Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to the Grind: ANC Meeting This Wednesday-ABRA Matters and ARTS Overlay Committee Report

We hope everyone has had a good summer, and while we can't believe that it's drawing to a close, the pace of neighborhood news right now tells us otherwise.

Back from vacation, we're proud to remind everyone that it's ANC meeting week. And since the ANC didn't meet this past month, this month's agenda is chock full of interesting tidbits. The full agenda can be found here, but I'll pull out some of the highlights below.

The ABRA matters are always fun, and this month we get no fewer than six of them. Some are rather innocuous--1409 Playbill is petitioning to add lunch hours, a good thing as far as we're concerned (the more businesses open during the daytime, the better), and the application for soon-to-arrive wine retailer Cork and Fork. But there are also a few that stand out.

The Ghana Cafe (pictured at left), set to relocate to 14th Street from Adams Morgan, will be before the ANC to begin work on a voluntary agreement for their operations. The sticking point? The 2 am weekday and 3 am weekend closing time. Yeah, we know Saint-Ex has those hours, but we can't all be Saint-Ex, can we? Also, rumors of live dancing abound. Be very afraid.

Next up, the rather interestingly named American Sacrifice Foundation. You may not be familiar with them, but you are likely familiar with the club that previously occupied the location now held by the Foundation--The Space. The Space's problems with its neighbors were well-documented here and elsewhere, so there's no need to rehash them. Suffice to say, expect the ANC to tread quite carefully here, seeing as how some people point to the lack of a voluntary agreement with The Space as one of the reasons the problems persisted for as long as they did.

Finally, Wednesday night may very well bring a conclusion to the longstanding saga of the voluntary agreement for the Vegas Lounge on P Street. Seems negotiations for this one were quite tense, with the Lounge bringing in their counsel and ANC2F commissioner Charles Reed making accusations of negotiating in bad faith. No one wants to see the Vegas Lounge go anywhere, so hopefully things will get wrapped up tomorrow evening.

In non-ABRA related happenings, Wednesday night will also mark the public unveiling of the zoning plan recommendations as put forth by the Arts Overlay Zoning Review Commission. Committee chair Andrea Doughty will be on hand to present the Committee's recommendations, which seek to guide and shape the direction of development of 14th and U streets during the coming years.

There has been much discussion recently over the future of the corridor--what kind of businesses should be here, do the arts have a future on 14th street, and so on. The Committee took an in-depth look at many of these issues during the course of a number of public meetings throughout the summer, and present the initial phase of their recommendations on Wednesday. The recommendations deal largely with zoning-related issues, and specifically look at the mix of retail (bars and restaurants, arts-related businesses, etc. and the types of developmental incentives that can be offered to projects that incorporate arts uses.

I am aiming to have a sneak preview of the Committee's recommendations up sometime tomorrow, but unfortunately can make no guarantees.

For those who miss Ms. Doughty's report on Wednesday evening, there will be a repeat performance at Thursday evenings ANC1B meeting.


Anonymous said...

"Be very afraid"


I hope I'm not interpreting this the way it was intended.

RST said...

Man, the ANC in this area is horrible. If they drive Vegas Lounge (one of the best, most authentic spots around) out, they should be immediately removed from power. That business has been around a long time- don't gentrify them out.

Also, Ghana Cafe is a longtime, great neighbor to those who have lived in or spent any time in Adams Morgan. It's a restaurant with bar hours. It's not a place where loud fratboys and thugs are gonna hangout. Let's not drive this poor restaurant out of the city because you won't give them an extra hour or two. It's next to a 7-Eleven for gosh sake!

I feel like these issues are almost surreal.

Anonymous said...

It's true. It's sad every restaurant that wants to operate on 14th Street must face the wrath of those who think a fun Tuesday night is attending a community meeting. The process in this city is out of hand, and I hope it improves.

Mr. 14th & You said...

Anon 9:25: I have no idea what you're interpreting there, but whatever it is I can guarantee that it's not how it was intended.

Anonymous said...

"The sticking point? The 2 am weekday and 3 am weekend closing time. Yeah, we know Saint-Ex has those hours, but we can't all be Saint-Ex, can we? Also, rumors of live dancing abound. Be very afraid."

I had the same thoughts that Anonymous 1 had - not saying anything was intended, but it just sounds bad.

And "we can't all be Saint-Ex, can we?" Really? They haven't even opened and you're basically telling them you don't think they can be good business residents.

Mr. 14th & You said...

It's called sarcasm guys.

Geeta said...

I loved Ghana Cafe and I really hope they can stay open so that I can finally walk to some great music and food.

Also, I'm writing to ask if you would be willing to add my new blog to your blogroll. I couldn't find an email address for you, so decided to post a comment. Here is it: