Tag Archives: Tommy Wells

EMCAC Part II: Will City Close Eastern Market’s North Hall on Weekdays? – Issue May Be Tossed to the New Market Governing Authority

Eastern Market North Hall, Friday Morning

EMCAC Part II:  Will City Close Eastern Market’s North Hall on Weekdays? – Issue May Be Tossed to the New Market Governing Authority

by Larry Janezich

Some members of the Eastern Market Citizens Advisory Committee (EMCAC) continue to pressure Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson to close the Eastern Market North Hall during the week.  Margeson has resisted, pointing to city regulations which define the North Hall as community space.  Committee members cite energy costs, liability concerns, and potential damage to the building.  Weekdays, the space has been a go-to place for children and their caretakers seeking like company and a cool/warm/safe environment.  A look at the Eastern Market website event calendar shows regularly scheduled Thursday morning events providing entertainment for children and others.

Committee members are concerned that use of the space by the public during the week will be an established expectation when EMCAC hands over the reins to the new governing authority for Eastern Market provided for in upcoming legislation which will be introduced by Councilmember Tommy Wells.

At last Wednesday’s EMCAC meeting, Chair Donna Sheeder announced that Councilmember Wells is reviewing draft legislation to provide the new governing authority for Eastern Market.  She said that he wants to introduce the bill before the Council begins its summer recess on July 15.  ANC6B could hold a special call meeting on the legislation before the end of July; ANC6B has no meetings scheduled for August.

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Councilmember Phil Mendelson Hints Redistricting Will Come at Expense of Ward Six – Penn Quarter Deal Seems Less Likely

Ward Six Democrats Turn Out on Redistriciting Issue

Councilmember Wells at Thursday Night's MeetingCouncilmember Mendelson Takes Questions from Ward Six Democrats

Councilmember Phil Mendelson Hints Redistricting Will Come at Expense of Ward Six

by Larry Janezich

DC Redistricting Committee Member and Councilmember At Large Phil Mendelson told a crowd of over 250 Ward Six Democrats Thursday night that “it’s impossible to do redistricting without making some people unhappy.”  He went on to note that reducing the size of Wards Two and Six would upset the fewest number of people.

He said the Redistricting Committee is faced with either equalizing the ward populations or achieving redistricting with the least amount of disruption.  He said his goal was to “equalize the populations, but that doesn’t mean change will be radical enough to accomplish that.”

Under federal law, wards must be redrawn every ten years.  The goals are that they be compact and contiguous and approximately equal in size within plus or minus 5%

The 2010 Census revealed that Ward 2 has to come down at least 939, Ward Seven has to come up at least 387, and Ward 8 has to come up at least 743.  Technically, Ward Six is within 5% of the average and – all things being equal – would not have to change.  But it has population to spare and is next to wards seven and eight which need population.

The City Council has until July 2011 to produce a new Ward boundary map and has until the end of 2011 to approve new Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) and Single Member District (SMD) boundary maps.

The Redistricting Committee, comprised of Councilmembers Michael Brown, Jack Evans and Phil Mendelson, will propose a new ward map in the next few weeks – maybe by the end of May.  The Committee will hold a hearing on the new map and the Council will vote sometime in June to make any changes to the committee plan, with a final vote in late June or early July.

Thursday night’s meeting at Friendship Public Charter School was hosted by Ward Six Democrats to allow residents to voice their concerns on the redistricting issue.  The meeting’s organizers invited the three members of the Redistricting Committee and Councilmember Tommy Wells.  Only Mendelson and Wells appeared.

Wells told those attending that the guiding principle for redistricting is that “we have to keep contiguous neighborhoods together.”  He told this reporter that “Penn Quarter is on the table,” but he would otherwise “absolutely” vote against any legislation to reduce the size of Ward Six.   Wells would like to broker a deal and give Ward Six’s portion of Penn Quarter to Ward 2, setting up a domino effect that would subsequently increase the size of Wards 5, 7, and 8, leaving all wards with the right numbers.

He told the crowd that “this is not about parking stickers or personalities, but why one ward is working so well.”  He cited Ward Six’s renaissance in schools, its highly effective ANC’s, the amount of development, the families working together, and the ward’s broad diversity. Regarding development, he noted “you can’t have remote ANC’s making decisions affecting” the heart of Ward Six.  “That’s another reason we can’t be Balkanized.”

