Sunday, November 03, 2013

Cleveland Park Service Road Survey

A Cleveland Park resident took it upon himself to establish a survey regarding the Service Road between Macomb and Ordway Streets at Connecticut Avenue in the Cleveland Park commercial district. Here are the results:

500 opinions are registered! 60% of these were residents of Cleveland Park. A few highlights from the data:

A majority of our community would like to see the service lane changed. 56% of Cleveland Park residents, and 55% of the sample overall, are looking for something other than the status quo when it comes to the CP service lane.

Among people who support the status quo, the Flex Space was their preferred second choice by a wide margin.

Among those supporting a full restoration of the sidewalk, a partial extension was, by far, their second choice.

- Keep Service Lane (Option 1) 44%

- Restore Sidewalk (Option 4) 30%

- Partial Sidewalk Extension (Option 3) 15%

- Flex Space (Option 2) 10%

There were very significant demographic difference on this issue within the community, primarily on age. Among CP residents 18-44, 77% want to see something done with the service lane. Among CP residents 45+, 60% want to see the service lane remain unchanged.

Similarly, there were big differences by the type of housing one has. Two-thirds (67%) of those living in a multi-unit building want the service lane changed. 56% of those living in single family houses would like to keep the status quo.

This sample has 52% of CP respondents living in multi-unit buildings. This is not even close to being representative of the neighborhood. There are approximately 1100 houses in CP compared to 1900 condo units. That doesn’t count apartments. Just provide some perspective, Quebec House alone has nearly 900 units. Newark St, from Connecticut Ave to Wisconsin, has 82 homes.

87% of CP residents walk to the CP strip, and 47% drive (yes, many do both). When asked their primary mode of transportation to the businesses on the CP strip, 70% of CP residents said they primarily walk, while 26% said they primarily drive.

70% of those who primarily walk to the strip would like to see the service lane changed. 86% of those who primarily drive to the strip would not like to see the service lane changed.

The raw results can be found at a public dropbox.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Your Future Tenleytown

From Ward 3 Vision:

Neighborhoods across DC are changing in ways not imaginable even a decade ago. New housing developments are popping up all over the Logan Circle area, Shaw, NOMA and other downtown areas; new restaurants open weekly; bike lanes, Cars-2-Go and other new transit modes abound. We even have Union Market – DC’s aspiring answer to robust city markets like Reading Terminal in Philadelphia.

And then there’s Tenleytown – the staid, grey lady. Home to very desirable residential neighborhoods but bounded by the at-best uninspiring Wisconsin Avenue retail corridor. Why hasn’t Tenleytown experienced the same renaissance as other parts of the city? More importantly, what are the opportunities for its future?

Ward 3 Vision, a group of local citizens who can imagine our neighborhoods as even better urban places – more walkable, sustainable, and vibrant – is sponsoring a “Tenleytown Visioning Workshop” and invites interested neighbors and citizens to discuss these questions and more. The workshop will be held on 9 November 2013 at American University’s Nebraska Hall (one of its new residence halls, adjacent to the Katzen Center), beginning at 9am, and will bring together denizens of Tenleytown and surrounding neighborhoods to share your vision, hopes and blue-sky dreams for Tenleytown.

Click here to register.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Et Tu 3D?

There have been complaints over the years regarding different ANCs, both throughout the Ward and across the city. Mismanagement of funds, excessive perception of power, ego inflation, you name it. At the core and in theory, ANCs are a great model for hyper-local governance. When there are so many examples of malfeasance, however, it becomes time to evaluate whether it is worth the effort and city resources to continue the office.

To wit, ANC 3D passed a resolution at a properly noticed meeting with a quorum, to not oppose (PDF) the installation of bike lanes on New Mexico Avenue. If fact, the resolution specifically states:

Commissioner Ross made a friendly amendment that the resolution include a request, but not a requirement, that DDOT include in the current Ward Circle Transportation Study consideration on the proposed bike lane on New Mexico Avenue and do so as rapidly as possible

So what is happening? According to a post on Greater Greater Washington, the ANC has circulated a resolution to be considered at the meeting TONIGHT (without notice or a courtesy posting on any of the neighborhood listservs) to require the afore mentioned study before the new bike facilities are installed.

