After many months away, Next Stop Neighbors has returned….well, virtually at least. Please join me in welcoming the new commissioner for ANC 5A01 for this next podcast conversation. Damion McDuffie, Sr. is excited to get going in this role and has some ideas he would like to share with the community, from addressing recent public safety concerns, brainstorming with neighbors at Single Member District meetings, skull jewelry, and more. Click here to listen (running time: 12 minutes)*
*P.S.: You can reach Mr. McDuffie at 5A01@anc.dc.gov or at (202) 948-9777
Background on Next Stop Neighbors:
Welcome to Next Stop Neighbors where we get an opportunity to hear the voices behind the faces and places in Lamond-Riggs and the surrounding communities. Through this podcast series, you will meet some friendly neighbors and hear their perspectives on the community through civil, casual conversations. From the small business owner who just opened up, to the non-profit organization trying to make a difference, to the community leader describing their vision for the neighborhood, and the resident around the corner who has lived here for 50 years, we all have a story to tell. We welcome recommendations and, better yet, your own 10-minute interviews too!
Can’t get enough Next Stop Neighbors? Check out these past conversations for more:
(Washington, DC) – The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is updating its long-range, multimodal transportation plan, moveDC, to determine the agency’s priorities over the next two decades. DDOT will host two virtual public meetings to review how the goals and policies identified in the first round of the survey released in October 2020 will be potentially implemented.
The same information will be presented at both meetings.
WHAT: Public Meeting – update on moveDC 2021 WHEN: February 9, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. or February 11, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. WHERE:rebrand.ly/moveDC-Feb2021
For more information about moveDC, please contact DDOT Project Manager Lezlie Rupert at email@example.com or 202-599-7371 or visit the study website at wemoveDC.org.
Can’t Make a Meeting?
Materials from this meeting will be made available on www.wemoveDC.org within 24 hours of meeting conclusion. Those who would like to leave a comment about the study can do so by leaving a comment on the project website.
Metropolitan Branch Trail Fort Totten to Takoma Public Meeting
(Washington, DC) – The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a public meeting to discuss the progress on the design of the remaining sections of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT). The MBT is an important transportation route, providing connections to neighborhoods where residents live, work, and play. Once fully completed, the MBT will be an eight-mile trail that runs from Union Station in Washington DC to Silver Spring, Maryland. The latest section being designed connects the Fort Totten Metro Station to the Takoma neighborhood. The preliminary design for this section was completed in 2016. DDOT is currently completing the final design of this section. The key elements of the next section of the MBT include:
On January 22, 2021, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie released a survey to solicit resident input on budget priorities for the ward. Please complete the SURVEY so that neighborhood needs can be reflected in Councilmember McDuffie’s budget requests to the mayor.
It is sort of a weird time to be doing a budget exercise given the obvious needs and budget challenges created by the coronavirus public health emergency. That said, we can also ask for support for neighborhood-specific items in the budget, such as support for programming Fort Circle Park or the green space in front of Food & Friends. I have previously noted that this neighborhood is fortunate to have an area development plan (sometimes referred to as a small area plan) in place that we can use as a tool to advocate for neighborhood needs. Noting that our requests are anticipated by the area development plan makes it that much easier to advocate for them (see the most recent implementation report from 2016 here). We might not get all or any of what we request, but consistent asks each year are what yields results. So please take some time to complete the survey this week.
January 22nd message from Councilmember McDuffie’s Office:
Today our office released the Ward 5 FY 2022 budget priorities survey. This survey lets us know your priorities and concerns for the FY 2022 budget and guides our funding requests. Your input will focus my work over the coming months, so please take a few minutes to fill out our quick survey.
Hard copies of this survey will also be distributed to the Woodridge library, senior centers, and residential buildings in the coming weeks.
I hope you will make your voice heard in the budget process by filling out our survey.
