City Paper Widget

Monday, February 2, 2015

1330 Vermont Street: Single-family Logan Circle Home Pops Back to Five Units

A proposal that would allow a developer to convert a single-family row house at 1330 Vermont Avenue NW, a stone's throw from Logan Circle, to a five-unit building got endorsement from a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle on January 29. ANC2F's Community Development Committee (CDC) unanimously approved the historical preservation elements of the concept, which would expand the building to the rear. No height would be added to the building.
The rear of the building now

If approved by the full ANC, the proposal will move on to DC's Historical Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for approval of concept. Jim Foster of Arcadia Design (1737 Johnson Avenue) told the committee the a DC official reviewed the project and found it is "by right", that is, it needs no zoning relief. (Foster did not yet have a letter to this effect from the DC government, he said, but he planned to get one soon.) If the historical preservation aspects of the expansion are approved, it needs no further consideration by the DC government.

"If you give approval, you won't see us again," Foster said.

Foster said the client for this project was DC developer John Casey.

Forster told the committee the expansion would add under 1,000 square feet to the building, which currently is about 4,000 square feet in size. As currently envisioned, the finished project would have two basement apartments, one ground-floor unit that with an entrance in the rear of the building from a small backyard, a single front-entrance unit with space on the ground and second floors, and a fifth unit which would be located on the third floor plus a mezzanine.

The fifth unit only would have access to a large roof deck. Forster characterized this unit as "the money unit" of the expansion. He said there would be a small elevator installed in the building to access this unit.

1330 Vermont from the front
The present rear wall of the property will be moved back, but there will still be space on the rear of the property for two parking spaces, which is the minimum required by zoning.

The committee asked if the abutting neighbors had been contacted. Foster said the abutting neighbor to the north had been contacted but the neighbor to the south had not been contacted. There was no mention of contacting the neighbors to the rear, whose houses face onto the 1300 block of Rhode Island Avenue but will look on the proposed expansion from the rear.

The committee urged Foster to show evidence of contacting the abutting neighbors when presenting the project to the full ANC.

The illustrations submitted to the committee made it look as if the expansion would be mostly covered in light blue aluminum siding. Foster reassured the committee that it would not be. First, Foster explained, the color ink that the printer used on the illustration did not accurately represent how the proposed project would look. Second, Foster said, the siding would be wood (perhaps pine or cedar) or "essentially wood", depending on how much the developer decided to spend.

ANC Commissioner Pepin Tuma (district 03) asked what "essentially wood" meant. Foster explained "essentially wood" meant something called "hardie plank siding" (called "hardie board siding" when explained here), which are cement boards artificially given the texture and color of wood.

Tuma is not on the CDC, but the proposed project is in his ANC district.

The expansion requires HPRB review because the building falls within two different historic districts -- the Logan Circle Historic District and the Greater Fourteenth Street Historic District.

The matter is on the agenda for the next meeting of the full ANC, scheduled for Wednesday, February 4, at 7pm, at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle). Matters approved unanimously by the CDC are normally passed by the full ANC without much further debate, barring unexpected appearance at the meeting of opposition from the community.

Consideration of this project was the only item on the CDC agenda for this meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment