ANC6B Joins Others in Criticizing Stanton-Eastbanc Hine Project – Historic Preservation Board Meets on Project Thursday
by Larry Janezich
Tuesday night’s ANC6B Special Call meeting on the Hine project started at6:30 p.m.with more than 50 Capitol Hill residents, but there weren’t many of them left four hours later at meeting’s end.
The ANC hammered out a resolution of recommendations on the Hine project which it will present in testimony before the Historic Preservation Review Board which meets today (Thursday) at 2:15 p.m. to review the historical preservation aspects of the project.
The resolution states that the ANC supports the overall density and proportion of the project. However, the ANC takes issue with specific aspects of each of the four units making up the project:
8th Street Residential Building
The resolution recommends the developer reduce the height of the 8th Street residential building, a goal long sought by the nearby residents. In addition, the measure emphasizes that the ANC supports reserving the large interior courtyard as public space, and states that if the developer sticks with the current plan of keeping it private, it should shrink in size and be used to reduce the height and mass of the building.
North Residential Building
The resolution expresses the ANC’s vague discomfort with the height, scale, design façade, and streetscape of the North residential building, hinting that things aren’t quire right, but failing to make any recommendation regarding the height of the center portion, that issue being important to nearby neighbors. The resolution holds open the possibility that this use-driven issue (mandated by 33 affordable housing units in the structure) could be addressed later in the process.
8th and D Residential and 7th and Pennsylvania Office Buildings.
The residential building at 8th and D Streets “does not reflect the character of the neighborhood.” It’s “too blocky” and “too tall.” And it needs to be considered in connection with its partner facing Pennsylvania Avenue, the 7th andPennsylvania Avenue office building.
The design of the latter, the resolution states “does not meet the demands of such a promising location.” The resolution says, “[a]n absolute reduction in height is essential” – and recommends reducing the 106 foot high roofline by ten feet.
Further, it calls for reconsideration of the scale, height, and façade of both the buildings.
7th Street Mixed Use Building.
The resolution states more work is needed – especially in the façade design.
The resolution recommends that the developer 1) reduce the massing and height of the overall development by placing the mechanical rooms underground or inside the building, 2) expand underground retail, and 3) requests the developer to provide a three dimensional site contextual model for the project.
Nearby residents wanted language requiring usage to include services to children and barring retail from the 8th Street residential building. Both of these proposals were defeated on procedural grounds that this resolution for the HPRB was not the appropriate vehicle for them.
Overall, most efforts to weaken the resolution were unsuccessful.
One effort to weaken it was successful – an amendment by Commissioner Garrison – removed language meant to address the height of the 7th Street façade. Some commissioners, who supported resolution language addressing the issue, voted for Garrison’s motion to strike the language, apparently in the belief that this would help move the Commission toward unanimous adoption of the measure. The motion to strike was agreed to, only to have Garrison and his two voting companions oppose the resolution on final passage. Consequently, the resolution does not address the issue of height on 7th Street which a 2009 ANC6B vote limited to no more than 50 feet.
In the end, the resolution passed on 6-3 vote, with ANC6B Chair Glick, and Commissioners Campbell, Frishberg, Pate, Flahaven, and Critchfield voting for it. Commissioners Garrison, Oldenburg, and Metzger voted no.
Live coverage of the HPRB hearing may be viewed at the following link: