December 11, 2019 ANC 5A Special Meeting Recap: Lamond-Riggs Library; Comp Plan; Walmart Beer/Wine License

ANC 5A held a special meeting on December 11, 2019. All commissioners were present: Frank Wilds (5A01), Grace Lewis (5A02), Emily Singer Lucio (5A03), Ronnie Edwards (5A05), Sandi Washington (5A07), Gordon Fletcher (5A08)

ANC Vacancies

One candidate, Claudia Barragan, applied to fill the vacancy for ANC 5A06. Barring any challenges, she should be sworn in in time for the next ANC meeting.

No candidates have come forward for ANC 5A04. This SMD covers Catholic University, so the seat is often vacant. A Catholic University student did fill the seat the previous two terms. Commissioner Fletcher (5A08) stated to Catholic’s general counsel Nancy Morrison O’Connor that he would be interested in hosting an info session with students to see if anyone might be interested in serving. Ms. O’Connor also stated new faculty have recently moved into the SMD so one of those faculty members might be interested in serving as well.

Lamond-Riggs Library Design Update

DC Public Library representatives and HGA, the design team for the ne Lamond-Riggs Library, returned to the commission to seek approval for the design to submit with their plans to the Commission on Fine Arts. Not much new was presented from the community design meeting that was held on November 19. They are still deciding between two exterior design options, what they are calling Forest vs. Folds. The interim library will be located in a 2800 square foot space at the Modern at Art Place on Ingraham Street NE. Responses to a few questions from the commission and residents:

  • In response to questions about parking from Commissioners Sandi Washington (5A07), Grace Lewis (5A02), and Ronnie Edwards (5A05), the design team explained that building an underground parking lot would be cost prohibitive given the program desires for the new building. DCPL will maintain the number of parking spaces at 11. DCPL noted Commissioner Edwards’ request that library staff be prohibited from parking in the lot.
  • Wifi will be available in the outdoor spaces (the front porch and balcony), but they are not sure just yet if charging stations will be available. They made a note for the request
  • Commissioner Frank Wilds (5A01) requested a list of CBE contractors, which DCPL stated they will provide when available.
  • Robert Oliver, president of the Lamond-Rigg Library Friends, suggested that DCPL visit the abutting residences to take pictures of their walls to address any concerns about construction impacts. DCPL noted the suggestion.
  • DCPL noted Commissioner Wilds’ request that DCPL hire a neighborhood ombudsman to disperse construction-related information and handle construction issues.
  • The design team noted a request for streetscape improvements of the public right of way when library construction is done.
  • DCPL does not have a specific date for when the current library will close and when the interim library will open next year. They still have to get through all of the regulatory and permitting processes. They noted there is typically a period of about three weeks between closure of the old library and opening of the interim library.

The ANC voted unanimously to support the design.

Comprehensive Plan Update

Update 12/16/2019: On December 16, 2019, after publication of this post, the Office of Planning extended the comment period for the public to January 10, 2020, and for ANCs to February 14, 2020.

The Office of Planning (OP) has proposed amendments to the Citywide and Area Elements of the District’s Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan). The Comp Plan guides how the city should grow and be developed. The general public has until December 20, 2019 January 10, 2020, to submit comments to OP, while ANCs have until January 31, 2020 February 14, 2020, to submit resolutions to OP. Details on the proposed amendments are available at plandc.dc.gov. (Note: I wrote about the proposed amendments in this post).

Chair Edwards stated ANC 5A will request more time to review the proposed amendments. The ANC voted unanimously to support the intent and purpose of a draft resolution that many other ANCs have signed.

At the same time, the ANC will prepare as if no extension of time will be granted. Accordingly, please submit comments that you would like to see incorporated into an ANC 5A resolution to Commissioner Edwards at 5a05@anc.dc.gov by January 10, 2020. The commission plans to have a community meeting on the Comp Plan on January 11, 2020, at 10:00 am. They will circulate a summary of the comments by January 15 and be prepared to vote on a resolution on January 22.

Soldiers’ Home Reservoir Upgrades

Upgrades to the Soldiers’ Home Reservoir, located at the intersection of Arnold Drive and Pershing Drive NW on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home are ongoing until tentatively December 2020. All of the work is being done on the campus so area residents should not see any disruptions except the occasional lane closure. Golf course operations on the two affected fairways will be limited during construction. DC Water will work to minimize disruptions, and the fairways will be resotred after consturction is completed. For information, contact project manager Willis Thomas at (202) 787-7616 or willis.thomas@dcwater.com.

Walmart Beer/Wine License Application

As previously noted, the Walmart located at 310 Riggs Road has applied for a license to sell beer and wine. It is located in ANC 4B. On November 25, 2019, that commission voted in support of a resolution to support Walmart’s application and also to “reaffirm[] its support for the terms of the Settlement Agreement of August 9, 2018[]” between ANC 4B and Walmart. The status of that settlement agreement is unclear. The resolution could not be found on the ANC resolution website, so it is not clear if the commissioner for that area has uploaded the resolution yet. The Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA) voted at its meeting on December 2, 2019, not to protest Walmart’s application (13 in favor of protesting; 15 opposed to protesting).

Now, a group of 5 or more individuals led in part by Ward 5 resident Bill Smith plans to protest Walmart’s application. Bill Smith was one of the people who led the successful protest against the liquor license application of Pax Liquor, which wanted to open next to the McDonald’s on South Dakota Avenue. The protest against Walmart will focus on the fact that there is a liquor store directly across the street from the Walmart and an elementary school, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, within two blocks of the Walmart. The principal of that elementary school attended the LRCA meeting and asked Walmart’s manager how he plans to ensure that minors will not be able to abscond with or purchase alcohol. The manager stated that cashiers are given a prompt to ask for identification whenever a customer attempts to buy beer or wine. If you would like to join Mr. Smith in the protest, contact him at smith744@aol.com

Catholic University

Catholic University held a groundbreaking for its new dining hall. There are also new meeting rooms, which Ms. O’Connor stated the ANC is welcome to use. In the next few weeks, the university will hold a groundbreaking for a new nursing school and research labs.

The school recently received a notice from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that someone is flying drones above university property. This is a no-fly zone and there are consequences for flying drones without a proper license, so if you or anyone you know is responsible for the drones, take heed.

Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie

Councilmember McDuffie will hold three community conversations on violence around the Rhode Island Avenue and Woodridge/Langdon areas.

Miscellaneous

The commission voted unanimously in support of a petition for traffic calming, specifically speed bumps, in the 700 block of Decatur Street NE.

Commissioner Fletcher will hold an SMD meeting on January 7, 2020.

2 responses

  1. Thank you for another informative article on the business conducted at the recent ANC 5A meeting. I just want to address the topic of parking at the Lamond-Riggs Library. In her discussion, the DCPL representative also added that no parking is reserved for staff. So, everyone parks in the library lot on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Also, if one reviews the latest slideshow on Lamond-Riggs Library design, they will see that the current rear and side setbacks severely limit parking options. The best recourse is to use the parking included in the Family Entertainment Zone (FEZ) that will be built opposite the Library and across South Dakota Avenue NE. This is a street where the Mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative is most needed and welcome.

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