A Divided ANC6B Endorses The Hine Project – Developer Makes Additional Benefit Concessions

A Divided ANC6B Endorses The Hine Project – Developer Makes Additional Benefit Concessions

by Larry Janezich

A divided ANC6B gave conditional endorsement to the Hine project on Tuesday night, voting 6 – 4 to agree to a package of benefits and amenities negotiated with the Hine developers by Commissioners Frishberg and Pate.

Those supporting:  Frishberg, Pate, Garrison, Oldenberg, Metzger, and Flahaven.

Those opposed:  Critchfield, Glick, Campbell, and Green.

Additional benefit concessions made by the developer since the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting last week include $75,000 to support a playground in the park bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, 8th Street, D Street, and 9th Street, SE.  In addition the developers agreed to allocate no less than 2,000 square feet of non-subsidized space for community oriented non-profits.  Finally, the developer agreed to provide subsidized office space for the ANC.  The latter has been a pet project of Commissioner Garrison, who groused at last week’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting that he didn’t understand why negotiators had failed to win this benefit for the community.

Hine Subcommittee Chair Frishberg moved to approve the benefits package and endorsement, stating that the process had not been ideal, but had been dictated by what the city did.  “DMPED (Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development) got a great deal for city – not so great for neighbors.”  He said he still believed this will be “a benefit to the community and the benefits package is fair and more productive than others I’ve seen.”  He cited inclusion of an on-site day care center for at least 24 children, $50,000 improvements to Metro Plaza, as well as ANC meeting space and allocation of space for non-profits.

Subcommittee Vice Chair Brian Pate supported the deal saying, “I’ll stand by the benefits package and continue to work to mitigate the impact of the development on the community.”

A broad spectrum of the community – some 50 residents – beyond what has been characterized as the nearby neighbors, turned out for the meeting.  Seventeen rose to express concerns ranging from the height and mass, how candidates for child care would be selected, traffic, parking, and the flea market.  Two attendees spoke in favor of the project.

Among the commissioners other than the negotiators, Garrison and Flahaven voiced their support for the project, both saying they regretted the reduction in height at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue achieved by the negotiators and cited the need for the ANC to have a strong voice before the Zoning Commission hearing on Hine on Thursday.  Flahaven said the benefits package was a good balance between the interests of the neighbors and the interests of Capitol Hill.  Commissioner Metzger cited the need for more density and neighbors.  Commissioner Oldenberg said she had been disappointed in the initial benefits package unveiled last week, but as revised by the additional concessions of this past week, she could support it.

On the other side, Commissioner Glick announced his opposition saying the benefits package for the community fell short.  Francis Campbell said the project “is too damn big – it is too much in too small a space.”

Frishberg had the last word wrapping up the debate by acknowledging community unhappiness with the agreement and the project.  He noted that he had not supported this developer – that he had favored the “campus plan” among the finalists who bid for the development.  But, he said, “the City Council voted for (Stanton-Eastbanc).”  He expressed frustration that the ANC had beaten its head against the HPRB and gotten “almost nothing,” noting that it was they who are supposed to safeguard the community.  “This is not the (benefits package) I would have written…but if we walk away, we don’t know what we’ll get.  I don’t think I can walk away because there is a risk on the other side.”

After agreeing to support the package, the ANC voted to reject a request from Frishberg to authorize the expenditure of $2,500 for legal advice to help negotiate the Construction Management Agreement between the developer and the community.   The motion failed on a 5 – 5 tie.

Those who supported the motion:  Frishberg, Pate, Critchfield, Flahaven, and Campbell.

Those opposed:  Garrison, Oldenberg, Metzger, Glick, and Green.

Thursday night, the Zoning Commission holds the first of what is likely to be two hearings on the application of Stanton-Eastbanc for a change in zoning for the Hine site.  The meeting will be 6:30pm at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC.


