Tag Archives: Races

ANC Roundup: Keep That Yogaing Down Edition

Photo by Go Interactive Wellness.

Last night the ANC met for its May session (GM forgot to give you a preview; sorry about that). Here’s what GM could stick around long enough to catch:

Non-Conforming Yoga

The lawyer representing the landlord of the space that was once occupied by Govinda Gallery (the corner of 34th and Prospect) was there requesting a change to zoning. The block in question (the Govinda space, as well as the other shops on the corner) is zoned residential. All the commercial uses in that space exist simply because they were grandfathered in since the 1950s. But non-conforming uses (as such grandfathering is called) can only be what it always was. Thus if a building has housed a market, new markets may open in that space, but a barber wouldn’t be permitted without zoning relief.

The owner of this block would like to sign up a yoga studio to take over the old gallery space and some of the other vacant space. Since there wasn’t a yoga store there already, they need zoning approval.

The ANC recognized that all things considered, yoga studios are pretty low impact. Most customers walk to the studio and they don’t create much noise. But as originally drafted, the applicant was seeking approval to conduct instructional classes. This would cover yoga, but it would also cover karate and spin classes. Both much louder uses.

The ANC negotiated with the attorney that the request would be limited to just yoga and a small retail store selling yoga clothes and equipment.

They then negotiated over hours, finally settling on a 9:30 pm closing time. Continue reading

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ANC Round Up: Race Fatigue Edition

Photo by Thetejon.

Last night the ANC met for its February session. And like many sessions, a good deal of it was spent complaining about race-generated street closures. And despite the fact that the closures in question were down to a single block, the resistance was strong as ever. Of course, that’s not all they talked about:

Race Fatigue

Starting back a couple years ago, the ANC decided to start pushing back more against all the requests to close roads for races. The argument was that too many organizations were trying to use Georgetown for their races and it was creating too much of a burden on the neighborhood.

In order to start making distinctions between “good” races and “bad”, the ANC starte insisting that all races be predominantly charitable in purpose. This led to an epic showdown with the controversial Charles Brodsky (a Fenty crony) over several of his DC Triathlon events.

Since then-and perhaps in response to the ANC’s efforts–most organizers of events calling for street closures in Georgetown have presented their case about how charitable their cause is. Moreover, organizers (with help from the city, no doubt) have learned to minimize the amount of street closures necessary in Georgetown.

But last night there were three such requests on the agenda. And that sort of concentration is bound to raise their hackles. The first request came from the Nike half marathon scheduled for April. The thing is, though, that the race won’t even take place in Georgetown. But the organizers will be staging most of their activities either at the Washington Harbour or the Nike store. Thus they’d like to close Thomas Jefferson for the day of the race.

It didn’t take long for the ANC to cut to the chase: while the overall race meets the charitable element, this particular closure had nothing to do with the race. It seems solely designed to draw runners and spectators into the store. The organizers tried to spin the closure as charitable since the street would be (supposedly) turned into a street fair. The commissioners weren’t buying it.

In the end, though, the commissioners told the organizers to come back next month after some more rounds of discussion. Essentially, the ANC challenged them to make this particular closure more explicitly charitable.

A second road closure request then came up. It was from WABA and called for Rock Creek Parkway to be closed early one Sunday for BikeDC. This request met no objection.

Continue reading

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ANC Round Up: Traffic Alert Edition

Photo by Runwashington.com.

Last night the ANC met for its November session. Thankfully it was a short agenda, but really all that means is that they’ll find a way to stretch out the proceedings (actually in all fairness they finished up relatively early).

Those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad (And Excessive) Street Closings

The ANC has been making some noise for sometime about the ever increasing number of street closings in Georgetown for various marathons, 10ks, funwalks, etc. They have particularly been critical of events that show up at the last minute. These typically have a disproportionate effect on lower Georgetown, although as demonstrated last weekend when three Potomac bridges were out, they can affect all Georgetown residents.

So rather than respond on a case-by-case basis, which doesn’t seem to work, the ANC is going to start to take a more proactive approach with the city, and in particular the Mayor’s Special Event Task Force. It’s not clear, though, how much they’ll be able to convince the city to limit the number of events coming through Georgetown. Tom Birch had the perceptive point that working with other neighborhoods to convince the city would increase Georgetown’s sway (and conveniently make it less of a “whoa is Georgetown”-thing, which doesn’t win many sympathetic ears).

Ron Lewis was particularly concerned that these events be charitable and not a profit-making enterprise. Birch also suggested the city come up with some more locations that don’t affect residents (GM can’t think of many of those that aren’t NPS land).

So after spending a good five minutes railing against the creeping menace of races, the ANC turned to its next item:

Lawyers Have a Heart 10K

After listening to the commissioners complain about races, a representative of the Lawyers Have a Heart 10k race presented their plans for their next race. It will be in June 2011 and will involve shutting down K St., the Whitehurst, and Canal Rd. Continue reading

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