A rendering of the proposed H Street NE project.
Plans to replace the former R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street NE (map) with a four-story mixed use development received approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Tuesday.
Fundrise, the H Street Community Development Corporation and Insight Property Group were pursuing multiple variances for the development, most notably a variance for the off-street parking requirement. Zoning law requires 30 parking spaces for the site, but the developers only proposed eight spaces. According to the developers’ statement, groundwater contamination from a neighboring dry cleaner and former Cooper Supplies coal yard and filling station, along with the size of the lot, make excavating to build underground parking prohibitively expensive.
“This is one I’m really troubled by,” Commissioner Lloyd Jordan said of the parking request. “This is something we talk about all the time. I’m still guarded in this kind of relief. At some point it’s going to bubble.”
Jordan added that five years from now many neighborhoods may find themselves with no parking because of decisions made today.
Commissioners Marcie Cohen and Marnique Heath disagreed, stating that the community should be encouraging residents to pursue alternative transportation.
“I think we need to proceed to try to reduce the number of opportunities, because it is an opportunity if you have a convenient parking space, to have a car,” said Cohen. After a short discussion, the Commission moved forward with approving the variances for the project.
The development will feature 6,614 square feet of retail and approximately 36 residential units on floors two through four. Three of the residential units will be set aside for household incomes of 50 percent of area median income (AMI) and the other half will be set aside for incomes of 80 percent of AMI.
The new development is just one of many coming to the Corridor.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/36_unit_building_will_replace_Christian_Library/10082
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