Monday Quick Takes: 1550 Penn, Barney Circle, Mayor Gray’s FY14 Budget & Hill East

  • ANC 6B’s Planning & Zoning Committee will consider zoning relief for a proposed 80-84 unit residential building at 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Wed., April 3, 7:00 pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington (1901 Independence Avenue SE). At the meeting, NOVO Development will explain why they are requesting parking and loading variances and a special exception related to the height of the building’s mechanical penthouse. Residents will also have an opportunity to weigh in on the project. Read my recap of last week’s second community meeting for more details.
  • On Monday, April 8, ANC 6B’s Transportation Committee will be discussing the DDOT’s Barney Circle-Southeast Boulevard project. The committee will likely recommend that the commission send a letter to DDOT on key principles and concerns with the project. I plan to push for language that includes the 700 and 800 blocks of 17th Street SE and Kentucky Avenue SE in the scope of the Barney Circle project since both of these streets will be greatly affected by the proposed new traffic circle. The meeting will take place at 6:30 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE).
  • Mayor Gray’s FY2014 budget, released last week, includes lots of funding for development projects across the city…except for Reservation 13. While projects such as Skyland Shopping Center ($40 million), St. Elizabeth’s ($29.5 million) and Walter Reed ($2.3 million), the budget includes zero dollars for infrastructure related to the Hill East waterfront development. The only funding for Reservation 13 is $500,000 for the Department of General Services  to conduct  studies of the existing buildings/facilities at Reservation 13 to determine “short-term and long-term utilization of the asset.” Again, it appears that Mayor Gray is unwilling to invest in the future of the Hill East waterfront.
  • On the positive side, the Mayor’s budget does include funding for the 17th & 19th Street Safety Improvement Project recommendations. Construction on improvements to 17th & 19th Street SE are set to begin in spring 2014, and the Mayor’s budget calls for $600,000 (to be supplemented by federal funds).
  • Mayor Gray will be holding a Ward 6 Budget Town Hall on Thursday, April 25, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Logan School (215 G Street NE). The town hall will be a good opportunity to ask the Mayor questions about his FY14 budget, his commitment to the Hill East waterfront and other key priorities in the city.
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