BZA 19377 ANC5E Resolution

Update (July 19):

On July 11, the BZA voted unanimously to approve the special exceptions for this project.

Update (May 29):

The BZA hearing has been continued to July 11.

Update (May 22):

The BZA hearing has been continued to May 23 at 9:30. You can see the video from the first part of the hearing here.

Update (March 14):

The BZA hearing for the case has been postponed to April 25 at 9:30.

Update (February 3): 

The BZA hearing for the case has been postponed to March 21 at 9:30.

Update (December 23):

On December 19, ANC5E voted to support the proposed design. The resolution is here.

The BZA hearing for the overall development is currently scheduled for March 14 at 9:30.

Update (December 5):

On December 19, ANC5E will review the proposed design for the new Paulist building, which is part of the proposed Boundary / Elm Street development the ANC reviewed in May. The design, which you can see here, meets the standard of our resolution, which was to set the building 75 feet back from the existing homes in the area.

On November 16, The HPRB Board designated St. Paul’s College, 3015/3025 4th Street NE, a historic landmark in the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites with the modified boundaries recommended by HPO, and recommended that the relevant historical information in the two nominations be combined and archaeological potential be addressed in the final nomination for forwarding to the National Register of Historic Places for listing as of local significance. You can see the staff report and proposed boundaries here.

On October 17, ANC5E voted to support the historic designation application 17-14 and opposes the historic designation application 17-21. You can see the resolution here.

Update (October 9): There are two Historic Preservation nominations (17-14 and 17-21 Both will be discussed at the October 17 ANC meeting and at the November 16 HPRB meeting.

Update (September 10):  BZA hearing has been postponed to January 10. Historic Preservation Review Board hearing will be at 9 am on October 26:

Update (May 29): The BZA hearing has been postponed from May 31 to September 27 as there has been a historic designation application filed.


I want to update you on the outcome from the May 16 ANC meeting (video starting at 1:44:15). I want to thank my fellow commissioners and the community for their interest and attention to the BZA Case 19377 - St. Paul’s. This wasn’t an easy process nor is it a perfect result, yet I think the end compromise is a fair one. By building a coalition on the Commission, we were able to speak with one voice to the Board of Zoning Adjustment and I will continue to represent the ANC5E01 community at the BZA hearing. 


You can read the full resolution here, but in brief, the development team of Boundary Companies, Elm Street, and the Paulist Fathers met the Commission's request to preserve slightly more green space, increased the affordable housing component by 50% to 15% of the entire project, and gave assurances on minimizing the impact on the existing community.
We certainly didn’t get everything I wanted or asked for, notably the Paulists declined to covenant their new building to an educational or religious purpose and the development team declined to reduce beyond 60 units. For context, the October 2016 proposal was 78 units, the December 2016 proposal 64 units, and the March 2017 proposal 62.
Here’s how we did on the priorities that I set out:
(1) Provide additional housing for a growing community, including an affordable component:
- 60 new homes will add new classmates for our children, customers for local businesses, and friends to our metro-oriented community.
- 9 affordable homes at 50%, 60%, and 80% of Area Median Income means that 9 families making $53,000-85,000 will be able to purchase homes at a reduced rate. This is a 50% increase over the previous offer and 15% sets a new standard for future discussions.
(2) Preserve as much green space as possible as former institutional uses are converted to residential:
- Frankly, we didn’t get everything we wanted here but the current green space is private property and if the development failed to go forward, the status quo of a permissive policy towards public use was not at all guaranteed to remain in place.
- The future remaining green space - a natural playscape, a smaller open field, and a pocket park - will be open to the entire community.
- I would like to work with interested parties on developing financing mechanisms for access to the other private green space in our community.
(3) Minimize the impact of new development on the existing community during and after construction:
- The committments from the development team are now memorialized in writing in the ANC5E Resolution No. 2017-007 and will hopefully be respected and enforced by the BZA.
- No construction or residential traffic through Chancellor’s Row.
- 75 foot buffer between new Paulist building and Chancellor’s homes.
- 40 foot buffer between new townhomes and Chancellor’s homes.

Next Steps 

I respect that folks may have different opinions or have made different choices but hopefully this information is helpful. I will be attending the BZA hearing as the ANC resolution empowers me to represent the full Commission there. The development team submitted a request on Friday to delay the hearing so I will update this post when I have a final date. I would encourage everyone to submit testimony in writing or in person to the BZA.

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