BA&NC Meeting, June 26, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008 2:48:50 PM
The big event of the meeting was a surprise, though. Hanny Chan, of Old Dominion, stopped by to announce that he had purchased the open lot (1212 Ninth Street) across from his restaurant. Marthlu Bledsoe had a Welcome Cat for the occasion, when and if it ever happened. Even if it was a Japanese Welcome Cat.
Roadside Development/O Street Market
The Roadside Development Corporation's attempt to rebuild the O Street Market and upgrade the Jungle Giant continues apace. One of the (expected) wickets is approval of the "TIF" (CityMarket at O Street Tax Increment Financing Act of 2008). Testimony at the Finance Committee (Jack Evans) is needed from the various interested parties on July 2. Ed Horvath and Nora Olgyay volunteered. Support was voted unanimously by the members (15) present at the meeting.
A letter of support to the Mayor's office is requested for the Tenth Street Park (between L and M). A resolution in favor also passed, 15-0). The Tenth Street Park (name not yet final) is seen be everyone as a good thing for the full community.
A letter of support for the Marriott Convention Center Hotel was also requested at the 19 June briefing by Norman Jenkins, SVP, North American Lodging Development. Not to the details, but that it should be built. Approval of such a letter was also 15-0.
Discussion of the Breakwells break-in.
Mark Bjorge, EOM (Executive Office of the Mayor, was asked about having the parking signs on the north side of M and N to at least that of L, where the no parking restriction goes to 8:30pm, not just 6:30pm. At the February meeting, Jack Evans said he thought the restriction was actually 24 hours, except Sundays. Mark was also asked that if the law was in fact 24 hours, could that be reflected in the signs.
Members and Dues
Members were reminded that Association elections are coming in September. As only paid up members may vote, members were reminded by Betsy Garside, sitting in for Treasurer Jim Loucks, to pay up. elections.
It seems that Saturday nights are again popular in Blagden Alley. PSA307 has been made aware of the returned popularity.
A couple of months ago it was Saturday evenings of Bondage, S+M, Wife Swapping, and something which attracted a bunch of transvestites. No DCRA permits for liquor, or anything. LT Smith and crew did tickets in the low thousands (that's dollars, not tickets).
This another of the reasons that they invented PG County. There's plenty of parking, not in fire lanes, out there. The organizers should take advantage of that.
CCH Advisory Committee
The Convention Center Hotel is setting up one of those advisory committees, a la the one for the Convention Center. They meet every few months, and basically track as outside observers, but observers with a neighborhood, or other, interest.
These are actually quite useful. While they wouldn't be able to make big changes, they can avoid all sorts of problems, both for the project managers and the neighborhood.
Stephen Warren and Nora Olgyay volunteered for seats, if and when they become available.
"Problem" house discussion.
Stephen Warren and Betsy Garside brought up the problem of 1258 Tenth Street, and the suspicious activity there. Then followed discussion of 916 N and 906 O.
So we have three long-standing problem houses in the neighborhood. It seems that in all cases, the house is owned by an older person and problems are with younger relatives. The crimes are just this side of "go to jail", in general. (Although LT Smith and his crew managed it for a resident of 916 N a month or two ago, with good results so far.)
There was discussion with Mark Bjorg of whether or not there were good enough procedures for handling an owner, perhaps no longer competent because of age, in a humane manner and making sure they keep the accumulated value of the residence, rather than lose it to too many code violations and other ways of stopping the crimes coming out of the place. [OK. That's too long a sentence.]
Dave Salter noted that there was a "spite house" in the back of 906 O. Wikipedia has it as
"also relates to an old Southern United States custom of consigning an ostracized family member to a very small, second house on the family land "where he was expected to live in solitude as punishment for having embarrassed his family. See also here.
There was discussion of the illegal/impromtu parking lot at Tenth Street behind 943 M. Under the Mulberry tree. And, no, Lynda Wright doesn't own it. At any rate, a new post or two have appeared. These make parking more than a Yugo difficult. So, for the moment, problem solved.
Mark Bjorge said the start of renovation has been delayed until about September. It has a project manager, and should actually happen.
Gas. Natural Gas.
The subject of brick sidewalks was presented. It became a discussion of Washington Gas. And the gas line replacement they are doing and the tearing up of the brick alleys in Naylor Court and the sidewalks on the 900 block of P Street and when was it going to get replaced. Work crew foremen are apparently instructed to say: "When the project is complete." Since the entire area's gas line replacements (except for Ray Milefsky's block) seem to be one big project, this means a very, very long time. Enough time for a hostile takeover of Washington Gas by some European brewery, in fact.
There were questions about what kind of bricks would be used to replace those removed. Mark Bjorge commented that in Georgetown, where folks are a mite persnickety about the bricks matching, Washington Gas saves the bricks and then brings them back. Bricks change color over decades, of course, and make a tough match for newly fired bricks. People at the meeting were not convinced that we were getting our disturbed bricks treated as soigneusement as Georgetown's.
Ed Horvath commented that the newer, high end, gas appliacences don't really depend on high pressure. They just suck that gas right outta the line. However, low gas pressure and old leaky lines does lead to water getting into the lines, and thus into the appliacences, shortening their usefulness.
This neighborhood was apparently one of the first to get gas. So our gas lines are really, really old.
The gas line replacement project was described by Bjorge as "sprawling". He didn't "tightly scheduled" or "clearly planned", which does not eliminate those possibilities, of course.
In the middle of the brick replacement discussion, fire hydrants were mentioned. Mark Bjorge commented that the "stick out above ground" profile they now have is actually a cost saving measure: When someone hits them, they break off above ground (or at least not too deep down) and so cost much less to repair.
The meeting adjourned before the 9:00 deadline.