Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ANC 3E Special Meeting on Commerce Bank

From Chair Amy McVey:

Saturday, October 20, 9 am, Lisner Home, 5425 Western Avenue, NW

ANC 3E will convene a special meeting to discuss and possibly vote on the Public Space Permit Application for driveways and curb-cuts for the Commerce Bank on Wisconsin Avenue. We have invited and are expecting a DDOT engineer to attend so the community can get our technical traffic questions answered.

As you may know, we have requested an engineer be available at our two previous meetings but thus far, DDOT has not permitted one to be present. ANC 3E is working with Councilmember Cheh to arrange for a member of DDOT's engineering team to be at our meeting on Saturday.

The traffic engineers who first reviewed the plans recommended that the the request to develop this site as a drive-through bank be denied for various reasons such as compromising the existing service and emergency uses of the alleyway, the impact of adding several hundred vehicles into the small site affecting refuse collection, residential access and most seriously, emergency vehicle access.

DDOT issued a statment that "although the proposed use of the public alleyway for patron access could have some impact to the public access with elevated levels of daily traffic that may create some difficulty to the service and emergency vehicle access within the alley, and queuing into the alleyway, we have no objection to this application."

As the attorney for Commerce Bank and DDOT's Ken Laden acknowledged at our last meeting, there have been changes to the site plans which were originally submitted to DCRA and upon which the building permits were approved and issued in August. We have asked the Commerce bank attorney and DDOT for a copy of the most recent plans (7th DDOT submission)to be delivered to the ANC prior to the meeting as well as a copy be delivered to DCRA for a re-review by the Office of Zoning to ensure compliance with zoning regulations. This re- review is required when there are changes made subsequent to the
issuance of the building permit as has occurred in this case.

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