Posted tagged ‘Columbia Heights’

Images from DDOT’s Library & Archives

September 1, 2017

A friend recently reminded me about the photos on the DDOT Library and Archives tumblr page. Overall, I found many of the images interesting, but only found a few from our area. DDOT has other photo pages as well, including DDOT Back in Time which may be of interest.

Park Road view west toward 14th Street, dated March 20, 1967.

14th Street just north of Park Road with view toward south, dated March 20, 1967.

Back in 1911, Surveyor Proposed Widening Spring Road.

August 7, 2017

In looking through old newspaper articles, I found the following from the Evening Star (Oct. 28, 1911) of interest. The article discusses the recommendation to extend Spring Rd east of Rock Creek Church Rd to New Hampshire and Georgia as well as widening the road from 40 ft. to 90 ft.

The detail from the 1907 Baist’s real estate atlas of surveys of Washington shows where Spring Road’s eastern termination was at that time, so it shows that the extension was successfully completed.

Tubman Field Permitting Creates Conflict with Community Use: Meeting Seeks Solutions

July 20, 2017

Early this July, the Department of General Services (DGS) issued a permit to Zog Sports reserving the athletic field at Tubman Elementary School for an organized soccer league on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The permit runs through August 31st. A Bocce league currently has a permit to use the field on Tuesdays. The permits for these leagues have effectively closed use of the field to the neighborhood pick up soccer games that have occurred nightly at Tubman for many years.

This conflict of use was brought to the attention of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A on July 12th when an incident occurred on the field during their meeting. While most recreational areas are under the Department of Parks and Recreation, athletic fields on DC Public Schools property are part of DCPS and supervised by DGS.

Over the past week, I’ve been working in collaboration with DGS, the Mayor’s office, and the Office of Latino Affairs (OLA) to find both short- and long-term solutions to this issue. The community members organized a meeting on Wednesday, July 20, to continue the conversation with representatives of DGS, OLA, the ANC, and the Mayor’s office to follow up on where things currently stand.

(Commission Boese addressing the community at Tubman Elementary School with DGS’s Jackie Stanley (left) and OLA’s Eduardo Perdomo (right).)

DGS’s Jackie Stanley came prepared with an initial short-term solution that included reserving the field for the community on Friday evenings and Saturdays as well as before 6 pm on weeknights. Based on the community’s response, this proposal doesn’t meet the neighborhood needs, and Stanley listened to feedback from the residents so that she can continue to work from within DGS to find a solution.

I addressed the assembly stating that I believe there is both a quick fix to prevent this conflict occurring in the future and suggested a need to review the underlying cause that allows for school athletic fields to be permitted in the first place.

The simple solution moving forward would be to change DGS’s process to require that permit applications be reviewed by Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and have a letter of support from them as part of the application process. This is currently standard practice for DPR permit applications. When a permit application is reviewed by the local ANC the community is able to identify use conflicts before an application is approved. In short, this provides the necessary oversight to ensure that the community is not adversely impacted by the issuance of the permit.


(Commissioner Boese discussing the need for ANC review and letters of support for DGS/DCPS school field permits.)

The practice of issuing permits to use DCPS athletic fields dates back to 1982, with the establishment of the DCPS Realty Office as a result of D.C. Law 4-158, the District of Columbia Board of Education Leasing Authority Act of 1982. The purpose of this law was to grant permission to the Board of Education to enter into lease and other agreements for the use of DC Public Schools buildings and grounds, to defray costs associated with the operation and maintenance of public school buildings, and for other purposes.

I believe that this 35 year old law no longer adequately serves the best interests of the community or the District of Columbia as a whole. It was established during a period when the District population, and our tax revenue, was in decline. As the District has grown, so has its budget. This has resulted in many school fields being renovated for the benefit of the community. However, this also makes these athletic fields more desirable for organized sport clubs which are also looking for places to play.

Because of this, we need to go back and review the 1982 law as well as the entire permitting process with the goal of amending both to ensure that we continue to have fair and balanced access to school fields for all who wish to use them.

 

ANCs Recommend Victory Housing as Top Pick for Hebrew Home Development

July 17, 2017

(Early rendering showing one potential design by Victory Housing.)

On July 12, at separate meetings, both Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 4C and 1A recommended Victory Housing & Brinshore Development as their primary choice for the development team to redevelop the former Hebrew Home property at 1125 Spring Road into a mixed income/multi-generational community. The two Commissions differed on their second choices.

Both Commissions felt that the Victory Housing proposal “meets the shared community priority of providing 88 units of dedicated, affordable senior housing in the former Hebrew Home. It also provides the largest number of affordable, family-sized units of any of the proposals as well with 29 three-bedroom rental units. In addition, it proposes home ownership opportunities along Spring Road NW. It also provides 75 underground parking spaces, with approximately 1.8 parking spaces for each 3 units of non-senior housing.”

The Commissions’ recommendations will be sent to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), where the final decision on selecting a development team will be determined.

The Commissions differed on their second choices. ANC4C’s second choice was the NHP Foundation, Fivesquares Development, and Warrenton Group. ANC 1A’s second choice, on the other hand, was the Bozzuto Homes proposal. ANC 1A further selected the Mission First proposal as its third choice. (read ANC 1A resolution at goo.gl/RChVH3 ).

