Nearly all the District's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and civic associations contacted in a year-end, city-wide sampling can cite some victories on behalf of their constituencies in 1982.
Edna Frazier-Cromwell, vice-chairman of ANC 1B, which includes LeDroit Park and University Heights, said 1982 was a year in which the ANC "took a more active role in reviewing zoning.
"A large area of our ANC is zoned for industrial use, and this needs to be changed," she said. "We're drawing up recommendations for changes, working with other community groups."
Linda Low, chairman of ANC 1E in Mount Pleasant, cited a compromise in which the ANC agreed to support a zoning variance for an addition to the Stoddard Baptist Home on Newton Street NW. Officials of the home agreed, in turn, to retain its original building, a landmark mansion known as Ingleside. The ANC also adopted a park, participated in a multi-ethnic street fair, and waged a campaign against litter. Low said the ANC failed in "trying to get traffic slowed down in key parts of the neighborhood," but will keep up the effort.
" . . . We've made some progress," said Steve Levy, chairman of ANC 2A, which represents Foggy Bottom and the West End. "We're gratified by a recent decision of the zoning administrator which will limit the expansion of medical clinics in our area. It's also been a year of controversy, such as the fracas over the whirlwind sculpture that's now being dismantled."
The ANC, which wants Foggy Bottom to remain residential, has fought medical clinics, time-share condominiums, conversions of apartment buildings to hotels, and tour buses on residential streets. At the ANC's request, the D.C. Department of Transportation banned tour buses from some residential streets in Foggy Bottom. Hotel owners appealed, and a final decision by a DOT board is expected soon.
Levy said the ANC also has helped young families. "There's been a resurgence of babies in the neighborhood, and a group of young parents got the Department of Transportation to fence in a small park at 26th, I and K streets," he said. "We gave them a grant to buy play equipment."
Brian Moore, who recently stepped down as president of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly in Ward 2, said the association reviewed some developments planned for Southwest, including a proposed international village on the waterfront. Because of the economic diversity of the area, the group also is involved in problems in public housing projects -- such as broken water pipes and lack of heat -- Moore said. Low-income and higher-income residents of Southwest got together to help solve common problems, such as airplane noise and crime, he said.
ANC 3A Chairman Raymond Kukulski said Georgetown is becoming a place "with none of the basic services needed for a community . . . We have 115 liquor licenses and only three dry cleaners."
Kukulsi blames the imbalance on a "total lack of planning" by the city and on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. He said the ANC spends most of its time battling liquor licenses and zoning exceptions.
"We have to fight before the Board of Zoning Adjustment to make sure that the historic character of the neighborhood isn't nibbled away by overbuilding," Kukulski said. "We're more successful there than before the ABC Board, where we've lost 36 battles and won none in the past three years."
The ANC recently was successful in the battle to keep motorists from parking illegally on Georgetown streets, he said, reporting that the D.C. Department of Transportation has stepped up parking enforcement in the area.
In the Petworth-Northwest Boundary area of Ward 4, ANC 4D has concentrated on organizing residents into clubs and groups in response to problems such as crime. The ANC also is active in sponsoring recreation programs for senior citizens, youth and underprivileged persons. Chairman Lorenzo Allen said the group has been less successful in trying to halt the scheduled closing of the Safeway store at Georgia Avenue and Ingraham Street NW.
Raymond Dickey, chairman of ANC 5A, covering Brookland, Michigan Park and adjacent areas of upper Northeast, called 1982 a year in which "citizens were more aware of ANCs."
"Our meetings were well-attended, and the issues we discussed were more related to the problems people had," said Dickey, noting a victory in the effort to get abandoned autos off streets. The ANC proposed, and the City Council passed, a law allowing the city to remove cars left on the street more than 72 hours.
Relations with the city government were good, Dickey said, but getting information from the federal government was more difficult. The ANC is concerned about the Government Printing Office's plans to move out of the city, for example, and about possible toxic waste at Fort Lincoln.
Zoning was a major focus of ANC 5C, which includes part of Shaw as well as Bloomingdale, Eckington and Edgewood. The ANC defeated zoning variances for apartments in row houses, law offices, and video arcades, Chairman Daniel Robinson said, and it conducted voter registration drives and cleanup campaigns.
"This was a year of bringing the community closer together, and the Neighborhood Watch program really helped," said Sharon Nelson, chairman of ANC 6B on Capitol Hill. Nelson said that at the beginning of the year there were only 15 organized blocks in the commission area and now there are "close to a hundred" Neighborhood Watch programs on blocks within the ANC area.
The ANC and other neighborhood groups also won a major victory in stopping the proposed closing of the police substation on Capitol Hill, Nelson said. The substation, at Fifth and D streets SE, is being renovated and is scheduled to reopen early in 1983.
In the Garfield-Douglas Heights section of Ward 8, chairman Mary Ross of ANC 8B said, "For about a year and a half the ANC was locked in a disagreement with the city on what would go into the Knox Hill public housing project on Alabama Avenue. They originally wanted a 7-11 type store to go in there, but we worked out an agreement this year that there would be no commercial establishment in the development."
Neighborhood residents feared a convenience store would bring littering and crime to the project, Ross explained, adding that the ANC helped get the senior citizens housing -- originally planned for the back of the project -- moved to the site planned for the store, where there is better public transportation.
Boarded up and abandoned housing is a big problem in the area, Ross said, and the ANC plans to continue helping tenants organize and buy the homes.
Ethel Olney, president of the Central Northeast Civic Association in Ward 7, cites the move of a YWCA home for young women into the neighborhood as a plus.
"We used to call that place 'heartbreak corner' ," said Olney, describing a building at 44th and E streets NE formerly occupied by "transients who hung out on the corner drinking and cursing." In contrast, the YWCA facility is "very needed" and well-run, she said.
On the negative side, Olney said, are abandoned and neglected buildings and too many liquor stores. "We went before the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to oppose a liquor store at 45th Street and Benning Road, but we weren't successful," she said. "It's not all bleak, but it's not all bright. It's a struggle."