BCA Meeting Minutes – June 2017

Monday, 06/26/2017

Bloomingdale Civic Association meeting

St. George’s Episcopal Church

160 U Street NW


The meeting began at 7:05 pm.


BCA board members in attendance:  Teri Janine Quinn, Angela Prentice, Bertha Holliday, Rosarie Tucci, Scott Roberts


Approximately 50 people attended.


Bloomingdale Fun & Fit

Adam and Jacquie from the BFF Committee reported that the tai chi class held two weeks ago was well attended and deemed successful.  Jacquie described the Tues, 07/11/2017, Bike50 Spin class at OffRoadDC – a fundraiser for the BCA.  BFF has Instagram, Facebook and a gmail account.  The BCA BFF Committee meets the 2nd Monday of the month at Crisp Kitchen & Bar.


PSA 501

Sergeant Fawzi reported that there is the usual summertime crime.  There is an uptick in property crimes – thefts from cars.  The crime stats are lower than last year.


Ms. Quinn described the offensive racist fliers distributed in Bloomingdale.  One neighbor reported that the fliers were found on the 2100 block of 1st St NW and the unit block of W St NW.  The councilmember distributed a response message late this afternoon.  Sgt. Fawzi reminded about this Wednesday’s PSA 501 meeting to be held at the House of Lebanon, 27 O Street NW.


More discussion on the racist flier:  Ms. Quinn stated that the sentiment of the flier does not reflect the character of the neighborhood.   There are no reports of the flier being distributed anywhere else. Ward 5 MOCR Hakeem Rogers mentioned that Mayor Bowser supports DC as a sanctuary city.  The suggested social hashtag is @dcvalues.


A motion was made to craft a simple, positive message that indicates that Bloomingdale is open & inviting.  The motion passed.


Bloomingdale House Tour 2017

Dr. Holliday advised that the house tour date is set for Saturday, October 28, 2017, with a theme of “Victorian secrets and modern truths”.  Bloomingdale resident & architect Ahmet Killic will be providing an opening talk.  A high-level schedule of events on house tour day was mentioned.  Volunteers are needed for the arts & letters subcommittee for the reception.  House tour will be $30 in advance and $35 at the door.  The bulk of the house tour funds are used for the BCA Scholarship Awards.


Bloomingdale Scholarship Committee

Sheryl reported that more applications were received.


This year’s two BCA scholarship awardees:


  • Diantre Judd (not present at tonight’s meeting)
  • Kara Chamberlain – just graduated from McKinley Tech as a salutatorian; will be attending Darmouth. She briefly spoke, followed by a warm applause.


Bloomingdale Financial Report

Ms. Prentice read the June 19, 2017, BCA Treasury Report.


A motion was introduced to transfer funds from other BCA funds to the BCA Scholarship Fund.  Motion passes unanimously.


55 V Street NW zoning relief

Dr. Holliday reported that ANC5E voted at the last ANC5E meeting to support this zoning exception if the BCA also votes to support.  The special exception is for a 2nd story addition to existing rear garage to create a new accessory dwelling unit.  Property owner Justin Hobson described the zoning relief requested.  Letters of support from the two abutting neighbors are attached.  Motion passed unanimously to support.


74 R Street NW zoning relief

The owner/developer and his land use attorney represented the pursued zoning variances.  The zoning variances are for lot occupancy and expanding a non-conforming structure, because the structure is currently at 66% occupancy.   It was noted that the addition is already is built.  The lot occupancy increased from 66% to 70.17%.  Ms. McClelland reported that ANC5E voted last Tuesday to support the two variances if the BCA votes to support.


The neighbors at 76 R Street NW have provided a letter of support.  The owners of 72 R Street NW are anticipated to support, but have not yet provided their support.  The developer did 52 Quincy Place NE.


The developer advised that the wrong figures for the plans had been submitted.


A motion passed to support the zoning variances for 74 R Street NW.


DC Office of Unified Communications

Director Karima Holmes: The OUC handles both 911 and 311 calls.  OUC does police, fire & ambulance calls.  She described how OUC operates – 911 calls vs. dispatchers.  OUC provides transcription services for requests.


@311dcgov is the Twitter account.

Text-to-311 was introduced last November.  DC311 — an automated system

Text-to-911 was just introduced.  911 – a live person responds



Stats for Bloomingdale:  phone used the most.  Top 311 requests: missed trash, parking enforcement.  Make sure that your phone’s location services are turned on.


CM McDuffie’s short-term rental (AirBnB) bill

Cyril Crocker of Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie’s office provided an update.  A markup of the bill will be heard.  The bill prohibits renting out non-owner-occupied properties.  Mr. Crocker reported that there has been pushback on the part of the bill that establishes 15 days as the maximum number of days the owner cannot be in the property.  The bill identifies fees and enforcement costs.


Big Bear Café expansion plans

Ms. McClelland reported that ANC5E voted last week to put a protest in place if the BCA voted to pursue a protest tonight.


Business owner Stuart Davenport described what his café expansion plans are.  Andre Sanchez was introduced.  He runs the café’s community programs that would be operated on the 2nd floor.  Part of the goal is to showcase arts.  Mr. Davenport distinguished private events (paid) vs. community events (free).


Seating capacity:

2nd floor 65 seats additional, increase occupancy of 85.

Roof: 68 seats, occupancy of 68.


The total number of people for the entire building would be 250.


Outreach to neighbors – Mr. Davenport indicated that he has reached out to neighbors who have protested in the past and others.  A number of nearby neighbors expressed concerns over the expansion plans.   Ms. Quinn asked nearby neighbors to meet with the SMD commissioner Katherine McClelland.  Ms. Quinn asked what actions might work, such as reducing the total number of people or having earlier closing hours for the rooftop.  ANC5E06 Commissioner McClelland suggested a separate meeting.  A resident of R Street NW offered his skills as a facilitator.  There was much animated discussion.


A motion to protest the ABRA application for the Big Bear Café expansion passed.  Commissioner McClelland will schedule a meeting with Big Bear and neighbors.  She will file the BCA protest with ABRA.


DC Comprehensive Plan amendments

Ms. Quinn said that the DC Office of Planning will produce a Draft Amendment Report on the DC Comprehensive Plan and make it available in August or September.  She solicited volunteers to work on Comp Plan issues of interest in Bloomingdale.  A neighbor volunteered.


It was noted that the BCA will meet in July, but not in August 2017.



Meeting ended at 09:50 pm.


Motion summary


Motion # Motion Results of motion
1 A motion was made to craft a simple, positive message that indicates that Bloomingdale is open & inviting. Vote in support
2 A motion was introduced to transfer funds from other BCA funds to the BCA Scholarship Fund. Vote in support
3 A motion passed to support the zoning variances for 74 R Street NW.


Vote in support
4 A motion to protest the ABRA application for the Big Bear Café expansion passed. Vote in support