ANC Wrapup: Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ bike

This Monday, Georgetown’s unfailingly crusty ANC commission convened at Visitation School to discuss pressing issues of the neighborhood. The night began with a roundtable discussion on historical preservation in Georgetown. After, the meeting continued business as usual with an intimidating Public Safety report, a proposal by the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and the resolution of a spat with a local hotel.

One of three experts at the roundtable, Tom Luebke, Secretary of the Commission of Fine Arts, began with a history of preservation in D.C. Formal legislation was first formulated in the 50s, with the goal of protecting the type of architecture used in the earliest years of the capital.

“Our purpose is not to lock up fabric of any place in time, but to interpret its character and protect resources,” said Luebke.

Luebke explained that while much of Georgetown’s current architecture is Victorian, the more historically accurate style would be colonial. Through this colonial lens, Luebke believes additions and new construction should be considered. However, if Luebke really wants to be historically accurate, Georgetown should only approve new buildings that consist of wooden poles and taut animal hide constructed in a conical shape. Just like Georgetown residents with the University, Georgetown preservationists have a habit of forgetting who was there first.

The meeting continued along its normal format with the Public Safety and Police Report. A MPDC officer discussed the arrest of a man who was found to be in possession of—gasp—a bicycle that wasn’t his. Police speculate this man might be responsible for the slew of bicycle thefts earlier this summer.

“I don’t want to comment on the case, because there’s work to be done. But since his arrest, there hasn’t been another burglary,” said the officer.

After successfully keeping the high profile cases under wraps, the officer asked for increased vigilance on that formidable day—October 31st: “I tried to get Halloween moved to another part of the city, but no one listened.”

In Community Comment, CAG proposed legislation concerning the historical-preservation review: projects undergoing this screening must be made known to the neighboring residents. The impetus for this proposal was a business at 1525 Wisconsin Ave NW, which constructed an intrusively large warehouse without jumping through all bureaucratic hoops and with no notification to the neighbors. When neighbors’ legal action failed, disgruntlement ensued. The ANC response to the CAG proposal: “Thank you. We’ll let this percolate through the community,” said Chairman Ron Lewis.

Lastly, the ANC withdrew it’s official protest of license renewal for the Graham Hotel. The protest came in response to intolerable noise levels emitting from the rooftop patio. Don’t faint in surprise at the ANC retracting a complaint just yet. The ANC only withdrew after the license was rewritten to contain this language: “Music from the rooftop shall be limited to background music, which shall not be audible past M Street.”

With the federal government shut down for the first time in 18 years, it’s nice to know some governmental bodies will always keep on doing what they do best: troll.

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