Monthly Archives: February 2011

8th Street Residents List Objections to Hine Redevelopment and Request Changes

8th Street Residents List Objections to Hine Redevelopment and Request Changes

by Larry Janezich

The neighborhood organization “Eyes on Hine” (EOH) – residents who live on 8th Street opposite the Hine site – have written to ANC6b Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Francis Campbell and Vice Chair Kirsten Oldenburg to protest that the proposed Hine Development will damage the historic character of the neighborhood and to request specific design changes.

The ANC6b Planning and Zoning Committee hears from Stanton Development on Tuesday night, regarding their Historic Preservation Application (HPA) on the Hine redevelopment, the first step in moving the plan through the ANC.  ANC6b will rule on the HPA at its March 8 meeting and that judgment will go to the Historic Preservation Office and be given great weight when the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) considers Stanton’s HPA for the Hine project.  As this blog has noted elsewhere, the HPRB decision is subject to appeal to the Mayor’s office.

EOH’s objections address the proposed design’s size, appearance, density, and economic impact.  In summary, the objections are:

From 8th Street, SE, the Hine redevelopment would present a mammoth building filling much of the block with an unbroken façade.  The developer’s justification for a height increase beyond 40 feet was flawed, since historic buildings shown for comparison did not fill an entire block and were in juxtaposition to two and three story rowhouses.  The five story corner tower at 8th and D Streets, and the five story entrance to the apartment complex mid-block on 8th Street will mar the historic viewscape, block light and air, and “mock” the modest scale of the rowhouses across the street.  The proposed heights are not only out of harmony with the neighborhood but also emphasize the building’s massiveness.

The proposed four story bay windows, a response to an EOH request to ensure the frontage comport with the appearance of residential housing, emphasizes rather than mitigates, the building’s monolithic appearance.  And the massive size and scale of the proposed development demands deeper and more varied setbacks.

The letter notes that for the first time in history, there will be no open space accessible to the entire neighborhood on the Hine site.  And that the result of waiving current R4 residential zoning limits and the attendant 40 foot height limit will degrade the quality of life of the neighborhood by encouraging and enabling vastly increased traffic.

EOH states that the economic consequences of the project include the danger that overdevelopment will threaten an historic neighborhood that, by its charm and scale, has attracted new residents and businesses.  The letter notes that as taxes and rents soar, small and locally owned businesses are already being driven away from the vicinity of Eastern Market.

EOH proposes a number of changes to help make the current Hine development harmonize with the neighborhood.  They include the following:

A maximum 40 foot height limit for the residential building on 8th Street, with no five story segments for the SE corner or on Pennsylvania Avenue.

A recessed 8th Street entrance to the project mid-block rather than using additional height to designate the entrance.

More variation in height of the rooflines of the buildings.

More variation in the setbacks of the buildings along 8th Street as opposed to an unbroken stretch of bay windows.

A set back from the curb for the entire building further than that proposed.

Two or three separate structures along 8th Street, rather than a single long structure.

The letter ends with a statement defining what the group sees as being at stake:

“The land of the Hine School site belongs to all of us, the citizens and taxpayers of the District of Columbia.  The developers were awarded the right to propose how to develop that public land, but we believe that the current concept design is not congruent with, does not harmonize with, and potentially threatens the historic character of Capitol Hill.  The massive, block-sized building plan evokes corporate standardization, anonymity and conformity, and, per the changes outlined at the beginning of this letter, we call upon the developers to create an alternative concept more responsive to the neighborhood in which it will sit for decades to come.”

The Planning and Zoning Committee will meet at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 1, at Caesar Chavez Public Charter School, located at 714-722 11th Street, SE.

ANC6b will meet at 6:30pm on Wednesday, March 8, at the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS at 522 7th Street, SE


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Bavarian Beer Garden Advances – One Small Step

Bavarian Beer Garden Advances – One Small Step

by Larry Janezich

Yesterday, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) considered the historic preservation aspects of the design for the proposed Bavarian Beer Garden at the corner of 8th and L Streets, SE, and gave a qualified endorsement to the project.  They want several issues raised by Historic Preservation Office (HPO) staff addressed before giving final approval.

