January 2017 news

As 2017 dawns, we are gearing up for active participation in the process of proposing amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. The Rock Creek West Area Element of the Plan (Chap. 23) is our initial focus, and we want it to express the aspirations we have for our area to realize the potential to be more urban, vibrant, and transit oriented.

We want to encourage mixed-use development, especially on the commercial corridors like Wisconsin Ave and Connecticut Ave. That development would increase housing options, for which there is such a great need. It brings the density that will foster and sustain businesses, more transit, and other amenities close to where we live. Development will grow the tax base to support other public initiatives. We want a focus on welcoming areas to walk and congregate. We sincerely believe that all this can and should co-exist with and support existing residential neighborhoods.

Ward3Vision has signed onto the Joint Priorities Statement crafted by a coalition of organizations brought together by Great Greater Washington, which includes the Coalition for Smarter Growth. As requested by David Whitehead, we are using our newsletter to spread the word. If you as an individual or as a member of another organization and wish to support these goals please refer to the information below:

To learn more about how you and your organization can further this effort, contact David Whitehead (dwhitehead@ggwash.org).

Please consider sharing with like-minded organizations and businesses in your network, and encourage individuals to sign on as well here.

Read the full set of principles here.

If you are interested in getting more involved with Ward3Vision, please email us at info@ward3vision.org.

Thank you,

Ward3Vision Steering Committee

Comet Pizza on Connecticut Ave., with signs showing community support after it and surrounding businesses were the victims of an internet hoax related to the presidential election and subjected to threats. A gunman motivated by the on-line hoax was arrested at Comet in December. Photo by Ellen Bass

Upcoming community events and meetings

Get more involved in community affairs by attending one of these upcoming events or meetings.

Tenleytown Main Street Events

See events calendar here.

Van Ness Main Street Events

For more information on the following, contact Theresa Cameron tcameron@vannessmainstreet.org; see also www.facebook/vannessmainstreet

Farmers Market
Every Saturday, 9 am – 2 pm — 4300 block of Connecticut Avenue

See events calendar here.

UDC Arts Center at Van Ness

Washington Performing Arts Society is giving performances at UDC Arts Center at Van Ness while their space at the Kennedy Center is being renovated.

New York Festival of Song
January 22, 7:30 pm

Shoppers congregate at a holiday market in December on Connecticut Ave. featuring local artisans, sponsored by Van Ness Main Street. Photo by Ellen Bass

Ward 3 ANC meetings

Get more involved in Ward 3 by attending one of these upcoming ANC meetings. Note that each meeting’s agenda may change between today and the actual meeting, so please check the ANC’s website for updates.

ANC 3B meeting (ANC3B.org)
January 12, 7:00 pm (meets monthly on the second Thursday)
Stoddert Elementary School and Glover Park Community Center
4001 Calvert St NW 

This ANC covers Glover Park and Cathedral Heights. The November meeting included a presentation by the redeveloper of a planned mixed-use building at 2101 Wisconsin Avenue, former site of a Holiday Inn. This is a Matter-of-Right development, and there is no action issue before the ANC.

ANC 3C meeting (ANC3C.org)
January 17, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the third Monday)
2D Police Station, Community Room
3320 Idaho Ave NW 

This ANC covers Cathedral Heights, Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Heights, McLean Gardens and Woodley Park.

ANC 3D meeting (ANC3D.org)
January 18, 7:00 pm (per ANC 3D website, date may change. Usually it meets monthly on the first Wednesday)
Sibley Memorial Hospital
5255 Loughboro Rd NW 

This ANC covers American University, Berkley, Foxhall, Kent, New Mexico/Cathedral, Palisades, Spring Valley and Wesley Heights. At its December meeting, ANC 3D voted to oppose the proposed Ladybird development (see below), although the project would be located in an adjoining ANC. Several new commissioners take their seats in January.

ANC 3E meeting (ANC3E.org)
January 12, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the second Thursday)
American University Law School
4300 Nebraska Ave NW, Ceremonial Classroom

ANC 3E covers the Tenleytown area along Wisconsin Avenue. They are currently considering development proposals by UIP on Wisconsin Ave and one by Valor Development in Spring Valley called “Ladybird.” The UIP proposal will be up for both ANC and Zoning Commission consideration in the next three months, but the hearing for the Ladybird project has been postponed until May. (See below).

ANC 3F meeting (ANC3F.com)
January 17, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the third Tuesday)
Forest Hills of DC
4901 Connecticut Ave NW 

This ANC covers the Van Ness area and along Connecticut Ave.

ANC 3G meeting (ANC3G.org)
January 11 and 25, 7:00 pm (meets monthly on second and the fourth Monday)
Chevy Chase Community Center
5601 Connecticut Ave NW 

This ANC covers the upper Connecticut Ave area in Ward 3.

Project Updates

Valor Development’s “Lady Bird”

This proposed development includes about 230 apartments and a grocery store at the former SuperFresh site in Spring Valley off Massachusetts Avenue.

Valor Development filed a design review application with the Zoning Commission, which is pending. They are proposing to shift density from a nearby site to accommodate the grocery store, but the project proposal includes no additional residential density than would be allowed as a matter of right. ANC 3D voted to oppose the development, although the project would be located in ANC 3E. The hearing before the Zoning Commission, originally scheduled for February 2, has been postponed until Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 6:30 pm.

Urban Investment Partners (UIP) PUD development in Tenleytown

See our September email for background. This proposed mixed-use building with 135 apartments would replace two office buildings in the 4600 block of Wisconsin Ave. Underground parking already exists, and 58 spaces would be for rent by residents. UIP presented its plans at the December ANC 3E meeting, proposing a number of amenities in exchange for permission to build an 85 foot building. One such amenity would be to offer inclusionary zoning units to tenants who earn less than mandated by regulations. Also proposed is a green space between the project and the adjacent Tenley View building and a clean-up of the decrepit house at Chesapeake and Belt Road owned by the Park Service for use as a community space. The PUD application is pending before the Zoning Commission.

Fannie Mae

Roadside Development reached out at the December ANC 3C meeting and through email about its planned redevelopment of the Fannie Mae property at 3900 Wisconsin Ave. Fannie Mae will remain at the site for another 2 years.

Said the Roadside representative: “Today we launched a website. Please check it out periodically for updates. There is an area for you to provide your thoughts and feedback. Your involvement is essential. Your ideas and concerns are what will properly inform the team. If there are any other concerns, please do not hesitate to reach me at Rlake@roadsidellc.com.”

News that you may have missed

In downtown Bethesda, residents and county debate whether more height is right, Washington Post

Housing Crunch is Our Fault And We Can Fix It, Washington Post

The Tent Cities of San Francisco, New York Times

A developer has agreed to build shorter and less dense than the law allows, but neighbors are still fighting it, Greater Greater Washington

Shopping Center and Luxury Condos Slated for Fannie Mae’s Old Headquarters, DC Urban Turf

Best Zoning Change in 2016: Accessory Dwellings, DC Urban Turf