BACA meeting 3/7/05

The BACA (Bates Area Civic Association) meeting was held last night in the basement of Mt Sinai Baptist Church at about 7pm. The meeting was led by Mr. Jim Berry.

First speaker was Mr. Tashir Lee bringing up his project BZA Case No. 17298 regarding 1507 4th Street, NW. Mr. Lee and the architectural firm he has hired, Studio 27, would like to turn the 4 unit apartment Lee has purchased into a 6 unit condo. He needs 4 variances and is seeking approval from the community. Concern was expressed about the look of the design which is more modern and urban than the neighboring Victorian buildings. Also there were questions about parking as the building has 2 on street allowances and with the 3rd level Lee would like to add, would need to be excused from having to create a 3rd parking spot.

Second speakers were Mr. Tommy Wells, the District 3 Representative of the DC Board of education and Ms. Kathleen Patterson, Councilmember and Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation. They spoke about the conditions of the DC school buildings, maintenance vs capital improvements and the budget. Apparently there needs to be greater political will on the part of the community to improve the interiors of the school buildings.

Councilmember Orange popped by quickly to make a few announcements and left.

Mr. Wendell Butler representing the Community Academy Public Charter School, which is going into the Armstrong building at 1st and P, threw out many national statistics about schools before speaking about the Armstrong school building they bought in 2004. It has taken them 4 months to clean out the debris and junk left by the homeless and criminal element and now the building is secure. If they are lucky the building might open for school September 2006 or 2007. There is a waiting list (if I heard right).
Meeting continued past 9:15 when I left to get a late dinner.