It's time for the monthly @ANC2B meeting.

This thread will be a livestream of the meeting, as best as I can do. It will not be a direct transcription of the meeting, nor is it a verbatim account. I do my best to capture the gist and spirit of what is said. I make mistakes.
Introductions complete.
Now, the new Ward 2 Council Member is joining us, Brooke Pinto.
A lot of small businesses were hurting before Covid-19. Now the situation is worse. Some are having trouble making rent. Likes the streeteries and looking for ways to expand.
$3M earmark in DDOT budget for expanded sidewalks. Locations TBD.

Understand crime concerns in Dupont. There was an assault at Valley Brook Tea recently. MPD is investingating.

Looking to expand drug intervention programs. None of the pilots are in Ward 2 yet.
Has heard from hundreds of residents concerned about the homeless encampments around Dupont Circle. There was a recent theft by someone who removed tents and belongings (not a government action). Wants to get people into housing, through vouchers and other means.
On budget, Council has included $500,000 for Dupont Underground and $8M for the Dupont crown park (the cap above the depressed portion of Connecticut Ave north of the Circle.
Question from Commissioner Schwartz:
How can the ANC help you?

We could all benefit from more inter-ANC collaboration between ANCs and between ANCs and the Council.

Says her intent is to attend as many ANC meetings as possible. Says "Zoom Life" makes it easier.
Q from Jeff R:
ANC2B has passed several resolutions about pedestrian safety around Dupont Circle. Former Councilmember Evans didn't care. DDOT has let them languish. What will you do to help advance these resolutions?
Pinto asks him to follow up with the specific resolutions.
Q from Janice F, commissioner from ANC2F:
Wants to know where the removed encampment was.

Pinto: In front of Safeway on 17th.
Q from Lauren:
Wants to know if the drug intervention pilot has any safeguards to make sure it isn't targeted at black and brown residents.

Pinto: That's a good question. Notes that loitering is not illegal in DC. Really important that protections are included in programs.
Pinto continued: Says that the interventions are intended to prevent arrests from happening. Says any new program needs to be careful to avoid unintended effects.
Q from Elyssa:
What are you doing to further protect our homeless neighbors and what will you do to ensure that when encampments are removed that those affected are housed immediately?

Pinto: Those individuals were approached to move them up on the list ahead of time.
Comment from Nick Delladonne:
Encouraged to hear remarks about homelessness in Dupont. DECAA wants to see the homeless housed.

Encouraged to hear that police are investigating the illegal encampment removal.
Q from Merry R:
Has seen a frequent problem around the city, cars parking in crosswalks. Says when she reports to the police, they tell the person to move, but never give tickets.

What should Merry do to work on this? What will Pinto do?
During covid, all the rules were relaxed. Says that message was received by drivers, who are doing what they want, since they know there's not going to be enforcement.
Chair thanks Pinto for attending.

Next up, Commissioner Announcements.
Chair Warwick:
NPS's deer management plan in Rock Creek Park has donated over 1,000 pounds of venison for feeding people.
Commissioner Silverstein:
School Without Walls has started their summer get to know each other program (online). Enrollment is over 600 students. School is at full capacity and is fully staffed.

This summer, the school has been used as a daycare for healthcare workers.
Silverstein: The school is also a feeding center. At the end of the day, excess lunches are given to a shelter for homeless LGBT youth, Casa Ruby.

The school's garden is being harvested to help feed senior citizens in Dupont Village.
Silverstein: Mayor is asking what statues and memorials in the city may be inappropriate or people who haven't been memorialized, but should be. He suggests John Lewis and Francis Scott Key be added. Suggests segregationist Senator Newlands fountain be renamed.
Commissioner Downs:
Update on Stead Park modernization and expansion. There will be an update meeting on September 2 or 3. The park fields are open, but the inside is closed and no splash ground.
Commissioner Cunningham:
There's a new bakery coming soon to the old Meiwah space at M & New Hampshire.
Commissioner Hanlon:
Many residents are concerned about the 17th Street Bike Lane. Sent an FYA to DDOT and received 692 pages in response. He's going to release all 692 pages to the public.
Other comments:
Nick Delladonne:
Reporting on behalf of Dupont East Civic Action Association.

