Monthly Archives: March 2011

Eastern Market Board Reaffirms Support of Stanton – Move Comes Amid Community Criticism of Plan

Eastern Market Board Reaffirms Support of Stanton – Move Comes Amid Community Criticism of Plan

by Larry Janezich

At Wednesday night’s meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), the committee reached back in history 17 months and resurrected its July 10, 2009, letter to the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning in which EMCAC endorsed Stanton Development’s plan for the Hine site.  The committee then proceeded to reaffirm its endorsement of their July 10, 2009, position.  The reasoning behind the move was uncertain.

EMCAC Chair Donna Sheeder, explained that EMCAC’s support for the Stanton plan was based specifically on the fact that it met two criteria important to Eastern Market.  First, the plan provides shared underground parking on weekends and evenings for Eastern Market patrons and for neighborhood bars and restaurants.  Second, the plan accommodates the flea market and “allows it a little room to grow.”  “The plans are undergoing change, but the basic plan is still relevant,” she said.

Committee Member Barbara Eck, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s representative to EMCAC, made the motion that EMCAC reaffirm its support for the reasons stated.

Questioned whether the amount of parking has changed, EMCAC Board member Monte Edwards, also on the Board of the Restoration Society, explained that the number of parking spaces has been reduced because the amount of office space has been reduced.  He also said it was his understanding that 8 – 10 parking spaces above ground would be provided to accommodate delivery vans of weekend vendors.  He went on to say that there had been no significant changes that would alter the plan in-so-far as the market was concerned.  He later corrected the record, saying that there has been a significant change that would benefit the market – the moving of the interior plaza public space to a splayed piazza opening out on 7th and C Streets pointing toward Eastern Market.  This would better accommodate the weekend vendors, and was an improvement in his view.

Chuck Burger, the third EMCAC Board member who is also a member of the Restoration Society Board, reiterated that this action would affirm EMCAC’s support of the 2009 letter and noted that much deep discussion remained on Hine, including parking and massing – “there are still serious issues out there.”

Brian Pate, ANC6b’s representative to EMCAC noted that there had been significant changes to the project, especially concerning utilization, scale, and massing.

Actually, according to Stanton’s website, the project has changed in significant ways.  For one thing, it has become 30 percent smaller and has become reoriented toward high end residences.

August 2009              February 2011                March 2011

Sq ft Residence                              144,594                      244,074                          237,750

Sq ft Office                                      212,000                      150,156                          156,200

Sq ft Retail                                         52,772                          39,700                            41,200

Sq ft Parking/Service                  144,000                      123,444                         123,444

Total                                                     642,366                      557,374                         447,280

As of now, Stanton plans a total of 270 parking spaces, with 138 allotted for residences.  The remainder would be shared by offices, retail, Eastern Market patrons, and restaurant patrons.  It is unclear is how much parking would cost and whether a limited amount of free time for Market, retail, or restaurant patrons would be allowed.  Another open question is what impact a hotel would have on the number of available spaces if Stanton is successful in attracting a hotel client for the building on the Southeast corner of 7th and C Streets.  There was no discussion of these points by the committee during the meeting.

When the vote came, it was 7 for the motion, 0 against the motion, and 1 abstention.

Those voting for the motion:

Donna Scheeder

Chuck Burger

Barbara Eck

Monte Edwards

Bill Glasgow

Anita Jefferson

Tom Kuchenberg

Abstaining:

Brian Pate

Councilmember Tommy Wells’ office is drafting legislation to provide for a new Eastern Market Authority to replace EMCAC.  That Authority could be in place by next fall.  Wells recently explained to ANC6b that the new Market Authority is necessary, given the way the current legislation is structured, and given the fact that the city wants out of managing the Market.  “We are faced with the prospect of going back to the way we had – with a (private) market manager and a governing board with no authority.”

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The First Glimpse of the New Eastern Market Governing Authority

The First Glimpse of the New Eastern Market Governing Authority

by Larry Janezich

Councilmember Tommy Wells appeared before ANC6b’s Executive Committee Tuesday night to share with them the report of the Task Force on Eastern Market Governance.  Wells appointed the Task Force last year to make recommendations for a new Market governing authority.  He distributed the report to the Commissioners – asking specifically that he be accorded the courtesy that the report not be made public until he has had a chance to meet with other community organizations, including the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Eastern Market Metro Community Association (EMMCA), CHAMPS, Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS), etc.

The Executive Committee, Chaired by ANC6b Chairman Neil Glick, regularly meets the last Tuesday of the month to set the agenda for the next month’s full ANC6b meeting.

