A rendering of Hine School redevelopment.
The delayed Hine Junior High School redevelopment may finally be moving forward after a court decision in favor of its developers was issued late last week.
The development has long been in limbo due to a legal challenge by a group of neighbors who oppose the project. The mixed-use plan for the site, next to Eastern Market (map), would include about 160 residential units, 61,000 square feet of retail space, office space, a plaza and underground parking. It would also include some space for the neighborhood’s beloved market, but not as much as what’s there now.
Stanton-Eastbanc’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the site was approved by the Zoning Commission in 2012, but the project has been caught up in the District’s court system ever since.
However things may move forward if a court decision issued August 14 is any indication. The decision sides firmly with the Zoning Commission (ZC), suggesting it did its due diligence in approving the Planned Unit Development over the objections of neighbors. As part of their legal filing, neighbors argued the development’s height, which nears 100 feet, wasn’t properly looked at by the ZC. The DC Court of Appeals disagreed.
“Petitioners argue that the Commission neither addressed concerns that “the PUD will be more than twice as tall and more than twice as dense” as the site’s original zoning would have allowed, nor heard sufficient evidence to make such a finding,” the court wrote. “This is inaccurate. In fact, acknowledging that it was one of the primary objections to the project, the Zoning Commission addressed the height and mass of the PUD as the first contested issue under a heading entitled ‘Project Design, Scale (including Height) and Density.’”
The court also noted that despite opposition, many locals supported the project, including ANC 6B.
EastBanc’s Anthony Lanier told Washington Business Journal that the project would move forward if the neighbors’ legal move to request a rehearing was denied.
“We’re going to prepare to move ahead and launch the project,” Lanier told WBJ. “This means we can go forward and close our documents and get the construction bids in. We’ve been ready now for a long period of time.”
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/eastern_market_redevelopment_may_move_forward/8879
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