Monthly Archives: January 2012

Early Results In From ANC6B Online Hine Development Survey – Twelve Broad Themes Emerge From Early, Initial Online Comments

Early Results In From ANC6B Online Hine Development Survey

Twelve Broad Themes Emerge From Early, Initial Online Comments

by Thom and Anna Riehle

At the January 31 Subcommittee meeting at Brent School, partial results were reviewed on just one of the six areas of inquiry in the questionnaire.  About 300 responses are already in on Q.1 (benefits and amenities) from 100 respondents (on average, 3 volunteered responses per completed questionnaire on the question of benefits/amenities).

·      The greatest number of comments focus on providing public green space on the grounds of the development.  Clearly respondents are not persuaded that the drawings they’ve seen so far match what they are looking for when it comes to open space the public can use.

·      Next to the absence of appropriate public green space what matters most to respondents minds the most is retail, the retail mix, and from a few, a focus on nurturing retail establishments currently in the neighborhood.

·      Perhaps surprisingly, the number who mentions retail is nearly matched by the number who says an educational or child-oriented function is required at a site that has been an active DC Public School location since the middle of the Civil War in what remains a child-oriented neighborhood.

·      Those three major concerns – greenspace, retail, and child-oriented or educational functions – will dominate discussion throughout the PUD process.

·      Seven other concerns were mentioned on many questionnaires under the topic of benefits and amenities:  Parking, Height, the Flea Market, Housing, Restaurants, a community center/official office space, and a desire for much better architectural design.  In addition to the three big items listed above, the ANC may be under pressure to win appropriate accommodations on all or most of these seven items.

·      This partial report includes only those who raised issues as possible benefits or amenities the developer ought to provide, the first of six questions on the full questionnaire.  Some issues raised above, such as retail, height, or architectural design, earned fuller and more frequent mention in response to other questions on the survey more directly aimed at those topics.

·      Smaller numbers mentioned special inspirations:  A hotel, a dog run, or the arts.  Proponents of some of these kinds of special amenities may turn out to have many followers.   As well, some responses to this first question on the survey focused on smart growth goals, such as greater density, bike accommodations and other walkability measures.

·      These results are preliminary until more members of the community with an interest in Hine weigh in on the questionnaire website at:


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Reduced Height, Open Space, Child Care, Dominate Hine Subcommittee Meeting

Reduced Height, Open Space, Child Care, Dominate Hine Subcommittee Meeting

by Barbara Riehle

About sixty neighbors met last night at Brent Elementary School with ANC6B’s Hine Subcommittee to hash out what constitutes “benefits and amenities” when it comes to the redevelopment project proposed for the Hine School site. 

After hearing suggestions from Subcommittee members and residents alike, Subcommittee Chairman Ivan Frishberg asked for a show of hands, asking, “If the Commission is able to get the best package of benefits we can which includes everyone’s ideas but the height stays the same, would you support the PUD proposal?”  Four of the sixty people assembled raised their hands.  Most of the remaining fifty plus made clear that the proposed heights are unacceptable no matter how many of the neighbors’ requests wind up in the final benefits and amenities package.  A handful abstained.

Frishberg opened the meeting by calling on Commissioner Dave Garrison to define “benefits and amenities” as well as “mitigation” according to the city zoning regulation. Garrison quoted Section 2403 of the regulations (Title 11, Chapter 24) for these definitions and suggested that reading recent PUD filings could be instructive.  He noted, however, that “these things are all idiosyncratic” and added that in recent decisions public meeting space appears to have become an additional benefit.  (ANC6D may have received office and meeting space through a PUD.)  Click on “View Text” near the bottom of the screen to see the regulations Garrison quoted.

Garrison reminded the audience that Stanton-Eastbanc, the city-selected developers for the Hine School site, has claimed reopening C Street, affordable housing, LEED certification, value to the city tax base, flea market space, and support for the comprehensive zoning plan as the benefits and amenities package it is providing to the neighborhood. 

Beginning last Friday, January 27, the Subcommittee made available an online tool for giving input.  So far, the survey garnered 300 responses from about 100 people for Question #1 about benefits and amenities. There seemed to be general agreement among the commissioners that all of the responses will be posted on the subcommittee’s website at a future date. 

