Tag Archives: Hine

A Divided ANC6B Endorses The Hine Project – Developer Makes Additional Benefit Concessions

A Divided ANC6B Endorses The Hine Project – Developer Makes Additional Benefit Concessions

by Larry Janezich

A divided ANC6B gave conditional endorsement to the Hine project on Tuesday night, voting 6 – 4 to agree to a package of benefits and amenities negotiated with the Hine developers by Commissioners Frishberg and Pate.

Those supporting:  Frishberg, Pate, Garrison, Oldenberg, Metzger, and Flahaven.

Those opposed:  Critchfield, Glick, Campbell, and Green.

Additional benefit concessions made by the developer since the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting last week include $75,000 to support a playground in the park bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, 8th Street, D Street, and 9th Street, SE.  In addition the developers agreed to allocate no less than 2,000 square feet of non-subsidized space for community oriented non-profits.  Finally, the developer agreed to provide subsidized office space for the ANC.  The latter has been a pet project of Commissioner Garrison, who groused at last week’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting that he didn’t understand why negotiators had failed to win this benefit for the community.

Hine Subcommittee Chair Frishberg moved to approve the benefits package and endorsement, stating that the process had not been ideal, but had been dictated by what the city did.  “DMPED (Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development) got a great deal for city – not so great for neighbors.”  He said he still believed this will be “a benefit to the community and the benefits package is fair and more productive than others I’ve seen.”  He cited inclusion of an on-site day care center for at least 24 children, $50,000 improvements to Metro Plaza, as well as ANC meeting space and allocation of space for non-profits.

Subcommittee Vice Chair Brian Pate supported the deal saying, “I’ll stand by the benefits package and continue to work to mitigate the impact of the development on the community.”

A broad spectrum of the community – some 50 residents – beyond what has been characterized as the nearby neighbors, turned out for the meeting.  Seventeen rose to express concerns ranging from the height and mass, how candidates for child care would be selected, traffic, parking, and the flea market.  Two attendees spoke in favor of the project.

Among the commissioners other than the negotiators, Garrison and Flahaven voiced their support for the project, both saying they regretted the reduction in height at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue achieved by the negotiators and cited the need for the ANC to have a strong voice before the Zoning Commission hearing on Hine on Thursday.  Flahaven said the benefits package was a good balance between the interests of the neighbors and the interests of Capitol Hill.  Commissioner Metzger cited the need for more density and neighbors.  Commissioner Oldenberg said she had been disappointed in the initial benefits package unveiled last week, but as revised by the additional concessions of this past week, she could support it.

On the other side, Commissioner Glick announced his opposition saying the benefits package for the community fell short.  Francis Campbell said the project “is too damn big – it is too much in too small a space.”

Frishberg had the last word wrapping up the debate by acknowledging community unhappiness with the agreement and the project.  He noted that he had not supported this developer – that he had favored the “campus plan” among the finalists who bid for the development.  But, he said, “the City Council voted for (Stanton-Eastbanc).”  He expressed frustration that the ANC had beaten its head against the HPRB and gotten “almost nothing,” noting that it was they who are supposed to safeguard the community.  “This is not the (benefits package) I would have written…but if we walk away, we don’t know what we’ll get.  I don’t think I can walk away because there is a risk on the other side.”

After agreeing to support the package, the ANC voted to reject a request from Frishberg to authorize the expenditure of $2,500 for legal advice to help negotiate the Construction Management Agreement between the developer and the community.   The motion failed on a 5 – 5 tie.

Those who supported the motion:  Frishberg, Pate, Critchfield, Flahaven, and Campbell.

Those opposed:  Garrison, Oldenberg, Metzger, Glick, and Green.

Thursday night, the Zoning Commission holds the first of what is likely to be two hearings on the application of Stanton-Eastbanc for a change in zoning for the Hine site.  The meeting will be 6:30pm at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC.


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Editorial: The ANC6B Vote on Hine Tuesday Night

Editorial:   The ANC6B Vote on Hine Tuesday Night

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC6B will vote on its conditional support of the Hine Development.  It will be the last opportunity for public input at the community level before the Zoning Commission hearing on the issue on Thursday.  Despite the Eastern Market residential community sending ANC negotiators back to the developer with instructions to take more height off the 7th and Penn Office building and despite wider community concern about the fate of the flea market, the negotiators were unable to get further concessions from the developer on either of these issues.  It appears, in fact, that the flea market didn’t come up and that the ANC is relying on a speculative legislative solution proposed by Councilmember Wells which purports to make the flea market a non-issue before the ANC and the Zoning Commission.

