A Stanton Development proposal for the Hine site would have a charter pre-school, Shakespeare Theatre work space (consolidated from two 8th Street locations and from a warehouse), office above retail on Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street, residential on 8th Street (30% to be low and moderate income), 700 parking spaces, and C Street would be reopened with residential above retail on the north of the Street. The flea market will use C Street on the weekends. No designs were shown, and how it looks will be very important. They want to go up to 6 stories on the Pennsylvania Avenue side. Depending on the setback, this could be OK, given the width of the Avenue and the Metro plaza.
The next zoning committee will be on February 12. The following Board of Zoning Adjustment cases will be considered:
- 17891, 1381 F St., NE
- 17895, 336 13th St., NE
- 17897, 223 Tenth St., SE, use variance (wants to increase height of garage)
- 17900, 660 E St., SE
- 17903, 317 Constitution Ave., NE (neighbors are appealing the issuance of a garage permit. Property is owned by Stanton Development.)
- 17908, 645 Maryland Ave., NE rear (change of garage to residence)
- 17910, 518 Ninth St., SE
Whose Ox Is Getting Gored? New Zoning Regulations on Parking to be Program for CHRS Community Forum
CHRS invites members and the public to our September 23 community forum at St. Peter's at Second and C Streets, SE. The doors will open at 7:00 pm. There will be a brief business meeting followed by a panel discussion on the topic “What Will the Proposed New Parking Regulations Mean for Neighborhoods?” Read more...
The panel discussion will be led by CHRS Zoning Committee Chair Gary Peterson. The panel will discuss the recent Office of Planning (OP) report to amend the city’s parking regulations. Members of the panel will be Travis Parker, OP Zoning Review Manager; David Garrison, Commissioner, ANC6B; Bill Crews, At-large Member of the Zoning Review Taskforce and former DC Zoning Administrator; and Gary Peterson, Ward 6 Representative on the Zoning Review Taskforce.
The city’s parking initiative marks a major shift in the city’s attitude towards parked cars. Potentially everyone will be affected—where they live, work, or play. Questions the Zoning Commission will consider include who should qualify for on-street parking; how much parking should be permitted in office buildings; whether apartment dwellers qualify for resident parking stickers; and what parking requirements, if any, should be imposed on entertainment and shopping areas on the borders of Capitol Hill, i.e., near the National’s stadium and adjacent to H Street, NE.
The city’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan calls for adoption of new zoning regulations to comply with the Plan. This three-year process is managed by OP. The regulations are being reviewed in twenty subject areas and discussed with public working groups for each of the areas. The results are then sent to a 24-member Zoning Review Taskforce for review and comment. Finally a report on the particular subject is sent to the Zoning Commission.
So far, four reports have been sent to the Zoning Commission (parking, loading, height, and arts and culture). The parking report had its first hearing before the Zoning Commission on July 31, 2008. The other three reports are scheduled for hearing during September. The parking report makes the following recommendations:
- General removal of parking minimums,
- Retention of minimums for uses that are of concern to residential neighborhoods,
- Setting of parking maximums,
- Supportive strategies, including
- Shared parking—allowing minimum parking requirements to be met by spaces that are shared among multiple uses or destinations,
- Car-share parking—encouraging or requiring that a set number of spaces within accessory parking be offered to established car-sharing companies,
- In-lieu fees—allowing developers to build fewer spaces than required in return for payment of a fee that is used to improve public/private transit goals, and
- Bike parking—establishing bike parking requirements.
The OP Report is available online at— https://www.communicationsmgr.com/
projects/1355/docs/OP%20Parking%20Report.pdf. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, September 23 and tell your friends and neighbors. The CHRS forum is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.
