After announcing the December 14th community meeting on the development plans for the land at 3101 Albemarle Street, ANC 3F03 Commissioner Naomi Rutenberg sent an update to fellow commissioners and the site’s neighbors about the review process. She has given us permission to share it with our readers (we’ve added links to relevant information).
by Naomi Rutenberg
ANC 3F03 Commissioner
I wanted to share with you some information from the Office of Planning (OP) regarding the PUD review timing and from the Zoning Administrator at Deputy of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) regarding the site subdivision under the current zoning.
PUD Review: Joel Lawson, who will oversee OP’s review of the PUD application will be back in the office on December 11. He will assign the application to one of the staff who will do the initial review which will then be discussed by the office. This review focuses mainly on the completion of the application and its contribution to the city’s comprehensive plan. They are interested in neighborhood input on any aspect of the plan, positive or negative. Comments can be sent to Joel Lawson at Joel.firstname.lastname@example.org. I would appreciate if you would cc me (3F03@anc.dc.gov). I recommend sending your comments in the the next four weeks or so as OP does their review. I also plan to set up a meeting with Joel after our December 14 meeting to share the views from that discussion.
OP may communicate with the developer during the review process and point out elements in the application that are missing or elements that could be strengthened. Ultimately, OP will make a recommendation to the Zoning Commission (ZC) whether their should be a hearing (“set-down”) on the application. My understanding is that they generally make this recommendation unless the application is faulty and the developer is non-responsive.
Next is a preliminary hearing by the Zoning Commission. This meeting is public but they do not accept public (oral) testimony at this meeting. However, written comment can be submitted to the ZC prior to this preliminary hearing. This is an opportunity for the developer and other interested parties to hear the ZC’s preliminary thoughts – what they like and what they do not. After the preliminary hearing, the developer may revise their application. It is most likely at this time, when the application is quite final, that the ANC will put forward a resolution for discussion and vote at a meeting. Ultimately, there will be a Public Hearing, which includes presentations by the applicant and testimony from OP and other District agencies, the ANC, community groups, and individuals who wish to testify
The timing of all of the above depends on a) how quickly or not the city agencies move and b) whether or not the developer revises the application in response to agency feedback and how quickly that happens. I will keep you abreast of the schedule as it becomes known.
Many of you have asked questions about whether the community benefits proffered in the PUD application are sufficient. There are a couple of answers to the question for OP and ZC. One is do the benefits balance the zoning relief being requested. This is an art, not a science. As PUDs go, this one is small and asking for very little relief. So on that measure the benefits do not have to be great. However, OP and ZC are also interested in the community view of the benefits. I would really appreciate hearing from you regarding the benefits being offered. And this is still a work in progress. If you have ideas about benefits that might be attached to this project, please bring them up and we can talk with Soapstone Valley Ventures (and the city as appropriate, e.g., DDOT regarding the Soapstone Stream overlook).
Site Subdivision: As requested at the October AN meeting, I asked for guidance on the viability of the proposed division of the non-historically preserved plot into three lots. I sent the plan to Matt LeGrant, Zoning Administrator, Dept of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to review and asked his view of the viability of this subdivision. Here is his response:
Although I am not familiar with this pending Zoning Commission PUD case, I looked over the materials that you provided to me. I need to preface my comments that I have not done a full analysis of the Alternate development proposal for the “Conceptual By-Right Site Development Plan” as shown in the attachment dated 10-17-17; however, my brief assessment found that the proposed lot configuration for three lots, for a single family house apiece, in the subject R-8 [Forest Hills Tree and Slope] zone, all three proposed lots do meet the minimum zoning regulation requirements for lot dimensions, including the minimum lot size of 7,500 sqft; the minimum street frontage length of 56.25 feet; and the minimum lot width of 75 feet (as measured 30 feet from the street frontages in accordance with Section C-304.1).
The process for doing the subdivision is that that site plan is submitted to the Zoning Administrator who examines whether it conforms with the zoning code and, if it does, certifies the plan. Even though the site adjoins a property with historic preservation, the Historic Preservation Office is not involved.
Glad to answer questions if I can or get the information for you!
ANC Commissioner, 3F03