Since the July resolution was passed, DDOT completed the planning and is actually announced that the implementation is nearing completion. It is hard to fathom why the ANC thinks such clandestine action is necessary.

Maybe they will explain it themselves at the meeting.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

5333 Connecticut Avenue Neighbors Respond

ANC 3/4G recently signed a letter of agreement with the owners of the parcel at Connecticut Avenue and Military Road for a new residential development. Nearby neighbors have appealed the issuance of construction permits by DCRA. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will hear the case later in September, but in the meantime, the neighborhood group has shared its BZA filing.

Any zoning lawyers interested in weighing in on the merits of the appeal?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ANC 3E to Take up More Bike Sharrows in the Ward

On the heels of the recent decision by ANC 3D to support bike facilities on New Mexico Avenue, ANC 3E will weigh a DDOT proposal to install sharrows (the stenciled biker logos on the street) within its boundaries on 41st Street from Western to Tenleytown and on Jenifer Street from Western to Nebraska Avenue. There is a small segment of the 41st Street proposal which lies in the ANC 3G boundary.

There has been a little discussion on the Chevy Chase Listserv, with a primary concern around the traffic diverter at 43rd Street and Jenifer:

I am concerned about the proposed change in the traffic diverter, which would make an important piece of safety infrastructure less effective and would encourage bicyclists on Jenifer Street to cross through the center of the traffic diverter, when the current practice of using the ramps and curb cuts is safer. A bicyclist cycling through the opening in the traffic diverter will be directed into on-coming traffic, while one using the ramps and curb cuts will be crossing 43rd Street safely alongside the crosswalk.

If this is a true concern, the ANC can work with DDOT to change the configuration of the diverter to make it safe for bicycle and emergency equipment passage while eliminating private vehicle passage.

Detractors also allege the sharrows will be an unsafe solution for cyclists:

... it will direct some cyclists to Jenifer Street, which has very high parking utilization on both sides of the street and has only about a lane and a half of space available for two-way traffic. Most cyclists will not change their route as a result of the new signs and paint, but some cyclists who aren't familiar with the safer routes will be encouraged to choose Jenifer Street over safer and possibly more direct routes in the grid of neighborhood streets. With the high parking utilization and high demand for parking, Jenifer Street has a large number of distracted drivers concentrating on trying to find a parking space, especially on weekends. With the narrow width available for two-way traffic, it is difficult for the cyclist to stay far enough to the right, to allow on-coming traffic to pass easily, and still avoid the door zone. Painting "sharrows" in the road doesn't change the amount of space available for cars and bikes.

This seems to be a false concern. A sharrow is:

a street marking installed at locations in Australia, Canada, and the United States. This marking is placed in the center of a travel lane to indicate that a bicyclist may use the full lane.

The intent is to:

- Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking in order to reduce the chance of a bicyclist’s impacting the open door of a parked vehicle;

- Assist bicyclists with lateral positioning in lanes that are too narrow for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to travel side by side within the same traffic lane;

- Alert motorists of the lateral location bicyclists are likely to occupy within the traveled way;

- Encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists; and

- Reduce the incidence of wrong-way bicycling.

Ultimately, there will be more cyclists in the District in the future. Steps taken today to help facilitate safe practices and passages will improve mobility for cars and bikes alike. The implementation of sharrows on quiet residential streets are a good step in the right direction. Interested parties should plan on attending the ANC 3E meeting:

Thursday, August 29, 2013, 7:30pm
Embassy Suites, Chevy Chase Pavilion
4300 Military Road, NW
(On top of the north exit from the Friendship Heights Metro)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Resolution to Controversy in Chevy Chase?

It appears there may be a light at the end of the tunnel where 5333 Connecticut Avenue is concerned. This proposal has had its share of controversy in upper Ward 3 where new development is often considered a dirty word.

