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Revised Plan For Blagden Alley Micro-Units Includes Parking

by Nena Perry-Brown

Revised Plan For Blagden Alley Micro-Units Includes Parking: Figure 1
An exterior rendering of the Blagden Alley micro-units

Late last year, the DC Court of Appeals issued a ruling remanding a micro-unit development with no parking planned for Blagden Alley back to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). The Court found that the BZA didn’t consider adjusting the quantity of required parking spaces, nor did it adequately justify approving a full waiver of the parking requirements based on the site and its history.

As proposed, the SB-Urban and Rooney Properties-led development would restore and construct an addition to the historic garage at 91 Blagden Alley and connect the garage to a newly-constructed residential building at 917 M Street NW (map), delivering 123 micro-units.

Revised Plan For Blagden Alley Micro-Units Includes Parking: Figure 2
Pedestrian bridge between the proposed buildings.

While the BZA approved the development in September 2015, along with granting full relief from the 62-space parking requirement in effect at the time, a group of neighbors responded by filing suit, which led to the Court of Appeals intervening.

Under current zoning regulations, 20.5 parking spaces are required for the development site. Consequently, the amended application will furnish 21 parking spaces on one underground level beneath the M Street building. The garage would be accessible using a car elevator off an alley.

The BZA will consider the revised proposal next month.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/blagden_alley_developer_to_return_to_bza_with_parking/12302

1 Comment

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 9:42 pm on Tuesday March 7, 2017:
    I have no prejudice against SB Urban nor this project. But this must be regarded as a victory for those who believe in the law and equal treatment under the law. For variances, the Zoning regulations are specific in requiring an "exceptional condition" that affects the site, yet one of the two sites here is perfectly rectangular and vacant; the other has a large vacant rectangular component. They're on the small side for efficient parking; site slopes aren't optimal for efficient ramps down; and the sites have adjacent historic buildings that would require expensive underpinning -- but nothing about that is "exceptional" in central D.C. These sites can't even support the clever-lawyer "confluence of factors" argument! Moreover, one can't help but note that SB Urban's fallback is to provide the parking. So apparently it wasn't such a hardship after all. Let's hope that other developers learn of this and of the other cases in which the Appeals Court has struck down BZA and Zoning Commission decisions. This isn't the Wild West. We have laws and they apply to everyone, even people who have a lot of hubris and hire lawyers willing to make any argument.

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