Since January, 2003
 Page Through from Before to After

First, a reminder that Wednesday Sept. 14 brings the Public Scoping Meeting for the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project. This is a "we want to hear what YOU think!" meeting, so there will be no presentations of actual plans for the construction. It will just be an open house with information on what exists and what needs to be done, and a chance for interested parties to submit their feedback to DDOT and the FHWA. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Van Ness Elementary School; you can read more about the meeting in my post from last month. There's also the official web site, and this flyer from the newly formed Concerned Citizens of Virginia Avenue that makes clear their opinion on what's to come. Additional meetings where CSX will finally provide some specifics on their designs and plans should come later this fall.
As for doings at Monday night's ANC 6D meeting beyond the Metro station renaming items I already wrote about:
* Capper Time Extensions: The commission voted 7-0 to support the request for two-year extensions on two planned Capper apartment buildings and the office building planned for 600 M Street, which is also part of the Capper redevelopment. (I hadn't realized that 600 M was part of this request when I wrote my entry last week.) This would push the planned start dates for these three projects into the late 2013-early 2014 time frame.
As is usually the case with any Capper issue in front of the commission, Chairman McBee brought up the delayed community center, which Housing Authority representatives said should get its needed $7.4 million in funding when a new bond issuance happens later this year, and a building permit should be filed for in advance of the July 2012 deadline. As is also most always the case with Capper issues, the commission also wanted statistics and information on the former residents of the project, and whether they are being tracked and worked with. The DCHA reps said that 129 residents have returned to Capper, with another 550 on the waiting list, though some of those have turned down recently completed units for various issues (not wanting a walkup, etc.). This is with about half of the required 707 public housing units already constructed.
This extension was to have been heard by the Zoning Commission on Monday night, but since the ANC had not yet had a chance to weigh in, the applicants agreed with a request to delay action until the Zoning Commission's Sept. 26 meeting. If you want to know more, you can read my entry from last week (no need to write it all again!).
* Redistricting: The ANC proffered an alternate Single Member District map from what the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force has proposed. It tweaks the proposed boundaries in a way that moves current commissioner David Garber's building and the 70/100 I buildings back into 6D07 (along with the small block in Southwest bordered by South Capitol, M, N, and Carrollsburg Place), while placing Capitol Hill Tower, 909 New Jersey, and Velocity in 6B03, which reaches across South Capitol from Southwest. (The proposed SMDs that cover Near Southeast are in my quickie map at right.) Commissioner Cara Shockley, whose 6D02 was altered substantially from what the task force had proposed (it would have covered the portion of Near Southeast now given to 6D03, along with 70/100 I and Onyx, but not CHT), told the commission she was completely opposed to the new boundaries, and had no idea that such a big change was being proposed by the ANC, having been unable to open the attachments with the map images. David Garber took no official position on 6D's map, saying that because his constituents have made clear that they feel Near Southeast belongs in 6B and not 6D he would not be voting. In the end, the ANC supported the resolution offering up the alternate map in a 4-1-2 vote, with Garber and Bob Craycraft abstaining and Shockley voting against.
The task force's next public meeting is on Sept. 19 to propose the second draft of SMD boundaries, followed by a final meeting to approve their final draft maps on Sept. 22. Tommy Wells will then submit recommendations on boundaries to the city council by Sept. 30. For more on all the redistricting process, see my previous entries.
Comments (15)
 More About CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel Home


AVC says: (9/14/11 11:36 AM)
Thanks for getting the word out about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Scoping meeting. It is important that the community keep informed about this project.

Andrew in DC says: (9/22/11 4:50 PM)
Yikes... sorry condo owners.

It's really too bad they couldn't draw up options based around planned growth (or even include folks who already live here!) This area's going to be wildly underrepresented in a couple years.

MJM says: (9/22/11 7:25 PM)
Well its nice how the best of our area goes to SW and the CQ folks get the stadium, Half St Canal Park and Yards. So I pay a BID tax for the area yet I'm represented by SW - nice. Those boundaries can be reworked to bring some of those areas into part of SE that is being isolated.

Andrew in DC says: (9/23/11 11:23 AM)
I'm not sure how 1015 Half Street, an old Catholic Church and Justin's Cafe qualifies as "the best of our area" -- I tend to think the Yards and Canal Parks (in about 2 years) will probably "the best" at least until we see what Half Street really becomes. But that's not really the crux of your comment.

Before you panic, I just ran the numbers on the back of an envelope... given that Velocity (on the map/plan) counts as a scant 39 people but in reality can hold several hundred, there's nothing that says the rep from this area won't be from SE rather than SW. You're looking at an SMD with 2069 ppl on a on-paper-only 1328/741 split (W/E) The real split is probably more like 1328/1100* (what *is* the full load on Velocity anyway? And what's it up to now? For argument's sake I assumed 400).

Beyond that, you get into breakdowns of actual voters and then factor in real turn out? There's no reason you'll be guaranteed a SW rep. At all. And then count in that there are at least 3 empty lots that could see development on the Eastern side of that SMD, which would basically cement the numbers in the opposite way. 10 years is a long time.

As a question - what does your BID tax have to do with your ANC representation? I didn't think they had any relationship whatsoever...

MJM says: (9/23/11 3:11 PM)
It was a typo should have been SE not SW. Why are the vacant areas where nobody lives going to stay in Near-SE? The CQ folks will have the Yards, Half St, Canal Park and Stadium in their ANC?? The high rises get SW, right? Not really sure why the thumb of Near-SE going to SW can't contain Canal Park or Half St or the Stadium?

