Organiza.gif (1182 bytes)

Home     Organizations

Forward to the January 2004 Federation NewsBack to Federation of Citizens Associations main pageBack to October  2003 Federation News

Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia

Federation News

Volume 10, Issue 3, December 2003
3710 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-5164 phone/fax

Mayor's Mansion Project Collapses
City Council Votes to Support Neighborhoods in Alcohol Licensing Decisions
Handicap Parking
Taxi Meters for the District?
Uses Being Found for St. Elizabeth's Prime Real Estate
Officers and Board
December Quarterly Luncheon, December 19
Council Addresses Identity Theft
Modest Pro Bono
Church Vs. Statement of Ground Rules
Flip Poetic Justice
Federation Assembly Meeting Dates


Friday, December 19, 2003
12:00 p.m.

Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired Club
18th and F Streets, NW 


Recent word is that the Casey Mansion Foundation has withdrawn its offer of 16 plus acres of prime real estate and funding for an official mansion for the mayor of the District of Columbia. Neighborhood residents in the Palisades area who have opposed the project are pleased.

Inside speculation is that the donor of the multi-million-dollar projected mansion tired of the process required for realization of the project, and decided to make her donation where it would be more expeditiously used. The named replacement recipient is the Salvation Army, which reportedly wishes to sell the expensive property involved and apply the funds to a community center it will build in Ward 8.

Back to top of page

Tim Ayers, Dupont Circle

On December 2, the city council voted 11-1 to support the role of residents in alcohol licensing matters. The vote came up on the recommendation of the council's Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which shortly before had heard two days of testimony on a series of regulations proposed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. In many cases, the proposed regulations would have seriously limited the voice of residents in licensing decisions.

Faced with this assault on long-standing rights of participation and other measures that would have weakened current regulations, citizens and organizations from across the city banded together to form the Neighborhood Alliance for Balanced Growth (NABG). The Alliance researched the current and proposed regulations and presented testimony to the committee regarding the need to strike portions of the ABC Board-proposed regulations.

Alliance members thanked the councilmembers who voted to support the rights of residents to help create neighborhoods with an appropriate balance of responsible establishments that serve alcohol with other commercial and business entities. The lone councilmember to vote in opposition was Sandy Allen.

The Neighborhood Alliance for Balanced Growth continues to monitor the proposals of the ABC Board and council legislation. Additional information on NABG can be obtained at

Editor's note: as an indicator of the red-hot nature of this issue, some 100 witnesses, both civic activists and business representatives, testified at the committee hearing that preceded the full council session.

Back to top of page

Maria Leftwich, Glover Park Gazette

Some Washington neighborhood have designated handicap parking. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which governs all aspects of disability, is currently under revision by the department of Justice. the word is that there will be significant changes regarding parking for handicapped persons. In particular there is a plan to provide one to two handicap parking spaces per residential block in urban areas.

Many US municipalities are already following this anticipated rule. In the District right now, the city will issue handicap parking space only to an individual who resides in a single-family dwelling. The city will not provide such spaces to individuals who reside in apartments, condominiums, or other multiunit buildings.

Meanwhile, non-handicapped persons should not park in a handicapped space. Parking enforcement personnel and police are aware of the situation, and will issue tickets.

Back to top of page


Popular Washington Post reporter Sewell Chan recently reported and ruminated on the far-reaching topic of meters in taxis versus the present loose system of charges by zone. How many riders have felt in the past that a cab driver overcharged for an ill-defined ride. A new change backed by the mayor would transfer responsibility for taxicab and limousine licensing to the new Department of Transportation. The proposed new plan would require city council approval for passage.

Mr. Chan reports that recently, "the Senate passed a bill that would require the installation of meters in the city's 6,200 licensed cabs within one year unless the city adopts an ordinance opting out of that provision. . . . The House of Representatives has not voted on the legislation."

Delegates with less-developed-world experience will recall cases of cab drivers starting meters off at significant fares already on the meter. Such problems are minor compared to the proposed, and probable, major changes in the District's taxi fare charging system.

Back to top of page


In November, the Zoning commission approved (Case No. 02-45) "an application for review and approval of the first stage of a two-stage planned unit development ('PUD'). . . . The proposed project involves eventual demolition of the John Howard Forensic pavilion and the construction of a new St. Elizabeth's Hospital."

The proposed PUD site is located on the southeastern part of St. Elizabeth's East Campus, and "9. The hospital anticipates continued use, at least in the short term, of three existing buildings (RMB, CT-7 and CT-8) while the overall facility census declines."

