Friday, August 29, 2014

11th and O Update (1337 11th Street)

I touched base with David Dale who owns 1331-1337 11th Street a row of 4 storey townhouses.  They are all zoned C2A allowing a mix of  commercial and residential uses.

As all can see the corner property 1337 11th Street has been under vigorous construction/renovation.  There will be two flats on the top two floors that will deliver in the Fall 2014 timeframe.  The two stories down below are intended for a restaurant and negotiations are underway.  The hope is that we'll get a great local restauranteur committed to the space soon and with that specific build out, we should expect something to open by the middle of 2015.  I would expect a sidewalk cafe to be part of the package as well, the dimensions of the sidewalk cafe being similar to the Veranda over at 11th and P (1100 P Street).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upcoming Events at the CDC/ANC and the BANCA picnic

There will be two key reviews at the CDC meeting tomorrow night Wed 27 August: 7PM at the Washington Plaza Hotel.

First the architect for 928 O Street will present their plans.  I can email the package to anyone that wants to see it and will send it to the O Street list.  We met to discuss at the BANCA/O Street meeting on Thursday the 21st and received generally positive remarks.  If you feel differently please show up at the CDC and voice your opinion.

Next the developers at 9th and N Street, the Colonel 1250 9th Street, did not use the stucco finishing materials they were supposed to on the sides and rear of the structure.  As documented on the Blog, a group of neighbors meet with them to discuss options for correction.  The developer will present their options to the CDC, their recommendation will go to HPO for a final decision.  I can email those options to any who wants to see them.

Last the BANCA annual picnic will be on Saturday 13 September at 930 O Street NW (same location as last year).  Time is 3-7PM. The Association will provide the basic cook out food and drink, please bring a dish to share and if you like your favorite beverage.  Hope to see you there and I would expect a number of political candidates to stop by given the November elections.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Concert @ the Tenth Street Community Park Friday 22 August 5:45PM to 6:45PM

 10th Street Community Park (1100 Block of 10th)
Presents: Red Dirt Rangers 
in a Family-Friendly Concert 
A blues, bluegrass, honky tonk, folk, and rock 'n' roll band from Oklahoma that can usually be found playing at Hill Country BBQ. These guys make music so unique and fun! 
Friday ~ August 22, 2014 
Band to Play - 5:45pm to 6:45pm 
(No Rain Date scheduled) 
Bring a lawn blanket or camping chair to the park and enjoy the fun live music. The friends of the 10th Street Park will be providing water but feel free to bring your own goodies! 
Find out more about the Red Dirt Rangers at 
Donations are always appreciated! 
For more information visit: 

Follow us on Twitter! @Friendsof10th

Monday, August 18, 2014

Next meeting: 7-8PM Thursday 21 August 1327 10th Street NW

There are several typos I have corrected - the Colonel is at 9th and N, also the lot I am discussion is at 925 M Street not O street. Sorry for the confusion.

This will be a combined BANCA/O Street meeting to review plans for 928 O Street.  This is a non-contributing building so they intend to demolish it and construct a new building, please see the HPO guidance at the end of this message.  Since we last heard from them, the developer/architect has met with a small group of neighbors, some of whom are design professionals, as well as the Historic Preservation Staff.  This is an important meeting for neighbors to attend and key for providing your inputs and concerns before the design goes forward.  The next step after this meeting will be the Community Development Committee meeting on Wed August 27 and the full ANC will review 10 September.  Assuming the design is endorsed, then it will go forward to HPRB to request approval.

Following this the owner of 910 O Street will present her renovation plans.

Since no one came forward to host the meeting I will. I'll provide some beer and wine and would appreciate if others bring a few snacks.

Other items of interest:

The Colonel at 9th and N - I am still waiting for an update from HPO staff on this building where fake wood siding was installed instead of the required stucco on many of the sides and back of the building. HPO stays they will handle this - stay tuned.

I was just contacted by the new owner of 925 M  Street, next door to George's house and met with them this evening.  This piece of land is zoned R4 residential and given its size, can be two units as a matter or right.  They own only the grass part of the lot, the brick area at the rear is owned by George and is zoned C2A commercial.  Their intent is to build a residential building.  When they have a preliminary design ready a meeting will be held with the community to review the design before proceeding to the CDC/ANC and then HPRB.  They have had an initial dialogue with HPO staff.   Anyone who wants to talk with them now, let me know and I will connect you.

We usually have a picnic in September. Working on the date and location.  More to come.

HPO information on a non-contributing structure and its replacement:

Existing building is non-contributing. At the time the historic district was approved in 1990 by HPRB, 928 O Street was identified as a non-contributing building (see attached map from the nomination). The survey supporting the nomination identified 928 as an 1830’s structure, much altered, and the victim of a recent fire. There is no new information that would change its non-contributing  status. As a non-contributing structure, it can be demolished at the Staff level and the question of demolition does not require HPRB. Here are the pertinent sections of the HP regs:
701.4      A contributing or non-contributing determination made at the time of a historic district or historic landmark designation shall be presumed to retain validity unless a re-evaluation is warranted due to physical change, the availability of new information, or the passage of time since the designation was made.
705.1      Upon receipt of an application to demolish a building or structure that the Board determined to be non-contributing when it designated the historic district, the staff may certify the building as non-contributing on behalf of the Board and may process the demolition permit accordingly.
Primary question is one of new construction in a historic district. The gable massing and setback position of 928 O are remnant characteristics of the building’s historic form. If an owner wanted to reconstruct that, the Board could approve that as compatible with the district. But reconstruction is not the standard for new construction. Rather, new construction just needs to be not incompatible with the character of the district, which for street lots, generally means a rowhouse at the front property line.
There’s a lot of design work to do. I do have concerns already about the materials, height and massing of the rowhouse form the architect is starting with. The centered, all-glass bay contravenes the standard of off-center bays for rowhouses. The dark, rough masonry  is a stark contrast. While 3-stories is not completely foreign to the Blagden HD, this side of the street is distinctly 2-stories. But the other side of the street has enough 3-story buildings that that height is not completely foreign to the block. There are ways to mitigate a three-story building so it less ominous (like make the bay only two stories).
How important is the rear setback.  Alley buildings generally sit on the rear property line. This lot doesn’t have that condition. Does the new project need that to be compatible with the other alley buildings? Does this need a garage or brick garden wall? The owner has zoning issues regarding this question. It’s the sort of academic question we’ll consider as an office during peer review after the case is filed.