On the 17th Street bike lane project: They received updated plans from DDOT only days before the comment deadline. Says pedestrians are getting short end of the stick here.
Delladone (cont'd): Says DDOT doesn't have any pedestrian specialists to look out for the interests of pedestrians.

Coming soon, DECAA is having a forum for the at-large council candidates. Keep an eye out.
Susan Volman from Dupont Circle Citizens Association:
DCCA put comments in to DDOT for the 17th Street NOI.

Planning to do a candidates forum for those running for ANC.
Next up: Application for substantial changes to the Class C restaurant license for Pupatella at 1801 18th Street NW.

Hours for the interior and sidewalk cafe would be changing. Opening earlier and later. Asking for a stipulated license.
Plan is for Pupatella to open mid-week next week. Getting staff up to speed.
Commissioner Sampson:
This is in his district. This is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Heard concerns about rat and trash abatement. Residents want to keep the alley clean and clear. Hours are consistent with other nearby businesses.
Motion from Sampson to support a stipulated license. Second by Silverstein.

A stipulated liquor license means the applicant can start serving alcohol during the notice period (66-day period). ABRA defers to the ANC on these issues.
Commissioner Hanlon:
What other restaurants on this block have these hours?
These hours are consistent with Lauriol Plaza, Larry's Lounge, and other places I couldn't type fast enough.
Hanlon: Is this consistent with the ANC policy on late night hours for outdoor seating?

Warwick: Yes.
Where is the nearest residence to the restaurant?

Warwick: There are residences in the area. It's a mixed-use neighborhood.
Have there been any ABRA complaints regarding other establishments on this block with respect to noise?

Doesn't understand how complaints about other establishments is relevant to *this* applicant.
If residents are having problems with noise on this block, adding another restaurant is going to increase the noise and the complaints.

Commissioner Landry: The kind of place that this is, is the kind of place he'd support running 24/7. It's pizza and wine.
Landry (cont'd): This is a very quiet operation. He has been to other locations of this restaurant. Says this will be a quiet neighbor.
Schwartz: Says she hasn't heard of any noise complaints from Anjou restaurant, which is nearby.

Sampson: Is opposed to Hanlon's line of reasoning, because it isn't fair to argue one noisy restaurant is a reason to derail the discussion of a different restaurant.
Silverstein: Used to serve on the ABRA board. There have been no recent noise complaints on this block.

Hanlon: Well, why couldn't Commissioner Sampson have just said that?
Question from Lance S:
Establishments on Swann Street have different hours than other establishments in this ANC. Has anybody talked to them?

Schwartz: To her knowledge, Swann restaurants have similar hours.
There has been a request to make sure that this establishment's hours are in line with other establishments on the street. The other establishments here meet the ANC policy on outdoor hours.
Howard B:
We have bars, restaurants, and businesses closing all over the neighborhood. And we have a restaurant who wants to move in and is meeting our needs. VOTE YES and MOVE ON!
On the motion to support a stipulated license:
Vote carries 8-0-0.
Next up:
Application for a new sidewalk cafe at Swingers at 1333 New Hampshire Avenue (formerly Buffalo Billiards).

This would include tables at sidewalk level and also in the areaway, one story below.
Swingers is apparently a putt-putt bar. Hence the name.
Why was the seat count reduced from 100 to 90?

Applicant: To meet DDOT requirements for the seats per square foot & 10' min sidewalk width.
What's the closest residence?

His building at 20th & N. This fronts on 19th Street, across from the Metro.
Motion by Silverstein to support, seconded by Cunningham.
What is your timeline for opening, based on the public health emergency?

The other two locations are in London. This will be the first American location. Hopeful to open in mid-March, contingent on social distancing and approvals.
On the motion:
8-0-0, carries.
Next up:
Application by Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab at 750 15th Street for a valet staging zone.