He told the crowd, “[y]ou have power – beyond phone calls and email.  Make sure – especially the at large members – know how you feel and why.”  The at large councilmembers are Redistricting Committee members Michael Brown and Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers David Catania and Vincent Orange.

Questions from the audience revealed concerns about the impact of redistricting on schools, the historic district, and parking.  Mendelson said that school and historic districts would be unaffected by any changes.  Regarding parking, he said he will propose to the Chair of the Transportation Committee Chair Tommy Wells, that current parking zones be maintained regardless of any ward changes brought about by redistricting.

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ANC Commissioner Brian Pate Recounts Demonstration and His Arrest

ANC Commissioner Brian Pate Recounts Demonstration and His Arrest

by Larry Janezich

ANC6b05 Commissioner Brian Pate was among the 41 protestors arrested for civil disobedience outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday, April 11.  The protest was directed at the restrictions imposed by the federal government on the city’s ability to spend its locally raised funds.  Specifically, the city’s rights were bargained away in a last minute deal between the administration and the congress to avoid a government shutdown over lack of agreement on a budget.

Pate was asked by emmcablog to recount the experience.

“I decided to go down there before the EMMCA meeting scheduled for 6:30.  I got there about 5:20 or 5:30.  I was standing on the sidewalk sort of on the fringes listening to Illir Zherka of DC Vote who was up on a platform giving a rallying speech.  Then each of the councilmembers did the same.  Ilir got up again to close out and demand a vote for DC.  Then he said ‘I’m about to do something that changes the game in the nature of the protest today.  I hope you will all march with me no matter what happens.’  Then he walks out into the middle of Constitution Avenue.  The Mayor and others went with him.  You could sense the moment in the crowd – ‘they’re going to do something.’

I thought, ‘They’re going to do something more aggressive.  Do I go out there with them?’

At first I thought ‘They’re not going to arrest us.’  Then they stared coming out and giving warning to the protestors.  When they started to break out the flexicuffs, there were a good 100 people in the street.  As soon as they started giving warnings, people started peeling off.  I decided to stay.  And other people saw it was going to happen and they decided to stay.

They were caught up in the spirit of the moment.  I didn’t go there to get arrested.  I knew it was possible – as soon as the first person was arrested, I knew I had to stay.  To do anything else would be a failure of leadership.  Those who claim the mayor and others were grandstanding miss the point.

They started arresting people one by one.  They started from the back.  I was the third person arrested.  I was tagged as number 8.  Tommy Wells was 41.  They put us in a paddy wagon.  I shared one with the Mayor Gray, Kwame Brown and Michael Brown. I had a chance to observe the Mayor and talk to him about what he was thinking.

I asked him, ‘When did you know you were all in?’  It was clear to me that it was somewhat spontaneous.  He security detail didn’t know and didn’t know what to do.

They took us to a facility on Half Street by the DMV.  They had flexicuffed us and separated the women from the men in paddy wagons.  Extra males were put on a bus.

They were civil to us.  They lined us up against a wall and took our info and inventoried our belongings.  They uncuffed us and sat us on folding chairs in a warehouse area.

They were understaffed and appeared to be figuring it out as they went along.  The processing was slow.  I had the impression that the slowness was intentional – ‘Make it inconvenient for them.’

All 41 of us were in a room.  They gave us a short explanation of what would happen.  We could pay a $50 fine or take a court case.  The majority decided to pay.  That speaks to the spontaneity.  There was no consensus on whether to pay or go to court.  There was no time to strategize.

I asked the Mayor whether he was going to pay or go to court.  He paid, and I followed his lead.

Then the first ten were recuffed and bused to a holding facility by the Monocle (US Capitol Police Headquarters).  They put us in cells, four people to a cell.  They let the Mayor sit in a chair by a desk.  That was the only time I saw him receive different treatment.  The scanned our prints facial features one at a time.  That took from 11:30 (pm) until 1:45 (am).

Ed.:  What was going through your mind when you were deciding to be arrested or not?

Pate:  I was asking myself, ‘Is this the right moment to make a stand or take part in a stand?’  I felt that it was.  That’s the decision I made.  The worst part is I didn’t have time to call my wife.  I have two little children.  They refused to give us a phone call.  My wife was really worried.  That’s the only thing I regret – making her worry.

