The first half of Monday evening at the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting was dominated by Mayor Vincent Gray, but the second half was filled with regular fare including reviews of development projects like the Washington Harbour complex and a new hotel planned for 31st Street.
The Circulator route that runs through Georgetown in the number and location of stops as DDOT tries to streamline the service, by maintaining at least a quarter mile's distance between stops. Stops at Wisconsin avenue and P Street both eastbound and westbound and the eastbound stop at M and 31st Streets have been removed. DDOT added a stop at Wisconsin Avenue and 35th Street in response to community requests.
The ANC asked neighbors and businesses to monitor the changes to make sure they do not have unintended adverse effects on business and traffic.
O and P Streets Project
Commissioner Jeff Jones acknowledged that the side effects of the project, like lack of parking, noise and traffic are "real issues."
He assured residents, "We hear you. We’re working hard, we’re working together."
John Lisle, a spokesperson for DDOT, told residents that his agency is now providing daily updates about parking restrictions. The agency has also created temporary Zone 2 Resident only parking areas to alleviate some of the parking issues.
According to Commissioner Ed Solomon if contractors continue on schedule, residents "might be able to see a finished part by November."
Old Georgetown Board Projects
- The Washington Harbour Complex design is much closer to garnering approval from neighbors and design review boards after taking into consideration community comments.
The three main items the developers at MRP and their architects focused on were the center fountain, the lighting program and the bar area.
MRP Realty's Charles McGrath told commissioners that the team tweaked the tower area of the fountain, but did not full keep the base as had been . McGrath said his team believes the waterfall element flowing over the tower into the pool ties the fountain on the upper level into the project and creates a degree of white noise to protect condo residents from noise below.
The OGB asked for additional information on the proposed lighting package and the harbour's original designer, Arthur Cotton Moore, had questioned the lighting scheme. MRP is dropping its plans to update the lighting to resemble that of the Kennedy Center and will simply update the features to be LEED energy efficient.
Thirdly, MRP is moving the bar area farther from the fountain/ice rink to allow for greater circulation through the updated layout.
The ANC resolved that "ANC2E appreciates the evolution of the design" and left additional review up to the OGB.
- The team behind 1050 31st Street, , had a high bar to meet during its design presentation- commissioner Bill Starrels lives across the street.
Michael Winstanley, the architect for the project, came prepared and presented a case for modest external alterations to the property that sits next to the
"The hotel is meant to be quiet and unassuming, much like the character of the guests that will be here," said Winstanley.
The alterations include several Juliette balconies, an entrance canopy, discreet lighting in the main canopy and several of the window canopies, a side restaurant area next to the canal and a three-foot addition to the roof to house penthouse mechanical equipment. The design also includes a rooftop area with a shallow pool.
The ANC had few concerns over the project, but advised the OGB to be sensitive to the design's impact on views from the streets surrounding the project.
- The Friendly/Williams-Addison property at 1645 31st St. has been a bit of a thorn in the side of neighbors since renovations halted abruptly, leaving a plywood door and unfinished landscaping in the front of the historic property. A new owner took over in August and is working to sell the property quickly for a more reasonable price to people who will become residents.
But during this process that home had become classified as vacant, which dramatically increases the taxes due on a property. The ANC felt that the tax burden was unfair on the new owner who has shown good intentions and voted to support his efforts to have the property re-classified as not vacant.
- Curb Cuts had a mixed showing before the commission Monday. A proposed widening of an existing cut at the Hurt Home received approval. But a request for a permanent curb cut for a handicapped man was not approved, partially because the project had not followed appropriate procedures in trying to obtain it.