Friday, December 4, 2009

DCmud: Debate over planned development at 1242 H St

DCmud has a post on an ongoing debate over planned development at 1242 H St. The owner is seeking to develop the property for office space and does not want to comply with the Historic Overlay plans for retail and higher ceilings on the first floor. Thus a Zoning variance is required and ANC6A is provided a chance to weigh in. To date, it seems the developer has been unwilling to negotiate with the ANC. Some additional persepective on the proposal is provided here. It will be interesting to see whether the Developer decides to engage and negotiate with the ANC as other developers on H Street have done or whether this gets bogged down as a result of their unwillingness to do so.

The proposed design does not compare favorably with those prepared for other coming projects including the H Street Connection development coming to the south side of H Street between 8th and 10th Sts.

1 comment:

  1. Some clarifications to the DC MUD post and comments from ANC6A03 Commissioner David Holmes:

    There need to be some corrections to the story as reported in DCMUD.

    1/. There has not had a subsequent meeting with I. S. Enterprises, though the Economic Development and Zoning committee, at the request of the developer, scheduled a special meeting specifically to hear from them.

    2/. The matter is before the Board of Zoning Adjustment, not the Zoning Commission.

    3/. The H Street Overlay requires 14 foot high ceilings to make the space usable for retail in any future use of the site, and to retain a visual continuity with the commercial facades of the rest of the block and the street as a whole.

    4/. The permissible FAR in the H Street Overlay is 1.0 for non-residential use, not 3.0; and the underlying FAR is 1.5 for non-residential use in this C-2-A zone.

    The H Street Overlay requires that new and rehabilitated structures “be consistent with the historic character and scale of the Overlay District” – this proposed structure is not.

    The developer seeks the extra building height because of the proposed use of the upper floors as office/professional space. Unfortunately the mandatory stairs and exit aisles appear to take about 30% of each floor’s space – one of the reasons that the Overlay requires residential use on the upper floors.

    The proposed office/professional, as opposed to retail, use is something I will support as an ANC 6A Commissioner. It adds needed commercial diversity to the street.