My observation is that this was a diverse group – 27 men and 14 women.  Politicians from mayor to ANC commissioners.  Regular citizens.   About evenly split between black and white.  People with walkers – canes.  Older people to those barely out of college.  Impressive.  People from every or, nearly every, ward coming together in the solidarity of the moment.

Ultimately, I thought of the morality of issue and the moment, and I think I made the right choice and I hope more people will get involved with DC Vote. I hope more people protest in a variety of ways.  This was successful if you look at the chatter on the blogs – this issue got more attention in the last two days that in the last two years.  .

A complete list of the name of those arrested follows:

1. Michael Brown
2. Kusame (Kwame) Brown (USCP spelling)
3. Vincent Gray
4. Jack Evans
5. Eugene Kinlow
6. Deangelo Scott
7. Lawrence Hams
8. Brian Pate
9. Marc Ferrara
10. Peter Bishop
11. Deborah Shore
12. Patricia Vrandenburg
13. Yvette Alexander
14. Anise Jenkins
15. Muriel Bowser
16. Karen Hixson
17. Ann Aldrich
18. Carly Skidmore
19. Billie Day
20. Rachel Madelham
21. Mary Gosselink
22. Corryn Freeman
23. Joseph Martin Perta
24. Robert Brannum
25. Maceo Thomas
26. Adam Maier
27. Ilir Zherka
28. Ryan Velasco
29. Sekou Biddle
30. Lafayette Barnes
31. Jeffrey Richardson
32. Nicholas McCoy
33. Daniel Solomon
34. George Marion Jr.
35. John Klenert
36. Jay Tamboli
37. Michael Panetta
38. Bruce Spiva
39. Martin Moulton
40. Jason Cross
41. Thomas Wells

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How the Hine Project Has Changed Over Time – Councilmember Wells Says Developers Constrained by City

How the Hine Project Has Changed Over Time

Councilmember Wells Says Developers Constrained by City

by Larry Janezich

At an April 6 meeting between Councilmember Tommy Wells and two community organizations striving to reduce the height and mass of the Hine project, Wells outlined the economic factors which drive the current size of the project and limit the possibility of significant changes.

Questioned whether – if the community feels strongly about changes – it is possible to send the agreement with the developer back to the city for review, Wells noted that any substantive change to the “Term Sheet” requires action by Council and that it is unlikely the city will back off on certain requirements which it is interested in having the developer provide as “public amenities.”

The “Term Sheet for the Disposition of Hine” is a signed agreement between Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Valerie Santos and Stanton/Eastbanc.  It specifies the anticipated square footage for the project’s residential, retail, and office space.  It is less specific about the parking, saying only that the developers will provide below grade parking necessary to support the project.  In addition, the Term Sheet lists several “public amenities” – though it does not call them that. These public amenities are what the city expects the developer to do for the city as a condition for proceeding with the project.

There are three kinds of amenities:  1) amenities provided to the city and required by the city in the Term Sheet, 2) amenities provided by the developer as the result of informal dialogue with the community as a way to garner public support prior to the PUD process, but outside the Term Sheet, and 3) amenities made as concessions by the developer to the community as the result of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.  The latter can be alterations in building structure but sometimes take other forms, like the addition of a desired function or use, the improvement of a nearby community space, or, sometimes, by awarding a cash settlement.

Several amenities are already specified in the Term Sheet.  Two of the most significant amenities specified are 1) affordable housing, half of which is to be reserved for the elderly, and 2) Reconstruction of C Street, SE.  Both of these come at considerable long term and short term expense to the developer, and must be supported economically by the rest of the project.  According to Wells, these are considerations which drive the massing and density which must be enough to offset the additional expenses incurred by the developer in fulfilling the city’s requirements.

In the community discussion, massing and density are often used interchangeably, though they are different concepts.  Wells undertook to explain why it is difficult to reduce massing – and the complex set of economic relationships between amenities and a profitable real estate venture.  .

Affordable Housing

The Term Sheet states that “subject to the PUD process …it is anticipated that the North Parcel will contain:

28 apartments (probably one bedroom) – available for rent to individuals or families with a current (2010) income of $62,100 – 14 of these for persons 55 or older

5 apartments (probably one bedroom) available for rent to individuals with a current (2010) income of $31,050 – 3 of these for persons 55 or older

10 units (likely one bedroom) available for purchase at income levels required under the DC’s Inclusionary Zoning Act, (50% AMI 2010 = $51,750 and 80% AMI 2010 = $82,800).

