Monthly Archives: March 2011

DDOT Parking Plan Near Barracks Row Likely to Push Non-Ward Six Parking North Of Pennsylvania Avenue – Process Questioned at ANC Meet

DDOT Parking Plan Near Barracks Row Likely to Push Non-Ward Six Parking North Of Pennsylvania Avenue – Process Questioned at ANC Meet

by Larry Janezich

At Tuesday night’s ANC6b meeting, Commissioner Dave Garrison summarized what DDOT is proposing extending the Performance Parking Plan to most streets between 8th Street and 11th Street, SE, and Pennsylvania Avenue and I Streets, SE.  This would make parking harder for non-Ward Six parkers.

A likely consequence is that non-Ward Six parking will be pushed north into streets where parking rules are more flexible.  The problem will become more severe with the opening of The Hill Center this summer, thus setting up a dynamic for extending the parking restrictions further north, possibly to East Capitol.

In an early Sunday morning email to some of the residents in the affected 8 or 9 block area, Commissioner Oldenburg said the new plan would be announced at the March meeting of ANC6b.  In a post on her blog on Monday, Oldenburg revised her announcement by adding that “if necessary, I am more than willing to set up a petition process so that blocks can opt in or out of these changes.”  It seems likely that any blocks not participating would become sanctuaries for non-Ward 6 parkers.

Ninth Street resident Karl Kindel raised objections to the procedure that was being followed, which he said, presented no options, but only a fait accompli.  ANC6b Chair Neil Glick and Commissioners Ivan Frishberg and Brian Pate supported a more transparent and inclusive process than what was apparently being followed in this instance.  Imposition of the plan by DDOT would also affect residents who invite guests to their homes – a burden that would have to be addressed by application for temporary parking permits – police-issued multiple one-day and multi-day passes.   The new plan would provide for each residence with only a single guest parking pass.

It was not clear at the end of the meeting whether ANC6b would require a stricter degree of consultation with residents before the DDOT plan is effected, but it does seem to be the case that blocks may opt out of the program by majority vote.

The meeting took a contentious turn when Commissioner Oldenburg objected that criticism was aimed at her and Mr. Kindel objected to that and to her characterizing him as “the only negative on this.”

Oldenburg also reported that she was starting discussions with the Marines and with DDOT for parking restrictions for the 800 block of G Street and the 700 block of Ninth Street, SE.  Some residents asserted later that there had been no prior notification of this development to the community.

The possibility that residents of a block shared by the Marine Barracks might be excluded from negotiations with the Marines about parking was a special point of concern.  Kindel had negotiated what he said was a very satisfactory agreement with the Marines about 12 years ago, and wants resident input to make sure any adjustments do not create other problems.

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Historic Preservation Board Delays Consideration of Hine Issue until April 28 – ANC6b Sets Agenda on Hine Massing and Height Concept

Historic Preservation Board Delays Consideration of Hine Issue until April 28

ANC6b Sets Agenda on Hine Massing and Height Concept

by Barbara Riehle and Larry Janezich

On Tuesday night, ANC6b, at its regular March meeting, approved a new plan for receiving community feedback on the redevelopment of Hine School.  The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) announced at 5:30pm Tuesday night that the Historic Preservation Review Board’s (HPRB) consideration of Stanton-Eastbanc’s Historic Preservation Application (HPA) will be deferred until April 28, at the request of ANC6b.  Originally, HPRB was scheduled to take action on Hine at its March 24 hearing.

Also during the four hour meeting, the Commission approved operating guidelines for “Pacifico” and created a new Standing Committee on Transportation and two new Special Committees.  A report on extending the boundaries of the Performance Parking Program to impose additional parking limitations on the streets east of Barracks Row provoked a sometimes heated discussion.  (Watch for separate postings on the parking plan and on new committees.)

There has been considerable reaction in the Capitol Hill community to the massing and height concept drawings submitted to HPO by Stanton in support of this HPA.  Community commentary on these drawings on the major blogs and listservs following this story can be described as mixed, at best.  (See the following:    http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9502/make-capitol-hills-hine-project-better-not-smaller/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/newhilleast/ and, of course, emmcablog.org.)

