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Christmas Potluck

The Christmas Potluck was hosted by Anne and Bill Gribbin on Tuesday, 6 December. A short meeting was held (minutes are approved for release during the next business meeting).

Christmas Potluck

Christmas Potluck

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MPCA November Meeting

Michigan Park Citizens Association
8 November 2016
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:06 p.m.

The Pledge of Allegiance was made. The draft minutes for October’s meeting were accepted as corrected. Treasurer Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.

Christmas Fund. President Conrad solicited members for donations to the Christmas fund which goes to the purchase of gifts for the children of a needy family identified by the Principle of Bunker Hill Elementary.

Christmas Potluck.  Ms. Anne Gribbin offered to host the association’s annual Christmas Potluck at her home on 13th and Perry Streets NE.

DDOT Invitation.  Mr. Conrad is coordinating a special meeting involving EYA and DDOT to discuss transportation issues surrounding the proposed development of the Saint Joseph’s Seminary property.  MPCA has not received confirmation for use of Ross Auditorium. Mr. Conrad will check with Bertie Backus or the Library, both on South Dakota Ave, for a room to host the planned meeting.

Members Meeting

Members Meeting

D.C. Board of Zoning.  Ms. Kathleen Sutherland had attended the set-down meeting and gave a quick recap.  The set-down meeting is a public meeting but comments from the public are not received. The voting commissioners were not enthusiastic but voted to allow EYA’s application to move forward so that EYA may be added to the agenda for public meetings. Concerns of the commissioners included traffic density, building heights, building aesthetics, rooftop decks, and affordable (vs. market) rates.

Mr. David Conrad solicited members for their input to a draft of MPCA position regarding the proposed EYA development.  The draft was distributed and read. A discussion followed.

The meeting concluded at 09:15 p.m.

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MPCA October Meetings

Michigan Park Citizens Association
4 October 2016
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:15 p.m with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Treasurer Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.  The September minutes were approved. President Conrad publicly thanked ANC Commissioner John Feeley, who was in attendance, for the grant of $500 grant toward installation of a water meter and backfill preventer at the triangle park, 12th, Michigan & Shepherd Streets.

GUEST SPEAKER. Mr. Sylvester Bush spoke on behalf of the Coalition to Restore the D.C. Benefit Exclusion.   A law enacted by Congress in 1957 allowed retired military and civil servants to deduct $3,000 from their taxable pension income.  The benefit is enjoyed by residents in 36 other states. However, the benefit exclusion was repealed by the D.C. City Council in 2014 to help subsidize a new, lower tax bracket on income.  This change was recommended by a panel, the D.C. Tax Revision Commission, chaired by former Mayor Anthony Williams. The new law impacts all retired military, DC police, firefighters, teachers and DC civil servants. However, the new law was not widely reported or publicized.  As a result of the lack of transparency, many seniors did not know about that the pension exclusion had been repealed until they filed their 2015 tax returns. The Restore the Pension Benefit Exclusion encourages residents to write their councilmember, Mr. McDuffie, to express their support for reinstatement of the benefits exclusion.

WELCOME FLYER. Ms. Kathleen Sutherland edited the flyer intended for distribution to new residents welcoming them to the Michigan Park neighborhood.

D.C. FEDERATION OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS.  Mr. Paul Wood reported that he had attended the September meeting of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations at the invitation of President.  MPCA is a member of the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations and is represented by MPCA delegate, Ms. Elizabeth McGowen.  Both groups meet at 441 4th Street NE, near Judiciary Square. The invitation was in response to outreach by MCPA earlier in the year.  Mr. Wood addressed the Civic Federation members and described many of the issues MPCA shares with the adjoining neighborhood civic associations to include Brookland Civic Association, North Michigan Park Civic Association, and Queens Chapel Civic Association.  These issues included crime, traffic, and city services.  MPCA members were invited to attend the annual banquet of the Civic Federation planned for October 29, 2016 at the Navy Yard Banquet and Conference Center.

