5/12 monthly ANC meeting

The following issues were addressed at the 5/12 monthly ANC meeting.

Police Report.  As indicated in my previous forwarded emails, there has been a recent increase in violent crime in the Tenleytown / Wilson HS area.  In April there were six, four of them robberies; three of the robbery victims were HS students.  Arrests have been made for two of the robberies, and the police have identified “persons of interest” for the other two.  There was one assault with a hand gun (no one hurt).  Property crimes were down, with over 88% of all thefts occurring on the commercial corridors, mostly shoplifting.  For additional info or input, email alan.hill@dc.gov.

Wilson HS Funding.  The ANC unanimously passed a resolution (introduced by Member McHugh) calling on DCPS to adhere to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), which it has endorsed as the proper formula for allocating funds to the public schools.  According to the resolution, Wilson receives the lowest per-high-school funding, $8,556 per student, which is less than half of the amount per student received by the high school receiving the largest amount; and “a significant, unexplained disparity exists” between what Ward 3 schools receive and what they should receive under UPSFF.

Renewal of Liquor Licenses.  The ANC voted unanimously not to oppose renewal of liquor licenses for a number of local businesses, including Tara Thai, Whole Foods, and Guapo’s (which is staying in its current location after a lease dispute).

“Ladybird” Development at the Former Superfresh Site.  Valor Development is proposing a large, two-building project (7 stories altogether) at 48th and Yuma, north of the former AU law school.  One building will be residential, with 200 apartments and 30 condos, for approximately 450-500 residents.  The other building will be a large supermarket.  Parking for both buildings will be underground.  There was consensus among the ANC members that the design submitted for review was closer to acceptability than previous designs, and the developer promises that the “green” space that is planned to surround the project will serve the whole community.  However, there is still considerable opposition to the project from a number of local residents (particularly some who live adjacent or nearby).  Opponents argue that the projects is incompatible in both size and form with the residential neighborhood; other residents support the project.  (Turnout for this meeting was larger than usual, due to this issue.)  There is a legal “matter of right” issue with respect to the buildings’ height, and it is possible that the projected supermarket will not receive the necessary zoning variance.  To view the project drawings, go to theladybirddc.com.

Reconfiguration of the Albemarle-Fort Drive-Brandywine Area.  The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency, which owns the block of Fort Drive running between Albemarle and Brandywine (and to Wilson HS), is completing a plan to reconfigure the Fort Drive-40th Street area to improve safety, auto and bike traffic for commuters and students.  The ANC passed a resolution, 4-1, urging the WMATA to include the block of 40th Street running between Brandywine and Chesapeake in the study, so that the traffic problems in the entire area will be addressed consistently.  The project is complicated by the fact that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which will, be paying for the reconfiguration, controls 40th Street but must receive an easement from WMATA to perform work on Fort Drive. There was skepticism that, for a number of reasons, the project may not reach fruition.

Redevelopment of 4620-26 Wisconsin Ave.  Urban Investment Partners is developing this project to convert three office buildings (south of Chesapeake, close to the Tenleytown Metro) to residential buildings.  I didn’t stay long for this presentation, because it was past 10:30 pm and a work night.  Not sure if the ANC passed on it.

Turtle Park.  Member McHugh told me that the redevelopment has not progressed beyond demolition.  This is at least in part because the planners apparently failed to learn that a 48-inch sewage pipe runs from Fort Gaines under the park, and that they will have to work around  it or replace a segment of it.  This has a budgetary and scheduling impact.  Member McHugh will be meeting with the project managers a few days from now (he lives a few houses away from Turtle Park) and expects to learn more.

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