City Paper Widget

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

90-91 Blagden Alley: Developers Commit $75,000 for New Bikeshare Station

Representatives of developer SB-Urban told Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle October 1 that, if a development at 90-91 Blagden Alley NW is approved, the developers would contribute $75,000 for the establishment of a new Capital Bikeshare station. This promise was made during ANC2F's regular monthly meeting on October 1.

Conception of development viewed from across M Street
The previous week, the Community Development Committee (CDC) of ANC2F tabled SB-Urban's request for a zoning variance that would allow the 132-microunit Blagden Alley development to be built without parking -- see SALM blog post of September 26. They asked the presenters to rework their plan and present it again.

The request is on the agenda for reconsideration at the next meeting of the CDC, scheduled for 7pm, October 29, at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle). The offer to purchase a bikeshare station will be part of the amended plan.

CDC Chair Walt Cain (Commissioner for district 02) began the discussion by calling SB-Urban "an example of people who have dealt with the CDC in good faith". Attorney Cary Kadlecek of Goulston & Storrs represented the developers.


At the September 26 meeting, committee members observed that the additional of 132 small residences with no parking would probably great additional demand on the nearby bikeshare stations. So the developers came back with the promise to fund the station.

In an email, a representative of Capital Bikeshare said a 19-dock bikeshare station in central DC would cost around $55,000, plus about $25,000 for the first year of operation and maintenance. After the first year, Capital Bikeshare handles the cost of maintenance and operation.

Loading, unloading, deliveries

The conversation also continued about the developers' plans to deal with deliveries and garbage pickup. The revised design presented by the developers included the addition of a package delivery room facing M Street. If implemented, delivery drivers would stop on M Street and dash across the sidewalk to deliver packages. They would not need to drive bulky delivery trucks up narrow, brick-paved Blagden Alley to deliver packages to residents.

There would also be a 75-foot-long loading zone on the 9th Street side of the development where larger delivery trucks could park, presumably for a longer time. This was mentioned as a possible staging area for deliveries of supermarket food products from vendors like Peapod. One possible problem with this would be people using the loading zone to pick up and drop off from the businesses already operating on 9th Street, such as pet grooming and boarding shop Wagtime (1232 9th Street).


A remaining sticking point seemed to be garbage pickup. The developers continue to plan to have all the garbage from the 132 units brought out to the curb in two-wheeled containers and picked at M Street. This was the same as the plan they presented at the September 26 meeting. However, Kadlecek presented a new revision to the design, with a trash room and holding area on the east side of the M Street front of the building, with a door out onto the sidewalk.

"We won't have trash sitting outside for a long time," promised a member of the team representing SB-Urban.

Among the variants discussed was requiring trash pickup services to radio ahead when they are in the neighborhood, so that trash containers could be moved out to the curb and emptied as quickly as possible.

However, there will still be on-street parking in front of the building. Attendees observed it would be difficult to get the trash removed between the bumper-to-bumper parked cars. The presenters said they were not planning to ask for any M Street parking spaces to be removed to facilitate trash pick up.

No motion was proposed or vote taken at the October 1 ANC meeting.

At the September 26 CDC meeting, representatives of SB-Urban said a hearing at DC's Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) on the proposed zoning relief was scheduled for November 5, roughly 10 hours before the next possible meeting when the full ANC could vote to approve a revised proposal. Attorney Kedlecek asked the ANC to take special measures to expedite their request, so an approval was voted on before the scheduled hearing. Cain said he would see what he could do.

On October 1, however, Kadlecek sent a letter to the BZA, asking for the hearing to be postponed from November 5 while SB-Urban continued to work with the ANC on outstanding issues. The letter asks that the meeting be rescheduled "as soon after November 5 as possible".

At copy of the letter asking for postponement, plus other documents related to the request for zoning variance, can be seen by going to the BZA's Interactive Zoning Information System and entering case number 18852 in the search bar.

1 comment:

  1. I think the package room they proposed was also facing 9th St so that package delivery trucks could take advantage of the commercial loading zone on 9th. Their reasoning was that placing the package room there would discourage package delivery trucks from using M St or the alley for deliveries, as they'd have to walk around the block to the package room on 9th if they parked there.