Community Meeting – July 19, 2016, 7:00 PM
Officers in Attendance:
- Dan Schramm – Vice President (Interim President)
- Teresa Fleming – Membership Director
- Clyde Blassengale – Treasurer
- Lamont Bessicks – Recording Secretary
Dan opened the meeting at approximately 7:03 PM
Item 1: Treasurer’s Report – June Transactions
- One new member
- $3,118.23 Beginning Balance
- $3,128.23 Ending Balance
- June Budget voted and accepted for the July report.
Item 2: Special Election to Fill Vacancies on the Board
- Clyde Blassengale temporarily stepped in to run the election process for President.
- Quorum taken for current members in good standing.
- Nominations taken for each position when presented.
- President: Dan Schramm – nominated and elected.
- Vice-President: No nominations/volunteers.
- Corresponding Secretary: No nominations/volunteers.
- Dan resumed running the meeting upon being elected President.
- Membership put forth a motion that election of officers for the open positions be revisited at the next/September election. Motion voted, accepted and carried.
- Question was asked about the time commitment for the open officer positions. Dan would distribute the bylaws to the membership, which would explain the tasks of each position.
Item 3: Membership Report – June Transactions
- Approximately 100 members
- Attendance sheet passed around.
- Requested ideas for gaining new members of the neighborhood.
Item 4: Proposed Homeless Shelter at 17th Street, NE and Rhode Island Avenue, NE
- Presentations are for informational purposes only.
- Shawn Hilgendorf (DC Council, Legislative Council)
- Ronan Gulstone (Council Member McDuffie’s Chief of Staff)
- All councilmembers in support of closing DC General as a shelter.
- Mayor’s office recommended multiple locations for homeless shelters.
- Initial location was near a transfer station and not presentable for residential occupancy.
- Multiple community meetings and council meetings held since October, 2015.
- Youth Division Building had been discussed as a potential location.
- Preferred for its location on Rhode Island Avenue, NE, proximity to new library and Metro station.
- The location has been approved and confirmed. Certifying that the necessary services can be provided to the residence there.
- Jay Melder (Chief of Staff, DHS)
- DHS been working on a positive solution to homelessness for some time.
- Trying to provide protective services to homeless families.
- Provided a scenario of typical homeless family and what services would be provided at new homeless locations.
- YDB is designed for emergency services only – typically less than 90 days of occupancy for each family.
- DHS to work with the families to secure more permanent residences.
- No more than 50 family units designed for each new location.
- Members expressed disapproval of council vote on this location without proper notice to immediate area residents.
- Question asked whether the property needed to be expanded to accommodate up to 50 family units.
- The YDB site will not accommodate 50 units. A Ward 3 site is large enough to accommodate more than 50 family units, which will take up the balance of family units.
- DHS will designate YDB as an historic site and share the proposed design plans with the community.
- Member expressed the “Park” is an unofficial homeless shelter. Since YDB will be designated for woman with children, will they be put out on the street each day?
- Biggest complaint be members was due-process – the local residents were not notified about the multiple meetings leading up to the confirmation of the YDB location.
- Stated that public notice of meetings was broadcast through emails, list-serves, Council Register.
- Member asked what McDuffie’s vote was related to the proposed act that will deny ANC’s and other community groups from input on historic preservation issues.
- Acknowledgement that there has not been an equitable distribution of homeless shelters throughout the city, over time. However, each ward will receive a shelter to house former residents of the closed DC General.
- Members complain the McDuffy and his office has not been open with communication to the Ward 5 residents.
Item 5: Evarts Proposed Alley Closure
- Brian Stevens (200-footer)
- Developer (Adams Investments) desires to close the alley between two industrial warehouses in order to construct up to a 9-story building.
- Without alley closure, structure limited to approximately 5 stories.
- Ward 5 members living in the immediate vicinity of the project are in objection to the closure.
- No direct contact received from the developer regarding the project. Refusing to present to ANC’s and civic associations.
- Public hearing on zoning to be held approximately January 2017.
- Local ANC and McDuffy’s office is against the alley closure.
- 14 meetings have been scheduled for the developer to community. Developer attended only three. Only scaled drawings have been presented at those meetings.
- Developer is going to public utilities to receive sign-off on alley closures. Will put neighborhood in a position of defending why alley closure should be denied.
- Developer has spoken to office of Congresswomen E. Holmes-Norton about closing the alley.
- Member stated that the Act of 1954, a height restriction act imposed by the Federal Government, prohibits development over a certain number of stories east of Massachusetts Avenue.
- Member stated that the alley closure allowing for a larger building, will cause more parking problems, and endanger the children crossing the street at Noyes School.
- Member stated that the Public Representative was a former member of Councilmember McDuffy’s office.
- Member stated that the alley closure would require cutting down a tree. DC law prohibits cutting down trees.
- Member stated that the developers is posting signs stating that the alley is closed.
- Member stated that the developer has already met with the Capitol Area Planning Commission regarding the alley closure.
- Due to a recent fire at the site, concern is that fire equipment would be able to properly quench the fire due to the limited alley width.
- Member stated that the 200-footers have retained council. (Same council that represented the 200-footers for the Colonel Brooks site project.)
Item 6: Howard University Campus: Membership discussion of Urban Land Institute presentation
- Due to the length of time focused on the previous topic, there was no in-depth discussion on this topic.
- The community has decided that it would like to see the Howard Divinity School property remain exactly as is – i.e., no new development on the site.
- BNCA Officer stated the Howard University is reviewing its entire real estate portfolio as an attempt to resolve some of the university’s financial problems.
Item 7: Community Concerns
- Asked that any new concerns be presented at the next community meeting.
- Member stated that developers are posting signs “We Buy Houses” are done so without the required permits. Asked that the community tear/take the signs down.
- Annual ANC elections coming in November, 2016, if anyone would like to run for office.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.
Next BNCA Meeting: September 20, 2016, 7:00 PM.
For the next officer’s meeting, BNCA officers need to prepare a profile for each of the officer positions.