Tonight the Zoning Commission is having a public hearing on case 06-25
, a text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay
that would include the west side of South Capitol Street
in the CG Overlay and also establish a ZC review and approval process for new developments that abut South Capitol (as is currently the case for new projects along M Street
). The Capitol Gateway Overlay spells out in extreme detail exactly what the requirements are for developments along South Capitol, M, and in the Ballpark District and over to Buzzards Point, and I suggest that anyone who is interested (or concerned) about the type of development that may be coming to Near Southeast should pour themselves 9 or 10 cups of coffee and read this document
. (It's not a complete version because one doesn't currently seem to exist, I cobbled this together from various ZC documents.) The preamble is worth highlighting, to see how the city has spelled out what it envisions for the area:
The purposes of the CG Overlay District are to:
(a) Assure development of the area with a mixture of residential and commercial uses, and a suitable height, bulk and design of buildings, as generally indicated in the Comprehensive Plan and recommended by planning studies of the area;
(b) Encourage a variety of support and visitor-related uses, such as retail, service, entertainment, cultural and hotel or inn uses;
(c) Allow for continuation of existing industrial uses, which are important economic assets to the city, during the extended period projected for redevelopment;
(d) Provide for a reduced height and bulk of buildings along the Anacostia riverfront in the interest of ensuring views over and around waterfront buildings, and provide for continuous public open space along the waterfront with frequent public access points; and
(e) Require suitable ground-level retail and service uses and adequate sidewalk width along M Street, S.E., near the Navy Yard Metrorail station.
From there, you are treated to pages and pages and pages of very specific requirements set out for developers (i.e., items like "Each new building shall devote not less than thirty-five percent (35%) of the gross floor area of the ground floor to retail, service, entertainment, or arts uses ("preferred uses") [...]; provided, that the following uses shall not be permitted: automobile, laundry, drive-through accessory to any use, gasoline service stations, and office uses (other than those accessory to the administration, maintenance, or leasing of the building). Such preferred uses shall occupy 100% of the building's street frontage along M Street, except for space devoted to building entrances or required to be devoted to fire control.")
There is also a separate Southeast Federal Center Overlay
, again laying out much detail about what is required and allowed for that development
. There's even a great map on the last page that clearly shows the allowed uses, with the 5.4-acre waterfront park and residential-zoned areas being closest to the water (so there's no plan in place to allow office buildings right on the water or even near it; the commercial zones of the SEFC are all along First Street and M Street).
I think even just casual browsing through these documents can be a bit of an eye-opener for people (like me) who don't realize exactly how many requirements are already in place for these two areas. Of course, developers can ask for relief from certain rules (or the city council can just override the ZC altogether
), but having documents such as these are a solid foundation. So it's good to know what's in them.
(like you're still reading) The Case 06-25 CG Overlay text amendment hearing
was over last night in a flash; the record is being held open until Nov. 30, with action most likely to be taken at the ZC's Dec. 11 meeting.