Wells said, “I think the Task Force Report is good – I pretty much think it’s the right way to go.”  It made some great recommendations and provided a framework for writing the legislation.”  But, “There are some things I don’t agree with – the devil is in the details.”

Specifically, Wells pointed to the question regarding how the Board will be appointed.  The Task Force recommends that the Councilmember from Ward Six appoint five of the eleven member Board.  Wells said he was not sure that there is a precedent for that or that it was “kosher.”  He was “not sure there is not a better way,“going on to say that the important principle is that the Board is established and has authority.  “How the Board is appointed can be worked out through the community process.”

Wells sought guidance on how the ANC wants to handle the proposed legislation.  He warned about the community putting too much stock in the Task Force Report or too much effort in responding to it, since it is a series of recommendations and not an official document.  He encouraged the ANC wait to look at the draft legislation, hold their own hearing, and pass a resolution saying how they thought it should be amended. .

Regarding a time line, Wells said he “would love to have the process done by the end of July.”  That seems unlikely, given the regularly scheduled City Council summer recess from July 15 until September 15.  Wells allowed it was “not the end of the world” if that goal was not met.

The Task Force Report will be public on April 12, when the Councilmember appears before the regular meeting of ANC6b – unless Wells decides to release it early.  Wells will explain the purpose of the legislation and the process by which it will be considered.

That process is expected to unfold as follows:

The Washington powerhouse law firm of Arnold and Porter has been engaged on a pro bono basis to write the legislation. The earliest draft of the bill is expected to be available toward the end of April.

Introduction of the bill

ANC will hold a Special Call Meeting in late May to hear Wells – or his legislative staff – explain the legislation.

ANC6b will vote on a resolution regarding amendments at its regular June 14 meeting.

City Council Hearing

Two readings before City Council and passage by City Council in July or September

The councilmember highlighted several controversial issues on which the ANC was likely to be lobbied.

Perhaps the most important is what he called the “paradigm shift from EMCAC.”  The new Authority will be a Board of expertise.  Their purpose will be to maintain the integrity and preservation of the Market.  Neighbors will be board members – but the board members will represent the interest of the market, not the constituencies from which they come – “not Stanton Park or the ANC.”  All affected entities need and will have a point of access, but not necessarily a seat on the board, especially if their interests could conflict with those of the Market.  .

In addition, he cited the issue of the role of vendors.  The report recommends three voting seats on the Board for vendors, and Wells said he agreed with that.  Another issue is the role of flea market.  Wells said that he thought it would be in their interests to “grandfather them in,” and said he believed that their new landlord would be the new Eastern Market Authority.  He said he was committed to keeping flea market viable during construction of the Hine Development and that this will involve city authority, regarding potential use of Metro Plaza and or 7th Street going south.

Finally he cited concern regarding balance of food vs. craft vendors at the Market.  “Eastern Market will be a fresh food market.  Crafts are important and can be supported but this is about preserving a fresh food market.”

Wells emphasized during the meeting that the Market is owned by all of us.  This process, he said, will provide a means of vetting the new governing structure – and we always need a whole lot of transparency.  We want everybody to know that there’s a process and that this is not a take over.”

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Greenworks Departs. Pitango Gelato Arrives. Coffee Competition Gets Tougher.

Greenworks Departs.  Pitango Gelato Arrives.  Coffee Competition Gets Tougher.

by Larry Janezich

Passersby will notice the papered over windows and desolate emptiness of the space in front of Greenworks, the florist outlet, which until recently, occupied the space on 7th Street, SE, next to Peregrine Espresso.

Pitango Gelato, the popular confectionary with outlets in Penn Quarter and Logan Circle will shortly begin work to convert the space into their own gelato/coffee venue.

According to Pitango’s website, in addition to espresso, cappuccino and caffe latte, they serve Italian hot chocolate, choro-latte (just what you’d expect), marocchino (equal parts expresso and hot chocolate), and affogato (espresso with hazel nut or chocolate gelato).

With the recent opening of Pound, in the 600 block of Pennsylvania, competition is getting a little tougher in the retail coffee market.

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Hine Development: Pro and Con – Request for Feedback to Improve the Project

Hine Development: Pro and Con

Request for Feedback to Improve the Project

by Larry Janezich

Following is a list of standards the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) applies to new construction in a historic district to determine if it is compatible with the character of the neighborhood.

Setback

Orientation

Scale

Proportion

Rhythm

Massing

Height

Materials

Color

Roof Shape

Details and ornamentation

Landscape Features

According to HPO, “Compatibility does not mean exactly duplicating the existing buildings or environment.”  And, “Perhaps the best way to think about a compatible new building is that it should be a good neighbor, enhancing the character of the district and respecting the context, rather than an exact clone.”

More on each of these categories can be found by following this link:

http://planning.dc.gov/DC/Planning/Historic+Preservation/Maps+and+Information/Policies+and+Procedures/Design+Guidelines (Scroll down to New Construction in a Historic District)

EMMCA is preparing a statement on the Hine project for presentation to ANC6b and the Historic Preservation Board.  emmcablog.org is requesting feedback from the broader Capitol Hill community in comments to this posting regarding the pros and cons of the Hine development.

A recent posting on the blog Greater Greater Washington by Ryan Velasco – largely in support of the Hine project it – elicited a number of comments, some of which apply to HPO’s  listed criteria.  http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9702/hine-project-is-opportunity-too-great-to-pass-up/

To view the full PowerPoint presentation by Stanton-Eastbanc, visit http://hineschool.com/sites/default/files/2011-03-02%20%20Community%20Presentation.pdf.

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The Week’s Agenda

The Week’s Agenda:

by Larry Janezich

ANC Executive Committee Meeting

Tuesday, March 29, ANC6b Executive Committee meets to set the agenda for the ANC6b full Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 12.

Until mid summer when the ANC offices will likely move to The Hill Center, the meeting will continued to be held in the tiny conference room of the dairy food lobbying organization, the Tipton Group.  Tipton is also President of Barracks Row Main Street.  (There’s much more to be said here, but it’s already been said.)  New ANC6b Chair Neil Glick was successful in negotiating monthly rent of almost half of what the Commission had been paying under the previous lease.

The meeting is open to the public, but you might end up standing for two hours until the move to The Hill Center.

7:00pm at 703 D Street, SE.

Watch for an emmcablog report on the meeting on Wednesday morning.

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee Meeting (EMCAC)

Wednesday, March 30, Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in Eastern Market’s North Hall.  The Committee is in a transition phase awaiting details to emerge from Councilmember Tommy Wells’ office regarding legislation to establish a new Eastern Market authority.  Wells is likely to unveil the bill within the next two weeks.

Watch for an emmcablog report on the meeting on Thursday morning.

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The Story Behind the Restoration Society’s Unusual Special Meeting on Hine – Process Clouded by Lack of Transparency

The Story Behind the Restoration Society’s Unusual Special Meeting on Hine

Process Clouded by Lack of Transparency

by Larry Janezich

At its March 15 meeting, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board (CHRS) announced an unusual special meeting on Tuesday, April 5, to allow for public input on the Hine development.

While the factors leading to that decision are not certain, on March 12, an editor of the emmcablog (myself) sent the letter attached below to the CHRS Board.  Emmcablog had been trying to clarify the process by which CHRS would consider Stanton’s Historical Preservation Application (HPA) for Hine.  CHRS Historic Preservation Committee Chair Nancy Metzger told emmcablog that she assumed it would be handled routinely – that the Historic Planning Committee would make a recommendation directly to the Historic Preservation Office – as they had with the recent application for the Bavarian Beer Garden on lower 8th Street.  (Metzger is married to ANC6B03 Commissioner Norm Metzger, who will also be voting on Stanton’s Historic Preservation Application when it comes before the ANC prior to the Historical Preservation Review Board on April 28.)

In the 1990s, the CHRS Board had sanctioned its Historic Preservation Committee and its Planning and Zoning Committee reporting directly to the Historic Preservation Office and the Zoning Commission respectively, bypassing the CHRS Board, in the interests of timing and expediency.  The Board meets only once a month and interactions between builders and the city occur much more frequently.

This lends a certain murkiness to the CHRS process, since the CHRS committee meetings, though public, are seldom well attended and are held in a tiny meeting room in the 10th Street building where CHRS has its basement office. The recommendations or reports of the committees are not usually made public until they are filed with the appropriate government agency or reported to the full CHRS Board.  In addition, the membership of the committees or even their number is not made public on the CHRS website.

Even if one does attend the public meetings, the process can still remain obscure.  For example, at the March 15 CHRS Board meeting, when Metzger reported to the Board on the Historic Preservation Committee, she made no mention that the Committee had heard a presentation from Stanton Development on Monday, March 7.  Instead, Metzger said she “would be sending emails to the board members with an update.”  She announced that the Historic Preservation Committee was planning to put information on its website on the Historic Preservation Review Board to “answer questions people might have and to help members,” but that has not happened as of this morning.  Emmcablog has been the only news organization to routinely cover the Board meetings in recent months.