The city sets maximum rents and purchase price for these affordable units and this will come at the expense of the developer – the difference in profitability having to be made up elsewhere in the project, even though Stanton/Eastbanc will receive federal tax credits for constructing these units.  Reportedly, Capitol Hill Village representatives are disappointed that these units are so small.

Reconstruction of C Street, SE

The city is also requiring the developer to reopen C Street.  “The Developer shall construct, at its sole cost and expense, a street in the closed portion of the 700 block of C Street, S.E.”  This is strongly supported by the Office of Planning and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society.  Office of Planning is reportedly seizing every opportunity to restore the original L’Enfant plan.  For the nearby neighbors on C, 7th, and 8th Street, the reopening seems likely to be only an source of aggravating noise, traffic, and pollution.

In addition to these two amenities the Term Sheet specifies two other significant amenities which the developer is required to satisfy.

Parking

The Term Sheet states only that the project will contain below grade parking necessary to support the project.  At the last presentation on April 5, project architect Amy Weinstein said the developers are considering adding additional parking on a second below grade level.  Wells told those attending the meeting that he is “conflicted about the amount of parking we need the developer to provide.  If you know you are going to find parking, you’re more likely to drive to Eastern Market,” thus creating increased traffic and overflow parking issues.  This puts Wells at odds with Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, which recently reaffirmed its support of the Stanton development concept, based in part on the basis of the public parking for the market.

Green Building.

The city requires the project to be built in accordance with the city’s Green Building Act of 2006.  This is important to many but not often mentioned in public discussions as being an amenity to the larger community.

Amenities provided by the developer as the result of informal dialogue with the community as a way to garner public support prior to the PUD process but outside the Term Sheet:

Public Space Improvements

Courtyard

The Hine project’s large interior courtyard has been described as community space in earlier presentations by the developer, and seemed likely to serve that purpose when it was possible to walk through the courtyard from Pennsylvania Avenue to C Street.  A design change revealed on April 5 makes it less useable as public space since a new lobby entrance to the project’s office building will prevent access from Pennsylvania Avenue.  The only access to it would be through a gated entrance on C Street.  Wells asked, “if the courtyard is not open to the community, what’s the point?  It seems to me it should be negotiable.”

Plaza

A means of providing for the continuation of the weekend flea market has wide support in the community and was part of the reason EMCAC recently reaffirmed its support of the Stanton development.  This provision is not specified in the Term Sheet.  Stanton/Eastbanc’s recent recasting of a public plaza with a fountain between the north ends of the 7th and 8th Street residential buildings – added at the request of neighbors – into the splayed piazza opening up the west end of C street where it intersects 7th Street, disappointed some of the neighbors.  Neighbors also raised concerns that in time, the piazza splayed out toward the Market could become something else, less attuned to neighborhood requirements and more attuned to commercial usage.

Wells said that the degree to which the piazza is an amenity to the community depends on how it is viewed and used; suggesting that as a site for strolling and gathering in the European sense it would in fact be an amenity to many.

Residential space

This is the target in the PUD negotiations for the most vocal critics of the current plan, the residents of 8th Street, who object to the height and massing of the Hine Project’s 8th Street residential building and the assignment of retail to the ground floor of the north residential building.

The project’s residential space has gone up by 92,156 square feet since August of 2009 to 237,750.  The term sheet anticipates 144,594 square feet of residential space.  In February of 2011, Stanton/Eastbanc announced that it was increasing the amount of residential space since the non-profit International Relief Development (IRD) had dropped out of the project.  The Term Sheet allowed for 65,000 square feet to be used for a hotel as an alternative to the office space.  Instead, when IRD dropped out leaving 62,000 extra square feet of office space and when the hotel did not materialize, that 65,000 square feet plus another 28,156 square feet of space taken from office and retail was reallocated to residential.  The change will have to be approved by the city council.

Office Space

Office space has taken the biggest hit in the downsizing, going down from a Term Sheet estimate of 211,999 square feet of office space in the August 2009 proposal to the current proposed 160,200 square feet – a difference of 51,799 square feet.  Wells listed office space as one of the items on the term sheet that is “a lot more negotiable.”  There are several reasons why this might be so.  Office space might sit empty for a long period, depending on demand and the economy.  In addition, office space will require continuing, on-going management as opposed to residential condo space which can be turned over to a condo association, leaving the developer free of that responsibility.