CHRS Zoning Committee to Meet June 12
The Capitol Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee will meet on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 7:30pm, Kirby House, 420 10th Street, SE, first floor. Details: Gary Peterson, 202-547-7969. They will consider the following cases:
- Case # : 17782
Case Name : Application of Jeff Moore
Case Summary : (Special Exceptions) pursuant to 11 DCMR § 3104.1, for a special exception to construct a two story rear addition to an existing one-family row dwelling under section 223, not meeting the lot occupancy (section 403) open court (section 406) and nonconforming structure (subsection 2001.3) requirements, in the R-4 District at premises 903 North Carolina Avenue, S.E. (Square 943, Lot 31). ANC : 6B05
- Case # : 17791
Case Name : Application of DRM and Associates, Inc.
Case Summary : (Area Variance,Special Exceptions) pursuant to §§ 3103.2 and 3104.1, for a special exception to continue a child development center (50 children, infant to 12 years and 9 staff) under section 205, and a special exception to establish a community service center under section 334, and a variance from the lot occupancy requirements under section 403, a variance from the rear yard requirements under section 404, a variance from the nonconforming structure provisions under subsection 2001.3, and a variance from the off-street parking requirements under section 2101.1, to allow an addition to an existing nonconforming structure, in the R-4 District at premises 728 F Street, N.E. (Square 891, Lot 49). ANC : 6C06
- Case # : 17805
Case Name : Application of Stephen and Desiree Sayle
Case Summary : (Special Exceptions) pursuant to 11 DCMR § 3104.1, for a special exception to allow a one-story addition to an existing dwelling under section 223, not meeting the side yard (section 405) and court niche (section 406) requirements in the CAP/R-4 District at premises 11 5th Street, S.E. (Square 817, Lot 815) ANC : 6B01
- Case # : 17809
Case Name : Application of Jemal’s Uline LLC
Case Summary : (Area Variance) pursuant to 11 DCMR § 3103.2, for a variance from the off-street parking requirements under subsection 2101.1, to permit the expansion and renovation of the existing Uline arena and ice house in the C-M-1 and C-M-3 Districts at premises 1130-1150 3rd Street, N.E. (Square 748, Lots 8-11, 42, 43, 802, 808-812).
- Case # : 17812
Case Name : Application of Pietros Kidane
Case Summary : (Area Variance) pursuant to 11 DCMR § 3103.2, for a variance from the use provisions to allow a catering services/bakery under subsection 701.1, in the C-1 District at premises 409 18th Street, N.E. (Square 4547, Lot 809). ANC : 6A08
- Case # : 17817
Case Name : Application of Visitor’s Service Center, Inc.
Case Summary : (Special Exceptions) pursuant to 11 DCMR § 3104.1, for a special exception for a community service center under section 334, in the R-4 District at premises 1422 Massachusetts Avenue, S.E. (Square 1059, Lot 98). ANC : 6B08
Public is Invited to Participate in Two-Year Process to Update
DC Zoning Regulations
The Office of Planning has begun the process of comprehensively reviewing the District of Columbia Zoning Regulations. Over the next two years, the public is invited to participate in subject-specific working groups to examine and discuss issues within the Regulations.
Review of the DC Zoning Regulations has been divided into 20 subject areas. Each subject area will be reviewed separately by a public working group that will make recommended changes to the Regulations. After working group review, recommendations for each subject area will be reviewed by a zoning taskforce and then forwarded on to the Zoning Commission for public hearings. The 20 subject areas are described in detail below.
Members of the public are encouraged to contact OP with questions about the process or any interest in participating in working groups. Please contact Travis Parker at (202) 741-5243 or email@example.com.
Zoning Review Subject Areas:
- Height (Working group to begin meeting January 29)
The subject area on height will include discussions about how height is measured, the relationship of the Height Act with zoning, roof structures, stories, and other issues that related to the height of buildings. This area will not examine raising or lowering the limits on height under zoning or the Height Act.
- Flood Plain (Working group to begin meeting February 6)
The working group for this study area will examine the city's policies for building structures within the flood plain. The group will discuss zoning strategies for regulation of these structures.
- Low/Moderate Density Residential & Commercial (Working group to begin meeting in February)
This subject area will deal with issues relating to lower density residential neighborhoods. Areas that would fit into the traditional R-1 through R-4 zones with largely single and two-family housing stock are the focus. This group will look at a very wide variety of issues including alley lots, accessory dwellings, corner retail stores, related non-residential uses, bulk and setback requirements, and many others. This group will also be examining the existing residential zoning categories and overlays to determine if these are sufficient to meet the needs of the city's neighborhoods.
- Parking (Working group to begin meeting in February)
This subject area will cover all of the issues within the current Chapter 21 of the zoning ordinance. We will examine the requirements for parking spaces as well as the standards for their location and access.
- Loading (Working group to begin meeting in February)
This subject area will cover all of the issues within the current Chapter 22 of the zoning ordinance. We will examine the requirements for loading as well as the standards for location and access.
- Retail Strategy (Working group to begin meeting in March)
This area will focus on supporting and encouraging local, small, and disadvantaged businesses. We will examine zoning options to encourage retail development and improve local retail options.
- Arts & Culture (Working group to begin meeting in March)
The current zoning code has many incentives and requirements for arts and culture uses. This group will review existing policies and examine ways to expand the availability of art space and arts related uses throughout the city.
- Historic (Working group to begin meeting in March)
This area will deal with the relationship between the zoning code and the existing review structure for historic buildings. We will examine the current sections on historic structures and determine what exceptions or special requirements need to be in place for these buildings.
- Sustainability (Working group to begin meeting in late March/early April)
This subject area will examine encouraging environmental sensitivity through zoning and removing zoning obstacles to sustainable design. Issues will include green building design, low impact development, transit oriented development, energy efficiency and measures of sustainability.
- Downtown (Working group to begin meeting in June)
The Downtown subject area will begin with the area contained in the Downtown Development Overlay District. The group will examine the goals of the district to determine what has been accomplished and what needs remain. The group will look at the boundaries of "downtown" and examine the zoning techniques used to address this area.
- Medium/High Density Commercial & Residential (Working group to begin meeting in June)
This subject area will deal with those issues surrounding the higher density commercial and residential nodes outside of the downtown. While not including commercial corridors, this area deals with other areas traditionally zoned C-3, CR, and R-5. The group will review existing zoning categories for sufficiency to meet city policies.
- Commercial Corridors (Working group to begin meeting in September)
This subject area will discuss zoning options to meet the needs of the cities commercial corridors. We will examine the relationship between commercial uses and the surrounding residential zones. The group will examine the use of geographically specific overlays and options for zoning solutions to more specifically related to each corridor.
- Industrial (Working group to begin meeting in September)
The industrial use group will work with the existing Industrial Land Use Study and policies of the Comprehensive Plan to determine how our existing industrial zones could be improved. Issues will include relationships to residential use, matter-of-right uses in industrial zones, and transitional uses.
- Mixed/Other Districts (Working group to begin meeting in September)
This study area will deal with issues related to zone districts not covered in the other areas. Specifically, the group will examine the Waterfront and Special Purpose districts as well as some of the miscellaneous overlays in the code.
- Campus/Institutional (Working group to begin meeting in November)
This area includes examination of campus plan options for educational and institutional uses.
- Parks/Open Space (Working group to begin meeting in November)
This group will examine the need for and makeup of potential zones for open space.
- PUD (Working group to begin meeting in January 2009)
This subject area will look at different options for review and approval of larger development projects in the District. Issues include the limits of matter-of-right development, the relationship between density and public benefits, the role of government agencies and community groups in development, and other issues relating to discretionary review of large developments.
- Design Review (Working group to begin meeting in January 2009)
This area will examine the need for and place for design review in our development review process. This group may work with or be combined with the PUD study area in the inclusion of design review as a part of the discretionary review process.
- Administration & Enforcement (Working group to begin meeting in March 2009)
Working closely with the Office of Zoning, this group will use the results of the first 18 working groups to update and improve the policies of Chapter 32 of the existing ordinance.
- ZC & BZA Procedures (Working group to begin meeting in March 2009)
Working closely with the Office of Zoning, this group will use the results of the first 18 working groups to update and improve the policies of Chapter 31 of the existing ordinance.
