Photo by Jason Pier in DC.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:
Photo by Raoul Pop.
What’s ailing Wisconsin Ave.? Despite being in one of the most popular retail districts in the country, the strip is littered with vacancies and discount clothing stores? What gives? How did it get this way? And what can be done by the city, the BID, and the citizens to turn it around? And why aren’t there more stores that serve residents, like a hardware store?
Well tonight these questions, and more, will be on the agenda of the Citizens Association of Georgetown’s November membership meeting. On hand to discuss these matters will be Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, Chairman of Western Development, Herb Miller, and President of Asadoorian Commercial brokerage, John Asadoorian. Each of these men play a big role in what Georgetown looks like today, and will likely play a big role in what it looks like in ten years and beyond. Evans is about to be reelected, Miller’s Western Development is still a big player in the Georgetown development scene, and Asadoorian is active throughout the neighborhood getting businesses and landlords together.
GM himself will be moderator, but he’ll keep his role to just tossing out the questions to the panel and getting out of the way. Continue reading
Through its Public Safety program, CAG organizes the efforts of volunteers willing to serve as Block Captains. The individuals take it upon themselves to act as micro information bureaus for a block, or two (or three). In some cases they form email chains or even organize periodic meetings in discuss public safety issues.
They try to keep an eye out for everyone on the block, but you can benefit even more by reaching out to them and letting them know how to contact you.
Here is the most recent list of Block Captains, and how to reach them (if it’s too small to read, you can just view the document here):
GM received a request to take down the list since it has personal email addresses on it. GM assumed since they were published on the CAG website that the captains were ok with it. If you want to know who your block captain is, email GM at email@example.com and he’ll let you know. Alternatively, they are listed in the most recent CAG newsletter.
As you can see, there are a bunch of blocks without volunteers. If one of those blocks is your own, maybe you’d be willing to step forward. If so, contact the CAG office at 337-7313 to let them know you’re interested.
Today, GM turns over the reins of the Georgetown Metropolitan for a day to his friend and fellow Georgetowner Ken Archer to discuss Jack Evans recent parking proposals:
Councilmember Jack Evans’ proposal to roll back parking meter rates and hours of enforcement in commercial corridors is based, according to Evans, on the complaints and requests of businesses and residents in his ward. However, a survey of organizations representing residents and businesses in Georgetown fails to find anyone asking Evans for his proposal.
His proposal passed out of his committee by a 3-2 vote and Evans frequently points to these complaints in defending the $5.2 million measure.
Evans told the Washington Examiner, “I get consistent complaints about the parking meters everywhere I go in my ward from residents. I can’t go into a restaurant without the owner coming out to complain about the cost of the parking meters.”
Despite this, neither the Georgetown BID nor the largest owner of Georgetown restaurants support the proposal.
The Georgetown ANC and Citizens Association have passed no resolutions and sent no letters to Evans requesting reductions in either meter rates or enforcement hours. In fact, the ANC has been working with DDOT for a couple years to put in place a performance parking pilot that would increase parking turnover and availability by charging market rates at meters. Continue reading
Tonight, CAG is holding its March meeting at Boffi in Cady’s Alley. There will be presentations and tastings by Al Nappo (Farmers and Fishers), Tom Crenshaw (Paolo’s), Mike Cherner (Mei N Yu), Chef Kahn (Mate), and Sal Ferro (Clyde’s). It should be one of the better CAG meetings of the year.
The event starts at 7:00 and the address is 3320 M St.
GM’s only wish is that Nappo brings along his bartender. They make some absolutely fantastic (and fantastically inebriating) cocktails.
Right now, GM is working on an effort in behalf of CAG to address some of the poor signage in the neighborhood. You may not realize it, but every single sign in Georgetown needs a permit. Depending on how long that sign is up, that permit needs to be approved by either the D.C. Historic Preservation Office (for signs up 30 days or less) or the Old Georgetown Board (for signs up 30 days or more).
In practice, this is a rule observed mostly in the breach. While most significant store signs do go through the proper approval process, most of the cheap and (frankly) ugly signs like the ones above don’t. So to address the proliferation of non-permitted signs, CAG is working with the BID and other to educate the storekeepers about the rules (see this circular) and to catalog the worst offenders for reporting to the Historical Preservation Office. Continue reading