Just hours after taking the above photo of the idyllic southern Massachusetts coastline, GM found himself racing back to Washington in order to attend the June ANC meeting. This fact has no bearing on the meeting itself, but GM just felt you ought to know what sacrifices he makes to keep you informed.
That said, the ANC meeting last night was jam packed and more than justified GM’s sacrifice. Unfortunately, it ran rather long so GM is going to have to keep it short in order to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.
DDOT presented plans for the streetcar and how those plans would affect Georgetown. In DDOT’s ambitious 37 mile plan, the agency calls for a cross-town route to come into Georgetown along K St.
The ANC is generally supportive of the plans but is nervous about how the streetcar could affect traffic, parking, and the viewshed. The overall message from the DDOT representative is that it is way too early to really say what DDOT is going to decide for Georgetown, but he also added that it is likely that there will not be dedicated lanes and that no overhead wire will be used in Georgeown.
On that last point, though, the DDOT representative was a bit ambivalent. He showed up with an actual cross-sections of the proposed 3/8th inch overhead wire along with several images of what that wire would look like in action. He also discussed the council’s proposal to authorize overhead wires along H St. NE (areas outside of the L’Enfant Plan and Georgetown allow overhead wires already). You could argue that he was trying to soften up Georgetown to accept overhead wires, at least temporarily.
And surprisingly enough, it looks like the ANC may go along with that. They unanimously adopted a resolution that was split into two parts. The first part essentially said that the ANC supports streetcars on K St. so long as there are no dedicated lanes, no parking was removed, and any overhead wires are approved by the Commission of Fine Arts (there was also a request to consider what effect the possible removal of the Whitehurst would have on those plans).
Secondly, the ANC would not object to streetcars on Wisconsin Ave. (or M St., which was added to the resolution after the DDOT rep mentioned that streetcars could end up coming into Georgetown by M St. not k St.) again so long as there are no dedicated lanes and no removal of parking. For Wisconsin and M, however, the ANC put its foot down and said absolutely no overhead wires.
All in all, it was a good resolution for supporters of streetcars in and through Georgetown.
Three restaurants in the Washington Harbour complex came before the ANC last night to request a termination of their respective voluntary agreements. They are Cabanas, Nick’s Riverside Grille, and Tony & Joe’s. Essentially they would like to redraft the agreements from scratch since, they argue, the agreements are overly complicated and cause a form of double jeopardy since they restate the law throughout (thus, when the bars violate the law, they also violate the agreement).
The ANC appears open to redrafting the agreements for the sake of streamlining, but they are likely to oppose some of the additional requests that the restaurants are seeking, most notably their request for amplified music.
How Are Our Hours?
The question of operating hours seemed to wind its way through many items last night. First of all, apparently ABRA will be allowing bars to apply to open up very early to show World Cup games (the games will be early since they’ll be played in South Africa). Specifically, from June 11th till July 11th, bars that apply to ABRA will be able to open at 7AM Monday through Saturday and start serving alcohol at 8 AM (10 AM on Sundays). However, if a bar is subject to a voluntary agreement restricting what hours it may operate, it must get approval from the agreement’s signatories. Unlike how it handled the late inauguration hours, the ANC gave blanket approval for those changes.
Also on the hours topic, three different restaurants requested extensions of hours. All three got the backing of the ANC for those changes. They are:
- Chop Sticks: Monday through Wednesday till 12 AM, Thursday through Saturday till 2 AM, and Sunday till midnight
- Il Canale: Sunday through Thursday till 2 AM, and Friday through Saturday till 3 AM
- Crepe Amour: Sunday through Thursday till 12 AM, and Friday through Saturday till 3 AM. (Earlier they had requested to become a 24 hour operation, but they’ve backed off from that request.)
This Mural Brought to You by Eagle Bank
Eagle Bank brought a proposal to paint a mural on the side of its building at 1044 Wisconsin Ave. They hired local artist Byron Peck to come up with a plan. Peck is well known for painting some of the more memorable murals around town such as the one of Duke Ellington on U St. In GM’s opinion though, this design was not up to his usual standards and would be terribly out of place in Georgetown.
Essentially what they proposed was a giant bald eagle swooping down with a blue sky (and what looked like the moon, oddly enough) behind it. To be perfectly blunt, it looked like something that the Franklin Mint would sell.
The ANC adopted a resolution against it (both because of the design and because it operated like a billboard for the bank), and GM hopes the Old Georgetown Board agrees.
As discussed here, Safeway is proposing a massive new development just south of its new store on Wisconsin. They didn’t present much more information than what GM already discussed last week. The only really interesting new piece of information is that they intend the car traffic in the new buildings’ parking lot to come from the Safeway driveway and flow one-way back out to Wisconsin.
The ANC objected to this traffic pattern since it would seriously complicate the already messy intersection. They also objected to the design, sort of (they simply asked OGB to require more references in the design to the Georgetown “vernacular”.) We’ll see how this project advances.
Actually, that wasn’t so short after all. Oh well. Here are a few last points:
- Cafe Divan wants some sidewalk tables. It looks, though, that they aren’t likely to get approval for more than a couple of tables on its northernmost corner.
- We’re soon going to lose our Chevy Chase Bank. It’ll finally be renamed Capital One to reflect their merger.
- Violent crime is apparently down, which Commissioner Solomon was quick to attribute to all the reimbursable details Georgetown organizations support