SAINT JOSEPH’S DEVELOPMENT. Members discussed the status of the planned development of the property surrounding the Saint Joseph’s Seminary. The Planned Urban Development (PUD) proposal was submitted in August, 2016.  A Set Down meeting, open to the public, is held by the DC Office of Zoning on October 17, 2016.  EYA will present during this meeting. Although open to the public, no public comments are accepted at this meeting.  Further meetings for public testimony will be scheduled for later this year or early 2017. Mr. Hayden Wetzel is nearing completion of an application for historic preservation of the Seminary building and easement.  ANC John Feeley noted that an attorney, Mr. Brown, stated at one of the ANC meetings that the land to the front of Saint Joseph’s will be set aside in perpetuity and that such a step is almost unheard of.  The traffic study is completed and is now a matter of record – the 1200 Varnum Street Comprehensive Traffic Review.  EYA should be invited along with DDOT to discuss at a scheduled meeting.

President Conrad suggested that MPCA’s Executive Committee draft a position about the proposed EYA development for consideration by members.  The draft should address four points: comprehensive plan and zoning, architectural designs, historic preservation, and traffic (to include parking and safety). President Conrad will take the lead with the executive committee.

JOHN FEELEY. ANC5B05, noted that public hearings have been extended for the planned Jamal garage near Brookland/CUA Metro Station.

ANC ELECTIONS. President David Conrad had invited all candidates for ANC office within the boundaries of Michigan Park to address the association members.  Four candidates participated: Charles T. Lockett, candidate for 5A02; Benjamin Mossberg, candidate for 5A02; Lionel Gaines, candidate for 5A03; and John Feeley current ANC and candidate for 5B05.  Mr. Lockett and Mr. Mossberg were the only two candidates present who were running for the same position, currently held by Mr. Grace Lewis.  Each of the candidates introduced themselves to the membership and answered questions. Mr. Locket is a life-time DC resident, Vietnam veteran and retired facilities manager. Mr. Mossberg is employed by the Department of State.  Mr. Gaines recently was hired by the Mayor’s Office. John Feeley, who is running unopposed, discussed the planned Jamal garage near Brookland/CUA Metro Station.  According to Mr. Feeley, the planned development does not have any backers, either financiers or potential business customers. The period for public hearings for the garage has been extended by the Office of Zoning.

Back to School night at Bunker Hill Elementary, Fall 2016. L to R (Ms. Carter, Principal Chuchemba, Mr. Wood).

Back to School night at Bunker Hill Elementary, Fall 2016. L to R (Ms. Carter, Principal Kuchemba, Mr. Wood).

BUNKER HILL ELEMENTARY.  Ms. Roxanne Carter noted that she and Mr. Paul Wood set up a table at the Bunker Hill Elementary back-to-school event in September 13, passing out school bags and, for parents, information about MPCA. Principal Kara Kuchemba was very welcoming of our participation.

The meeting concluded by 9:00 P.M.

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Howard University Development

Please see the attached presentation by the Urban Land Institute for the Howard University School of Divinity, at 14th and Taylor Streets NE. Please see SLIDE #46 for the Conceptual Site Plan of the proposed development on what is referred to as the Howard East Campus.

howard-east-campus-development

The presentation was distributed in anticipation of the next ANC 5B meeting on Wednesday, October 26 at 6:30 PM hosted at HSC Pediatric Center, 1731 Bunker Hill Road NE. The ULI presentation covers:

Introduction and Overview Context
Market Conditions
Value Creation
Implementation Approach
Development Strategies
Site Design
Community Engagement
Conclusion

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Minutes September 2016

Michigan Park Citizens Association
6 September 2016
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

President David Conrad opened the meeting at 7:08 p.m.

Treasurer Beulah Sutherland read the treasurer’s report.  Beulah highlighted the increase in membership and dues payments over the summer resulting from outreach efforts.

