Category Archives: Historic Preservation

ZPD Agenda December 2nd 7PM

ANC 2B’s next Zoning, Preservation, and Development Committee meeting will be December 2nd 7PM at the Dupont Circle Resource Center (9 Dupont Circle NW). Following the public input session at the October ZPD meeting, this month the ZPD Committee will be hosting a public input session on a proposed Memorandum of Understanding among St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Cas Riegler, and the ANC. The *DRAFT* MOU is located here (pdf): St. Thomas – MOU – Draft -11-30-2015

Please reach out to Commissioners Warwick and Kupcinski with any questions, comments, or concerns.

October 7th ZPD and St. Thomas Development Public Input Meeting

The October 7th Zoning, Preservation, and Development Meeting of ANC 2B will be held in the West Wing meeting room of the Embassy Row Hotel at 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW. The meeting will begin at 7PM and consider three regulatory applications as well as a public input meeting on the development at 1772 Church St NW.

Regulatory Agenda 7:00PM-7:30PM

1600 I St NW / 888 16th Street NW (Motion Picture Association of America) Applications to the a) Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and a) the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA):

a) HPRB Application No. 15-575, A noncontributing structure, Historic Preservation Review Board (Hearing Scheduled for October 22 (or 29 overflow))
b) BZA Case 19122 (i) to allow an increase of an existing, and (ii) to allow a portion of an existing roof structure to be devoted to enclosed communal amenity space that is to an outdoor roof terrace, to allow the renovation and expansion of the existing office building on the Subject Property in the SP-2 District.

1415 22nd St NW, Commission of Fine Arts Review

1514 Q St NW, Historic Preservation review of rear addition

1325 21st Street NW rear addition HPRB # 15-632 Note: delayed to November agenda at applicant’s request

Public Input Meeting 7:30-9:00PM

Following HPRB’s review of the St Thomas Church development at 1772 Church Street NW, the applicant applied for a zoning variance. When the applicant applied for a zoning variance, the ANC convened a small group of neighbors, the developer, the church, and the ANC to discuss reaching a memorandum of understanding regarding the construction and operational impacts of the development. The public input meeting is to engage the broader community on concerns and items for consideration. Committee members will be at the drop-in meeting to hear concerns in small groups.

If you have any questions before the meeting, please reach out to Commissioner Daniel Warwick.

Listed below are items the committee has already brainstormed for consideration.

Pre-construction Items:

  • Transportation Analysis
    • Trip Generation Study
    • Alley Width/Configuration
    • Alley Management Plan
  • Arborist Assessment (Street Trees)
  • Existing Conditions Survey
    • Neighboring Homes
    • Settlement Monitoring
  • Construction Staging Plan
    • Sequencing of Church/Residential Construction
    • Sidewalk/Alley/Roadway Restrictions
    • Overall Project Schedule

Construction Items:

  • Point of Contact Identification
  • Hours of Construction
  • Rodent Control
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Neighboring Property Surveys
  • Maintenance Reimbursements
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Alley and Parking Access
    • Notice of Closure
    • Parking Reimbursement
  • Construction Dust Mitigation
  • Construction Worker Parking
  • Alley Resurfacing

Operational Items:

  • Public & Private Outdoor Space
    • Usage
    • Noise Controls
    • Light Controls
    • Privacy
  • Trash Collection
  • Loading Zone Operations
  • Rear Door Access/Restrictions
  • Property Management Contact Identification
  • Community Utilization of Facilities
    • Meeting Space
    • Parking
  • Secondary Church Functions
    • Funerals
    • Weddings
    • Special Events
    • Potential Future Uses
  • MOU Specific Items
    • Effect of Agreement
    • Enforcement
    • Modifications

NEWS: St Thomas Church Development Applies for Zoning Variance

The St. Thomas Church Development applied for a zoning variance of 86.7% lot occupancy in the SP-1 zone with a by right lot occupancy of 80%. You may download plans here on Dropbox.

The ANC will likely review the case in November or December depending on when the development is scheduled on the Board of Zoning Adjustment calendar.

In the absence of a 2B07 single member district commissioner, feel free to reach out to Commissioner Daniel Warwick at Daniel.Warwick@anc.dc.gov with any comments or concerns.

1772 Church St project update

Updated plans for 1772 Church St are available HERE.