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33 responses to “A Divided ANC6B Endorses The Hine Project – Developer Makes Additional Benefit Concessions

  1. phyllis

    Developers ruin communities, rather than enhance them. Enhancement is an organic process that happens slowly. What happens with places like the flea market at Eastern Market; people who live there, the people who come there and spend money and time no matter how small the amount? Developers come in and interrupt this process, seemingly not caring about the community and how it serves the people. I have seen this happening in many cities and the results are the same.

  2. SimonSays

    Just curious: is the office and meeting space at Hill Center not sufficient for the ANC?

  3. David Healy

    There is something unseemly about this whole process. It bothers me that you can get approval by a governmental body by agreeing to give that selfsame body office space. Is the ANC majority acting on the merits of the proposal or on this office space “concession” that seems more like graft.

  4. re the ANC office space, tone deaf is the phrase that comes to mind.

  5. Kathleen

    Thanks to Jared, Carol, Neil and Francis for being great ANC Commissioners at the moment when it mattered most.

    You guys are great!

  6. Bobbi Krengel

    It is tragic that the ANC does not understand its role here, nor the workings of the various governmental bodies, well enough to have taken an intelligent position on the matter before the Zoning Commission tomorrow, which is to make a decision on what the zoning designation for the land should be. The application before it asks for the zoning designation that the developer wants, but this does not constrain the Zoning Commission any more than would a coherent position on what the neighborhood wants, as expressed by the ANC. The ANC should be presenting a position on the proper zoning designation based on its own criteria, just as the developer is.
    The city pimped the hood, and we are left to argue about whether to rejoice in the payment received, rather than what we should be doing–refusing to prostitute ourselves and demanding that the decision be made based adherence to the guidance in the zoning laws. If we behave like DMPED’s b***h, then we will be.
    DMPED is driven by development at all costs, and that is why the RFP was structured to reflect a change to an inappropriately excessive zoning level–C2B. Because it was in the RFP, it then carried over into the LDDA, and is now part of the MOA, but it is not founded upon any legal basis.
    That is why it comes to the Zoning Commission to make a decision upon a request to change the zoning, and they are not bound by the RFP, the LDDA, or the MOA. They are intended to be an independent body charged with applying the law as codified in the Home Rule Act, the Comprehensive Plan, and the Historic Preservation Act.
    Those regulations spell out the guidelines for zoning, and they clearly indicate that C2B is not appropriate. The fact that the Office of Planning made interpretations to the contrary, in service to their slavish obeisance to Economic Development, should surprise no one. (They did the same thing on Square 895 in 2005/2006.)
    This deeply flawed report, along with all the other reports, and the MOA, only serve as background data to inform the interpretations of abstract laws to a decision on what the zoning should be.
    The reports and testimony of the neighborhood must present the other side.
    The C2B in the application is not the only consideration, its just the one on the table.
    The Zoning Commission has the power to choose any designation it wants to, by motion and vote.
    The neighborhood should come to a consensus on what it believes the zoning designation should be, based on its goals and values, and interpretation of the guidance of the Comprehensive Plan. And don’t forget that the PUD provides bonus height and density over the designation
    The entire neighborhood is R4, (40 feet), C2A, and CHC/C2A (50 feet).
    The application is for C-2-B with PUD, allowing 90 feet. There is no other C-2-B zoning nearby, and consequently, such a designation for this site would be inappropriate, out of scale, and sufficiently anomalous to be considered spot-zoning, causing the granting of the application as submitted to violate the Comprehensive Plan. There are no 90-foot high buildings within sight.

