Monthly Archives: January 2012

ANC6B Letter to Office of Planning Prior to Set Down

To:  Office of Planning

Re:  Concerns regarding the PUD filing for the Hine School Redevelopment Project

We are writing to follow up on the informal conversation held last week with members of the Office Planning, DDOT and members of the ANC6B Subcommittee on Hine School Redevelopment.

The Commission would like to reinforce some of the specific concerns raised in that conversation and ask that these issues be addressed in the report being provided for the Zoning Commission at the end of this month.

Missing or insufficient information.

While it is the case that the Office of Planning or the Zoning Commission cannot require the applicants to provide information that is obligated by the Council approved LDDA ,  many of those commitments for information were made to ensure adequate community review of the impacts of the proposed development.  As such, the absence of a comprehensive traffic study, noise study, shadow study, retail plan and open space management plan leave the community at a significant disadvantage in determining what impacts may require mitigation and what impacts may warrant some form of compensating community benefit or amenity.

We find it to be wholly insufficient that this information is not included in the application and that, with the exception of the transportation study, there is no schedule for their presentation to either the community or the City.

Our Commission and the community have spent a great deal of time and attention on the issues that would be covered by the analysis laid out in the LDDA.  In the last year we have completed a Task Force process on retail mix in the Eastern Market area, we have created a Transportation Committee, we have created a stakeholder subcommittee for the express purpose of evaluation of the proposed Hine redevelopment, we have had five special call meetings to learn about and ask questions about the development in addition to two special call meetings to consider the operations of Eastern Market, including its interaction with the proposed development.

To a very significant degree, one of the constant refrains of this activity has been that ‘that will be dealt with by the PUD’ or ‘that will be addressed in the PUD application.’    To find that many of these answers are not addressed in the filing and that the information required for adequate community review is not available presents a significant problem for the next steps in the process.

We would request that all such information that has been agreed to in the LDDA be provided to the community within two weeks of any Zoning Commission decision to set down the application for public comment and hearing.

Relevancy of the LDDA

While we understand that the LDDA is not under the jurisdiction of the Zoning Commission and may be technically outside of its review, it is important to note that that the LDDA plays a central role from the community perspective.

It is also worth noting that the LDDA is not a document that received significant review or official approval from the community.  The prior Commission was significantly engaged in commenting on the terms for the RFP that was issued by the City, but the subsequent agreements between the City and the applicant do not necessarily reflect what would be considered an agreement between the applicant and the community.

The disposition of the Hine site transferred a significant amount of public space and prime land for an extremely low price to the developers.  One concern has been that many of the specific commitments made by the developers that spoke to the commensurate benefits to the community have either been removed from the project (e.g. Shakespeare theatre) or are currently the subject of intense debate (e.g. adequacy of space for a weekend flea market).  Additionally, given the central and visible location of this site, the community was promised exceptional design and architecture.  While this can be a matter of opinion, official comments from ANC6B and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society have raised significant concerns about at least some aspects of the project.

We ask that the Zoning Commission fully understand the terms of the LDDA and minimally hold the applicant to those same commitments to the fullest extent of its authority.

We thank you for your consideration of these matters.

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MEETING NOTICE: Date & Location Change

The Sub-committee on the Hine School Development previously scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2012 has been rescheduled to meet at 7pm on Monday, January 30, 2012.  The meeting will be held at Brent Elementary School, 301 N. Carolina Avenue, SE.  The Sub-committee will be having a preliminary discussion of options for proposed community amenities and benefits that might be provided by the development of the Hine School and as a part of the Zoning Commission’s Planned Unit Development Process.  The Sub-committee will take public comment.

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Notes from ANC6B Subcommittee on Hine School Redevelopment – January 18, 2012

Attendance:  Kirsten Oldenburg, David Garrison, Julia Christian, Ivan Frishberg, Brian Pate, Brian Flahaven, Jared Critchfield, Bill Pate, Roger Tauss, Ken Jarboe.

1.  Updates.

Transportation:  Commissioner Oldenburg reported on the 1/13/12 meeting with DDOT staff.  That meeting was summarized in separate notes, but the subcommittee did discuss several concerns including the problem of lack of study on neighborhood streets such as 9th Street and the need for the community to understand the impacts of increased volume along streets, not just the impact at intersections.

It was reported that Commissioner Oldenburg will prepare a draft letter to DDOT to inform the revised scoping document for the phase 2 transportation study to be conducted by the developers.  That study will be the final study presented to OP and DDOT 45 days prior to the Zoning Commission hearing.

Office of Planning:  Commissioner Frishberg reported on the 1/4/12 meeting with the Office of Planning.  That meeting has been summarized in separate notes.  The main topics included the possible date for the Setdown Report (initially thought to be on 1/30/12, but now tentatively scheduled for 2/13/12 according to Stanton Eastbanc), the letter that ANC6B sent to the Office of Planning regarding missing information from the PUD filing, and concerns about the relevance of the LDDA in the Zoning Commission process.

Meeting with Stanton Eastbanc:  Commissioner Frishberg reported on the 1/16/12 meeting with the development team.  That meeting has been summarized in greater detail in separate notes.  Highlights include:

  1. The Set down report is now under consideration by OP staff for the 13th of February.
  2. The shadow study will be completed and available on the 27th of January.
  3. The noise study will be completed and available the first week of February.
  4. The final transportation study will be completed and available mid March.
  5. A three dimensional physical model has been ordered and will be available for the community some time in February.  The committee and the developers discussed placement at the Hill Center in a publicly accessible location.

During the meeting with the developers we identified several possible working groups that the developers were anxious to begin working with.  Those included Transportation, Retail and Public Space.

At the conclusion of the meeting the developers stated that they would like to come to closure with the ANC on the two key agreements (Construction and benefits/amenities) in time to be able to accommodate an April hearing of the Zoning Commission.

Technical Assessment Working Group:  Commissioner Pate presented a draft chart for outlining where the developers have met or not met the requests of the HP staff and board.  Commissioner Pate also presented a draft summary of the benefits outlined in the PUD and some notes on a possible response.

2.  Discussion of new working groups.

The Subcommittee discussed the creation of several additional working groups to keep moving various topics along the process.  The initial discussion arrived at a consensus that working groups should first be undertaking an information gathering mission and then be working with the full subcommittee and then the Commission to refine our list of positions for negotiation with the developers.

The matter of management of the working groups was considered and it was agreed that with one or two people taking on the leadership of each working group, it would be up to that person or persons to take the lead on scheduling, and to keep all subcommittee members informed, but not slow the process down by undertaking a group scheduling process.

The following working groups were created:

  • Retail, led by Julia Christian with Ken Jarboe assisting.  This group will focus on all the aspects of retail in the project including mix and location, and its impact on the neighborhood.
  • Public Space, led by Commissioner Pate and Monte Edwards (recommended in his absence), which will consider all aspects of public space on the project including the use, ownership and management of the proposed public space and evaluation of the public space that has been lost to the project.
  • Transportation, led by Commissioner Oldenburg, which will include all assessment of transportation impacts and mitigation as well as the negotiation of the Construction Management plan.
  • Benefits and Amenities, led by Commissioners Frishberg and Garrison, which will take the lead in developing proposed benefits and amenities to be negotiated with the developers.
  • Design, for which both Gary Peterson and Stephen Sweeney were suggested in their absence.  This work group will look at all aspects of the design of the project.

Two groups, Technical Analysis and Outreach will continue.

3.  Online Survey.
After some discussion of the proposed online survey, a consensus was reached that Commissioner Garrison and Bill Pate would under take a revised version of the online form focusing only on broader questions of ‘concerns’ and ‘amenities and benefits’ that could be solicited.  The subcommittee clarified that the intent of this is to enable our web site to solicit general feedback and opinions from the public, but not to create any quantified or comprehensive reflection of public sentiment.

Commissioner Garrison and Bill Pate will circulate their revisions to the full subcommittee for review.

4.  Scheduling.

The subcommittee discussed the suggested April hearing date that was raised by the Stanton Eastbanc team.  While it was considered an ambitious schedule, Commissioner Pate walked through the schedule outline presented at the first meeting and found that for many items we were on schedule while some items were either behind or soon to be behind.  The most pressing of assignments as far as our schedule is the development of the list of mitigation requests and proposed benefits and amenities for discussion with the developers.

The subcommittee tentatively scheduled Thursday the 26th of January for the next meeting of the subcommittee to discuss amenities and benefits (meeting was not publicly noticed in time to meet that date and will be re-proposed for Monday, January 30).

Follow up items discussed were:
–    Scheduling of the meeting with the Deputy Mayor’s office to discuss environmental review, the schedule for the PUD and the City’s requirements, and the benefits contained in the LDDA.
–    Follow up with Maxine Brown-Roberts with regard to the new ZC schedule.
–    Follow up with Steve Calcott to discuss the list of recommendations from HP ? staff and the Board.

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