2. Administrative Items: A. Instructions re Participation in Virtual Meeting B. Election of Officers C. Appointment of Representative to Walter Reed CAC D. Consideration and Approval of January Agenda E. Approval of November Regular Public Meeting Minutes F. Approval of 2021 Meeting Schedule (4th Monday; recess in August & December) G. Approval of ANC Security Fund H. Treasurer’s Report I. Approval of Executive Director Employment Contract
3. Commissioner Updates (if applicable)
4. Community Concerns: *Please use the “Raise Hand” button via Zoom or *9 via telephone to speak during community concerns. The Commission will provide additional details regarding how to present community concerns via the virtual meeting at the start of the meeting.* This is the time for questions or statements from members of the public about issues on the agenda or other areas of concern. Please limit your statement or question to one minute. You may also contact members of the Commission before and after Commission meetings.
5. Reports: A. Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George (10 minutes) B. Anthony Mitchell, Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services (5 minutes) C. Ward 4 State Board of Education Representative Frazier O’Leary (3 minutes) D. Metropolitan Police Department, 4th District (3 minutes) E. Housing Justice Committee (2 minutes)
6. Presentation: Maurice Smith, DC Public Service Commission & Stephen Marencic, Office of the People’s Counsel, Pandemic Relief for Utility Customers (10 minute presentation; 10 minute discussion)
Resolution 4B-21-0101: Supporting Construction of the Metropolitan Branch Trail in the 7100 Block of Eastern Avenue, NW (NOI #20-110-PSD) (Commissioner Yeats)
Resolution 4B-21-0102: Calling for Adjustments to Scheduling of Hearings by the Board of Zoning Adjustments to Facilitate Public Participation (Commissioner Johnson)
Letter of Inquiry: Ensuring Adequate Resources for Successful Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (Commissioner Brooks & Commissioner Palmer)
9. Resolution 4B-21-0103: Supporting Renaming Park in the 6100 Block of North Dakota Avenue, NW, as the Ronald Austin Memorial Park (Commissioner Johnson & Commissioner Brooks – 2 minute presentation; 2 minute discussion)
10. Resolution 4B-21-0104: Calling for Fair and Equitable Elections Procedures and Improved Mechanisms to Fill Advisory Neighborhood Commission Vacancies (Commissioner Palmer – 3 minute presentation; 3 minute discussion)
Next Regular Public Meeting: Monday, February 22, 2021, 7:00 p.m.
This virtual event, hosted by Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George, will bring together a panel of medical professionals, District government representatives, and community health practitioners to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, the District’s vaccination plan, and all the ways we can keep ourselves, and each other, safe.
The town hall will take place via Zoom Webinar. As such, please submit questions or recommendations for discussion in advance to MLandrieu@DCCouncil.us.
The best way to watch the webinar is by Zoom, but you can also dial in by phone at 877-853-5257with Meeting ID 943 3934 7136# and access code439 266 5338#. Please register for the event to receive log in information and a reminder to tune in on Friday.
As expected, at its public hearing on January 13, 2021, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) voted 4-0-1 (one seat vacant) to approve special exceptions to lot occupancy and minimum vehicle parking requirements for building of the new Lamond-Riggs Library at 5401 South Dakota Avenue NE. The BZA case number is 20392.
The lot occupancy limit in the R-2 zone in which the library sits is 40 percent. The former library occupied 47 percent of the lot. The new library will occupy 49.5 percent of the lot. The library is required to have 11 parking spaces. The former library technically met that requirement, but one space was a noncompliant handicap parking space and one space had limited access because of where it was located next to the library’s dumpster. The new library will have 9 vehicle parking spaces, which will include a fully compliant handicap parking space.
The library received letters in support of the requested relief from ANC 5A (the ANC in which the library sits) and ANC 4B (the affected ANC just across the street from the library). The DC Office of Planning also submitted a report in support of the library.
Because the relief requested included a reduction in the required number of vehicle parking spaces, the DC Department of Transportation required a transportation demand management plan with three elements: (1) four long-term bike spaces for library employees; (2) six short-term bike parking spaces; (3) and a bike repair station adjacent to the short-term bike parking accessible to the community and library visitors. Library representatives agreed to those conditions.
