January 4, 2016
There are two important meetings scheduled for this Wed., Jan. 6.
The District Department of Transportation will discuss the results of their Barney Circle-Southeast Boulevard Feasibility Study at ANC 6B’s Transportation Committee meeting, 7 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE).
And, at the same time (7 pm), Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) has scheduled a community meeting to discuss the new 7-Eleven convenience store that will is opening at the corner of Massachusetts Ave SE and 15th Street SE (in space formerly occupied by S&J Liquors and 15th Street Cleaners). Representatives from 7-Eleven will be on hand to discuss their plans and address concerns raised by residents.
May 13, 2014
ANC 6B will be discussing and voting on a number of Hill East cases during tonight’s full commission meeting, 7 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE). Here is a brief rundown:
- Sidewalk Cafe Application for Curbside Cafe – The owners of Curbside Cafe (257 15th Street SE) are seeking a public space permit to allow outdoor seating at their location. I fully support this application ANC 6B’s Planning & Zoning Committee unanimously recommended approval of the application and it will be on the commission’s consent agenda.
- Fast Food Special Exception for 1400 Penn Ave SE – The owners of New York Pizza (1401 Pennsylvania Ave SE) are seeking to expand their operation across the street to the vacant commercial space at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave SE. To do so, they need to ask the Board of Zoning Adjustment for a fast food special exception. Assuming the owners can address the trash, delivery and other concerns of nearby neighbors, I’m still puzzled why NY Pizza would seek to operate the same restaurant on both sides of Penn Ave. I hope to get some answers tonight. This case will likely be considered in the 7:45-8:15 pm time frame.
- Relocation of Women’s Shelter at DC General/Reservation 13 – Due to environmental and safety concerns, the city needs to relocate the Harriet Tubman Women’s Shelter from Building 9 to Building 27 on the DC General campus. To allow this to happen, the Office of Planning is asking the Zoning Commission to approve a text amendment (pdf) to the Hill East District zoning (the zoning code that exists for Reservation 13). I’m going to encourage my colleagues to oppose the text amendment and instead urge the Zoning Commission to approve a time-limited special exception to allow the move. I’d also like to see demolition of Building 9 clearly stated in the final order. This case will likely be considered in the 8:45-9:00 pm time frame.
- Comments on Planned Eastern Branch Building RFO – The commission will consider final comments to the DC Department of General Services on the planned Request for Offers for the Eastern Branch Building (261 17th Street SE). The comments reflect the community feedback ANC 6B’s Hill East Task Force heard during our two April community meetings. This case will likely be considered in the 9:00 pm hour.
Updated 5/13/14 1:00 pm – The applicant for the fast food exception for 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue SE has withdrawn the case from tonight’s agenda. This may move up commission consideration of the DC General and Eastern Branch letters.
February 6, 2014
Rendering of 41-unit condo building planned for 1500 Penn Ave SE. Produced by Bonstra Haresign Architects.
During the Feb. 4 ANC 6B Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, Eric May of the Goldstar Group shared updated renderings of their proposed 41-unit condo building at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The drawings include the layout of the underground parking garage, a garage which will include 21 spaces. Goldstar is seeking a variance on parking space size requirements, seeking to count 8 compact spaces towards the 21 space minimum requirement.
May also asked the committee to weigh in on an additional variance request related to the height of the penthouse. The variance will allow the rooftop penthouse to have varying height instead of uniform height.
The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the full commission support both variance requests and the raze permit for the project. ANC 6B will vote on the committee recommendation during the commission’s Tues., Feb. 10 meeting, 7 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE). Meeting attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions/provide comments on the requests. If you can’t attend the meeting, please share your comments with me directly or post below.
January 31, 2014
In February, ANC 6B will be considering Goldstar Group’s request for a variance from the parking space size requirements for their proposed 41-unit residential building at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (old Domino’s Pizza site).
Goldstar plans to provide the required parking minimum for the building (21 spaces) but needs to include 8 compact spaces in its count. Under the current DC zoning code, compact spaces can only be counted towards the minimum requirements in garages with more than 25 parking spaces. The Board of Zoning Adjustment will consider Goldstar’s variance request at a hearing on Feb. 25.
ANC 6B’s Planning & Zoning Committee will consider the variance request, along with the raze permit for the current building, at its Tuesday, Feb. 4 meeting, 7 pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington (1901 Independence Ave SE). During the committee meeting, Goldstar Group will provide a brief presentation of their plans and explain why they need the parking space size variance. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and weigh in with the committee. Note that 1500 Penn Ave SE is the first case on the committee’s agenda.
Attendees will also have an opportunity to weigh in on the case during ANC 6B’s February 11 meeting, 7 pm at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE). The commission will consider the planning & zoning committee’s recommendation and take a formal vote in support or opposition of the request on Feb. 11.
