Friday, April 20, 2012

JBG Unveils Plans for Residences at Former Hotel Site

Last week the JBG design and management team unveiled plans for a residential building at the former 13th
and U hotel site. They cited community opposition to the height and massing of the proposed hotel as one reason for switching to a residential building that will contain 135 one and two bedroom apartments with 72 parking spaces for residents. Loading and unloading for the building and Rite-Aid will be inside an enclosed docking area off of the 13th Street side of the building. Trash will be kept inside the building and there will be a roofdeck for residents to enjoy.

The project is slated to be a Planned Unit Development (PUD) since the building will need special zoning treatment to allow the 90 foot height (with an 18 foot mechanical override) that JBG is seeking. The DC Zoning Commission defines a PUD as “a planning tool which allows a developer greater flexibility in site planning and building design. This flexibility permits the developer to incorporate amenities in the project that exceed those that could have been achieved under the general provisions of the Zoning Regulations.” There will be some Inclusionary Zoning units required by law for this size project in order to provide some affordable housing to the community.

Community leaders will have to learn the details of what a PUD entails  and decide what community benefits they will seek from JBG for approval of their proposed project. Stay tuned for more upcoming information about this project. JBG will design and launch a website dedicated to this project soon...the project manager is Brook Katzen and he can be reached at

To learn more about the PUD process go to:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DDOT Discusses Tools to Address Parking Issues

Below are notes from the meeting held last night at the Hotel Dupont.

"The purpose of the meeting was for DDOT to describe what types of parking systems have and have not worked elsewhere in the city, and for Ward 2 residents to explain the parking challenges they face and ask questions about the parking regulation system and what the options are.

Damon Harvey with DDOT (, 202.671.350) described the various ways in which neighborhoods can perfect their residential parking permit (RPP) system. He urged us to think about a comprehensive approach, so that non-resident parkers don’t simply shift from one block to the next in search of laxer rules. Attendees described the types of parking problems they encounter, such as spaces being taken by patrons and employees of nearby commercial establishments, and inability of the elderly and handicapped to find parking.

The default RPP option is a 2-hour grace period for non-permit holders 7:30am-8:30pm Monday-Friday. That can be changed in certain ways by regulation upon the recommendation of the ANC, but other changes would require enactment of a new law by the City Council. Examples of changes that can be made by regulation include changing the hours of the RPP system, imposition of resident-only parking (that is, no grace period at all) on one side of the street during certain hours/days, and changing the hours and costs of meters. We should also carefully consider side effects – for example, if resident-only parking is instituted, the city will supply each household with a visitor parking pass, but there is danger that those passes can be counterfeited and sold. DDOT works hard to prevent that, by monitoring Craigslist and EBay and using water marks on the permits, but it could be an issue. Could be less of an issue if DDOT is successful in development and rollout of an internet-
based system for visitor passes.

One option that was discussed would be to have RPP in place during the day, say from 8:00am to 4:00pm, then resident-only from 4:00pm to midnight. This would allow guests, tradesmen and deliverymen to park for up to two hours during the day, then give residents priority by the time they come home from work.

There are more nuances than many of us realized. For example, an RPP system that operates until 6:00pm, after which anyone can park for any length of time, really only limits parking until 4:00pm, because a non-resident can park at 4:00pm, stay for the 2-hour grace period until 6:00pm and stay further overnight until the RPP kicks in again the following morning.

Mike Feldstein, Chair of the ANC Zoning Committee, will organize a second meeting in a month or so, which will be devoted to discussion of issues specific to Ward 2, and suggestions by DDOT as to how to address them."

Thanks to those of you who attended last night. We look forward to developing some recommendations for our ANC to consider to address parking issues in our neighborhoods.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Construction Begins All Around the Neighborhood

During the past month you may have noticed that construction is all around us...the Old Post Office on T Street, LOUIS at 14th and U (formerly UTOPIA) and the Granada apartments at 1433 T. These projects were all approved years ago but are now finally under construction. The District Apartments at 14th & S are moving right along and slated to be completed for occupancy later this Fall.