Mount Pleasant Advisory Neighborhood Commission Convenes For Monthly Meeting

The Mount Pleasant neighborhood library hosts several community events open to the public.

On February 26, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1D (ANC1D) of Mount Pleasant commenced for a public discussion regarding problems or issues of concern within the ward and on proposed District government actions.

Mount Pleasant’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission consists of Chairperson Jon Stewart, Vice Chairperson Yasmin Romero-Latin, Robin Sandenburgh, Secretary Jack McKay and Treasurer Chelsea Allinger.

Serving as Mount Pleasant’s Vice Chairperson for her fourth term, Yasmin Romero-Latin prides herself on being the first Latina to serve on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, where up until more recently she was also the only woman amongst all white men. Romero-Latin says, “They know I’m about business, they don’t mess with me. When officers from the police department speak during meetings, it’s important as the only brown person on the commission that there is truth, I make sure that things get done.”

After hearing a few concerns and presentations brought forth by residents of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission addressed several recent issues in the area.

The ANC discussed how the fate of a neighborhood development based on its location and the impact it has had on the community. Chairperson Jon Stewart introduced the idea of adding the Argyle Building and specifically the Argyle Convenience Store in that building to the U Street/14th Street Great Streets Neighborhood Retail Priority Area.

Jon Stewart said, “The convenience store, in particular, has a long history of operation in Mount Pleasant. The currently designated area incorporates a number of commercial establishments on the west side of Mount Pleasant Street, and the inclusion of the Argyle Building will be a logical continuation of that policy.”

He continued, “Excluding the Argyle Building, and the Argyle Convenience Store, excluded alone from the Great Streets in Mount Pleasant, puts them at a competitive disadvantage versus other commercial establishments in the Mount Pleasant commercial corridor.”

McKay brought attention to and approved the final issue of the night. He said, “The Advisory Neighborhood Commission advises the Zoning Commission to clarify the definition of “penthouse” to exclude structures which are not on multistory buildings facing city streets.”

According to the commission, the term “penthouse” is given an extremely broad definition by the Zoning Regulations: “a structure on or above the roof of any building.” It has applied the term to structures which do not fit the generally accepted notion of a “penthouse”, in particular, decks on the roof of alley garages, which is very common in Mount Pleasant.

McKay said, “A ten-foot-tall garage on an alley cannot be considered a potential violation of the Height Act, the public does not benefit from such a drastic reduction in usable garage-roof space, and virtually every existing garage-roof deck in the District is rendered contrary to the zoning regulations.”

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission remains a voice for its residents, and Ward 1 of Washington, D.C. and their hard work does not go unnoticed. 

“We see no reasons why we should be denied what we want for our community if it’s not excessive, we pay attention to it and we take care of it. As a community we’d like to thank the ANC for all of your hard work and support on these things,” said a long time resident of the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.