    A designation of C2A with PUD bonus would have a height limit of 65 feet. Although still too high for 8th Street, its a better solution, and one that would be indicated in the guidance of the zoning regulations. These are what the ZC will look to, not these other “deals” that they are not a party to.
    For more information, read the report by George Oberlander, AICP, Urban and Regional Planner, exhibit 139[1] in the Zoning Commission file:
    Use the “search by case” function and enter the case number: 11-24.
    Bobbi Krengel

  7. Leonard Hacker

    This is why we who are closest to the Hine project should be more active in the selection and election of ANC members who shall represent us,not themselves, it appears the ANC is more interested in their HOME then they are in the homes they are elected to represent. There is a recall process. I think we should insist that the ANC’s report include the vote for and again st, the areas represented, in relation to Hine,. and the conflict of interest in the agreement negotiations. Our basic request was for a smaller, lower building(s) is the ANC space a fair, intelligent exchange for an extra 3 floors on the whole project? Why was the fact that the community is loosing tennis and basketball courts, a protected dog area, open space that we should get back a LOWER in height then zoning allows rather then a change in zoning for a greater height then zoning allows. There are over a dozen misinformation areas that we should protest, because of time restrictions we shall not be able correct tomorrow night, we should all show up and protest ehat we will not be given sufficient time to protest.. The problem with this hearing is that the developer has a great advantage in that they started out with a plan that was too big, to tall, too intrucive, and then said we will negotiate what we can give you within the plan, including a few dollars to pay for something that is already funded by other entities, and in this case space to the ANC but we will not negotiate the hight, oh yes we will ask for an 8 storie building and negotiate part down to 7 where it replaces a 4 storie bldg, or a 6 storie where it replaces a 2 storie auditorium, We must show up and protest the proses as well as project. See you all tomorrow night. Leonard

  8. cmg

    I’m so depressed that the flea market is no more.

  9. Karen Kimball

    From the ANC Corner, on the Hill is Home website…
    “What is an ANC? As stated by dc.gov, “The ANCs’ main job is to be their neighborhood’s official voice in advising the District government on things that affect their neighborhoods. Although they are not required to follow the ANCs’ advice, District agencies are required to give the ANC’s recommendations ‘great weight.’”

    Thank you to Comissioners Critchfield, Glick, Campbell, and Green for representing what has clearly been the majority voice of the neighborhood. Fancis Campbell, I want to buy you a beverage!

    On to Thursday.

  10. Carole

    My two cents, as someone who lives on the Hill and has been following the HIne process carefully, but from another ANC:

    In residential neighborhoods across the city, out-of-scale PUDs are being permitted with little deference to “neighborhood conservation,” a concept that is given much lip service in the Comprehensive Plan (CP) but seems to be trumped in the real world by the city’s hunger for more taxable real estate. At the heart of this is the “development review” staff at OP, who seem to have unlimited license in deciding which elements of the CP are relevant to a PUD application and in the specifics of “not inconsistent with,” which vague standard is what pertains. OP’s “analyses” and recommendations constitute guidance of apparently biblical weight to the Zoning Commission. [Certainly when ANCs and other entities claiming to represent “the community” are all over the map on questions of scale, style, footprint, setbacks, and amenity packages.]

    I do not blame developers, who are not paying their legions of planners and lawyers to get them approval for anything less than the most profitable project possible. It is the municipal government that is cheerfully allowing interests of the propertyowners/taxpayers/residents — whose long-term commitment to their neighborhoods is what has in the end made those neighborhoods attractive to developers — to be kicked to the curb in the Zoning Commission deliberations. The problem lies in the process as enacted by the Council, with no provision for making the case for preserving the integrity of a neighborhood as new development occurs.

    The Hill’s historic district designation has brought in the good offices of the HPRB, which seems to me to have mitigated some of the rough edges of the Hine project conceptually. Compare this with Brookland, which has no historic district and whose Small Area Plan — the document in which the community most concretely made its wishes for the direction of its built environment known — was politely dismissed by the Office of Planning as not requiring consideration. The result was OP arguing that a 61-foot building is a perfectl transition from the 70-foot mixed-use development envisioned for the Brookland Metro Station site to the two story houses adjacent to the PUD site.

