On Monday, the DC Council Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary will hold hearings on the “Neighborhood and Victims Rights Amendment Act of 2010.” Time is 11 a.m. in Room 123 of the John A. Wilson building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. If you want to provide testimony on the bill, the deadline to sign up is 5 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday); details on how to sign up are below the fold.
The crime bill was introduced by two Councilmembers—Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2)—and is supported by Mayor Adrian Fenty. Evans represents the huge bulk of the Dupont-Logan area while Graham represents a slice of the area with the U Street corridor. However, most of Graham’s district is further north and centered in Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. (Evans recently announced his candidacy for chairman of the DC Council in the September primary.)
Provisions of the Bill
According to Evans’ office, the bill does the following: Continue reading
Tonight, join exhibiting Hamiltonian Fellows Katherine Mann, Michael Enn Sirvet and Christian Benefiel for an artist talk at Hamiltonian Gallery at 1353 U Street NW; starts at 7:30pm. See ReadysetDC’s interview with Katherine Mann. Show through May 1.
View exhibition opening photos at VGDA Design Notes >
Vincent Gallegos is president of VGDA Design, a web design studio in Dupont Circle. He blogs about art, design and creative living while helping local businesses develop their online presence. You can visit his blog at or reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) announced that it would begin enforcing the 25% limit on the number of bars and restaurants allowed to operate in the Arts Overlay district of the 14th and U Streets NW area. The 25% figure is calculated on the store frontage of businesses in the district, not on the total number of establishments.
According to DCRA, “the 25% cap applies only to eating or drinking establishments located along the lots fronting on 14th Street (between slightly north of N Street and Florida Avenue) and U Street (between 9th and 15th Streets).”
The Arts Overlay was put in place in 1990 to make sure that art galleries and related businesses and groups would have a place to set up shop—and to prevent the area from becoming exclusively a club and restaurant strip. In 1990, though, the 14th and U Street area was much different from today: It was not particularly hip… and it certainly was not expensive.
Reaction and a Fix
Reaction from the MidCity Business Association and other organizations was swift: raise the percentage of street frontage for bars and restaurants to 50%. Councilmembers Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) favor the move. In fact, ANC 2F/Logan Circle formed a special Arts Overlay Committee last year and it reached the same conclusion: raise the limit to 40 to 50%.
Moreover ANC2F/Logan went on record earlier this week supporting the higher number. The headline of the ANC release is “ANC-2F Declares 14th Street ‘Open for Business’ ” and the opening graphs of the release read:
April 13, 2010 –The 14th Street corridor is an important engine for both economic development and arts institutions in the city, and requires the presence of responsible establishments that serve food and liquor. ANC-2F will not allow a poorly-designed and antiquated zoning rule to impede future development that benefits the entire community. Our neighborhood is open for business. The existing law fails to provide amenities that the neighborhood wants and that our Arts District needs. Based on extensive community input last year, ANC-2F asked the city to update this rule to allow restaurants and bars to occupy up to 50% of each zoning square in the Arts District.
City officials recognized that restaurants and clubs (often high-end ones) have played a huge role in the area’s retail development in the past decade; it seems to be a done deal that the 25% limit will be overturned within three months. (You can read the MidCity follow-up statement as well as the news releases from ANC2F and Evans online.)
There are fewer crimes of note to report this week. The one trend of note is the three robberies that were committed with guns in the past week, all in the U Street NW corridor area between New Hampshire Avenue and 17th Street. There were also two robberies in the 14th Street area.
Following are the crimes of note for the past week—robberies, assaults, burglaries and stolen autos—that occurred in the Dupont – Logan – U Street area. The area is covered primarily by Police Service Areas (PSAs) 208 and 307 with a small slice of the Borderstan area in PSA 305.
- Saturday, April 10, 8:40 p.m., Robbery with Gun, 1900 New Hampshire Avenue NW.
- Sunday, April 11, 7 p.m., Robbery, 1500 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW.
- Monday, April 12, 10:12 p.m., Robbery with Gun, 1700 block of Florida Avenue NW.
- Monday, April 12, 10:25 p.m., Robbery with Gun, 1300 block of U Street NW-Alley.
- Tuesday, April 6, 9:45 p.m., Burglary, 1400 block of R Street NW.
- April 6-7, Burglary, 1600 block of 14th Street NW.
- Saturday, April 10, 1:15 a.m., Sexual Assault, 1400 block of R Street NW.
- Saturday, April 10, 11 a.m., Sexual Abuse (of an Adult), 1200 block of 12th Street NW.
- Monday, April 12, 3:10 p.m., Stolen Auto, 1200 block of Florida Avenue NW-Alley.
Happy Wednesday, Borderstan. Cheer up: It’s Wednesday and at noon we begin the descent into the weekend.