What the community is getting from the developer in return for the impact of the development on the neighborhood is precious little: a minimal height concession on the 7th and Penn building, $50,000 in landscaping for Metro Plaza, and a subsidized childcare center somewhere for a minimum of 24 children.  It doesn’t seem like much, and it isn’t.  The developer appears to believe that by providing the benefit of 34 additional affordable housing units above what is required that they have done enough – maybe more than enough.

Unless the community can convince the ANC otherwise, it is likely to vote to endorse the project, despite recent letters from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing raising concerns about specific transportation and affordable housing issues, and despite the reservations of the once-Stanton-supporting Capitol Hill Restoration Society.

Ideally, ANC6B would vote down the conditional endorsement of the project and go to the Zoning Commission without a position and say that the developer has failed to address the major concerns of the community and ask the Office of Planning to require mediation by an outside mediator before any zoning change.

By not requiring more of its ANC representatives – who after all, were negotiating on behalf of Councilmember Wells, who pledged to support whatever position the ANC takes – the community has shortchanged itself.  It can redeem itself Tuesday night at the 7:00pm ANC6B meeting at Hill Center.


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Update on Fate of Weekend Flea Markets at Hine

Update on Fate of Weekend Flea Markets at Hine – Eastern Market Committee Seeks Party Status at Zoning Hearing To Support Flea Markets

by Larry Janezich

The fate of the weekend flea markets has been one of the issues which galvanized the Eastern Market community with respect to the Hine Development.  Here is a summary of where things stand on the eve of the Zoning Commission’s hearing on Stanton-Eastbanc’s application to change the zoning for the site.  The hearing, scheduled for Thursday, June 14, at 6:30pm, will be one of the last – if not the last – opportunities for public input on the project.

It appears that the zoning hearing will proceed with the fate of the flea markets unresolved.  Generally speaking, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the Department of Housing and Economic Development are fine with a 68 tent weekend flea market.

Community members who oppose reducing the size of the flea market have brought political pressure to bear on their ANC representatives and Councilmember Tommy Wells to remedy the situation, and Wells’ response has been to amend his proposed legislation providing a new governing structure for Eastern Market to give the new body (the “Trust”) authority to site the flea markets on 7th Street between North Carolina Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue on weekends.   This end would be accomplished by incorporating 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenue in the “Eastern Market Special Use District,” which would be under the control of the Trust.  The legislation was fast-tracked and headed for a hearing last Thursday, when the resignation of City Council Chair Kwame Brown resulted in a hearing postponement.

Other developments last week shed light on, or raised new concerns about the fate of the flea markets.

Donna Scheeder, Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) Chair, filed papers with the Zoning Commission asking for party status for EMCAC to oppose the Hine Development’s public space benefits at the Commission’s June 14 hearing.  Public space benefits refer to the developers’ limited plan to accommodate the flea markets.  Party status before the Zoning Commission gives entities granted it, more standing before the Commission, more time to present their case, and the right to cross examine witnesses and others with party status.  Scheeder is Councilmember Tommy Well’s appointee to the Committee and the Committee voted earlier this year to seek party status in the upcoming hearing.  There was some question whether EMCAC’s filing for party status was timely, and it may depend on a waiver by the Zoning Commission to be in order.

EMCAC, which has statutory responsibility for advising city agencies on the preservation and operations of Eastern Market, was one of the organizations which endorsed Stanton-Eastbanc’s bid for the development before the city chose a developer.  That support was contingent on the developers providing space for the flea market and as well as adequate parking for Eastern Market shoppers.  EMCAC’s support for the development began to waiver when the developers began to scale back the amount of space for the flea market, then appeared to firm up once Wells’ legislative solution was proffered.

Details of how the plan could work were revealed at a CHRS community forum on the Hine Development last Monday.  A representative of Oheme Van Sweden, landscape architect for the Hine project, presented an aerial photo taken July 28, 2010, that showed 204 tents including the flea market and all the additional vendors abutting the Market and in front of Natatorium.   The landscaping firm has prepared a plan providing for 250 tents in the new Special Use District, including 68 on C Street, 19 on the Eastern Market Metro Plaza, 163 on 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenue and in front of Natatorium.  Their count includes tents that not only include weekend flea market vendors, but also those under Market management.  Serious issues regarding logistics and accommodation for the 7th Street ‘brick and mortar” merchants remain and have yet to be addressed.

