Photo by Kidmissile.
Next week, the ANC meets for its July session before it knocks off for two months. GM is actually going to be out of town, so it will be the first ANC meeting in almost three years that he’s missed. Hopefully nothing terribly exciting will happen in his absence.
One item that jumped right out at GM is the proposal to bring a bakery to 34th St. Specifically 1227 34th St., which, last time GM checked, is where Govinda Gallery is. And GM’s not heard anything about them closing, but maybe this is the first sign.
A new bakery could be a nice addition, but it probably wouldn’t be worth losing Govinda Gallery to get.
Back on the agenda is 1679 35th St., where the owner is requesting permission to build an accessory dwelling unit in his house. What this is is essentially an apartment within the house, that the owner plans to rent out in order to allow him to continue living in the house. These are quite common in Georgetown, but many of them are illegal. There is an effort underway by the city to make it easier to get permission for these units, based upon certain conditions. The most significant condition is that the owner has to live in the house and the accessory dwelling must not be too large.
But those rules won’t come into effect for a while. So the owner is requesting permission under the current rules, which make it difficult to obtain the permission. Last month the ANC cited the possibility of the new rules and the “uncertainty” caused by the Campus Plan hearings, and requested that the application be delayed. Neither of these reasons are particularly valid. The new rules may not come into effect for a year, and the possible impact of the Campus Plan on this property is remote and speculative.
GM realizes this all sounds a bit dry, but the issue of accessory dwelling is an important one. The fact that Georgetown is full of illegal apartments is not a good situation. The fact that getting formal approval for the apartments is difficult if not impossible discourages home owners from seeking it. This means the apartments don’t get inspected and there’s no assurances that they’re up to code.
While a massive enforcement effort could theoretically empty these apartments, the fact is that a lot of Georgetowners rely on this income. Further, it is unlikely that the tenants are causing much trouble seeing as their land-lord lives above them. Giving a path for these illegal apartments to “come in from the cold”, so to speak, will make them safer for the tenants and will let homeowners stop breaking the law just to pay the mortgage.
More Frozen Treats
As previously discussed, Pinkberry is coming to Georgetown. They’re on the agenda to get approval for their signage. They will be going into the space recently vacated by Sangaree.
While GM hates missing an ANC meeting, it makes him smile to think that as the ANC lurches into the eighteenth OGB project, he’ll be gently paddling a sea kayak around the San Juan Islands.