I encourage all interested neighbors and residents to attend the meetings and/or contact me with their concerns. For those who wish to chat with me in person, I’ll be at Curbside Cafe (257 15th Street SE) tomorrow, Sat., Feb. 1 from 11 am – 12 pm.
November 19, 2013
Rendering of the new Barney Circle from the 2005 Middle Anacostia River Crossings Study.
The District Department of Transportation is holding its second public meeting on the Barney Circle-Southeast Boulevard Project on Thursday, Nov. 21, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Payne Elementary School (1445 C Street SE). The project involves the construction of a full traffic circle at Barney Circle SE and the construction of a Southeast Boulevard to connect the new circle to the SE-SW Freeway at 11th Street SE. DDOT will be sharing potential options for the project and gathering community feedback.
This is a major project with significant implications for the neighborhood. It is particularly important for residents living along 17th Street SE and residents living near Barney Circle SE (Kentucky Ave, Freedom Way, Penn Ave, 15th St,, H Street, 16th St., G St., Potomac Ave) to attend this meeting.
During the first public meeting on the project in February, the entire discussion was dominated by questions and concerns about the Southeast Boulevard. I’m hopeful that attendees will get a chance to discuss the Barney Circle portion of the project and its implications for bike, pedestrian and vehicle flow through the neighborhood.
My recap of the first public meeting includes more information on the project.
November 5, 2013
Pennsylvania Avenue Elevation of Proposed Residential Building at 1500 Penn Ave SE. Design by Bonstra Haresign Architects.
Around 30-40 residents attended the Nov. 4 community meeting on 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (old Domino’s site). Eric May of The Goldstar Group shared his company’s plans to build a 41 unit residential building on the site. May was joined by the project’s architect, Rob McClennan of Bonstra Haresign Architects. A big thanks to Erik Holzherr, owner of Wisdom, for hosting the meeting.
Here are the projects details:
- The building will be entirely residential with 41 condos. Unit size will vary from studio, one bedroom and two bedroom, though most of the units will be one bedroom. When asked by an attendee if Goldstar would consider switching the building to apartments from condos, May responded that Goldstar is “99 percent” sure that they will stick with condos.
- May said that Goldstar considered a retail component but decided that the building would complement the new Douglas Development retail building going in across the street at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Douglas expects to complete the construction on 1442 by the end of the year.
- The bulk of the building will be towards the 15th Street SE and Penn Ave, not towards Freedom Way. The building height will be 44 feet, 6 feet below the 50 foot height limit on the site. There will be a 750 square foot roof deck towards the 15th/Penn Ave side of the building and air conditioning units will be located on the roof. View the building elevations (pdf) from 15th Street SE and Penn Ave SE.
- Goldstar plans to include private gardens for the first floor units facing Freedom Way, which should provide some “breathing room” between the building and the residences behind it. The upper units will not have balconies. When asked if Goldstar would do a shadow study to see how the building would affect light and air on Freedom Way, May replied that he would consider it but did not think the building would dramatically impact light & air, particularly since it will not be built to the lot line.
- The main entrance to the building will be at the corner of 15th & Pennsylvania Avenue SE. There will not be an entrance to the building off of Freedom Way SE – the property does not have access to Freedom Way.
- Goldstar will build an underground parking garage with the required 21 spaces. The entrance to the garage will be off 15th Street SE and there will be a garage door. Since the garage will include 8 compact parking spaces, Goldstar will have to ask the Board of Zoning Adjustment for zoning relief (parking garages with less than 25 spaces can not count compact spaces towards the minimum requirement in the zoning code). This also means that ANC 6B will have an opportunity to weigh in on the zoning case once it is filed. View the garage level plans (pdf).
- Trash pick-up and loading would likely take place off of 15th Street SE. May hopes that trash can be picked up in the underground garage and not wheeled out to the curb. He plans to work with the District Department of Transportation and surrounding neighbors to determine appropriate loading/moving times.
- An attendee asked whether building residents will have the opportunity to purchase residential parking permits (RPP). I responded that since the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave SE is classified as an RPP block, residents of the new building will be able to purchase RPP stickers. And since Goldstar plans to meet the minimum parking requirement, they will likely not be subject to any RPP limitations by the BZA.
- May said that the materials and color of the building have not been finalized. They plan to make decisions about materials in the next two months.
- Goldstar hopes to apply for building permits in the next two weeks. Since there used to be a gas station on the site, they will have to remove and replace contaminated soil. The BZA case will also add to the project’s timeline. May hopes to begin construction in March 2014. My guess is that construction will not begin until summer or early fall of 2014.
- Since the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE could potentially see 3 construction projects going on at the same time (1500 Penn, 1600 Penn and 732 15th Street SE), I plan to work with the three development teams to ensure they are working to minimize disruption to neighboring residents.
Please post your comments and feedback below. And thanks to everyone who attended Monday’s meeting!