BCA Meeting Minutes – April 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bloomingdale Civic Association

St. George’s Episcopal Church, 160 U Street NW, WDC 20001


BCA board members present: Teri Janine Quinn, Sherry Howard, Serita Sanders, Bertha Holliday, Robert Brannum, Scott Roberts


Approximately 50 people attended.


Hakeem Rogers, DC MOCR for Ward 5.


Mr. Rogers provided info on a long, long list of topics, including funding for Main Street clean & safe team, increased DCRA budget funding for housing code violations and an upgrade to 311/911.


Cyril Crocker of Ward 5 CM McDuffie’s office


He invited residents to testify at the current DC Council oversight hearings. CM McDuffie has recently introduced legislation to require development projects to perform ward-wide traffic impact studies and analyses of affordable housing to promote family-sized units.




DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo introduced his team – Suzette Robinson, DDOT COO and Benito Perez, DDOT Parking/Curbside Management and Operations Planner.


Mr. Dormsjo advised that the Mayor’s budget proposal includes an increase in the number of traffic control officers and school crossing guards.  DDOT would like to reduce the traffic-related fatalities.  Investment in infrastructure: now spending 3 to 5 times the amount prior to the Bowser administration.  There is much sidewalk work to do to make the sidewalks even.  The local roads are in very rough shape, partly due to excavation.  More milling and construction projects are planned.  The Mayor is committed to mobility, replacing about half of the Circulator buses in the fleet.  Orders are in the work to replace the old Circulator buses.


A neighbor asked about the roundabouts for 1st St NW that were identified in the DC Office of Planning’s MidCityEast Small Area Plan.  “A perfect time to have this traffic calming discussion, now that DC Water is mostly done with the 1st Street Tunnel project.”   Mr. Dormsjo indicated that roundabouts, pavement markings and law enforcement can also be considered in the traffic calming discussion.


DDOT has a concept for the Florida Avenue NW / North Capitol Street NW triangle on the northwest corner.   Ms. Quinn asked if Bloomingdale could be at the table during the triangle concept discussion.  Ms. Robinson said that some items can be pursued as a pilot, which would not need to go through the established approval process.


A neighbor said that DDOT is marking 1st St NW with double yellow lines.  Mr. Dormsjo will advise if double yellow lines are planned for 1st St NW.


Mr. Dormsjo supplied the link to the proposal for the Dave Thomas Circle:  www.FloridaAveSafety.org.




MPD 5D Sergeant Brown reported that PSA 501 meetings are resuming.  The meetings will be held on the 4th Wednesdays of every month at the House of Lebanon Senior Housing at 27 O Street NW at 6 pm.


She reported that robberies are down 100%.  There have been lots of complaints around the store at 3rd & Q St NW.


Common Good City Farm / Arcadia Mobile Market


Josephine Chu of Common Good City Farm announced that CGCF and Arcadia Foods will have a joint Farm Stand on Wednesdays from 3 pm to 6 pm.  The first date this year will be on Wednesday, 05/18/2017.


DCity Smokehouse


Melvin Hines of DCity Smokehouse advised that the restaurant wants to build out its outdoor seating area, including 40 seats, on the public space at 2nd and Florida Avenue NW.  He is working with DOEE on all of the concrete sidewalk space.  The residents of the condo building above the restaurant have agreed to the buildout plan.


Mr. Hines indicated that the outdoor seating would be moved and secured when the restaurant is closed.


Motion:  for the BCA to support DCity Smokehouse’s outdoor seating plan.  Motion seconded.

Motion passes unanimously.


HU Campus Plan Amendment to remove Slowe & Carver Halls from the university campus master plan. 


The plan is to convert the dorms into market-rate rental apartment buildings.


Maybelle Taylor Bennett introduced her team of five people.


The largest issue expressed at last month’s BCA meeting was potential increased on-street parking pressure arising from the new residents.


The demographics of the census tracts around Slowe & Carver Halls were reviewed.  It was reported that vehicle ownership is low and bicycle & walking are very popular.


The plans for the two dormitory buildings:


Carver: currently has 180 dorm units; plan to turn the building into 62 apartments

Slowe: currently has 300 dorms; plan to turn the building into 100 apartments

Parking would not be included in the apartment rent.


A question raised was how to provide incentives to the new residents to not use cars.


A review of the potential parking lots was presented:


The DC Water lot would not be available.

HU’s 5th & W St NW lot next door the Highway Christian Church, which would provide about 23 parking spaces on non-Sundays.

The HU Hospital parking garage.  Perhaps carve out about 30 to 45 parking spaces in the garage.


Robert Brannum commented that the maps provided do not include the historic natures of LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale.  Parking at the HU Hospital garage or the HU lot on Georgia Avenue NW and then walking home to Slowe & Carver Apartments is not realistic.


It was noted that if the HU Hospital is sold, HU would keep the parking garages.


It was also noted that the LeDroit Park Civic Association has voted to approve this plan.


Motion: to give HU another opportunity to return to the BCA with another proposal.  Motion seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.


Saturday’s Bloomingdale Beautification Day


Ms. Quinnn said that nearly $3750 is available for plants & mulch for treebox areas, pocket park and the Bloomingdale business corridor – locations in public space.  DPW will provide a special trash pickup at 1st & R NW, 1st & T St NW, 1st & U St NW.  No bulk trash please!  Volunteers are needed to erect an event banner along the liquor store wall and to distribute the event fliers on your blocks.


Bacio Pizzeria has kindly offered complimentary pizza at 2 pm.


BCA Health and Recreation Committee                    


Charlie Cummings and Jess Cummings:  The committee is now branded as Bloomingdale Fun & Fit.  He distributed the May 2017 events activities calendar.


Ms. Cummings described the April 2017 Fit & Fun signature event using Instagram.


There will be a free yoga session with Yoga District in front of Big Bear Café at 9 am this Saturday, 04/22/2017, as part of the Bloomingdale Beautification Day.  Mats will be provided.


Historic Preservation


A special zoning meeting may be announced this Saturday, 04/15/2017.  Stay tuned!


BCA House Tour 2017


Bertha Holliday reported that five houses are on the tour so far.  The next house tour meeting is Wednesday, 04/19/2017.  She also asked for assistance with for the house tour’s Arts & Letters request.


Community representatives


ANC5E06 Commissioner Katherine McClelland introduced herself.  Her SMD is split between Bloomingdale and Truxton Circle.


ANC5E09 Commissioner Dianne Barnes mentioned the Zoning Commission’s continued hearing on the McMillan court remand scheduled for Wednesday, 04/19/2017.


ANC5E07 Commissioner Bertha Holland expressed concern about the McMillan Parcel 4 building being segregated.  A brief has been filed this week on the Parcel 4 building – asking that the decision be remanded to the Zoning Commission.  The Zoning Commission & Jair Lynch will be required to submit a response.



The meeting ended at 9:25 pm.


Motion summary


Motion # Motion Results of motion
1 To support DCity Smokehouse’s outdoor seating plan Vote in support
2 To give Howard University another opportunity regarding the parking strategy for Slowe and Carver Halls, which are to be converted from dormitories to market-rate rental apartment buildings Vote in support