There is no real relationship between the BID and the ANC but it is kind weird how I pay for area to be maintained yet I have no representaiton for that area...that's all.

Last count was 144 but with 200 units it will be south of 400.

JD says: (9/23/11 3:20 PM)
I think it's kind of obvious that the lines were drawn the way they are so that David Garber keeps being able to represent the vast majority of Near Southeast. (otherwise that little thumb that reaches to CHT wouldn't be happening, and all of New Jersey Avenue would be the much-more-natural dividing line)

Andrew in DC says: (9/23/11 3:40 PM)
on all points: I see.

The thing about Condos vs. family homes is that the blocks in SW have a higher percentage of residents who aren't voters (kids can't vote, obv.) While the Condos have lower numbers, they have greater voting power per person since condos are generally younger/smaller/just starting families. Assuming 200 units = about 300 voters in velocity alone (assuming a 50% marriage/cohab rate) plus CHT + 909 (which clock in at 702-on-paper, most of which are voting age) vs. 1328 ppl in SW -- of which I'd be surprised if there were more than 675 voters.

I think its pretty balanced overall and your odds of getting a rep out of SE vice SW aren't bad. And as an SMD doesn't make decisions on his own your SMD rep will be your voice in the BID areas and all the rest - even if they're not in his/her lines-on-the-map. I agree the map "looks" unbalanced, but I really think the upshot won't be a huge change from what you've got now.

Who knows, maybe you could be the rep yourself :)

Andrew in DC says: (9/23/11 3:46 PM)
Hmm - I changed my mind about the 675 ... probably more like 1k - but unfortunately my googlefu is weak and I can't find the by-block breakdown of the age percentages. Per the WARD though, we've got about 75k ppl and 12k of them are under 19.

A really bad, implausible assumption that this ratio holds true for the blocks in question results in about 200 folk under 19 - so 1.1k voting-age-residents.

JD says: (9/23/11 3:49 PM)
What you're looking for is probably in here, Andrew: link

Andrew in DC says: (9/23/11 4:37 PM)
JD- Hmm. I didn't see it at first glance, but on after much looking i found the following:
Block order: 1003, 1004, 1009, 1010: Under 18 pops: 38, 109, 92 and 82 for a total of 321 or about 1/4 of the residents (blocks 4,9 and 10 are about 40-50% minors, block 3 has only about 5%), leaving about 1k voting-age residents.

MJM says: (9/23/11 9:28 PM)
But why are the non-living areas (parks and future development) all in larger Near-SE? That is a puzzling piece to me - it would be curious to see the reasoning.

I wish I could vote in DC but I have a few more years before I become a resident but I'm not sure if I counted in the population here or in Florida but I'm sure there are a lot of people in the condos and CQ who are not DC residents but not enough to change numbers. And btw - why would I want to torture myself by being the rep - the meetings are painful enough to watch.

And I know just how hard it is to communicate or ask for something that is across ANC lines - like trying to make the 8th St/Va Ave/L St intersection safer - except for Norm its like pulling teeth to get a reply from the ANC rep in that little corner. Maybe w/in the same ANC it won't be bad to be isolated from my neighborhood is kinda weird.

Andrew in DC says: (9/24/11 9:22 AM)
@MJM Dunno. I'd have to ask Tyler.

Good point about them not all being DC residents though. I guess the only way to get the actual numbers would be to request it through BOEE.

On a lark I checked to see how many minors lived in Velocity/CHT/909 - 20. (Oddly, with girls beating boys at just over a 2:1 ratio)

JD says: (9/24/11 9:35 AM)
@MJM asks: But why are the non-living areas (parks and future development) all in larger Near-SE? That is a puzzling piece to me - it would be curious to see the reasoning.

The task force wanted to have as much of Near Southeast under one SMD as possible to keep things from changing very much, especially in light of all of the citizens complaints when there were concerns that Near Southeast would be split between two ANCs. But then when the ANC saw that that had been done in a way that took 6D07 away from Garber and created a 6D02 where both Garber and current commissioner Cara Shockley were going to be living in those boundaries, their amended map switched things around just enough so that David could still be commissioner of as much of the neighborhood as possible, including moving the nonpopulated area just north of the ballpark south of M back into David's 6D07, where the task force had had it in 6D02.

(Note that 6D03, the one now crossing South Capitol in the ANC's map, is the SMD of 6D chair Ron McBee.)

MJM says: (9/24/11 9:35 PM)
Scratch my back and I'll scratch your back? Glad we are focused on elected positions/areas but its DC - why should I be surprised :)

JD says: (9/25/11 1:17 AM)
I'll write about this "officially" on Sunday, but according to its web site the task force has approved for forwarding to Tommy Wells a map that is about 99% like their original draft 6D map released a few weeks ago: link

Their final maps are here: link

There are no changes to Near Southeast boundaries to the task force's boundary recommendations based on anything the ANC recommended with its map, above. (There appear to be a few minor changes in Southwest, along with putting Hains Point in 6D, split between 2 SMDs.)

Note that in the task force map the two blocks just north of the ballpark (Akridge's and Monument's territory) along with the most northwestern part of the Yards (where the NGA currently is, at 1st and M) go into the cross-South Capitol 6D02. This map also means that David Garber's block is not in the larger 6D07 that covers much of Near Southeast, but is in 6D02, as is current 6D02 commissioner Cara Shockley.

There will be a meeting on Monday night for the task force to take its final vote on its official report.

It's still then up to Tommy Wells to decide what boundaries to forward to the full council for a vote.

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