Thursday, February 16, 2012

926 N Street

To guide tonight discussion I would like to provide two pieces of information zoning and historic.  The Architect and Property owner will be in attendance with new drawings for our review and comment.

As a matter of right in a C2A zone:
** Can build to 50 feet in height with no limit to the number of stories.
** Can occupy 60% to 100% of the lot depending on the use
** I think the lot size is about 8000 square feet.  If so they can build a 20,000 square foot building of that 12,000 square feet can be for C2A use.  (This reflects a FAR of 2.5 with 1.5 for C2A)
** I will bring a list of C2A uses that are a matter or right.  These are detailed in section 721 of the code.
** Since it is in an Historic District they do not have to provide any parking.
** The existing building is not a contributing historic structure, so it can be torn down.

If the proposal complies with the things above, we do not have a say.  If they propose commercial uses that aren't a “matter of right” than they will have to get a variance which will give us a say.

There is an HPO publication on New Construction in Historic Districts and this is where we do have an input that we can provide direct to the Architect and Owner tonight as well as though the ANC to HPRB.

The key to the design of a new building that enhances the existing environment is its compatibility with neighboring buildings.  Compatibility is achieved through careful attention to the following design principles:

**Setback - Respecting the existing setback is important when locating a new building in a historic district

**Orientation - The orientation should respect that of its existing neighbors, that is face the street.

**Scale - should respect the prevailing human scale of other buildings in the neighborhood

**Proportion - Should be compatible with that of its neighbors.  Think in terms of the relative proportion, size, location of windows and doors in the existing Victorians that surround it.

**Rhythm - Heights of roofs, cornices, towers and other projections establish a rhythm of the street.

**Massing - Matching the general bay front design of the existing buildings on the street

**Height - Should not be significantly higher or lower than its neighbors

**Materials - Since all the buildings on this street are made of brick, the new building needs to respect that including size, texture and finish (glazed vs unglazed, etc.)

**Color of materials should complement those of surrounding buildings

**Roof shape, should be consistent

**Details and Ornamentation - a contemporary interpretation of historic details and ornamentation can be a good way to differentiate a new from a historic building

Mayor level meeting today over ABRA/Mood situation

My understanding is that there will be a meeting today in the Mayor's office to discuss ABRA, Mood Lounge, etc.  I am hoping that they will address why an entire community has to spend a year fighting a bad actor with a process that takes many months to adjudicate complaints.  The system is clearly stacked to ensure the revenue operation stays in service (with actions that impede revenue operations being turned around in days or weeks) while local citizens whose lives are made miserable by the behavior have to go through a slow moving process that takes months if not years to get any action.  The ABRA process is stacked against getting any action and seems to have been designed to wear out local residents (and I should note local businesses too who have suffered from the bad behavior).

Finally that is compounded by the ABRA Board, who for the most part, don't seem to understand what it is like to live in an urban environment especially this one where their liquor laws have allowed a night club to operate immediately adjacent to a residential community.

I read the findings on the Bar over at 5th and Florida who opened without a liquor license and the owners were found unsuited to have a license so they had to start all over with a new business owner.  I believe ABRA's position here, while very strict, were appropriate.  I have also read the official findings by the police and the ABRA board (so far) and I must say if the same standards were applied Mood Lounge would be similarly found unsuited to possess a liquor license.  Maybe they feel more freedom to take action before a business is officially open.  All I can say is that anyone who read the police report would immediately conclude that this is not a business who should possess a liquor license.  Mood and other's are celebrating their license renewal as a finding of "not guilty" but that is not the case.  As I read the ABRA report they were found "guilty" of the offenses but ABRA did not assess the violations to require the loss of license (and gave them considerable direction and homework to do if they wanted to keep the license).

Hopefully that is what will be discussed today and James "Freddy" Bulger, the Ward 2 Constituent Service Liaison for the Mayor, is planning to come to the meeting tonight and give a report on what happened.

