Category Archives: Development

Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City

Residents and artists can join efforts with Building Community and other partners in an art and creative placemaking initiative in the historic Ivy City neighborhood to implement a temporary, creative action that promotes community building, reflects the neighborhood’s rich heritage, and declares residents’ vision for the future of Ivy City.

Check the website for details and further information.

 

 

1167 Morse Street Next on the Block for Condo Conversion

A developer is seeking special variance to convert the single family home at 1167 Morse Street NE into an apartment home with three units. The structure proposed would rise to 34 feet, just under the 35 feet allowed, but with the penthouse roof shown in plans the building would be nearly 40 feet in height. The building will also be extended back significantly but the plans do not indicate how many feet beyond the neighboring single family homes this will extend.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 7.47.16 AMWhile the regulations are that the dormers, which are architecturally significant to the existing building, be retained the developer is seeking special variance to remove those from the roof line. This would be a break in the uniformity of buildings on the block. The developer also cites that the third story addition will not have an impact on light, air, or privacy of neighboring homes.

The application also notes that the developer would extend the chimney at the neighboring house at 1165 Morse Street. One parking space will be provided for the three units.

Trinidad residents can access all plans and documents submitted for this project on the Board of Zoning Adjustment website. The case number 19326 has been assigned to this project and will be needed to search for information or to include in any letters written to the BZA concerning this project. Details on how to submit written or oral testimony about a project can also be found on the BZA website.

To request variance the developer should appear before the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5D06 to seek input and explain the project to neighbors. They also need to appear before the full ANC 5D to present the project. Neighbors have opportunity to weigh in at these meetings, may submit written testimony about the project, and/or can attend the hearing at the BZA once a date has been set for the case to be reviewed.

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Zoning Case Updates

Do you remember the ongoing development projects on Holbrook Terrace NE? There were hearing at the Board of Zoning Adjustment on May 17th. Summaries of discussions are below for those that have been following the projects.

The first is BZA Case Number 19168 at 1258 Holbrook Terrace NE for conversion to an eight-unit apartment building. The hearing has been postponed to July 12th. The Board noted that this applicant has requested extensions on 3 previous occasions as they needed more time to work through issues with neighbors and ANC. For this case hearing the applicant waited until after earlier vote on the same day to submit paperwork for extension and did not show at hearing. They noted that this will be last extension and the case will be dismissed if they fail to appear again.

The second is BZA Case Number 19173 at 1264 Holbrook Terrace NE and covers conversion to an apartment building. There have been numerous meetings with the community about this project and several hearings before the BZA. At this hearing the two sides were given time to meet as they had not finalized agreements in the time provided at the last hearing. Once the hearing started, they moved to agreement on the project. 

Highlights of the agreement, many of which focused on construction management, include:

 

  1. Request to have housing accommodation for adjoining neighbor (up to 30 days at $100 per day).
  2. Install barriers to contain/prevent dust/debris from contaminating neighboring properties.
  3. Liability of damages to be spelled out with neighboring properties. This includes a walk through to assess current and unintended damages.
  4. The immediate neighbors’ roof will be replaced by the developer.
  5. There were some set back concessions for an adjoining neighbor and no windows will be placed along the adjoining property.
  6. The Inclusionary Zoning lower-income housing units were lost with the changes to the project, which has a smaller footprint than the one originally proposed that included 3 IZ units.

The Holbrook Terrace Alliance representative noted that special exception the developer is seeking is better for community than the by-right option that they could build. They had hired an attorney to work with the developer on the final negotiations and withdrew their party status to protest the project with concessions made by the developer.

DDOT had no objection and no one else attended the hearing in support or opposition of the project. There was some discussion on the status of the ANC and whether or not the Board could issue a final ruling without and official letter from the full 5D ANC. The Board decided to proceed with a vote for a summary order given the time to hear the case and lengths the developer has taken to work with the community to modify plans. The motion passed 4-0-1 (one member was not present).

All orders and documents on the cases can be found the BZA website.

 

 

Environmental Assessment Hearing Schedule for Benning Road Improvements

Please note the information below. The District Department of Transportation is looking at alternative approaches to extending the DC Streetcar line east of the Benning Road Metro Station. This hearing is part of that process.

Environmental Assessment Hearing Scheduled for Benning Road Improvements

(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) invites the community to a public hearing Thursday, May 19, 2016, to review the findings of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Benning Road and Bridges Transportation Improvements.

Following the successful launch of the H/Benning Line of the DC Streetcar on February 27, 2016, this EA considers alternative approaches to extending the existing line east of the Benning Road Metrorail Station. The study area encompasses Benning Road, NE, from Oklahoma Avenue to the Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road Metrorail Stations, and evaluates the environmental and cultural effects of the proposed improvements.