As noted several times on the blog, there is a lot of construction activity along the corridor. Razing of the old Lamond-Riggs Library is ongoing. Construction is ongoing on the second phase of Art Place at Fort Totten just across the street from the library on South Dakota Avenue NE. Just to the north of the library across Kennedy Street NE, EYA is constructing new townhomes at the southeast corner of South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road NE. And fencing has gone up around the closed KFC/Taco Bell and former Dakota Liquors on the corner of 3rd Street and Riggs Road NE where a new Chick-fil-A will be built. I have been told that the Chick-fil-A construction team has advised neighboring businesses that razing of those buildings will be taking place soon, though they did not provide an exact date.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced last week that the final report for the Rock Creek East I Livability Study is now available on the project’s website. The study area includes Lamond, but not Riggs Park as Riggs Park is in a different planning area. The email from the project planner states, “DDOT welcomes any thoughts and suggestions in prioritizing project recommendations. DDOT will identify opportunities to implement short, medium, and long-term recommendations from the study.”
I have not taken a deep dive into the report but from a brief skim, it identifies several “focus area opportunities.”
Focus area corridors:
Georgia Avenuew NW (North);
14th Street NW;
Georgia Avenue NW (South);
North Capitol Street NW/New Hampshire Avenue NW;
Piney Branch Road NW
Focus area intersections:
Georgia Avenuew NW/Alaska Avenue NW
Blair Road NW/Aspen Street NW
16th Street NW/Juniper Street NW
16th Street NW/Alaska Avenue NW
I attended a a couple of the public meetings for this study but did not invest as much time or attention as I might have were Riggs Park included in the study area. That said, I did speak with DDOT representatives during the public meetings to point out areas of concern that are a couple of block outside of the study area (such as Riggs Road and South Dakota Avenue NE). Those representatives assured me that these concerns could be addressed outside of this particular study.
In any case, if residents have suggestions about short/long term fixes or priorities for any part of the study area, I am sure ANC commissioners and the Ward 4 council office would be interested in listening.
The Commission is now seeking applicants for Committee membership. You must be a resident or businessowner within the Commission’s boundaries to be a member. Check if you reside within the Commission’s boundaries here: https://anc4b.com/about-the-anc/.
If you are interested in serving as a member of the Committee, please email a statement of interest, including any relevant experience, by February 15th. The Commission will not be monitoring responses to the listservs. Please send any statements of interest directly to the Co-Chairs of the Committee, Commissioner Evan Yeats (4B01), at 4B01@anc.dc.gov and Commissioner Alison Brooks (4B08), at 4B08@anc.dc.gov.
A couple of neighbors passed along information they received from Love & Care Child Development Center indicating that the daycare will be opening soon at the Modern at Art Place with COVID-19 precautions in place. It has taken a long time to get to this point, so I am sure some families will be happy to have another option for daycare in the neighborhood soon. Excerpt from Love and Care communication to families below:
We are excited to announce that Love and Care is almost ready to open its doors!
We will be hosting an open house over the course of 4 days, February 10-13th, with guided tours occurring at … each day. Love and Care is located in the Modern at Art Place, at 402 Galloway St. NE just steps away from the Fort Totten Metro. Please swing by at any of the listed times to see the new space!
Remember all of those Ready2Play surveys you completed giving the District Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) all of your great ideas about improving parks and recreation centers for DPR’s new parks and recreation master plan? DPR is moving to the next phase of the process by holding meetings in each ward. The meeting for parks and recreation centers in Ward 4 will be on February 4 at 6:30 pm (register here). The meeting for parks and recreation centers in Ward 5 will be on February 8 at 6:30 pm (register here). More information from DPR below.
The Ready2Play planning team at DPR is excited to announce the next phase of our engagement process – a series of upcoming virtual meetings that will be ward-specific. These meetings will focus on the parks and recreational needs, desires, and opportunities within each ward. This is your opportunity to discuss the particular parks and rec centers in your ward that you would like to see prioritized for future capital improvements and to share your ideas on the types of recreational programming, park design, and priorities you’d like to see addressed in the plan. We will share findings from our recent Ready2Play Citywide Survey and senior staff from DPR will be on hand to hear your suggestions. You can find the links to all of the meetings on our website, or RSVP directly to the meeting or meetings you plan to attend below. Once you RSVP, you will receive a calendar invite with all of the appropriate meeting information. The content for each of these meetings will focus on the particular ward for that meeting. Meetings are listed by ward, not chronologically.
