The Week Ahead….
by Larry Janezich
December 17, Monday
Capitol Power Plant Air Quality Permits
Nearby residents are worried that the Capitol Architect’s request for permits will allow continued operation of the plant as a coal powered rather than a natural gas facility. Details will be forthcoming at a public hearing held on the request for the air quality permits at 5:30pm at the District Department of the Environment offices at 1200 First Street NE. Interested parties wishing to testify at this hearing must submit in writing their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and affiliation, if any, to Mr. Stephen Ours at DDOE by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 17, 2012. Stephen.Ours@dc.gov No written comments postmarked after December 17, 2012 will be accepted.
December 18, Tuesday
CHRS Board of Directors meets at 6:30pm at Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE, 2nd floor.
December 19, Wednesday
ANC 6B Executive Committee meets at 6:30pm, Hill Center. The Executive Committee will set the agenda for the first meeting of the newly elected ANC6B on Tuesday, January 8
December 19, Wednesday
Vacant and Blighted Houses
ANC 6B Outreach and Constituent Services Task Force will meet from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Hill Center. At the meeting, the task force will review ANC 6B’s inventory of vacant and blighted properties and 2013 technology initiatives.
Thursday, December 20
Zoning Regulation Re-write
ANC 6B’s newly created Zoning Regulations Review Task Force will hold its initial meeting on 7:30pm – 9:30pm at the Hill Center. The objective of the task force is to review the Office of Planning’s proposed rewrite of the city’s zoning regulations (see http://www.ZoningDC.org) and make recommendations to ANC 6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee. ANC 6B residents interested in assisting the task force in its efforts are encouraged to attend. Residents with questions about the task force should contact either their 6B Commissioner or the task force chair, Commissioner Dave Garrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thursday, December 20
The Difficulty of Adding a Third Floor in the Historic District
Historic Preservation Review Board meets at 9:00am at 441 4th Street NW, Room 220 South. One of the cases it will hear illustrates the problem of trying to add additional space to a home in the historic district. Residents at 426 11th Street, SE, are seeking approval from the HPRB for a third story roof addition to accommodate a growing family. The applicant sought the approval of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society – who weighs in on these matters invoking the same right any citizen or any civic organization has to submit an opinion to HPRB – for the project, but failed to meet the criteria of the Society’s Historic Preservation Committee, who submitted a letter to HPRB opposing the addition because a fraction of it will be visible from public space. HPRB’s Zoning Committee, on the other hand, found – regarding the applicant’s application for zoning relief to allow a third story addition and roof deck – found that the addition “does not substantially visually intrude upon the character, scale and pattern of houses along the street frontage.” ANC6B, who also opines on historic preservation and zoning matters – under the dictum that its opinion be given “great weight” by government agencies – was unable to render a recommendation, deadlocking twice on a 5-5 vote on the question of approval, and voted to take “no position” before HPRB. Aside from demonstrating one of the disadvantages of living in the Capitol Hill Historic District, the case points up the fact that there is no uniformity of standards on these questions, a complaint raised by the applicant before ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee. Indeed, the criteria appear to be in part subjective, given the language in the CHRS’s Historic Preservation Committee’s protest to HPRB: “visibility is by necessity something to be judged on a case-by-case case basis due to such variables as a structure’s location, configuration, and relationship to its neighbors and placement in a block.” According to Brian Flahaven, ANC6B Commissioner, the HPRB staff as well as the CHRS will oppose the current concept of the proposed addition. If the opposition prevails, the applicant will be far from the first resident to have spent thousands of dollars in planning for an addition and then be denied approval by HPRB.