The study was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), and will be released by DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

Public comments will be accepted from May 4, 2016 until 5 pm June 2, 2016. Following the public comment period, the report will be finalized.

WHAT: Benning Road Transportation Improvements Environmental Assessment

WHEN: Thursday, May 19, 2016
6 pm – 8 pm

WHERE: Department of Employment Services (DOES) Building
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE

TRANSIT: Metrorail: Minnesota Avenue Station (Orange Line)
Metrobus: Visit wmata.com

The reports are available online for public review on the project website http://www.benningproject.com/project-resources/.

Comments should be submitted to Malia Salaam by email at info@benningproject.com or by mail at District Department of Transportation, 55 M Street, SE, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20003.

The document will be available at the following locations for public review between May 4, 2016 and June 2, 2016:

Benning (Dorothy I. Height) Neighborhood Library
3935 Benning Road, NE
Washington, DC 20019

Deanwood Library
1350 49th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20019

District Department of Transportation
Progressive Transportation Services Administration
55 M Street, SE, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20003

Getting to the Meetings
Be sure to check out http://www.goDCgo.com to learn about transportation options for getting to the workshop.

Can’t Make a Meeting?
Materials from this meeting will be made available on the DDOT website at the meeting’s conclusion.

Do you need assistance to participate?
If you need special accommodations or language assistance services (translation or interpretation), please contact Malia Salaam at (202) 563-5003 or info@benningproject.com 5 days in advance of the meeting.

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The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, its projects, programs, activities, and services on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other related statutes.

In accordance with the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, D.C. Official Code sec. 2-1401.01 et seq. (Act), the District of Columbia does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, or place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in a violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.

BZA Case Update: 1264 Holbrook Terrace

On April 19th the developer of the property at 1264 Holbrook Terrace, ANC Commissioner 5D02 Keisha Shropshire, and concerned neighbors and citizens representing the Holbrook Terrace Alliance appeared before the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for a hearing on the proposed development under review (BZA Case 19173). There have been several community meetings about the proposed project and extensive negotiations between the developer and  immediate neighbors. The hearing can be viewed on-line at the BZA website.  There are two sections to the video. The first is prior to the late arrival of the party status group. The second lengthy section (over two hours) covers the discussion on the project.

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(Photo from the BZA website documents)

The project has been significantly revised since it was first proposed and discussed with the neighborhood. After feedback from the Office of Planning and discussions with the community, the developer no longer seeks an 8-unit building but to subdivide the lot into lower density row developments that reflects the character of the street. There are two lots that would then be developed as matter of right development under the R-4 regulations (under 35 ft in height is one of the regulations, for example) and one lot requires relief to have a three-unit building (2,700 sq ft lot).

One item of note in the changes is that in the previous plans for an 8-unit building there would have been 3 inclusionary zoning units, or affordable housing units. With the new plans presented to the BZA on April 19th there will not be inclusionary zoning units as there will be fewer overall units and the developer is looking at three separate buildings instead of one larger building.

Some items requested at the end of the hearing are noted here along with new dates for a continued hearing.

Items requested by the BZA:

  1. The developer will submit a revised shadow study from the same angle.
  2. The developer is also to present clearer design plans to show that the project is a conversion to a multi unit dwelling and not a new building.
  3. They are also to present by right plans so that the community and BZA board can have all information for a clearer understanding of the project and its implications on neighbors. The BZA board noted that the community cannot get everything they want and if a matter of right building is constructed on the space there will likely be greater adverse impact on the community and immediate neighbors. They also noted that the neighbors will not be involved in the process nor consulted if a by right construction happens.
  4. Side elevations of the existing property and proposed building was also requested.
  5. The neighbors have been asked as a community to list and prioritize what the top priorities are for the development and to work with the developer to come up with a scenario that all can agree with or live with going forward. This list is to be shared with the developer and the BZA Board.
  6. Photographs that can be uploaded onto the website to show neighborhood character and existing buildings was also requested.

New dates for the continued hearing are:

May 5: The community priorities would need to be submitted to the BZA

May 10: Materials from the developer in response to the priorities would need to be submitted to the BZA

May 13: Any community responses on the new drawings would need to be submitted to the BZA

May 17: The continued hearing before the BZA

 

TNA will post news we have of any additional meetings leading up to the next hearing date. We hope that everyone keeps informed and stays involved in developments in our community.

