City Paper Widget

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2024 15th Street: ANC1B Facilitates Negotiations Between Neighbors about Pop-back

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street successfully facilitated an agreement between the owner of 2024 15th Street NW and a neighbor, so that the building will be able to "pop back" into a residence that will have four or five residential units. ANC1B's Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee voted unanimously to support the project after representatives of the neighbor came to the meeting and said they were satisfied with the outcome. The vote came at the ZPD Committee's February 23 meeting.

The darker grey on the left is the rear addition to the house
The neighbor had originally written a letter of protest about the development, which must get the approval of DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) because it is located between U and V Streets in the U Street Historic District.

Patrick Nelson, ZPD Committee chair, said he had made a site visit to the property three weeks before and had spent two hours on the telephone with the neighbor a few days previous, addressing the neighbor's concerns.

The neighbor was out of town on business, but the neighbor's spouse and mother appeared at the meeting to confirm that the neighbor was satisfied with the outcome.

"He was very happy that someone took the time," Nelson said.

The neighbor was initially concerned about trash collection at the building once the expansion was complete, as well as a part of the proposed new construction which, the neighbor felt, would block light and air. The parties developing 2024 15th Street took the concerns on board and made changes.

"The modifications were not the ideal," the owner of 2024 15th Street told the committee.

The applicants told the committee they were planning to appear before the HPRB in three days' time, on February 26. This would be too soon to get approval from the full ANC, but the applicants were hoping to go to the HPRB with the committee's approval only.

The historic preservation aspects of the project were approved by the HPRB at its February 26 meeting. The HPRB staff report on the project (available here) calls the rear addition compatible with the historic district as a whole. It notes that it will not be visible from the front and is similar to rear additions to nearby houses already in place.

The rear additions will not increase the building's height, and the building will still have two parking spaces as required by zoning. The project does not require any zoning relief, so now that the HPRB has signed off on it, it can go ahead.

See the architectural drawings submitted to the HPRB here.

Weather permitting, ANC1B's regularly monthly meeting is scheduled for tonight, March 5, at 7 pm at the auditorium of the DC Housing Finance Agency, 815 Florida Avenue. This matter is not on the published agenda, which is available about half-way down this page.

(Photo credit: detail from applicant's HPRB submission)

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