Stanton-EastBanc Asks DC Court of Appeals to Ignore Hine Lease Provisions
Opponents Fault DMPED for Failure to Release Hine Documents
by Larry Janezich
Attorneys for Stanton-EastBanc have asked the DC Court of Appeals to disallow the submission the Hine development land lease as evidence which reveals that DC taxpayers will pay for almost $2 million in benefits and amenities that the Zoning Commission credited to the developer when they approved the Hine PUD process. In a October 10, 2013 letter to the court, Greenstein Delorme & Luchs, attorneys for SEB, argued that the rule allowing submission of evidence at this stage only pertains to the decision of courts and that plaintiffs had the document in question prior to the court hearing.
Oliver Hall, attorney for the Hine Coalition appealing the Zoning Commission decision, responded on October 15, asserting the propriety of submitting the additional evidence, citing that it had been introduced orally at the hearing, and while it was always available to the developers, became available to petitioners only by filing a FOIA request.
Significantly, Hall’s letter states, “Stanton-EastBanc withheld this information, and permitted the Zoning Commission to make findings that are materially misleading, if not false, because it lacked the very information that Stanton-EastBanc withheld.”
Separately, Hall said, “The lease was discussed extensively during the Court hearing on September 26, 2013. SEB now hopes to suppress this evidence that it misled the public and misled the Zoning Commission about key terms of this deal.” Capitol Hill Corner recently reported the filings related to DMPED’s failure to make the Hine development documents available here: http://bit.ly/19IqahR
Concern over transparency in the development process has been voiced elsewhere. On September 24, at an economic development roundtable which included a discussion of the Hine development held by Councilmember Muriel Bowser, she pledged her assistance in making the Hine documents public. Bowser registered a note of resignation about the deal when she said, “Maybe we didn’t get a good deal (on Hine) but we can’t unwind it,” but she also noted that “stepping up the standard of proactive release of documents” would be in the public interest, and offered her assistance to Mary Fraker, who testified on behalf of the Hine coalition, to expedite that process.