the bank invested in treasury bills gaining interest until its specific purpose is defined. In term of the construction financing they went by the terms of the RFP, which indicated that the city had 6 Million Dollars that was appropriated by the City Council as authorized as a capitol project. Some of the debt has been used for some of the work that has already been going on including the fence. But as the RFP made clear they will use that money for the construction, supplemented by half of the endowment income. She further stated that they were asked by the interview committee if the construction costs turned out to be more than the city’s appropriation and the money already earmarked for the endowment, would they be coming back for more money, and their answer was no, and that they would raise the additional money needed.
Commissioner Garrison then asked if he was correct in
saying that the building would be debt free.
Ms. Cymrot responded that he was correct that there would be no burden
on the city, and the operating budget, which is designed so that the income
from the programs that each of the funding sources, will provide the income for
the program, except for the upkeep such as the utilities, the maintenance of
the building and grounds and everything else.
Ms. Cymrot then stated that the café that some had been characterized as
a separate commercial operation, but the café is part of the whole grounds (all
of the buildings) were offered as part of the RFP. So when they looked at the mandate to make it
sustainable and feasible, they included using the Carriage House space for
eating space or a café, which would be operated by some group that the
foundation would select. The reason for
this was to capture the cinergy here in the building, so that when they had
programs here (
The Acting Chair asked Ms. Cymrot what their total operating budget would be. She responded that it would be $551,000.00, which is very conservative and is after about 2 years of ramp up time.
Commissioner Campbell stated to Mr. Malley that he wanted
to touch on what the gentleman had mentioned earlier about a separate facility
for the café. Commissioner Campbell commented
that Mr. Malley had stated in his handout that the Carriage House space rental income
would be 9.7%, the membership fee would be 5.2%, meeting and conference space
would be 13%, and special events space would 8.8%. He then asked if they were to take away from
the Carriage House rental fee or brought down their rental fee to roughly 5% and
added on a couple of percentage points to the other areas, was there some
prohibition that prevents them from building a separate facility on the side
lot (parking area) for the café and allowing CAG to stay in its current facility? Commissioner Campbell went on to say that he
could not see the need for the parking lot considering that
Commissioner Jarboe asked Commissioner Campbell for a follow up on his question and wanted to know is he was asking to increase the fees for the other space rentals.
Commissioner Campbell stated that if the membership fee was increased from 5.2% to 6.5%, the meeting and conference space from 13.0% to 15%, the special events fee from 8.8% to 9.0%, and the programming partners fee from 17.5% to 18.0%, and by increasing those fees those small percentages it will bring down the space rental for the Carriage House to 5%. So if you decide to build a separate facility and if CAG’s members are willing to donate their blood, sweat and tears, which he himself is willing to also do, in order to help build the building, why not do it? Commissioner Campbell continued by saying that unless there was a prohibition that prevented this action, it would allow them to build a building in the parking lot area, which is not needed, to house a café, which would in turn allow CAG to maintain its program in their particular building, and again address the gentrification. Commissioner Campbell stated that he has been a resident in the area for 56 years and he has seen a lot happen here on the Hill and he would really hate to see this program disappear.
Mr. Malley stated that he did not know the answer about prohibitions, but he could only describe the proposal that was made.
Ms. Occhetti stated that she thought there was a historic issue about building a building on the grounds. Ms. Occhetti then stated that they would verify that and get back to them with the answer.
Ms. Margaret Hughes stood and spoke at length about the tremendous amount of work that the members of CAG had invested with their blood, sweat and tears in re-claiming the Carriage House from a deserted building that no one wanted many years ago, into the outstanding structure that it is today, and how important of a symbol the building is to the African-American community in its drive to make more of its people become productive citizens. She concluded by asking if the proposed project might cost more money in the long run than what is anticipated.
Ms. Cymrot stated that when they were preparing their RFP
they were fully aware of CAG’s good working in the community and when the RFP
come out it was for the entire property, including the Carriage House, and did
not specify that it was subject to any tenant remaining. They were also aware of CAG receiving 3
Million Dollars from the city for its building on
Ms. Hughes responded that is not about CAG having a space to operate, but it was about what the Carriage House meant to the African-American community as a symbol of hope for the future.
A gentleman with CAG asked why was CAG’s transition not incorporated in the second round RFP. He stated that he was curious if it was included in the first RFP and that it was his understanding that it was silent as to what would happen to the Carriage House. He then asked if someone could clarify this issue for him.
