Thursday, November 08, 2007

ANC 2F Wrap-Up

Last night's ANC 2F meeting was a real humdinger! Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but here are the high points for those of you who couldn't make it:

Community Announcements

  • DCCA is trying to have portions of Q Street zoned down, and part of that they want re-zoned extends into our ANC. They dropped off some information for the ANC. I'm guessing we'll be hearing more about this soon.

  • Mr. Barnes, from ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together), Inc., stopped by to let us know that he is holding some monthly meetings on the topic of crime and public safety, and offered to provide monthly reports to the ANC. He was referred to work with the ANC's Committee on Crime and Public Safety.

  • Mark Bjorge mentioned the building on 14th street, that's finally getting cleaned out, does have permits from DDOT to block the street. It was noted, however, that the ANC was never contacted by DDOT for commeent on the Traffic Control Plan.

Crime Report

Lt. Mike Smith gave the crime report. The highlights included:

  • There have been several reports of increased prostitution in the neighborhood. The Prostitution squad was re-assigned back here, and made three arrests. Lt. Smith, though personally on the prowl for Johns and Walkers, hasn't really seen any out there. He (jokingly) attributes it to the word spreading among the girls on the street that he's working midnights again.

  • Robberies were up significantly over this time last year, jumping from five to fourteen!

  • Burglaries are down some 50% compared to this time last year.

  • The MPD will be providing some food to needy families, so please contact him if you know of someone who needs help to make this holiday season special.

  • MPD lost two officers recently.

DDOT Report

Chris Ziemann was there for the monthly DDOT check-in.

  • The 14th Street Transportation and Streetscape Study is on-going. They are just finishing up the report and existing conditions, and expect to have it up on the net next week. The next public meeting will likely be some time in January. (On a related note, your's truly is the LCCA rep on that group, so contact me if you'd like anything addressed.)

  • The draft of a final report on whether to make 15th Street two-way, with the addition of bike lanes, is circulating internally at DDOT, and should surface to the public relatively soon. Regardless, due to budget issues, nothing will likely happen there until 2009.

  • There will be construction starting on 11th St., from L St. to O St., in a couple of months.

  • The bus stop on the northwest corner of 14th St. and P St. continues to be a hot issue. Chairman Reed, and other community members, expressed some anger at being stonewalled by DDOT on this, and there also seems to be some confusion from DDOT on where, actually, the bus stop was originally positioned. There were some promises made to figure everything out over email. On a related note, the bus stop shelter on the south west side of that same intersection, which is owned by WMATA, may be removed entirely, due to its very poor condition.

1402 12th St.

There have been reports and complaints, which have bubbled up to various ANC commissioners, and Chairman Reed in particular, regarding possible illegal use of the house at 1402 12th Street. There have been reports of several issues, including:

  1. Rowdy, late-night parties disturbing the neighbors;

  2. Many people living in the house and paying rent, without the proper permits; and

  3. The owners claiming the DC Homestead deduction, despite not actually residing in the house as a primary residence.

Mr. Steve Silva, the owner of the property, appeared before the ANC to present his side of the issue. He admitted to having a handful of parties over the years, and apologized for any disturbances - especially one particular recent night.

However, he was quite angry over the statements as to the people living in the house and his claim on the homestead deduction. He stated several times that he pays taxes in the city, and has spent considerable time and money in improving the property. While commendable, it really was not apropos to the issues at hand. He stated that "his clothes are there", but seemed to dodge the question as to whether he actually live in the property.

Chairman Reed noted that he had received conflicting statements as to the property in his various conversations with Mr. Silva, which further aroused suspicion. He
moved to refer the matter for investigation to the U.S. Attorney and the Inspector General, which passed 4-1, with one abstention. Commissioner Dyer voted against the motion, objecting to the ANC's involvement in what he thought should be a matter for individuals to take up with the proper authorities on their own volition.

Crime and Public Safety

Helen Kramer gave the report of the Committee on Crime and Public Safety.

  • There have been reports of increases in prostitution and drug dealing in the alleyways around the neighborhood. She is working with some businesses, notably Mr. Wash on 13th Street, to chain off their lots at night to prevent Johns parking there.

  • There are patterns of hot spots of problems around the neighborhood. She mentioned several, but all I had time to note was 9th and O.

  • Ms. Kramer emphasized the importance of being aware of one's surroundings, which means turn off your iPod when walking!

  • When the report ran a little long, Chairman Reed chided Ms. Kramer to finish the report before "his clothes went out of style". Commissioner Dyer asked the Chairman, "What do you mean 'out of style?'"

ABRA Matters

  • Izalco Restaurant, at 1228 11th Street, will be seeking an entertainment endorsement to their liquor license. They have not filed yet, but merely wanted to inform the ANC that they intend on working with them to amend the voluntary agreement to all parties' satisfaction. It was nice to see a business taking such a constructive and proactive approach to dealing with the ANC. Stoney's should take notes.

  • Several months back, Whole Foods had its voluntary agreement amended to allow singles sales of a slightly smaller size (still within the public policies set by the ANC), in conjunction with their newly opening sushi bar. The agreement included a sunset clause, which would allow the agreement to revert if complaints of increases in litter or public drunkenness occurred. Jim Richardson, Commissioner for 2F02, in whose SMD Whole Foods resides, noted that he had received no complaints from any citizens. In light of that, the ANC voted to make the change permanent.

And that's all she wrote!


Daniel said...

Great recap, Brian. Thanks for the update!

Robbie said...

Can you add a little more on the building being 'cleaned up' on 14th street? What is being done? Is there any info on the site about this?