Work has resumed at the site of what will be a new single-family home at 32nd and Albemarle Streets, thanks to a settlement between Soapstone Valley Ventures (the site’s owner-developer) and a group of neighbors.
Construction on 3113 Albemarle was halted at the end of November by the neighbors’ appeal. The case had been heading for a March 13th hearing before the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The appeal challenged the setbacks allowed by Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for the construction of three single-family homes on a subdivision of three separate lots. In addition, it questioned the legitimacy of one of those lots.
Soapstone Valley Ventures had initially planned to build two clusters of townhouses fronting Albemarle and Appleton Streets, and one single-family home behind the landmarked former residence of the Polish ambassador. When neighbors objected, the developer’s plan changed. It would instead pursue a matter-of-right development of three single-family homes.
What the neighbors wanted, in essence, was a two-lot subdivision of the area to the west of the driveway, one that would exclude the small plot of land behind the landmarked residence along Appleton Street. Soapstone Valley Ventures agreed to this, and to a minimum 11-foot setback of the main wall from Albemarle Street. The main wall of the second home, at 3128 Appleton Street, is to have a minimum setback of 17 feet. (Here’s the settlement agreement.)
The settlement agreement was accepted into the record on February 1. The neighbors have partially withdrawn their appeal until the request for the subdivision change to two lots is accepted by Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs. As agreed, Soapstone Valley Ventures has applied for the new subdivision and has resumed construction of the new house at the corner of Albemarle and 32nd Streets.