Adopted Minutes - Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B
The meeting started at 6:52 p.m. at Emery Community Center, 5701 Georgia Ave., NW, Chairman Douglass Sloan (4B09) presiding. Also present were Commissioners Sara Green (ANC 4B01), Faith Wheeler (4B02), Frederick Grant (4B03), Blondine Hughes (4B05), and Judi Jones (4B07). A quorum was present for all votes.
1. Without objection,
the agenda was adopted, with one addition.
The proposed designation of part of the
2. Without objection,
the minutes for the August 14 public meeting were adopted, with one
correction. On page two, the first and
second sentence of the fourth paragraph will read, "Other residents who
spoke included Marlena Edwards, who opposed both the
3. In a 4-2-0 roll-call vote, the Commission adopted Commissioner Green's resolution to include ANC 4B residents in the DC Neighborhood Circulation Study. Voting "yes" were Commissioners Green, Wheeler, Grant, and Sloan. Commissioners Jones and Hughes voted "no."
Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) calls on the DC Department of
Transportation (DDOT) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
(WMATA) to add our neighborhoods to their current DC Neighborhood Circulation
Study. These communities include, but are not limited to Takoma, North Takoma,
study's goal of improving connectivity and accessibility and reducing travel
times and other impediments to bus use is important to
our residents. For example, it takes about one and one-half hours for a
North Takoma resident to travel by bus and rail from
addition, better bus service will help reduce congestion at five out of nine
ANC 4B intersections near the Takoma Metro Station that the DC Department of
Transportation (DDOT) has already rated "F," or failing, during the
evening rush hour. By 2012, all nine, including Eastern and
Inaccurate and out-of-date data about our communities' new and projected development, population, and our increasing demand for bus service in the face of rising gasoline prices prevent WMATA and city agencies from correctly evaluating our need for transit services. For example, WMATA's 2003 Regional Bus Study did not consider the likely conversion of the Walter Reed Medical Center into a higher-density office complex, the over 2,000 new housing units anticipated for South Silver Spring, Maryland, the 169 new housing units slated for New Hampshire Avenue, NE (near Peabody Street), and the hundreds of housing units (along with retail) set to be built at South Dakota and Riggs Road, NE.
Better bus service is an investment that will make ANC 4B neighborhoods more attractive for residents, employers, and developers. These communities should not be ignored.
We therefore call upon WMATA and DDOT to:
a) Update the 2003 Regional Bus Study;
b) Include the ANC 4B neighborhoods in this study for the purpose of improving public transportation for our residents, employees and employers;
c) Pay special attention to the coordination between bus and rail service."
Commissioner Green explained that WMATA and DDOT officials have concluded that ANC 4B communities now have good bus connectivity, and accessibility, and acceptable travel times, and do not need to be part of the study. Conversations with some constituents contradict this, she said.
Commissioner Wheeler noted that the 2003 Takoma Transportation Study concluded that only one new bus bay will be needed at the Takoma Metro Station, supporting a proposal to build townhouses on much of the remaining open space. The study was based on out of date and incomplete data, which means that the resulting recommendations are less likely to generate effective solutions and residents will be shut out of additional bus service there, she said.
4. In a 5-1-0 show-of-hands vote, the Commission
adopted Commissioner Grant's motion on the
"ANC 4B asks that the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) delay their hearing on this issue [the Sheridan Theatre] until after ANC 4B's October 23, 2008 public meeting to give the Commissioners an opportunity to discuss the issue with their constituents."
Mr. James Ortega, representing the Shopping Center's owners, said the D.C. Historic Preservation Society, which placed the Sheridan Theatre (part of the Shopping Center) on its list of "Endangered Sites," requested that the city designate the building as a historic site. There are no plans to demolish it, but there are plans to renovate the existing facade, which covers up the theatre, he said, explaining that the owner needs the freedom to redesign the facade according to the requirements of its businesses. That freedom could be limited if the HPRB designates the site as historic, he said.