The applicant (D.C. Department of Mental Health) requested SP-1 (Special Purpose Medium Density) zoning in conjunction with the PUD. This zone would readily accommodate the height and bulk of the proposed mental health hospital even under matter-of-right standards of 4.0 FAR and 65 feet. However, "the applicant . . . elected to pursue the [PUD] approach, which provides beneficial site planning and design flexibility, while allowing the Zoning Commission, the Office of Planning, and community groups to review the plans and affect the actual development that is built. In conjunction with a PUD, the SP-1 District allows a building height of up to 75 feet and a density of up to 4.5 FAR (11 DCMR Secs. 2405.1 and 2405.2)." The new hospital is projected to have 292 beds and to comprise a one- and two-story building that will provide mental health services for non-secure and secure mental health patients.

Back to top of page


Robert Andrews
Foxhall Citizens Association

Allen E. Beach
Chevy Chase Citizens Association

George Clark, Esq.
Forest Hills Citizens Association

Dino J. Drudi
Michigan Park Citizens Association

Kathryn A. Eckles
Residential Action Coalition

Elizabeth Elliott
Foggy Bottom Association

Carroll Green
Manor Park Citizens Association

Guy Gwynne
Burleith Citizens Association

James H. Jones
Crestwood Citizens Association

Ann Loikow, Esq.
Cleveland Park Citizens Association

Sally MacDonald
Woodley Park Citizens Association

Ann Renshaw
Chevy Chase Citizens Association

Laura Richards, Esq.
Penn Branch Citizens/Civic Association

A.L. Wheeler, Esq.
Association of Oldest Inhabitants

Back to top of page


The Federation Christmas Quarterly luncheon will take place, as in previous years, at the elegant Diplomatic and Consular Officers Club. The historic mansion will be decked out in Christmas finery, and be the same welcoming gathering place for delegates and their guests, for now-traditional leg of lamb and generously flowing wine of several kinds. This is one of the Federation's happiest and most elegant activities, and affords the old year's best chance to greet old acquaintances and make new ones in great surroundings and atmosphere. Clubby sherry time will be held in the second floor parlor.

The clubhouse is the red brick mansion at the corner of 18th and F Streets, NW. Sherry time begins at 12 noon or earlier, for early arrivers. Delegates who have had their eye on bringing neighboring associations into the Federation can use this gala occasion to introduce prospective member-association officers to the delegate membership as guests at the beautiful affair. WALK FOR THE HOMELESS RAISES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

Under sunny skies, tens of thousands of people dressed in orange turned out November 23 for the District's annual Help for the Homeless Walkathon. Organizers of the three-mile walk say the event raised about $6.5 million for 173 nonprofit groups that provide services to the homeless.

Bands, jugglers, and acrobats were stations along the route, which began and ended on the Mall and looped around the Tidal Basin. Statistics from the Metropolitan Council of Governments show an estimated 14,000 homeless people in the Washington area on any given day.

Back to top of page


The city council passed DC Act 15-196 in October "to amend the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982 to establish the crime of identity theft, to provide penalties for the crime, to provide enhanced penalties for persons committing identity theft against persons 65 years old or older, to authorize the court to provide restitution to the victim and to order the correction of public records containing false information as a result of identity theft, and to require the Metropolitan Police Department to take reports of identity theft and provide the complainant with a copy of the report."

For victims of identity theft or persons taking precautions in advance, the list of "personal identifying information" includes, but is not limited to: a) name, address, telephone number, date of birth, or mother's maiden name; b) driver's license number, or non-driver's number; c) savings, checking, or other financial account number; d) Social Security number or tax identification number; e) passport or passport number; f) citizenship status, visa, or alien registration card or number; g) birth certificate or facsimile thereof; h) credit or debit card or number; i) credit or credit rating; j) signature; k) personal identification number, electronic identification number, password, access code or device, electronic address, electronic identification number, routing information or code, digital signature, or telecommunication identification number; l) biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or its image, or other unique physical identification; m) place of employment, employment history, or employee identification number; n) any other number or information that can be used to access a person's financial resources, access medical information, obtain identification, act as identification, or obtain property.

Sec. 127c of the new law provides penalties: "(a) Identity theft in the first degree -- any person convicted of identity theft shall be fined not more than (1) $10,000, (2) 3 times the value of the property obtained, (3) 3 times the amount of financial injury, whichever is greatest, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the value of the property obtained or the amount of the financial injury is $250 or more."