As previously announced, ANC6b will conduct a Special Call meeting – a meeting of the ANC outside of the regular monthly schedule and focused on a single issue – on Tuesday, March 15, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at St. Coletta’s School, 19th and Independence, SE. Stanton-Eastbanc will present its plans during the first hour, including any changes to the plan since the last presentation on March 2.  During the following two hours, developers will take questions and comments from commissioners and community members.  A second Special Call meeting – time and place tbd – will be held in April to hear additional community input and for the Commission to vote on its recommendation to the Historic Preservation Review Board.  By law, HPRB must give “great weight” to the ANC’s recommendations.  The HPRB hearing will follow on April 28.

(EMMCA members will meet on Wednesday, March 16 to discuss Stanton-Eastbanc’s designs.  Members will be notified by email of time and location.)

A few nearby neighbors of Hine were on hand Tuesday night to respond to ANC6b Chair Neil Glick’s request for initial feedback on Stanton’s designs, first unveiled at the Commission’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on March 1 and presented to nearby neighbors on March 2.  Speaking for 8th Street residents in the block just north of Hine, Bill Pate (no relation to Commissioner Brian Pate) called the designs “incompatible” with the area, objecting specifically to the height of the proposed buildings and the loss of light, air and green space in the plans.

Jeffrey Stine, who lives directly across the street from the Hine site said much had been made of the term “smart growth” and questioned whether the term – which is sometimes used to describe extensive massing near metro stations – is appropriate in an historic district.  He described the designs as “inharmonious” with the existing neighborhood.

There was brief discussion of resolutions on Hine ANC6b adopted in 2008 and 2009, described by Commissioner Dave Garrison as proposed criteria first for the City’s Request for Proposals (RFP), then for assessing the four proposed developers. Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg injected that she recalled no discussion of height in the ANC6b’s Resolutions, but the June 2009 Resolution contains 12 proposed criteria, including “Restrict building heights to 60 feet along Pennsylvania Avenue SE, 40 feet along 8th and C Streets SE, and 50 feet along 7th Street SE.”

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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Does ANC6c Show Us a Better Way to Resolution on the Hine Site?

Does ANC6c Show Us a Better Way to Resolution on the Hine Site?

by Larry Janezich

Ryan Velasco, former ANC6c07 Commissioner and former Chair of their Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee posted a suggestion on newhilleast listserve from which the following is excerpted:

“I think ANC 6C has some valuable lessons learned in (community involvement in development projects).  Specifically, I’m referring to the process supported by the Office of Planning, development teams, members of the community and civic organizations on several major projects along the H Street Corridor – all of which started out significantly worse than (the Hine) project.  That process facilitated a dialogue that sought to address design concerns from the community and from neighbors surrounding the site.

An external mediator with an architectural background was brought in to shepherd discussions.  Having this objective perspective was key to success of the negotiations.  Community feedback was translated into a redesign and the end result of that collaborative effort was a project most could tolerate (but shouldn’t we aim a little higher than this)?.

I think it would be helpful to employ a similar process for the Hine site with representation from ANC 6B, civic organizations, Market vendors and citizens/market users participating.  There has been a lot of community engagement early on, but that was regarding a more conceptual conversation.  It seems we need a chance for the neighborhood to share their reactions to what has been proposed….  That ANC 6B has requested HPRB to delay it’s consideration of this project is a step in the right direction.”

Mr. Velasco has advanced the dialogue with a concrete and achievable suggestion and one which is hard to argue against.  One hopes he would use this forum to revise and extend his remarks to outline the process by which ANC6c made this happen.

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ANC6b To Ask Historic Preservation Board To Delay Consideration of Hine Project – Will Hold Second Special Call Meeting in April

ANC6b To Ask Historic Preservation Board To Delay Consideration of Hine Project – Will Hold Second Special Call Meeting in April

by Larry Janezich

In order to provide additional time for public comment and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6b (ANC6b) consideration of the Stanton Development’s Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for the Hine project, the commission will ask the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) to delay its consideration of the application until April 28.  The commission is confident the request will be granted.  ANC6b has been caught in a time squeeze between the March 24 HPRB meeting where Stanton’s HPA had been scheduled for consideration, and a desire to provide opportunities for the community to provide input on the project.

Some nearby neighbors have been very active in voicing their concerns on the project and how it will affect the quality of life in the neighborhood.

The community will first have an opportunity for public comment during the ANC6b regular meeting on Tuesday, March 8, though the time will, of necessity, be limited.

A second and longer opportunity will occur at the previously announced ANC Special Call meeting on Tuesday, March 15, from 6:00pm until 9:00pm at St. Coletta School – the somewhat whimsical collection of buildings at 19th and Independence, SE.  Developers will make a presentation on the current plans, including any changes since the last presentation on March 2.  The meeting will then be given over to questions and comments from the community and the ANC.

A third opportunity for public comment will be at a second ANC6b special call meeting which will occur in April at a time and place to be determined.  The developers will report to the community on any changes in the project which develop after the March 15 meeting.

ANC6b will subsequently make a recommendation on Stanton’s Historic Preservation Application to the HPRB for its April 28th meeting, and that meeting will provide a fourth opportunity for public comment.

As reported elsewhere in this blog, Stanton is expected to submit the proposal to HPRB at least once more, probably in early summer, as design details are added.  This will provide additional opportunities for public comment.

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ANC6b’s ABC Committee Supports Liquor License for Pacifico – A New Barracks Row Restaurant

ANC6b’s ABC Committee Supports Liquor License for Proposed Barracks Row Restaurant – Pacifico

by Barbara Riehle

Pacifico, a new eatery planned for Barracks Row, took another step closer to opening last night when ANC6B’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Committee agreed to recommend supporting a liquor license for the establishment when the full ANC meets next Tuesday. Plans for Pacifico first came under fire from residents adjacent to the 500
block of 8th Street, the area on the Row with the greatest proliferation of restaurants, in December. The neighbors are formally protesting Pacifico’s application for a liquor license from the City’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Agency (ABRA).

Of particular concern to the neighbors are plans for a rooftop garden which will seat 45 patrons. Under the terms of the “voluntary agreement” (VA) proposed by ABC Committee Chair Carol Green, the rooftop garden would have the same operating hours as the inside restaurant – until 1 AM on weeknights and 2 AM Friday and Saturday.

About half a dozen neighbors, Pacifico’s owner Xavier Cervera, and seven ommissioners huddled together in a tiny room above the Children’s Reading room in the Southeast Library last night for the ABC meeting. It was clear that lengthy negotiations, led by Green, between Cervera and residents preceded last night’s action. Sharing the details of the proposed VA, Green noted that the owner agreed to reduce the number of indoor seats from 215 to 140 and on the rooftop from 75 to 45. Additionally, Cervera agreed to enclose four sides of the garden area, as well as air conditioning units neighbors call noisy.

Joseph Shea, a 9th Street neighbor, suggested the hours for the rooftop garden and the sidewalk cafe should be the same. (Sidewalk service at all of Cervera’s 8th Street hot spots ends at 11 PM.) Cervera operates Molly Mallone’s, Lola’s, and the Chesapeake Room and plans to open both Pacifico and Senart’s Oyster House on 8th Street and a wine bar on 7th Street near Eastern Market. In a testy exchange with neighbors, Cervera said, “You’ve gotten much more from me {in terms of concessions} than you have from Nooshi.” (Nooshi is a restaurant planned for the old Chateau Animaux site in the same block as Pacifico.) Neighbors disagreed. Commissioner Dave Garrison injected that he tried to resolve the neighbors’ problems last November when he proposed a freeze on all new liquor licenses in the area, but he noted, there is “virtually no support for that on the commission now.”

On Tuesday, March 8, ANC 6B will take final action on the ABC Committee’s proposed VA. It is expected to be adopted. On April 13, the protest by residents will go before ABRA. If ABRA grants the license, Pacifico is expected to open in about six months.

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Hine Project – Larger Images and Some New Ones Available

Larger images of images of the Hine project and some new ones are now available on the emmcablogs Facebook page.  Please click the link on our homepage.

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Two Tracks on Improving Retail Mix on Capitol Hill

Two Tracks on Improving Retail Mix on Capitol Hill

by Larry Janezich

CHAMPS Retail Mix Taskforce

ANC6b Chair Neil Glick recently met with representatives of the CHAMPS Retail Mix Taskforce.  Currently, ANC6b is represented on the Taskforce by Commissioners Garrison and Metzger.  Metzger reportedly wants off, and CHAMPS has requested two additional commissioners be added to the effort.

