§ 1–207.38. Advisory neighborhood commissions.
(a) The Council shall by act divide the District into neighborhood commission areas and, upon receiving a petition signed by at least 5 per centum of the registered qualified electors of a Neighborhood Commission area, shall establish for that neighborhood an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commission. In designating such neighborhoods, the Council shall consider natural geographic boundaries, election districts, and divisions of the District made for the purpose of administration of services.
(b) Elections for members of each Advisory Neighborhood Commission shall be nonpartisan, and shall be administered by the Board of Elections and Ethics. Advisory Neighborhood Commission members shall be elected from single-member districts within each neighborhood commission area by the registered qualified electors of such district.
(c) Each Advisory Neighborhood Commission:
(1) May advise the District government on matters of public policy including decisions regarding planning, streets, recreation, social services programs, health, safety, and sanitation in that neighborhood commission area;
(2) May employ staff and expend, for public purposes within its neighborhood commission area, public funds and other funds donated to it; and
(3) Shall have such other powers and duties as may be provided by act of the Council.
(d) In the manner provided by act of the Council, in addition to any other notice required by law, timely notice shall be given to each Advisory Neighborhood Commission of requested or proposed zoning changes, variances, public improvements, licenses, or permits of significance to neighborhood planning and development within its neighborhood commission area for its review, comment, and recommendation.
(e) In order to pay the expenses of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, enable them to employ such staff as may be necessary, and to conduct programs for the welfare of the people in a neighborhood commission area, the District government shall allot funds to the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions out of the general revenues of the District. The funding apportioned to each Advisory Neighborhood Commission shall bear the same ratio to the full sum allotted as the population of the neighborhood bears to the population of the District. The Council may authorize additional methods of financing Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.
(f) The Council shall by act make provisions for the handling of funds and accounts by each Advisory Neighborhood Commission and shall establish guidelines with respect to the employment of persons by each Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which shall include fixing the status of such employees with respect to the District government, but all such provisions and guidelines shall be uniform for all Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and shall provide that decisions to employ and discharge employees shall be made by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. These provisions shall conform to the extent practicable to the regular budgetary, expenditure and auditing procedures and the personnel merit system of the District.
(g) The Council shall have authority, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, to legislate with respect to the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions established in this section.
(h) The foregoing provisions of this section shall take effect only if agreed to in accordance with the provisions of § 1-207.03(a).