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

  1. A. T.

    For those of us who are not architects and have not been to the discussions in person, could please you give a brief definition of “massing” in this context so that we can better understand the issue? Thanks.

  2. Massing refers to the rough shape of a building or buildings according to a particular style, which shows the relative size of a project and demonstrates how its form(s) will fit into and relate to the environment. Massing studies are done to examine how a project will look regarding height and setback requirements and to show the overall design before much detail is created.

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