ANC 3F’s meeting last Tuesday, February 19th was jam-packed with information on happenings in our neighborhood. Here are a few highlights. Other items that came up in the meeting are addressed in separate posts: the flooding where Broad Branch stream is piped under Broad Branch Road, where the Soapstone sewer rehabilitation project stands, and a settlement allows construction to resume at 3113 Albembarle.
Albemarle traffic study resolution
- Overall, no increase in incidents of crime. There was a slight uptick in theft from autos, however. These are usually crimes of opportunity, so residents are advised to lock vehicle doors and not to keep anything valuable inside.
- Police have received a significant increase in complaints from residents of Sedgwick Gardens due to disturbances attributed by new housing voucher residents. Two full-time social workers have been assigned to this building by the Department of Social Services. Read more in the Washington Post’s “Northwest D.C. residents criticize oversight of rent voucher programs.”
- The suspect in the Comet Ping Pong fire has been arrested.
Thomas Redman, UDC director of State and Local Affairs, announced that the university is requesting budget increases from the DC Council:
- Total operating budget request of $123.4 million, which is an increase of $22 million for FY 2020
- Total capital budget request is $677 million for fiscal years 2020 through 2025. It’s an increase of $167 million and to be used for modernizing their 50-year-old buildings.
Redmond invited members of the community to provide their support in the performance (what they have accomplished over the past year) and budget hearings. There’s a February 28th performance hearing before the Council of the Whole, and the budget hearing is March 26th.
School overcrowding in Ward 3
Ruth Wattenberg, the Ward 3 representative on the DC State Board of Education, asked ANC 3F to support the recommendations in the Wilson High School Feeder Pattern Community Working Group Report on relieving overcrowding in Ward 3 schools. The ANC was not ready with a resolution of support since this report had just landed in their inbox the day before. But there was discussion particularly focused on the old Hardy School, which is leased to the Lab School until 2023. Wattenberg felt strongly that this is the only available school space and city-owned property available for expansion.
I’m Eddie Cano sidewalk café request
Commissioners unanimously voted not to oppose I’m Eddie Cano’s application for a public space permit. View drawings from the plan here.
Raising concerns about the DC Water “Clean River” charge
Commissioner Andrea Molod discussed the Clean River Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) on our water bills. Some churches and nonprofits had raised a ruckus about the increase in these rates, which pay for stormwater management infrastructure, and they got relief. Molod is a member of the DC Consumer Utility Board (dcCUB), and it says the charge is unfair and poorly designed. One issue, it says, is that the District does not pay its share for impervious roadways, sidewalks, and other public rights of way. Nor does CRIAC include large enough enough credit for private property owners who have installed green infrastructure. The dcCUB proposes raising the discount from 4% to 20%.
For more information on dcCUB’s position click here (2-page Word document).