Monday, March 2, 2009

Revised Plans for Whitman Walker Approved by HPRB

On Thursday, February 26, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) approved revised plans for the Whitman Walker Project. The original concept plans that were presented to us in the Fall were modified by the design team to respond to community concerns about compatibility with the surrounding historic buildings. The JBG Companies will also develop an exterior kiosk to capture the role and contribution of the Whitman Walker Clinic to the AIDS history in the District.

Several minor adjustments will be made to respond to Dupont Circle Conservancy and ANC concerns about the Swann Street streetscape and the alley frontage. As I previously reported, the Board of Zoning Adjustment has already approved the variance and special exceptions that were requested by JBG for this project.

The BZA Board Order will require that JBG use only 40 per cent of the frontage along 14th Street for a proposed restaurant. JBG had wanted 100 per cent, but nearby residents and the ANC asked JBG to reduce the size of the restaurant space. Neighbors pointed out that the Arts Overlay recommends that 25% of retail space in the arts district be used for food and eating establishments. A survey conducted by the Mid City Citizens Association showed that we are now at 25% and they argued that no more space be set aside for food and eating establishments in the Arts Overlay.