By Robert Russell, BCA Co-Recording Secretary
The November 9 annual meeting at Duke Ellington School of the Arts was called to order at 7 pm with approximately 60 BCA members and guests in attendance. Upon arrival and registration, BCA members were handed a ballot to elect the Board for 2018.
Host welcome: Tia Harris, chief executive officer of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, discussed the history and recent renovation of the school. She stressed the importance of the community becoming part of the school, welcoming the community to come to school events and performances and to participate in the future of the school.
State of Burleith: BCA president Eric Langenbacher welcomed the community and highlighted several BCA activities in 2017. (Click here for PDF of his presentation, which includes 2017 accomplishments.) The BCA and its board members participate in many outreach and liaison activities. There is extensive representation by the BCA at various community relations meetings. He spotlighted the work of the Burleith History group, of which two members published a book on Burleith this year, whose royalties are being donated to the community. Eric also thanked the Neighborhood Study Group for its research and engagement on Managing Change and expressed a desire for additional meetings and discussion. A review of the BCA financial figures showed we are in very good shape with approximately $17,000 in reserves.
The BCA presented community awards to the following individuals:
- Officer Antonial Atkins, MPD officer covering Burleith
- Cory Peterson, director, Georgetown University Office of Neighborhood Life
- John Snedden, owner of Rocklands Barbecue
- Davis Kennedy, publisher of the Current
- Ross Schipper and Dwane Starlin, co-authors of Burleith
Burleith Community Fund Update: Liane Jones summarized the strong financial stability of the BCF and announced an upcoming fundraising restaurant night at a local neighborhood restaurant.
State of Ward 2 and the District: Jack Evans, Ward 2 councilmember, suggested DC is now the most dynamic and successful city in the nation. The budget has been balanced for 20 years; the last two quarters the most successful in history. The SW and SE development projects are unparalleled and about 1,000 people a month are moving to the city. He named affordable housing and homeless issues as two main challenges, and noted the MPD is now 3,000 members strong and growing. Evans also discussed ongoing issues and improvements with Metro.
Richard Livingstone, Ward 2 liaison for Mayor Bowser, highlighted some of the Mayor’s successes on various neighborhood issues.
State of ANC-2E: Ed Solomon, ANC-2E commissioner, offered an update on items the ANC is working on, including:
- Parking concerns around Ellington, including during special events
- Residential parking permissions
- Sidewalk planned on Reservoir Road to/from the French Embassy
- Ongoing coordination with MedStar Georgetown Hospital renovation
- Georgetown Main Street Program to promote small business and other retail development and stability
Neighborhood Police Report: Sergeant Antoine and Lieutenant Steward noted that there has been an overall decrease in crime this year. They reminded residents to continue to lock vehicles and homes. A request was made from the audience to look at the traffic control situation during morning drop-off times at Ellington and Washington International School.
Georgetown University Office of Neighborhood Life: Chris Murphy, vice president for Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives, thanked Burleith for recognizing Cory Peterson and introduced Catherine Finnegan as the new community liaison. GU continues to work on getting rental property inspected for DCRA code violations and business license validations. SNAP now has supervisors at night and provides transportation to Foggy Bottom.
MedStar Georgetown Hospital Expansion: Michael Sachtleben, president, and Eric Fisher, managing director, Trammell Crow Co., shared details on the renovation and expansion of the hospital and plans to reduce the negative impact on the community. Highlights of their presentation included:
- Move to all private rooms, expanding ER and ICU
- Three levels of underground parking, including moving the loading dock underground (off Reservoir Road)
- Rooftop helipad capped at average 1.5 flights per day
- Largest lawn space on campus to be built over parking
- Construction workers to be shuttled in, including fines and terminations for offenses
- Noise concerns can be raised 24/7 but in general the construction is designed to be as quiet as possible because of the active patient population and academic setting
- Light pollution to be controlled by architectural design
Melinda M. Bolling, director, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), provided an overview of DCRA’s initiatives, including efforts to improve communication with citizens. They will be hiring more enforcement officers to enable them to roam as well as react to calls. DCRA is heavily involved in vacant property enforcement. Community members posed questions and Ms. Bolling provided the following insights:
- Inspections are conducted throughout the building process, upon completion of various stages
- If disputes arise due to neighbors’ construction, for example, damage caused by renovation, DCRA can provide permit and inspection records
- There are no current regulations on placement of portable toilets on a worksite
- Zoning variance concerns are handled through the DC Office of Zoning, not DCRA
Conclusion: BCA president Eric Langenbacher thanked all the speakers and the community members for a great evening and adjourned the meeting at approximately 9:30 pm.
BCA Annual Meeting Election Report Summary
59 (51 BCA members, 8 non-members) signed in at the meeting and voting members approved all 12 candidates by a large majority.
Officers: President Eric Langenbacher, Vice-President Nan Bell, Co-Recording Secretaries Robert Russell and Brian Garback, Corresponding Secretary Linda Brooks, Treasurer Francine Steininger
Non-officer Directors at Large: Ann Carper, Edith Cecil, Stacy Bernard Davis, Liane Jones, Kishan Putta, Kay Twomey