ANC 6A Debataes Zoning Relief Amid Condo Construction Concerns

ANC 6A Report

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Site plans for a proposed condo construction at 1000-1016 H St. NE.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6A) met on March 9. Commissioners Keya Chatterjee (6A01, vice chair), Mike Velasquez (6A02), Roberta Shapiro (6A03), Amber Gove (6A04, chair), Robb Dooling (6A06) and Steve Moilanen (6A07) were present. Laura Gentile (6A05) was absent.

During their March meeting, ANC 6A discussed whether to support a grant of relief by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for a proposed detached five-story, 78-unit mixed use development at 1000-1016 H St.

ANC was only willing to agree to the relief if the ground floor residential units were designated by the condominium as artist studios and the developer made best efforts to avoid installing gas in the building, commissioners stated. They also requested a construction management plan be negotiated with immediate neighbors.

The developer, stated Attorney Meridith Moldenhauer, would not consent to reserving artist spaces or to the elimination of natural gas. However, all units would be equipped with electric appliances, she promised.

“I appreciate that in your former role as the Chair of the Zoning Commission that you understand chapter and verse probably better than anyone else in this,” Commissioner Mike Velasquez said of Moldenhauer’s presentation. “But I think trying to separate things into black and white and trying to explain what our rights are and what your rights are is not really helpful in garnering community support.”

Commissioner Keya Chatterjee noted that the District will outlaw gas in these types of buildings within a few years and raised concern about the long-term impact of the construction now.

“DC law will actually outlaw gas in multifamily buildings in 2026 and I find it a little bit strange [given that] it’s just a few years ahead of schedule and if you put in an HVAC system that uses gas it’s going to lock it in for 30 or 40 years,” stated Commissioner Keya Chatterjee.

“We are not enthusiastic about this project at all and we feel like it’s going to dramatically change the feel of the block,” community member Emily Price said. “It’s [going from] a highly family-oriented backyard area to much more commercial.”

“Regardless of the amount of public transit that is available, 76 new units, whether they get parking permits or not, doesn’t stop people from parking in the neighborhood,” Price said. The developer is only building eight parking spaces.

“I don’t think that this is the type of neighbor we want moving in,” Community member Matt Lawrence said, echoing Price’s comments. “They’re not willing to make the exceptions that [the ANC] has asked for, much less what the community is looking for in a good neighbor.”

The commission voted to request BZA to delay the application to provide more time for negotiations. Failing that, it voted to oppose the project.

Other Matters
The commission voted to write to Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen asking him to sponsor a resolution honoring longtime resident William Outlaw.

The commission supported a proposal to construct a second story accessory dwelling unit addition to an existing detached, accessory garage in the rear of an existing, attached, three-story principal dwelling unit at 915 Maryland Avenue NE. There was one caveat. The plans, the commission insisted, must be updated to limit access to the upper unit to the rear yard.

The next meeting of ANC 6A is 7 p.m. April 13. Get details on committee meetings and how to join online at anc6a.org.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.