Although the focus of Scheeder’s application for party status concerns preserving space for the flea market, another issue arose last week which could jeopardize the Market’s interests.  On Monday, the DDOT Transportation Report became available and recommends a substantial reduction of 100 to 125 parking spaces in the total parking available for the project.  Since parking is expensive to build and slow to return a profit, it would seem that the developers would be only too happy to scale back the parking.  The issue is complicated by the developers’ pledge to provide 50 spaces for flea market vendor parking on weekends (at half-price) but reducing the total parking for the project would make this problematic and likely would come at the expense of parking for patrons of the Market.

ANC6B will meet on next Tuesday to vote on whether to endorse the project based on a number of recently negotiated benefits, amenities, and mitigations.  Moving forward without the flea market issue being resolved may have to be an article of faith, and that may be asking a lot of the Eastern Market community.


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Eastern Market Advisory Committee, Others, File For Party Status for Zoning Hearing on Hine

Eastern Market Advisory Committee, Others, File For Party Status for Zoning Hearing on Hine – Move Affords Greater Opportunity to Express Concerns

by Larry Janezich

The DC Zoning Commission maintains an Interactive Zoning Information System featuring copies of all relevant documents concerning pending cases, including applications for party status, reports from government agencies on the project, letters of support and opposition for the project, and links to video of public government meetings concerning these cases.

Party status before the Zoning Commission gives entities granted it, more standing before the Commission, more time to present their case, and the right to cross examine witnesses and others with party status.

The link to the Office of Zoning Case Report on Hine is here:  http://app.dcoz.dc.gov/Content/Search/ViewCaseReport.aspx

Individual documents and exhibits, including applications for party status, letters, and reports can be viewed here:


Some of the items of particular interest include:

20B – HRPB Staff Report and Recommendations

20F2 – Stanton-Eastbanc’s Assessment of the Hine Site Development Impacts

49 – Application for Party Status in Opposition from Marcel LaFollette for Eyes on Hine

124 – Application for Party Status in Opposition from Flea Market Manager Mike Berman

125 – Application for Party Status in Opposition from Hine School North Neighbors

126 – Application for Party Status in Opposition from EMMCA

127 – Application for Party Status in Opposition from Eastern Market Advisory Committee

132 – DDOT Transportation Report on the Hine Development

134 – Office of Planning Report on the Hine Development

139 – Hine School North Neighbor Expert Witness Report

Interestingly, CHRS which was strongly critical of the design, height, and massing of the project before the Historic Preservation Review Board, does not intend to file for party status and will present its case in the five minutes allotted to organizations.  CHRS also strongly endorsed Stanton-Eastbanc’s bid to develop the Hine site.  CHAMPS, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, has filed an application for party status in support of the project.

Links to videos of public government meetings include:

Zoning Commission Public Meeting of February 13, 2012;

HPRB Public Meeting of June 30, 2011;

HPRB Public Meeting of April 28, 2011.


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City Agencies Raise Concerns About the Hine Development – ANC Committee Forwards Hine Subcommittee Report Without Taking Position

City Agencies Raise Concerns About the Hine Development – ANC Committee Forwards Hine Subcommittee Report Without Taking Position

by Larry Janezich

On Tuesday night, Chair Francis Campbell’s ANC6B Planning and Zoning Committee voted unanimously to forward recommendations on the Hine Development to the full ANC6B without recommendation.

ANC Commissioner Ivan Frishberg, Chair of the Hine Subcommittee, said that he was in “a really difficult spot” with respect to approving the recommendations, which he basically supported.  Frishberg cited a number of outstanding issues which came to light this week:

1)     An Office of Planning report which came late today, recommending design changes in the project;

2)     A Department of Housing and Economic Development letter raising concerns about the concentration of affordable housing in the project’s North Building and other concerns;

3)     A “fairly harsh” DDOT report  recommending less parking for the project, rejecting the developer’s plan for unloading 55 trucks on 7th Street, and raising concerns about parking for affordable housing residents of the project’s North Building.

4)     The Construction Management Plan, which has not yet been submitted to the developer and which has yet to be subject to negotiation and discussion.

