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Townhome Proposal For Georgetown Church Opposed by ANC

  • April 29, 2014

by Lark Turner

Townhome Proposal For Georgetown Church Opposed by ANC: Figure 1

A proposal to turn a historic Georgetown church and rectory into four single-family homes didn’t win over ANC 2E commissioners at a meeting on Monday.

The plan, floated by SGA Companies, would convert Alexander Memorial Baptist Church at 2709 N Street NW (map) into two separate single-family homes and turn its rectory into a large, 6,000 square foot home. The developer would also construct a 3,000 square foot house on the property abutting the rectory. The ANC passed a resolution objecting to the plan, which will look for approval from the Old Georgetown Board next.

The church is selling the property because its congregation can no longer support it, but local residents fiercely oppose more density on the site, and more than a dozen showed up to the ANC meeting to voice their opposition to the developers’ plans. Rev. Jesse Plater told the ANC that the church had considered 15 proposals from developers with their eyes on the site, most of which wanted to turn the church, rectory and open space into multi-family condos or apartments.

“We were against that,” Plater said. “We do understand that you live in that community. We did take that into consideration. We are sensitive to the fact that you do have concerns. We are willing to work with the community to see if we can come to some kind of resolution that will fit everyone’s needs.”

Townhome Proposal For Georgetown Church Opposed by ANC: Figure 2

The new construction was the biggest concern for the ANC, which suggested that because the lot had never been built on, it was historically significant.

“It’s an enduring part of the streetscape,” ANC Commissioner Tom Birch told UrbanTurf on Tuesday. “It’s every bit as much of the fabric, the look of the community as the built environment is.”

The project plans do retain green space in front of the rectory and extend that green space in front of the proposed townhouse. SGA Companies noted its goal was to create a townhouse that blended into the background and let the historic rectory look dominant in the development.

SGA’s Sassan Gharai the firm “couldn’t make it work” financially to redevelop the property without adding in the new townhouse.

Birch also said an effort to create and hold onto green space in Georgetown to improve storm-water collection influenced the ANC’s resolution in opposition to the plan.

Update: This post originally stated that the building’s LLC was not revealing its backer. Gharai told us he and his business partner Eric Rees of SGA are the sole owners of the project.

See other articles related to: georgetown, anc 2e, alexander memorial baptist church

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/proposal_for_homes_at_alexander_memorial_baptist_church_doesnt_win_support_/8420

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