ANC Wrap-up: ANC Commissioners to testify against Philly P; Parking woes

270323400_beab428642They’re still not OK with this

This month’s ANC meeting was low on the fireworks, but neighbors turned out to protest valet parking by the Georgetown Club and continue their battle against late night pizza.

Philly Pizza

Philly P has been a common topic of discussion at ANC meetings this year, with neighbors loudly grumbling about late-night patrons of the restaurant (read: students).  The discussion was largely a rehashing of old complaints, but Commissioners passed an important resolution for the upcoming January 12 hearing with the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment.  The resolution allowed ANC Commissioners to present their findings at the upcoming Zoning hearing and act as a party with full rights to present evidence and testify.

Student Commissioner Aaron Golds voted against the resolution, which passed by a vote of 5-1.

Commissioners and residents remain steadfast in their efforts to shut down Philly Pizza, charging that it is a fast food restaurant.

Georgetown Club Valet Parking

A surprising amount of time at yesterday’s meeting went to discussing the parking arrangement for the Georgetown Club, located at 1530 Wisconsin Ave.  Neighbors complained that valet parking was creating a public safety hazard by blocking traffic on Volta Place.  ANC Commissioners also chastised the establishment for failing to send a representative to the meeting.  A resolution was unanimously passed  that encouraged the Public Safety Board to allow valet parking at night during a special trial period to ensure the Club was responsive to neighbor complaints.

The rest of the meeting, after the jump!

Crime Alerts

Christopher Matthews, our fellow neighborhood blogger at Georgetown Metropolitan, opened up the night by questioning the commissioners about DC crime alerts in the area.  Apparently, there’s a discrepancy between the alerts he receives near his workplace (close to Union Station) and those from Georgetown.  Commissioner Ed Solomon explained that they try to limit alerts to times when there’s information to act on.

“We don’t want to send out an alert unless there’s something to react to,” Solomon explained.

Rocky Roads

At the November meeting, DDOT representatives appeared at the ANC and offered to clean up potholes on O and P Streets from 35th to Wisconsin.  Chair Ron Lewis informed audience members that this construction would be taking place this week.

Hardy School Principal

It was clear at yesterday’s meeting that ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels had strong feelings about Hardy Middle School Principal Patrick Pope.  Citing stories in the Washington Post and Examiner, Starrels urged Commissioners to rally around a resolution in strong support of Mr. Pope.  There is speculation that he may be replaced by DCPS Chancellor Rhee because Hardy has failed to attract more students from the surrounding neighborhood.  The school, located right in Georgetown, currently has a predominantly African-American student body with an emphasis on the arts. As Starrels explained, the school is one of the top academic performers in the district.

CAG President Jennifer Altemus weighed in and explained that she hasn’t heard of a lot of support from neighborhood parents and that the “community voice” should be heard before someone is endorsed.

Commissioner Skelsey loudly questioned whether the resolution was necessary, but it ultimately passed by a vote of 4-0 with Commissioners Skelsey and Eason abstaining.

5 Comments on “ANC Wrap-up: ANC Commissioners to testify against Philly P; Parking woes

  1. The ANC gets to vote to decide whether it is a party before the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment? Doesn’t the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment have a say on who gets to stroll on in and act as a party?

  2. Tim—good question, and I’m not sure even the ANC or the BZA has the right answer so far.

    Under the law, an ANC is AUTOMATICALLY a party to any case before the BZA which arises in their jurisdiction. In the case of Philly P, there is no doubt this is the situation, so the ANC is a party by law and doesn’t need to ask anybody for permission. As a party to the case, the ANC is entitled to call its own witnesses, cross-examine other witnesses, take positions on procedural issues (from “should we take a break,” to “is this witness qualified as an expert?” and “should a person/organization/neighbor be allowed to intervene as a party”), etc.

    There is a related question out there. Under DC law, DC agencies (including the BZA) are required to give “great weight” to findings of ANCs. To get that “great weight,” the ANC must adopt a report at a public meeting, with all the required notice, etc.

    IMHO, both the BZA and the ANC got confused at the last hearing. There had been no formal ANC report submitted (and how could there have been, as the appeal By Philly P’s came up on short notice). But that doesn’t mean that the ANC shouldn’t have been able to participate as a party. It just meant that the ANC’s position wouldn’t automatically get “great weight.”

    As I understand the position the ANC took last night, they were making clear that they would be exercising their right to participate as a party, and, further, and more importantly, that they find that the City Zoning Administrator was right when he found that Philly P’s does not meet the legal criteria to be a “restaurant” and thus entitled to operate at its current location as a matter of right.

    Man, all this makes me hungry…..a slice of pizza might just be the answer!

  3. “We don’t want to send out an alert unless there’s something to react to,” Solomon explained.

    ^^ 100% of the time i’d like to judge that for myself…

  4. Pingback: Vox Populi » Board of Zoning Adjustment meeting to decide the fate of Philly P tomorrow

  5. Pingback: Vox Populi » Philly P to remain open for now, future still uncertain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>