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by Tim Regan — September 28, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

Candidate Holly Biglow touched upon the St. Thomas Church development project in her speech

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated in August when Underhill moved to New York City. Earlier this month, you heard from Kupcinski. Now, here’s your chance to hear from Biglow:

Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for the 2B-07 seat.

I’ve been in the neighborhood for six years. I love the neighborhood. I love my community. I love the diversity. I love what my neighborhood stands for. I want to be apart of it. I am apart of my condominium association, so I do like being involved however I can, especially regarding where I live.

You previously thought about running for this seat, didn’t you?

When Justine [Underhill] ran, I was also interested, but I met and I spoke to her and I didn’t go through with getting signatures or anything like that.

So you didn’t run, but you were thinking about it.

Exactly. I was just interested, but I met with her and she was very passionate about it, so I sort of stepped back.

If you are elected, what will be one of your first priorities?

I know the St. Thomas Church project is a very large project. It’s very important to the community, so that will be the number one issue that will have to be addressed.

After that, I would like to work closely or continue to work with the surrounding businesses, such as the restaurants. I know there’s a lot more competition in D.C., which is driving a lot of patrons to go to different parts of D.C. I want to try to keep our area vibrant and as active as it currently it. I would definitely like to work more to try to keep the businesses in our area.

I think congestion will be addressed eventually. Traffic congestion. I’m not sure about people congestion, but I know that is a concern, especially considering the St. Thomas street project and some of the other condos that are being developed in the neighborhood, such as the Patterson House. That’s one of the things I would definitely like to keep an eye out on.

In what ways would you work with the businesses to keep patrons here?

I know that normally the businesses come to the ANC to get approval on their patios or what they can and can’t do in terms of their liquor license, or can they play music or not? I think just sort of working in that regard and being open-minded and looking in a business sense to make sure that I’m helping them to thrive and keep customers coming into our neighborhood.

I do know that the ANC scope is limited, but when they approach the ANC with things they might want to do to boost their business, instead of saying no, [I want to] look at it more like, we do want to keep people coming into the neighborhood, how can we work together and keep the neighborhood thriving?

How do you plan to interact with other neighborhood associations, if elected?

Like I said in my speech at the last ANC meeting, I’m a very open-minded person. I like working with different organizations and coalitions. That would continue with any association if I were elected to the ANC.

How would you use social media to engage with your potential future constituents?

I’m a Facebook user. I would probably use Facebook and keep people updated through Facebook. That would be my route.

Is there anything you’d want to change in the way ANC 2B operates?

Nothing that I can pinpoint right now. But I feel like the commissioners are easy to work with and they’re very nice people. I’m sure if something did come about, they would probably consider my suggestions if there’s anything that I think would need to be changed. The meetings run pretty smoothly.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

This interview was edited for length and clarity

by Tim Regan — September 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

John Kupcinski at anc2b meeting

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated last month when Underhill moved to New York City. Now, here’s your chance to hear from one of them.

We spoke with Kupcinski about some of the local issues he feels strongly about:

Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to run for the 2B-07 seat.

John Kupcinski: I’ve been involved in neighborhood politics, I purchased my property about a year and a half ago or so. I made a fairly big investment. It’s the biggest purchase I’ll probably ever make in my entire life So I wanted to make a big investment in the community as well. I got involved with Church Street Neighbors. Meeting the people who are my neighbors, I’m a proponent of trying to make things better. I felt like this is one of the ways I could contribute to the community.

If you are elected, what will be one of your first priorities?

First and foremost, … I’d like to try to [figure out] how the construction is going to happen [at the St. Thomas’ Parish], how the operations will work, how the pre-construction, construction will work. Just make sure there aren’t any misunderstandings. It’s going to be one of the biggest developments happening in 2B-07.

How do you plan to interact with other neighborhood associations, if elected?