Opportunities for Cooperation with Neighboring Associations. President Conrad noted that that boundaries of several neighborhood civic associations overlap with that of the Michigan Park Citizens Association: North Michigan Park, Brookland, Queens Chapel and Woodridge. MPCA shares common area of concerns with these civic associations on several neighborhood issues. Members from North Michigan Park have attended our meetings addressing development along South Dakota Avenue. One example of common concern is the planned development of Howard University Divinity School, which may also impact Brookland, Queens Chapel and Woodridge. A recent example of cooperation was the joint meeting with Queens Chapel Civic Association hosting Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Membership Recruitment. Discussion followed on neighborhood outreach by MPCA.  Mr. Conrad passed out a leaflet drafted by Secretary Paul Wood for hand delivery throughout the neighborhood. The leaflet solicited membership payments and noted MPCA’s website and the neighborhood listserv.  Members discussed including a self-addressed, stamped envelope to improve the number of responses.  Mr. Ralph Bucksell noted that he included self-addressed, stamped envelopes with the leaflets he distributed. Members also discussed the neighborhood boundaries. Mr. Ralph Bucksell related that the city has changed his listed neighborhood on its property records.  Real estate boundaries are fluid and not reliable.  Mr. Conrad noted that an erroneous ABC map was copied into DC Planning documents. Kathleen Sutherland volunteered to edit the leaflet to incorporate suggestions from Ralph Bucksell and Roxanne Carter.

Web-site Development and On-line Pay Portal. President Conrad raised the possibility of adding an option on the MPCA website to enable electronic payments. Paypal is preferred as an on-line payment option.  Roxanne Carter moved to accept an electronic means of payment for regular membership dues of $10 plus $1 administrative fee.

Members discussed that donations are also received for the garden fund and the Christmas fund supporting a needy family. Terri Sally moved to allow donations via electronic means of payment without an administrative fee. Motion was carried.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC).  Mr. Conrad noted that the association’s boundaries include the boundaries of five Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) areas. With the coming November elections, members discussed inviting the ANC candidates to introduce themselves during the October’s membership meeting.  It was moved to invite the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) candidates running for election to the five open seats: 5A02, 5A03, 5B01, 5B02 and 5B05. Motion was passed.

EYA Planned Urban Development (PUD).  EYA, developers for the grounds of Saint Joseph Seminary, submitted a PUD on 9 August. Those residents who reside within 200 feet of the Saint Joseph Seminary property will receive notification of the public hearing. Mr. Conrad requested that he be informed by those residents and members of MPCA when they receive a notice. The newly revised zoning regulations became effective on the day of this meeting, Tuesday, 6 September. MPCA must apply for standing to testify at the public hearing. At the time of application, the applicant must state position for or against the development.  Concerns were expressed over the impact of possible parking from the development on 12th Street on the emergency vehicles approaching Providence Hospital. Kathleen Sutherland moved to begin the application process for standing before the D.C. Board of Zoning.  Motion was passed.

Department of Transportation (DDOT).  Members discussed inviting representatives from DDOT to a meeting along with EYA to address traffic concerns arising from the planned development. President Conrad also stated his intention to form a working group among interested neighbors on this matter.

Councilmember McDuffies’ Deputy Chief of Staff, Demetris Cheatham, was in attendance and stated that she could assist MPCA when reaching out to D.C. Government Agencies.

The meeting concluded at 08:55 p.m.

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What’s in the Name of Michigan Park

What’s in the Name of Michigan Park

Searches on internet based maps often result in conflicting information about neighborhood boundaries.  A recent search in the ADC map book, referencing dates from 2002,  Alexandria Drafting Co (http://www.adcmpas.com/) shows the neighborhoods of Michigan Park and North Michigan Park reversed, with Michigan Park located North of North Michigan Park.  This error was duplicated in a D.C. Office of Planning presentation, which was recognized by a Michigan Park resident and architect.  Another search on DC Atlas Plus (http://atlasplus.degis.dc.gov/) depicted North Michigan Park to the East of Michigan Park.  The writer’s own smart phone regularly defaults to either University Heights or Woodridge.

