Public Hearing Today on Southeast BID

Posted July 6, 2007 at 2:43pm

Capitol Hill residents will get a chance today to weigh in on the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, which would charge property owners an extra tax to promote, clean and protect the Southeast Waterfront.

A hearing on the application for the BID, which must be approved by City Council, will be held at 10 a.m. today in Room 301 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. So far, the proposal hasn’t hit any hurdles on its way to being approved.

The area, which surrounds the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium, will see more than a dozen development projects go up in the next few years, transforming the barren streets into corridors of condos and retail. But public opinion is hard to sway, and several business owners proposed the BID as a way to brand and promote the up-and-coming area. Renaming the neighborhood “Capitol Riverfront” is just one way business owners hope to separate it from nearby Capitol Hill. It would encompass about 100 blocks bordered by Interstate 395, the Anacostia River, 15th Street Southeast, South Capitol Street and the Frederick Douglass Bridge.

Those who wish to testify should contact Barry Margeson at 202-727-2323 or barry.margeson@dc.gov. Public comment will be taken until five days after the hearing.

Committee to Consider Noise Control Act
The D.C. Council Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. today on the Noise Control Protection Amendment Act of 2007.

The bill corrects a loophole that currently leaves noncommercial speech unregulated during the day. Among its chief proponents is a group of Capitol Hill residents annoyed by preachers who use amplifiers to project their message at upward of 80 decibels on Saturdays at the corner of Eighth and H streets Northeast. Resident David Klavitter formed a blog, QuestforQuiet.blogspot.com, to chronicle his fight against the loophole.

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells (D) introduced the legislation in April.

The hearing will be held in the fifth-floor council chamber of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Public witnesses are encouraged and will be permitted three minutes of testimony. Written statements can be made as part of the official record if submitted by July 23.

— Emily Yehle and Daniel Heim