It’s important to have people’s voices heard. One of the things we’re blessed with in 2B-07 is that we have a lot of very active and engaged community members who have decided to participate in the political process. So that, I think, is a fantastic benefit and also something that can help whoever the ANC commissioner is in October. I would see those organizations as a conduit for ideas and to help out with initiatives and to be able to provide communication back and forth between constituent groups within the neighborhood.

Is there anything you’d want to change in the way ANC 2B operates?

This is kind of a non-answer, but my perception has been on the other side of the microphone. So, I would need to get in and see the workings of how things are happening. I don’t know yet. But I am looking forward to working with everybody. I think that everybody in the ANC has a significant amount to give and contribute. They’ve made the neighborhood a better place to live in. I’m excited about working with everybody.

You said previously that, even if you don’t win the election, you’ll still be involved in the community. Are there specific things you’d undertake?

I’ve been very fortunate to, through this process, to meet a number of the different neighbors and develop a lot of close friendships. I would get involved in [Dupont Circle Citizens Association] or Church Street Neighbors or even work with a message board that people are active on within the community.

How will you use social media to engage with your potential future constituents?

My Twitter is very professional. Mostly articles that I think are interesting with respect to information security. One of the things that I would like to do is find a way to engage people on social media, whether that be on Twitter, create a 2B-07 media account. Using other blogs. I know the ANC has a blog. But I’d try to find as many ways to reach out to people.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

by Borderstan Contributor — September 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm 0

Mike Silverstein, photo via ANC 2BMike Silverstein is an ANC 2B commissioner, an Alcoholic Beverage Control board member and a former journalist.

Last week, he wrote to us and shared a touching story about a series of events that occurred exactly ten years ago today. We thought the story, a tale about the rescue of a dog during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, was best told in the commissioner’s own words.

I found these items among my souvenirs — keepsakes of a story that happened ten years ago this week. It’s a story how three people from DC somehow joined together to save the life of a dog in New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina had destroyed parts of the Gulf Coast more than a week earlier, and much of New Orleans was still under water.

I was at work at ABC News on DeSales Street when I got a call from my good friend Emmett Woolfrey, who had moved from D.C. to New Orleans several years earlier. Emmett had safely evacuated to Baton Rouge. He called to ask if there was any way to help his friend, a fellow hospital technician names James Coates. James had been forced to leave his dog Chanelle behind, with a maybe a week’s worth of food and some bowls full of water. James was terrified that the water was running out, and Chanelle would die of dehydration.

I had seen a story about animal rescues (this was twelve days after the storm hit), and tried to contact the group that was coordinating those efforts. I was unable to reach the woman in charge by phone, so I sent her an e-mail. It was, in retrospect, a bit melodramatic, but I wanted to get her attention.

Mike SIlverstein e-mail on Sept. 11 2005

I never did hear from Ellen, but the results were even better. The next day, I got a phone call from a neighbor. It was Scotlund Haisley, from Georgetown, whom I knew both from Montrose Park and from the Washington Animal Rescue League. He said he was calling from New Orleans, from a boat, headed down a flooded street, and on his way to try to find Chanelle. He was asking for specific instructions on how to find James’ apartment. Fortunately, I had met James at Mardi Gras 2002, and had stopped by his apartment before one of the parades, so I could describe the house and the path back to James’ apartment. The directions were all that Scotlund needed. He said he’d get back to me after he found Chanelle.

An hour later, he called back, and said he had found her and she was in bad shape. She was near death from dehydration, and was unconscious and barely breathing. He said he was taking her to a hospital unit to get an IV into her. Later, he had her taken up to LSU in Baton Rouge, where veterinary doctors stabilized her, and put her on the road to recovery. Scotlund, meanwhile, went back to searching abandoned and ruined homes for animals to be rescued.


Scotlund called me about a week later, and told me Chanelle was well enough to be reunited with James. Eventually, James and Chanelle returned to New Orleans, and he sent me this picture, which speaks for itself.