One more entry to come in preparation for the 926 N Street discussion tonight.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Update Meeting Notice for Thursday 16 Feb

Meeting Notice

Next Blagden Alley – Naylor Court Association Meeting is Thursday 16 February 16 from 7-8:30 PM
Place: Home of Ron and Clarence @ 1241 10th Street NW

Agenda is:
7:00 - Development plans for 1250 9th Street/ Contemporary Wing Gallery
7:15 - PoliceReport (Sgt. Terestre is confirmed and possibly Lt. Carroll)
7:30 - EventsCommittee & Upcoming Happy hour with LCCA @ Tortino(Elizabeth)
7:40 - Presentationby the Architect of proposed major new development at 926 N Street NW,
          followed by Association discussion**
8:15 - Latest on Mood Lounge
8:20 - Stop Sign at 10th and O Streets
8:25 - New Business
8:30 - Adjourn

**Megan Mitchell from Suzane Reatig Architecture (a local firm they are located at 1312 8th Street NW) will present new plans on Thursday.  Note these are considerably updated from that which was shown at the ANC meeting a few weeks ago.  She will be accompanied by Apostle Green from the United House of Prayer.  There are very much looking for your feedback and believe they have made some good strides since the ANC meeting.  I will bring to the meeting a hand out that explains what is allowed as a matter of right on this lot, zoned C2A.  As the existing building is not considered to be a contributing structure in terms of historic our comments are guided by what is allowed in a C2A zone and the following guidelines:
Go to this link:
Then click on the Design Guidelines Icon
Then click on New Construction in Historic Districts
This pamphlet goes into detail but can be summarized as follows:

The key to the design of a new building that enhances the existing environment is its compatibility with neighboring buildings. Compatibility is achieved through careful attention to the following design principles of building: 
-Roof Shape 
-Details and Ornamentation 
-Landscape Features 

If at all possible please take a minute before the meeting to read what is stated there for each of this principles.
Thanks see you on Thursday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Great news about 903-905 N Street NW

The former "Space" has been leased by Frederik De Pue Executive Chef/Owner of
42° Catering Services

He intends to open a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  No bar although they will have beer and wine with dinner.  He has a very exciting concept for this and will join us at our March meeting to fill all in on his plans.

Welcome Frederik!  

PS He will explain at the March meeting but his company is affiliated with Smith Common on H Street NE.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Homicide, Unfortunately

On January 26th, 7:12 PM.  Dalontray Williams, 19, of the District was found in the lobby of Kennedy Recreation Center with a stab wound.  He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  An investigation revealed that the stabbing had occurred outside the Recreation Center on the 1500 block of 7th Street NW

Monday, February 6, 2012

Next Meeting and Joint Social with LCCA!

Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association Next Meeting 16 Feb & Joint Happy Hour with Logan Circle Citizens Association March 6

Thursday 16 Feb 7-8:30 PM
Home of Ron and Clarence @ 1241 10th Street NW.

Tentative Agenda is:
Police Report (Sgt Terestre is confirmed and possibly Lt Carroll)
Events Committee (Elizabeth)
Presentation by the Architect of proposed major new development at 926 N Street NW - The United House of Prayer Property (Confirmed)
Visit by United House of Prayer (Invited)
Contemporary Wing Art Gallery at future Development of 1250 9th St NW (Invited)
Latest on Mood Lounge

LCCA and the Blagden Alley & Naylor Court Association Joint Happy Hour Is Tuesday, March 6Join the LCCA and Blagden Alley & Naylor Court Association leadership for this social hour celebrating the arrival of Tortino Restaurant in our neighborhood! Complimentary appetizers will be provided along with drink specials from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make lots of new ones! Tortino is located at 1228 11th Street, N.W., between N and M Streets. We aren’t charging admission for this event but you must register( in order to participate.

Also note that I will be posting Association info along with meeting minutes at

Update on the art gallery.  I traded some emails with the owner of the gallery and the building owners.  It turns out that there are new owners who are working on their plans to develop the property at 1250 9th Street.  They aren't ready to present anything yet but I invited them to attend Thursday's meeting.  While the develop their plans they have lent the use of the space for the gallery below giving an extra large venue to expand beyond their normal spaces on 14th Street.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Art Gallery in the neighborhood

I was walking up 9th Street on Friday night and came across a new Art Gallery having an opening.  The address is 1250 9th Street (many will remember the skateboarding that used to go on in that building), just a few doors down from Long View.  The gallery is called Contemporary Wing.

Here is the link:

Right now they have an exhibit called Next Generation; Selection by Artists from 30 Americans Collection 2/4-3/10/2012

Next Meeting of the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association:

Thursday 16 Feb 7-8:30 PM
Home of Ron and Clarence 1241 10th Street NW.

Tentative Agenda is:
Police Report (Sgt Terestre is confirmed and possibly Lt Carroll)
Events Committee
Upcoming Joint Happy Hour with Logan Circle @ Tortino
Presentation by the Architect for 926 N Street NW (Confirmed)
Visit by United House of Prayer (Invited)
Contemporary Wing new Art Gallery at 1250 9th Street (Invited)
Latest on Mood Lounge