    The irony to all this is the “smart growth” banner waved as permission to construct too-large and less-achitecturally-compatible-than-one-might-hope PUDs is given. How do 290 underground parking spaces contribute to anything except more vehicular gridlock?

  11. Joe

    Garbage in, garbage out. The ANC commissioners who voted for this are jokes, ignoring what their constituents clearly want and/or not able to recognize how overmatched they are. Brian Pate actually brags that he has negotiated with sheiks in the desert or some such moronic and irrelevant babble. So, the community gets stuck with an entirely inappropriate development, yet gets meeting space for the ANC and chump change for some playground? Can we also get a sign designating it the “Pate-Frishberg Memorial Playground”? Stanton-EastBanc and Tommy Wells toyed with and used these “negotiators” the way one gets a dog to do tricks by offering a cheap treat.
    I also enjoyed the non-responsive, cut-and-paste emails I got from K.Oldenberg, trying to pretend that she can rationalize her position, though she’s always been a joke so that was to be expected. While I appreciate the common-sense, pragmatic efforts of Francis Campbell and the others on the ANC who voted against this, here’s a shining example of why the ANC’s power shouldn’t go beyond recommendations about where to place stop signs. The ANC did not act in accordance with the wishes of their constituents, or the best interests of the community and city.

    • Or, you know, there’s the possibility that not all of their constituents share your views.

    • I’m w/ Alex B. on this, Joe. While you may disagree w/ the decisions made by some of the commissioners, I don’t see the value of personal attacks. I definitely don’t see the value of personal attacks on men (or women) who put their lives at risk on behalf of you, me, and the chorus of whiners who have descended on this Hine situation. How about this? You stop whining, show up to every meeting, listen to the other whining, make the best possible decisions in a ‘no way to make everyone happy’ situation and then just for fun, serve in a war. Too much? OK, then. how about just agree to stop the personal attacks which are incredibly offensive and disrespectful to those who serve in the military. Can you manage that? #disgusted

      • Kathleen

        I find Joe’s remarks a little flip for my taste, but I really think it’s a little ridiculous to suggest that the men and women of our military are more deserving of dignity than anyone else, just as the suggestion that they deserve less would be equally so.
        Also, btw, you go on to attack Joe as a whiner. And also, just btw, I have shown up for a lot of meetings and I think the message from the neighborhood has been clear; it’s not been whining. I also think that, at these meetings, Brian is incredibly quick to use his military service as political purchase. He’s entitled to do so, just as others might say “As a mother,” or “As a gay man,” but once you use your identity that way you shouldn’t be surprised when it becomes politicized. Most people who do that don’t have a problem with that politicization, but you seem to suggest that Brian should be able to nominate his military experience as a source of credibility and authority in public, but the rest of us should simply remain silent in the face of that.
        That’s not going to happen, and it cheapens our political culture to suggest it should. If Brian wants silence about his military service than he should be silent about it; if he wants to use it as a way to provide a rationale or suggest something about his recent actions as Commissioner, he should not be surprised that others pick up on it. Don’t play the race/gender/military service card if you can’t stand to see others call you on it or question you about it. And please don’t wrap yourself in a flag as a way to try to silence others. You are not any more patriotic or perceptive about this ANC process than any of my other neighbors.

  12. Kathleen

    Let’s not come with that weak stuff. Developer had a party at the Hill Center, and they almost outnumbered the people who came. Developer had the opportunity to gather neighborhood support in filing before the Zoning Commission, and their efforts are pathetic (and in some cases questionable). And I’m not greatly impressed with your home-base’s analysis either: GGW counted a meager number of Capitol Hill residents on their petition, and for all I know, those numbers include myself and others who “hijacked” the petition for ease of email delivery.
    Yes, I’m sure that there are one or two, or twelve or twenty constituents who feel the way you do about it. But there is no doubt about what the majority of the neighborhood feels.

    Karen: if you think that anything other than nearby neighborhood concerns will be rewarded in the ZC process, then I’d love to hear why. There is no precedent for it, and it certainly doesn’t make sense for the Commission to step out of line with the ANC (or the CHRS, or the HPRB) on any major issue.