The rescued dog and its happy owner

Chanelle lived to be 14 years old, and was James’ best friend and faithful companion. Her tongue was always too big for her mouth, and it always stuck out, especially when she was happy. Sadly, James died last year. Emmett now lives in Florida. And Scotund, who left the Animal Rescue League to work with the Humane Society, now works with the Animal Rescue Corps, a group that rescues animals after natural disasters and from abusive situations.

Very few good things came out of Katrina, but one was a change in the way animals are treated in disaster evacuations. We are no longer forced to choose either to stay behind with our pets or to evacuate and leave our animal companions behind. Our dogs and cats are members of our families. They can come with us, and their love and loyalty can help see us through whatever storms we must endure.

It’s a lesson I learned ten years ago this week, a lesson with a happy ending.

Photos courtesy of Mike Silverstein and ANC 2B

by Tim Regan — September 10, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B is getting ready for a special election.

Residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into a race for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated last month when Underhill moved to New York City.

The two candidates introduced themselves and touched upon community issues during “stump speeches” at last night’s ANC 2B meeting at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW) near Dupont Circle.

Holly Biglow, who said she’s lived in P Street NW for six years, touched upon the hotly debated issue of the St. Thomas Church development project.

“I am aware of the St. Thomas Church development project, which I know has been a major issue. I’m also aware that a neighborhood group has developed work on some of the issues they have regarding this project,” Biglow said. “I definitely commend them on all the work that they’ve done and all the things that they’ve accomplished.”

“I really look forward to working with the group if possible to continue to address the neighbor’s needs,” she added.

“This neighborhood has various issues that need to be addressed,” Biglow concluded. “I’m a very open-minded person. I really look forward to working on a vast number of issues that ANC 2B-07 and the rest of the ANC will be working on.”

Kupcinski, who owns a consulting firm in the area, then stepped in front of the microphone to introduce himself.

“I’ve been involved in the community ever since I purchased [my home] about a year and a half ago,” said Kupcinski. “I got involved in the Church Street neighbors. I got to meet lots of our wonderful neighbors and our ANC.”

“I’ve been to a lot of ANC meetings,” he added. “I’m excited about Dupont, both what it was and what it’s growing into be. I think that we’re at a very interesting point in terms of the changing dynamics and shifts as other parts of the city continue to develop.”

“Regardless of the outcome of the election, I’m still going to be involved,” he said. “You’ll still see my face on a monthly basis. You’ll still see me walking my dog around the neighborhood.”

Newly revived ANC blog Short Articles About Long Meetings recorded both speeches and uploaded them to Youtube earlier this morning.

Residents of the 2B-07 single member district can cast their ballots next month at the Brookings Institution on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Click here for more information regarding voter eligibility and the voting process.

by Tim Regan — August 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm 926 0

Farragut West Metro station, photo via Flickr.com/Matt' Johnson(Updated at 5:08 p.m.) Golden Triangle BID would like to change the Farragut West Metro station’s name.

The business improvement district last night asked Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B to consider urging WMATA to add “White House” to the station’s title.

Ted Jutras, Golden Triangle BID’s planning manager, laid out the organization’s case at the meeting.

“With the silver line extension coming to Dulles and a lot of the tourist traffic coming in, Farragut West will be the most convenient first stop for the White House,” Jutras explained. “From a neighborhood standpoint, increased foot traffic in the area would help the businesses on our side of the White House.”

Jutras added that adding the words “White House” to the Farragut West Metro station may also prevent photo-seeking tourists from traveling all the way to Metro Center in search of the iconic residence and therefore prevent congestion.

Jutras said the district would like to submit the suggestion in time for WMATA to consider it during the agency’s upcoming station name and map revision period.

Leona Agouridis, executive director of Golden Triangle BID, is working on a draft of a letter to WMATA urging the agency to change the station’s name, added Jutras.

Commissioner Mike Feldstein, 2B-01, then said he’d like to remind the room that it was the commission, not the BID, that suggested adding “White House” to the station’s name.

“Golden Triangle came to us and asked to change the name of that station to Golden Triangle,” Feldstein said. “We argued the name should be changed to the White House.”

Other commissioners followed with concerns.

“I’m actually not sure if it is closer [to the White House] than McPherson Square,” said  Commissioner Daniel Warwick, 2B-02. “And if you just add it to Farragut West, maybe people on the Red Line would go to Metro Center and then transfer to Farragut West.”

“With regard to Farragut North, for exactly that reason, we would support if Metro wanted to add ‘White House’ to Farragut North as well,” responded Jutras.

“As I listen to this, I’m struck by the confusion that this would cause,” said Commissioner Abigail Nichols, 2B-05. Nichols added that, if Farragut North and Farragut West would include the words “White House,” why wouldn’t McPherson Square due to its closer proximity to the White House?

“As McPherson is not within the Golden Triangle BID, we’re not taking a stance on McPherson,” responded Jutras. “The resolution as it’s put forward is for Farragut West. The BID would also fully support adding White House to the name Farragut North.”

When put to a vote, the resolution failed 1-6-0.

Chairman and Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, summed up his thoughts before moving on to another resolution.

“I don’t think we have a lot of angst with the idea of changing names,” Smith said. “We’re not married to Farragut West by any means. But I personally would suggest a more comprehensive plan.”

Photo via Flickr.com/Matt’ Johnson

by Tim Regan — August 13, 2015 at 11:05 am 353 1 Comment

ANC 2B meeting Aug 13Residents who live near the Carlyle Hotel (1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW) gathered at last night’s ANC 2B meeting to debate and air grievances regarding a rooftop bar and kitchen proposed by the hotel and recently permitted by the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

Prior to the meeting, residents asked the ANC’s commissioners to vote on a measure to appeal the hotel’s building permit. Commissioners agreed to vote — citing in the appeal itself a belief that the Zoning Administrator “incorrectly applied the zoning regulations” — but stressed that the appeal would be a last-resort option.

“The point of this is that the neighbor’s concerns will be heard,” said Chairman Noah Smith, 2B-09. “We are not against having something on the roof,” he added. “But there are very serious and valid concerns about what was approved.”

Several residents then took the floor to speak their minds.


by Tim Regan — July 20, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

-06.01-DuPont-webres-39Some Dupont Circle residents will soon have the chance to dive into local politics.

ANC 2B formally announced yesterday that it needs a new commissioner for its 2B07 seat.

“Earlier this month Commissioner Justine Underhill announced her resignation from the Dupont Circle ANC to pursue a career opportunity outside of Washington,” reads the announcement. “On July 17, the Board of Elections certified a vacancy for single member district 2B07 and today we are seeking a committed and enthusiastic resident of 2B07 to fill that position.”

“Commissioner Underhill has been invaluable in bringing the neighborhood together around issues big and small, including the ongoing development process of the St. Thomas Church property at 1772 Church [Street NW],” continues the announcement.

To qualify for the election, candidates must live in 2B07, a small area immediately east and southeast of Dupont Circle.

Potential candidates must also collect 25 signatures of registered voters who live in 2B07 by Aug. 10.

A special election will be held in September or October if two or more candidates successfully file petitions.

If there is only one candidate, that person will be certified as the 2B07 commissioner.

If there are no candidates, the D.C. Board of Elections will continue to declare the vacancy until a candidate steps forward.

Locals can pick up nominating petitions at the D.C. Board of Elections office, which is located at 441 4th Street NW.

by Tim Regan — July 17, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

17thliquorThe D.C. ABC Board wants to hear from the public regarding a proposal by Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B to end the liquor license moratorium in West Dupont Circle.

The proposal, which the ANC voted to approve in May, asks the ABC board not to extend its moratorium on new liquor licenses in the area. The proposal also asks that the board renew its moratorium on new nightclub liquor licenses in West Dupont Circle for another three years.

During the hearing, which occurs at 2000 14th Street NW next Wednesday at 10 a.m., locals will be able to share their thoughts on ending the moratorium.

Residents who want to comment at the hearing should contact ABRA General Counsel Martha Jenkins by 5 p.m. next Monday with their full name, title and organization, if applicable.

Public comment may be limited to five minutes in order to allow every person an opportunity to be heard. ABRA advises that those wanting to weigh in should bring nine copies of their testimony.

by Tim Regan — June 5, 2015 at 10:50 am 915 0

Leo Dwyer, Photo via ANC2BFormer Dupont Circle ANC 2B Commissioner Robert “Leo” Dwyer has been found guilty of a hate crime for assaulting a homeless man last summer at the intersection of 17th and Corcoran streets NW.

Dwyer will be sentenced on Aug 11. He faces a up to 270 days of incarceration and a potential fine of up to $1,500.

Police say that on July 28, 2014, Dwyer threw a homeless man’s bedding onto the street, dumped his belongings in a trash bin and sprayed the area with a cleaning solution.

The report also says that Dwyer sprayed the cleaning solution into another homeless man’s face when that man rode past Dwyer on a bike.

During the assault, police say Dwyer used a racial slur and profanity in declaring that he hated homeless people “dirtying up the streets.”  Police say he also told an eyewitness that he “hate[d] these people sleeping here.”

“Robert Dwyer targeted this victim for assault because he was homeless,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. in a press release.  “This prosecution vindicates the principle that everyone in our community deserves the protection of the law.  We will not tolerate this reprehensible behavior in the District of Columbia.”

According to a Washington Blade article, 18 ANC commissioners issued a joint statement urging Dwyer to resign last August.

Photo via ANC 2B

by Tim Regan — June 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm 0

Police Car

Dupont Circle’s ANC 2B will host a crime prevention summit on June 6 at the Cardozo Education Campus near U Street.

The summit, which lasts from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., is intended for D.C. residents in Wards 1 and 2.

Speakers will include Samantha Nolan, a crime prevention expert and certified Neighborhood Watch Trainer, in addition to officials from the Metropolitan Police Department and Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

The event is co-sponsored by ANCs 1B, 1A, 2B and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.

“Most crimes in DC are preventable,” reads a document outlining the meeting’s  agenda. “Being aware of your surroundings and watching where you leave personal belongings can help you from not becoming a victim. Please join us to learn more tips on how to protect yourself and about criminal behaviors that can help you and your neighborhood be safe this summer.”

“The summit is a great opportunity for residents of Wards 1 and 2 to discuss crime prevention, while meeting interested neighbors, business leaders, police officials and D.C. agencies that focus on public safety,” reads the agenda document.

Light refreshments will be served during the summit. For more information, contact ANC 1B12 Commissioner John Green at [email protected]

by Borderstan.com — June 25, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

At its second listening session on the East Dupont liquor license moratorium last night, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont released a list of moratorium-related questions and asked concerned residents to submit their comments electronically on all or some of them. The group email address for the commissioners is: 17thStCommissioners [at] dupontcircleanc dot net.


Map of Dupont East Moratorium Zone from ANC2B (Courtesy ANC 2B)

The Dupont East liquor license moratorium is often called the 17th Street Moratorium.

The Questions

  1. How has the 17th Street moratorium positively or negatively impacted your vision for the neighborhood?
  2. Do you have concerns about licensed establishments in the neighborhood and do you think a moratorium appropriately and effectively addresses them?
  3. What is the single primary concern in the neighborhood that a moratorium is currently addressing?
  4. If restrictions on the number of restaurant licenses were lifted, do you think the ANC should implement a policy attempting to limit the operations of new restaurants, including hours of operation?
  5. What are your specific expectations/desires if the moratorium expires?
  6. How do you suggest the ANC vote in this matter?
  7. If you favor letting the moratorium expire, are there any restrictions that you would want the ANC to attempt to achieve by other means, e.g., size, outdoor service hours, indoor service hours, security plan? Any restrictions that would be specific to particular addresses?
  8. If you favor extending the moratorium as it is, what specific concerns do you have about what would happen in the absence of a moratorium?
  9. If you have lived near 17th Street or have visited 17th Street for a long time, describe how things have changed since the moratorium went into effect in 1990. Describe specific situations that have been improved or not allowed to increase as the result of the moratorium.
  10. If you are willing to see additional restaurants or no restrictions on the number of restaurants, are there any restrictions that you would want the ANC to attempt to achieve by other means, e.g., size, outdoor service hours, indoor service hours, security plan? Any restrictions that would be specific to particular addresses?
  11. Identify vacant retail spaces in the East Dupont Moratorium Zone (see map) and describe what sort of occupant you would like to see and your ideas about how residents could assist the realization of your vision?

Monday-Night Meeting

The listening session was sparsely attended. Many seats were empty. I heard four people who were not familiar faces from previous meetings on various liquor license moratoriums express their opinions. Of these, one declared himself for preserving the moratorium as is. He identified himself as a long-term resident of the area, a profession economist, and a former ANC Commissioner.

“Passing laws and changing policies is not always the answer,” he said.

Two newer residents, both women, said they wished to see the moratorium scrapped entirely.

One man remarked on the longevity of the 23-year-old moratorium. “We need to hang it up if we haven’t thought of alternatives by now,” he said.

Fred Moosally, Director of DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), gave a short talk on liquor license moratoriums at the beginning of the meeting.

About the timing of ANC 2B’s decision, Moosally said, “The sooner we get something, the better.”

If no action is taken, the moratorium will expire on September 23.

“The Board won’t decide to extend [the moratorium] without a request,” Moosally said. This means ANC 2B would have to get any request to ABRA quickly after its regular monthly meeting in August, when it plans to address the matter.

Community groups may also file independent requests to extend the moratorium.

At the May listening session, there was talk of scrapping the East Dupont moratorium for restaurant licenses only. As a result, at this session, there was a discussion of how to prevent restaurant licensees from turning their establishments into de facto nightclubs or taverns. Moosally said ABRA was the enforcer for violations of license terms, and could issues citations and fines. ABRA will also send investigators into restaurant licensees to check if food is really available, if they receive complaints.

However, Moosally admitted it is often a lengthly and time-consuming process to prove restaurant licensees are not operating according to the terms of their license. Restaurant licensees cannot have more than 45% of their total revenues from alcohol sales, but ABRA requires four full quarters of data to take action.

The Metropolitan Police Department did not respond to an invitation to address the meeting.

ANC 2B Commissioners in attendance were: Kevin O’Connor, 2B-02, Stephanie Maltz, 2B-03, Kishan Putta, 2B-04, Abigail Nichols, 2B-05, Leo Dwyer, 2B-07, and Noah Smith, 2B-09.

by Borderstan.com — June 24, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.


Map of Dupont East Moratorium Zone. (Courtesy ANC 2B)

The liquor licensing (ABRA Policy) committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont will hold a meeting tonight, June 24. Time is 7 pm in the ground-floor ballroom of the Chastleton Cooperative (1701 16th Street NW).

The meeting will be the second of three listening sessions on the possible extension of the East Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone, also known as the 17th Street Moratorium. The ANC asks that members of the public come and let ANC commissioners know their opinion on the moratorium, which is set to expire September 23.

Representatives of the Metropolitan Police Department and DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) have also been invited to attend the meeting.

According to a new blog post on ANC2B’s website, the moratorium was put in place in 1990. It was renewed in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. It currently limits the liquor-selling establishments in the zone to two liquor stories, two grocery stores, 16 restaurants, and two taverns. No nightclub licenses are permitted in the moratorium zone.

There are currently five liquor license moratoriums in DC, including East Dupont Circle. No liquor license moratorium, once in effect, has ever been completely repealed.

After consulting community opinion, the ANC may make a recommendation to DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on this matter. The ANC may recommend continuing the moratorium or modifying it. Under law, the ABC Board must give ANC opinions “great weight,” but it is not obligated to agree with ANC opinion.

ABC Board decisions on liquor license moratoriums are normally approved by the DC Council and signed into law without modification.

At a meeting of ANC 2B’s liquor licensing affairs committee meeting on June 19, ANC 2B Committee Chair Kevin O’Connor said, based on his observation of the ANC Board’s reaction to the recent debate on the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium, the Board would be unlikely to agree with a resolution to continue the moratorium without modification.

“An ‘as is’ moratorium would be dead on arrival,” he said.

If the ANC decides to let the moratorium expire, it may simply choose to take no action. However, community groups may independently petition the ABC Board for an extension of the moratorium.

At the previous listening session on May 22, opinion was divided on the moratorium, with nearly equal numbers of speakers for and against. A compromise solution to lift the moratorium on new restaurant liquor licenses only was discussed.

If you can’t make the meeting, the ANC is also encouraging people to send their comments by email to 17thStCommissioners [at] dupontcircleanc dot net.

There will be a final listening session on Wednesday, August 7. It is planned that the committee’s draft proposal will be made public at this meeting. After further public comment, the full ANC will then consider the proposal at its regular monthly meeting the following week, Wednesday, August 14.

by Borderstan.com — June 19, 2013 at 9:00 am 6 Comments

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

A surprise appearance by unhappy neighbors caused Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont to recommend delaying approval of a proposed expansion of a row house at 1451 S Street NW.


Expansion at 1451 S Street NW does not require zoning approval or variance of any kind. (Luis Gomez Photos)

ANC 2B voted unanimously at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 12, to ask DC’s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) to delay consideration of the project until its July meeting, a one-month delay. This reverses the recommendation to green-light the project made the previous week by ANC 2B’s Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee.

The project does not require zoning approval or variance of any kind.

Trout Design Studio, an architecture firm, presented in support of a proposal, which would add a third story with a master bedroom to the house. The third story will not be visible from the street, but will be visible from the rear alley.

Trout Design Studio presented letters of support from neighbors at 1435 and 1461 S Street. They also presented a letter of support from 1515 Caroline Street. This address, Trout Design Studio claimed, abutted the house from the rear. However, ANC Commissioners pointed out the abutting house to the rear actually fronts onto Swann Street. Caroline Street is one block north and one block west, across 15th Street.

The residents of the abutting house to the west appeared before the committee. “Things have not gone well,” one of them said.

The first meeting with the architects concerning the expansion had only occurred the previous Sunday, he said. The neighbor said he was concerned about how the expansion would change the block.

“This will be replicated on every house,” he said.

It was also reported that Trout Design Studio had tried and failed the previous evening to obtain an endorsement for the project from Dupont Circle Conservancy. The Conservancy does not normally provide official rationales for its decisions. A representative of the Conservancy explained the Conservancy was concerned because the expansion resembled ones they had seen that eventually became multi-residence condominiums.

Efforts by Trout Design Studio and the ANC to contact the abutting neighbor to the east were unsuccessful. This neighbor did not appear at the meeting. One of the residents of abutting house to the west reported that he contacted the man who lived in the abutting house to the east the previous Sunday.

“He does not use email,” he said. “He had no idea.”

In the light of this new information, Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, withdrew his original motion to endorse the expansion, and the ANC instead requested a one-month delay to get more input from the neighbors.

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by Borderstan.com — June 18, 2013 at 10:00 am 3 Comments

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.


15th Street NW Bike lane. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will repave the two-way bicycle lane on 15th Street NW.

The news was announced at the monthly meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont on Wednesday, July 12. The repaving will be finished by the end of the summer, according to Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, The path runs through Smith’s district.

The bike lanes are in serious need of assistance, with southbound lanes between Massachusetts and K Streets often resembling a washboard.

On his website, Smith adds that there will also be new signs and markings on the path. The news came after the last November’s ANC 2B resolution calling for improvements to the path, and subsequent lobbying of the DC Council.

Smith has also announced that, after ANC prodding, DDOT has agreed to a request to coordinate the pedestrian walk signals through Dupont Circle. It will no longer be necessary for pedestrians to stand on the median between four lanes of traffic when crossing into or out of the circle.

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by Borderstan.com — June 6, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

Advisory Neighborhood Committee (ANC) 2B/Dupont‘s committee on development endorsed two local projects at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, June 4. One of them is the first complete renovation of the 16th Street Scottish Rite Temple. In addition, the Zoning, Preservation, and Development (ZPD) Committee heard a presentation from the DC Office of Planning about how the proposed zoning rewrite will impact the area.

Green Lights for Scottish Rite Temple and 1451 S Street


Hartman-Cox Architects present to ANC 2B on Scottish Temple Renovation. (David McAuley).

The ZPD Committee will recommend the full ANC pass resolutions of support for two projects in 2B. One will be for the Scottish Rite Temple, 1733 16th Street NW, at the corner of S Street.

The 97-year-old building, known officially as “The House of the Temple,” is the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction. This renovation, the first of this building, will improve handicapped access and use, repair and improve air conditioning and other vital systems, add an emergency generator and replace some of the windows. The scheduled start date is early 2014.

Representatives of Hartman-Cox Architects told the committee a few trees on the street will have to be replaced to allow the installation of the ramp for handicapped accessibility. The emergency generator and a cooling tower will be in a separate building, which fronts onto a public alley connecting 15th and 16th Streets. This building will also be renovated and the cooling tower will not be visible from the street.

Some of the green space that faces 15th Street at the rear of the property will have to be converted into a staging area for construction, but will return to green space when the project is completed.

Michael Beidler of Trout Design Studio presented in support of a proposed set-back expansion of 1451 S Street. The plan will add a third floor to the existing house. The addition would not be visible from S Street, Beidler said, although it will be visible from the rear alley. Beilder said one of the abutting neighbors had been contacted already. Commissioner Noah Smith (district 09) said he would visit the other abutting neighbor.

The resolution presented to the full ANC will also say the new construction has minimal impact on light and air quality, and the construction is in line with the character of the street.

If passed, the resolutions will be presented to DC’s Historical Preservation Review Board (HPRB) when the petitioners have a hearing.

Yellow Light: 2112 R Street

Fowlkes Studio appeared before the committee requesting endorsement of their request for zoning relief for proposed construction at the rear of 2112 R Street NW, near the corner of Florida Avenue and across the street from Restaurant Nora. The wooden structure currently in the rear of the house is unsafe to walk on.

The replacement structure would push the rear of the house an additional six feet toward the narrow rear alley and add 54 square feet to the interior of the house. It will also add a four-story-tall spiral staircase on the rear corner of the project, which will lead to an existing roof deck. A representative of Fowlkes Studio said new structure will not be visible from either R Street or Florida Avenue, and some neighbors had been consulted.

The committee declined to recommend the addition for zoning relief, due to the lack of input from neighbors and the ANC. The committee also encouraged Fowlkes Studio to return with some computer-generated images of what the completed project might look like, and said the structure would likely require consultation with both the HPRB and the Dupont Circle Conservancy as well.

DC Office of Planning on Zoning Rewrite

Joel Lawson, associate director of the DC Office of Planning, talked about the planned complete rewrite of the city’s zoning regulations. The changes that will be felt in ANC 2B include:

  • expansion of the downtown overlay district to include all of ANC 2B south of M Street,
  • elimination of car parking space requirements on virtually all new construction,
  • expansion of bike parking requirements on virtually all new construction,
  • requiring car share spaces in new parking facilities.

Other changes will have a smaller anticipated effect in ANC 2B. A proposed regulation that would facilitate the development of “granny flats” would not change the zoning regulations for most homeowners in the area. Another regulation encouraging the opening of corner stores was found to apply to only one intersection in the area – Swann and 15th Streets. Commissioner Noah Smith said he knew the intersection well, as it is in his district. He doubted any of the corner lots at this intersection would be likely to host a store.

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