Commissioner Wheeler said that the historic architecture can be a positive addition to the Center. Commissioner Green said that historic designation is an advantage to the community because the design must be approved by HPRB, with community input.
Commissioner Jones said she is concerned that the designation proposal is being made after the owners have already invested effort in redesigning the facade. Mr. Calvin Gurley, who attended the meeting, said he is concerned that rents might go up.
5. In a unanimous show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted Commissioner Wheeler's resolution on improving ANC 4B community centers.
”Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B thanks DPR Director Clark Ray for his attendance at the ANC 4B02 and 4B03 Single Member District Community Meeting, held on September 16, 2008, and wishes to support him and his DPR staff in making all community centers in 4B outstanding facilities for our residents. We recognize that improvements need to be made as noted below by residents at the September 25, 2008 ANC 4B meeting.
Residents in the community are concerned about the
conditions in and around the
We therefore urge Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clark Ray to:
reminders in key places in the
b) Put up “Do not litter” signs on the grounds;
c) Shorten the lag time between staff notification of needed repairs and the repair being made;
d) Revise the Permit application form in order to highlight the requirement for a special permit for amplified music;
e) Direct staff to be more alert to noticing truant students and notify the Truancy police unit right away;
f) Direct staff to be more alert to drug dealing and using on the premises of the Takoma Community Center, both inside and outside, and notify the police right away;
g) Move the DPR Aquatics staff out of the Takoma Community Center Field House to another location by the end of 2008 in order to make the Field House available for community use;
sufficient money in the FY10 budget to renovate the Takoma Community Center
Field House to a similar aesthetic quality and condition as the main building
i) Emery Field at
j) Request ANC 4B receive a timetable, plan of action, and milestones for
scheduled repairs and maintenance for all recreation centers within ANC 4B."
The vote following a brief discussion on
the problems facing the Emery, Takoma, and
6. In a unanimous
show-of-hands vote, the Commission adopted Commissioner Green's resolution on
"ANC 4B asks that the DC Department of Transportation install stop signs at Geranium and Blair Roads, NW, and also at 8th and Geranium, and at the three-way intersection of Juniper, Eastern and 8th Streets, NW. Consideration should also be given to restructuring the corner of Geranium and Blair to give cars a safer turning radius and facilitate the flow of traffic.
In addition, ANC 4B asks that the Department of
Transportation staff work with the community to develop creative and effective
ways to reduce the excessive automobile, truck and bus traffic on Blair Road,
NW between Georgia Avenue and Butternut Streets, NW. The high volume of traffic, estimated by
Department staff as 12,000 vehicles per day, is a safety hazard for the
pedestrians, including those who walk to the Takoma Metro Station via the very
narrow and curved portions of the road.
That narrow and curved part of
Commissioner Green noted that the DDOT has refused to
install the stop signs, despite many meetings and repeated community requests.
Also, illegal truck traffic on
Blair Road Residents Ms.Joan and Mr. Mike Turner supported
the resolution. Commissioner Jones noted
that drivers are forced to make a very sharp and dangerous right turn from
7. The Commission agreed to table a discussion and vote to send the problem of licensed group homes to an ANC 4B committee to the October public meeting.
1. Adrian Alhoff, of
the Central American Resource Center, spoke about the Multi-Cultural Festival
to be held on October 5, 1-6 pm, at
2. Brother Francis
Eells, FSC, the principal of
3. Chair Sloan and Treasurer Grant said that the 1st and 2nd FY 2008 Quarterly Reports are now being reviewed by Mr. Gottlieb Simon, the Executive Director of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and will be submitted to the Commission for a vote in October.
4. Commissioner Hughes said that she was not notified that the meeting started at 6:30 p.m.
5. Commissioner Jones said she was not notified of the meeting.
The meeting adjourned at about 9:00 p.m.
--- Submitted by Sara Green, Secretary