Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ward Six Proposal by Commissioner Ronneberg

Commissioner Drew Ronneberg (ANC 6A02) has requested the following Ward Six ANC proposal be published on the blog for comment and discussion.  Commissioner Ronneberg is NOT a member of the W6TF.  He has submitted this proposal to the W6TF for potential consideration.  Again, to be clear, the W6TF has not made any ANC boundary recommendations as we are still in the listening tour of the new Ward Six.  If others folks have any ANC boundary proposals they would like to have posted for discussion, send them to  That being said, here is a summary of Ronneberg's proposal:

1.  Expands the new Shaw ANC east to N. Capitol and south to Constitution
2.  Combines ANC 6A and 6C into a new ANC with an H Street focus
3.  Creates a New Hill East ANC (Rosedale, Kingman Park, Hill East)
4.  Expands ANC 6B north to Stanton Park and south to the baseball park
5.  Consolidates ANC 6D to the western and southwestern waterfronts

Here are the new proposed ANCs:
Red = New Shaw ANC, Total population: 14,185 (7 commissioners)
Orange = ANC 6A/6C Consolidation, Total population: 18,514 (9 commissioners)
Blue = Expanded ANC 6B, Total population: 18,149 (9 commissioners)

Green = New Hill East ANC Total population: 15,572 (8 commissioners)
Purple = Consolidated ANC 6D, Total population: 11,592 (6 commissioners)

Again, posted at Ronneberg's request, Joe Fengler


  1. I guess we fought for Hill East to be part of Capitol Hill only when it came to ward redistricting and not when it comes to ANC redistricting.

  2. The central section of W6, around Barrack's Row, EM, and north to Capitol Hill benefits greatly through its current association with Hill East in ANC6B. It would be a serious loss to diversity and connection with the whole Capitol Hill community if that light-blue ANC loses touch with its Hill East neighbors, in exchange for gaining neighborhoods north of East Capitol from 7th Street to the Senate buildings and Union Station neighborhoods.

  3. Really like the proposed ANC boundaries! Great work!

  4. I think this is a positive proposal. There are many concerns that are shared by Hill East, Rosedale and Kingman Park. I am always a little disappointed that some folks in Hill East don't want to be associated with Kingman Park and Rosedale, and I'm not sure where those thoughts stem from. However, we share so many concerns - from Reservation 13 to traffic on C Street to our shared metro station, Stadium Armory. Because of that I think there are many common interests and we could work together to make our neighborhoods great. I'm excited to be a part of these communities and all work together to make Ward 6/7 great.

  5. This proposal would eliminate the voice that Hill East, Rosedale and Kingman Park residents have, or should have in the case of KP, on Barracks Row/Eastern Market (for SE Hill East) and H Street NE (for Rosedale and Kingman Park). This plan disadvantages all three neighborhoods and is exactly what we all argued against during ward redistricting - a marginalized north-south ANC on the eastern end of Capitol Hill with no primary commercial corridor. Hill East, Rosedale and Kingman Park can continue to work together on issues re: Reservation 13 and RFK without losing our voice and connection to the rest of Capitol Hill.

  6. I have mixed feelings about this. One of my greatest misgiving is that the Hill East ANC is the third smallest ANC in terms of population size, which could be solved by adding a few blocks from the blue ANC to expand the Hill East ANC up to the edge of Lincoln Park or some other option. Just an idea.

    On the con side it will effectively eliminate the input of Rosedale into the fate of H St which is a large focus of Rosedale and it also dramatically reduces the racial and income diversity of the non Hill East ANCs. In the long term it is important that the H St Development focus not stop at 15th and that it continue down Benning Road. I wonder what the effect on development of Benning Road and the H St Trolly will be if we completely separate H St from Benning Road which is what would happen under this proposal. I've not reached a conclusion on this matter, just putting it on the table.

    On the pro side, the redistricting debate did show how Rosedale, Kingman Park and Hill can work together and share common interests/concerns.

    Thinking out loud, I think my misgiving could be reduced if some additional population is added to the Hill East ANC by expanding the border of the Hill East ANC a few blocks West either in the Northern area around 15th St and H or further south by Lincoln Park.

