Saul Centers and its architect, Torti Gallas, sent representives to discuss changes to the public space plans at the entrance to the Park Van Ness development. Their presentation can be viewed on ANC 3F’s Livestream site. It begins at about 37:00.
As ANC commissioner Mary Beth Ray reported to the ANC’s Van Ness Vision committee, “BF Saul has agreed to consider street tree soil enhancements, pervious pavement, and low-impact development and stormwater management solutions that hopefully will lead toward a beautiful and sustainable tree canopy in Van Ness/Forest Hills.” These conditions are included in the resolution (see below). She thanked Sally Gresham and David Bardin for their time and effort in incorporating these as important components of the resolution.
UDC is also mentioned in this resolution as leading the way on Connecticut Avenue in utilizing state of the art “low impact development” standards in its plans for the construction of its student union.
Commissioner Gresham sent this resolution to John Thomas, the associate director of the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) and the person in charge of implementing the street tree program. She wrote:
“I am very excited to be able to send along an ANC 3F Resolution that refers to the need for street tree soil enhancements and LID & GI/Stormwater Management solutions that hopefully will be the start of greener and more importantly, better-conceived and built tree-lined streets for decades to come. As UFA is so committed to doing with the street tree program, my hope is that other developers and DDOT agencies alike will do all they can and as quickly as they can to achieve a beautiful and sustainable tree canopy on public space throughout our ANC and the entire city.
There is a reference in the resolution to the new UDC Student Center and how the landscaping will transform this part of the Van Ness Corridor contemporaneously with the Saul 4455 Connecticut Ave project. The ‘green’ elements of the UDC New Student Center richly deserve recognition in the context of sustainability, beauty, and education. It was therefore fitting that ANC 3F adopted the attached resolution (on motion of Commissioner Gresham seconded by Commissioner Ray) calling attention to how UDC will transform the Van Ness hub on Connecticut Avenue.
The ANC 3F commission and its Van Ness Vision Committee’s hope is that other developers will emulate UDC.”
The Forest Hills community does need to thank our ANC commissioners for their behind-the-scenes and often thankless, unpaid work which is so important to the fabric of our neighborhood.
ANC 3F RESOLUTION
Saul Subsidiary II Limited Partnership
Public Space Application
DDOT Tracking Number 82330
Follow up to Public Space Committee Conditional Approval Letter of July 31, 2013
Whereas, Saul Subsidiary II Limited Partnership (Applicant) filed a follow up application on August 30th, 2013 with Public Space Regulation Administration (PSRA) to occupy public space in conjunction with construction of a new mixed use apartment building and retail development at 4455 and 4469 Connecticut Ave, N.W., in ANC 3F, referred to as Park Van Ness, DDOT Tracking Number 82330; and
Whereas, after the July 16th ANC 3F Meeting’s Resolution (attached hereto) and the July 25th Public Space Committee (PSC) hearing in which ANC 3F participated, represented by Commissioners Gresham and Perry, PSRA issued to Applicant a conditional approval letter dated July 31, 2013 (attached hereto) including nine (9) conditions; and
Whereas, the July 31, 2013 PSC approval letter’s first seven conditions to the Applicant are specific approvals (Conditions 2 & 3), requirements for compliance (Conditions 2, 5 & 6) and directives to work with DC agencies directly for a resolution (Conditions 1, 4, 7 & 8); and
Whereas, Condition 8 of the PSC approval letter states, “The curb cut approval is suspended until additional materials have been reviewed by Traffic Operations Administration (TOA) and Infrastructure Project Management Administration (IPMA).” and “Once this has been completed applicant will return to the PSC at a later date for reconsideration” and Condition 9 states, “That the applicant will revise and resubmit drawings prior to the issuance of the permit.”; and
Whereas, the Applicant’s August 30, 2013 follow up application to PSRA for public space approval addresses only the approval directive for the curb cut and the entrance courtyard; and
Whereas, the Applicant presented, discussed and answered questions on the new plans at a duly noticed ANC 3F public meeting on Tuesday, September 17, 2013; and
Whereas, the revised entry courtyard design maintains the 20′ curb cut on axis with Yuma Street, N.W. with landscaping on either side in public space with the entrance courtyard circular driveway located on private property space; and
Whereas, the main revision to the entrance courtyard drive is that instead of pulling in and parking on the northern side of the court as previously proposed, the design has been revised to allow vehicles to make the full 360 degree turn in a counterclockwise motion to navigate the space and the gateway and decorative pillars under the building’s main archway were moved 11′ east to allow for the additional area in the entry court, which allows for the revised vehicular movement; and
