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WARD REPORTS

(Published July 29, 2002)

WARD 1

PARKING LOTTERY DELAYED: A long-awaited lottery to award 23 long-term parking spaces to Adams Morgan residents has been indefinitely delayed after the developer who made the deal, as a prerequisite to constructing his project, decided to require a security deposit that Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C says violates the deal. "The security deposit must be eliminated before the lottery will move forward," according to ANC 1C07 Commissioner Josh Gibson.

In February 2001, developer PN Hoffman agreed to set aside the parking spaces for rental to neighborhood residents so the ANC would allow his Champlain Street NW condominium project, The Lofts at Adams Morgan, to move forward over neighborhood objections related to parking concerns. The ANC scheduled a lottery for Aug. 7 to award two-year parking leases for the spaces, but delayed the lottery at its July 15 meeting after learning that the developer planned to require the winners to pay a $370 security deposit before gaining access to their spaces. The original deal called for "acceptable credit checks" but no security deposits.

WARD 2

GEORGETOWN PROJECT EXPANDS: Underground utility work in Georgetown will begin along Wisconsin Avenue on July 29, according to the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT). Although two-way traffic will be maintained during the work, to be done at night between 10:30 p.m. and 7 a.m., vehicles will be allowed to pass certain work areas in only one direction at a time, officials said. No work is scheduled for Friday or Saturday nights.

Dubbed "The Georgetown Project," the cooperative effort to upgrade all of the Georgetown area’s antiquated underground utilities began along M Street NW in October 2001 after several underground fires repeatedly disrupted electric service to the neighborhood’s commercial and residential areas in the M Street and Wisconsin Avenue corridors. The project, coordinated by Flippo Construction Co. of Forestville, Md., is intended to minimize neighborhood disruptions by simultaneously upgrading underground utility lines belonging to Potomac Electric Power Co., Verizon, Washington Gas, and the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. The D.C. government also is upgrading the commercial area streetscape as part of the project.

WARD 3

LIMITING RESTAURANTS: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C has scheduled two meetings in August at which it will discuss a proposed commercial overlay to the D.C. zoning map, which would limit the number of food service establishments permitted within specific areas. The proposed limits would apply to Cleveland Park and Woodley Park. The ANC’s Planning and Zoning Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at 2702 36th St. NW to review neighborhood and D.C. Office of Planning issues related to the proposed zoning amendment. The full ANC has changed its scheduled August meeting to Aug. 19 to meet the D.C. Zoning Commission’s Aug. 23 deadline for receiving comments on the zoning issue. The ANC meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Second District Police Headquarters, 3320 Idaho Ave. NW.

WARD 4

TOWN HALL MEETING: Economic development in Ward 4 will be the topic of a Town hall Meeting with Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Councilman Adrian Fenty on July 30. Also scheduled to attend the meeting is Deputy Mayor Eric Price, who oversees planning and economic development. The meeting, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., will be held at People’s Congregational Church, 4704 13th St. NW.

16th STREET CONSTRUCTION: Reconstruction of 16th Street in Upper Northwest Washington is scheduled to shift to the northbound lanes between Alaska Avenue and Primrose Road on or about Aug. 3, according to D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) officials. Two-lane traffic will be maintained in the peak direction during morning and evening rush hours, officials said, with one-lane traffic in each direction maintained at other times.

DDOT officials also recently informed Councilman Adrian Fenty that about 25 trees that are dead, diseased or damaged along 16th Street NW will be removed during the construction. The trees are expected to be replaced "in the proper planting season," according to an e-mail message the councilman received from DDOT’s chief transportation engineer.

WARD 5

METRO DEVELOPMENT: The Washington Regional Network for Livable Communities has scheduled a community meeting on Aug. 8 to discuss proposed development at and near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station. A representative of the development team that recently won approval from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Director for its mixed-use project at the Metro site is scheduled to discuss the proposed new shops and housing. The Metropolitan Branch Trail, a bicycle trail to be built along the tracks, and a proposal to link the Metro station’s pedestrian bridge to the existing Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center at Fourth Street and Rhode Island Avenue NE also are on the agenda. The meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Beacon House in Suite 15 on the Plaza Level of Edgewood terrace Apartments, 601 Edgewood St. NE.

WARD 6

BP AMOCO UPDATE: Two public meetings with identical presentations have been scheduled for July 31 at which the architect for BP Amoco will present revised design plans for the company’s proposed new gas station and convenience store at H and Third streets NE. The meetings, which will begin at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., will be held at Capital Children’s Museum, 800 Third St. NE. Original plans for expanding the existing Amoco gas station at the site, which is currently closed, met with strong community opposition. A neighborhood task force has been meeting for several months with BP Amoco officials to try to devise a design for the site that meets the company’s needs and satisfies the community’s concerns.

COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM: Candidates for the Ward 6 seat on D.C. City Council will be asked about their views on prescription drugs, predatory lending and nursing home quality during a candidates’ forum on Aug. 21. The forum, sponsored by the D.C. chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons, will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW. Councilwoman Sharon Ambrose and her Democratic challenger, Keith A. Perry, and D.C. Statehood Green candidate Jenefer Ellingston have been invited to attend. The AARP chapter has announced that lunch will be available for the first 200 people who RSVP by calling 1-877-926-8300.

WARD 7

COUNCIL PRIVILEGES OPPOSED: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7B passed a resolution at its July 20 meeting, with residents in attendance concurring by a show of hands, to express opposition to D.C. City Council’s recent decision to exempt its members from certain parking fines. "The general feeling of ANC 7B is that council members should not be exempt from the law just because members of Congress are exempt," ANC secretary Kathy Chamberlain wrote in an e-mail message informing Mayor Anthony A. Williams of the commission’s vote. The ANC, which represents the Penn Branch/Hillcrest/Fort Davis area, also said it objected to council approving the legislation on July 2, its last legislative meeting prior to its summer recess, without first seeking public comment on the proposal.

WARD 8

BRIDGE REPAIRS: The D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) has begun a one-year project to rehabilitate three bridges over Oxon Run in Southeast Washington. Total cost of repairing the Fourth Street, Wheeler Road and Atlantic Street bridges will be $4 million, of which 80 percent will be federally funded, according to DDOT. The city awarded the contract for the work to FMC Civil Construction LLC. The multi-faceted project will include reconstruction of the pavement, replacement of steel and concrete beams, installation of new utility lines, improvements in street lighting and new bridge decks, DDOT said.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator