Some Dupont Circle residents will have the chance to elect a new ANC commissioner tonight.
ANC 2B will tally votes tonight during a special election for former commissioner Justine Underhill’s 2B-07 seat, which was vacated in August when Underhill moved to New York City. Voting takes place between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. during tonight’s ANC 2B meeting at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW) near Dupont Circle.
Dupont residents Holly Biglow and John Kupcinski have entered into the race for the 2B-07 seat. In previous interviews with Borderstan, both candidates have said weighing in on the planned St. Thomas Church development is at the top of their agenda if elected.
“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,” said Kupcinski. “Just make sure there aren’t any misunderstandings. It’s going to be one of the biggest developments happening in 2B-07.”
“I know the St. Thomas Church project is a very large project,” Biglow told us. “It’s very important to the community, so that will be the number one issue that will have to be addressed.”
According to ANC 2B chair Noah Smith, 2B-09, ballots will be available in the back of the ANC meeting room. D.C. Director of the Office of ANCs, Gottlieb Simon, will check in voters as they arrive. Locals do not need to stay for the entire meeting to cast a vote, added Smith.
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.
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.
The ANC 2B/Dupont liquor licensing affairs subcommittee will host a listening session Wednesday evening, April 17, on the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium. The location of the forum is the Chastleton Cooperative Ballroom, 1701 16th Street NW. Time is 7 to 9 pm.
It will be an additional opportunity for commissioners to hear community opinion from 2B residents before the full ANC votes on the moratorium at its next meeting on May 8. The subcommittee will formulate a recommendation to the full ANC after this listening session.
The session is scheduled from 7 to 9 pm at the Chastleton Cooperative Ballroom, 1701 16th Street NW. The website of Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, has more information.
Of the four ANCs within the proposed moratorium zone, three have already voted against it. DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Board is currently soliciting direct public comment in writing and inviting the public to testify at a hearing on May 22.
The deadline for filing to run in the race for an Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seat is rapidly approaching, and this past weekend, one local resident announced his candidacy for the 2B-09 seat in Dupont Circle.
Noah Smith, who currently serves as a public safety liaison for ANC 2B, is running in the local election for the first time. Ramon Estrada, the five-term ANC incumbent for seat 2B-09, has not confirmed his plans to run in the November 6 election; he had not picked up nominating petitions as of Monday.
Smith, who describes himself as having “a passion for public service,” believes that one of the most important roles of an ANC Commissioner is to be an advocate for residents when dealing with the DC government.
“I hope to serve as a liaison between the alphabet soup of government agencies and my neighbors to bring critical information to our community faster and to help address concerns sooner,” said Smith, who has lived in DC for seven years and in the Dupont neighborhood for a year-and-a-half.
Smith is a volunteer EMT and a Federal highway safety official, and hopes to bring his experience in public safety to neighborhood government.
“I am running for ANC to build on my past work to improve the safety of our neighborhood’s roads, including for pedestrians and bicyclists, and to foster a collaborative approach to problem solving,” said Smith.
Smith is also campaigning on neighborhood development, promising to balance the (often times) delicate relationships between neighbors and businesses and work to find collaborative solutions that meet the needs of the community.
The area for ANC 2B-09 encompasses S Street, 17th Street, New Hampshire Avenue, U Street and 14th Street.
The deadline for filing to run for an ANC seat is Wednesday, August 8. Elections for ANC positions are on the November 6 ballot and are non-partisan. 300 seats throughout the city are up for reelection this year. Commissioners elected into the ANC will serve for two years.