Zoning Commission Approves Hine Project
by Larry Janezich
Last Monday night, the DC Zoning Commission gave final approval to Stanton-Eastbanc’s request to change the zoning on the Hine site to accommodate greater density and height for their planned development. The vote was 4-0-1, with Commissioners May, Trunbull, and Cohen joining Chair Hood in voting to move the project forward. Commissioner Miller, a new addition to the board, abstained since he did not participate in deliberations.
Prior to the vote, the Commission noted that, in an unusual move, Stanton-Eastbanc had agreed that the entire Construction Management Agreement and the entire ANC’s Memorandum of Understanding with the developer will be included in the yet-to-be-issued Zoning Order. It could be a month before the Board issues the Zoning Order on the project.
Commissioner May threw in the towel on his efforts to find a way for 55 foot trucks to head in and head out of the Hine project’s loading dock. He said it was not his preference that the trucks back into the dock from 7th Street, but the issue has been “beaten to death” and his concerns were somewhat mollified by the limitation that deliveries can take place only between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Commissioner Cohen asked that the designation “superior” be removed as a characterization of affordable housing units, explaining that the placement of most of those units in a separate building and the differences in the amenity package for those units continued to trouble her. Commissioner May, on the other hand, felt that the units deserved the superior designation. The language had been included, in part, because the designation of some elements of the project amounted to a necessary finding by the Zoning Commission that the developer had fulfilled what it had pledged to the community in terms of a quality project. In the end, the term was removed as it applied to the affordable housing units but left as a finding by the Zoning Commission to characterize the overall project.
After the Zoning Commission order is issued and permits issued, demolition of the existing Hine School structure can begin. That demolition is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013.