CHRS Zoning Chair, Gary Peterson, Picked to be Ward 6 Member of Zoning Review Taskforce
The Office of Planning and the Office of Zoning have initiated a two- to three-year public process to update and rewrite the DC Zoning Regulations, which have not been comprehensively rewritten since 1958. The new 2006 Comprehensive Plan has occasioned the rewrite. The rewritten Zoning Regulations will be guided by the land use policies in the Plan.
As part of the rewrite process, a Zoning Review Taskforce has been created. Members are persons appointed by a Councilmember, selected by a citywide group with a vested interest in zoning regulations, or a government official concerned with zoning. Gary Peterson, Chair of the CHRS Zoning Committee, was selected by Councilmember Wells to be the Ward 6 representative. Two other CHRS members, Dave Powell and Bill Crews, are on the Taskforce representing other Wards. Travis Parker, the Office of Planning’s Zoning Review Manager, is in charge of the process.
Anyone having comments on the zoning rewrite should contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2007 Zoning Committee Report
The Capitol Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee, with seven members in attendance, had a meeting on November 8, 2007, to consider the following cases:
- #17620, 1383-85 H Street, NE. This case has previously been opposed by the committee. Subsequently the BZA continued the case for the failure of the applicant to address the H Street overlay. The applicant did not appear at the meeting, and the committee again voted to oppose. I attended the November 13 hearing prepared to argue the non-compliance with the overlay, but Drew Ronneberg of ANC 6A did so first, and the case was continued until January 8. This is an application that should be approved once everything is in order. Drew and I discussed with the applicant what is needed and agreed to assist him. He is handling this case pro se.
- #17665, 654 Independence Ave., SE. The committee opposed this previously because the applicant wanted to build a garage with a bedroom and bath above, thus having two residential buildings on one lot. The applicant subsequently has hired a lawyer and is now connecting the house and new building with a glass enclosed walkway that is on the west property line. With this little trick the separate structure now becomes an addition to the main building. All the applicant now needs is a special exception to go from 60 to 70% lot occupancy. We have supported this once before for a unique property, the shotgun house, and we voted to support this one as well. The main house has only 400 square feet on each of two floors and is extremely small. The proposal keeps the rear of this 1860s house intact. (We have also opposed this approach on other properties that have nothing unusual about them.)
- #17683, 109 15th Street, NE. This is an application to replace an existing porch. The existing porch exceeded the 60% lot occupancy. The new porch covers 69% of the lot, and the applicant needs a special exception to go up to 70%. The committee voted to support the application. I attended the hearing on November 20 and testified in support. The BZA approved the application by summary order issued from the bench.
- #17692, 914 11th Street, SE. This property needs a special exception to allow a pizza delivery shop, a FAR variance, and a parking variance. It is an existing building in a C-2-A zone. The committee voted to support the application. The building covers 100% of the lot, and the applicant would have to demolish part of it to get to the proper FAR or to provide the parking. This area is in sad need of improvement, and the committee believed the use was better than a vacant building.
- #17694, 516 A Street, NE. This is a cooperative apartment building that has 20 units, including two finished units in the basement. There is a third, unfinished unit in the basement. No one knows why it wasn’t improved. The coop wants to improve it and sell it. They need a variance to increase the number of units from 20 to 21. The committee didn’t think they made the burden of proof for a variance and decided to take no position.
- #17705, 906 G Street, SE. The applicant wishes to add a third floor to an already non-conforming structure and needs a special exception for the existing 68% lot occupancy. The applicant presented letters of support from most of the neighbors affected by the addition. The committee voted to support, subject to letters from the remaining neighbors. The applicant does not have HPRB approval as yet, and this support does not support their HPRB application.
- #17711, 612 Third Street, SE. The applicant currently has a C of O for a two bedroom B&B and wishes to increase to six rooms, the maximum allowed in a historic district. There is ample room on the property to provide parking, and the committee voted to support if the applicant provided at least three dedicated parking spaces.