Ms. Cymrot responded that it was her recollection that the Carriage House was included in the first RFP solicitation. Ms. Cymrot stated that in terms of transition, if they are selected, they will be very diligent in working on a positive transition plan for CAG, in that it will take several years for the construction and putting the programs in place and they will be working on the 3 Million Dollars for 15th Street and will be very anxious to set down with CAG to develop the transition plan.
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the discussions regarding what would be done with the Old Naval Hospital has been going on for number of years, at least as long as he has been on the Commission, which is 10 years. So to clarify things, he stated that when the first RFP went out it included the entire site, which was his understanding.
Commissioner Jarboe then asked for some clarification on the financial aspect of the proposal in that he wanted to know if he was correct is stating that they are talking about the Carriage House Café doing 9.7% in the projected plan, which would be roughly $53,000.00 per year of income. Mr. Malley responded that he was correct. Commissioner Jarboe then stated that he wanted to point out for the record that the space across the street that is being rented at 910 – 912, which is basically the same size, is renting for the exact rate for the same size space. Therefore, what they are computing in their proposal is market rate for that space. Mr. Malley responded that he was correct with the exception that it included the outdoor space.
Ms. Charlene Goff asked when the proposal was made could
there not have been a way that the café could have been incorporated into this
Ms. Occhetti stated that the RFP included the Carriage House and what the people who submitted and responded to the RFP did with the entire property was what the selection committee looked at. She went on to say that it was possible that that could have been a part of the proposal or any proposal, but not of the RFP.
Commissioner Jarboe then stated that she may not be able to answer this, but the rumor was out there that the other proposals; the youth hostel, and the bed and breakfast, was that their proposed community access was to take the Carriage House and to put all the community groups in there.
Ms. Occhetti stated that she would not like to discuss the other proposals. She went on to say that the reason they are not discussing other proposals, at this point, is in the event something should happen and there was a different decision made, they may have to go back to the table to for other considerations.
A lady, whose name was not recorded, asked what the procedure would be if this proposal is not accepted.
Mr. Etzkorn responded that there were a couple of ways
they might precede. One is that they
could accept the proposal as is, they could accept the proposal with requirement
modifications, and then it would be up to the
Councilman Wells stated that the soonest the Council could vote on the proposal would be at their meeting in September.
Mr. Carl Jones stated that he was getting the feel that because
they (the city) gave 3 Million Dollars to renovate the building on
Mr. Gordon stated that he wanted to offer a suggestion
toward peace and harmony in this community.
Mr. Gordon then stated that they were happy that a Capitol Hill group is
the leading contender and they have a great respect for Nicky’s group (
The Acting Chair then asked Mr. Gordon what he was suggesting in terms of processing.
Mr. Gordon responded that the integrity and intelligence that the parties have, he believed that in 90 days they could workout a solution.
The Acting Chair made the motion that the Commission
support the recommendation of the
The Acting Chair was informed that OPM could not do what Commissioner Campbell was proposing. Mr. Etzkorn stated that they would welcome a resolution to this issue and he would certainly encourage, especially the Councilmember’s good offices would serve us all well to bring the parties together and come to a place that they all could be very proud of.
The Acting Chair then asked if he could make a friendly-amendment to Commissioner Campbell’s amendment, which is that they modify it so that the decision being put off for 30-days. The Acting Chair further stated that is would allow for further negotiation to resolve the issue of CAG place in the Carriage House. Commissioner Campbell responded that he would be willing to accept his amendment.
Commissioner Garrison mention that he thought there was a sequence issue for OPM in that they must first decide whether they are going to accept The Hill Center’s proposal, which then creates the need to address the issue, so technically, if the decide to reject the proposal there is no need to talk about it. Therefore, if they could phrase the amendment to say that if OPM decides that this is the proposal they elect to go with, then using the verbiage suggested in the Acting Chair’s friendly-amendment would be used.
Mr. Etzkorn stated that the resolution could be that OPM not consider this proposal until the opportunity is afforded for 30-days to modify it. The Acting Chair stated that this was the intent of his friendly-amendment was to afford then the 30-day window to modify the proposal. Commissioner Garrison then stated that the issue is that OPM has not yet decided that they want to accept this proposal. Mr. Etzkorn responded that OPM was not under any legal obligations. Commissioner Garrison stated that his issue was not about legality, but the sequence. The Acting Chair responded that he was of the opinion that the Commission could request that OPM move this back for 30-days for the parties, because it is still the recommendation of the Advisory Committee.
