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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Nov 16, 2006
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3 Blog Posts

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.
UPDATE: (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.
 

In order to start construction ASAP on both the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro entrance at Half and M and mixed-use offerings along Half Street, Monument Realty and WMATA are asking the DC Zoning Commission for an emergency text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay to allow a temporary parking lot for WMATA employees to be built, replacing the one currently atop the Navy Yard station. This new lot would be on South Capitol Street between M and N, on the lot just south of the Public Storage building and just north of the Amoco station (lot 0700 0046 for those of you with parcel maps), and would be accessed from Van Street. The text amendment would restrict the parking lot's life to three years--by that point, Monument's construction along Half Street should completed and WMATA employees would then be able to park in those underground lots. This will come before the Zoning Commission for setdown on Nov. 13; because it is being requested on an emergency basis, the Office of Planning is recommending that the text amendment take effect immediately upon setdown, and is requesting that it be set down for a hearing at the earliest possible date. Good to see that Monument and WMATA are moving fast. UPDATE, 11/16: This text amendment was approved on an emergency basis, which means that it goes into effect immediately and for 120 days, but Monument still has to go to the ZC during that time for a hearing to get permanent approval of the amendment plus approval of the parking lot itself because it lies in a CG Overlay mandatory review area. (See the above entry for more on THAT!)

 

Hopefully the people who are interested in purchasing a workforce housing unit at Capitol Quarter are already registered with the EYA web site and are receiving the e-mail updates, but I'll still mention here that the first lottery for workforce (i.e., moderate income) units will be held this Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 9 am. There are a series of requirements that must be met in order to participate in the lottery, and a visit to the Sales Center at 4th and L on either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17 is required to be certified. And, like all good drawings, you must be present to win. More information is available on the Capitol Quarter Workforce web site or by getting in touch with EYA (202-484-0360). UPDATE, 11/16: The Washington Times published a piece today on the lottery this Saturday, but I bet EYA wishes that the article mentioned that you can't just show up on Saturday for the lottery, that you need to go to the sales center either today or tomorrow to be certified.... (And also the comment that EYA decided to do a lottery for the workforce housing because the first market-rate units sold out immediately isn't quite right, the lottery concept was announced before the market-rate units sent on sale.)
More posts: Capper, Capitol Quarter
 




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