The next Zoning Committee meeting will be on January 10, 2008.
October 2007 Zoning Committee Report
by Gary Peterson
The Capitol Hill Restoration Society Zoning Committee considered one case at its September 6, 2007, meeting. The case involves the application of Jamal Kadri for a special exception from the lot width and lot area requirements and a use variance to allow the construction of a two-story accessory private garage with second story living quarters for a domestic employee (au pair suite), in an R-4 District at 654 Independence Avenue, S.E. The applicant and his architect, Stephen duPont, Jr., appeared at the meeting and one neighbor in support of the application also appeared. The committee, after considering all the evidence presented by the applicant and the neighbor voted, 4-1-1, to oppose the application because the application does not meet the requirements for a use variance.
The applicant’s property is a regular shaped lot, 14 feet wide by 88.33 feet deep containing 1,237 square feet. The lot does not comply with the lot width and square footage requirements for R-4. The lot is small but not unique for Capitol Hill. In fact, the lots on either side, 652 and 656, have similar measurements and lots at 600 through 606 Independence Avenue are smaller. The structure on the property has a 37 percent lot occupancy and the applicant wants to increase this to 64 percent by adding the accessory building. This property was considered previously by the BZA in Application No. 16975. In that case a previous owner wanted to add to the rear of the house and increase the lot occupancy to 70 percent. The Board approved the application by summary order. The instant application is different in that the applicant proposes no addition to the house and wants to build a 2-story accessory building instead.
For the BZA to grant variances the applicant must show an exceptional condition or uniqueness of the property, practical difficulties or exceptional and undue hardship upon the owner in complying with the zoning regulations arising out of the uniqueness, and no detriment to the public good or impairment of the zone plan. First and most significantly, the lot is not unique for the purpose of obtaining a zoning variance. The lot and house next door at 652 are nearly identical in size and age. The critical point is missing here and that point is that “… the extraordinary or exceptional condition must affect a single property.” Capitol Hill Restoration Society v. District of Columbia Bd. of Zoning Adjustment, 534 A.2d 939, 942. Even if one concedes that there is an exceptional condition on the property, the applicant does not make the more difficult showing of “undue hardship,” which applies to use variances.
The applicant purchased the property in February of 2006 knowing about the February 2003 BZA and Historic Preservation Office approval of the addition to the house. The applicant can expand his house without the variance relief asked for here. As a practical matter, the applicant has no difficulty in complying in all ways with the zoning regulations without a variance, and can put the property to sufficient economic use. In addition, the CHRS Zoning Committee believes that granting this application would undermine the R-4 zoning on Capitol Hill.
Subsequent to the Zoning Committee’s ruling, the applicant hired an attorney and asked for a continuance of the September 25 hearing date. The applicant proposes to present a new, improved case to the Committee at a later date.
September 2007 Zoning Committee Report
Dreyfus Mediation. At the behest of the Office of Planning (OP), members of five community groups have entered into mediation with Louis Dreyfus Company over the development of the property fronting on H Street, NE, between Second and Third Streets. OP hired Lee Quill, AIA, as mediator. The community groups are CHRS, Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, ANC6A, ANC6C, and one resident from Third Street, NE. We have had three meetings with the mediator, and Dreyfus’ architect and the group also met with and briefed the Third Street residents.
The mediation has progressed very well, and the height and density of the building has been reduced. It is possible that an agreement can be reached before the October 1, 2007, Zoning Commission meeting.
Upcoming Committee Meetings. Based on BZA cases that have been set down, there will be two CHRS Zoning Committee hearings during the remainder of the year. The first hearing will be on September 6, when the committee will consider BZA #17665—654 Independence Avenue, SE. The second hearing will be on November 8, and the committee will consider:
BZA #17620 – 1383-85 H Street, NE;
BZA #17683 – 109 15th Street, NE;
BZA #17692 – 914 11th Street, SE;
BZA #17694 – 516 A Street, NE.