The survey remains open until at least February 10, leaving readers about a week to ten days to have their opinions included in the survey.  Click on the following link to enter your opinions:

Bill Pate, a subcommittee member representing the Hine School North Neighbors (HSNN), did the hard work of capturing and alphabetizing by topic the 19-page list of benefits and amenities suggested so far.  

Then Subcommittee members were asked to enumerate the benefits they seek.

The Stanton Park Neighborhood Association’s voice on EMCAC, Monte Edwards, requested outdoor community meeting space.

At-large subcommittee member Ken Jarboe repeated his call for underground access to Metro from the North side of Pennsylvania Avenue.

EMMCA’s subcommittee rep, Roger Tauss, repeated EMMCA’s long-standing desire to see services to children at that site. “Perhaps,” he said, “a child care center, which is sorely needed in this neighborhood filled with young children, should be included.”

A community meeting room as well as office space for community organizations were Garrison’s suggestions.

Commissioner Brian Pate recited a thorough list including: child-care, improved design at 8th and D, enough outdoor space for the existing weekend Flea Markets and other issues. 

Steve Sweeney, who represents Eyes on Hine, raised the idea of a mini-museum and electric car charging station. 

Planning and Zoning Committee Chairperson Francis Campbell repeated his long-held call for 24-hour child care and a City Services Center. 

Frishberg weighed in for child care, open community gathering space, 60 percent local retail, an internet hot spot, improved design for 8th and D, use of geothermal and solar energy.

Finally the floor was opened up to comments from the neighbors.  The first speaker set the tone for what was to come, asking for more open space and decrying the “gated courtyard” proposed for the development.  Person after person repeated support for open space and child care.  Other suggestions included more use of universal access in apartments, including elevators in two-story units.

Repeatedly, neighbors decried the shortcomings of the design to date in terms of aesthetics, compatibility and charm.


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Hine PUD Subcommittee Meeting Date and Location Change

MEETING NOTICE:  Date and Location Change


The Sub-committee on the Hine School Development previously scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2012 has been rescheduled to meet at 7pm on Monday, January 30, 2012.  The meeting will be held at Brent Elementary School, 301 N. Carolina Avenue, SE.  The Sub-committee will be having a preliminary discussion of options for proposed community amenities and benefits that might be provided by the development of the Hine School and as a part of the Zoning Commission’s Planned Unit Development Process.  The Sub-committee will take public comment

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The Week Ahead…..

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, January 24

7:00pm, Hill Center

ANC6B’s Outreach and Constituent Services Committee meets.

Wednesday, January 25

6:30pm, Hill Center

ANC6B’s Bylaws Working Group meets.

Thursday, January 26

7:00pm, Hill Center

The ANC6B’s Subcommittee on the Hine PUD Process Meeting scheduled for this time has been RESCHEDULED.  The meeting will be held at Brent Elementary School, 301 North Carolina Avenue, SE.  The Sub-committee will be having a preliminary discussion of options for proposed community amenities and benefits that might be provided by the development of the Hine School and as a part of the Zoning Commission’s Planned Unit Development Process.  The Sub-committee will take public comment.

Thursday, January 26

7:00pm, Parish of St. Monica and St. James at 222 8th Street, NE. 

Public meeting the hear presentation by IBG Partners on their plan to to convert part of Specialty Hospital at 700 Constitution, NE into 140 rental units.

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Missing Info in Developer’s Request to Change Hine Zoning Slows Process

Missing Info in Developer’s Request to Change Hine Zoning Slows Process

by Larry Janezich

Missing information in Stanton-Eastbanc-Dante’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) application for a Hine site zoning change has caused concern among ANC6B commissioners following the process.  Raising these concerns with the city’s Office of Planning (OP) has resulted in OP delaying the issuance of the “set down report” necessary for the process to move forward.  The set down report (to the Zoning Commission) is a preliminary assessment on whether the developer is at a stage where the first of two Zoning Commission hearings on the requested change can be scheduled. 

By objecting to the failure of Stanton-Eastbanc-Dante to include the essential traffic, noise, and shadow studies in its PUD application, ANC6B won a delay until February 13 for the set down report, previously scheduled to be filed on January 30.  The “set down hearing” could occur as soon at February 23.  That hearing is open to the public, but only Stanton-Eastbanc-Dante and the Zoning Commission are parties to the hearing.  A second and possibly final hearing will occur no sooner than 60 days later.  The public and other stakeholders do participate in that hearing and are permitted to testify in support or opposition, and in the case of those awarded “party status,” call expert witnesses. 