  7. I live in Hill East and it isn't that I don't want to be associated with Kingman Park and Rosedale, but I literally have never visited a business or spent any time in those neighborhoods. Yet I'm always on 8th street and Eastern Market. I'm sure Kingman Park and Rosedale are wonderful places, but the issues around the Eastern Market area more greatly effect my life.

    It looks to me as though Hill East is being cut out of ANC 6b so 6b can get the area around the Nationals Park. It appear to me to be some sort of "power grab" for those rich business areas.

    I'd be sad to see my representation on the ANC lost on matters concerning Barracks Row and Eastern Market. I hope Hill East stays in the same ANC as those areas.

  8. I read Brian's comments to mean that he believes an Eastern ANC would be marginalized without commercial corridors, and I tend agree. However, in this redistricting proposal, the Eastern ANC would have Benning Road, Eastern Pennsylvania Ave., 15th St. NE which will all see significant development over the next 10 years. And with the prospect of development on Reservation 13, I think there are plenty of development issues that would make the Eastern ANC a very active ANC.

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  10. As a resident of the Rosedale neighborhood, this is a worst case scenario. Residents of Rosedale and Kingman Park have MUCH more in common with this issues of fellow residents to the west, pointing down C street and H street than we do with our neighbors to the south. The businesses we patron are to the north, the parks we utilize are to the west and the transportation corridors we frequent head directly east and west. Although I can't speak for all residents of the area, those that I interact with spend very little time south of East Capitol street. Therefore, it it important to us to have a voice in the businesses we patron, and the green spaces we utilize in the current ANC6A. The commissioners proposal virtually segregates the less affluent neighborhoods of ward 6 to their own ANCs and gives us little to no say in the main businesses corridors in the area. It creates ANCs that lack diversity economically and in many other ways.

    As a resident of Rosedale, and an active citizen, I would fervently request that the committee consider the lives and orientation of Rosedale and Kingmen park residents towards the west and north, and work to include them in the decisions that effect their day to day activities.

    Thank you,

  11. It makes far more sense to have SW connected with the baseball stadium area (south of the freeway), Rosedale connected with H St NE and Hilleast connected with Barracks Row/Eastern Market. Rosedale and Hilleast are not similar in needs. Hilleast is serviced by two metro stations and Rosedale has none. Thus driving and parking are a bigger concern in Rosedale.

  12. I agree with Commissioner Flahaven on this. During Ward redistricting I went and lobbied Council members that Hill East was a critical part of not only our Ward but our ANC. My SMD (02) includes Eastern Market and the tip of Barracks Row. I think we benefit greatly from an ANC by having Hill East as a part of our whole.

    - As has been mentioned here, much of the population in Hill East look at Eastern Market / Barracks Row and the businesses along PA Ave as their business corridor. As such, we all have a shared interest in planning those together.

    - PA Ave is the key corridor that needs work. It needs a thoughtful strategy for connecting the Potomac Ave Metro and the Eastern Market Metro in to one corridor that extends in between, and East and West of those two focal points. That is work that is better done with the current configuration of ANC6B and not by slicing off Hill East.

    - From a transportation planning perspective, Hill East and the corridor along PA ave, the SE/SW freeway and the 11th street Bridge are all connected. Breaking the east end off and putting those transportation issues that impact our community in to an ANC that is dealing with completely different corridors could easily complicate and frustrate efforts on the transportation planning side.

    I am absolutely opposed to Hill East being separated out as proposed. The real question should be looking for the communities that feel a neighborhood connection to the EM/Barracks Row core of our community and figuring out how to strengthen that.

    Ivan Frishberg, ANC6B-02

  13. RobontheHill,

    If the proposed Eastern ANC was expanded to 14th St NE below Maryland Ave, it would pick up 2010 residents and an additional Commissioner for 9 total, but the numbers wouldn't work out for the Northern ANC. Some additional boundary tweaking would be necessary.

  14. The proposal makes a lot of sense to me. Of course, folks on the eastern edges of Ward 6 want to be included with the more successful commercial corridors to their west, but that doesn't mean it makes best sense for ANC lines to be drawn that way. Having the north side of the Hill and H Street split at 8th St, in particular makes little sense. By contrast, 15th St NE is a real dividing line between neighborhoods. East Capitol, on the other hand, is not.

    I would probably have left the stadium in 6D though and that would allow 6B to be pushed a bit further east than 11th St SE. And it seems like Staton Park should probably be part of the H Street ANC as well.

    I don't live in Hill East, but it seems to me it would benefit benefit from having its own ANC. I'd think the development over there might pick up a bit if it had a greater focus from its ANC.

  15. The cons for the proposal grow stronger the more I think and the more I read about this proposal. I especially agree with comments made by Brian and Laura.

    The Ronnenberg proposal does a good job of advancing the goal of his H St constituents to create a single ANC for H St but it does so at the expense of Hill East, Kingman Park and Rosedale -- i.e. it would isolate the most diverse and lowest income areas of W6 into its own ANC and cut us off from the most promising and exciting developments in W6. Not a good way to create an integrated W6.

    Under this proposal, the Northern/Orange ANC would have the H St development, the Eastern/Red ANC one would have the exploding development around the Shaw/Eckington Area, the central/Blue ANC would have Eastern Market and Barracks row while the purple/Southern ANC would have the Waterfront. What would the Hill East ANC have in terms of real ongoing development? Not much other than Jenkins row which is not much.
    The Hill East ANC would be

    Can Cody for someone else come up with proposal that basically keeps the current ANC borders with minor tinkering that adds Kingman Park and takes into account the changes on the west side of W6? I'll give it a try but would hope Cody or someone from the task force to help out.

  16. RonOnTheHill,
    The W6TF has not proposed any ANC boundary maps. We are scheduled to discuss potential ANC boundary maps on the following dates:

    August 3, Wed, 6:30pm. PUBLIC MEETING – Task Force Meeting to discuss first draft of ANC/SMD boundaries. Confirmed - Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library (lower level), 1630 7th Street, NW

    August 8, Mon, 6:30pm. PUBLIC MEETING. Task Force Meeting to propose first draft of ANC/SMD boundaries. Confirmed – Theater Church (formally The Peoples Church), 535 8th Street, SE

    As all the W6TF members volunteer their time, Cody has been gracious enough to build maps to post for discussion as long as the request is well defined. And even that, it may take a day or two for us to post these requested maps. I would encourage you use the tools made available on this blog and submit an alternative that doesn't require any "tinkering" from the W6TF. Once you start looking at streets and census blocks and population counts – it can get interesting very fast. Otherwise, we would be building exact maps on “vague” boarders. That in turn would cause more debate on what the requestor meant versus what was published. Commissioner Ronneberg submitted a very detailed map for us to reproduce to articulate exactly what his proposed boarders would be.

    Please accept this comment in the spirit that it is offered. My intent is not to be critical, but to explain the limits of our resources. Regards, Joe.

  17. I still think it's bizarre that the Convention Center could not be split, as the US Capitol Building campus is, between W2 & W6. There are communities on both sides that are influenced by what happens in and around the facility. Hopefully Mr Wells will have an assigned rep for the Convention Center Advisory Committee. Mr Evans sure did assume rights for the entire Mall where no on lives, when at least the Capitol Reflecting Pool looks like it would have fit more logically in the new Ward 6.

  18. Joe:

    You, Cody and the rest of the W6TF volunteers have and are doing an EXTRAORDINARY job of making this process as transparent as possible and creating a level playing field for all proposals. You are doing far more than other task forces Great work. Thanks. Really thanks.

    All I was seeking was some further guidance from Cody or you in order to produce a single map with 5 ANCs so that a clear alternative to the Ronnenberg proposal is on the table which I and many others on Hill East and Rosedale disagree with. That's why I emailed and called you privately -- I just want to chat with Cody for 5-10 minutes to get his guidance on how to produce a comparable map and I would gladly work as a backup for Cody using my limited map skills to Cody to produce other maps as need be.

    I've used the tools that are on the W6TF blog but am unable to produce a map comparable to the one produced for the Ronnenberg proposal that has the 5 ANCs in one map. I will gladly use the W6TF tools and produce one map for each proposed ANC and send all 5 ANC maps to you and Cody at which stage one of you can either produce a comparable map or give guidance on how to produce such a map.