Nearby neighbors have filed appeals with the BZA and other DC authorities over the permits issued in 2012 and 2103 for a highrise building in the last open lot on this main thoroughfare.

The Chevy Chase ANC has taken a different tact. By engaging the property owner, they have arrived at a somewhat decent "Memorandum of Understanding" and are encouraging the appeals by neighbors to be dropped.

Among the good points of the MOU:

- A redesign of the glassy exterior to something more compatible with the existing building stock;
- Additional landscaping;
- Support and potential payment for car sharing and Capital Bikeshare on site;
- A 13 point environmental sustainability program.

The agreement does come with some negatives. Among them:

- The reduction, by 2, of the number of living units;
- The inclusion of a circular driveway on Connecticut Avenue, with two curb cuts;
- The addition of 40 additional parking spaces, over and above the proposal, which was more than was required by zoning.

This is somewhat novel approach taken by the ANC, but ultimately, it is probably more productive than the alternatives. The ANC will discuss this at its meeting on Tuesday, August 27th, see the ANC 3G website for more information.


And this statement from the project opponents:

At the encouragement of the Chevy Chase Advisory Neighborhood Commission,
members of 5333 CNC, the commission and the Cafritz development group spent the
summer seeking agreement on changes to the developers’ proposed all-glass
apartment tower, ones that would protect the vibrant Chevy Chase D.C. community
while encouraging growth and development.

At the insistence of the Cafritzes, everybody involved in the effort had to sign
pledges of confidentiality.

The sessions were intended to produce a reasonable compromise between the
residents and the Cafritzes.

Instead, they have resulted in a draft agreement between the Cafritzes and the
ANC that doesn’t address the community’s most important requests for change and
could be damaging to the community’s appeals of the developers’ plans.

The ANC is scheduled to take up the 15-point draft Tuesday, August 27 at 7:30
p.m. The 5333 Connecticut Neighborhood Coalition asks community residents to
turn out for the meeting and judge for themselves.

Last spring, the ANC joined the 5333 CNC in appealing municipal permits that the
developer obtained for the proposed structure and helped to convene negotiations
between the coalition and Cafritz representatives.

Throughout the negotiations, the coalition proposed practical, modest changes
that would not require wholesale redesign. Among them: shifting the mass of the
large Military Road wing of the proposed building forward toward Connecticut and
stepping down the back of the wing to create a buffer between the 10-story
development and the two-to-three story surrounding single-families homes.

As it now appears, ANC commissioners engaged in a separate negotiation with the
Cafritz side about which the 5333 CNC was not told. The resulting agreement
fails to address key issues in the 5333 CNC-Cafritz negotiations, is vague,
unenforceable and makes new concessions to the developer with little in return
for the community.

Below is a brief review of some of the key points included in the draft
Cafritz-ANC agreement that the commission intends to consider.

The draft says the Cafritzes agree to “a major redesign of the building…
including reduction in the glass surface area (and) increase in the amount of
masonry…as depicted in concept drawings that Cafritz provided.”

However, the agreement doesn't call for the Cafritzes to withdraw the current
building permit, which doesn’t reflect any of the changes the draft says the
developers have agreed to make. The current permit is for the original structure
that was widely criticized by the community and the ANC.

The agreement also doesn't call for the Cafritzes to make publicly available a
full set of drawings and plans for a building that reflects the proposed
changes. The developers have been promising to provide the public with revised
plans since the beginning of 2013, but have yet to do so. Absent a full set of
plans and drawings, the community will be left to discuss, and the ANC to vote
on, a proposal with little more than a few potentially inaccurate pictures.

The agreement doesn't require the Cafritzes to hold off on construction until a
new permit that reflects all of the changes to which they say they've agreed has
been approved by the city and reviewed by the commission and the community.