As readers of this blog know, the PUD process allows a final opportunity for the community to influence the use of the property (read retail or a daycare or educational component), use of public space (read flea market), transportation (read impact on local traffic), construction management (read impact on residents and businesses), design, and benefits and amenities to the community (read city).  The latter includes benefits provided in part for the impact the development will have on the community, and includes benefits provided to the city in exchange for the developer getting a prime piece of commercial property at a bargain rate.  ANC6B’s Subcommittee on the Hine PUD process expects to launch an on-line effort within the next few days to assess community sentiment on these issues.

The Subcommittee has appointed working groups in each of these specified areas to track the developer’s thinking and report back to the Subcommittee which will take those assessments into account in formulating a position for negotiating with the developer on behalf of the community. 

The Subcommittee on the Hine PUD process will next meet at 7:00pm on Thursday, January 26, in Hill Center.

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CHRS Joins Historic District Coalition Opposing New Signage for Verizon Center

CHRS Joins Historic District Coalition Opposing New Signage for Verizon Center

by Larry Janezich

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Restoration Society’s Board voted 10-2 to oppose bill currently  before the City Council which would allow the Verizon Center to add nine electronic signs to its façade.  The vote came on a motion by Board member Gary Peterson to endorse a letter of opposition being drafted by representatives of the Foggy Bottom Historic District Conservancy and the DuPont Circle Conservancy and to forward that letter and endorsement to Councilmember Tommy Wells.

Board members were concerned about the precedent it would set.  Chuck Burger called it “a dangerous exemption.”  Shauna Holmes said “the precedent is horrible.”  And Gary Peterson remarked, “If these people can get away with it, everybody will want it.”

The bill, the “Verizon Center Graphics and entertainment Act of 2011” sponsored by Councilmember Yvette Alexander,  is scheduled for a public hearing January 23.  It requires the Mayor to issue rules governing additional graphics for the displays on the exterior of the Verizon Center.


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Barracks Row Gourmet Pizza One Step Closer to Reality

Drant Concept for Barracks Row IMA Pizza

Barracks Row Gourmet Pizza One Step Closer to Reality

by Larry Janezich

At the Restoration Society’s Tuesday night meeting, Zoning Committee Gary Perterson announced that his committee had approved IMA Pizza’s request for an exception that would allow opening a fast food establishment in the space at 415 8th Street, SE, formerly occupied by China Wall.  Barracks Row zoning requires a special exception for fast food restaurants.  IMA Pizza falls into the fast food category because you have to pay for the food in advance, even though inside seating for 40 will be provided.  Customers will be presented with an array of choices – including gluten free options – and construct their own pizza. 

Under CHRS procedures, approval by the committee is tantamount to approval by the CHRS Board. 

Peterson said that Zoning regulations provide 15 or 16 requirements an applicant must meet in order to qualify for an exception, and he said the Committee was satisfied that the applicant had complied with the requirements. 

The application will still have to go through ANC6B, and according to Planning and Zoning Chair Francis Campbell, it will be on the committee’s agenda for the February meeting.  Given the prior approval of the CHRS, it is likely that the committee and the full ANC will follow suit.  That will send the application to the March 6 meeting of the Board of Zoning Adjustment.


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The Week Ahead…..

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, January 17

CHRS Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE.  Open to members of CHRS.  Recommendations regarding HPRB review of Historic Preservation application for conversion of part of Specialty Hospital at 7th and Constitution, NE, likely to be on the agenda.

Wednesday, January 18

ANC6B Subcommittee on Hine meets at 7:00pm, The Hill Center, to review the progress of the working groups and further develop its plans for participation in the PUD process.  

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market to consider legislation to provide a new governing structure for Eastern Market.

Wednesday, January 18

City Council’s Committee on Libraries, Parks Recreation and Planning’s Public Roundtable meets at 10:00am, Room 123, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.  To receive public comment on the Mayor’s nominations to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), including that of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s Nancy Pryor Metzger for appointment as a public member of the HPRB.  The nomination is supported by preservation groups, including The Committee of 100 and opposed, generally speaking, by the business community.  The Board is comprised of nine members who serve staggered 3-year terms.

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ANC6C Defers Action on Medlink Building Capitol Hill Apartment Project – Community Meeting Planned with IBG Partners

ANC6C Chair Karen Wirt Calls the Vote On Motion to Delay IBG HPRB Permit

ANC6C Defers Action on Medlink Building Capitol Hill Apartment Project – Community Meeting Planned with IBG Partners

by Larry Janezich

Wednesday night, ANC6C voted 6-2 to table until February IBG Partners’ request to forward their concept for a 140 unit apartment complex on Capitol Hill to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for historic preservation review.  The complex is planned as part of the Capitol Hill Specialty Hospital , located at 700 Constitution Avenue, NE, which is currently divided into a nursing facility and office space.  IBG has a 75 year lease on the office half, and the plan is to continue the hospital operation while IBG converts the office space into one bedroom (and smaller) residential units.  The plan seems much like the layout found in many assisted living or rehabilitation facilities. 

The vote came on a motion by Bill Crews, Commissioner for ANC6C07, in opposition to the ANC’s Planning and Zoning Committee recommendation that the ANC fully support forwarding the design to HPRB.  Departing Commissioner Rob Amos, former Chair of the Committee, explained that IBG will restore the 1928 portion of the building, renovate the 1950’s portion, and strip the metal wrapping from the 1970’s portion. 

Crews, along with veteran Commissioner Mark Dixon, 6C02, and newcomer Scott Price, 6C06, cited a long history of contention between the community and the building’s owner with respect to development of the site and the need for an opportunity for a community meeting to hear neighbor’s concerns.  The three commissioners all opposed “rushing to judgment” since the HPRB hearing was not until February 23. 

Commissioner Tony Goodman, 6C04,  strongly supported the committee recommendation, saying delaying the process for reasons unrelated to historic preservation was “an abuse of our role” – that the issue was strictly related to historic preservation and no substantial issues had been raised against that standard.  That point was emphasized by historical architect Andi Adams, representing the developer. 

When a representative of St. James’ Church, across the alley from the development rose to say the church was totally unaware of the impact of the construction on their operation until last week and the they could not take the issue to the Vestry until January 19, the ANC needed no more convincing to delay.  A community meeting is planned for January 25th.

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Critchfield Takes Over After Glick Announces He Will Not Seek ANC6B Chair

ANC6B Votes on the Commission Chair for 2012. Gottlieb Simon (Far Right), Executive Director, Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, Conducted the Vote

Before the Vote for ANC6B Chair (L-R, Commissioners Oldenburg, Critchfield, Glick)

Critchfield Takes Over After Glick Announces He Will Not Seek ANC6B Chair

 by Larry Janezich

At Tuesday night’s ANC6B meeting, Jared Critchfield (SMD 6B06) was elected the new Chair of ANC6B by a vote of 6-4.  Chair Neil Glick announced at the beginning of the meeting that he had decided to not seek re–election as ANC6B Chair, saying it had been an honor to serve and citing his belief that it was important to share leadership roles and to permit others to have the opportunity to learn in these positions. 

Kirsten Oldenburg made a run for the job, nominated by Commissioner Dave Garrison who cited her experience and knowledge of the issues. 

When the vote came, Commissioners Flahaven, Frishberg, Green, Glick, Pate, and Critchfield voted for Critchfield.  Commissioners Garrison, Metzger, Oldenbeug, and Campbell voted for Oldenburg.    

In other races, Ivan Frishberg was re-elected Vice Chair by acclamation, Commissioner Pate was elected Secretary over Glick by a vote of 6-4, Carol Green was re-elected Treasurer and Brian Flahaven was re-elected Parliamentarian, both without opposition. 

After the meeting, Critchfield said he was excited at the prospect of working with the other commissioners in his new role.  Critchfield had previously been Secretary for ANC6B.  He added, “[i]t will be a busy year ahead, given the work the city has provided us and the initiatives we are undertaking.”  Those issues will include representing the community overseeing development of the Hine proconstruction of the new CSX tunnel, the Info Hub on Eastern Market Metro Plaza, the crafting of legislation establishing a new governing authority for Eastern Market and continued oversight of the Performance Parking Fund Projects.  In addition, the ANC will be heavily involved in the re-purposing of the Eastern Branch Boys and Girls Club and issues concerning RFK and the current and future use of Reservation 13. ject, the Asked for her comment after the meeting, Oldenburg replied, “No comment.”

Chairs of the ANC Committees will be voted on at ANC6B’s February meeting.


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