The Week Ahead…and a Look at Last Week: Capitol Power Plant, Hine Redux

The Week Ahead…and a Look at Last Week

Capitol Power Plant, Hine Redux

by Larry Janezich

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, March 26

Update.  The Executive Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, March 20, owing to the beginning of Passover.  ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the April ANC meeting on April 9.

Wednesday, March 27

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in the North Hall, Eastern Market. 

A Look at Last Week

Capitol Power Plant Update

Opponents of increased emissions and continued use of coal by the Capitol Power Plant will continue their efforts to broaden support within the Capitol Hill community to bring pressure on Mayor Gray and the DDOE to restrict emissions by the Capitol Power Plant in the interests of protecting the health of the nearby neighbors.  Opponents, whose efforts are supported by the Sierra Club, will seek meetings with DC City Councilmembers, solicit signatures for a petition at Eastern Market on weekends, and distribute yard signs (No Coal). 

A recent non-binding offer by the AOC to eliminate the use of coal at the plant after five years was deemed by the community to not sufficient to protect the health of the community. 

According to some community members close to the organizers, failure to achieve a hard deadline for ending coal use at the plan and restrictions on use of coal during construction of the new cogeneration burners (see February 9 posting below), a legal challenge against the AOC’s application for a permit to increase the emissions level could ensue. 

Hine Redux

On March 18, a nearby neighbor of the Hine project, Christopher Howell, filed a request with the Zoning Commission to allow him to file a motion for reconsideration of the Hine PUD.  The motion alleges errors in the application of the Zoning Commission’s application of law and regulations to the evidence presented by opponents of the scale and mass of the project: 

I. The proposed PUD is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan (Historic Preservation Element Policy HP-2.4.6)

2. The proposed PUD is within the Capitol Hill Commercial Overlay District and subject to its height and floor area ratio development standards.

The motion can be found in its entirety by going to the Zoning Commission’s website

(http://dcoz.dc.gov/main.shtm) and doing a case search for 11-24.  Howell’s request is the last filing on page 12 of the list of documents filed with the Commission. 

Demolition of Hine school is scheduled to begin this fall.  Asbestos removal is scheduled to begin in July.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Week Ahead…and a Look at Last Week: Capitol Power Plant, Hine Redux

  1. Jerry Sroufe

    Christopher Howell’s petition provides in a succinct and compelling fashion the argument that many sought unsuccessfully to make in opposition to the Hine project: From the standpoint of existing zoning provisions the project is too big, too incompatible with Capitol Hill, and sets an awful precedent for future development. His effort to gain a hearing may prove quixotic but I commend him for his close analysis of the zoning provisions unique to Capitol Hill that were dismissed by the D.C. Zoning Commission, and I admire him for his persistence.

  2. Kevin Reger

    Regarding the offer by AOC, the last non-binding request to stop burning coal didn’t work. In March 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid released a letter asking the Capitol Architect to switch the Capitol Power Plant from coal to 100 percent natural gas by the end of 2009. While coal use diminished in the following years, they now have requested an increase in emissions to pre-2009 levels. My children live in this neighborhood and their “trust me” offer isn’t acceptable.