The city’s administrative boundaries are made without regard to the neighborhoods.  Michigan Park is divided among three police service areas (PSAs), 405, 503 and 504, from two Metropolitan Police Districts (MPD), 4th District and 5th District.  Five Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) represent areas of Michigan Park – 5A02, 5A03, 5B01, 5B02, and 5B05.  The ANC, like the policy districts, are also divided between two larger administrative boundaries, 4th and 5th Voting Districts.

In the summer of 2002, under the leadership of the Anthony A. Williams Administration, the Office of Planning developed a service concept focused on the individual neighborhoods called the Neighborhood Cluster.  Thirty-nine Neighborhood Cluster were identified within the District of Columbia in coordination with the neighborhood associations to provide a combined action plan for public safety, recreation and parks, and schools.  Michigan Park was identified with Neighborhood Cluster 20 along with North Michigan Park and University Heights.  Four neighborhood associations were involved – Michigan Park Citizens Association, North Michigan Park Civic Association, Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association, and Queens Chapel Civic Association.  Unfortunately, the neighborhood cluster concept did not continue under following Mayoral administrations.

Neighborhood Cluster 20

Neighborhood Cluster 20

Real estate listings can be equally confusing as the advertised subdivision (ADV) reflects marketing strategies and is separate from the listed Legal Subdivision (Legal).

Related to the neighborhood boundaries are the neighborhood associations of which there are two types, the citizens association and civic association, both represented by separate federations, the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations and the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations. Michigan Park Citizens Association represents Michigan Park and University Heights and is a member of the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations. Queens Chapel Civic Association, somewhat isolated from Michigan Park East of South Dakota and North of Michigan Park Avenues, amiably separated from Michigan Park Citizens Association in 1965 and is a member of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations.  Other neighborhood associations adjacent to or overlapping with Michigan Park Citizens Association are civic associations. These are North Michigan Park Civic Association, Woodridge Civic Association and Brookland Civic Association.

In the past, neighboring neighborhood associations have coordinated their boundaries. An example of this was described in an article of the Evening Star when representative of Michigan Park Citizens Association and Lamond Citizens Association (now Lamont-Riggs Citizens Association) met to discuss their boundaries. Since that time, much growth has occurred in the area, and Michigan Park and Lamond-Riggs is now separated by North Michigan Park.

EPSON MFP image

EPSON MFP image

One last note. On September 16, 2016, the Washington Post published an article online related to neighborhood areas. Entitled, “North End of Shaw: Will it Stick like NoMa or Flop like SoMo?” by Perry Stein, it described the invented, fluid and evolving neighborhood names. see http://wpo.st/URCz1.

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MPCA Special Meeting August 2016

Michigan Park Citizens Association
Special Meeting
9 August 2016
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

Members and neighbors of Michigan Park Citizens Association met at a special meeting called by President David Conrad to discuss the development of the property surrounding the Saint Joseph’s Seminary and, generally, the planned developments in the neighborhood. Representatives from the developer for Saint Joseph were in attendance.

Other planned developments within Michigan Park include the property of Howard University Divinity School near the corner of Taylor and 14th Streets and  a parking garage just North of the Brookland/CUA Metro Station. Another proposed development, though not within Michigan Park but which may impact the neighborhood is a planned housing development in North Michigan Park.

President Conrad exhibited maps, included below, to display the boundaries of Michigan Park Citizens Association, the ANC Single Member Districts overlapping with our historic neighborhood, the open vs built up properties and the current zoning.

The traditional boundaries of the Michigan Park Citizens Association are overlapped by the administrative boundaries of four Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners.

MPCA ANC-SMD

The built up of constructed dwellings, facilities and business are depicted in the following graphic along with the remaining open spaces of parks (dark green) and institutional land (light green).