Frishberg argued that these issues might become more clear in the week remaining before the full ANC6B is scheduled to take up the recommendation.  “I’m not comfortable in sending these recommendations forward to the full ANC”, Frishberg stated.  Also, “In principle, the (Memorandum of Agreement) reflects the agreement we have with the developers, but it needs additional discussion.”

Hine Subcommittee Vice Chair Brian Pate pointed out that reducing the parking in accordance with DDOT recommendations would jeopardize the 50 half-cost parking spaces the developer will make available to flea market vendors on weekends.

One of the major community issues, adequate space for the weekend flea markets, appears to be on its way to resolution.  Commissioner Pate referred to a weekend market tent plan drawn up to Oheme Van Sweden Landscape Architects which would accommodate 250 tents, more than currently comprise the combined total of the weekend flea markets on the Hine site and the vendors on the plazas and sidewalks around Eastern Market.  Logistical issues and accommodating the concerns of the “brick and mortar” 7th Street merchants need yet to be worked out, but Pate was confident they could be.

ANC6B, at a Special Call meeting which immediately preceded the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, agreed to a resolution of support for Councilmember Tommy Wells’ Eastern Market legislation, which addressed several other flea market concerns raised by residents, vendors and the two weekend flea market managers.


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DDOT Calls Hine Traffic Analysis “Incorrect and Fundamentally Flawed” – Developer Must Resubmit before Zoning Change

DDOT Calls Hine Traffic Analysis “Incorrect and Fundamentally Flawed” – Developer Must Resubmit before Zoning Change

by Larry Janezich

Yesterday, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) issued its analysis of Stanton Eastbanc’s submitted Traffic Impact Study (TIS), conducted by Symmetra Design, and concluded that the “analysis provided by the Applicant [Stanton Eastbanc] is incorrect and fundamentally flawed.”  The developer must either make changes to the Impact Study or the design and intended uses for the development in order to obtain approval from DDOT.

DDOT said they believe the mistakes in the TIS yields an analysis which is “not reliable” – i.e., that the TIS forwarded to DDOT as part of Stanton-Eastbanc’s zoning application which found the development would have no adverse transportation effects requiring  mitigation cannot be used by the Zoning Commission in its deliberation.   DDOT goes on to say that the assumptions upon which the report was based were either poorly documented or biased in the direction of understating the effect of the development.

Perhaps most significant, the plan for unloading 55 foot trucks on 7th Street was found unacceptable.  This effectively means that an underground loading dock for 55 foot trucks will have to be incorporated into the development, or the planned grocery component of the site will not happen.

The report also takes issue with the parking, saying the amount of parking is twice the amount of the potential available demand, and points to issues regarding parking for the residents of the North Building.  These residents are potentially eligible for Resident Parking Plan (RPP) parking, but, the report notes, the privatization of C Street will make it ineligible for the program.

At this point, SEB may resolve some of DDOT’s concerns by eliminating parking spaces.  Even if they choose to do so, however, this move will not address or resolve all of the concerns DDOT raised regarding the TIS’s systematic low-balling of trips to and from the site.

When properly computed, DDOT states that the developer will have to suggest mitigation for traffic effects on the surrounding neighborhood.  At this point, it is likely that a Zoning Commission hearing will move forward, but without a proper Transportation Impact Study, the Commission will not be able to make a final decision.  Moreover, because the ANC is now placed in the position of approving a Memorandum of Agreement without knowing the full scale of adverse traffic effects, the Zoning Commission may direct the developer back to ANC negotiations if it finds that the more complete study furnished to them requires mitigation.


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ANC Tries to Take Flea Market Off the Table Before Hine Zoning Hearing – Market Managers Skeptical About Proposed Solution

ANC Tries to Take Flea Market Off the Table Before Hine Zoning Hearing – Market Managers Skeptical About Proposed Solution

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B has scheduled a Special Call meeting on Councilmember Tommy Wells’ Eastern Market legislation for next Tuesday.  The purpose is to consider and sign off on the bill prior to the City Council’s Committee of the Whole hearing on the legislation next Thursday.

The ANC is hoping this will resolve one of the thorniest issues coming before the full ANC6B meeting on June 12 and the Zoning Commission hearing on June 14 as part of Stanton-Eastbanc’s application to change the zoning of the Hine site.  There is widespread unhappiness in the Capitol Hill community over the scaling back of the flea market which will result from construction of the 560,000 square foot Hine development which will occupy almost all of the space currently used by the weekend flea market vendors.