The importance that the city accords CHRS recommendations lends its lack of transparent process more problematic.  Knowing the potential influence of CHRS findings, developers often end up working closely with a small number of CHRS Board members whose voice ends up being heard by the City Council as representative of the 1,000 member Society when often the Board has had no consideration, input, or debate on an issue.  At a recent meeting, ANC Commissioner Brian Pate seemed to suggest that the CHRS had been influential in Stanton’s decision to move Hine project massing from the 7th Street side of the project to the 8th Street (residential) side.  This move has met with considerable criticism from immediate neighbors to the project on 8th Street.

The special CHRS meeting on Hine will be on April 5, from 6:45pm – 8:30pm, at Maury Elementary School, 13th and Constitution Avenue, NE (entrance on 13th Street). Stanton development will make a PowerPoint presentation on what is likely to be the final version of the drawings they will submit to HPRB for consideration.  Any member of CHRS – and I am one of many – may attend and make their views known.  What is less clear is whether and how those views will be reflected in the official pronouncement from the CHRS.

Letter from emmcablog to CHRS:

March 12, 2011

Dear CHRS Board Members:

Apologies that this was not sent to the entire board, but I’m hoping Gloria will forward it to those Board members whose email addresses I don’t have.

The Hine project will have a profound effect on our community for as long as any of us live here – and beyond.  I’m hoping the process by which CHRS considers Stanton’s Historic Preservation Application (HPA) and Public Unit Development Application (PUD) will be as inclusive and transparent as possible.  I know that the PUD will be considered by CHRS’ Planning and Zoning Committee in – possibly – several public hearings, initially featuring a presentation by the developer.  But that will not occur for some six months, and possibly not for a year.

The recommendations of the CHRS Board are considered by the City Council to be the voice of the some 1000 members of the Society.  I think it would be wonderful if that were actually the case and the CHRS Board would hold a well-publicized, open, easily accessible hearing on the HPA and the PUD in addition to the Committee hearings, to inform the membership.  Certainly the scale and relative importance of the Hine development warrants an open process and a clear explanation to CHRS members.  A regular membership meeting or a special meeting would be an appropriate venue.

The bylaws allow five members of the board or 25 members of the Society to call a special meeting.  I hope that a meeting will occur for the following purposes:

1. To hear the Board explain the process by which the HPA and PUD for the Hine project will be considered by the Board, as well as the standards by which these applications will be – or have been – evaluated.

2. To provide an opportunity for the developers to make a presentation to the membership and to answer questions.

3. To allow the Board to hear the concerns of the membership and to craft appropriate recommendations within historic preservation and zoning guidelines, considering the concerns of the membership.  .

In addition, although the practices of the CHRS usually permit the recommendations of the Historic Preservation Committee and the Planning and Zoning Committees to stand as the recommendations of the Board and the Society, I would urge the entire Board thoroughly consider, discuss, and vote on the Committee recommendations in open public meetings.  Also, given the importance of the project, I hope that the Board will post the reports of the Historic Preservation Committee and the Planning and Zoning Committee on the CHRS website, and make them public as soon as the Committees file their reports with the Board.  This project is too important to not have maximum transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability.

As I have discussed in the past, the process followed by a previous CHRS Board in the endorsement of Stanton/Eastbanc as the developer for the Hine property was not inclusive or transparent.  I hope the current Board will not compound that error as the process moves forward.

Regards,

Larry Janezich

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Community Summit for Capitol Hill Community?

Community Summit for Capitol Hill Community?

by Larry Janezich

Johanna Bockman writes the Sociology in Ward Six blog.

http://sociologyinmyneighborhood.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-near-se-sw-can-teach-ward-6-hine.html

In today’s post, she describes her experience in participating in the Near SE-SW Community Summit organized by the Community Benefits Coordinating Council. The goal is to figure out the community priorities of residents in order to better inform ANC policies, especially given the extensive development in the area.

Councilmember Tommy Wells is a strong supporter of the process.

Bockman describes the background, the meeting, the participants, and how the views of the participants were assessed and how a consensus was reached.

This process appears to be one that would benefit the Capitol Hill community, given the on-going development and the changing demographics.

I think it would be great if we could make this happen.  Please take a look at this report and consider working for a similar event for us on Capitol Hill. My guess is that Councilmember Tommy Wells could be instrumental is helping make this happen.  Is this something our ANC could take the lead on?