Amanda Molson of the HPO staff outlined the traditional character defining features of American and European beer gardens, which include “lush, loose, landscaping,” ample lighting, signage inviting patrons inside, views from the street into the garden, and long tables for communal seating.  She reported that there were three unusual elements to the project that made achieving a design compatible with the historic district challenging.

HPO staff had three areas of concern:

1)  Cohesiveness of the design.  The use of so many finishes gives the project a chaotic, unfinished appearance.  Staff recommends selecting a few key ideas to streamline the design.  They urged re-studying the door and window size and urged more clearly defining the roof deck railing through the addition of a double cornice.

2) Proportion and scale.  Staff recommends study of the elements of the roof deck railing extending beyond the roof deck vertically, paying careful attention to the corner element and rain screens on L Street and north end of 8th Street elevation.

3)  Openness of the streetscape design to 8th Street.  Staff recommends opening the venue to 8th Street rather than “turning its back” on it.  They would like to see further detailing on landscaping of public space on L Street, sidewalk seating, planter boxes on 8th Street, better lighting, and larger openings into the garden from L Street.

Ms. Molson felt that despite these concerns, the design was very close to approval, and recommended approving plan as consistent with the Historic Preservation Act after re-study of project, delegating final approval to HPO staff.

Co-owner Matt Brody responded that he was happy to eliminate rain screens above the first floor and to address number of materials, the roofline and lighting.  He said a sidewalk café is planned for the next phase of the proposal.  He noted that windows that open out to the street are expensive but responded positively to a suggestion from one HPRB architect about the use of garage doors to replace windows.  He noted that the doors were actually 8 feet tall, and wondered if the Board was saying that they are too small.

With the general recommendation that the design be formalized, simplified and streamlined, HPRB agreed unanimously that the applicants come back for a final review after addressing the issues raised in the staff report.  Chair Catherine Buell said she hoped it would be “on consent,” meaning for pro forma approval.

Next:  Retail Mix Update

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ANC6b Plans Special Call Meeting on Hine PUD Process – Appointment of Taskforce on Hine Redevelopment Likely

ANC6b Plans Special Call Meeting on Hine PUD Process

Appointment of Taskforce on Hine Redevelopment Likely

by Larry Janezich

ANC6b is planning a Special Call meeting in April or May to inform the community on details of how the Public Unit Development (PUD) process will unfold for the Hine Redevelopment.  The PUD process could be the final opportunity for public and community input into the design of the project and one which often involves tradeoffs, or “public amenities.”  Commissioners Frishberg and Pate are pushing to appoint a special Taskforce made up of commissioners and representatives of community organizations, including EMMCA and Eyes on Hine, to provide input for the ANC’s participation in the PUD process.  The Zoning Commission can require changes to the design as the result of the PUD review.

The Special Call meeting and Taskforce issues will likely come up when Commissioner Pate (SMD05) hosts an open house to discuss community issues on Saturday, February 26, at the Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Avenue, SE, between 1:00pm and 2:30pm.

Stanton Development was scheduled to send their massing and concept design for the Hine project to the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) on Thursday, February 24, but did not do so.  They have until today – Friday – to file to meet the deadline to be scheduled for a Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) hearing on March 24.

Stanton will make a presentation regarding its Historic Preservation Application (HPA) to the ANC Planning and Zoning Committee meeting at Caesar Chavez Charter School, next Tuesday, March 1, at 6:30pm.  The Committee will make a recommendation on the application and pass it to the full ANC which will consider it at their March 8 meeting.  That meeting will occur at 6:30pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS at 522 7th Street, SE.  The ANC recommendation on the massing and concept design will, in turn, be forwarded to the HPO and HPRB for the March 24 hearing.

According to HPO, there are at least three historic preservation related public hearings at which the public may provide testimony.  First, the ANC Planning and Zoning Committee, second, the full ANC meeting, and finally, the HPRB meeting.  HPO also welcomes written comments in lieu of testimony.  Those are forwarded to the HPRB as part of the review process.

Some large projects – e.g., Friendship House on Capitol Hill – go through the HPRB in two phases.  HPRB looks first at height and massing, and then at the details at a later hearing.  Stanton anticipates following this scenario, which will provide three additional opportunities for public input.   Stanton hopes to go back before HPRB in late spring or early summer, depending on the outcome of the hearing in March.

The developer can make minor changes to the plan after the HPRB review, in consultation with HPO.  HPO evaluates proposed changes and judges if they are major or minor or if they relate to concerns raised during the review process.

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) will also weigh in on the design, but their review process seems to be more cursory than the ANC’s.  The CHRS Historic Preservation Committee will take a look at the designs Stanton submits to HPRB and make a recommendation.  A more formal presentation to the Committee will depend upon a request from Stanton to appear before the committee or the CHRS Board.  Stanton briefed the committee in February, but did not formally submit anything and the committee did not write an “official” report, preferring instead to treat the meeting as a dialogue with the architect/developer.

Stanton also appeared before ANC6b and the Hine neighbors in February to reveal their massing and design concepts and changes which reoriented the project toward a residential development as opposed to a primarily commercial development.  For information on those meetings, please refer to the emmcablog postings on February 2nd and 3rd.

Next up:  Update on the Two Tracks on Retail Mix

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Gas Leaks Will Mean 7th Street Excavation at Eastern Market

Asphalt Patch in Cobblestone Paving Led to Plan to Replace Gas Line

Gas Leaks Will Mean 7th Street Excavation at Eastern Market

by Larry Janezich

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) heard tonight that Washington Gas will excavate much of 7th Street, SE, between Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue, SE, to replace gas service lines which have required numerous repairs in the past two years.

Monte Edwards, Chair of the Capital Improvements Subcommittee, reported to EMCAC that two gas lines underneath 7th Street, SE, outside Eastern Market will have to be capped and abandoned, and service to those businesses on 7th Street not already served by a newer line will have to be established.

The problem – and safety issue – came to light as the result of EMCAC’s complaint to city officials on February 11, 2011, about the frequency which Washington Gas had been repairing leaks in its gas lines outside the market, and botching the replacement of the unique differentiated colonial cobblestone pavers.

DDOT arranged a meeting on February 17th attended by Washington Gas, DDOT, Ft. Myer Construction, Market Row Merchants, EMCAC and staff from Councilmember Wells’ office.

The modern high pressure gas line under 7th Street serves the Hine site and businesses on the west side of 7th Street, SE: Marvelous Market, Montmartre, etc.  A few businesses on the east side of the 200 block, opposite the Market, appear to be served from the high pressure line.  According to Edwards’ report, “It is unclear whether Eastern market is receiving service from one of the old low-pressure lines or from the four inch high pressure gas line.”

It is also unclear, why Washington Gas, when required to replace, upgrade, or confirm reliability of their gas lines in 2008, did not replace all of the services in the 200 block of 7th Street, SE.

Remedying the problem will require, 1) capping and abandoning the two low pressure lines, 2) connecting services in the 200 block of 7th Street, SE, to the new high pressure line.  This will require nine or more excavations along 7th Street, SE, to access the high pressure line and make the connections, which, in turn, will require excavations from the center of the street to the to each building’s line or meter location – or running a high pressure line to the property through the old connection if it is big enough.

DDOT will not authorize the work to begin until Washington Gas conducts a survey to confirm which services need to be replaced and how the replacements will be accomplished.  Washington Gas will bear the cost of the replacement, which will be conducted in a way to minimize the impact on 7th Street weekend vendors. The time frame will depend on the results of the survey to determine the scope of the problem.

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ANC6b Likely to Lawyer Up on 8th Street Bar and Grill Protest – Barracks Row Restaurant News – ANC Briefs

ANC6b Likely to Lawyer Up on 8th Street Bar and Grill Protest – Barracks Row Restaurant News – ANC Briefs

by Larry Janezich

8th Street Bar and Grill

On March 23, the Alcohol Beverage Review Administration (ABRA) will hold a protest hearing on the application for a CT (tavern) license for the 8th Street Bar and Grill, whose prospective owners hope to open in place of Capitol Hill Sporting Goods at 727 8th Street, SE.  At its November 9, 2010, meeting, ANC 6b voted 10-0 to protest the application for the new tavern license.

The applicants have been muttering about litigation.  ANC6b will likely seek legal assistance to help represent the ANC in support of its protest of the application for the tavern license.  The ABC committee will consider the issue at next Thursday’s meeting.

There is a strong antipathy against new tavern licenses on Barrack Row since a tavern license permits live music, dancing, and late hours.  The application for the 8th Street Bar and Grill states that the venue would permit dancing and five piece bands, and provide occupancy for up to 66.  Sale of alcoholic beverages would extend until 2:00am Sunday through Thursday and until 3:00am on weekends – entertainment until 12:30am during the week and until 1:30am on weekends.


Both the ANC ABC Committee and the full ANC will review at their next meetings, the voluntary agreement negotiated with Xavier Cervera, the owner of the prospective new Barracks Row restaurant, Pacificos, slated for the space now occupied by Capitol Hill Video.  The voluntary agreement was reportedly negotiated between the ANC ABC Chair Carol Greene and Cervera, after neighbors organized as Capitol Hill United decided to continue their protest against Pacificos withdrawing protests against the liquor licenses for new restaurants Nooshi and Moby Dick. Cervera appeared prepared to take his chances with ABRA despite the protest.  There was a late report that those neighbors protesting the license were meeting Tuesday night.

Senart’s Oyster House

The ANC Planning and Zoning Committee and the full ANC will consider at their next meetings, the public space application by Xavier Cervera for tables and chairs to seat 16 on the sidewalk outside the soon-to-be-opened Senart’s Oyster House.  Cervera and Karl and Carrol Kindle recently donated a large street clock to the Barracks Row streetscape to occupy a position outside the restaurant.

New Wine Bar Across from Eastern Market

Also on the agenda of the Planning and Zoning Committee and the full ANC for their next meeting, is the Historic Preservation Application for a new restaurant planned for the space currently occupied by Le Petite Gourmet, at 424 7th Street, SE.  Xavier Cervera plans a 40 foot long one story addition that will extend to the alley.  Reportedly, no agreement has yet been reached with the current lease holder for the space, or with Stanton Development, the owner of the building.  The Hill Rag, another Stanton tenant occupying the building’s second floor, will apparently remain.

The ANC ABC Committee meets on March 3, 2011, at 7:00pm at the Southeast Neighborhood Library.

The ANC Planning and Zoning Committee meets March 1, 2011, at 6:30pm at the Caesar Chavez Public Charter school at 714-722 11th Street, SE.

The full ANC meets March 8, 2011, at 6:30pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 522 7th Street, SE.

Next up:  Hine Redevelopment and Retail Mix Update


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Capitol Hill Restoration Board Goes to Court Over City Decision To Allow New Third Floor On 1887 Victorian Building

Capitol Hill Restoration Board Goes to Court Over City Decision To Allow New Third Floor On 1887 Victorian Building

by Larry Janezich

In a case which could have broad implications for development in the city, the DC Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Thursday over whether the city erred in approving a third story addition to a 1887 Victorian building in the Capitol Hill Historic District.

On June 17, 2008, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) Board voted unanimously to oppose the Heritage Foundation’s planned third floor addition to the former Trover’s Books building at 227 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  The concerns were that the addition would detract from the appearance of the historic building, draw attention away from the historic details, greatly alter the basic character and appearance of the historic building and set a precedent for the entire Historic District.  The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) agreed, approving the third story only with a 25 foot setback from the building’s façade.  The Heritage Foundation appealed the HPRB decision to the Mayor’s Agent, who overturned the HPRB recommendation, allowing construction to proceed.  The structure was subsequently completed.

At issue is whether the Mayor’s Agent – in this case, DC’s Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregonning – acted in accordance with proper procedure in ignoring the recommendation of the HPRB against the proposed third story addition without a 25 foot setback.

Tregonning authorized the construction with a “slight” set back of a few inches at the bottom of the addition which slopes back to a several-foot setback at the roofline, saying that since Pennsylvania Avenue is so wide at this point that even a 25 foot set back would not make the addition invisible.

The Restoration Board’s attorney, Andrea Ferster, who has represented non-profit organizations in land use and historic preservation cases, argued the question was whether the Mayor’s Agent can disregard an HPRB recommendation as unpersuasive and not explain why.  “The Mayor’s Agent just can’t say, ‘my judgment prevails.’”

The Mayor’s Agent was represented by Stacy L. Anderson, who under questioning by the court, admitted that the record did not show Tregonning rejected the HPRB recommendation on a rational basis, other than referencing the width of Pennsylvania Avenue.  .

The discussion embraced the larger question of what the role of the HPRB and its guidelines are for prospective alterations to historic buildings.  The position of the Mayor’s Agent is that each should be considered on its merits and that the recommendation of HPRB should be given no greater weight than experts testifying on behalf of the developer.  “The statute gives it no special status, so the Mayor’s Agent owes it no special consideration.”

The Heritage Foundation was represented by Deborah B. Baum, of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitman, one of the city’s largest land-use firms.  She pointed out that the then-sitting ANC had approved the proposed addition and that the project’s approval by the Commission on Fine Arts addressed the question of compatibility.

Under questioning, she admitted that there had been no testimony whether the setback was a strong financial disincentive, though she claimed that the disincentive was implied because the third floor space would have been reduced by 50%.  This claim was disputed by Ferster, who said the space would have been reduced by less than 25%.

A favorable ruling by the Court of Appeals could result in dismantling the addition.  As the court noted near the end of the arguments today, that since the third floor has been built, “we’re in don’t tear it down territory.”

The question of jurisdiction and whether the CHRS petition was filed in a timely manner accounted for considerable discussion, but the ambiguity of the statute on this point seemed to weigh in favor of the CHRS.

The CHRS raised $6,000 in contributions for a legal defense fund to fight Tregonning’s decision.  The non-profit preservation organization has spent nearly $20,000 so far on this case.


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Restoration Society Hears Recommendations for Major Expansion of Capitol Hill Historic District

Restoration Society Hears Recommendations for Major Expansion of Capitol Hill Historic District

by Larry Janezich

EHT Traceries, a local architectural history firm hired by the Board of Directors of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, has endorsed incorporation of two areas into the Capitol Hill Historic District and on March 8, and is likely to endorse a third.

On January 19, the firm made a public presentation on their survey of the near-Northeast area lying just outside the historic district.  This was the second of three presentations, all part of the Society’s Beyond the Boundaries program, which “seeks to promote the appreciation of neighborhood history and support historic preservation efforts outside the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Historic District.”  The project is funded by a settlement reached several years ago with the Louis Dreyfuss Property Group (some $83,000), as mitigation for the demolition of twelve historic buildings in the way of the new Dreyfuss development between H and G and 2nd and 3rd Streets, NE,.

The near-Northeast survey included the area adjacent to the H Street commercial corridor, roughly between 2nd and 15th Streets, and from H to F Streets, NE.

In the presentation, Traceries presented a strong case for inclusion of an almost four block area adjacent to the north boundary of the Historic District – bounded by 2nd and 4th and F and H Streets, NE – though only parts of the blocks fronting H Street commercial corridor would be included.

“…the expanded area most closely parallels the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century development of Capitol Hill and especially the progression of the squares that form the northern boundary of the current Capitol Hill Historic District.

The original justification for terminating the Capitol Hill Historic District along F Street, N.E. was purely for topographical reasons because F Street is representative as the bottom of Capitol Hill. However, it is clearly illustrated that the Historic District and Boundary Increase share a common architectural thread, demonstrated by two- and three-story rowhouses, with varying rectangular and canted projecting bays and designed in the popular Victorian-era architectural styles of the day. Because the residential architecture of Capitol Hill is its most visible identifier and strong characteristic, it can be determined that the Boundary Increase clearly belongs as part of the current Capitol Hill Historic District.” (emphasis mine)

Traceries notes that their survey is limited to the architecture, allowing for understanding neighborhood development.  The firm recommends completion of all survey phases and that a historic context study be prepared before any final recommendation is made for extending the Capitol Hill Historic District.

Similarly, on November 10, 2010, in a public presentation on a survey of the area outside the Historic District to the Southeast, bounded by East Capitol and L Streets and 13th and 19th Streets, SE, Traceries noted their study allowed for an understanding of neighborhood development but not the historic context. “Thus it is recommended that a historic context study be prepared before any recommendations for an historic district can be made.

Yet, based on the architectural development and its current physical integrity, the preliminary determination is that an historic district can and should be created that represents the Capitol Hill Southeast neighborhood.” (emphasis mine)

The aforementioned historic context study incorporation for both the Northeast and Southeast survey areas will be done in March 2011.

The third and final Traceries presentation will focus on the Northeast area between 15th and 19th Streets and Benning Road and East Capitol Street.  Rosedale lies within these boundaries and the upcoming March 8th presentation will be co-sponsored by the Rosedale Citizens’ Alliance and CHRS.  If past is precedent, it’s likely the presentation will include an endorsement for extending the Historic Distract to encompass part or all of this area.

The meeting will be on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, from 6:15pm – 8:00pm at the Rosedale Recreation Center, 500 19th Street, NE.

PDF versions of both the previous presentations are on the CHRS website at


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Barracks Row Streetscape to Feature Early 20th Century-Style Street Clock – Gift from Barracks Row Neighbor

Barracks Row Streetscape to Feature Early 20th Century-Style Street Clock

Gift from Barracks Row Neighbor

by Larry Janezich

The image above depicts where a street clock, typical of those which were popular on main streets across the United States in the early Twentieth Century, will soon become a prominent feature of the Barracks Row streetscape.  Manufactured by the Verdin Co of Cincinnati, Ohio, founded in 1842, the clock is made of aluminum, finished in black with touches of gold detailing.  Roman numerals represent the hours and the hands of the clock have traditional spade-shaped tips.

The clock is being given to Barracks Row Main Street by Karl and Carrol Kindel, 726 9th Street, SE, and Barracks Row restaurateur Xavier Cerevera.  The idea originated with Karl Kindel, according to Sharon Bosworth, Marketing Manager, Barracks Row Main Street:  “Karl loves clocks and simply wanted to have one in his neighborhood.”

At its February meeting, ANC6b unanimously agreed to a Public Space Permit to allow the installation in front of the Senart’s Oyster House restaurant at 520 8th Street, SE.  The owner of Senart’s, Xavier Cervera, will provide electrical service and maintenance.  Cervera is also financing the prep work and the base for the clock.  Barrack Row Main Street will be the owner of the clock.  ANC approval was contingent upon a letter of agreement between the parties as to service, upkeep, and paying for electrical service.

Bosworth said, “As a non profit, BRMS could not afford to have it installed and to pay for maintenance and insurance.  Xavier Cervera, owner of The Chesapeake Room, Molly Malone’s, Lola’s and soon-to-open Senert’s Oyster House, volunteered to do the installation and to cover the maintenance and liability.”

Cervera also plans a new Barracks Row restaurant, Pacifico, to occupy the site currently occupied by Capital Video.  And yesterday, The Hill Is Home reported that he plans to open a new bar across from Eastern Market in the building occupied by Le Petite Gourmet.

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ANC6b Approves Conceptual Drawing for Lower 8th Street Beer Garden – Modern/Industrial Design Revealed

Preliminary Plan for the Bavarian Beer Garden on Lower 8th Street

ANC6b Approves Conceptual Drawing for Lower 8th Street Beer Garden

Modern/Industrial Design Revealed

by Larry Janezich

ANC6b overrode concerns of some commissioners regarding the proposed building design for the Bavarian Beer Garden at 8th and L Streets, SE, and approved the concept on a 7-3 vote.  Last month, the ANC approved the establishment’s liquor license.  Owner Mark Broody and architect Matt Battin are shepherding the plan through the Historical Review Process, required because the building site is in the Capitol Hill Historic District.

The vote came on a motion by Commissioner Brian Pate to approve the plan but include a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board listing concerns identified by commissioners, including safety, inconsistency of the design with the Historic District, and issues of window/door proportionality.

Those voting to approve:  Chair Glick, Commissioners Campbell, Critchfield, Flahaven, Frishberg, Green, and Pate.

Those opposed:  Commissioners Garrison, Metzger, and Oldenburg.

The proposal envisions a one story building holding up to 100 people inside and 200 outside with the roof deck and summer garden.  There will be a four and a half foot retaining wall on top of the building, wood privacy fencing, and rain screening on the sides overlooking 8th and L Streets.

On February 1, Brody and Battin brought the design before the ANC’s Planning and Zoning Committee.  The Committee heard their presentation, but voted to take no position and to refer the matter to the full ANC.  Concerns had been raised at the hearing regarding the design aspects relating to the proposed materials, the open deck, lack of letters of support, the building’s “unfinished appearance,” and lack of views showing how the building related to existing structures in the affected area.

