Brief notes from the December ANC 4C meeting

The Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 4C met on December 14th for a shorter than normal meeting to wrap up the 2015-2016 session. Commissioners Taalib-Din Uqdah and Vann-Di Galloway were not in attendance.

The Treasurer's Report by Commissioner Michael Halpern reported $6,608.74 in checking and $16,745.22 in savings. "We've seen some of the funds go down as we gave out more grants this year." (I clapped -- why else do they have money but to spend on community needs?) Halpern said the ANC hasn't received their latest disbursement amount from DC due to paperwork issues.

4D MPD Captain Derek Larsen

MPD Captain Derek Larsen was in attendance and gave a brief overview of 4D crime stats, saying that the Fourth District has had the highest reduction in crime than other districts. 

  • This time last year there were 840 violent crimes, and now, year-to-date there have been 644 violent crimes (23% down). 
  • Property crime was at 3,997 this time last year, with 3,319 violent crimes in the Fourth District this year (17%).
  • Total crimes were 4,837 at this time last year, with 3,963 to date (down 18%) for this year. 

"We have a long way to go but are headed in the right direction. We have good leadership with Commander Manlapaz and Lieutenant Anthony Washington in PSA 407," Captain Larsen said. "One problem we're having citywide is package theft. It's a problem." He suggested residents have a package delivered to a neighbor, to their job or a UPS drop off spot, etc. "It only takes a second for someone to steal a package. Same with thefts from auto. Don't leave packages in cars!"

Emily Hedin

Emily Hedin from Breakthrough Montessori at 1244 Taylor St spoke about the school (they do pre-k 3&4, kindergarten). Thanked the commission for their help with using the Petworth Park.

Laura Morris

Laura Morris, who works with the Women's March on Washington spoke about the upcoming event planned for January 21st at 10am at the Capitol building. Ms. Morris works on the planning committee for Women's March on Washington, and she said that the purpose of the march is because many people feel marginalized after the recent election. The march is meant to make a strong statement to the incoming administration.

Flyer for the march

Approximately 200,000 people (men and women) of all shapes, sizes and orientations will be marching to say “we won't back down and will continue to work to keep advances from being rolled back.” Ms. Morris said they’re looking for volunteers for planning in all Wards, help with coordination for getting around town, people willing to open up homes, businesses, churches, etc, to help people. They also need buses to help transport people. Can also use monetary donations. The march is scheduled to start at the southwest corner of the Capitol Building.

Grant Barker came up to request a letter of support for zoning relief for 821 Randolph Street NW that limits R-41 zoned buildings to 35 feet. Would like to increase the possible height (neighbors have 40' height currently). 

Grant Barker

The property is west of Georgia Avenue across from Safeway. Owner occupant, Mr Barker lives in the basement with his parents, has a loan to build a large bedroom on the top floor — "my dream living space." Already a three-unit apartment, will convert to 4-unit (but can be an additional bedroom in top unit). He's the only home with solar panels. The height of Mr. Barker's neighbors are already 40 feet. Variance approved. 

Rendering of the front of 821 Randolph Street NW

The ANC then held a moment of silence for Peggy McCoo, who recently passed away. Ms. McCoo was the 4C07 commissioner from 1986-2000.

Commissioner Jonah Goodman presented a resolution in support of a bill in front of the DC council that requires all stop work orders on a property to be disclosed before the property can be sold (Resolution Supporting Bill 21-0908, the “Stop Work Order Disclosure and Regulation amendment act of 2016”).

Commissioner Jonah Goodman

Goodman said that ANC 1A passed a similar resolution in November, and that his resolution  is consistent with their resolution.” The purpose of the DC Council bill is to acknowledge any stop work orders from seller to buyer, so buyer can get further inspections to ensure property is "up to par." Motion passed. 

Vice-Chair Zach Teutsch then gave his thanks to the commissioners, community and media for their participation, as this was the final meeting of the 2015-2016 cycle (and hopefully, brings an end to the dysfunction of ANC 4C). Teutsch welcomed incoming commissioner Tom Burnett (who was sitting in the audience). 

Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth (4C07) is leaving the ANC, and spoke about welcoming neighbors and remembering the history of the area as development happens. Commissioner Halpern said some kind words about Hayworth, saying he’ll miss him on the commission. Teutsch also thanked Hayworth for his guidance and work as parliamentarian. Teutsch then made a motion to give outgoing commissioners placards recognizing their service. Approved. 

Outgoing Commissioner John-Paul Hayworth

Teutsch spoke about progress of the neighborhoods and challenges with affordable housing, transportation especially. Looking for smart growth in an inclusive way. 

Commissioner Joe Martin asked the audience how they hear about the ANC meetings, see the agenda, and so on, as the commission is looking to find ways to reach a wider audience. 

One resident said information doesn't come to her apartment building, but heard about the meeting from a flyer. She wants to be included and know what's going on. Said she's willing to pass out flyers to people who live in apartments. 

Commissioner Joe Martin

Tracy on Buchanan St said she hadn't heard about the ANC meetings before. Wants to help get the word out.

A woman from Georgia and Decatur said it was difficult to get information about the meeting online, found the draft agenda “on some blog.” (Hello!) Then another resident said some nice things about that blog.  :)

How do you hear about the ANC meeting?

Commissioners Maria Barry, John-Paul Hayworth, Michael Halpern, Zach Teutsch and Jonah Goodman

Commissioner Teutsch then spoke a bit about changes they hoped to see with the commission in the next year.

  • New commissioners have been speaking informally about having committees to meet on topics that the ANC has frequent business and additional discussion would be useful (zoning, ABRA, etc). Helpful to have community members involved on the committees. Email Teutsch for more info.
  • Making an effort to be more transparent and open, make sure community members see resolutions before the meeting and can be in touch with commissioners. 
  • Jones mentioned that committees are mentioned already in by-laws, they've just been dormant. 
  • Meetings may or may not stay the 2nd Wednesday of the month, depending upon schedule needs of the new commissioners. Details to come.

Motion to adjourn... approved. Hopefully a calmer session ahead next year!

Commissioners Joe Martin and Timothy Jones

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.

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