Ward 1: Thursday, January 28, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm RSVP
Free COVID-19 testing is available today from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm via a Neighborhood Pop-Up at Riggs-LaSalle Recreation Center (501 Riggs Road NE). No appointment necessary, but pre-registration is recommended. Pre-register at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/register. Bring your insurance card. More testing information is available at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testing.
The Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA) will start holding monthly public safety meetings the second Monday of each month. There have been a number of instances of shots fired in the neighborhood the past few months, most recently in the 300 block of Riggs Road NE near Walmart. Other instances include shots fired in the 800 block of Kennedy Street NE, 800 block of Jefferson Street NE, and 1000 block of Hamilton Street NE. The 800 block of Oglethorpe Street NE has been a hotspot for many years and remains so.
The first meeting is tonight. Zoom info and agenda below.
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 646 876 9923 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) +1 408 638 0968 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 826 3393 1357 Passcode: 842581
We have a new team of mayor office liaisons (known as MOCRS) for Ward 4 and Ward 5. MOCRS are community outreach specialists typically seen at community meetings. They are helpful when residents need assistance with receiving services from District agencies. Some issues can be resolved through submission of 311 service requests, so it is helpful to go that route first and then follow up with the MOCRs if the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved. MOCRS can work long hours–late night shootings they’re there, late night fires they’re there, the dozens of community meetings they’re there –and in my experience they are quite patient and pleasant to work with. On that note, I have to give a shout out to the previous Ward 4 MOCR KeShawn Harris because he was just fantastic. Below is contact information for the new MOCRS.
Earlier this week, DC Water mailed information to residents about a sewer system evaluation DC Water will be conducting in the neighborhood. This morning, DC Water sent the following electronic communication about the study.
Greetings DC Water Community Stakeholders, and Happy New Year To You All!
This message is intended to inform you of a new DC Water study that will soon begin in your area. Specifically, we will be assessing the sanitary sewer lines, manholes, and other features that may be related to flow in sewers in Nicholson Street and Riggs Park NE. This initiative will help us understand the root causes for storm related backups in the separate sewer system in this neighborhood (map of the complete study area may be located in the attached project information sheet). Unlike a third of the city that combines storm and sewage in the same pipe, storm pipes and sewage pipes were constructed in this area to separate them. The flooding that residents experienced during the September 10th storm, is an indication that there are unintended pathways for storm water to enter the sewer, resulting in the backups that residents experienced. This study is the first step in the process to identify pathways for rain water to enter the sewer, so that solutions can be engineered to address them. The study we will be conducting in this neighborhood is actually Phase 1 of a multi-phase study we will be implementing in other neighborhoods across the District with similar issues.
The study will involve a number of different investigative activities, including manhole inspections, flow monitoring, closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection, smoke testing, and dye water testing. These activities will be carried out in phases. Detailed descriptions and start dates for each activity, contact information for our team, and other important information may also be found in the attached project information sheet.
As we are planning to begin our activities next week, we wanted to ensure that all stakeholders within the study area were duly informed beforehand. We have mailed to each resident printed copies of our project information sheet and cover letter (also attached to this email) earlier this week, and we have already been receiving some calls and emails from residents for more details, so we are happy to see that customers are receiving the information. Additionally, this email message is being sent to area residents, all ANC 4B and 5A Commissioners, Wards 4 and 5 representatives in the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services, and Wards 4 and 5 Councilmembers Janeese Lewis George and Kenyan McDuffie and members of their staff. Beyond this,
· We will be launching a dedicated web page for this study, and updating this regularly. We will inform you once it is live.
· As the study gets underway, we will be providing you all updates to keep you informed about the status of our work activities.
o Specifically, our smoke testing activity will require special outreach and stakeholder coordination prior to the start of work, so you will be hearing from us again very soon about this part of the study.
· We are always available and happy to address any questions or concerns you have pertaining to the study, or any other DC Water related topics.
· Finally, we are available to provide you with a presentation to discuss the study in greater detail. If interested in a presentation, please contact me and we will be happy to accommodate you.
Thanks much for allowing us to share this important information with you, and please let us know if you have any questions.