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March 2018 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes - Tuesday March 20, 2018
The meeting was held at the Gingras Center, 1419 V St NW, at 7 pm. 
Board members included Chris Young and Ken Yu. Other members included Mike Schwartz, Matt Abbruzzese, and Andre Denegri. Visitors included Tai Meah from the office of CM Nadeau, and Kent Boese, Ward 1 Council Candidate. A quorum was present.
Update on Madison Investments / Martha’s Table Redevelopment
BZA Case No. 19705
Chris Young provided an update on MHNA’s brief letter to the Board of Zoning Adjustment opposing the requested special exceptions, in particular relief from the 45-degree slope requirement over neighboring residential zones, following our discussion at the February meeting. He also provided an update about the BZA hearing, which was continued to April 11, after the April ANC 1B meeting. The BZA asked several informed technical questions, to which Madison Investments is expected to reply at the continued hearing. Topics included details about the “subsidy” for arts use, and the form of the “baseline” of right building used to develop comparative shadow studies, among others.
Mike Schwartz noted that the Historic Preservation Review Board hearing is set for Thursday March 22, and that the DC Preservation League wrote a strong opposition to the plan on historic preservation grounds.
ABRA License Renewals / Updates
Chris provided brief updates on Busboys and Poets, which is seeking 24-hour operations, and Mediterranean Spot, which is seeking to extend its hours.
Busboys and Poets
Busboys seeks to extend its open hours on Fridays and Saturdays to 24 hours. According to the ABRA placard, it would continue to close at 2 am Sundays through Thursdays.  It seeks to begin serving alcohol two hours earlier on Sunday (at 8 am) with no other changes in alcohol hours.  We have heard little concern about Busboys and Poets. That said, the Protest Petition Deadline is April 2, 2018; parties wishing to oppose the change must file petitions with ABRA by that date.
Mediterranean Spot
Mediterranean Spot has submitted a request for a change in hours and alcohol service from midnight to 2 am and 3 am, despite earlier statements that midnight would be late enough. There is a question whether ABC Board has the discretion to determine what constitutes a "substantial change" under DC Code 25-762 (13). We will monitor the ABRA web site to see what the Board decides.
Candidates Forum
Participants discussed a request for MHNA to co-sponsor a Ward 1 Candidates Forum scheduled for Thursday March 29 at Busboys and Poets, to be moderated by Tom Sherwood. The request includes $50 to help fund Spanish and sign language interpreters. Meeting participants expressed confidence it will be a good event. The Board will consult the treasurer, and consider sponsoring. [NB: following the meeting, the Board decided to sign on as a co-sponsor of the event.]
Annual Spring Beautification
We are still working to select a date. Earth Day 2018 is Sunday, April 22, so Saturday 4/21 or 4/28 would work well. Chris reached out to Washington Parks and People to see if we can coordinate participation in an Earth Day event in Meridian Hill Park, but hasn’t connected.
Kent Boese, Ward 1 Council Candidate
Kent Boese introduced himself and his history supporting communities in Ward 1. He prioritizes community involvement in decisions regarding the built environment and transportation to connect communities, not just the downtown core. He answered questions, and presented a hands-on approach to community involvement and governance.
Councilmember Nadeau Update
Tai noted several…. upcoming events, including Council budget oversight sessions, and constituent walks including one in ANC 1B scheduled for Monday April 9 at 14th and Girard Streets, and an annual public safety meeting April 25, 2018 at 6 – 8 pm at Banneker Recreation Center.

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