DMPED is expected to select a development team prior to the July 27, 2017 public meeting scheduled to present the District’s intent to declare the Hebrew Home surplus. The meeting’s purpose is to receive comments on the proposed designation of 1125 Spring Road, NW, as surplus property. The surplus meeting is held in order to receive feedback from the community on the District’s finding that the property is no longer required for public purposes. Comments collected at the public meeting will be submitted to the Council of the District of Columbia for its review.

The date, time, and location of the surplus meeting is below:

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Location: Raymond Recreation Center
3725 10th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

The Good Silver Opens Tonight!

May 9, 2017

(The Good Silver, located at 3410 11th Street, NW)

I’m happy to report that Columbia Height’s newest 11th Street destination — The Good Silver — is opening tonight at 5 pm. I got a chance to check them out last week and liked what I saw. For those that haven’t been following this transformation, The Good Silver is the next chapter in the story from the group that brought us Kangaroo Boxing Club (aka KBC). Check out the new menu here.

For full details, below is their press announcement:

The Good Silver, from Ivy and Coney Team, Opening Tuesday, May 9th

The team behind Ivy and Coney (Josh Saltzman, Chris Powers, and Adam Fry) and new partner, Carrie Dzwil, are excited to announce The Good Silver, at 3410 11th St. NW in Columbia Heights, will open Tuesday, May 9th at 5pm.

Remember when you were a kid, and mom would break out the “good” plates? It pays homage to a time when the everyday was elevated, simply by caring a little bit more. Don’t expect the finest forks or vintage China, but instead, a focus on quality food and drink in a casual atmosphere.

On the drinks side, Dzwil has incorporated some of her favorite seasonal flavors into a variety of shrub-based cocktails which bring out the best of local produce for some refreshing, tart and not too sweet offerings. A spring highlight is her Lemongrass Ice Pick, which combines lemongrass-infused Civic Vodka from local distillery Republic Restoratives, honey-ginger syrup, iced tea and fresh sage. It has kept everyone sane and hydrated after (or during) long, hot days of construction. The drink menu also includes a sparkling shrub punch for four, and a concise but excellent liquor and craft beer list that includes local distilleries and breweries.

Rounding out the team is Remi Gottheil, a graduate of Dartmouth, who ran off to join the circus (seriously, he taught trapeze classes) and worked under chef Danny Boylen. Gottheil has created a highly seasonal menu combining the best currently available produce (from farms such as Pleitez Farms and 76 Acres) with pickles, preserves and locally sourced proteins. Guests can choose from a selection of “handhelds,” starters and charcuterie. Highlights include the organic buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwiches and a half smoke burger with pickled radish and sweet, tangy tomato jam. (more…)

Columbia Heights Farmers Market 2017 Season Underway

April 25, 2017

The 2017 season of the Columbia Heights Farmers Market kicked of on Saturday, April 24th. The market will be a regular feature at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

Beginning on May 31st, 2017, the market will also be open on Wednesday evenings from 4-7 pm. You can see a list of this year’s vendors here, and a few photos from this year’s opening day below.

Columbia Heights Initiative Holds Meet & Greet with Area ANCs to Talk Main Streets

February 27, 2017

main-streets-meeting(Participants from Main Street/ANC meet & greet. From l. to r.: Brad Gudzinas (1B02), Sharon Farmer (1A07), Christine Miller (1A05), Brianne Dornbush (Columiba Heights Initiative), Kent Boese (1A08), Jack McKay (1D03), and Zach Rybarczyk (1A03)).

On Saturday, February 25th, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners from Columbia Heights, Park View, and Mount Pleasant were invited to meet with Brianne Dornbush of the Columbia Heights Initiative and discuss the new Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant Main Street that was recently awarded to the Initiative. The Main Street is still in its early stages of organizing, so much of the conversation centered on how to share information, how to have the local ANCs work with each other and the Main Street, and suggesting priorities on where the Main Street could focus its efforts in the coming year.

One issue that was discussed was how to brand the main street, as Columbia Heights/Mt Pleasant Main Street is long. I suggested that a possible name could be the Mid-city Main Street as Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant are located within the Mid-city element of the Comprehensive Plan.

Another issue that was discussed was how to bridge the gap between Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant. Whether on Park Rd or Irving Street, the two business areas of the Main Street do not abut. The gaps between the business areas don’t encourage pedestrians to continue from one area to the other unless one already has a specific purpose in mind. Here, I suggested that public art could be one way to unite the areas, much like Capitol Hill did with their Alphabet Animals project a couple years ago.

Among the other issues that were mentioned was the relationship between the area Clean Team and the Main Street. Currently, they are two separate efforts that cover roughly the same area. In other main streets, the clean team is under the umbrella of the Main Street which helps with organization and ensures that both efforts are serving the same area. Several participants were of the opinion that the two should be combined in Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant too.

It will be interesting to see how the newest Main Street effort evolves and what its first projects will be. Future opportunities are sure to be scheduled soon to continue the networking and collaboration that are necessary for a thriving neighborhood Main Street.


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