ANC 5D Meeting Tonight

The monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 5D meeting is tonight starting at 7:00 pm at the Fifth District Police Substation (1805 Bladensburg Road NE). The agenda for the meeting is on the ANC5D website. Tonight there will be presentations by the Board of Elections and Ethics, Casey Trees, Arcadia Mobile Market, and the DC Streetcar as well as community action items.

One community action item on the agenda specific to Trinidad is  discussion of the development project at 1264 Holbrook Terrace NE. The developer is requesting a special exception to convert a building to an eight-unit condo building. Over the past few months Commissioner Shropshire (ANC 5D02) has held community meetings on this project. Last month the ANC filed an opposition to the special exception, based on feedback from the community. Any revisions to the ANC stance are due as the project does go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment for review on April 19th, where community feedback will be considered in the final ruling.

If you have not had a chance to attend an ANC meeting, tonight is one where you can see how local governance at the ANC level can impact development in our neighborhood.

 

Meeting Tonight re: 1264 Holbrook Terrace NE

Tonight at Trinidad Recreation Center there is a meeting about the development at 1264 Holbrook Terrace NE. Please see information below from Commissioner Shropshire.

_______________________________________________________________

Sending a friendly reminder about the meeting this evening with the BZA Applicant 19173 (1264 Holbrook Terrace NE) at Trinidad Rec Center at 7 pm. We are meeting with them so that they can share their proposed changes based on community feedback.

BZA Applicant 19168 will not meet with us this evening. This applicant indicated that they have interest in withdrawing their BZA application which requested special exemption for additional 4.2 feet, and they plan to renovate by right within the permissable 35 feet based on community feedback. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks,
Keisha

Keisha L Shropshire
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, 5D02
Cell: 404-245-6772
Twitter: shropanc5d02

Remember that Florida Ave Multimodal Transportation Study?

Three years ago, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) started a multimodal transportation study of Florida Avenue, focusing on the stretch from North Capitol to H Street/Benning Road. study-area1-1024x614The study was to “evaluate safety, streetscape, and operational enhancements to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists while ensuring all users have safe access within and through this important corridor”. Ultimately outcomes would recommend ways to improve safety and balance transportation needs of all users (pedestrians, bikers, and vehicle drivers) of this corridor.

Community Outreach Advisors that participated in the report included, among many others, the former ANC 5D06 Commissioner, a former Trinidad resident and TNA board member, staff of Gallaudet University, and a representative of New Samaritan Baptist Church.

A website for the study was established to provide information to the public and houses reports from the initial meetings through the release of the final report. This includes meetings as far back as June 2013 with residents of Delta Towers. The final report, completed in February 2015, was released by DDOT on February 26, 2016. The report is available on the website and is in two .pdf files (Part 1 and Part 2). There are short-term recommendations that focus on the “virtual circle” where New York and Florida Avenues intersect.

The report, released a year after completion, will need to be reviewed for full context and understanding but the recommendations listed on pages 110-111 are included below:

“Some smaller scale changes to the study area can likely be implemented much sooner than changes to the roadway configuration. These include:

  • Changes to off-peak parking restrictions east of West Virginia Avenue to match the recommendation in Alternative 4 that parking only be restricted in the peak direction during each peak period.
  • Continued short-term refinement of the ongoing changes to 6th Street NE north of Florida Avenue. During the development of this report, this section of 6th Street was restriped to include a two-way cycle track on the east side of the roadway (consistent with Alternative 3) and curb extensions with flower pots at the Neal Place pedestrian crossing.
  • Possible bike lanes on West Virginia Avenue, contingent upon parking occupancy availability as determined through a parking study.
  • Pavement marking, signal timing changes, and signing modifications at the Virtual Circle.
  • Cutting back the curb at First Street NE/ Florida Avenue to allow eastbound buses to again travel through the Virtual Circle and onto Florida Avenue
  • Further dialogue with the COA will also help highlight locations for more fine-grained interventions such as collaboration with National Park Service regarding the use and maintenance of the small triangular parks under NPS ownership, and matters of access and driveways.

As some of these short-term recommendations come to fruition, DDOT will be working with design firms to develop a full design of Florida Avenue NE between 2nd Street NE and Holbrook Street. Pending funding availability, reconstruction of Florida Avenue could occur in 2021, or sooner, pending project readiness and funding availability. The District Department of Transportation expects and encourages ongoing dialogue about Florida Avenue and surrounding streets beyond this planning study. Project milestones and known next steps will continue to be shared with the Community Outreach Advisors group and regular check-ins with ANCs.”

For background on this project you can also read previous posts about public meetings on the TNA blog (links are: June 5, 2013October 7, 2013March 27, 2014).