The draft says that the Cafritzes will seek, and the ANC will support, an
application for a circular driveway in front of the Connecticut Avenue façade in
order to “reduce traffic on Kanawha Street and Military Road…”

The city’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) already has rejected a request
for such a driveway as a danger to pedestrians trying to make their way along
Connecticut and an impediment to traffic flow along the avenue. Despite the
developer’s claims, inclusion of such a driveway would not reduce traffic on
Military or Kanawha.

The Cafritzes’ insistence on the driveway appears to be the reason they refuse
to comply with a basic rule of urban design by moving the structure forward so
it fronts on Connecticut and defines the urban corridor. It also appears to be
the reason they won’t agree to the kind of buffer zone between the high-rise and
surrounding single family homes that virtually all well-designed apartment
buildings along Connecticut have.

The driveway is one of the few elements of the Cafritz development in which the
community has an opportunity to make a mutually beneficial trade-off:
neighborhood support for the driveway in return for coupling it with a secondary
entrance/exit to the proposed structure’s underground parking to relieve some,
but not all, of the traffic along Military and Kanawha. Absent this coupling,
ANC support would simply give away a legitimate bargaining chip.

Advocates of the draft agreement suggest that the Cafritzes will prohibit
tenants of the proposed structure from getting residential parking sticker that
would let them save the expense of renting a space in the proposed structure’s
underground garage and parking on the street.

But the agreement itself says only that the Cafritzes “will request” such an
arrangement, which means the provision would be unenforceable.

The draft says the Cafritzes agree “to install additional landscaping,”
including preserving existing tall, mature trees that could serve as an
effective shield against light pollution and protect privacy, especially along
the huge Military Road side of the building.

However after initially saying that seven mature trees located in public space
along Military could be saved, the Cafitzes’ landscape architect sent a memo
reducing that number to three and even then only promising "reasonable best
efforts." None would be saved along Kanawha. The new trees that the landscape
architect proposes to add either would be too small to provide much shielding,
or don’t grow the kind of full, protective canopies portrayed in the concept

The draft includes a variety of proposals that appear aimed at allowing the
Cafritzes to claim that their proposed building would be environmentally sound.
However, the developers had already said they’d use “green” technology (although
not meet nationally recognized green LEEDS standards). The only new elements
appear to be mention of adding a Capital Bike Share rack and space for two
Zipcars on the property.

The text of the draft also says the Cafritzes “shall have no obligation” to
include either “if after a reasonable effort” they decide inclusion of one or
both is impractical.

The draft says that the developers agree to “institute traffic controls and
signage, as requested and advised by the DDOT, so that traffic entering and
exiting the building will not use the narrow alley that runs from behind the
Building to Chevy Chase Parkway.”

However, the Cafritzes agreed in early conversations with the ANC and the
coalition to install a so-called “pork chop” traffic control to discourage use
of the alley. The draft appears to weaken, not strengthen, that agreement by
making it contingent on the city’s transportation department requesting the
traffic control. Senior DDOT officials have repeatedly described the alley as
“public infrastructure” that should be put to greater use. As a result, it
seems unlikely that they will “request” any control.

Members of the 5333 CNC appreciate the ANC’s efforts to encourage negotiations
between the community and the Cafritzes. But the secret negotiations between
the ANC and the Cafritzes that have resulted in limited, inadequately defined
and unenforceable promises of change are counterproductive and a disservice to
our community.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cleveland Park Service Lane Revisited

A Cleveland Park resident has shared a little history surrounding the Cleveland Park service lane. It is time to end this anachronism and restore the commercial strip to its past glory.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ward 3 Education Meeting

Councilmember David Catania is hosting a forum to discuss the future of public education in the Ward:

July 27, 2013 at 10:30am - 12:30pm

Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library
4450 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Parking Juxataposition in Ward 3

A commenter noted the following on the Tenleytown Listerv:

I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose the following two documents. The
first being a meeting invite (it happened already) for the Ward 3 Democrats that
invites attendees to park on residential streets abutting the Methodist Home.
The second is an email posted regarding a resolution passed by the Ward 3
Democrats decrying that the proposed zoning rewrite and its impact on parking on
residential streets surrounding transit zones. I'll leave it to readers to
determine if there might be something of a contradiction here.

The Ward 3 Dems Message

Dear Ward 3 Democratic Committee Colleagues,

Please join us this Thursday evening for an "AN EVENING WITH THE MAYOR." (See
attached flyer.) This special program will provide an
opportunity for Mayor Vincent Gray to share his thoughts with the Committee on a
variety of topics to be followed by
questions from the audience. Light refreshments will be provided.

We anticipate that the program will begin promptly at 7:30 pm, so please plan to
try to arrive by 7:15 pm if possible. The event will be held at our new meeting
location at "The Methodist Home" at 4901 Connecticut Ave. N.W. (The Methodist
Home is located in the block before you reach Politics and Prose Book Store and
Café on the same side of Connecticut Avenue as the bookstore. There is parking
in the parking lot surrounding the home as well as on Fessenden St. to the left
of the home

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

All the best,

Shelley Tomkin
Chair, Ward 3 Democratic Committee

Ward 3 Dems Resolution on Parking

Resolution to Encourage Reasonable Zoning Parking Provisions


The By-Laws of the Ward Three Democratic Committee create a basis for Delegates to work together to encourage accountability and good government practices.

The DC Office of Planning's (OP) parking proposals adversely will affect residents, businesses and the vibrancy of this city by eliminating parking requirements for "transit zones", eliminating parking requirements for all new single family homes, eliminating parking requirements for new multi-unit dwellings of less than 10 units, reducing our already low parking requirements for multi-family housing and commercial uses far from transit, and reducing parking requirements for schools.

OP's recommended changes to parking requirements are not supported by data, do not reflect community preferences, and are not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan;

Therefore be it resolved:
The DC Office of Planning should withdraw its proposed parking provisions and develop a new approach to parking requirements that better reflects community needs and Comprehensive Plan mandates for adequate public and private parking.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Not the Steak and Egg????

A dark shadow was cast as a Historic Preservation Office notice flowed to the public regarding a series of raze permits on the 4700 block of Wisconsin Avenue. Not the Steak and Egg!!!! Don't let this quirky 24-hour icon fall to the clutches of development pressue.

Alas, not to worry. According to the Housing Complex the Steak and Egg isn't going anywhere. In fact, it is slated for expansion.

Let's up it doesn't go upscale!

Monday, June 17, 2013

ANC 3 D to discuss New Mexico Avenue Bike Lanes

In its long running interest and control around the American University campus, ANC 3D will once again take up the question of the New Mexico Avenue bike lanes. Previously, 3D objected vigorously to elements of the AU Campus Plan. The long proposed bicycle connection between American University and Glover Park has been at issue for reasons ranging from existing traffic conditions and volume of curb-cuts to pedestrian safety and loading zones.

According to the Current, the last time 3D took this up, then Chair Tom Smith objected:

Commission chair Tom Smith added a further concern: Residents on the east side of New Mexico Avenue backing out of their driveways would need to pass through the bike lane.

This is an important transportation link between the two neighborhoods; the street is more than wide enough to incorporate the design modifications envisioned by DDOT and bicycle advocates.

The meeting will take place on Monday, June 24, 2013, approximately 7:15 PM at the Sutton Towers Community Room, 3101 New Mexico Avenue.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

DDOT -facepalm-

In 2009, DDOT engaged a consultant to produce a study to improve the streetscape and pedestrian safety in Glover Park. This followed a 2006 study completed by the DC Office of Planning in 2006. Just 6 weeks ago, the plans were finally implemented. However, a few residents in Georgetown and Observatory Circle, DDOT appears to have reversed its position on pedestrian safety and returned Wisconsin Avenue to a configuration that yielded 6 pedestrian-vehicle collisions in the three year period from 2008-2010.

One might be able to understand a politician wanting to cater to his constituents. However, the DC Department of Transportation answers to federal and professional standards. The current and former Mayors have held a progressive view of traffic management, particularly pedestrian safety. Thus, it is very curious that DDOT would make this change so swiftly at the whim of a Councilmember from a different Ward.

