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(Published October 21, 2002)


LOFT PROJECT CONTROVERSY: Developer PN Hoffman’s plans to build another loft project at Champlain Street and Kalorama Road NW has prompted controversy over enforcement of the Reed-Cooke Overlay restrictions in the city’s zoning laws. Some neighborhood residents have expressed concerns that height and setback requirements appear to be more strictly enforced against residents who seek to build additions to their homes than against developers. The issue was expected to be discussed at Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C’s meeting on Oct. 21, in preparation for a D.C. Zoning Commission hearing on the project, scheduled for Oct. 29.


GW FARMERS MARKET: Students at George Washington University will sponsor on Oct. 23 what they hope grows into a regularly recurring farmers market on the Foggy Bottom campus. The one-day market will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Kogan Plaza – bounded by 21st, 22nd, G and H streets. Fruits and vegetables, baked goods and homemade crafts will be offered for sale.

"The goal of the GW Farmers Market is to build a stronger sense of community for GW students," said Joshua Singer, a GW senior who is chairman and manager of the GW farmers Market Association.

"When the GW Farmers Market begins to make money, we would like to create a nonprofit organization with the proceeds," Singer said. "Through that organization, we can further GW’s tradition of working with and giving back to the Foggy Bottom community."


AVALON THEATER BENEFIT: American City Diner will host a special 60th anniversary screening of the film classic "Casablanca" on Oct. 28 as a fund-raiser for efforts to reopen the shuttered Avalon Theater. Admission for the Avalon Theater Project benefit is $40 per person, which includes dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the movie beginning at 8 p.m. American City Diner, which has regularly screened classic movies since the Avalon closed, is located at 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW. More information about the community project is available online at


SAFEWAY ABC APPLICATION: A representative of Safeway is scheduled to attend the monthly meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B on Oct. 24 to discuss the supermarket chain’s application for a license to sell beer and wine at its Piney Branch Road NW store. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Fourth District Police Headquarters, 6001 Georgia Ave. NW.

Two of Safeway’s 15 stores in the District currently sell alcoholic beverages. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Oct. 2 approved a new Class B license for Safeway to sell beer and wine at its Edgewood store on Rhode Island Avenue NE in Ward 5, which recently began head-to-head competition with a new Giant Food store that also sells beer and wine. Safeway also holds a Class A license to sell beer, wine and liquor at its Capitol Hill store on Kentucky Avenue SE in Ward 6.


SUPPORTING McKINLEY HIGH: Supporters of the new McKinley Technology High School plan to gather at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Shaed Elementary School, 301 Douglas St. NE, to officially announce formation of a new nonprofit McKinley Technology Campus Corp. "to support the revitalization and redevelopment" of the D.C. public high school. Organizers of the group are encouraging public participation in the effort. More information is available by contacting Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Debbie Smith at (202) 269-1808.


SOUTH CAPITOL GATEWAY: The D.C. Department of Transportation has begun a "gateway" study of needed transportation improvements for the heavily traveled South Capitol Street/Frederick Douglass Bridge corridor. The study area encompasses South Capitol Street from the U.S. Capitol to Suitland Parkway and New Jersey Avenue from the Capitol to M Street SE. The study, to be performed by Parsons Brinckerhoff under a $500,000 federally funded contract, will examine transit, bicycle and pedestrian enhancements for the area as well as vehicular traffic improvements. South Capitol Street is used by more than 70,000 vehicles every weekday, according to the transportation department.


UPGRADING EASTGATE GARDENS: D.C. Housing Authority officials will present results of their recent survey of Eastgate Garden public housing residents’ economic development and social service needs at a meeting on Oct. 30 and discuss plans to provide community supportive services. The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at St. John’s Baptist Church, 5228 Call Place SE. The community meeting is part of the public housing authority’s preparations to apply to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a HOPE VI grant to redevelop the Eastgate Gardens complex.


IMPOUNDED VEHICLES: Vigilant neighbors of the city-owned D.C. Village site say they remain concerned that officials intend to turn the property into the city’s permanent vehicle impoundment lot. The D.C. Department of Public Works’ recent solicitation of bids for towing thousands of abandoned vehicles from the current impoundment lot on Addison Road in suburban Maryland to the "Blue Plains Impoundment Lot" sparked renewed neighborhood concerns.

DPW spokeswoman Mary Myers, when asked about the bidding, reiterated official assurances that the Ward 8 site is not being considered as a permanent replacement for the former Brentwood Road impoundment lot in Northeast Washington, which was sold for retail development. Myers said the bids were sought for towing cars that are officially classified as "abandoned," which are then brought to the former D.C. Village site to be auctioned. She said locating the city’s impoundment lot for towed cars at D.C. Village, which would not be easily accessible for motorists to claim their cars, "would be very impractical."

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator