Friday, August 5, 2011

Open Microphone: Should NoMa be placed in 6E or 6C?

Again, lots of emails sent to with views on where to associate the NoMa community. Let's see if we can't continue the discussion under this post. Regards, Joe.


  1. Near Northeast (in 6C) is intertwined with NoMa (at least the portions in NE - there is a little stub into NW). Any proposal which splits 6E and 6C at the tracks wouldn't be shifting NoMa into 6E since NoMa extends all the way to 4th NE - two blocks past the tracks.

    The tracks are definitely not a barrier or border at ground level. There are several underpasses (and a bridge), wide sidewalks, buildings right against the tracks, and a new elevated bike path (the MBT) running along its length.

    There are activities and meeting places on both sides of the tracks, and all of us are hugely affected by activities throughout the area.

    Please don't split 6E and 6C at the tracks, especially North of H Street. It wouldn't place NoMa in 6E. Instead, it would just needlessly divide our neighborhood.

  2. Haven't we had enough "other side of the tracks" divisions in our collective experience to know instinctively that using them as an arbitrary boundary is a bad idea? Let's not needlessly create a division between an historic neighborhood and a newly developing one.

    Please do not make the train tracks a barrier in our area. Quite the opposite the Metro station and NoMa development should be at the heart/center of our growing community.

  3. Noma has never had any hard boundaries. I remember when it used to be called NoMan's Land. Please define the hard boundaries of NoMa that are being proposed.

    -Tip Kendrick

  4. I agree with Tony. Don't split the NOMA neighborhood at the tracks just because the tracks are there. As much as I'd like to increase the synergy along North Capitol Street between NorthwestOne and NOMA, I don't want it done at the expense of NOMA. I feel confident that the 6E Commissioner that will have NorthwestOne and the Commissioner representing NOMA will be able to work together to build that synergy across North Capitol Street. The new ANC 6E and ANC 6C will need to work together on a number of projects - both will be affected ANCs for North Capitol Street development.

  5. One thing I'm curious about is if the Task Force has heard from people who live in NOMA. (I dont mean the over to 4th st NE NOMA, I mean the area in question between the tracks and North Capitol.

    Has the Task Force also heard from any Neighborhood Associations in or adjacent to NOMA?

    Much of the area east of the tracks is small rowhouses if I am not mistaken and this is where current representation is drawn from. I am from mt Vernon Square next to the Triangle. I do live in a rowhouse but my board Mt Vernon Square Neighborhood Association represents the MVS historic district and Mt Vernon Triangle. Our board is spread across the houses, apartment buildings and large condo buildings and most of our residents are in those large buildings. Im not saying one side or type or whatever would have more weight than the other but perhaps to make the argument for shared influence and relevance. The traffic is already flowing from both the east and west & its only going to increase.

    Also and sorry for the ramble-y-ness...These ANC boundaries certainly wont create any barriers. Only a fraction of the population really pays attention to this stuff and it's not like actual fences are being put up. Its just representation.

  6. Oh I know I said it before but I'll say it again in this relevant post, I support NOMA, at least south of K or H west of the tracks going to 6E. I think its a good compromise.

  7. let me say it simply: everything west of 4th St NE should be in 6E.

  8. ps i am not a member or officer of any of these special interest groups. i just tell it like it is.

    richard 446

  9. si, there is no such thing as "between the tracks and North Capitol" NoMa and the "over to 4th St NE NoMa." It's the same neighborhood, and except for some outlying parcels in NW (closer to MVS) and North of New York (a part of Eckington in Ward 5), NoMa is an integral part of Near Northeast. There are actually a few rowhouses still on the West side (unfortunately in Ward 5) and there are giant apartment buildings (and development sites) on the East side.

    For now, none of the residents in the large apartment buildings have been there for even a year, but already many residents of the Loree Grand and Flats 130 are involved in the neighborhood, and attend meetings and events held by the Capitol Hill North Neighborhood Association (which endorsed changing the NY Ave Metro name to NoMa-Gallaudet, and of which I'm a board member).

    We shop together at Harris Teeter, watch movies at Summer Screen, and collectively are frustrated at our lack of parks and other amenities. As others have said, the tracks are an arbitrary boundary that doesn't reflect our neighborhood identity. And as First Street NE is NoMa's main street, I would certainly prefer it stays in one ANC down to at least H Street to help encourage more active uses in the awful K-H superblock.

    I support 6E gaining a voice in Union Station development by adding the Mass-H wedge because it is a central feature of Ward 6, but the closest residents to Burnham Place, by far, will be in 6C - about 200 feet away. This is true under any boundary scenario. The closest 6E residents will be on the other side of a couple dozen office buildings.

    That said, I've enjoyed having Mount Vernon Square and NW One a part of 6C, and my preference (if we can't join with the rest of H Street) would have been to maintain a larger 6C which still included these areas.

  10. @Tony - I would concede that Burnham Place is more of a central feature of NoMA and 6C.

    But the I-395 Air-rights are not near any of the NoMA or Capitol Hill 6C residents. So I would hope you understand why this area should be assigned to ANC 6E. The I-395 development most impacts the Mount Vernon Triangle (in 6E) and Penn Quarter (Ward 2 ANC). Adding 6C just puts a third ANC in the mix unnecessarily...