Is Mary Cheh complicit in this decision? Where is the Mayor on this issue? How about Pedestrian Safety advocates?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Ward 3 Dems Fiddle while....

A recent action by the Ward 3 Dems is highlighted in Greater Greater Washington. Not surprising that this organization becomes increasingly irrelevant, even to voters in the Ward who supported Republican Patrick Mara in the recent At-Large special election.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

At-Large Candidate Suggests a Challenge to Cheh

Tim Craid of the Washington Post reports on a failed back room deal that would have ANC3E member Frumin drop out of the At-Large Council race to garner support for a potential challenge to Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.

According to the article, Frumin rebuffed the overtures and desire to challenge the incumbent next year.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

CPCA Hosts Candidate Forum

The Cleveland Park Citizens Association held a forum for the At-Large Council candidates this past Thursday. The election is on Tuesday April 23, at the regular precinct polling places. One Cleveland Park Listserv contributor offered this review:

I want to commend the Cleveland Park Citizens' Association and moderator Mark
Plotkin for an entertaining and informative candidates' forum this past
Thursday. Interest in Tuesday's special election for an at-large DC City
Council seat was very high --about 150-- which speaks highly of the civic
mindedness of our neighborhood. I found the forum extremely revelatory of the
candidates' positions and character, but as I was leaving, I heard many people
say that they still didn't know who to vote for. So I want to offer my take on
the event and the candidates.

There seemed to me two candidates present who reflected the generally
centrist-liberal politics and community activism of Cleveland Park-- Democrats
Matthew Frumin and Elissa Silverman. Mr. Frumin offered a positive, uplifting
view of the future of DC as a growing, populous area with more than adequate
resources to solve our remaining problems. He embodies a local politician in
the best sense of the word: someone who talks to all citizens and brings them
together to find common, consensus solutions to sticky issues. Ms.
Silverman-surprisingly-struck me as negative, wanting to criticize opposing
groups and council members rather than bringing them together.

Statehood Green party candidate Perry Redd was engaging, articulate and very
funny. He attracted the most applause and laughter of all the candidates at the
forum, and has generated widespread support among all the candidates for his
party's core issues of DC budget autonomy and statehood. But his positions
struck me as significantly to the left of those of most of the people in this
community, particularly that calling for a DC minimum wage of $14 per hour.

Democrat Paul Zukerberg is campaigning on the single issue of marijuana
decriminalization, and has also generated widespread support for this issue both
among his fellow candidates and according to a recent automated phone poll. But
he appeared much less well informed and competent than the other candidates to
address the other issues that are more central to DC's future.

Based on what I heard Thursday, I have real concerns about Republican Patrick
Mara. Even as just a member of the State Board of Education, a body with very
limited responsibilities and authority, he seems to be a professional politician
with no other means of income or support. He seemed unable to provide a
straight answer to many questions, dancing around issues ranging from the
meaning of his party affiliation to whether restaurants should provide their
employees with paid sick leave. I left concerned that --even before joining the
Council-- Mr. Mara was beholden to special interests that remained undefined.
Reports in the Washington Post that he may have tried to sell his contributors'
list only add to that concern.

Interim City Council member and Democrat Anita Bonds was absent from the forum
but not from the conversation. It was reported that Ms. Bonds has failed to
participate in any candidates' forums or special events since her controversial
April 8 appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi show, in which she intimated that black
voters should support her because she was black. Ms. Bonds' voice also seems
notably absent from Council discussions in the several months that she has been
on the Council. It appears she may not be cut out for the rough, tumble and
constituent contact of city politics.

The Vote is April 23rd.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Park Van Ness

Greater Greater Washington reports on the BF Saul redevelopment proposal for Van Ness Square. Dubbed Park Van Ness, this mixed-use development would replace the surface parking lot and commercial building which straddles the east side of Connecticut Avenue adjacent to Soapstone Creek.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pepco Upgrades in the Area

From ANC 3F:

Pepco is working hard to provide safe and reliable electrical service to our valued customers and to support the needs of our region. As a part of this commitment, we will be upgrading existing infrastructure in areas near Friendship Heights.