    • ” But there is no doubt about what the majority of the neighborhood feels.”

      Yes, there is a great deal of doubt. The ANC process and those of other organized groups like EMMCA represent a small fraction of the community at large. Larry references some 50 residents turning out to last night’s meeting – if this were an election and we translated that into a voter turnout metric, it would be absurdly low.

      I was unable to be there last night due to a conflict, which is precisely the broader point: the process isn’t designed to be inclusive or even representative.

      • SimonSays

        The same argument could be made by supporters who were unable to make it no? At the end of the day -of the people who showed up- those in support where the small minority.

      • Joe

        There are thousands upon thousands of project supporters, it’s just that, unlike those opposed to it, they always have conflicts . . .
        Alex is correct that not everyone opposes this project. Of course not. But it’s absurd to pretend that, other than those with a financial benefit, more than a very small minority are in favor of it. I have discussed this with many, many neighbors and only one has expressed support and even that is qualified and based on a desire to get something built and move forward. Had Stanton EastBanc merely done “the right thing” and proposed a reasonable project that fits the space and character of the location, I doubt there would be anything more than token opposition.

      • No, it’s not that supporters always have conflicts (though that is a large shortcoming of the ANC process), but that they don’t care to engage in the process. That doesn’t mean they’re not supportive, however. I don’t think that should disqualify their opinion, as the designated processes aren’t exactly free of bias.

        I have my anecdotal evidence as well, where people I talk with think the project is great, perfectly within character for the location, etc. I can’t put a number on those supporters, but I don’t think characterizing them as ‘a very small minority’ is fair.

        The simple reality is this: development and change of any kind has the potential to bring very broad benefits to the city and the neighborhood. These benefits are real, they do not merely accrue for the developers. They are also broad-based, and often spread thinly across a wide swath of the neighborhood.

        There are also concerns about negative impacts, and in some cases actual negative impacts. Nearby neighbors are understandably loss-averse, and therefore more likely to organize. The negatives would be smaller in area but deeper for individuals.

        I would argue that in many cases, the net is very positive – however, the broad but thin benefits do not encourage the kind of organization that the narrow but deeper impact does. The nature of our decision-making processes favors the narrow audience, and the lack of reasonable zoning (a site like Hine should be mixed use by right – it’s directly adjacent to a Metro station, as an example) requires this process.

        I’d be happy to share some of the research on the subject if people are interested.

      • SimonSays

        Well I’m opposed and I had a conflict too. What’s your evidence to support the claim that supporters are basically just busier than opponents?

    • Karen Kimball

      Hi Kathleen- Nope, only thanking those who opposed last night and reminding the others (in their own words) that it was their job to represent us; be our voice. Some upheld that responsibility but most did not.

      Alex, there is some support for what SEB has on the table now but there’s no way it is the majority voice. In meetings i’ve been to, one person, maybe (rarely) two speak in favor of the proposed development represented by the 3-d model. Most are opposed to the size and design. Strangers from other wards have approached me coming out of my house and said they think what is proposed and how it is being proposed is appalling.

  13. goldfish

    I think for most people, even Alex B, the support for the Stanton/Eastblanc proposal is qualified by the long delays that will occur if the design is rejected outright. They are saying, “This is ready to go now. if we don’t build it, it will be years a long time before a new proposal is ready. And we can’t expect neither a perfect project, nor that everybody will agree.” It is partly based on impatience, but none of them are supporting it because they think this thing is a home run.

    Many people that oppose the Stanton/Eastblanc are willing to wait, but they do want something to go forward, and I am sure that there are parts of it ehy do like. And it is true that some people want stasis, unfortunately, while others are worried about what I consider to be issues of lesser importance, i.e., nitpicking the design, providing enough parking or the impression that the current design is not what S/E promised. There is a lot to be dissatisfied with here, and many strident people are not projecting a reasonable basis for their opposition.

