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Public Safety, Construction Projects and Upcoming Events Top ANC Agenda

April 30, 2012

ANC Commissioners Ron Lewis, Bill Starrels, Ed Solomon, Jake Stricka, Tom Burch and Jeff Jones (Photo by: Judith Beermann) ANC Commissioners Ron Lewis, Bill Starrels, Ed Solomon, Jake Stricka, Tom Burch and Jeff Jones

Safety was the first order of business Monday at the monthly public meeting of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2E held at Georgetown Visitation School.

Ed Solomon mentioned two armed robberies that took place on Sunday: one at Five Guys and the other near Serendipity 3.  On behalf of Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), who assured him that both cases were under investigation, he reminded everyone, “There’s been an uptick on crimes of opportunity. With ‘special guests’ trying doors and windows,” keeping doors locked was paramount. Commending the security staff at Washington Harbour, Bill Starrels reported the recent apprehension of “a suspicious person in the garage” after guards held him until the MPD arrived and made an arrest.

Jake Sticka, Bill Starrels and Ron Lewis mentioned the annual Pothole Palooza, an effective way for the public to report on potholes by calling 311 or using the new DC 311 smartphone downloadable app.  

Jeff Jones reported on progress of O and P Street construction with “August 24th as the substantial completion date.” Planting trees and signage would occur shortly thereafter.  Rails “need to go in properly to last another 150 years.”

DDOT's Paul Hoffman (Photo by: Judith Beermann) DDOT's Paul Hoffman

A report by DDOT’s Paul Hoffman on the progress of upper Wisconsin Avenue street construction project (including new lighting, sidewalks and reducing lanes from six to five) drew comments from several commissioners.  

Ron Lewis reminded Hoffman of an ANC request made in December to conduct baseline testing of the impact of changing traffic patterns, specifically "at 37th Street and Whitehaven” This was not done. Hoffman agreed to review existing data and conduct further analysis before permanently changing traffic patterns.

New business included moving up the Taste of Georgetown to June 2nd, announcing the route for Bike DC on Sunday May 13th, Nations Triatholon September 9th, and the Best Buddies Challenge bike ride, October 20th.

Following these requests (all proved) Tom Burch pointed out “there are beautiful neighborhoods throughout the city. The New York Marathon goes through every borough.” He suggested the city might want to encourage traffic through other neighborhoods as well as Georgeotwn.

Ron Lewis introduces Caroline Pessey (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Ron Lewis introduces Caroline Pessey

A new pre-school co-op at Volta Park for 18 to 29 month-old toddlers was announced by Caroline Pessey, who mentioned that parents can apply June 24th.

“Build it and they will come,” said David Abrams about the reconfiguration of railroad timbers planned for work around the flagpole at Rose Park to improve safetyfor and "enclose the hexagonal bench." He thanked Casey Trees and the Cherry Blossom Festival for the recent planting of nine cherry trees.  No public funds are being used for the project.

Bill Starrels introduces Castleton Hotel speakers (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bill Starrels introduces Castleton Hotel speakers

Agenda items for Old Georgetown Board meeting this Thursday were introduced by Tom Burch. These included applications for new liquor licenses, one by the new luxury Castelton Hotel on 31st Street, still under construction.

To smiles and laughter, Ron Lewis asked attendees to kindly “treat this room as a wilderness area.” Take bottles and paper out when you leave.

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Splish Splash

April 21, 2012

Splish, splash, we were takin' a bath
Long about a Saturday afternoon, yeah
A rub dub, just relaxin' in the sun
Thinkin' everythin' was alright ...

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Splish, splash
We jumped back in the bath
Well, how were we to know
There was a party goin' on?

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

There was a-splishin' and a-splashin'
Sailin' with the feelin'
Rowin' and a-groovin'
Watchin' and a-rollin', yeah, yeah

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Thank you, Bobby Darin, Georgetown Waterfront Park and Washington Harbour!

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: )

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

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Raise the Roofs?

April 18, 2012

For more than a century, building heights in Washington, D.C. have been subject to the Height of Buildings Act of 1910, which limits them to 130 feet, or about 12 stories.

As reported in The Washington Post, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has spoken with Rep. Darrell Issa and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton recently about relaxing the federal requirement and proposing to raise that limit.

Norton had this to say to The Georgetown Dish:

“Washington’s distinctive look depends upon maintaining the Height Act.  There is such a common understanding of its importance to our identity as a city that no proposals to change the heights of buildings have been presented.

However,  Chairman Darrell Issa has raised with the Mayor and me the question of adjustments to the act outside of the monumental core of the city.  This idea has profound home rule implications as well. The Mayor, city council, city planners, economic experts, and residents will want to take a careful look at this question and its complicated implications.”

Easing the restrictions would allow commercial real estate developers to accommodate the city’s growing needs.

On the other side of the debate, preservationists have long cherished unobstructed views of national landmarks.

Let us know what you think.

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