At Tuesday night’s meeting Brody and Battin presented revised plans and drawings, letters of support, and aerial views of the neighborhood.

An early motion by Commissiuoner Oldenburg to object to the proposal to allow the owner time to refine the design in accordance with the issues raised tonight was defeated on 3 – 7 vote.

The delay was strongly opposed by Planning and Zoning Chair Francis Campbell, who said it was “unconscionable” to have had the owner come back with design modifications and letters of approval and then raise objections to the design.  Commissioners Green and Frishberg joined in opposing the motion, the first on grounds that the objections to the design issue were subjective, and the second because the reasons for sending the owner down a path requiring further revisions were not clear.

Those voting to approve the motion to object: Commissioners Garrison, Metzger, and Oldenburg.

Those opposed:  Chair Glick, Commissioners Campbell, Critchfield, Flahaven, Frishberg, Green, and Pate.

The Oldenburg motion was followed by a subsequent motion by Commissioner Norm Metzger, providing that the ANC take no position on the proposal.

That motion was strongly opposed by Commissioner Brian Pate who said he felt it was time to move forward on the issues and that he wanted to see something built south of the freeway which extends our community.

The Metzger motion was defeated on a 4 – 5 – 1 vote.

Those voting to take no position: Commissioners Campbell, Garrison, Metzger, and Oldenburg.

Those opposed:  Commissioners Critchfield, Flahaven, Frishberg, Green, and Pate.

Abstaining:  Chair Glick

The discussion was divided between those favoring a more cautious approach – which opponents implied was delay for the sake of delay – vs. a “let’s get something done and fix it as we go along.”

Those favoring a cautious approach warned that the ANC was voting on what might be a permanent structure in the Historic District – one whose design “isn’t ready for prime time.”  That view was offset by those who pointed out that the owner would be back before the ANC for an amendment to the liquor license to permit serving alcohol on the roof deck, providing an incentive to address the concerns raised at tonight’s meeting.


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Nooshi and Moby Dick Get Go Ahead on Barracks Row from ANC6b

Nooshi and Moby Dick Get Go Ahead on Barracks Row from ANC6b

Moratorium Proponents Withdraw Protest

by Larry Janezich

ANC6b Meets on Nooshi/Moby Dick

At Tuesday night’s ANC6b meeting new ABC Committee Chair Carol Green announced that voluntary operating agreements had been reached between Barracks Row neighbors, ANC6b ABC representatives, and the restaurant owners.  Barracks Row neighbors announced this afternoon that are withdrawing their protest against liquor licenses for the two restaurants and will settle for the voluntary agreements, citing the likelihood that the ANC would withdraw their protest against the licenses.  This should clear the way for approval of the license applications by the Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration.

Last fall, ANC6b voted to protest the liquor licenses for reasons of peace, order, and quiet; adverse effect on residents’ property values; and over concentration.

Negotiations among the stakeholders resulted in concessions from the restaurateurs:  earlier closing hours (midnight Friday and Saturday and 11:00pm Sunday through Thursday – the outdoor cafe will close nightly at 11:00 pm), a privacy screen will be installed at rear of the roof deck, mechanical elements on the roof will be screened, valet parking will be used, and patrons and employees will be encouraged to use the freeway parking lot.  In addition, the owners also agreed to reduce Nooshi’s capacity by 40 (from 160 to 120) and Moby Dick’s outdoor patio capacity by six.(105 inside and outside to 99 inside and out).

Commissioner Dave Garrison commended Green for reaching an agreement allowing the process to move forward, but stated that he will continue to oppose the license because the total number of patrons, though reduced, is still a problem.  In addition, he said, the over concentration issue has not changed.

Cmmissioner Oldenburg, in contrast, after having earlier opposed the licenses, said she would vote for the voluntary agreements

The voluntary agreements were subsequently approved, 9 – 1.

Those voting for:  Chair Neil Glick, Commissioners Campbell, Critchfield, Flahaven, Frishberg, Green, Metzger, Oldenburg and Pate.

Those opposed:  Commissioner Garrison.

The protesting neighbors, organized as The Hill United by Yoonmee Chang, Helene Quick and others, stated that they would continue to protest a liquor license for Pacifico, the new restaurant proposed by Xavier Cervera for the location now occupied by Capitol Videos.


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