ANC6C Meeting, selective memory redux

[This post will be proofread and possibly edited later–I need to cook and eat dinner before the Daily Show is over!]

I just got back from the monthly ANC6C meeting, and what a meeting it was, albeit my first. Sadly–or stupidly–I managed to forget my pen and pad, so I’m making no attempt to offer any substantive redux. But there are some clear highlights, many of which I think survived in my memory for the full three hour length.

Here’s what my memory offers. Apologies for any inaccuracies in my reporting or misunderstanding of procedure. This is roughly in reverse order of importance–but mostly because the 5th & I discussion is at the end of this post.

The majority of the meeting in a paragraph or two: The commission has use-it-or-lose-it money for community grants, so start making proposals. There will be a festival at the National Building Museum in the near future, which will close down a block of street and feature ballerinas dancing on construction equipment. Commissioner Silver (6C01, that’s most of us) did a recent walk through of the CCNV shelter and was generally impressed with their operation, but noted that they are in desperate need of basic supplies–he urged them to put in a grant proposal. There will be a public art project, sponsored by DC and National arts organizations, installed at the corner of 5th and K, NW–the ANC doesn’t have a say in whether this happens, but it looks like it will be a nice addition to the neighborhood.

The ANC will support Leeloo’s application to put tables on the sidewalk–but only provisionally on the side of the street across from local residents, subject to Leeloo coming to an agreement with those residents. The ANC will support Jemal Douglas’s agreement to lease 38 nearby parking spaces to provide residents of 704 3d Street, NW’s with parking, in lieu of providing parking in building.

The two biggest points of the meeting were, by far, discussion about the proposed moratorium on the sale of singles and the 5th & I development.

The singles moratorium (single-serve alcoholic beverages) apparently has been on the agenda for quite some time, with the ANC making efforts to impose one on its own. This meeting, however, offered an urgent action item, with the prospect of Tommy Wells and Jack Evans introducing a bill to implement the same moratorium through legislative means. There is much to talk about here–which I can not fairly recount–but the key takeaway is that there is likely a bill to be introduced in the coming weeks that will impose this moratorium in parts of ANC2C and ANC6C. The ANC had to act tonight if it wanted to be covered by the bill, as it will be too close to final form by the time of the next meeting. From what I recall, ANC6C voted to request that 6C01 and 6C09 definitely be included in the affected area; with parts of 6C04 seeking inclusion (2d-8th, G-Florida?); and with 6C02 and 6c05 considering over the next days whether to seek inclusion.

Needless to say, this is a big issue, which required quick action which appears to have been taken. I expect there to be other coverage–please just take this summary as notice of the issues and forgive any errors on my recount.

And, drumroll please, the 5th & I project. Substantively, nothing happened–but I learned a lot. Most important thing first: there will be a special meeting probably Wednesday May 28 (location TBD) to discuss what the ANC should do, and to do it. This meeting might be moved up, based upon information to be had tomorrow about a potential best-bids evaluation that could eliminate two of the four proposals before a May 28th meeting could have any impact.

There was heated discussion about what the ANC should and could do. The ANC has basically been left out of this process by the Mayor’s office. The Mayor’s office will decide which bid wins, and plans to do so by June 8 (perhaps June 9–I’ve tried too hard to remember the date and have confused myself as a result). They have not sought out ANC input, and it is not clear whether it is welcome.

Discussion focused on whether the ANC should adopt a list to the Mayor of issues that we feel it is important that the winning proposal address; or whether it should specific endorse one or two of the propsals. This is a blog, so I will editorialize a bit, if only to say that the first idea is just silly: the list of issues appears largely duplicative of issues already aired, which were incorporated into the RFP, and would be enitrely non-binding. It’s too weak an effort to offer too little direction too late in the game–a non-decision-making body can’t sweep in at the 11th hour to make suggestions that should have been made in the 1st hour and expect to be taken seriously.

I am in the camp that believes the ANC should endorse one or two of the proposals. I do support the Donohoe/Holland bid–yes–but at this point it seems more important to take the bad bids (look at the poll!) off the table. And there was a strong 555 Mass presense at the meeting that showed stronger support than I had anticipated for Donahoe.

But that’s enough editorializing.

All in all, it was an interesting and engaging meeting, if long.

–MLB

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