CHRS To Join ANC6B’s Subcommittee on Hine Re-Zoning Process – Society Reserves Right to Seek Independent Party Status Before Zoning Commission
by Larry Janezich
Restoration Society Zoning Committee Chair Gary Peterson met with ANC6B Hine Public Unit Development (PUD) Subcommittee Vice Chair Brian Pate on Monday night. After the meeting, Pate said Peterson agreed to recommend to the CHRS Board that CHRS participate in the Subcommittee to review Stanton/Eastbanc Development’s application to change the zoning of the Hine site. A zoning change for the site is necessary to permit the greater density required by Stanton-Eastbanc’s mixed use project.
Pate added that Peterson was clear that CHRS will still seek an independent voice before the Zoning Board. In this, they seem to be mirroring other community groups who are willing participants but retain the right to seek party status. The agreement represented a likely reversal of position for the CHRS. Last week, Peterson filed a report with the Society’s Board in which he stated that he will “decline an invitation” to become one of the community groups joining ANC6B’s Subcommittee. That report was still pending before the board when the new agreement was reached Monday night.
Reached for comment, Peterson said that he will be joining the Subcommittee with the understanding that CHRS may take different positions on some issues. He said that this would allow CHRS to keep its independence and yet helps the Subcommittee wade through the PUD process.
Community groups wish to retain the right to seek “party status” in the discussion, because the status carries with it greater weight and expanded privileges during the Zoning Board public hearing on the issue. ANC gets automatic “party status” in the process. The Zoning Board is reluctant to grant that designation to more than two or three organizations or individuals in the proceedings.
On October 11, ANC6B authorized establishment of a Subcommittee chaired by Commissioner Ivan Frishberg comprised of ANC6B Commissioners and up to six representatives of outside stakeholders to participate in negotiations with the Office of Planning, the developers, and the Zoning Commission regarding the PUD process. This is one of the last chances the community will have to influence the process.
Few Capitol Hill organizations have participated in a PUD process, since they are uncommon in the Historic District. CHRS last participated in a PUD process several years ago related to the Dreyfus development on H Street, NE. In that case, they were part of a larger group including the ANC and the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association. The settlement in the PUD mitigation process in that instance involved a large sum of cash for the CHRS. That cash was subsequently used to lay the on-going ground work for expanding the Historic District “Beyond the Boundaries.”