The Acting Chair then stated that they have a friendly-amendment that has been accepted for the amendment, which says that the Commission is requesting that OPM defer a decision on this matter for 30-days in order to allow the parties to enter into discussions to resolve the issue about the Carriage House. The Acting Chair then asked if there was a question pertaining to this matter. Ms. Cymrot asked if she was correct in saying that the Commission was supportive of the proposal subject to the amendments. The Acting Chair responded that she was correct in that it was an amendment to it and not a substitution for it.
The Acting Chair then asked all if favor of the amendment to raise their hands. The vote was 5. The Acting Chair then asked all abstaining to raise their hands. There were none. The Acting Chair then asked all opposed to raise their hands. There were none. The amendment was approved
The Chair then stated that the Commission had the underlying motion as amended and if there was any discussion. There was no discussion. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5. The Acting Chair asked if there was any in opposition. There was none. The Acting Chair then asked if there was any wanting to abstain. There was none. The motion approved.
Capitol Hill Business Improvement District Renewal
The Acting Chair reminded the Commissioners that because of the hearing on the Deputy Mayor on the renewal of the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District that the Executive Committee did an emergency approval of his testimony at that point and it requires a formal endorsement by the full ANC. Therefore he moved that the full ANC ratify the Executive Committee’s decision on the testimony on the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Campbell. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor to raise their hands. The vote was 5. The Acting Chair then asked all in opposition to raise their hands. The vote was 0. The motion passed.
Planning and Zoning Committee
The Acting Chair turned the meeting over to the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Committee for its report.
Andy Singletary is the architect. The owners Bob Staples and Barbara Charles
Commissioner Campbell asked the owners if there was any additional information on this case. Ms. Charles stated that she had 2 additional letters of support from the owners of building to the north and south of their building.
The Acting Chair then asked if there was any additional discussion from the community regarding the case. There was none. The Acting Chair then asked the Commissioners if they had any comments. There were none. The Acting Chair then stated that this matter comes as a motion from the Planning and Zoning Committee requiring no second. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5. He then asked all in opposition to raise their hands. The vote was 0. The motion passed.
At its regularly and properly notice meeting on June 12, 2007, with a quorum present, ANC 6B voted 7-0-1 to support the application’s request for a variance from the rear yard setback minimum court and lot occupancy requirements to add to the rear a partial 3rd floor to an existing single-family dwelling.
The Commission stated that it believed that the addition would not adversely affect neighboring structures regarding air, light or privacy, as those nearby units are taller than the applicant’s home, and would not affect the scale, rhythm and style of the surrounding neighborhood. The owner has since that meeting further revised his plans in regards to the 3rd floor addition to address neighbors concerns. The applicant has moved/reduced the addition by 3 ft. to create a balcony on the rear of the addition. The applicant also supplied two additional letters of support, and two letters in opposition form neighbors seeking party status. The Committee finds no significant changes to the application to warrant objection and commends the applicant for their consideration of neighbors concerns regarding their project. The Committee again recommends this project to the full ANC for approval.
Commissioner Campbell asked if there was anything new regarding the application. The owner stated that his neighbors has requested that he move his setback 6 to 8 feet in the rear and he was will to do, if they would be allowed to build in the dogleg portion of the lot.
The Acting Chair cautioned the owner that if he elects to move the setback that distance it may raise other zoning issues and he may have to come back for zoning approval, but he did not think it would effect the Commission’s recommendation to support his application. The Acting Chair went on to say that the Commission position would be to support his application.
The Acting Chair then stated that this matter comes as a motion from the Planning and Zoning Committee requiring no second. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5. He then asked all in opposition to raise their hands. The vote was 0. The motion passed.
906 A Street SE, HPA #07-321, illegal demolition and construction of an addition
Clarence Mobley is the architect and Calvin Pringle is the construction manager for the project. At present their exist no clear picture to the Committee as to what permits are in effect on this property or any clear picture as to what has happened or what is proposed to happen with this property. The Committee does not have sufficient information to make an informed decision as to the merits or detriment of this project. Until such time as sufficient paperwork, permits, construction plans, conceptual drawings, or models are provided to the Committee, the Committee recommends to the full ANC to deny approval of this project.
