City Paper Widget

Thursday, June 12, 2014

302-304 M Street: Historic Preservation Holding Firm on Pop-ups

DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) seems to be holding the line on residential pop-ups. For a least the second time in less than a month, ANCs have heard cases of proposed extra floors on historic homes. The proposed pop-ups on a single-family homes in a historic districts have been vetoed by the HPRB. In both cases, the homeowners decided to build the additional living space on the rear of the property, which triggered need for zoning relief for lot occupancy and other reasons.
302 and 304 M Street NW

At its regular monthly meeting June 3, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E/Shaw heard the case of two adjoining lots on M Street near the corner of New Jersey Avenue.

302 M Street is an empty row house. 304 M Street is a vacant lot. The two lots have the same owner. The owner proposes to renovate the existing house at 302 M Street and build a new house at 304. To do any significant work at either address, the owner must seek permission from the HPRB because the property is located in the Mount Vernon Square Historic District.

The original vision by architect Will Teass of Tektonics Architecture DC called for a third story to be added to 302 M Street, so it could be used as a two-unit dwelling.

Eric Daniel of the firm Griffin, Murphy, Moldenhauer, & Wiggins LLP told ANC6E that "in response to HPRB" the plans had been changed. 302 M Street will now have an addition in back, not on top of, the existing house.

As a result, the owner sought variance relief from DC's Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) in three areas. The additional rear structure adds to the overall footprint on the property. Combined, they will take up 70% of the property. Maximum allowed under current zoning regulations is 60%. In addition, the rear yard will be set back 10.3 feet from the property edge -- zoning calls for 15 feet. The additional of a rear structure would also create a closed courtyard which will not meet zoning requirements.

ANC6E Commissioner Rachelle Nigro (district 04) said the applicants "did a very nice job of outreach" to the community. The property is in her ANC district.

ANC6E voted unanimously to endorse zoning relief for 302-304 M Street NW.

A similar case occurred in Dupont Circle recently when HPRB told the owners of one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood to add living space behind their historic property, rather than on top of it -- see SALM blog post of May 30.

Documents related to this zoning case can be seen by going to the Case Search Tool of the DC Office of Zoning and entering case number 18782 in the search bar.

Online records indicate the 302 M Street was sold in March 2014 for 650,000. Another web site shows that, at some point, the two lots together were on sale for $1.25 million.

See a 2010 post from the blog DCmud about a Tektonics Architecture project in downtown DC here.

ANC6E videos its meetings in their entirety and posts them on its YouTube channel. You can view the short discussion of this matter on video 00051, starting at time 2:15.

No comments:

Post a Comment