February 2017 news

Although the saying goes, “All politics is local,” we are quickly learning that rule, among many others, must be tossed out in the current regime. However, despite our national concerns, we must also remain vigilant with local activities. This will be all the more true as the Office of Planning begins to take comments on revising the Comprehensive Plan. Ward3Vision has been working on amendments that provide a positive impetus to increased growth throughout the city and particularly Rock Creek West.

We recently learned that Georgetown Day School (GDS) will not resubmit its proposal for a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which would have substantially improved the area along 42nd Street behind the now-closed Safeway off Wisconsin Ave and provided apartments near transit. The school cited concerns about a court decision concerning a PUD which also sought increased residential density. Among what will be lost, unfortunately we think, is a planned outdoor stairway on Davenport St which would might have been a welcoming gathering place for pedestrians (think: Spanish Steps in Rome). That area is now ugly and unwelcoming (see photo below). GDS says it will proceed with expanding its private school on the Safeway property alone. We think it is a pity that the community will not get the associated benefits of expanded retail and residential development and public space that the PUD would have provided. We lament that ANC 3E did not sufficiently support this proposal.

This is the time to get more involved with your ANC’s and shaping the future of DC. Joining Ward3Vision is one way to do that. If interested, please email us at info@ward3vision.org and let us know your particular area of interest and skill set. We need you – especially if you have experience with social media and/or website design.

Thank you,

Ward3Vision Steering Committee

42nd Street, NW, between Davenport and Ellicott Streets. This street, framed by the blank back wall of the now shuttered Safeway and the rear of re-opened car and bike shops, was slated to be made into a walkable, retail-lined area under the GDS proposed PUD development. The school has now abandoned its plans for this area, other than building its expanded school on the Safeway site. Photo/Ellen Bass.

Upcoming community events and meetings

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

Coalition for Smarter Growth

Forum: Changing the commuter equation
How we can use flexible commuter benefits to create less traffic and pollution and happier workers
February 9, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
ZGF Architects, 1800 K Street, NW, Suite 200
RSVP here >>

Comprehensive Plan happy hour with Greater Greater Washington
Feburary 13, 6 – 8 pm
A&D Neighborhood Bar, 1314 9th St NW
RSVP here>>

Tenleytown Main Street Events

See events calendar here.

Van Ness Main Street Events

For more information see www.facebook/vannessmainstreet.

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.

Danish String Quartet
February 2, 8:00 pm

German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn
February 7, 7:30 pm

Russian pianist Igor Levit
Februrary 11, 2:00 pm

Soprano Sandrine Piau
Feburary 21, 7:30 pm

Mary Cheh presided over the swearing in of ANC 3D. Left to Right: Michael Gold; Steve Gardner, Chairman; Mary Cheh; Conrad DeWitte; Troy Kravitz, Treasurer; Alma Gates; Chuck Elkins, Vice Chair; Mike Sriqui, Secretary; Holmes Whalen. Photo/William Clarkson

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)
Februrary 9, 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)
Februrary 20, 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. A proposal to redevelop the Fannie Mae site on Wisconsin Ave. will be reviewed.

ANC 3D meeting (ANC3D.org)
Februrary 1, 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 

The ANC covers AU, Berkley, Foxhall, Kent, New Mexico/Cathedral, Palisades, Spring Valley and Wesley Heights. This ANC includes American University.

ANC 3E meeting (ANC3E.org)
February 9, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the second Thursday)
American University Law School
4300 Nebraska Ave NW, Ceremonial Classroom

Currently considering development proposals by UIP on Wisconsin Ave. and one by Valor Development in Spring Valley called “Ladybird.”

ANC 3F meeting (ANC3F.com)
Feburary 21, 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)
Februrary 13 and 27, 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. A zoning hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2017 starting 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 (IZ) units to tenants beyond that 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, and Ward3Vision is filing for party status.

Fannie Mae

Roadside Development is making the rounds of ANC’s to present its plans to develop the site at 3900 Wisconsin Ave for mixed-use buildings and seek community input. It presented at ANC 3E in January.

In an email, the Roadside representative wrote, “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.”

Quebec Street Residential Building

Potomac Investment Properties is planning an approximately 191 unit rental apartment building on Quebec Street, NW, in Cleveland Park. It would be 8 stories and 80 feet, with 104 parking spaces. The developer is contemplating offering IZ units. The building would be adjacent to existing apartment buildings, and the area is designated for high density residential. The developer presented the preliminary plans to the Ward3Vision Steering Committee at its January meeting, and the developer plans to make other presentations to the community.

News that you may have missed

Metro gets some financial breathing room — but only for the short-term, Washington Post

Need for public space/recreation facilities, Mosaic

Trump administration on transit, housing, and more, Greater Greater Washington

Plans Filed For Ward 3 Homeless Shelter at Police Station Site, DC UrbanTurf

Developer Asks: What Should Happen To The Fannie Mae Building? DCist

Friendship Heights retail center sells for $78 million, Washington Business Journal


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