MPCA Figure Ground + prime st small

Lastly is the newly revised zoning. The newly approved DCOZ Zoning Handbook may be found at, http://handbook.dcoz.dc.gov/

 

MPCA Zoning w Key

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Minutes June 2016

Michigan Park Citizens Association
7 June 2016
Ross Auditorium, Providence Hospital

The following DRAFT minutes are subject to review and approval during the next regularly scheduled meeting of the association membership.

Outgoing President Paul Wood opened the meeting and led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance. Paul then introduced and yielded the floor to Incoming President David Conrad.

The May meeting minutes were accepted.

Garden Committee. David recapped the efforts of recent years in plantings and maintenance of the triangle park (12th Street, Shepherd Street, & Michigan Avenue NE) by neighbors. These efforts have been hampered by the lack of a water source within the triangle park.  Lack of a water source remains a constraint. There currently exists a water meter installed by the city, but an estimated $3,000 is needed to install a water spigot.  EYA, contractor for the Saint Joseph Seminary development, has offered to pay the cost. David posed the question whether this proposal should be part of an amenities package for the St Joseph’s Seminary development. David noted that the downside of seeking other funding sources is that another planting season may pass before the required funds are raised. David noted other funding sources include a generous donation of $500.00 from the Greater Brookland Garden Club and possibly another $500.00 grant from the ANC 5B05 (Commissioner John Feeley).  Ms. Sherril Stultz suggested seeking funding from other groups, like 12th Street businesses, that do not have vested interest in the development. Ms. Gwendlyn Means noted other civic associations obtain funding from businesses. Consensus to continue seek additional funding sources.

Federation of Citizens Associations.  MCPA Delegate, Ms. Elizabeth McGowan, noted that the DC Housing Authority’s definition of affordable housing is 30% or less of net income.  Programs for affordable housing include the Federal government’s housing choice voucher program (Section 8) and DC’s inclusionary affordable housing (DC Zoning Commission).  Affordable housing remains a priority of Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Saint Joseph’s Seminary. A new notice to those residing within 200’ of the proposed development was sent. It noted that the Planned Urban Development (PUD) plan will be filed within 45 days. Therefore, the PUD will be field 11 July or later. Leadership will plan for a summer meeting to address the proposal once known.

Howard University Divinity School. Howard University has hired the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to study options for the development of the Howard University Divinity School property.  Toward that end, several members and officers of MCPA have been invited for interviews with ULI on June 21, 2016.

Meeting Venue. David asked members whether members found the current meeting place of Ross Auditorium in Providence Hospital convenient or wished to return to the auditorium at Bunker Hill Elementary.  The consensus was that MPCA will continue to meet in Ross Auditorium as coordination with Providence Hospital was easier than with DCPS.

Christmas Party 2016.  David posed the question whether the first Tuesday of December, our regularly membership meeting time, was too early to celebrate Christmas and perhaps the 2nd Tuesday of the month would be preferred. Discussion followed and members unanimously agreed to Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

September meeting.  A September meeting is optional, but MPCA will plan for a meeting so the meeting room is available if needed, especially given the anticipated ongoing development in the neighborhood.

Call Boxes. Ms. Gwendyln Means noted that four (4) call boxes still existed in the neighborhood and could be used for neighborhood art. They are on 14th and Varnum, 13th and Upshur, 12th and Varnum and 10th Street.

The meeting was adjourned by 9pm.

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June 11th Neighborhood Activities

June 11th was a particularly busy day for neighbors in Michigan Park.

HSC Spring Fair

HSC Spring Fair

The Family & Community Health Expo was held by the HSC Pediatric Center (Spring Fair 2016) at the triangle park near their property (Michigan Avenue, Bunker Hill, & 18th Street).  The event was open to all neighbors and included children’s rides as well as representatives from many health care and non-profit organizations. During the event, representatives of MPCA took turns manning an information table.

MPCA Spring Potluck

MPCA Spring Potluck

Following the June Fair, MPCA celebrated its Spring Potluck in the evening breezes. Graciously hosted by Bob and Lori Moller at their residence, the poolside venue provided a cool respite to the day’s sun.  The potluck is one of two held annually, the other being the Christmas celebration.

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