These plans will likely be on the Historic Preservation Review Board’s consent calendar for their June 25th meeting. Accordingly, at the meeting, Board members will make a decision whether the project should go to another full hearing (with presentations and verbal testimony), or if the project should be delegated to staff. The board will not hear any testimony on the 25th, instead it will base its decision on letters it receives from the public beforehand.
Please send any letters to Kim Elliott (kim.elliott@dc.gov) by June 23rd, and she will email them to Board members (June 18th is the deadline for a hard copy to be included in Board members’ review packets).
Furthermore, testimony should ONLY pertain to how effectively the applicant addressed the 5 design issues that the Board articulated at the May hearing:

1. Residential bays to align more with the setback along Church St. as the church building is the “bookend” landmark at the end of that block–possible solution to move back residential façade so that face of bays are aligned with Parish Hall façade (+/-3’)
2. Work on stepping back or reducing the upper floors (6+7) to minimize perceived mass.
3. Look at scale of residential windows compared to the rest of church street rowhouses
4. Refine the glass detailing of upper and at the main entrance levels of church to reflect what the actual condition will be as it relates to transparency and construction.
5. Landscape at front of church needs to be developed and integrated

Because of this expedited process, the ANC has submitted a resolution asking the project to be removed from the June consent calendar (for time to review and receive community comments). While the ANC has been told the project is still expected to go before the Board on June 25th, we will soon have a better understanding of how HPRB plans to address the ANC resolution.

ANC 2B passes 1772 Church St. Resolution May 2015

On Wednesday May 13, 2015, ANC 2B passed the below Resolution by a vote of 7-0 regarding the development project at 1772 Church Street, NW (the “Project”). Two amendments to the Resolution, presented by Commissioner Maltz, were passed by the ANC. The amendments were based on language that CAS Riegler, the Project developer, submitted to select commissioners* prior to or during the meeting.  A copy of this language (the “CAS Riegler Amendment Language”) is available HERE.

The Commission will forward a letter containing this below resolution to the Historic Preservation Review Board. HPRB will review the project on June 4th (the May 2015 overflow date).

* The author of this post, ANC 2B07 Commissioner Justine Underhill, was notified of the existence and content of the CAS Riegler Amendment Language only after the termination of the May 13, 2015 meeting.


 

1772 Church St HPRB May 2015

WHEREAS the development at 1772 Church Street NW has been reviewed by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B (ANC 2B) and the Historic Preservation Review Board multiple times; and

WHEREAS during the last project iteration, the Historic Preservation Review Board requested the applicant address ANC 2B’s resolution passed without opposition at the March 11, 2015 ANC 2B meeting, which is attached for your convenience; and

WHEREAS the ANC 2B resolution specified several conditions to ensure compatibility of the project with the historic neighborhood; and

WHEREAS while most stipulations were met, ANC 2B believes the following two stipulations were not met:

“The residential building seen from adjacent at-grade vantage points including the entirety of Church Street, P Street, 18th Street, and the public alley between Church and P Streets be between 40 and 59 feet tall, including mechanicals, and maintain existing setbacks.”

“Alterations are made to the exterior design so that the corrugation of the Church Street buildings’ facades and the rhythm of the Church Street buildings’ roof lines are in scale with the surrounding buildings.”; and

WHEREAS ANC 2B believes the residential component of the project as presented does not satisfy the height stipulation from many at grade vantage points on Church Street, 18th St, and in the public alley— including from the corner of 18th and P, Church Street from 17th Street to four rowhouses from the parish hall, and from the 17th Street vantage point in the alley.

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED ANC 2B finds the proposal not in compliance with the March 2015 ANC 2B resolution; ANC 2B recommends the Historic Preservation Review Board require changes to the project massing and design that meet the conditions of the March resolution in their entirety.

Be it further RESOLVED that to fit the rhythm of the surrounding context, ANC 2B believes the bays on the residential component, which abut the property line, should be set back such that they are in line the Church Street buildings’ facades.

Draft resolution for 1772 Church St

On Wednesday, May 13 at approximately 8:55pm at the Brookings Institution, ANC2B will review modified plans for 1772 Church St. and will vote on recommendations to the Historic Preservation Review Board. You can view the latest plans HERE and see our meeting agenda HERE.

On March 11, 2015 ANC 2B passed a resolution by a vote of 7-0-2. You can view the resolution HERE. The below resolution is based on the compromise the ANC brokered in March.

We remain very open to feedback on the specific language. Please send comments to Commissioner Justine Underhill (2b07@anc.dc.gov) or to all of the commissioners (commissioners@dupontcircleanc.net).

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DRAFT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS the development at 1772 Church Street NW has been heard by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B (ANC 2B) and the Historic Preservation Review Board multiple times; and

WHEREAS during the last project iteration, the Historic Preservation Review Board requested the applicant address ANC 2B’s resolution passed unanimously at the March 11th ANC meeting, which is attached for your convenience; and

WHEREAS the ANC resolution specified several stipulations for compatibility of the project; and

WHEREAS while some stipulations were met, ANC 2B believes the following two stipulations were not:

“The residential building seen from adjacent at-grade vantage points including the entirety of Church Street, P Street, 18th Street, and the public alley between Church and P Streets be between 40 and 59 feet tall, including mechanicals, and maintain existing setbacks.”