We hope that you can take time to review the document and continue discussions on how to make our streets and sidewalks safe for all Trinidad residents. We will also be reading through the document in the coming days but did want to share that is was finally made available to the public for our review.

Happenings Around Ivy City

There are many new opportunities and events taking place around us. The long awaited street car is expected to start carrying passengers on Saturday, February 27th, with an opening ceremony scheduled for 10 am at 13th and H (see the website for details).  There are also many new openings and happenings taking place in Ivy City that will benefit Trinidad residents. If you haven’t been over that way in a while, it would be worth checking out some of the new places.

Petco: They are expecting to open the store in the very near future. One employee noted that they were aiming for a February 22nd date for a soft opening but that may change as they continue to stock shelves. They also indicated that there would be many sales items and coupons available as they open. The store is located on New York Avenue, next to the MOM’s Organic Market.

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Ivy City Smokehouse and Tavern: The Smokehouse is already open forIMG_5680 purchase of fresh fish and the neighboring tavern is expected to open in the next two weeks.They expect a menu of seafood related items as well as burgers. You can follow their Facebook page for news on the opening.

 

 

 

 

 

GyIMG_5682ms and Fitness: The Planet Fitness, Crossfit Hierarchy, and Bikram Yoga studios have been open for business in Hecht’s Warehouse.  Entrances for all three facilities are on Okie Street.

 

 

 

 

 

Bicycle Space: The new bike shop has started installations on Okie Street. The soft opening will be in March and the grand opening is expected in early April.

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Big Chief: The restaurant on the corner of Fenwick and Okie Streets is opening in the next two months but did hold a sneak preview of the space for a recent event.

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Update on Liquor License Requests

TNA held a community meeting on December 17th to hear from two businesses that are in process of requesting changes to liquor licenses. Approximately 25 people attended, including Sarah Fashbaugh, Community Relations Officer at ABRA, the owner of Mike’s Market/Trinidad Market, a representative of Rose’s Queen Liquor, and three of the ANC 5D Commissioners including Commission Yvonne Buggs, Keisha Shropshire, and Adam Roberts.

There was a lengthy discussion with questions from the community on the process to obtain a liquor license, community input/concerns/protests, community settlement agreements, and laws and regulations. Ms. Fashbaugh provided the number for the ABRA complaint hotline (202-329-6347). This number should be used for issues that ABRA can address by law or to enforce a specific settlement agreement such as sales of ice cups, single sales if prohibited by a specific business, sales to minors, opening or closing times different than approved hours, trash outside the business, etc. Other issues may fall under the purview of the DC Police Department or city services, such as trash and persons blocking the sidewalk, and should be reported to 911 or 311 accordingly. Additional information on ABRA can be found on their website.

Both businesses presented to the community what they request to change in their license. In the case of Mike’s Market or Trinidad Market, they are seeking a new Class A Liquor License. Rose’s Queen was requesting to add Sunday hours (9 am to 7 pm) and to open two hours earlier and close two hours later Monday through Saturday. Community members at the meeting expressed opposition and/or strong reservation about both changes for a number of reasons including but not limited to noise and security issues as well as trash from patrons of the establishments.

On December 18th, the ANC 5D Commission met in a special session to review and vote on these licenses prior to the filing deadline for protests. They unanimously voted to protest both licenses. The representative from Mike’s Market/Trinidad Market was not at the meeting for discussion. The representative of Rose’s Queen Liquors noted that they were retracting their request and would resubmit a revised one to ABRA with a request for Sunday hours but not for extended hours during the week as in the previous request. It was noted during the meeting that the 5th District Police Commander may also be submitting a protest in the case of Rose’s Queen request for extended hours or additional days of liquor sales. This special meeting can be viewed on YouTube.

Any adjacent neighbor to a business or group of five citizens can also submit a protest letter per guidelines on the ABRA website. Residents can also contact Council Members to request that issues with loitering be addressed by the City Council. Currently there are no anti-loitering laws and that is cited by residents, police, and business owners as a factor in trash, police calls for service to address disturbances, and crime.

TNA hosts and sponsors discussions and activities aimed at:

· Building community;
· Promoting harmony among all cultural, racial, and economic groups;
· Maintaining cleaner streets, sidewalks, and alleys;
· Improving utilization of public and private properties within the neighborhood;
· Reducing neighborhood crime and increasing individuals’ sense of security; and
· Helping neighbors represent their interests in front of DC government agencies.

We appreciate the lively discussion at our meeting and the interest in issues related to these businesses in our community. We hope for more of the same in 2016!

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