Retail Space

Retail space has gone down by 7,500 square feet, from an estimated 49,200 square feet in the August 2009 plan to 41,700 today.  Wells stated that “people in the community are expecting more retail.”  Wells held out the possibility that the amount of retail was one of the things that could be negotiated.  He noted that “generally, a developer will make more money on housing than retail. Retail is not the highest return on the property.  Housing is hot now.   I’m not fully convinced they’re (Stanton/Eastbanc) more excited about retail.”

According to a source knowledgeable about Capitol Hill commercial corridor leases, rates are currently climbing for commercial retail space.  Commercial space can lease for up to $42 a square foot.  Retail space can go for as high as $50 a square foot.  A 1000 square foot store could cost anywhere between $45,000 and $52,000 a year – or at least $3,750 a month.  Leases for space in larger commercial buildings have additional costs involved which may vary the rent by up to 20 percent.

The Economics

This is what all of this adds up to:  Wells said that the number of square feet of a project is determined by a formula for the project after calculating what the developer has to provide in amenities like affordable housing, C Street reopening, plaza, public space, parking, etc.  The rest of the development has to fund these.  Balancing these expenditures with anticipated profit is how the developer figures out how large the project has to be, assuming a certain return per square foot.  Wells affirmed that the City Council was responsible for the oversight hearing of the Lease Development Agreement with the developer and had expectations about what a fair profit for the developer would be.  “I have no reason not to believe the city didn’t do due diligence on the Hine project, just as with any other project in the city.”  But, as an audience member pointed out, that that was for a previous and much different version of the project.

Wells pushed those seeking changes in the project toward the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process which will unfold next year, where the impact of proposed changes on the economic viability of the project could be more easily determined.  This will involve public hearings where the public and community groups can testify before city officials regarding the project and negotiate with the developer for amenities.

According to Gary Petersen, Chair of the Restoration Society’s Planning and Zoning Committee, “for zoning purposes, we need a complete set of drawings that shows the façade, shadow studies, detailed traffic analysis, and elevations.  In the PUD process, everything is on the table.  We are not limited by what they (the developers) propose.  We can bring up stuff – tinker.”

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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead:

Monday, April 11

New Eastern Market Governing Authority

Councilmember Tommy Wells will discuss the process regarding new legislation to establish a new governing authority for Eastern Market.

7:00pm, The Corner Store, 9th and South Carolina Avenue, SE

New Info Hub for Eastern Market Metro Plaza

“Sign Tiger” spokesman Chuck Burger  regarding the new Information Hub planned for the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.

6:30 pm, The Corner Store, 9th and South Carolina Avenue, SE

Tuesday, April 12

ANC6b Meeting

Watch for:

Commissioner Ivan Frishberg’s update on the Hine Process during Commission Announcements

A letter from the ANC to the Alcohol Beverage Review Board (ABRB) supporting a request for longer operating hours by Acqua Al 2

A presentation from Councilmember Tommy Wells regarding the process for establishing a new governing authority for Eastern Market The report of the Taskforce that Wells appointed to make recommendations regarding a new authority may be posted on Wells’ website as early as Wednesday, April 13.

7:00pm, The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, 522 7th Street, SE

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Wells: “Opportunity to Change Hine Project Mass and Height Has Not Passed” – 8th Street Neighbors List Top Priorities

Wells:  “Opportunity to Change Hine Project Mass and Height Has Not Passed” – 8th Street Neighbors List Top Priorities

by Larry Janezich

On Wednesday night, 25 nearby 8th Street neighbors of the Hine Project met with Councilmember Tommy Wells in Eastern Market’s North Hall to list their priorities for the Hine Project.  This comes as Stanton-Eastbanc seeks Historic Preservation Review Board approval of their plan for the project.  .

The five top priorities listed are as follows:

1) Keep 8th Street free of retail, 2) limit residential buildings to R4 zoning and 40 foot heights, 3) limit the north building to residential use only, 4) protect resident’s National Environment Policy Act compliance rights regarding noise studies and other environmental impacts, and 5) provide an opportunity for wider community engagement, including construction of a three-dimensional model (in community context) that can be put on public view for comment and questions.

