Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2C Meeting on April 6th
A variety of issues were brought to the attention of ANC 2C council representatives Alexander Padro, Kevin Chapple, Rachelle Nigro, and Doris Brooks at the monthly meeting. The meeting, held at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood in the downstairs meeting hall, was filled to capacity.
The first order of business was a brief summary by Lt. Jeffrey Carroll of the Metropolitan Police Department. Followed by a variety of requests for street closings for marathons and walks to be held within Ward 2 including the Walk for Lupus and the more widely known, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. All requests received support from the 2C representatives. However, some residents did express concern about the traffic issues that may be caused along Pennsylvania Avenue, but without any strong resistance they still elected to give their support.
Around this time representative Brooks, who had to be assisted to the front and used a walker to maneuver, abruptly exited the meeting before speaking. Despite her condition other representatives barely recognized her presence. This prompted one elderly resident to protest, before Padro quieted her rant.
“How dare you ignore the presence of your fellow council member?” she yelled.
A representative from the Ford’s Theatre also requested a street closure on the 10th of April for the opening of The Conspirators, a movie detailing the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Due to the fact that the premiere is a private screening residents were not exactly thrilled with the idea, but by that time the room had cleared significantly and the motion faced little resistance. Residents who were concerned about the use of the parking garage located on the street were assured that the premiere would not affect their access to the garage.
Another interesting development that arose during the meeting was the arrival of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Ward 2. After calling M Street home for several years, construction is due to begin by the end of the year for a new AAMC building bordered by 6th, 7th, and K Street. Residents were hopeful that the move would be beneficial and accepting to the surrounding community.
“Within the next five to ten years we expect AAMC to bring 650 to 700 jobs to the Shaw area,” said Mr. Brian Plunkett, a AAMC representative.
Not all proposals received support however. The owner of the 1618 Market, located at 1618 8th Street, attended the meeting in hopes of obtaining support for a single sales ban exemption for alcohol sales. The owner, who had previously come to an agreement with the 2C representatives, suddenly was very uncertain of the agreed upon terms. 2C Council members had previously agreed to lend their support for a single sales exemption that pertained only to certain imported beer brands that were unavailable for sale in six-packs, etc.
Nonetheless, when the 2C council members questioned him on the brands he planned to sell under the sales exemption, he briefly stood with a puzzled look on his face, before responding, “Budweiser”.
This of course raised concern for the council members who chose to revisit the previous agreement. At the time no clear resolution or agreement could be made, so subsequently the council opted to withdraw their support until both sides had a clear understanding of the agreed upon terms. As a final plea, a loyal customer, David Summers, who came to support the owner, spoke passionately in support of the 1618 Market.
“While I understand why the single sales ban exemption was put in place, I have seen firsthand the effect it can have on local business owners, ” said Summers. What is good for the gander should be good for the goose, and if Whole Foods can sell these products why should he be held to a different standard.”
One business that did receive widespread approval of residents in attendance was the Shaw Tavern. A colonial style restaurant set to open at the previously unoccupied location of 520 Florida Avenue; Shaw Tavern is expected to need minimal construction with the only major project being the installation of handicap bathrooms in the downstairs area. Billed as an affordable, neighborhood restaurant Shaw Tavern will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have a take-out window for those on the go along the Sixth street side of the restaurant. Owner Steven May Jr., quelled any concerns with detailed plans on constructions and waste removal. The only question came from a rather interested resident.
“So what’s on the menu?” one attendee questioned amid laughter from others in attendance.
Other restaurants in attendance District of Pi, a popular chain based out of St. Louis, and the Greene Turtle located inside the Verizon Center, both received support for a Class C restaurant License and expanded outdoor seating hours respectively.
The meeting quietly ended as most of the attendees filed out after discussing issues pertaining to them and Councilmember Padro, appearing visibly tired, wearily welcomed everyone back to next month’s meeting.