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EMMCA Seeks Consensus on Stanton Historic Preservation Application for Hine

Hine Site Seen from Hill's Kitchen

EMMCA Seeks Consensus on Stanton Historic Preservation Application for Hine

by Larry Janezich

Almost one quarter of the 100 plus EMMCA membership met Wednesday at a meeting attended by ANC6b Commissioners Metzger, Pate, and Frishberg.  The purpose of the meeting was to begin the process of reaching a consensus position to take to the ANC and the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) regarding the Hine Development.

EMMCA members offered comments which fell into three broad categories:  aesthetics, height and massing, and usage.  By far, the most negative comments were directed at the aesthetics of the proposal, based on the most recent concept designs, but several members spoke of desired changes to height and massing and usage as well.

Several participants noted that the project as it appears today is much different than the project that was proposed by Stanton-Eastbanc when they were awarded the development bid, and further, that the project is in fact much worse today than originally proposed.  The project no longer has participants like the Shakespeare Theater administrative and rehearsal space, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the International Relief Development, and apparently no hotel; these partners were significant in securing the bid in the first place.  The office space, which was much touted as necessary to support community retail, has been scaled back in favor of more space for residential – though the number of units remains roughly the same.  This translates to higher end and more expensive residences, something that the community could not envision based on the original RFP from the city or the winning Stanton-Eastbanc bid.

EMMCA President Barbara Riehle noted that it was regrettable that EMMCA has been and sometimes continues to be characterized as anti-development.  When EMMCA endorsed the Street Sense design in 2009, it implicitly endorsed development of the site.  EMMCA’s energy should be focused now on working with the Stanton/Eastbanc team to secure changes that will make the development an asset to the neighborhood.  There were some present who urged reopening the bidding process, but ANC Commissioners indicated they did not think that was feasible.

The discussion also revealed limitations on what it is possible to change via the ANC or HPRB process.  Density and square footage, for example, were set by the city in the “term sheet.”  Changing these criteria requires action by the city rather than the developer.  For this reason, several EMMCA members raised the possibility of sending an EMMCA delegation to meet with city officials, including our own councilmember Tommy Wells.

The following points were brought up by those attending the meeting and were based on the concept designs presented to the community in ANC6b venues during March:

Aesthetics

Most of the members present felt that the project does not maintain the integrity of the Historic District or conform to the character of the community.  They felt that the buildings lacked distinction, resembling nondescript development in the suburbs rather than a unique, thriving, and historical neighborhood in the city.

Height and Massing

There seemed to be general consensus that the existing height limitations for buildings at the site should not be increased; that is, that Stanton/Eastbanc should not be granted the zoning exemption which they are seeking.  In addition, there was considerable support for “building down,” below grade, as an alternative to height.  There were objections to height being moved from 7th Street to 8th Street, since 7th is already a retail and commercial corridor while 8th is residential.

Usage

In addition to the major changes regarding participants dropping out of the project, concerns were raised that retail is being allowed to encroach on 8th Street, that moving access to parking to 8th and C on weekends will be problematic, that the popular public access piazza has been downgraded and compromised, that no consideration has been given to providing an educational element to the project, in keeping with the building’s historic function as a school.

ANC commissioners emphasized that in order to be effective, any testimony or statement provided on behalf of residents must contain specific suggestions and be within applicable laws and regulations.

The Historic Preservation Office has guidelines for new construction in a historic district.  They are as follows:

“The design of a new building is critical to preserving the character of a historic district. The new building should contribute to that character by respecting the location, design, materials and other character-defining elements of the historic buildings, as well as respecting the character of the landscape and other important features of the street and district. A new building should be compatible with the existing environment without exactly duplicating existing buildings. A new building in a historic district must also conform to the District of Columbia’s zoning and building codes.”

For more information, follow this link and scroll down to “New Construction in a Historic District.”  http://planning.dc.gov/DC/Planning/Historic+Preservation/Maps+and+Information/Policies+and+Procedures/Design+Guidelines

Hereafter, the process will unfold as follows:

Week of April 4 (?):  Restoration Society Meeting on Historic Preservation Application for Hine – community invited – time and place tbd.

April 26: Second Special Call Meeting by ANC6b to discuss Hine, debate and vote on recommendation to HPRB on Stanton Historic Preservation Application – time and place tbd.

April 28: HPRB hearing

EMMCA will look to provide the ANC with the substance of its testimony for the HPRB prior to the ANC special call meeting.