Much of the discussion concerned the changing size and mass of the project.  Wells assured the audience that the opportunity for revisiting those issues had not passed and stressed that the PUD process is the place to begin that conversation.  That PUD process is not likely to start until 2012.

The “Development Program” section of the Term Sheet for the Disposition of Hine which specifies criteria for residential space, office space, retail space and parking states, “Throughout the PUD process, changes in the Development Program may be made with the consent of the District.”

The “Schedule of Performance” from the Term Sheet is as follows:

PUD Submission:  May 2011 (ed. note: now looks unlikely before of 2012)

Closing:  July 2012

Commencement of Construction:  September 2012

Completion of Construction:  September 2014

The term sheet states that the “Schedule of Performance” with estimated dates may be amended and extended with the approval of the city.  It seems certain that the request for delay in PUD Submission will occur, with a resulting push-back in the other performance dates.

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Stanton-Eastbanc Gets Mixed Reviews on Revised Hine Drawings – Will File With HPRB for April 28th Review

Councilmember Wells and Former Councilmember Ambrose Turn Out for Hine Meeting

Revised Drawing (upper) 8th Street Residential Building

North End of 8th Street Residential Building

8th and C Looking West

View South on 8th Street

8th Street Residential Building, View from Pennsylvania Avenue

View From Metro Plaza

View North on 7th Street

View South on 7th Street

View of 7th Street Residential Building and Piazza From Eastern Market

view of North Residential from 7th and C Streets

Revised Drawing (upper) of North Residential Building

Heavy Turnout for CHRS Special Meeting on Hine

Stanton-Eastbanc Gets Mixed Reviews on Revised Hine Drawings – Will File With HPRB for April 28th Review

by Larry Janezich

Nearly 100 Restoration Society members and other Capitol Hill residents turned out for the Restoration Society’s general membership meeting on the Hine project.  Councilmember Tommy Wells and former Councilmember Sharon Ambrose were in attendance as were most of the Restoration Society Board members.  ANC Commissioners Ivan Frishberg and Brian Pate were present as well.

Stanton-Eastbanc, the developers, presented new drawings, revised since the last presentation in early March, to address concerns expressed by members of the community and community organizations..

Audience reviews of the new drawings were mixed.

Architect Amy Weinstein gave a PowerPoint tour of the project, listing changes which had occurred since early March:

The number of units in 8th Street Residential Building has gone down by 13 – making the new total 149 instead of 162.

The number of parking spaces is undergoing revision.  The minimum number is 227 and the maximum number has gone from 270 to “To Be Determined.”  Weinstein said additional parking on a second level below grade is being considered.  (As pointed out in a previous emmcablog posting regarding EMCAC voting to reaffirm the Stanton design, the previous maximum of 270 will leave little public parking on weekends after needs of the residents, offices, retail, and some 100 flea market vendors are met.)

Weinstein then moved clockwise around the project starting at 8th and C Streets, listing changes as she went.  .  .

8th Street Residential Building

To break up the long façade, gaps have been introduced to simulate the natural gaps occurring in the blocks to the north of the project.

More variety has been introduced in the façade.

Shakespeare housing has been moved from the north end of the building to south of the building’s lobby.

The roof top swimming pool has been moved to the north end of the building.

The building has been lowered near Pennsylvania Avenue, and the fourth floor structure replaced with rooftop pavilions for the penthouse units.

The 8th Street entrance to the building has been moved north.

Pennsylvania Avenue Office Building

The entrance has been moved to a tall glassed lobby on Pennsylvania Avenue in what was before the entrance to the public courtyard between the two buildings facing the Avenue.  This means that the only access to the courtyard from the street will be from C Street.

The roof line has been altered and the roof top pavilion eliminated.

7th Street Residential Building

There now appears to be no boutique hotel planned for this building.

The entrance has been moved from 7th Street to C Street.

Retail is now planned for the first floor.

The gated entrance to the courtyard will be adjacent to the building’s entrance..

North Residential Building

The building has been narrowed.

The entrance to two ground floor apartments will now face 7th Street.

The lobby and entrance to the building will be on C Street.

The 4th floor will be setback 68 feet from 8th Street.

