Bloomingdale Civic Association Meeting Minutes
St. George’s Episcopal Church, 2nd & U St NW
BCA board members attending: Teri Janine Quinn, Austin Pearl, Derrick Jones, Sherry Howard, Angela Prentice, Robert Brannum, Bertha Holliday, Scott Roberts
Tai Meah from Ward 5 CM McDuffie’s office provided an update on the recent WMATA fire incident and mentioned that performance and oversight hearings are commencing.
Request for support re: Howard University Amendments to Development Plan
Maybelle Taylor Bennett of the Howard University Community Association advised that HU is soliciting support from the BCA for its Sherman Avenue Apartments development project. Details were provided by the development team on community benefits, including affordable housing and employment opportunities. The last time that HU presented its plans before the BCA, there were concerns about stormwater management. The developer clarified that stormwater retention is part of the plan. Pleasant Plains, ANC 1B Design Committee and other organizations have all voted in support of the project.
Motion to support passed, 10 to 1.
Zoning exceptions/variances requests:
2007 1st Street NW: Mike Pietsch, property owner, described his three needed zoning variances – no parking, lot occupancy, and minimum backyard. He indicated that his property would be owner-occupied. There was a question about the absence of parking. Mr. Pietsch described the property easement in the rear. Motion to support the three zoning items passed, 8 to 1.
115 V Street NW: Jaime Zaldivar and Charles Osborne Jr., property owners, described their one needed zoning variance – lot occupancy. They indicated that their property would be owner-occupied. It was noted that the back half of the turret will be removed. Motion to support the zoning variance passed, 8 to 0.
34 V Street NW: Christopher Bulka, property owner, described his one needed zoning special exception – lot occupancy. He indicated that his property would be owner-occupied. Motion to support the zoning variance passed, 13 to 0.
DC Office of Planning R-4 pop-up zoning regulation: Ms. Quinn briefly described the major items from this DC Office of Planning’s proposed legislation: by-right building height reduced from 40’ to 35’ (special exception would be needed to exceed 35’ and number of dwelling units would be capped at two units regardless of the lot size.
Some attendee questions and comments:
If the houses on either side are already 40’ high, why would a zoning special exception be needed?
A neighbor who is getting a three-unit condo next door supports the legislation; supports an overall moratorium.
Three more neighbors also spoke in support.
A neighbor distributed a flyer from the Stop the Pop DC coalition.
Motion to support, 18 to 0.
(Please see the end of these meeting minutes for an amendment by Dr. Holliday regarding this motion.)
BCA 2015 Volunteer Opportunities
Ms. Quinn briefly presented volunteer opportunities – BCA house tour, Beautification Committee – including the annual clean-up in April; membership drive. Ms. Quinn advised that funding may be available from ANC 5E for neighborhood beautification.
Ms. Quinn acknowledged the Jan 4 through Jan 8, 2015 Dine Out Bloomingdale event coordinated by eight Bloomingdale restaurants. BCA will be receiving a percentage of sales from these eight Bloomingdale businesses. She will provide a more complete report at next month’s BCA meeting.
Ms. Quinn advised that an ANC5E commissioner in Edgewood is soliciting feedback for potential additional BikeShare station in the community.
Vacant BCA McMillan Advisory Group (MAG) representative:
Ms. Quinn advised that anyone who would like to run for the position should contact the BCA two weeks prior to the next BCA meeting. Sharon Burns and another meeting attendee expressed interest in serving on the MAG. There will be a vote at next month’s BCA meeting.
Update on Aida Electronics, 209 Florida Avenue NW:
Ms. Quinn reported that the store appears to be open again, which may be a violation. They were raided again and someone was arrested. She will continue to pursue the issue with the DC Office of the Attorney General.
DC Water construction update:
Ms. Howard reported that DC Water shuttle service will be phased out and then eliminated due to low ridership.
Ms. Howard provided a comprehensive financial report.
Reports from Bloomingdale ANC 5E commissioners:
Dr. Holliday reported on the C-2-A-zoned 1833 1st St NW pop-up. She, Ms. Quinn and a set of neighbors recently met with DCRA. The building is being developed to be 50’ tall, not including the penthouse (roof access structure), which can be up to 18’ tall. Dr. Holliday said that property easements have been eaten into. The party wall has windows, which it is not supposed to have. She has asked to be advised about graffiti in the neighborhood.
Mr. Pearl asked people to advise him if they have suggestions for potential BikeShare stations in the neighborhood.
Ms. Quinn reported that trash/recycling collection and Christmas tree collection are outstanding issues. She mentioned the two new Ward 5 MOCR representatives from the Mayor’s Office are Malik Williams and Tommie Jones.
It was announced that Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church at 2nd & Rhode Island Avenue NW would be holding a men’s summit this Saturday, 01/31/2015, focusing upon crime and the police.
Ms. Quinn and Mr. Brannum reflected upon the passing of Ward 5 community activist Tim Clark. Ms. Quinn noted that the BCA sent flowers to the Clark family.
Dr. Holliday commented on her interest in a slight amendment to the proposed language of the DC Office of Planning’s zoning pop-up revisions.
Motion to add language to the previously approved BCA pop-up resolution that would specifically address the compatibility of façade materials with those of neighboring properties. This would require a slight amendment of OP’s proposed section 400.24.
Motion to support, 7 to 1.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm.
Assistant Recording Secretary