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Design Selected for Information Kiosk on Eastern Market Metro Plaza

Design Selected for Information Kiosk on Eastern Market Metro Plaza

by Larry Janezich

At Tuesday night’s Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board Meeting, Board member Chuck Burger, representing the ad hoc group of “Sign Tigers” promoting the construction of an information kiosk on the Plaza to promote food and retail services and the historic district, announced that DDOT had recommended a design for the project.

The winning design, the Mutatio Design Proposal, was selected from a total of 28 designs created by students at the Catholic University School of Architecture.

Matt Himler, who along with four other architectural students (EJ Crough, Yomar Soliz, Laura Cisneros, and Jackie Alvarado) created the design, described the wooden structure with a gently curved forty foot canopy, reflective of the Metro canopy.  A large outdoor counter will allow interaction with visitors during fair weather, while an enclosed 300 to 350 square foot space would serve for winter and inclement weather.  The design anticipates space for display and distribution of literature and pamphlets.

Burger noted that one of the criteria for the project was that it could be dissembled, should the plan of the Plaza change in the future.  He noted that construction of the kiosk would point up the drabness of the rest of the Plaza, implying perhaps, that it would be a catalyst for change.

The kiosk will be staffed by volunteers.  Its annual operating budget of up to $15,000 will come from a foundation which has been set up by CHAMPS – the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.

The project will be funded by DDOT from funds provided by the Impact Parking Program – the fees exacted by the new meters resulting from the impact on parking of Nationals Park.

Burger will meet with ANC6b next month and will meet with community groups to get maximum community input before the next phase, the construction phase.

The CHRS Board unanimously endorsed the concept and the design and stated they looked forward to a final review of the design that addressed questions regarding community impact.

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Developer Questioned on Massing Issue at ANC6b Special Call Meeting on Hine – Restoration Society to Hold Public Meeting on Hine Project

Developer Questioned on Massing Issue at ANC6b Special Call Meeting on Hine

Restoration Society to Hold Public Meeting on Hine Project

by Larry Janezich

Almost 40 residents trekked to St. Colletta’s School at 19th and Independence Tuesday night to hear Stanton Development explain the height and massing concept drawings for the latest version of the Hine development.  The presentation deviated little from the presentations in early March – the only new drawing was one illustrating distances the project would be set back from the street.  The purpose of the meeting was to allow Commission and community a greater opportunity for questions and input.

One of the most contentious issues for nearby neighbors of the project is the massing of the residential building which will face 8th Street, directly across the street from many of them.  There are three groups deeply concerned with the issue.  Eyes on Hine, made up of residents directly across 8th Street from the project; EMMCA, the Eastern Market Metro Community Association; and a third group of residents centered on 8th Street, north of the project.

During the period for questions from the ANC, support for the Stanton concept drawings came from Commissioners Dave Garrison and Kirsten Oldenburg.  Garrison had acquired term sheets for the project which set massing requirements the city expects the developer to meet and elicited from the developer that there is little flexibility to stray from those expectations.

.Commissioner Brian Pate pressed Stanton’s Ken Golding on why the massing of the project had been shifted from the 7th Street side to the 8th Street side since last fall and implied that this had some connection with the Capitol Hill Restoration Society.  Golding was unable to provide a satisfactory answer as to how this shift had occurred.  .

Commissioner Ivan Frishberg asked whether the developers had considered moving the massing underground, suggesting that retail outlets like Trader Joe’s are sometimes below grade, and posed the possibility that the needs of Yes! the popular organic food store could be accommodated in this way.  The developer had not considered this, and did not seem interested in the idea.

Meanwhile, at the last night’s Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board (CHRS) meeting, plans were being made to hold a public meeting on Hine the week of April 4   The Board was working on a time and place for the meeting, the purpose of which will be to inform CHRS members and the public of the details of the development and to explain the role of the CHRS in the process.  Stanton has agreed to make another presentation to that group.

On April 4, the CHRS Historic Preservation Committee held a public hearing on the Hine project at which Stanton presented.  No mention of the hearing was made when the Committee reported to the full board at Tuesday night’s meeting.  Committee Chair Nancy Metzger announced she would be sending emails to board members regarding Hine.  She also said information on the HPRB process would be available on the CHRS website to inform CHRS members.

When asked after the meeting when the CHRS would send its report to the HPRB, Metzger said it would be after the Board met in April.  Earlier, Stanton’s Ken Golding had stated before Tuesday night’s Special Call meeting that he expected to hear from CHRS by next Thursday, March 17.

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