Whereas, all materials have remained consistent in this area from the previous design with 4″ x 4″ Cobblestone pavers in the 52 foot diameter circular driveway area, granite curbs and surrounding walk path in public/private space and, per DDOT’S request, the entry driveway materials will be textured concrete matching the look, color and pattern of the London walk pavers on the adjacent sidewalk with striping to indicate the crosswalk area; and
Whereas, both PPSA and TOA have reviewed the revised design and indicated that the new approach addresses their concerns about the operation and use of public space as documented in e-mails between PPSA (Sam Zimbabwe, Associate Director) and TOA (James Cheeks, Traffic Services Field Operations Manager); and
Whereas, the July 31, 2013 PSC approval letter Condition 7 states, “The applicant will consult with the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) with regards to the maximization of the street tree canopy through soil Volumes.” which directs the Applicant to Work with DDOT’s UFA department; and
Whereas, ANC 3F supports PSC condition 7 as “a tree’s ability to grow and stay healthy is largely dependent on available rooting space. This is particularly evident in urbanized areas Where many trees exist in small planting spaces with little available soil. Trees in this situation tend to be short-lived, and most never function as vibrant components of a city’s infrastructure” (Casey Trees, Tree Space Design Report 2008); and
Whereas, DDOT leads the Washington Metropolitan Region in design and installation of permeable paving (including porous brick, porous concrete, and porous rubber) and sub-pavement expansion of soil available to tree roots (including sand-based structural soils, CU-Structural Soils, and soil cells which “are plastic structures designed t0 be ñlled with soil and covered with pavement” as described by Casey Trees), but DDOT has not yet adopted standards upon which developers other than DDOT, such as the Applicant, may rely; and
Whereas, ANC 3F asks the Applicant to consider and consult with the UFA as to all of the above methods of increasing sub-pavement soil volumes and permeable paving (Which will allow moisture and oxygen to penetrate for tree roots) for the sake of enhanced tree canopy in as much of the public space at 4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW as feasible; and
Whereas, ANC 3F looks to Applicant to help our neighborhood achieve a beautiful, sustainable, tree-shaded Avenue for this part of the Connecticut Avenue Corridor, in keeping with the character of other stretches, and asks the Applicant to consider incorporation of forthcoming approved DDOT Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure (GI) Guidelines/ Standards complementing DDOE Stormwater Management Regulations in the public space areas to the extent feasible and obtainable, taking into account DDOT’s practical experience as reflected in its recent “Creating Green Streets in DC” MWCOG Green Streets Workshop April 8, 2013 presentation to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and how landscaping for the UDC New Student Center at 4100 Connecticut Avenue (succinctly described at leeandassociatesinc.com/Projects/Educational/S) will transform this part of the Van Ness Corridor contemporaneously with App1icant’s project; and
Whereas, ANC 3F asks the PSC to retain oversight over its soil and tree canopy condition and the forthcoming LID & Storm Water regulations as it did over the curb cut.
Now, therefore be it resolved that ANC 3F supports the public space follow up application of Park Van Ness, (DDOT Tracking Number 82330) as follows:
(1) The curb cut at Yuma Street, N. W. and the revised and resubmitted entrance courtyard (Conditions 8 and 9), which is essential to help minimize any traffic disruptions as a result of residential drop offs and pick ups.
(2) The Applicant consult and resolve the directives in a timely manner with the appropriate DDOT agencies regarding the other 7 above mentioned Conditions referred to in the attached PSRA conditional approval letter to Applicant dated July 31, 2013.
(3) The Applicant has agreed to consult with UFA as to the aforementioned methods of increasing sub-pavement soil Volumes and permeable paving for the enhancement of tree canopy in the public space at 4455 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
(4) The Applicant consult with the appropriate City agencies to consider incorporation of forthcoming approved DDOT LoW Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure (GI) Guidelines/ Standards complementing DDOE Stormwater Management Regulations in the public space areas to the extent feasible and obtainable.
Be it further resolved, that Commissioners Sally W. Gresham, Karen Perry and Mary Beth Ray represent ANC 3F at the Public Space Committee Hearing on Thursday, September 26, 2013.
ANC 3F approved this resolution at its meeting on September 17, 2013, which was properly noticed and at which a quorum was present, a quorum being four. The resolution was approved by a vote of 5-2-0.