I hope you are staying well and safe.
Congratulations to Mo Pasternak, who won our recent election to be our next Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Dupont Circle! Mo will join eight other commissioners to represent our neighborhood, which is now over 20,000 residents. The transition process has already begun, which involves a lot of introductions with government officials and sharing policies and procedures. Mo has pledged to have a newsletter to keep neighbors abreast of happenings and I have agreed to share this mailing list with him. Before I do this, if you prefer that I do not share your email address with Mo, please let me know.
Commissioner-elect Pasternak’s contact information is on his website, he’s @MoPasternakDC on Twitter, and he hopes to send out a first newsletter in the coming month or two. He’s welcoming feedback on what neighbors would like to see in a newsletter, so let him know!
Full election results are here: electionresults.dcboe.org. A few of the neighboring commissioners who represent people subscribed to this list include Kyle Mulhall, Robin Nunn, and William Herbig, all of whom I have communicated with at length and I believe are poised to represent our neighborhood well. If you do not know who your new commissioner will be or would like to be put in touch, let me know! (You can find your SMD and ANC here.) I am very happy to make introductions and have been making some for neighbors.
1609-11 17th Street NW & 1519 17th Street NW
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse and their former location decades ago, currently JR’s Bar, are being considered to be landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places. Annie’s Paramount Steak House is “one of the earliest LGBTQ friendly establishments in the District,” and the application filed by the D.C. Preservation League and prepared by EHT Traceries is an insightful quick read available at the Office of Planning site. I strongly recommend pages 12 through 23 which provides a history of Annie’s in D.C. and its impact in the neighborhood. The ramifications of having a property listed in the National Register of Historic Places is summarized by the Office of Planning (PDF). This application will be before the ANC 2B on Wednesday, December 9.
1600 Block of 16th Street NW
Some neighbors received an alert of of a stabbing on the 1600 Block of 16th Street NW on Sunday evening. I confirmed with Commander Stuart Emerman of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District that this notification was in error. An arrest has been made in a homicide on the 3100 Block of 16th Street, near Lamont Street. They apologize for any confusion.
1536 16th Street NW
The application by the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (PETA Foundation) on the corner of 16th and Q was withdrawn by the applicant. Most neighbors were non-oppositional to their request to seek a zoning special exception to allow lodging, understanding it would be just for their staff. PETA Foundation worked with the zoning administrator to determine their intended use – allowing staff to stay overnight – was within the existing zoning. Going this route without the special exception, the property will not allow “lodging” in the traditional sense and the property will not have the ability to operate like an inn, corporate housing, or small hotel, which was not their intent in the first place. Thank you to everyone who provided me feedback on this case. In the process and communication with them, they also volunteered to address a neighboring leaf blower concern.
1733 16th Street NW
Earlier this month, the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation made a Decision and Order effectively concluding the battle created by the “Dupont East Civic Action Association” (DECAA) regarding the redevelopment of housing in the area behind the House of the Temple on 16th and S Streets. DECAA, the “association of neighbors formed to organize opposition to the Masonic development,” sued the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Office of Planning, and the Mayor; filed a landmarking application claiming the land behind the House of the Temple is a “landmark”; and waged in a multi-year misinformation campaign against the project, government officials, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners which included conspiracy theories and targeted harassment. In October, the majority of DECAA’s active board members resigned.
If you are interested in this project, please read the Mayor’s Agent Decision and Order as it provides a quick seven-page summary of the proceedings as well as how the Historic Preservation Office, Historic Preservation Review Board, the D.C. Preservation League, and the ANC (and it’s Zoning, Preservation, and Development Committee) understood the project to be compatible with the character of the historic landmark and the historic districts. It also is a snapshot of some of the limited confines and frustrations that commissioners such as myself had in influencing the project to be better for all of us as neighbors: outside of understanding the history of this land and knowing that subdividing the lot would revert it to almost exactly as it was historically, the project is still a by-right development.
Starting in the next few weeks, there will be some utility relocation work at 1733 16th Street NW. Full construction is anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2021.
16th Street Bus Lanes Project
Earlier this month, the Sunday Washington Post covered the 16th Street Bus Lanes Project. I was quoted as well as neighbor Ronnie Kweller. Reporter Luz Lazo has monitored this project for close to a decade and the article aligns solidly with how I understand the project and what I have heard from neighbors. DDOT informed the ANC 2B last week that construction will begin likely in January 2021. More information about the 16th Street Bus Lanes Project is at 16thstreetnwbus.com.
11 Dupont Circle
From the Dupont Circle Business Improvement District, a brief glimpse of what’s to come at 11 Dupont Circle. Their Public Space Application was supported by the ANC 2B in September.
Q Street NW at 20th Street NW
Department of Parks and Recreation Survey
The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking feedback determine the direction and priorities for its new Master Plan. Fill out the survey here: ready2playdc.com/citywide-survey
1725 Church Street NW
On this case, mentioned in the prior newsletter regarding a zoning special exception for a porch and stairs, received no oppositional feedback, the Applicants communicated well with neighbors, and the ANC 2B was supportive.
1328 16th Street NW
This concept as submitted to the Historic Preservation Review Board, mentioned in my prior newsletter, is regarding housing between First Baptist Church and the Drake (1600 Block of O Street), was before the ANC 2B in the context of historic preservation. There was no oppositional feedback, and the ANC 2B found it non-controversial.
2101 P St NW
If you haven’t received a COVID test from your health provider, this link contains information and a list of places where you can walk up and get one.
Support Our Local Establishments!
This is a reminder that our local merchants need our help. Please consider take-out from one of our restaurants in the coming days, get a tool or part you need from a local hardware store, or support local artists when gift giving this season from Shop Made in DC. Our local businesses keep our neighborhood alive and if you’re able to, please support locally.
Keep in touch! Like most of us, I will be staying at home (aside from a daily neighborhood walk) this Thanksgiving and spending time with friends and family over video chat. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments about anything in the neighborhood! I’m happy to help.