Commissioner Campbell asked if there was anyone present to provide additional information on the application.
Mr. Frank Harrison rose and he was informed by Commissioner Campbell that the Commission could not take any action because it did not have sufficient information on the property to base an informed decision. Mr. Harrison then asked how he would know when this application will be placed on the agenda again. The Acting Chair stated that it would be back on agenda and if he would provide the Commission with his contact information, he would be notified at the appropriate time. Commissioner Campbell asked them if they still had the contact information for the executive director and his response was that he did.
The Acting Chair stated that the Commission did receive an e-mail from Jeffrey Mora, the neighbor who attended the meeting, raising a number of issues, many of which are zoning type issues, and not so much on the design itself. The Acting Chair stated that he have serious question about zoning and he does not believe this case is read for hearing, therefore he is will to support the Committee’s recommendation that the Commission ask HPRB to put this case off and not approve it at this time until those zoning issues are raised. He went on to say that he was fully convinced that they are going to need to go for a special exception or a variance for this case, because they are doing an addition to a non-conforming use and it will remain a non-conforming use and other areas.
Commissioner Garrison made the motion to amend the Committee Report in that a letter be written to the Zoning Administrator asking that the applicant come before them to file their permits that he/she take a very close look at the details of this application. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jarboe. There was no discussion to the amendment and without objection the Acting Chair stated that the amendment was agreed to.
Commissioner Campbell stated that because of the condition of the property and to address the Harrison’s concerns the architect, owner, or the builder is responsible for the property that they do something to secure the property to prevent any further damage to the adjourning properties due to the amount of demolition that has taken place already and adverse affect it has had on their properties.
Commissioner Jarboe asked Mr. Harrison, who owns one of the adjourning properties, if he was correct in stating that builder already has a permit for stabilizing and shoring up the structure. Mr. Harrison responded that that was correct. Commissioner Jarboe then asked if he thought they could do enough work under that permit that would resolve his problems. Mr. Harrison stated that he would hope so, but he did have a problem because they had taken away so much of the roof.
Commissioner Campbell stated that he had spoken with
Commissioner Campbell offer an amendment to support whatever permits that would support enough stabilization of the property to address any damage to the adjacent properties, as soon as possible. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Garrison.
The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of Commissioner Campbell’s amendment to say aye. Those opposed was asked to say nay. There were none. The ayes were unanimous. The motion passed.
The Acting Chair stated that the motion come from the Planning and Zoning Committee as amended requires no second. The Acting Chair then asked all favor to raise their hands. The vote was 5, which was a unanimous vote. The Acting Chair stated that Commissioner Campbell was authorized to convey the action to DCRA.
ABC Committee Matters
The Acting Chair turned the meeting over to Commissioner Wright the Chair of the ABC Committee for its report.
Cosi Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert & Catering, Lic # 70960, License Renewal
Cosi is seeking a license renewal and did not have a representative at the Committee meeting. This is the second time this establishment did not appear before the Committee to answer questions regarding the renewal of their license. The committee took no action last month because the establishment was not in compliance with placard requirements. Given that Cosi did not appear for the second time before the ABC Committee and did not display the required placard, the ABC Committee recommends to the full ANC that the Commission protest Cosi’s license renewal.
Commissioner Jarboe stated for the record that he went by Cosi that afternoon and as of 1:00 p.m. there were no placards up and there was alcohol on display, presumably for sale. He went to say that if Cosi does not want to renew their license, then they should just give it up or they need to go through the regular process of renewing it.
The Acting Chair stated that the recommendation comes as a motion from the ABC Committee requiring no second. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5, which was unanimous. The motion passed.
Ellington’s On Eighth, Lic # 71335, License Renewal
Since Ellington’s is no longer in existence, the ABC Committee recommends that their license should be revoked or placed in safe keeping.
Commissioner Jarboe explained that it appears that Ellington’s went out of business and the Commissioner received the regular renewal notice from ABC. Commissioner Jarboe further explained that when an owner closes an establishment, the license is handed back to ABC and is keep in what is called safe keeping. That way the establishment can sell the license and the new owners do not have to apply for a new license. Commissioner Jarboe went on to say that there is a question in this particular license as to who is actually the licensee, whether it is Ellington’s or the building owner. But the renewal that come to the Commission stated that it was for Ellington’s On Eight and there is no longer an Ellington’s On Eight anymore.