A question period followed the presentation.  Then audience members were permitted to speak regarding their views on the project.  The major areas of concern expressed by the audience in various forms were as follows:

The aesthetics are inconsistent with the character of the historic district.  This seemed to be the one thing held in common by the greatest number of those present.  8th Street resident Mark Shlien struck a chord with many when he challenged Weinstein to create a building that would be as much her legacy as Eastern Market was for revered market architect Adolph Cluss.  Nearby neighbor Maggie Hall asked for a show of hands which revealed that about one third felt that the drawing showed a vast improvement, about one third thought there had bees some improvement, and one third thought there had been no improvement.  Another neighbor expressed the discomfort of many with the architect’s frequently stated goal of using a “more contemporary way to express Victorian design elements” as being inappropriate in such a large project

The 8th Street residential building is too big. This was voiced by many of those living across the street or nearby, east of the project.  The assertion that density was necessary to justify city expenditures for the Market Metro Station in the name of smart growth was challenged by 8th Street resident Wendy Blair, asking in so many words, why is increased density in a neighborhood which has density enough, such good thing?

The North Residential Building is too high.  This heard from the neighbors in the 200 block of 8th Street whose back yards and windows will be looked into from apartment windows.

Safety concerns regarding the entrance to parking. 8th Street resident Marion Connolly warned of the potentially hazardous situations – especially on weekends – that the underground parking entrance near the heavily trafficked 8th and C Streets intersection will create.

Several residents and neighbors gave their unqualified support to the project.

Afterward, the consensus seemed to be that the meeting had been a valuable opportunity to air community views.  CHRS will meet on Tuesday April 19 to approve a letter or comments to HPRB.  That report will be posted on the CHRS website www.chrs.org after submission to the HPRB.

The next – and final – public event related to the Hine project will be the ANC6b Special Call meeting on April 26.  The Commission will hear from the developers and the community and then vote on a resolution regarding recommendations to the HPRB for its April 28 review of the project.

Stanton will post the revised Hine School site plans on its website http://hineschool.com/design-concept/ on Thursday, April 7.

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Stanton-Eastbanc to Unveil New Hine Drawings Tuesday Night – ANC To Have the Community’s Last Word on Hine Project

Stanton-Eastbanc to Unveil New Hine Drawings Tuesday Night

ANC To Have the Community’s Last Word on Hine Project

by Larry Janezich

Stanton-Eastbanc will reveal their final changes to the concept drawings for the Hine Project at the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s (CHRS) Special Membership Meeting on the Hine site.  The meeting will include a Q&A with Stanton-Eastbanc on their proposed plans and a request for comments from CHRS members and the public.  The event will be free and open to the public and will be on Tuesday, April 5, from 6:45pm – 8:30pm, at Maury elementary school at 13th and Constitution Avenue, NE (entrance on 13th Street)

Stanton partner Kitty Kaupp has confirmed that new drawings will address some of the concerns raised by the ANC and the community in reaction to prior presentations in early March.

Thereafter, the process will unfold as follows:

April 13 – ANC6b will circulate a draft response to the latest design concept among ANC commissioners.

April 19 – The ANC6b draft response will be made public and widely disseminated for public feedback.

April 19 – CHRS Board meeting – vote on recommendations likely.

April 20 – CHRS files its recommendation with HPRB and it becomes public..

April 26 – ANC6b holds Special Call Meeting to hear a presentation from Stanton-Eastbanc, and to consider and vote on a resolution of recommendation regarding Stanton-Eastbanc’s design concept.

April  22 – The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) staff report in which the staff evaluates the Hine project’s neighborhood compatibility will be available on line.

April 28 – The Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) considers Stanton-Eastbanc’s design concept and reviews the site plan, overall architectural direction, height, and mass.  It will not review construction detailing at this stage. The developers will make a presentation, and HPRB will hear from the ANC, community organizations and individuals, and parties in favor and opposed.  HPRB will deliberate openly – and ask questions, then vote on a motion or series of motions based on the HPO staff recommendations in the report.

As a final note, the Office of Planning does not believe that the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts has any jurisdiction over the Hine project.

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The First Glimpse of the New Eastern Market Governing Authority

The First Glimpse of the New Eastern Market Governing Authority

by Larry Janezich

Councilmember Tommy Wells appeared before ANC6b’s Executive Committee Tuesday night to share with them the report of the Task Force on Eastern Market Governance.  Wells appointed the Task Force last year to make recommendations for a new Market governing authority.  He distributed the report to the Commissioners – asking specifically that he be accorded the courtesy that the report not be made public until he has had a chance to meet with other community organizations, including the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Eastern Market Metro Community Association (EMMCA), CHAMPS, Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS), etc.