Deferred at the request of the applicant.
Next up:
Application by McDonald's for a new sidewalk cafe with 9 tables/39 seats at 1619 17th Street NW.
Applicant says this will be a sunny, happy place.
Motion in support by Commissioner Landry. Seconded by Hanlon.

Landry: Discussion started a few months ago. Asked that McDonald's work with neighboring businesses to provide a consistent look and space.
Landry: Policy manual requires 10 feet of sidewalk width. Due to tree boxes along the curb and the width of the planter boxes on the boundary of the cafe, the 10' may be not met. Has asked that with planters, space is consistent with other sidewalk cafes on the block.
Landry: The applicant has been very cooperative with ANC and DC agencies during this process.
Susan V:
Applicant said there won't be trash cans on the patio. How will patrons throw away their trash? Everything is disposable. Doesn't want litter in the surrounding area.
Their understanding of the permit requirements is that they cannot have a trash can on the patio. Will look into it and get back to ANC.
What is the narrowest point in the sidewalk with this cafe?

At the treebox, it will be around 8' wide.
Nick Delladonne:
The Malbec has set their railing inside of the brick trim. Is McDonald's sidewalk cafe going to be sticking out about the same distance?

Applicant: Yes.
Peter Sacco:
The Wawa sidewalk cafe (on 19th) was able to install a trash can.

That's correct. There are ways to get the trash emptied by the BID, too.
Will there be any umbrellas or awnings to create shade?

Applied for umbrellas. Still trying to find the best commercial-grade ones.
There's a homeless encampment in this area, which includes part of the area in front of McDonald's. Will this cafe extend into the encampment?

Monitors the encampment and patio. 6' of social distancing is being maintained, and easier to get into store.
Question from the chat:
What accommodations are being made for the homeless people living on that corner?

Agrees that permanent long-term housing is the best solution. Supports what Pinto said earlier. Sidewalk residents are also their customers.
Will not tolerate employees being threatened or harassed. Says she's like a mom to her employees. Tries to balance the needs of neighbors and community members. Supports long-term housing for the homeless. It can be a challenging environment to work in.
Have you had any problems with people who live on the corner sleeping inside the temporary sidewalk cafe?

No, not so far. Things are calm right now. Business getting better. So far, so good.
On the motion to support, motion carries 8-0-0.
Next up is Ruth's Chris for a new sidewalk cafe at 2017 S Street NW.

Sidewalk cafe will have 11 tables and 44 seats.
Clarification: This is no longer Ruth's Chris. But they're trying to refresh the space for a new tenant.

No modification to the size of the sidewalk cafe. Just upgrades to it and the front of the building.
Also, this is an enclosed sidewalk cafe, which I think means it has walls and a roof, so it's not what most people think of as a sidewalk cafe.
The applicant has been getting pushback from DDOT because since it was built in the 1980s, the rules about enclosed sidewalk cafes have become stricter (needs to be easily dismantled).

Applicant think's its unfair to retroactively apply rules.
Sampson moves a motion of support.
Downs seconds.

Sampson: Looks weird in comparison to other public space applications, but it's because of this existing space. Wants to help applicant get through to DDOT about renovating this existing space. It's not new. Just an update.
Howard B:
Supports Commissioner Sampson on this.

ANC needs to do whatever it can to support new businesses. So many are closing right now.
Why is the application for a new sidewalk cafe when this is just a renovation.

Applicant: Not all the permits were transferred when the building was inherited. DDOT archives are closed to the public during covid. So can't prove it's a valid permit.
Motion carries, 8-0-0.
Next up, approval of the minutes from the July meeting.

Landry moves.
Silverstein seconds.

Motion carries 7-1-0, Hanlon dissenting.
Next up:
Approval of the Q3 financial report.

Silverstein moves.
Landry seconds.

Motion carries 8-0-0.
Meeting adjourned, 8:51PM.
As a reminder, this thread is not a verbatim record of the meeting, nor is it a transcript. I did my best to capture the gist of comments and questions, and I apologize for any mistakes.
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