The legislation proposes to address this problem by creating an “Eastern Market Special Use District,” which will include the 700 block of the to-be-reopened C Street, 7th Street between North Carolina Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, and the sidewalks and plazas around and adjacent to Eastern Market.  The use of the Special District would be under the control of a newly formed Eastern Market Trust, intended to be the new governing body for Eastern Market.

Last Wednesday night, at a meeting in Hill Center hosted by the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Stanton Partner Ken Golding alluded to a drawing prepared by project architect Amy Weinstein, which lays out a plan for the weekend flea market encompassing 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenue, the plaza in front of the Natatorium next to Eastern Market, and the Metro Plaza.  Stanton Development has not yet released that drawing, and it is unclear that they will do so, but Golding cited it as providing ample space for the market.

Councilmember Tommy Wells has asserted to flea market vendors, “The legislation does not displace current vendors or reduce Eastern Market in any way – the opposite is true. The flea market [managers] would now have a new right-of-first-refusal to continue in their space and preserve the diverse nature of the market.”

Sunday flea market manager Mike Berman says that “rushing a political solution is not the answer.  What it does is let the developer off the hook.”  In addition, Berman believes, that although the legislation gives him and Saturday flea market manager Carol Wright the right of first refusal, the bill will ask them to rebid on the markets they created, and under terms that remain unknown.  In addition, he said, the bill: 1) fails to guarantee the size of the future weekend markets, 2) fails to define what the flea market will be, 3) fails to define how much space on the plaza the developer will control, and 4) leaves the process for closing 7th Street on weekends uncertain.

The Special Call meeting on the Eastern Market legislation will be held at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue SE, on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 600pm.  It will be followed by the ANC Planning and Zoning Committee which will consider the Memorandum of Agreement between the ANC and Stanton – Eastbanc which ANC negotiators Ivan Frishberg and Brian Pate were able to reach with the developer.

Last Thursday, the ANC Hine Subcommittee voted to send the negotiators back to the developer with a list of additional instructions.  Commissioner Norm Metzger is expected to challenge the parliamentary validity of those additional instructions on the basis that they had not been considered or approved by the full ANC.


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Stanton Stacks the Deck Again to Show Community Support for Hine Project

Stanton Stacks the Deck Again to Show Community Support for Hine Project – Letters to Zoning Commission Fail to Disclose Business Relationships

by Larry Janezich

Since early April, Kitty Kaupp and Stanton Development have been soliciting letters of support for the Hine Development from their tenants, business associates, and friends in the Capitol Hill community.

Most of the letters of support for the project listed on the Zoning Commission’s website are from those who have some business relationship with the developer.  As was the case with the letters of support in favor of Stanton Eastbanc during the selection process before Deputy Mayor’s office, many of these letters fail to state business or personal ties to the developer that would put the writer’s support in proper context.

Some letters from businesses like Randolph Cree, Marvelous Market or Sapore Oil and Vinegar properly identify themselves as retailers in the area, but do not mention that they are tenants of Stanton.  Similarly, Coldwell Banker realtors also do not raise the connection between themselves and Ms. Kaupp, a principal of Stanton who is also a colleague at Coldwell.  In her letter, Mary Lynn Reed says she is an owner of a number of Capitol Hill commercial properties, but does not identify herself as a Stanton partner.

One letter filed with the Zoning Commission inadvertently included a page of instructions, apparently from Stanton, on how to file a letter of support with the Zoning Commission, and requesting that such letters be copied to Kitty Kaupp at her Coldwell Banker email address.  The instructions say that letters should be in the words of the writer and as personal as possible and prominently mention the word “support.”

The instructions go on to provide a list of topics or points that might be included in such letters, including:

High-quality development – a vibrant mixture of housing, office, restaurants and retail

20% of retail space for locally owned business

Will transform and enliven the streetscape

Beautification of the neighborhood

Re-opening of C Street

Architecture harmonious with the surrounding community


Affordable Housing units

Significantly, there is no mention of supporting the zoning change or exceptions that Stanton seeks, and virtually none of the letters address those subjects.

In all, of the 113 letters of support, there are not more than a dozen that can claim any degree of spontaneity.  Twenty percent of the total is minimal – a single line of support for the project, and most of these submitted over a two day period.  Given that none address the rezoning specifically, it is an open question whether these letters can be counted as support for the developer’s PUD application.  There are also multiple duplicates in the Zoning Commission’s file.  It is unclear how carefully these letters will be scrutinized, or what purpose they will serve in the Zoning Commission’s deliberations.


