Tenleytown ANC Gets Down to Business at Start of Term

2015-2016 ANC 3EThe inaugural meeting of the 2015-2016 Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commission proceeded at a fair clip, clocking in at right around two and a half hours, despite a rather lengthy agenda. The majority of the January 8 ANC 3E meeting was dedicated to presentations by PEPCO, Exelon, and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service regarding the proposed acquisition of PEPCO by Exelon.

If the lengthy discussion and point-counterpoint proved anything, it is that the issues surrounding the deal are complex, touching upon traditional versus renewable energy, nuclear power generation, rate pricing, competition in the energy sector, and service reliability, to name a few. Many of the issues relate to energy policies broadly and extend beyond the scope of the merger’s impact on the District or our local neighborhood. As we’re no expert on the PEPCO-Exelon merger, much less the myriad aspects of energy policy, distribution, or generation, we’ll let readers review for themselves the materials proponents and opponents of the merger distributed.

What we will say is that given the importance of the merger – the impact of which, positive or negative, will likely extend for decades – perhaps ANC 3E would have better addressed this issue in a special meeting rather than the regularly scheduled business meeting. Let’s face it – there are only a few of us diehards who are up for attending ANC meetings and sitting through the diverse array of agenda items. A special meeting, which possibly could be organized in conjunction with neighboring commissions, publicized well in advance might encourage a larger segment of the community to attend. The ANC could then consider whether to weigh in on the merger through a resolution at its next session.

Back to our regularly scheduled meeting… 

Douglas Development Corporation Project Manager Andrea Gourdine announced that construction of the Tenley View development has begun to go vertical, and the upper levels of the six-story building will take shape over the next five months. In early summer, work will begin to complete the exterior, underground utilities around the property, and install hardscaping and landscaping. The project is on schedule for substantial completion by the end of this year, with Gourdine saying that “the cold weather hasn’t held us up at all.”

Despite what Gourdine described as “a lot of interest,” Douglas Development has yet to sign any leases with retail tenants for Tenley View. The residential-retail property includes 13,985 square feet of retail space in the basement and first floor.

The ANC passed unanimously a resolution supporting an extension of Douglas Development’s public space permit to complete construction.

image courtesy of Douglas Development

progress as of January 5, 2015 – image courtesy of Douglas Development

The ANC was also united in support for the District Department of Transportation’s plan to install All-Way Stop signs at the intersection of 43rd Street and Alton Place. Citing visibility issues at the intersection and pedestrian safety, the commission passed unanimously a resolution of support with minimal discussion.

The Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home’s plans for some modest improvements to its landscaping, signage, and property wall garnered a bit more discussion. The Lisner Home plans to reconstruct existing wing walls, which have suffered wear and tear over the years, at its entrance on Western Avenue. New signage will be installed in the walls.

New Entrance to Lisner Home

rendering of new entrance to Lisner Home

In addition, landscape architect Mark Cross presented plans to erect three posts which will support banners highlighting the name of the home. The banners will replace a tree that has rotted and a section of hedge along the outer wall of the property. Cross said that the banners will open up and improve the landscape along the edge of the home, improve the visual appeal of this section of Western Avenue, and help reduce maintenance of the hill where they are sited.

Commissioner Tom Quinn, calling Western Avenue an “unattractive traffic sewer,” urged the Lisner Home to go further in making its grounds more visually accessible to help improve the corridor. Cross responded that Lisner views the current changes as an initial step and hinted that more landscaping improvements might be on the horizon. Ultimately, the commission approved unanimously a resolution supporting the Lisner Home’s application for a public space permit to reconstruct its wall.

Lastly, the commission approved a resolution acknowledging the service of Matthew Frumin and Sam Serebin, who recently stepped down after six years each on ANC 3E, and Michael Fabrikant, who served as Ward 3 Liaison under Mayor Vincent Gray. A hearty thank you to all three for all they have done for the community.

Congratulations to the ANC on a successful kick off to 2015, and we hope this initial fast-paced meeting is the start of a new trend. Congratulations also go to Jonathan Bender, Jonathan McHugh, Anne Wallace, and Tom Quinn who were elected as Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer respectively.