Commissioner Campbell asked if with the license in safe keeping by ABC will the new owner have to come in and apply for a new license or will they have to apply for the license under Ellington’s and they will be held by the previous Cooperative (Voluntary) Agreement? Commissioner Jarboe responded that the previous Cooperative (Voluntary) Agreement stays with the license. The new owner will have to go through the process of removing the license from safe keeping and the transfer of the license, and the Commission does not play any role in that process. However, at some point they will still have to renew the license, which means the Cooperative (Voluntary) Agreement will remain in effect. However, if the new owners elect to apply for a new license they will have to go through the new license process.
Commissioner Garrison then asked if the license was owned by the building owner could they then sell the license to the new restaurant. Commissioner Jarboe responded that he was correct. He went on to say that if the license is in the name of the building owner, they can renew it and lease it out to the new establishment. However, he was not sure if this can be any longer, but it could be done in the past.
The Acting Chair stated that the recommendation comes as a motion from the ABC Committee requiring no second. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5, which was unanimous. The motion passed.
Banana Café, Lic
Banana Café is seeking an entertainment endorsement for their piano bar. Banana Café has been operating over the past 18 years with the piano bar without any complaints. Due to the recent changes in ABC regulations, Banana Café needs an entertainment endorsement, and since this is a procedural change, the Committee recommends support for their entertainment endorsement.
The Acting Chair stated that the recommendation comes as a motion from the ABC Committee requiring no second. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5, which was unanimous. The motion passed.
Las Placitas is seeking revision to its Cooperative Agreement to allow for live music. They are requesting support to have live and/or amplified music on Cinco De Mayo, October 5th each year (their opening anniversary date), and no more than two-private parties a month. Since Las Placitas has been in good standing with the Committee, the Committee recommends supporting the revision of their Cooperative Agreement.
Commissioner Garrison made the motion that the standard language be included in the Cooperative (Voluntary) Agreement about noise levels, location, hours, and etc. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jarboe. The Acting Chair asked all in favor of the amendment to say aye. The vote was unanimous and motion passed.
3rd Quarter Financial Report
Commissioner Jarboe stated that the Commission did get its allocation of $7,637.16 and the Commission also got money back from the Department of Employment Services (DOES) for overpayment of employment taxes in the amount of $602.00. Therefore, the Commission has a total funds available of $65,504.26 and expenses of $3,864.49, most of which was for salary and wages, unemployment, telephone, postage for a total balance of $61,639.77. Commissioner Jarboe then stated that the reason for the large balance is because it will cost the Commission roughly $50,000.00 per year to rent office space.
Commissioner Green asked if the money that was allocated for business cards had been spent yet. Commissioner Jarboe responded that it had not.
Commissioner Jarboe made the motion that the financial report be adopted as presented. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Garrison. The Acting Chair then asked all in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was 5, which was unanimous. The motion passed.
Eastern Market Committee
Commissioner Jarboe stated that he had sent an e-mail to all the Commissioners the Office Of Property Management has decided to issue a new RFP for a unified Market Manager for the entire market, which will include the North Hall. They are going to EMCAC, which will be meeting next month, to make suggestions as to what should be in the RFP. Commissioner Jarboe went on to say that in his e-mail he had outlined some of the things that people had been talking about that should be included in the RFP, and he was of the opinion that the Commission would have an opportunity to have two cracks at the process. The first thing he wanted was suggestions from the Commissioners, if they have anything else to add, and requested that they e-mail their suggestions to him. The other area was that he would like to move that the Commission request that the Office of Property Management give the ANC an opportunity to comment upon the RFP before it is issued, because he believes that that is the appropriate role of the ANC since the Commission does not want to be in the role of actually deciding for the RFP. But, it the Commission can do a comment on their draft of the RFP before it is issued would be appropriate.
Commissioner Jarboe then made the motion that the Commission request that OPM allow ANC 6B to comment upon their efforts on the RFP. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Campbell.
The Acting Chair then asked all those in favor of the motion to raise their hands. The vote was unanimous (5-0).
There was not further business and Commissioner Garrison made the motion that the meeting be adjourned until its next meeting date of September 11, 2007. The motion was seconded, and the vote was 5 to 0.
Prepared by Bert Randolph