  11. @Paul - I definitely agree that the 395 air rights project affects 6E the most, although if 6C adds the blocks South of Mass, then all three ANCs would have joint standing. Ideally, 6C could add some population from SE, or 6C can have smaller SMDs, so that all of NW Ward 6 would be in 6E.

  12. and finally, i would like to say:

    all of NOMA should be in 6E.

  13. When I first read the proposed ANC boundaries, I was certain that my 66 year old eyes were playing tricks on me. So I walked away for several days, hoping that my vision would somehow improve. Turns out that my eyes were fine and dandy. Yup, I was really seeing one ANC (6B) twice as large as another (6C).

    I understand that no matter how the new ANC lines are drawn some people will not be happy. I really do understand that. And I understand that I might be one of those “unhappies”. For example, had the W6TF continued the present cleaving of the Capitol Hill Community down the middle into two ANC’s, I would have been unhappy. Had the W6TF failed to bring H Street back together into a single ANC, I would have been unhappy. Or, had the Task Force created an unworkably small ANC, I would have been unhappy.

    But the fact that the W6TF did all three in one ANC is truly mystifying. How in the name of all that is holy, can the Task Force justify the logic of having ANC 6C consist of five SMDs while the immediately abutting ANC – 6B – has ten? Is it simply because 6B, in particular Hill East, screamed louder in the listening meetings? Or, has the Task Force been swayed by the long-standing notion of those who live in close-in Southeast that “the real Capitol Hill” lies south of East Capitol Street and is centered around Eastern Market? Or, is the Task Force bowing to the local political cliques who themselves happen to live in the Real Capitol Hill? Methinks it is all of these.

    The above "snarkiness" aside, let me state here and now that a five SMD ANC6C will be a feast for developers and will do little to protect the northern half of the Capitol Hill Historic District. What happens when there is a major BZA or Zoning Commission case and one of 6C’s SMDs is vacant because a commissioner has resigned, one is on travel and another is sick. Well, the developer gets a pass because the ANC has no quorum.

    Also, much of the work of our existing ANCs is done in committees. 6C has a well developed and effective committee system for zoning, public space and liquor license cases. Most of 6Cs committees are populated with citizen members who expand community involvement in the whole ANC process and bring much needed expertise to the ANC. Why even have committees with just a five person ANC?

    A five person ANC in this specific area is a horrible, horrible idea. If the W6TF is not going to do the right thing and put the Historic District back together in a single ANC, then let’s go back to four ANCs and combine the proposed 6E and 6C into a single ANC. Yeah, 12 SMDs is large but there have been ANCs with 13 in the past.

    Or, how about this idea? Expand the proposed 6C south to say Independence Avenue (just as logical of a “geographic barrier” as East Capitol Street) and over to Eighth Street to pick up enough population to have at least a six or seven member ANC.

  14. Of course 6B got what it wanted because its bigger, and it didn't even have to scream louder, because it already has more voices, and that's why leveling the playing field with size is so important. It doesn't have to be an official edict to be a worthy goal to attempt to create ANCs of equal size.
    Those of us who were participating in their ANCs in the 1990s will remember that the result of the redistricting after the 2000 census, was that 6B, whiter and wealthier than 6A, and home to our city councilmembers as far back as Harold Brazil, was rewarded for good behavior while A was spanked for brawling, and cleaved into 2 to separate some of the hotheads, with one expelled to Ward 7. Of course B wants to protect its prized position as teacher's pet. Would anybody think it was a good idea to chop B into two along 8th Street? Well, that is what was done to A, and it makes no more sense in NE than it does in SE. We could just as easily divide SE into two, and reunite NE into one huge ANC from North Capitol to the river, as it was prior to the 2000 census.
    Those days over, and its time to correct the mistakes of the past, and it is understandable that there is no appetite for that among those who did not suffer from the mistakes of the past.
    The one good thing about the current boundaries being arbitrary is that there is no good reason to cling to them. Neither East Capitol nor 8th Street is a neighborhood boundary; neither divides or defines anything. So there is no harm in shifting them. If the idea is basically to cling to the status quo, then at least make an attempt to achieve a degree of size parity by moving the north/south dividing line from East Capitol to A SE or Independence, and the east/west dividing line from 8th Street to 9th or 10th.
    Otherwise the overweight bully is always going to win out when the neighborhoods have to compete for attention/voice/preference, just as they are now.
    Thank you very much--
    Bobbi Krengel

  15. have constituents affected that do not attend meetings been informed? seniors that are not able to come out or are then just a statistic?

  16. politics as usual still go on......

  17. Ms. Krengel is right. The boundary between ANC 6B and 6C should be moved south to equalize the ANCs. Let the dividing line move south to Marion Park or the freeway. That will help balance the population of the two ANCs.

    6B is already the largest, and that results in their terribly long meetings.

    They are currently the most inadequate ANC in expertise about City functions and the ability to deal amicably with city agencies and even other ANCs.

    Now they want to get even larger and take from the current boundaries of other ANCs, and the task force incredibly is considering it.

    Just because they squawk the loudest doesn't mean they should be rewarded.