ANC6B Working Group Wrestles with Hine Design Issues – Delays Considering Height Issue Pending Forthcoming Shadow Study
by Larry Janezich
Last Tuesday night the ANC6B Working Group on the Hine Design met to consider recommendations to improve the design of the Hine project, but deferred consideration of the height issue until the results of the shadow study are made available, possibly later this week. The shadow study is required by the Zoning Commission as part of Stanton/Eastbanc’s application to change the zoning of the site permitting a building height up to 90 feet. A private consultant, hired by Stanton/Eastbanc, will determine what shadows the building will cast by time of day and time of year.
At the meeting, working group leader Gary Peterson called the height of the proposed development “the elephant in the room.” Former ANC6B Commissioner Ken Jarboe noted that the building on 7th Street is two stories higher in the current plan than it was in the proposal which the city selected when awarding the bid to Stanton, making it three stories higher than the building housing Le Pain Quotidian across the street. Jarboe said, “[e]ven with a step down of the building toward C Street, building to the property line creates a canyon effect.” Peterson agreed with this, saying that “there’s something wrong with the height.” ANC6B Commissioner Dave Garrison differed, however, saying “it doesn’t look like a canyon to me. I’m hard pressed to say this is a canyon.”
Also at the meeting, the façade of the 7th Street building came under fire for the windows all being the same size and the confusing attempt to break the single building into three sections to make it look less monolithic and more human in scale. While the working group seemed to agree with these goals, the feeling was strong that the design efforts to do this were unsuccessful.
Peterson put to rest the idea that the development might be set back from 7th Street to encompass a view of Eastern Market from the Metro plaza as “a dead letter,” saying the National Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Review Board were opposed. He also shot down any idea of having an entrance or exit to underground parking on D Street or Pennsylvania Avenue, saying because the city will oppose a curb cut, “it’s not going to happen.”
The group will meet next on Thursday, March 1, when the shadow study might be available. Peterson said he hoped it Stanton/Eastbanc would put it on the Hine website for viewing by the community. There was no discussion at the design working group of the 3-D scale model, reported by Stanton Eastbanc to be delivered from China mid-March.
The next meeting of ANC’s Subcommittee on the Hine PUD process will be on Wednesday, February 29, at 7:00pm in Hill Center.