    But some are against it because of its height and size. There is no question that this building will stand above its neighbors, and will remain so for the rest of our lives. I don’t think the design is distinctive or stunning enough to deserve this.

  14. Howard Roark

    It’ll be our very own neighborhood version of the brutalist FBI building which has been scorned for decades. Bravo. Bravo.

  15. Bobbi Krengel

    The subject site of the application, Square 901, sits diagonally adjacent to the southeast of Eastern Market, among residential row houses of mostly two and three stories, under 40 feet high, typical of the Capitol Hill Historic District; small scale retail beautifully retro-fitted into former row houses; a few slightly larger, significant buildings specifically built to celebrate some of the early larger-scaled retailers; and with an urban transit hub successfully integrated into it, which success; however, should not then overrule the more salient features of the neighborhood.

    The current zoning classification for Square 901 is R-4, with a height limit of 40 feet, matching the vast majority of the neighborhood, with similar R-4 zone districts to the east, north and southwest, and C-2-A or CHC/C-2-A, overlaid with the Capitol Hill Commercial District, a medium density community business center with a height limit of 50 feet, to the west, northwest and southwest. The variations of bulk, massing and heights are organic and barely noticeable, being of limited degree.

    The application proposes a C-2-B map amendment with PUD, allowing half a million square feet and rising to 90 feet, and as such, would be the largest development ever built in a DC historic district. There is no other C-2-B zoning nearby, and consequently, such a designation for this site would be inappropriate, out of scale, and sufficiently anomalous to be considered spot-zoning, causing the granting of the application as submitted to violate the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital in several ways:

    1. The Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital (DC ELEMENTS), (Home Rule Act requirement that “Zoning maps and regulations and amendments thereto, shall not be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital”) (Act Sec. 492).

    2. The Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital (DC ELEMENTS) & DC Code Sec. 6-641.02 the Regulations “shall be designed to lessen congestion in the street, … to prevent the undue concentration of population and overcrowding of land, and promote such distribution of population and uses of land as would tend to create conditions favorable to health, safety, transportation, prosperity, protection of property … and efficiency in the supply of public services” and the Capitol Hill Overlay Zoning regulations purpose which say that “Such regulations (or amendments thereto) shall be made with reasonable consideration, among other things, of the character of the respective districts and their suitability for the uses provided in the regulations, and with a view to encouraging stability of districts and of land values therein.”

    3. The Comprehensive Plan in the Capitol Hill Area Element

    Policy CH-1.1.1: Conserving Residential Uses:

    “Maintain the integrity and quality of Capitol Hill’s residential uses, and recognize the importance of its historic architecture and housing stock to the entire District of Columbia. Ensure that Comprehensive Plan and zoning designations for Capitol Hill neighborhoods sustain its moderate density land use pattern.” (1508.2).

    4. The Comprehensive Plan in the Capitol Hill Area Element

    Policy CH-1.1.4: Directing Growth:

    “Direct growth in the Capitol Hill Planning Area to commercially zoned land . . . . . . . [T]he scale of development must be sensitive to adjacent uses and should reflect the capacity of roads, infrastructure, and services to absorb additional growth”. (1508.5).

    5. The 2006 Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Map, amended by the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2010, includes a Generalized Policy Map which designates the area where the site is located as being within an area designated as a “Neighborhood Conservation Area”, which is prescribed as follows: “The guiding philosophy for Neighborhood Conservation Areas is to conserve and enhance established neighborhoods. Limited development and redevelopment opportunities do exist within these areas but they are small in scale. The diversity of land uses and building types in these areas should be maintained and new development and alterations should be compatible with the existing scale and architectural character of each area. Densities in Neighborhood Conservation Areas are guided by the Future Land Use Map.”

