City Paper Widget

Friday, May 30, 2014

One of Dupont's Oldest Houses Aims for Renovation, Addition

"The house was built before there was even a road," said one of the owners of 1528 Church Street NW at the May 19 overflow meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont.

The house abuts a parking lot (left)
The oldest part of 1528 Church Street was built around 1870 by owner William Jones for $800. A document from DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) says: "The subject house’s relatively small size, flat-front fa├žade, two-story height, modest Italianate detailing, and set back from the building line are all typical characteristics of this first wave of development along the 14th Street corridor."

Now the owners want to make it more liveable for a modern family. They are nearly at the end of a complicated trip through the DC planning and preservation bureaucracy. At the May 19 meeting, all the Commissioners present voted to endorse a request for a zoning variance and two special exceptions from D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). If the BZA concurs with ANC2B, actual work should be ready to start.

The new owners of the home, with their architect, came up with two options to expand and improve the house after they bought it in 2013. They had to submit their plans first to ANC2B and then to the HPRB because 1528 Church Street is located in the 14th Street Historic District. An HPRB document characterized the options: "Option A (the applicants’ preferred alternative) calls for constructing a partial third floor atop the house and a separate two-story carriage house along the alley; Option B includes adding a three-story addition connected to the rear of the house."

The Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee of ANC2B liked both options (see SALM blog post of January 9) and the full ANC voted to send a letter to HPRB expressing approval of both options. However, HPRB staff disliked Option A, and chose Option B.

The homeowners will need zoning relief to make Option B a reality. For example, because the addition to the house will sit behind, instead of on top of, the existing house, the combined area covered by the new and old structures will be 68.3% -- above the 60% lot coverage allowed for this zone district. In addition, since the existing house sits farther back on the lot than construction done even 20-30 years later, the rear yard will be narrower than normally allowed. The owners propose a rear-yard setback of five feet, but zoning regulation require 12 feet. Finally, the rear carport will be located 10 feet from the center line of the alley behind the house, while regulations require 12 feet.

The calendar on the BZA website indicates the case of 1528 Church Street will be heard on June 10.

BZA records concerning this case can be viewed at the Interactive Zoning Information System of the DC Office of Zoning by entering case number 18773 in the search bar.

On-line records show this property was bought in November 2013 for $740,000.

No comments:

Post a Comment