    Again, kudos to you, Cody and the W6TF for your commitment to transparency and a level playing field.

  19. I second Rob's sentiments - this blog and your efforts to convey transparency are far above and beyond what I've come to expect in DC governance, and for that I truly thank you.

    Regarding an anonymous comment earlier: It makes little sense to have the baseball area connected to Southwest as the residents in that SMD don't predominantly interact with the SW waterfront (at present) the way they interact with the area directly north. Unifying the area east of S. Cap with the areas to its north and, possibly east, makes more sense.

    I think Laura makes a good point about the lack of commonalities between Rosedale/Kingman and the southern reaches of Hill East. I wonder if the way to fix that is to run a divide roughly along Penn and C NE, creating a center "wedge" shaped ANC which would give the Rosedale-Kingman voices back to the H-St business area, but provide the center-cut with direct voices on the Penn Corridor and the E. Mkt. The southern ANC would retain Barracks Row and still have access to development along Penn, as well as the whole emerging Yards areas.

    I think Ivan's going too far when he says 6B must remain as-is. Eleven councilmembers is nuts. There are other ways to skin this cat, and if it means two (smaller) ANCs need to coordinate closely on their main business thoroughfare, then so be it.

  20. I am working to develop an alternative map to the Ronnenberg proposal that I hope to post shortly which I tentatively call the Minimal Change Option. I will try to run it by some of the Hill East and Rosedale ANC commissioners. The verbal summary is very simple which is:

    * Roughly keep the borders of the existing ANCs with minor adjustments, if needed to meet population changes, to include Kingman Park and to take into account changes made on the West end of W6.

    PROS: Some of pros of the Minimal Change option is to minimize changes to existing ANCs and the intra-ANC alliances/networks (minimize disruptions), each ANC is linked to at least one thriving economic development area to which the community is naturally oriented/linked to and H St benefits from having two ANCs which will "compete" with each other.

    CONS: The only major con in my view (from the perspective of Ronnenberg and his H St constituents whom I respect) is that H St continues to have two ANCs which some on H St think makes for inconsistent permitting policies, etc. I know this is a valid objective, but I think it is outweighed by the pros of the Minimal Change proposal and the potential negative effect of Ronnenberg proposal on Hill East and Rosedale in terms of effectively delinking the most racially and economically diverse area of W6 from the more prosperous and developing areas.

  21. RobonTheHill,

    In my experience, ANCs have their greatest impact on zoning and liquor licenses -- issues where it is important to have a consistent approach on a commercial corridor. Would Barrack's Row would be a better off if it was split between 2 ANCs at F or G St SE? I believe such an approach would hurt Barrack's Row, just as it is currently hurting H St.

    As you mentioned, my proposal was driven by a desire to keep commercial corridors/focuses of development under one ANC. So the development focus of each ANC would roughly be

    Shaw ANC - Convention Center, Downtown
    H Street ANC - H Street
    6B - Barrack's Row, Eastern Market, Hine site redevelopment, Stadium
    SW ANC -- SW Waterfront
    Eastern ANC -- Reservation 13, RFK, Benning Road, 15th St, Eastern Penn Ave.

    Those are a lot of very interesting issues for an Eastern ANC to focus on. Alternatively, these issues would be split between 2 other ANCs that would be distracted by other issues.
    Although the Eastern part of Capitol Hill has not seen nearly as much development as Barrack's Row or H Street, but I believe the next 10 years will be very different.

    Finally, I should mention that I have great respect for the commissioners in the Eastern part of ANC 6A (and the 7D01 Commissioner) and believe that they would be fantastic commissioners in any Ward 6 ANC.

  22. RobonTheHill,
    Thanks for your initiative in developing an alternate proposal for discussion. I agree that a minimal change approach is ideal. If you would like any support or feedback in your development, I would love to help. (lauraebrogan[at]gmail[dot]com)

    After further thinking I realized that I have such an interest in the H street area as a Rosedale resident that even if this proposal or something like it where to be accepted, I may consider attending the H street ANC's meetings instead of (or in addition to) a new Hill East ANC. Obviously, it would be frustrating to not have a voice as a resident.

