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Sunday, May 19, 2024

No Night Time Noise Enforcement from DOB, ANC 8F Hears

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8F (ANC 8F) met on Sept. 26. Commissioners Nic Wilson (8F01), Rick Murphree (8F02), Brian Strege (8F03), Edward Daniels (8F04), Clayton Rosenberg (8F05), were in attendance.

DC Dept. of Buildings (DOB) Acting Strategic Enforcement Administrator Keith Parsons briefed the commission on his agency’s  protocol for resolving noise complaints, especially those occurring at night.

The city advised residents, dealing with excessive nightlife noise, to call DOB for enforcement, Chair Daniels stated. However, DOB often schedules inspections for the following day, he pointed, after the issue has abated. The ANC wants DOB to establish a real-time, late-night response, the chair stated.

The agency investigates noise regulations within their service level agreement, which is 15 days, Parsons stated.

Could the agency conduct on demand night noise inspections? Chair Daniels asked. “It’s not a direction that the DOB is going to go.” Parsons demurred. The DOB mission is centered around building safety, Parsons said. “If it walks or drives or floats,” he said, “it’s not ours.”

The commission should ask the DC employees responding to assess sound levels with noise guns, Parsons suggested.

Prior to Oct. 1, 2022 when the former Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) was split into DOB and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP), DCRA participated in a multi-agency nightlife task force that was out on streets at night. It included staff from DCRA as well as Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA), Parsons stated.

In general, Parsons said, there was an understanding between the three agencies. DCRA dealt with noise in the day ABCA dealt with issues on premises with liquor licenses. MPD dealt with everyone else, he stated.

Since the split, DOB no longer participates in the task force, Parsons said. Building inspections are not possible at night and DOB lacks sufficient human and budget resources to establish a night shift solely to address noise, he stated.

The ANC voted unanimously to resolved to ask DOB to assess the need for a procedure that will allow for full-time, real-time noise inspection between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The resolution was sent to DOB, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Council.

Support for Affordable PUD

The ANC unanimously approved a letter to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DCHD) supporting a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application to build 127 affordable units at 101 Tingey St. SE.

Chris Marshall from The NRP Group and Babatunde Oloyede of the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO) described the project, which will occupy the privately-owned triangular plaza at that address and include market-rate retail at ground level as well as wrap-around service for tenants.

50 units will be offered at 30 percent Median Family Income (MFI) and 77 at 50 percent MFI. The developers sought general support for an application for District financing.

Marshall said the PUD application will be filed Sept. 27. The application for funding goes in on Oct. 2. The ANC supported the application but cited concerns with congestion on Tingey Street SE as well as the need to address concerns with parking, which is not currently a part of the concept.

Eighth Street Bus Project

District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Planner Andrew Grinberg briefed the commission on the Eighth St. SE Bus Priority Project. It is the second time the commission has discussed the project. Grinberg appeared at its June meeting.

The project aims to improve bus operations and safety on the street between East Capitol and M Streets SE. Design will begin in January 2024 with 30 percent designs expected in March and final designs in June. DDOT is committed to starting construction beginning in Fall 2024.

Two blocks of the project are in ANC 8F, while the bulk falls in ANC 6B. The project will remove about 50 parking spaces. The agency will remove approximately half to ensure curbside conditions match District regulations. The remainder will be removed to the offset a dedicated southbound bus lane, which allows for parking and streeteries. That lane ends at L Street, as most buses turn at M Street SE. A shorter northbound bus lane will run from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Grinberg stated.

The angled parking on the 500 block will be converted to parallel parking to create space for the bus. Existing streeteries will not be impacted. The biggest impact to curbside is due to improved safety features, Grinberg said. The 54 spots under the Virginia Avenue underpass will be preserved and lights are repaired. There will be bump outs at the bus stops including at L Street SE. Paint and flex posts will be installed.

DDOT is seeking for public input online until October 10. There was no vote on the matter.

Other Matters

The commission voted to support a new liquor license application and cooperative agreements for Tinette’s at 71 Potomac Ave. SE. They voted to drop a protest of the new liquor license application from El Rey at 79 Potomac Ave. SE prior to supporting a new cooperative agreement with that applicant. Finally, the commission supported a cooperative agreement with Maman at 1300 Yards Pl. SE.

The commission requested:

• DLCP and DOB respond to its July request that the agencies abate conditions at Onyx on First and revoke the business license of UIP Property Management;

• DDOT relocate the valet stand at the Thompson Hotel that is causing traffic build-up at Tingey Circle;

• DDOT respond to its March request to consider a change of direction on Vann Street SE southbound one way and Half Street SE one way northbound.

ANC 8F generally meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24 at DDOT Headquarters at 250 M St. SE. For more information, visit anc8f.org.  

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