ANC Report November 4, 2015

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The Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2E) held its monthly meeting Nov. 2. The following is a selection of decisions by the commissioners at the meeting; other reports from this meeting are forthcoming.

DC Water Green Infrastructure Plans Previewed

The commission announced DC Water’s plans to install green infrastructure, which will involve utility cuts on Georgetown streets. Inspections of planned work locations will begin this month. The $30-million project to absorb storm water before it goes into the main sewer system is slated to run from 2017 through 2019.

Misuse of GroupMe App Decried

The commission offered its opinion of a local GroupMe app, shut down by its host, the Georgetown Business Improvement District, on Oct. 18: “A recent attempt by the Georgetown BID to use social media to deter shoplifting was used improperly and hurtfully by some retail employees in ways the BID did not intend, in a manner that is completely inconsistent with Georgetown’s welcoming and respectful spirit. We support the creative use of technology to bring the Georgetown business community together. However, the Georgetown BID and the community as a whole must ensure that whatever replaces this app is never used as a tool for profiling or discrimination. “

Starbucks Pulls Liquor License Application

Because of community concerns and its closeness to a school, Starbucks Coffee at 1810 Wisconsin Ave. NW withdrew its wine and beer license application, a corporate representative announced at the meeting.

Thumbs Down to Dean & Deluca, Kouzina; ShopHouse O.K.

Commissioners protested the liquor license application by Dean & Deluca at 3276 M St. NW. The fancy food store has a plan for live entertainment and outdoor seating (the side next to the store is used by customers now), as well as 10 new seats in the wine department in the back of the store, which sells beer and wine but cannot allow consumption on the premises.

The proposed Kouzina Authentic Greek Restaurant at 3235 Prospect St. NW, asking for 50 outdoor seats, got a quick thumbs-down. However, plans by ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen at 2805 M St. NW to sell beer and wine got the go-ahead.

Tudor Place’s Leslie Buhler Saluted

The commission presented a community commendation to Leslie Buhler:

“In recognition of her steady hand and creative leadership as the executive director of Tudor Place, ANC 2E commends Leslie Buhler. In the 15 years that Leslie has charted the course for Tudor Place her intelligence, her expertise, her diplomacy and her resilience have combined to elevate the value of one of our great historic treasures for Georgetown, for the city of Washington, and for the nation.

“She raised the level of scholarship and interpretation of the Tudor Place collection, maintaining the highest standards with significant attention to the preservation and conservation of the treasures of Tudor Place. Leslie’s leadership has brought national recognition and distinction to this beloved property. With her open, welcoming and inclusive manner, Leslie has won the loyalty and appreciation of the Tudor Place neighbors and the entire Georgetown community. For all this, we owe our gratitude and our commendation to Leslie Buhler for her outstanding service and contribution to our neighborhood and the city.”

Via Umbria Gets Settlement Agreement; Concerns Remain

A settlement agreement was approved for Via Umbria, an Italian houseware and food store at 1525 Wisconsin Ave. NW, however neighbors remain concerned about the use of a backyard patio. Per the agreement, the owner would not consider use of the patio until April 2016, if at all. Via Umbria intends to serve small meals, such as sandwiches, for consumption on its first floor (26 seats) second floor (20 seats) and has applied for a Class C liquor license. There will be private dinners and cooking demonstrations in the second floor kitchen, but — again per the agreement — the space cannot be rented out. Closing hour will be 11:30 p.m. Neighbors Sue Rutledge and Larry Houseman, whose homes are behind the business on 32nd Street, spoke in opposition to the ANC’s approval of Via Umbria’s application.

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