  23. In my view, Commissioner Ronnenberg's proposal in not in the best interests of Hill East (by Hilll East I mean the SE part of Capitol Hill outside the historic district boundaries). I have lived here over 20 years and am very active in community affairs. My neighbors' focus is in SE, and primarily to the west. For example, there is a lot of concern and discussion on our block about the Hine Project and Barracks Row, and Reservation 13. We identify with SE, and not northeast. It makes no sense to lop off our neighborhood and lump it with an area in northeast that we feel no connection to. This bad suggestion is just a reprise of the Ward 6 redistricting attempt to divide our neighbhood from Capitol Hill. We belong with Capitol Hill in SE, and to the west.

    Beth Purcell

    16th & E Sts SE

  24. Dear Commissioner Ronnenberg:

    Despite my growing substantive concerns about your proposal, I recognize it has a sound and compelling logic and that it reflects your commendable public service to work on behalf of your constituents and to help W6 as a whole. I will concede that even your weakest argument - i.e. that a Hill East ANC will actually enable us to better focus and generate development in the underdeveloped Eastern end of W6 in theory could be true.

    HOWEVER, economic development studies extensively document that one of the most effective ways to reduce income disparities, spread economic growth and stimulate racial integration is to create as economically and racially integrated neighborhoods as possible. The single ANC for H Street approach you call for will have the unintended effect of concentrating the lowest income and most diverse W6 communities of Rosedale, Hill East and Kingman Park into one ANC without any real and ongoing economic development projects. The Hill East development projects you cite are minor and/or simply dreams and in the case of Res 13 are no longer part of W6.

    Redistricting is not a science and certainly requires prioritizing competing goals. I agree H St businesses could benefit from having a single ANC, but the potential cost and negative effects of such an approach on income and racial integration in W6 is too high in my opinion. Furthermore, I believe that it would be easier for the 2 ANCs that will cover H St to find ways to work in a more harmonious and consistent basis via a Task Force or some other mechanism than it would be for a Hill East ANC to attract and generate economic development on its own. I am confident you and other ANC officers can find creative ways to more efficiently address H ST business concerns if you set your minds to it.

    Insofar as redistricting is a political and economic "experiment" that we will live with for 10 years I urge the W6TF to prioritize economic and racial integration and empowerment over business efficiency. This means a new ANC map that is very similar to what we have now and that residents and businesses know well.

    It was amazing how W6 came together with Wells help to save W6 from being further divided economically or racially, let's build on that spirit and create an ANC map that creates one unified and integrated W6.

    Rob Stephens

  25. Barracks Row would not be better off if it were split between two ANCs, but it is only 0.5 miles long from Pennsylvania Ave SE to M St SE.

    H Street NE is 1.4 miles from North Capitol to the Starburst intersection. With current boundaries, ANCs 6A and 6C each have more than a "Barracks Row" worth of H St NE.

    I don't think longer commercial corridors like H St NE, Benning Rd NE and Georgia Ave NW are appropriate for a single ANC. Although there is always some inconsistency in approaches between ANCs, I'm not sure that it would be better than the current situation to have commissioners representing areas more than a mile away weighing in on zoning and liquor licenses at the other end of the corridor instead of those with areas that are closer.

    With this plan, commissioners east of 15th St NE in Rosedale and Kingman Park would have no say on eastern H Street issues, despite being much closer than a commissioner representing NoMa and Near Northeast.

  26. The problem with dividing at South Capitol Street is that those of us who live just across from the baseball stadium (Carrollsburg Pl SW, Half Street SW, First Street SW) and are most impacted by the stadium and surrounding developments in the area (from traffic/noise/litter/construction/etc.) would have no voice in the proposed new ANC that has the stadium in it. I would love to hope for the new ANC to take in to consideration our voice even if we weren't in their SMD, but I don't believe that hope would become reality. And I can't see relying upon the ANCs to work together, nor relying upon the Councilmember to coordinate competing interests between the new ANCs. Whatever SMD we end up in, I hope it is with the development that most directly impacts us - the Baseball district. Perhaps put the few hundred of us east of First Street SW into the Ballpark District.