    Finally, it is incomprehensible how either the sale of the north parcel in fee simple or the planned private ownership of the recreated L’Enfant street at C Street either enhances the neighborhood or benefits the public, as for both of these, neither of which were included in the original Request for Proposals, any benefits or enhancements accrue only to the owner.

    It is terribly regrettable that this proposal has been advanced so far without adequate scrutiny of its alignment with guiding planning principles. But ushering it into fruition with all of its flaws just because of the time and money already invested in it only compounds the errors.

    There is no amount of money, benefits, or amenities that can mitigate the fundamental harm to our market district that would be caused by these inadvisable plans—out-of-scale, oversized building, insensitive design, private sale of a parcel of the land, private ownership of what should be a public street, and fatal shrinkage of public space intended for use by the flea market.

    Bobbi Krengel

  16. Vernon

    There are approximately 15,000 constituents (voters) within ANC 6B. There are perhaps 200 members of EMMCA and perhaps 500 signers of EMMCA’s petitions (an outright guess, I admit). ANC 6B, as a whole, represents more than those within 4 or 5 blocks of the Hine Development.

    Is there any possibility that the ANC, while voting against EMMCA’s position, voted as the majority of their constituents wanted?

  17. goldfish

    @Alex B wrote: “These benefits are real, they do not merely accrue for the developers. They are also broad-based, and often spread thinly across a wide swath of the neighborhood. ”

    Can you please be specific? We all know there will be increased tax revenue. What else?

    • More retail space. More people living in the neighborhood. More people working in the neighborhood. An improved urban fabric.

      More people and space living adjacent to Metro, enabling car-free or car-light lifestyles.

      Those are just the benefits speaking generally about development on this site.

      • goldfish

        Providing for more people is nice, but I do not see how it makes the neighborhood better. And since it will make the craft market smaller — notwithstanding other options, such as closing 7th St, which is CAUSED by the shortcoming of this project — I am doubtful that the net amount of retail will increase. Finally, enabling more people to live near the Metro is a benefit for those people, but it makes the Metro more crowded and less convenient for the rest of us; so without corresponding upgrades in the infrastructure to handle more people, this actually is a drawback.

  18. Mary Fraker

    For a mess of pottage? IF it is true that a few square feet of ANC office space — in a > 400,000 square-foot development — persuaded two of our commissioners to change their votes on the MOA from oppose to support, then they should be ashamed. To any public servant who sells out his or her neighborhood for any kind of gain: Shame on you!

  19. Kim Nead

    I can not believe that 1) Mr. Garrison pushed for subsidised space for the use of ANC6B and 2) other ANC commissioners didn’t object to having this included in the negotiated agreement between the developers and the ANC. I heard last night at the Zoning Commission meeting that the ANC will be holding its monthly meetings at the SEB development. (I think the architect, Amy Weinstein, indicated that she had just learned this; she sounded a bit bemused or perhaps incredulous.) I have attended meetings at the recently renovated Hill Center, and that space seems completely adequate to me. Whether the benefit is additional ANC office space or meeting space, I really don’t see the need for it. I would love to hear the justification for seeking this concession from SEB. Whatever it is, I can’t imagine that the need justifies the conflict of interest that pursuing the perk creates. I am appalled.

  20. SimonSays

    I asked the same question as well but did not get a response. I can say however that event and meeting space at Hill Center is in short supply. I volunteer with a local organization and we do events there and it is pretty full after less than a year of operation.

  21. Randy Steer

    All of the “benefits” and “amenities” that the developers have offered taken together don’t outweigh the visual and neighborhood-atmosphere damage that will last for a generation or two — and which will likely lead to MORE 90-foot height zoning once the precedent is set.

    Stanton Development is currently turning the Montmartre restaurant building from 1 story to 4 stories. Raise your hand if you think once they get 90-foot C2B zoning for Hine, that they will ask for matching zoning for their building across the street (where Pain Quotidien and Peregrine Coffee are). I’m sure they’d love to add 2 or 3 floors to that.