Sec. 127c(c) provides for "(c) Enhanced penalty -- Any person who commits [identity theft] against an individual who is 65 years of age or older, at the time of the offense, may be punished by a fine of up to 1½ times the maximum fine otherwise authorized for the offense and may be imprisoned for a term of up to 1½ times the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise authorized for the offense, or both."

Back to top of page


The New Orleans office of the important law firm of Adams and Reese (whose DC office contingent is 260 attorneys) reportedly for the fifteenth year recently carried out its pro bono program of helping local charities serve Thanksgiving dinners. Some two dozen volunteers from the firm's 107-attorney New Orleans office did cooking, serving, and cleanup chores. In all fairness, an A&R resources manager noted that there is a separate company arm that writes checks for good causes, but "this program is about giving time, not money." (National Law Journal, 11/24/03)

A "great program," as far as it goes, and likely with an element of fun to boot. How ideal it would be, however, if major law firms' civic action outreach could be more meaningful and better suited to their genre of expertise, normally extended at swingeing fees out of reach for most citizens associations. Where were local public-spirited law firms such as Adams and Reed in recent months when the Federation and Foggy Bottom Association were frantically scouring for pro bono legal help to aid in the vital (for communities) recent lawsuit of George Washington University vs. Nearly Everybody, with its real and far-reaching importance for this city and its taxpaying permanent residents? Serving in a chow line?

One, perhaps understandable, atmospheric reason. The NLJ reports that (far from uniquely) Adams and Reed partners charge $170-$350 per hour for professional services. Still, to paraphrase the old hymn, "Give of your best to the community." Gestures are fine, but. . . . ANC VACANCIES

The Board of Elections and Ethics reports that there are vacancies in thirteen Advisory Neighborhood Commission offices:

1C05, 3D05, 3D07, 3D08, 3D09, 5C10, 6B11, 7D02, 7D07, 8B03, 8C05, 8C06

Affected associations should consider pointing out vacancies to outstanding community leaders, with a view to keeping ANC strength up to par and to attracting community-supporting individuals to public office.

Back to top of page


Some residential communities are beset at times by attempted church or institutional encroachment. Following is one community's approach.


Ruling in favor of a homeowners' association, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld on September a trial court order permanently enjoining a church from building parking lots on property encumbered by a restrictive covenant.

A Kansas City, Mo., subdivision was controlled by a restrictive covenant stating that "[n]one of said lots shall be improved, used nor occupied for other than private residence purposes." A church that owned several parcels in the subdivision wanted to turn three of them into parking lots. The association petitioned to enjoin the church permanently from doing so, claiming it would violate the covenant. When a trial court granted the petition, the church appealed, arguing that prior precedent had exempted church lots from such covenants.

Affirming the lower court decision, the high court said that the phrase "private residential purposes" was unambiguous. Although "residential purposes" means not for commercial or business purpose, "private presidential purposes" excludes any nonresidential uses, including any by a church, it said. (Missouri Supreme Court, Country Club District Homes Assn. V. Country Club Christian Church, No. WD61418). Source: National Law Journal, September 15, 2003.

Back to top of page


The National Law Journal (10/27/03) reports that "last December Judge Deborah A. Servitto [of the Macomb, Mich., Circuit Court], threw out a defamation suit involving rap artists [with a] 10-stanza rap decision."

Mr. Bailey complains that his rep is trash
So he's seeking compensation in cash," it begins,
"Eminem maintains that the story is true
And that Bailey beat him black and blue.
In the alternative he states that the story is phony.
A reasonable person would think it's baloney."

"The court must always balance the rights
Of a defendant and one placed in a false light.
If the plaintiff presents no question of fact
To dismiss is the only acceptable act. . . .
Bailey also admitted he was a bully in youth
Which makes what Marshall said substantial truth.
This doctrine is a defense well known
And renders Bailey's case substantially blown. . . ."

"It is the court's ultimate position
That Eminem is entitled to a summary disposition."

Not bad doggerel, come to think of it, which naturally brings to reasonable minds suggested decisions for our DC courts, such as:

"GWU, as an encroaching institution
Will have to undergo diminution,
And have its attempts at campus inflation
Brought under condign regulation.
The community depends
On GW making amends
For past years' depredation."

(Distribution: all circuit judges)

Back to top of page

Federation Assembly Meeting Dates

December 19, 2003, Quarterly Luncheon
January 27, 2004
February 24, 2004
March 23, 2004
April 27, 2004
May 19, 2003, Annual Awards Banquet
June 22, 2004
July No Meeting
August No Meeting

Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)