President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher,

Eric Langenbacher.jpg

Now that the rain has stopped—it has been one of the wettest years on record—it is time to enjoy fall. It has certainly been a busy season thus far. On September 5, the BCA published the results of our survey on historic designation, which was open to responses for two months. Of the 343 people who participated, 76% were against and 24% were for historic designation. In light of this clear result, the BCA Board believes that the matter is decided and that no further action is warranted by the BCA. We also informed the National Trust for Historic Preservation that we would not accept the grant money for community outreach that they awarded in summer 2016. I would like to thank all the individuals who have helped inform the discussion and gather the information we put together over two-and-a-half years of discussion.

Please mark your calendars for the BCA Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 8, from 6:45–9:15 pm at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. On the agenda will be voting for the proposed 2019 slate of the Board of Directors, a review of BCA activities over the last year, and presentation of the proposed budget for next year. As in previous years, there will be presentations from community leaders, such as Jack Evans (Ward 2 Councilmember), Ed Solomon (ANC 2E01 representative), and Mayor Muriel Bowser, as well as from Georgetown University and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. We will focus especially on the police report—in light of recent concerns about crime—and have presentations from the District’s official in charge of rodent control and abatement as well as representatives from DPW and Parking Enforcement. Registration, voting, and refreshments take place from 6:15–6:45 pm.

Three other events coming up include the Halloween party on Sunday, October 28, from 2–4 pm at the Tot Lot (weather permitting; rain date is the following Sunday). This event is geared towards younger children and will involve games, snacks, prizes and, of course, costumes. On Saturday, November 3, our semi-annual community clean-up will take place. We always meet bright and early at the entrance to Ellington Field and then fan out across the neighborhood. Election Day is November 6 and our polling place is located at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Also, on November 6 at 10:30 am, Georgetown University has scheduled a private, curated tour for 25 Burleith residents of the newly opened Maria and Alberto de la Cruz Gallery at the corner of Prospect and 36th Streets. More details on all these events will be sent via email.

On September 13, ANC 2E and other stakeholders hosted a town hall on small cell facilities. In order to improve reception for current users and, more importantly, to prepare for 5G technology, various companies plan to install small, wireless communication facilities on poles throughout the District including ANC2E. Most of the planned poles will be in Georgetown, but there will be some in Burleith, especially around Duke Ellington and Hardy Middle School. Residents have raised concerns about the number of poles, locations, aesthetics, and health issues. At its October 1 meeting, ANC 2E passed a resolution asking for clearer procedures to address such concerns in our neighborhoods, but the District government and FCC are also involved. My two issues are that some folks in Georgetown want separate poles for this infrastructure, instead of piggy-backing on existing light poles, as well as the fact that each company wants to have their own, proprietary poles. I think the least the city could do is to require the firms to coordinate to minimize the impact. More information can be found at ANC 2E’s town hall on small cells website.

Work on green infrastructure in several Burleith alleys is scheduled to start on or around October 22 and be completed by March 2019. Officials will be notifying affected residents in a variety of ways. We will also share detailed information as it becomes available. On the issue of water, I have been asked to serve on DC Water’s Stakeholder Alliance. This group will discuss the various infrastructure initiatives and the fees associated with these projects. If you have concerns about anything water related, please do not hesitate to contact me at:

Construction at MedStar hospital is intensifying. There will be shifting traffic patterns around the expanded construction and staging areas. This will affect neighbors accessing the hospital complex, as well as the Leavey Center and other places on campus. We will continue to monitor traffic problems on Reservoir Road and look for remedies if needed. Certainly, the MedStar representatives should respond to community concerns at the annual meeting.

There have been some recent car and garage break-ins and thefts. Although the police and the university have added additional patrols, remember to always lock your car doors, back doors, and garages. If you see anything, please contact 911 immediately. I am intrigued by the DC program that Ed Solomon recently shared, which would subsidize the installation of security cameras especially in alleys. We are actively looking into this.

Parking is also once again a concern—particularly around Ellington School. We have asked for increased enforcement, but please let us know if you notice persistent issues with violators. I share many neighbors’ concerns about traffic, especially on 35th and 37th Streets. Speeding and incomplete stopping are out of control—I recently saw someone around 11 pm roar up 35th Street without even slowing down at any intersection. We will press the police and DDOT to do something.

I hope to see you at our up-coming events.