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ANC Subcommittee Sends Negotiators Back to the Table with Developers of Hine – First Round Concessions Do Not Mollify Residents

ANC Subcommittee Sends Negotiators Back to the Table with Developers of Hine – First Round Concessions Do Not Mollify Residents

by Larry Janezich

Last Thursday night, ANC6B Hine Subcommittee Vice Chair Brian Pate submitted the final report on what concessions he and Chair Ivan Frishberg had been able to win from Stanton-Eastbanc for the community as benefits, amenities, and mitigation for their proposed Hine development.

The major achievement of the report was the removal of the mechanical penthouse and the top (setback) floor off of the 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue building.  The major failing was that there were no concessions on providing more open space or additional space for the weekend flea markets.

Other details of the Frishberg/Pate proposal included a small subsidized child care facility on or off-site, $50,000 from Stanton-Eastbanc for landscaping at Metro Plaza in connection with the proposed Info Hub being built with Performance Parking funds, a plan for governing the scheduling of events on the to-be-reopened (and privatized) C Street, and no retail on entrance on D Street.

Lead by the resident members of the ANC Hine Subcommittee, a majority of the Subcommittee voted 8-4 to send the negotiators back to win further concessions from the developer.  None of the instructions, however, directly addressed the report’s major failing, lack of any concessions on the part of the developer to provide additional space for the flea market.  While the initial ANC document authorizing negotiations with the developer had much to say on that score and others, Pate displayed a tendency to narrow discussions with the developers to specific details, rather than reopen discussions on the larger issues that have galvanized the community.

Those Subcommittee members who vote for the motion to recommit:  ANC6B Chair Critchfield, Commissioners Campbell, and Carol Green; Resident Members Ken Jarboe, Bill Pate, Steve Sweeny, and Monte Edwards.

Those opposed:  Subcommittee Vice Chair Brian Pate and Commissioners Kirsten Oldenburg, Dave Garrison, and Brian Flahaven.

About 50 residents attended the meeting, and a dozen members of the community spoke at the meeting; all of them highly critical of the proposed development.  In response to the prevailing sentiment, Subcommittee member Roger Tauss of EMMCA offered a motion to recommit the memorandum of agreement with instructions to continue the negotiations on a list of points, including setting back what is now the top floor of the office building, specifying that the child care center be located at 8th and D, and providing a loading dock accessible to 55 foot trucks on 7th Street.  Once it became clear that the motion to recommit held a majority, other members of the Hine Subcommittee added their wish list to the instructions.   Additional language on traffic issues and references to the number of tents for vendors leave the door open for negotiations on the flea markets issue, but it is uncertain that the negotiators are willing to do so.

ANC6B Commissioner Kirstin Oldenburg unsuccessfully sought to weaken the motion to recommit, moving to strike the child care provision (failed for lack of a second), moving to strike the provision to setback the top floor (failed on a 5-7 vote), and moving to strike an instruction to provide that affordable housing residents in the north building have access to the amenities in the south building (failed for lack of a second).

More can be learned about the success of the negotiations from the list of negotiated items which the developer refused to budge on:  lowering the plaza building and the north building, increasing open space or providing public access to the courtyard, providing subsidized office space for a non-profit organization (ANC6B), providing public restrooms, a dog park, and a playground, barring nightclubs from the project, increasing the local retail requirement from 20 to 30 percent, banning bars and restaurants in north building, providing a boutique hotel, and providing a loading dock for 55 foot trucks.  Also falling by the wayside, but one of the top concerns of the neighborhood, was the provision of more space for tents for the weekend flea market.

In response to what is from the community’s perspective failed negotiations and the developer’s rejection of many of their major concerns, one member of the EMMCA Hine Working Group subsequently pushed for new negotiators.  Others urged a renewed lobbying effort targeting Brian Pate and Ivan Frishberg, who now have the additional momentum of Councilmember Well’s endorsement of their efforts.  On the other hand ANC Commissioner Norm Metzger, not present at Thursday night’s meeting, in the aftermath questioned the legitimacy of the motion to recommit.  It is unclear whether Metzger intended his email to his fellow commissioners as a parliamentary challenge.

