City Paper Widget

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1506 Q Street: The Lesson Is "Don't Stand up the ANC -- Twice"

At its last regular monthly meeting on October 8, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle unanimously voted against endorsing a building renovation project at 1506 Q Street NW until it had been reviewed by an ANC2B committee

Light was visible through the gutted interior last week
The applicants were the architects, KCD Price. They were seeking ANC endorsement on the historical preservation aspects of the project before they sought approval from DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). They are on the agenda for HPRB's public meetings on October 23 and 30.

The applicants apparently hoped the ANC wouldn't mind that the applicants had made and then not shown up for two appearances before ANC2B's Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee, which normally reviews projects in finer detail before passing on a recommendation to the full ANC. But the ANC did mind.

"Why is this happening without ZPD review?" asked Commissioner Mike Feldstein (district 01).

Photo through front door
The applicants admitted they had made the appointments and had been aware of the time and place of the ZPD Committee meetings. They took complete responsibility for missing the meetings. But the admission didn't seem to make the ANC any more sympathetic toward the applicants.

The applicants also said that the building renovation and expansion is "by right", meaning, once they received HPRB blessing, they would be able to proceed with the renovation and expansion, since it requires no review by DC zoning authorities.

The proposed expansion would increase the height of the building seven feet from the current roof of the house. It would not be visible from the street, because it is set back 29 feet from the front of the house. But it would make the rowhouse considerably taller in the back.

The proposal includes two parking spaces for the four dwellings -- well within zoning requirements.

The project is in the ANC2B district 06 05. The Commissioner is Abigail Nichols. She has put up a page on her website about this project, and has also posted the architectual drawings.

In the past, HPRB staff has sometimes approved projects without ANC2B input -- see, for example, SALM blog post of September 25.

But, assuming the HPRB agrees to the ANC's request for a postponement, the matter will probably come up again at the next meeting of the ZPD Committee. This is scheduled for Wednesday, November 5, at 7pm, at the Dupont Resource Center (9 Dupont Circle). If the ZPD Committee agrees on language, it will return to the next meeting of the full ANC -- Wednesday, November 12, 7pm, at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue) -- for reconsideration.

1 comment:

  1. HPO/HPRB should absolutely approve projects without the ANC's input. The ANC need not get involved in by right projects. And they are not qualified to chime in on preservation matters.