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Home​NewsH Street Condo Raises Concerns: April ANC 6A Report

H Street Condo Raises Concerns: April ANC 6A Report

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A met via WebEx on April 13. 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. Commissioner Laura Gentile (6A05) was absent.

District Growth (www.districtgrowth.com) returned for a second time to discuss its proposal for a detached, five-story, 78-unit, mixed-use project at 1000-1016 H St. NE. The project requires a grant of relief from the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for three reasons. First, the parcel is in an NC-16 zone with more than 6,000 square feet of land area. Second, the developer is providing eight rather than the 13 parking spaces required. Last, the parcel’s service alley is 10 feet wide rather than the required 15.

At its March meeting, the commission voted to request a delay of the BZA hearing, and the proceeding was subsequently delayed.

Representing District Growth, attorney Meredith Moldenhauer outlined changes to the project made to earn community support: an increased amount of retail space and a modified storefront design. The developer also drafted a construction management agreement with neighbors. Under its terms, Saturday construction start time will be delayed to 9 a.m., a rodent management company will be hired and a designated point of contact appointed to address resident concerns.

The construction management agreement also contained a controversial no-objection clause. “The Neighbors,” states the document,” will not sue, challenge, contest, testify, or file any documentation in objection, whether administratively, judicially, or publicly, in connection with the Owner’s application, approvals, permits, or other development rights granted by the Board of Zoning Adjustment or DOB in connection with the Property. The Neighbors shall make their best effort to support the zoning relief before the ANC and the Board of Zoning Adjustment.”

Resident Emily Price objected to the “lack of transparency” in the clause’s drafting. Shapiro questioned “the nature of the relationship with the community and with the ANC,” adding, “I find this language quite onerous and I think it sets the wrong tone.”

Resident Adam Ezring supported the development, claiming the number of vacant buildings along H Street NE, contributes to an uptick in crime. “They’ve addressed the retail concerns, they’ve addressed the concerns about appliances and it sounds like we’re getting somewhere on the neighborhood concerns,” Ezring stated. “This commission should be supporting growth, development and revitalization in our neighborhood because it’s sorely, sorely needed.”

The commissioners voted unanimously to support the application for special exception.

Other Matters
The commissioners voted to write the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), requesting disclosure data regarding the nature and disposition of the pre-Jan. 6, 2023, Traffic Safety Investigation (TSI) request, the TSI 2.0 prioritization model and the identification and availability of data used to compute the prioritization scores. Unless the information was made available within a “reasonable” period of time, the commission indicated it would submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Commissioners also voted the following actions:

  • Protested the Class C Tavern License application for Hiraya Kapamilya, 1250 H St. NE, on the basis of peace, order and quiet, unless a settlement agreement is entered into prior to the protest deadline. It authorized the Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee chair and Chatterjee to represent the commission.
  • Protested the Class C Restaurant License application of Old City 1 Cafe, 1307 H Street NE, on the basis of peace, order and quiet, in the absence of a settlement agreement.
  • Requested DDOT and Washington Gas to reinstall all barriers along the entire Florida Avenue bike route.
  • Supported area variance relief from the lot occupancy requirements for a rear addition to an existing two-story dwelling unit at 912 Maryland Ave. NE, on condition that the owner provide letters of support from neighbors.
  • Supported relief from the lot occupancy requirements and an exception from historic review of a rear and side addition to an existing attached, two-story dwelling unit at 336 11th St. NE, on the condition that it is approved by the Historic Preservation Office.
  • Supported a special exception for a two-story rear addition to an existing semi-detached dwelling unit at 214 Warren St. NE, on the condition that the developer make best efforts to provide letters of support from neighbors at 216 and 222 Warren St. NE.

The next meeting of ANC 6A will be held online at 7 p.m., May 9. Get details at www.anc6a.org.

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

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