City Paper Widget

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jackhammers on 19th Street: Let's Take This Outside

Bill Cate of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT) came to the July 10 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle to seek extended hours to jackhammer. Cate is the supervisor of a renovation project of an office building at 1220 19th Street NW. The building is located between M and N Streets, and is home of I Ricchi restaurant. The Palm Restaurant is across the street.

1220 19th Street (Google Street View)
WRIT sought ANC2B's endorsement on a request to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). The waiver Cate sought included permission to work from 10am to 6pm on Sunday, and to do "quiet work" (i.e., staging, not jackhammering) starting at 5am. 

The project will beautify the front courtyard and install DC-standard pavers on the sidewalk. It is scheduled to take four months of daily work, seven days a week. The project has four phases, Cate said.

"Each phase has demolition activities," he told the ANC, meaning, many hours of jackhammering

The project is the ANC2B district 06. The Commissioner is Mike Silverstein.

"My concern is the Jefferson Row Condominium," Silverstein told Cate. Jefferson Row Condominium is located a stone's throw away at 1828 - 1834 Jefferson Place.

Silverstein told Cate he was against jackhammering at 7am on weekdays, which is the start time normally allowed under law.

At this point, Silverstein suggested that he and Cate negotiate outside, instead of in public in front of approximately 100 people who were attending the ANC meeting for other reasons. Silverstein and Cate left the room.

Silverstein's daytime job is Ward Two representative on DC's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. Since participation in liquor license related matters could present a conflict of interest, he routinely recuses from the portions of ANC meetings that deal with these matters.

ANC2B then made a virtue of a necessity by jumping ahead to the liquor license related portion of the agenda, since Silverstein was already gone. They dealt with several routine matters over the next half-hour or so until Silverstein returned.

Silverstein told the ANC he had hammered out a deal with Cate. The deal would allow "quiet work" starting at 5am weekdays, but no jackhammering until 7:30am. The ANC would also support work of all kinds between the hours of 9am and 5pm Saturday, and 11am and 7pm Sunday.

All commissioners in attendance voted to support the proposal as presented by Silverstein.

See the letter ANC2B sent in support of the agreement with WRIT here.

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