Friday, September 16, 2011
ANC 6B Formal Recommendations
The ANC6B Commission thanks the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force for carrying out its demanding task efficiently and transparently. Its timely posting of current information set a high standard for similar efforts in the future.
ANC6B strongly supports, and requests the approval of, the “status quo” proposal for Commission and SMD boundaries adopted by the Task Force at its August 8, 2011 meeting. While understanding the difficulty of satisfying diverse and sometimes conflicting views, ANC6B offers these positions:
· While we are sympathetic to the recently expressed concerns of ANC6C that it feels it does not have sufficient Commissioners within its commission, we strongly reject ANC6C’s proposal to acquire a significant portion of the ANC6B area that has been part of our neighborhood and commission for many decades.
· ANC6B commissioners have received multiple informal options for SMD redistricting based on the ANC6C plan not yet approved by the Task Force. We reject each of the options presented as unworkable. We also note that the Task Force has gone outside the process it presented at its public meetings by sending formal positions to all the commissions for response and then using an informal process to make subsequent recommendations based on actions by some commissions before others have even had a chance to consider the original Task Force recommendations. This change in the process concerns us greatly and we strongly encourage the Task Force to adhere to the boundary options adopted through unanimous vote at its last meeting on August 8, 2011.
· The ANC 6C proposal would bring the southern border of ANC 6C down to Independence Avenue and extend that incursion as far east as 8th Street, effectively dividing the core of the Capitol Hill South neighborhood between two ANCs. The proximity of the proposed border to Eastern Market and Eastern Market Metro Plaza and all of the associated commercial and major development planning now underway for this area, especially with regards the Hine Jr. High School site, would mean that two ANCs would be fully vested in these issues, substantially complicating communications with the community, civic organizations and the city. ANC 6B strongly believes that it would be unwise and disruptive to divide the Capitol Hill South neighborhood between two ANCs.
· A plan similar to ANC6C’s proposal (the “Rice/Fengler” plan) was considered by the Task Force during its Wednesday, August 3 meeting. The plan received zero votes from Task Force members and was dismissed.
· As presented, the ANC6C revised plan would create many undue burdens for ANC6B and the area it represents. First, the revised plan would complicate the adjudication of key development issues in ANC6B, chiefly redevelopment of the Hine school and review of pending Eastern Market legislation. Second, the new boundary along Independence Avenue divides a significant traffic arterial between two Commissions. Dividing along East Capitol Street makes sense geographically, as it is easy to understand the quadrant boundaries, and managerially, as East Capitol Street is a relatively quiet street that presents few issues requiring joint management.
· ANC6A’s rebuttal of the Task Force recommendation to split Lincoln Park fails to acknowledge the many issues linked to the park that impact an equal number of residents living south of the park. These issues include traffic, pedestrian safety, signage, bike share and other park usage issues. When ANC6A reviews park related issues, they do not inform residents living south of the park, further they rarely coordinate evaluation of issues with ANC6B. For example, in May of 2011, ANC6A voted to endorse the placement of an expansion Capital Bikeshare station on a small traffic island at the southeast corner of the park. The parcel of land considered by ANC6A was not in their jurisdiction. Further, ANC6A did not coordinate the action with ANC6B or notify residents of ANC6B. Splitting Lincoln Park equitably between the two Commissions should force more cooperation and coordination in the future.
· ANC6B is very pleased that in its proposal the Task Force heeded the residents of Kingman Park, Hill East, and Rosedale and keeps these neighborhoods connected to their primary commercial corridors. It is also pleased that the Task Force has unified the eastern part of Independence Avenue, SE into one single member district and included St. Coletta of Greater Washington within the ANC6B boundaries.
Recommendations Pertaining to Informal 6B Working Group Questions
· ANC6B Commissioners received a series of questions relating to the specific boundaries contained in the Task Force draft that was presented to us. Our position responses to those questions are as follows:
§ Eastern Market Metro Plaza should have one commissioner.
§ Seward Square should have one commissioner.
§ Barracks Row can be well served by two commissioners.
§ The boundary along Massachusetts Avenue between 6B09 and 6B10 should be a straight line.
· Finally, ANC6B is especially grateful to the Task Force members who drew the ANC6B boundaries: Ken Jarboe, Donna Scheeder, Antonette Russell, and Tyler Merkeley.
Adopted at its publicly-noticed regular monthly meeting on September 13th by a vote of 8-1.
Attest: Andrew Jared Critchfield, Secretary