Pepco has a three-phase project scheduled to start in your community in the next few weeks (Phase 1). This project involves:

Upgrading three primary lines (higher-voltage feeder lines that carry power to about 1,100 customers in a specific area) to more than triple their capacity, from 4 kilovolt (kV) to 13 kV

Alleviating load from the Harrison Substation by transferring three 4 kV feeders to the Oliver Substation. This work is similar to other 4 kV conversion projects completed throughout the District of Columbia.

We have enclosed a map that outlines the areas in your community that will be affected by this work. Portions of Phase 1 will occur in ANC 3F, Phase 2 and 3 are not in ANC 3F.

Phase 1

In the first phase of this project, we will construct a new 13 kV feeder to allow the transfer of the three 4 kV Harrison Substation feeders to the Van Ness Substation. On the attached map, the pink line shows the location of this new feeder. Pepco will use an existing underground conduit to install about 7,000 feet of new cable. By using an existing conduit, we’ll minimize the area we have to excavate. We also will install one new cable pole on 41st St. N.W., just north of Fesseden Street. This pole will be the transition point between the underground cable installed in phase 1 and the overhead 13 kV feeders discussed in phase 2. Finally, we will construct a new manhole to house equipment near the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Fesseden Street N.W. We expect to start this phase in two weeks and take about six to eight weeks.

Phase 2

In the second phase, we will convert three 4 kV feeders to 13 kV and remove the 4kV infrastructure. On the map, the green line outlines this work. To convert the feeders, we will set a new 13kV pole line next to the existing 4 kV pole line. Once the new poles are in place and the pole hardware is mounted, we will install the overhead 13 kV lines and connect them to the 13 kV underground feeder that was extended from the Van Ness Substation. After we energize the new lines, we will remove the existing 4 kV infrastructure. We will need to trim trees to be able to install the new lines. Our arborist is meeting with the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration to identify which trees might need to be pruned or removed, and we will share a list of those trees with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. We expect to start work in April on this phase, which is expected to take about six to nine months to complete. Field inspections may require changes to work locations. We will provide an update should this occur.

Phase 3

The last phase will be to transfer three 4 kV feeder lines from the Harrison Substation to the Oliver Substation. This work is shown on the map with the light blue line. We will construct new conduits and manholes to house the new cables between these two substations. We expect to start work on this phase in June, and it will take six to nine months.

We at Pepco are committed to keep you updated throughout this project. We’ll dedicate a page on our website to provide project details, including work locations, hours, and impacts on parking and traffic. We’ll perform the work as efficiently as possible. Please note that we’ll have to finish work on specific cable sections before moving to a new section, so residents should not expect to see our crews in one location for the entire phase. We would be happy to present these plans to you at an ANC meeting. If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please contact us. This information will also be provided to other impacted Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zoning Commission Approves Babes

On January 14th, the Zoning Commission unanimously approved the proposal to develope the Babes site in Tenleytown without parking.

In exchange, the neighborhood will receive amenities such as additional car and bike sharing facilities, streetscape improvements and costly undergrounding of utilities.

ANC 3E had previously supported the proposal unanimously.

Exciting New Project in Glover Park

Urban Turf covers a new development in Glover Park. As long as the hardware store stays, it's all good!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Zoning Rewrite Presentation

The DC Office of Planning will host the Ward 3 forum for the zoning rewrite 6:30pm, Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake Street NW.

Much has been written on the Chevy Chase Listserv about a few main proposals:

- to eliminate parking minimums in transit zones
- to allows for corner stores and markets
- to allow renters to live in garden apartments and accessory dwelling units.

You can read more about these proposals on the DC Office of Planning website and blog.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Synopsis of Development in Ward 3

The Ward 3 Vision community group has shared a synopsis of development in the Ward in 2012. Interesting read.