The Executive Committee, Chaired by ANC6b Chairman Neil Glick, regularly meets the last Tuesday of the month to set the agenda for the next month’s full ANC6b meeting.

Wells said, “I think the Task Force Report is good – I pretty much think it’s the right way to go.”  It made some great recommendations and provided a framework for writing the legislation.”  But, “There are some things I don’t agree with – the devil is in the details.”

Specifically, Wells pointed to the question regarding how the Board will be appointed.  The Task Force recommends that the Councilmember from Ward Six appoint five of the eleven member Board.  Wells said he was not sure that there is a precedent for that or that it was “kosher.”  He was “not sure there is not a better way,“going on to say that the important principle is that the Board is established and has authority.  “How the Board is appointed can be worked out through the community process.”

Wells sought guidance on how the ANC wants to handle the proposed legislation.  He warned about the community putting too much stock in the Task Force Report or too much effort in responding to it, since it is a series of recommendations and not an official document.  He encouraged the ANC wait to look at the draft legislation, hold their own hearing, and pass a resolution saying how they thought it should be amended. .

Regarding a time line, Wells said he “would love to have the process done by the end of July.”  That seems unlikely, given the regularly scheduled City Council summer recess from July 15 until September 15.  Wells allowed it was “not the end of the world” if that goal was not met.

The Task Force Report will be public on April 12, when the Councilmember appears before the regular meeting of ANC6b – unless Wells decides to release it early.  Wells will explain the purpose of the legislation and the process by which it will be considered.

That process is expected to unfold as follows:

The Washington powerhouse law firm of Arnold and Porter has been engaged on a pro bono basis to write the legislation. The earliest draft of the bill is expected to be available toward the end of April.

Introduction of the bill

ANC will hold a Special Call Meeting in late May to hear Wells – or his legislative staff – explain the legislation.

ANC6b will vote on a resolution regarding amendments at its regular June 14 meeting.

City Council Hearing

Two readings before City Council and passage by City Council in July or September

The councilmember highlighted several controversial issues on which the ANC was likely to be lobbied.

Perhaps the most important is what he called the “paradigm shift from EMCAC.”  The new Authority will be a Board of expertise.  Their purpose will be to maintain the integrity and preservation of the Market.  Neighbors will be board members – but the board members will represent the interest of the market, not the constituencies from which they come – “not Stanton Park or the ANC.”  All affected entities need and will have a point of access, but not necessarily a seat on the board, especially if their interests could conflict with those of the Market.  .

In addition, he cited the issue of the role of vendors.  The report recommends three voting seats on the Board for vendors, and Wells said he agreed with that.  Another issue is the role of flea market.  Wells said that he thought it would be in their interests to “grandfather them in,” and said he believed that their new landlord would be the new Eastern Market Authority.  He said he was committed to keeping flea market viable during construction of the Hine Development and that this will involve city authority, regarding potential use of Metro Plaza and or 7th Street going south.

Finally he cited concern regarding balance of food vs. craft vendors at the Market.  “Eastern Market will be a fresh food market.  Crafts are important and can be supported but this is about preserving a fresh food market.”

Wells emphasized during the meeting that the Market is owned by all of us.  This process, he said, will provide a means of vetting the new governing structure – and we always need a whole lot of transparency.  We want everybody to know that there’s a process and that this is not a take over.”

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Community Summit for Capitol Hill Community?

Community Summit for Capitol Hill Community?

by Larry Janezich

Johanna Bockman writes the Sociology in Ward Six blog.

http://sociologyinmyneighborhood.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-near-se-sw-can-teach-ward-6-hine.html

In today’s post, she describes her experience in participating in the Near SE-SW Community Summit organized by the Community Benefits Coordinating Council. The goal is to figure out the community priorities of residents in order to better inform ANC policies, especially given the extensive development in the area.

Councilmember Tommy Wells is a strong supporter of the process.

Bockman describes the background, the meeting, the participants, and how the views of the participants were assessed and how a consensus was reached.

This process appears to be one that would benefit the Capitol Hill community, given the on-going development and the changing demographics.

I think it would be great if we could make this happen.  Please take a look at this report and consider working for a similar event for us on Capitol Hill. My guess is that Councilmember Tommy Wells could be instrumental is helping make this happen.  Is this something our ANC could take the lead on?

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