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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Pepco Land Sale

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 7D met Jan. 9 via Zoom. Commissioners Siraaj Hasan (7D01), Wendell Felder (7D03, chair), Commissioner Mike Davis (7D04), Ebony Payne (7D05), Marc Friend (7D06), Brett Astmann (7D07, treasurer), Brian Alcorn (7D08, vice chair), Ashley Schapitl (7D09), secretary) and Brianne Eby-Stockert (7D10) were in attendance. Single Member District 7D02 remains vacant.

Pepco’s has sold 19 acres of land within its 77-acre Benning Road SE property, which was home to a large power plant. The land was sold to ProLogis, a logistics real estate and supply chain logistics company, for $10.25 million in December. Logistics real estate involves the rental and sale of warehouses, distribution centres, flexible spaces and other industrial buildings with storage facilities. The site requires significant environmental remediation.

The sale came as a surprise to many members of the community. Commissioners expressed concern about the site’s future.

“There are many uses for that particular area of land that we thought we were well engaged with Pepco on,” Commissioner Hasan noted. “To hear that there’s been some mysterious sale of that land is disheartening to say the least.”

“A lot of residents in this community are extremely frustrated,” echoed commission Chair Felder who noted the multitude of possible community-focused uses for the space after clean-up efforts have commenced.

“We want the same things and the same quality of amenities as other parts of the District,” Felder said. “We’re strongly opposed to this.”

The commission voted to send a letter to ProLogis and Pepco Holdings expressing concern about the sale, to “stimulate engagement and discussions” with both companies on a community-focused use of the land and to emphasize the importance of the environmental remediation of the property.

Later in the meeting, Senior Manager of Environmental Management for Pepco Holdings Jamie Hill briefed the commission on Pepco’s plans for a Benning Road Facility Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study. The project will investigate the site conditions, including the health and environmental impacts of current conditions, determine whether historical operations have contributed to the contamination of river sentiments and establish options for addressing contamination. The public comment period began on Dec. 4 and will remain open through Jan. 23. Pepco plans to address public comments and the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) will subsequently select cleanup action. Visit doee.dc.gov/node/110472 for more information and to submit a comment.

Other Matters

Tony Dugger, Adjudication Ombudsman at DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), briefed the commission about the traffic ticket adjudication process. The agency, created in 2014, works to inform citizens of their adjudication rights and assist them through the processes of dispute, reconsideration and appeal through the DC Superior Court.

Metropolitan Police Department Captain Kathleen Monahan briefed the commission about the uptick in crime reported for 2023. Monahan said the department is concentrating efforts on assaults, robberies and stolen cars. She encouraged owners of Hyundai and Kia cars to utilize steering wheel clubs to prevent theft of these vehicles.

The Commission Voted To:

• re-elect current commission officers to serve through 2024.

• send a letter of support to the zoning commission for the proposed zoning map amendment to redesignate (261 17th St. SE) from an RF-1 zone to an RA-2 zone in order to facilitate the development of “much needed” housing in the neighborhood and to promote “inclusive home ownership.”

• send a letter of support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for special exception zoning relief for the rear yard and lot occupancy requirements for a residential property at 1635 C St. SE.

• send a letter to the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) requesting prioritization of parking enforcement around Rosedale Recreation Center.

• send a letter to the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) requesting augmented no parking signage on the 600 Block of 18th Place NE and 1800 Block of Rosedale Street NE.

• send a letter to DDOT requesting a study and/or agency recommendations for improving motor vehicle circulation, parking and emergency vehicle access around the Rosedale Recreation Center, Rosedale Library and Monument Academy.

• appoint Commissioner Felder to the DPW Benning Road Zero Waste Campus Community Advisory Team.

ANC 7D will meet next on Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. You can learn more about the commission and register to attend at 7d0761.wixsite.com/anc7d-1.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.  

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