“Alterations are made to the exterior design so that the corrugation of the Church Street buildings’ facades and the rhythm of the Church Street buildings’ roof lines are in scale with the surrounding buildings.”

WHEREAS ANC 2B believes the residential component of the project as presented does not satisfy the height stipulation from many at grade vantage points on Church Street, 18th St, and in the public alley— including from the corner of 18th and P, Church Street from 17th Street to four rowhouses from the parish hall, and from the 17th Street vantage point in the alley.

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED ANC 2B opposes this proposal; ANC 2B recommends the Historic Preservation Review Board to not find the proposal compatible with the Dupont Circle Historic District until the conditions of the March resolution are met in entirety.

Be it further RESOLVED that to fit the rhythm of the surrounding context, ANC 2B believes the bays on the residential component, which abut the property line, should be set back such that they are in line with Church Street buildings’ facades.

St Thomas Development April 24th HPRB Submission

After the March Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) requesting further design changes to the St. Thomas development project, the design team has resubmitted plans for a May 28th HPRB hearing. You can download the plans on Dropbox.

The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission will consider the plans at our May 6th Zoning, Preservation, and Development meeting and at the May 13th ANC meeting.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Commissioner Underhill or another Commissioner.

ANC 2B passes 1772 Church St. Resolution

ANC 2B passed the below resolution at its meeting on Wednesday March 11th, 2015 by a vote of 7-0-2. The commission has sent this letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board.

ANC 2B letter to HPRB  1772 Church Street, NW (#14-530)

NEWS: ANC2B Publishes Draft Resolution for 1772 Church St NW

On Wednesday, March 11 at approximately 8:30pm at the Brookings Institution, ANC2B will review modified plans and vote on recommendations to the Historic Preservation Review Board. You can view the latest plans HERE and see our meeting agenda HERE.

Over the past several weeks and months the ANC has worked with members of the community, the church and its development team and our Zoning, Preservation and Development Committee to identify priorities regarding 1772 Church Street and to craft language for a resolution on the St. Thomas project. Below is a brief summary as well as the full text.  We remain very open to feedback on the specific language, including how best to clarify our main points and what should be included or not. Please send comments to Commissioner Justine Underhill (2b07@anc.dc.gov) or to all of the commissioners (commissioners@dupontcircleanc.net).

Summary of the resolution: The ANC recommends that the Historic Preservation Review Board find the proposal compatible if and only if it is redesigned such that (1) the perceived height from the public alley, Church Street, 18th Street, and P Street, does not exceed 59 feet, (2) the design and materiality of the structures are altered to be more compatible with the historic neighborhood, and (3) the project team continues to work proactively with the ANC and neighbors before zoning relief is sought.

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DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR COMMENT (UPDATED 3/10/15)

Whereas St. Thomas’ Parish Episcopal Church proposes to build a church at the intersection of 18th and Church Streets, NW, and developer CAS Riegler proposes to build a residential building facing Church Street at 1772 Church Street, NW;

Whereas, ANC 2B values the contributions St. Thomas’ Parish has made to the community;

Whereas, ANC 2B respects St. Thomas’ right to use the land at 1772 Church Street, NW for religious purposes without undue economic burden;

Whereas, 1772 Church Street, NW is included in the Dupont Circle Overlay District, the purpose of which is, among other things, to preserve and enhance the unique low scale, predominately residential and historic character, and independent small retail businesses of Dupont Circle, given the high-density development pressures caused by its proximity to the Central Employment Area and the Dupont Circle Metrorail Station;

Whereas, 1772 Church Street, NW is included in the Dupont Circle Historic District, and as such has protections to assure that alterations of existing structures are compatible with the character of the historic district, and to assure that new construction and subdivision of lots in an historic district are compatible with the character of the historic district;

Whereas the historic district and historic overlay designation supersedes the underlying zoning and may result in a development unable to maximize the height and density allowed by the underlying zoning;

Whereas at the HPRB hearing on October 2, 2014, HPRB members expressed concerns about both the church and residential components of the project as presented; and HPRB remanded the project with recommendations of changes needed to remedy deficiencies before submitting revised plans for its review;

Whereas ANC 2B believes changes made after the October 2, 2014 HPRB meeting do not adequately address concerns raised in the prior review by HPRB, including:
· HPRB’s finding that the residential building’s height, mass, and architectural character should be significantly redesigned to be more residential in character;
· HPRB’s finding that significant further design work was needed to improve the church’s relationship to the historic district;

Whereas the changes since previous concept design has pushed massing towards the public alley rather than re-conceptualizing the design;

Whereas the residential design as presented on March 4th, 2015 at the ANC 2B Zoning, Preservation, and Development Committee meeting would be supportable if the residential component in height or bulk were compatible with the historic character and texture of the Dupont Circle neighborhood and in particular with the 1700 block of Church Street, NW;

Whereas many residents of the Dupont Circle neighborhood have expressed opinions that the designs of the two structures do not relate as well to the street as other buildings in the historic district, lack pedestrian-scale detailing, interfere with sight lines and maintain a horizontal and “boxy” appearance;

Therefore, be it RESOLVED that ANC 2B recommends that the Historic Preservation Review Board find the proposal compatible with the Dupont Circle Historic District if and only if the following is met:

Design and materials
• Alterations are made to the exterior design so that the corrugation of the Church Street buildings’ facades and the rhythm of the Church Street buildings’ roof lines are in scale with the surrounding buildings. In particular, design changes should be made to draw the eye more toward the church component of the project and to reduce the visual impact of the residential component;

• Alterations are made to make the church and residential exterior, materials and design more compatible with the historic character and scale of the neighborhood, representative of the remaining low density residential townhomes and buildings as intended by the letter and the spirit of the Dupont Circle Overlay. ANC 2B finds that the buildings are too angular, too symmetrical and lack architectural character that would enable the buildings to blend into the neighborhood, particularly in relation to Church Street.

• While ANC 2B does believe that a more modern and varied design could be compatible in the neighborhood, the church and residential designs as they stand today need additional architectural features that echo the neighborhood’s features, as illustrated by some of the buildings shown on page A-4 of the March 4, 2015 proposal. In particular, the articulation of the residential bays should be a more dramatic 4-5 feet offset to articulate the bays. The small, dark window panes throughout the residential component do not echo the rhythm of the street. With respect to the church, the horizontal terra cotta panels conflict with the vertical design elements and the campanile is strongly vertical, but is clad in short horizontal pieces, which is visually incongruent.

Massing and impact
• The residential building seen from adjacent at-grade vantage points including the entirety of Church Street, P Street, 18th Street, and the public alley between Church and P Streets be between 40 and 59 feet tall, including mechanicals, and maintain existing setbacks. This should be confirmed by a series of flag tests before substantial construction; ANC 2B understands this requirement may result in the reduction of total square footage of the residential component of the building and we encourage HPRB to limit the massing on the alley side;

• The project team considers a small setback, permanent easement, or other traffic circulation solution on the alley between the parking garage entrance and 18th Street to enhance mobility of alley users, more easily accommodate two-way traffic, and ameliorate congestion caused by the 33 new parking spaces, the purpose of which is to further enable the free circulation of vehicles and pedestrians through the public alley;

Future collaboration
• A committee led by ANC 2B—including neighbors, St. Thomas, the project team, and DCCA—continues to engage in proactively addressing zoning and quality-of-life related matters prior to a zoning hearing;

• The project team submits a study of the effects on traffic and congestion, both on the 1700 block of Church Street, NW and in the alley between that block and the 1700 block of P Street, NW, and develops strategies to ameliorate any negative impact prior to a zoning hearing;

• The project team hires a professional arborist and submits plans to the ANC and HPRB that include methods to protect and preserve existing trees to the extent possible and, where not possible, to replace them;

Be it further RESOLVED that ANC 2B supports treating this project as including two separate structures, each of which is subject to the requirements of DC law and policy and each of which should comply with the letter and the spirit of historic preservation, zoning, and zoning overlay provisions.

UPDATED: Plans Available for St. Thomas Church Development (12-1-2014)

****UPDATED ON DECEMBER 9, 2014****

The ANC received notice today that the Historic Preservation Office has removed 1772 Church Street NW from the Historic Preservation Review Board agenda for December. As such, the Dupont Circle ANC will not vote on the project at its December 10th meeting.

The developers and Church will maintain their spot on the agenda and will present the most up to date plans (available below) and receive questions and comments from Commissioners and the public. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion and we hope that the extra time will allow neighbors adequate opportunity to provide constructive feedback to the ANC and the architects. There may be altered plans available for review, which will be posted on this website.

The ANC will announce new dates and times for additional public review of this proposal in the future.


 

At the ANC’s Zoning, Preservation and Development Committee on December 1st, architects for St. Thomas Church at 1772 Church Street NW supplied the committee modified plans as they will be presented to the ANC on December 10th and the Historic Preservation Review Board later this month.

The most recent set of plans is available for download HERE.

The ANC encourages community members to submit constructive feedback to commissioners@dupontcircleanc.net. The ANC is particularly interested in comments on height, massing and concept of the proposed plans with the understanding that the design will be finalized over time and in conjunction with the neighbors and the ANC. The ANC would also appreciate feedback on whether neighbors think recent changes have met the requests of the ANC’s previous recommendations on the project, available here.