Court of Appeals Rejects Hine Coalition Petition for Rehearing Hine Case

Developer's 3-D Model of Hine Project

Developer’s 3-D Model of Hine Project

Court of Appeals Rejects Hine Coalition Petition for Rehearing Hine Case

Decision Allows Project to Move Forward

by Larry Janezich

Yesterday, the DC Court of Appeals issued an order denying the petition for a rehearing of a request to send the Hine case back to the Zoning Commission (ZC).

The Zoning Commission (ZC) signed off on the project on November 21, 2012, but the project has been delayed since then by attempts of a group of Capitol Hill residents – The Hine Coalition – to require the ZC to rehear the case.  A three member DC Court of Appeals decision affirmed the ZC’s approval in August of 2014, and the Hine Coalition petitioned the full nine member court to hear the case.  Yesterday’s decision denied that petition.

Throughout the process, Capitol Hill residents comprising the Hine Coalition maintained that they did not oppose redevelopment of Hine School – what they objected to was the mass and height of the final Stanton-Eastbanc plan as inappropriate for the community.  The building’s seven stories will rise 94 feet – more than twice the height of the Le Pain Quotidian building across the street and will overwhelm the nearby iconic Eastern Market and the townhouses in the surrounding neighborhood.

The total 464,276 square foot project will provide 254,187 square feet for residential, 163,392 for offices, 46,699 for retail.   There will be 158 residential units – 46 of them affordable (most of these segregated in a separate building) and 260 parking spaces.  Many of the attractive features of the initial  proposal (62,000 square feet smaller) which helped win community support for the project fell away over time.

According to Hill Now the Stanton Eastbanc development team will start remediation of the building in about a month.  Razing the building will take two or three months after remediation is complete.  The developers expect the project to be complete by late 2017 or early 2018.

CHC posted two editorials detailing the evolution of the plans for the project here:  and here:


Filed under Uncategorized

17 responses to “Court of Appeals Rejects Hine Coalition Petition for Rehearing Hine Case

  1. Tom

    The architects have deftly avoided showing any of the big shadowing that will occur.

    Notice that on the left side, judging by the “tree” shadows the “sun” seems to be coming from the west, so you don’t see the big shadow that will be on 7th St. when the sun is from the east.

    Then, on the right (8th St.) side, the “tree” shadows reflect the sun coming from the east, so that you don’t see the shadows which will occur on 8th St. when the sun is in the west (although they wouldn’t be nearly as substantial as the shadows on 7th, since the structure is taller on the 7th St. side).

    So what the architects did here was to use lighting from both sides to create this effect. You can see, front right, that some of the “trees” have shadows going in different directions.

  2. Maggie Hall

    All you need to note in this report is the sentence “…Many of the attractive features of the initial proposal (62,000 square feet smaller) which helped win community support for the project fell away over time….” to realise what a total traversty of justice this decision is.

    • David S

      That’s the DC way–lots of process belying very little justice.

    • Anon

      Just because it didn’t go your way doesn’t mean “justice” wasn’t served. I would say years of litigation, all of which failed, is indicative of a system that gave project dissenters more than their share of chances for justice, had there been any valid legal claims.

      • anon

        You could add that the lack of adherance to legal disclosure requirements cost the city and developer significant cost in extensive delays while the legal process was exhausted. There’s justice in that too.

  3. Michael

    I’m very happy to hear that this is finally moving forward. The block has been empty for too long, and a vibrant neighborhoods require greater density than currently exists.

  4. Amity

    “A vibrant neighborhoods” need no such thing. This Historic District earned whatever vibrancy it still possesses by being low rise and walkable, close to schools, small businesses and public transportation. Taxes are already high, so are rents — forcing some small businesses to flee — unless they are restaurants or bars. Michael’s unsubstantiated statement above shows little comprehension of Capitol Hill. Perhaps he lives in Clarendon.

    • anon

      If you’re truly worried about high rent, whether commercial or residential, you should welcome the increased density. That’s basic economics.

      • Hill Feller

        Yes, yes, yes.

        I don’t think the Restoration Society and others of that ilk have ever had much of a handle on economics –or at least they’re not being transparent about their motives. They’re already here so keeping others out drives up the value of their property.

        Cui bono? As usual, the incumbents: the people already here that are erecting legal, regulatory, and cost barriers to keep poor people out.


      • Tom

        Hill Feller, I’m not following you.

        How does reusing the Hine site drive others out, when it provides 158 new residential units, 46 of them affordable? You suggest that the CHRS and other Hill incumbents want to keep poor people out, but CHRS supported the Hine reuse, with its affordable units.

        This is not disgraceful, it is the opposite: after Anthony Williams became mayor, the market made Capitol Hill much less affordable for low and moderate income people. But now here is a project that provides 46 units for people in these income brackets.

  5. Tom

    Both “Smart Growthers” and most city planners would agree that you want more density near metro stops, so that residents and workers alike can get to and from the site without using a car (as in green Portland, OR, some residents of apartments will have cars, so I am happy about the provision of parking).

    The issue for this project, to me, is the height; it towers over the area, especially on 7th St. If it had been even one story shorter, it would blend in with the neighborhood much better. This is what the “justice” remark may have addressed: sort of a bait and switch by the developer, with earlier proposed designs smaller, and thus more enticing to nearby residents.

    • anon

      Of the hours of community meetings to win community support, the only take away was to disregard most of it and just do whatever would maximize profits for SEB

  6. anon

    You can safely object to the end product here (height, massing aesthetics, or whatever) without opposing the general principals of redeveloping the site. More tired and reflexive assumptions by the likes of @Hill Feller instead.

  7. David

    “and will overwhelm the nearby iconic Eastern Market…” A little editorializing there.

  8. Lynn Campbell

    The true meaning of “there goes the neighborhood”. As well as the expression “in the pocket of the developers”. Shame on SEB.

  9. Christine

    I’m just happy to hear this is going forward. I frankly admire the developer for its endurance. I would have given up already. They deserve any profit they get, and no doubt the years of wrangling have made the additional 62k sf necessary to make the project pencil. And I live in Capitol Hill not Clarendon….most people I know who live in the area support added density and redevelopment of the site, as much as I love looking at an empty school and parking lot. If there’s going to be density so that more people can enjoy living here, across from a Metro station is the place to do it.