The Taskforce expects to have recommendations by early spring.  ANC6b is considering hosting jointly with Champs, a Special Call meeting in May to hear a presentation on the retail mix recommendations.  Included would be a presentation on an economic survey paid for by Xavier Cervera and conducted by independent urban planning firm, Stover & Associates under the rubric of Barracks Row Main Street.  The survey considers issues of space, attitude of residents, spending power of the demographics.  The goal is to find which businesses will do well on Capitol Hill and attract them.  Cervera delivered hard copies of the survey to ANC6b at the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting on March 2.

ANC6b Retail Mix Taskforce

ANC6b’s Retail Mix Taskforce long-delayed report will be presented to the ANC at the March 8th meeting.  Some of the recommendations will be delegated to committee and some – especially those concerning ABC – will be scheduled for action by the ANC.  One thing likely to occur at the March meeting is a vote on a motion disavowing a moratorium for Barracks Row.  For official details on the findings of the Taskforce, as reported in January on the emmcablog, see the ANC6b website.

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New Conceptual Drawings of Hine Redevelopment Project Unveiled – Time Issues Force ANC to Alter Schedule for Consideration

View from Hill's Kitchen - Residential Building on Right

8th and D Streets Looking North

8th Street Looking South

North Residential Building on C Street, Looking West from 8th Street

North Residential Building - C Street View

North Residential Building on C Street from 7th Street

Residential Building or Hotel on 7th Street, from Eastern Market Looking SE

7th Street Looking South

Pennsylvania Avenue Looking East

7th Street Looking North

Pennsylvania Avenue Looking West

New Conceptual Drawings of Hine Redevelopment Project Unveiled

Time Issues Force ANC to Alter Schedule for Consideration

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, Stanton-Eastbanc unveiled their latest concept drawings for the Hine project to the ANC6b Planning and Zoning Committee, Chaired by Commissioner Francis Campbell.  This is the first step toward consideration of their Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for massing and height by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on March 24th.  As additional details are finalized, the plans will go back to HPRB for additional review in late spring or early summer.

It’s unlikely that the 20 or so near-by residents who turned out for the meeting liked what they saw and several the ANC6b Commissioners appeared skeptical of the proposal and the amount of information they were given.  One was overheard to say, “This building is too damn big,” and that sentiment seemed to express the feelings of several commissioners.

Because of logistical time constraints on the meeting, Stanton’s architect, Amy Weinstein, rushed through a 20-plus minute power point presentation which was long on images and necessarily short on details.

The major changes in the design since Stanton’s last public presentation February 3 include elimination of the bridge between the commercial and residential buildings on the Pennsylvania Avenue face, thus effectively separating the two buildings; elimination of some ground floor residential space on 8th Street in favor of “quiet retail,” and the addition of a sixth floor to the residential building on the Pennsylvania Avenue side to accommodate larger residential units.  Ms. Weinstein said Stanton was still unsure whether a boutique hotel would become part of the plan.

In architectural design terms, the concept for the office building on 7th Street and fronting on Pennsylvania Avenue will be a contemporary combination of red brick and pier and glass construction.  The façade of the residential building will feature corbelled brick, similar to the concept employed in the façade of the Hospice Association Building on 7th Street, across from Eastern Market, also designed by Weinstein. Clay tile or slate will be employed in the façade of the north residential building facing a newly-reopened C Street.

The full ANC6b had been scheduled to hear a Stanton Eastbanc presentation and take final action on their Historical Preservation Application on March 8th.  Since there was no time for questions from the commissioners or statements and questions from the community on Tuesday night, the Commission decided to hear those statements and questions at the full ANC6b meeting on March 8.  A Special Call Meeting has been announced for Tuesday, March 15, at a place and time to be determined, at which Stanton Eastbanc will make another presentation for the community at large and answer questions and concerns raised by commissioners and members of the community.  The Commission will then decide what recommendation to make to the Historic Preservation Office for consideration by the HPRB on March 24.

For now, the position of ANC6b Planning and Zoning on the HPA is to “take no position,” and to request additional information from Stanton.  ANC6b Chair Glick specifically requested the “HPRB package” and Commissioner Pate insisted on clearly outlined details on the dimensions of the project, particularly regarding height and setbacks.

Stanton will make a separate presentation to the near-by neighbors Wednesday night and post the presentation on their website soon after that.  That site can be found at: http://hineschool.com/

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