Judging from the level of interest from the community as evidenced by attendance at recent meetings on the Hine development and the dissatisfaction expressed there, it appears that the degree of support for the developer on the ANC 6B Commission vastly overstates the support for the developer and the project throughout the neighborhood.

The issue will next emerge when the negotiators file an amended report with ANC Commissioner Francis Campbell’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, June 5.  On May 31, Stanton-Eastbanc will brief nearby neighbors on the most recent design changes in response to suggestions from the Historic Preservation Review Board on April 26.  On Monday, June 4, Stanton-Eastbanc will make the same presentation to a public meeting hosted by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, which has emerged as a strong critic of the size and design of the project.   Emmcablog will provide details on and from these meetings in the near future.


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Tommy Wells to Ask DC General Counsel for Legal Opinion on Whether Stanton/Eastbanc’s Expansion of Hine Project Constitutes Violation of Contract with City

200 of the Capitol Hill Community Turn Out for Meeting with Tommy Wells on Hine Project

ANC6B Commissioner and Vice Chair of ANC6B Hine Subcommittee Brian Pate Listens to Debate on the Hine Development at Tuesday Night Community Meeting

Tommy Wells to Ask DC General Counsel for Legal Opinion on Whether Stanton/Eastbanc’s Expansion of Hine Project Constitutes Violation of Contract with City – ANC Negotiates Height Reduction

by Larry Janezich

At Tuesday night’s community meeting on Hine project with Councilmember Tommy Wells, Well’s agreed to ask DC General Counsel for a legal opinion whether developer Stanton/Eastbanc’s 15% increase over the project’s square footage beyond what they agreed to in the contract with the city constituted a breach of contract.  Ordinarily, developers have a 5% margin of flexibility in the square footage requirement specified in the agreement with the city council.  Increases in mass and height added since the bid was awarded to Stanton/Eastbanc would seem to violate that standard, triggering a possible renegotiation of contract, or even a new bidding process.

At the same time, ANC6B Commissioner Brian Pate, one of the ANC’s negotiators charged with wringing concessions from the developer on behalf of the community, announced a preliminary agreement with the developer including a reduction in height of the project’s 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue office building amounting to some 17,000 square feet.  It was unclear whether this height reduction would bring the project within the 5% margin of flexibility.

Approximately 200 members of the community turned out for an hour and a half of what proved to be a contentious exchange between Wells and representatives of the community who expressed concerns regarding the height, mass, and design of the Hine project; the future of the weekend flea markets; moving the garage entrance to Pennsylvania Avenue; and the privatization and future control of the programming of the to-be-reopened C Street.  In addition to Wells, the main participants in the discussion were Jonathan Welch, representing the community, and moderator Mark Seagraves, of WUSA and WJLA News.

The issue of accountability dominated the meeting, with residents voicing their expectation that Wells should be held accountable for righting a project many find unacceptable, and Wells repeating his previously announced position that the ANC has legal party status in the Zoning Commission PUD proceedings and that he will stand behind the ANC, but not get between them and the Zoning Commission.

Brian Pate, Vice Chair of ANC6B’s Hine Subcommittee, in addition to the height reduction, also announced that although the negotiations with the developer have not been finalized, the developer had agreed to subsidize a child care center in the development to the tune of $160,000 as well as provide $50,000 in improvements to Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  Pate and ANC6B Commissioner Ivan Frishberg, who chairs the Hine Subcommittee, have been the lead negotiators regarding benefits, amenities, and mitigations with Stanton/Eastbanc.  Wells hinted that DDOT would find the amount of parking provided in the project excessive, contributing to additional traffic in the neighborhood.  That is a ruling the developer’s might welcome, since below ground parking is expensive and has little payoff.

The final report of the ANC negotiators and additional developer concessions will be revealed at this Thursday night’s ANC6B Hine Subcommittee meeting at 7:00pm in Hill Center. Wells, perhaps reading the degree of unhappiness among his constituency at the heart of Capitol Hill where his political career began as an ANC6B Commissioner, suggested that the ANC might have to go back to the developer for further concessions.  Pate suggested that one option for the Subcommittee would to send the negotiators back to the developers with specific instructions.

The Zoning Commission will hold the first of several PUD hearings to consider Stanton/Eastbanc’s request for a zoning change to accommodate the project’s greater height and density on June 14, at 6:30 pm.  The hearing will be in Room 220, 1 Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW.


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