Saturday, November 10, 2007

November 5C-02 Meeting Advances O Street-Hanover Place Partnership

This past Thursday, I held my monthly single-member-district meeting at St. Martin's Church jointly with the NW PSA 501 meeting. Eleven residents from my district attended, which is about twice the normal number of people at my meetings.

The meeting began with a presentation by representatives from Meridian North Capitol, which seeks to build a 29-unit high-end condo complex at the corner of Hanover Place N.W. and North Capitol Street (investor Howard University Professor Charles Murphy also attended). The developer need community support for the closure of an alley off Hanover (the alley is currently not wide enough to accommodate cars).

No residents expressed concern about the alley closure. Instead, although the project calls for the building of an underground parking garage, several residents voiced strong concerns about what impact the development would have on congestion and parking. Residents already find it difficult to find parking on Hanover. I asked the representatives to what degree they could accommodate these concerns, and they stressed that planning was in the early stages. ANC 5C will vote on the alley closure at its regularly scheduled meeting on November 20.

At 7:40 p.m., the PSA 501 portion of the meeting began. By this point, the meeting had grown to 18 people, plus police officers. The new PSA 501 captain, Capt. Edward Delgado began, and Lt. White and Lt. Wright made presentations. Residents were extremely involved in a discussion.

It is particularly important that the crime situation on O Street N.W. (given a recent homicide one evening right in front of SOME) and the continuing youth issues on Hanover Place be addressed, so at one point I steered the discussion in that direction. Mayor Adrian Fenty's representative, Clinton LeSueur, took the floor and proposed a strategy similar to the one that had been proposed elsewhere in the neighborhood: take action to raise the bar by identifying all nuisance properties, name the troublemakers, fix broken streetlights, and board up abandoned properties. Residents will be responding to Clinton's survey within the week, and I anticipate the these issues will be handled quickly.

I also spoke with MPD's Fayette Vaughn-Lee about reviving the District's Neighborhood Watch program, which seems to have languished despite its grand re-opening a year ago.

(Today's blogging location: Big Bear Cafe. 14 patrons were present at the time Big Bear closed around 6 p.m. tonight.)

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