by Borderstan.com May 30, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

"Mission"

Central Union Mission moving out. (Luis Gomez Photos)

In a letter to Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Central Union Mission Executive Director David Treadwell said that the shelter is on the move. The shelter is at the southeast corner of 14th and R Streets NW. Graham released the letter on the U Street News listserv.

“Beginning in May, our homeless shelter and Spiritual Transformation Program (STP) will be housed at 810 5th Street, NW, in the former home of Gospel Rescue Ministries. We anticipate providing services to approximately 120 men while we wait for our renovation project [at 65 Massachusetts Avenue NW] to be completed early this fall.”

The Central Union Mission and its red sign “Come Unto Me” had been a staple of 14th Street since 1983. Last November, Borderstan reported that a new retail and condo development will replace Central Union Mission’s 14th and R location.

Central Union Mission has been rooted in the Logan Circle community and serving the homeless population for nearly 30 years. However, the organization is building a new home at 65 Massachusetts Avenue NW, and construction on the new Eric Colbert & Associates development project is expected to begin this spring.

The closure and relocation of Central Union Mission makes way for 50 condo units and retail spaces at 1350 R Street NW would seem to present a potent symbol of the changes and demographics of the area brought about by urban renewal.

The Washington Post reports the new development will include roughly 50 units of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos, ranging in space from 800 square feet to 1,000 square feet each. The Post also reports that the condos will cost around $419,900 to $849,900, and the project is expected to take 14 months to complete.

The retail businesses have not been decided for the building, but The Post article says the developers will be picky about the retailers that go into the new building to ensure the businesses are good neighbors to the residents.

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by Borderstan.com May 30, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.

"Phillips Collection"

The Phillips Collection. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The collection of museums along the National Mall is well known and well visited by Washingtonians and many people across the country.

Not as well known but equally compelling are the museums that fall under the umbrella of the Dupont-Kalorama Museums Consortium (DKMC). This weekend is your chance to find out all about these museums during the 30th Annual Museum Walk Weekend.

The Walk Weekend takes place on Saturday, June 1, from 10 am until 4 pm, and also on Sunday, June 2, from 1 to 5 pm. In all, there are nine different museums participating and each one of them will be opening up their doors with free admission — though be aware that not all museums will be open both days.

Along with free access to their exhibits, many of the museums will also be featuring special events, some of which include: English country dances, live Latino music, outdoor yoga, craft demonstrations, live jazz, and more.

Scavenger Hunts For the Entire Family

Along with these individual events at particular museums, there will be two DKMC-wide scavenger hunts. One will be geared toward adults and the other toward children. For the children, all participants that complete a scavenger hunt form (available at all Weekend Walk locations) will receive a prize. Too bad it’s not that easy for adults.

After filling out the scavenger hunt for by answering a question particular to each site, the forms are to be submitted and a winner will be selected at random by June 15. The payoff for waiting so long? A free Port City Brewery tour, tasting, or other prizes not yet announced. Not a bad payoff for a free scavenger hunt at open-admission museums on what looks to be a nice weekend.

The full list of museums participating in the Walk Weekend include:

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by Borderstan.com May 30, 2013 at 6:00 am 0

"Light"

Evening Light is by ekelly80 from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Evening Light is by ekelly80. The photo was taken May 23 at Dupont Circle.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"Crime"

Smartphones and portable electronic devices are always targeted. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier appeared on the TODAY Show last Thursday expressing frustration with the rise in ATMs that allow customers to trade in and recycle used cell phones and other electronics for cash on the spot.

ecoATM is the San Diego-based company that produces the machines and places them in malls and shopping centers across the country. Lanier believes that ecoATMs provide an extra incentive to potential robbers, because the machines offer a quick and easy way to trade in stolen phones for cash.

The company disagrees, arguing that extensive security measures make it difficult to trade in stolen phones. Customers using the machines must be 18-years-old and provide a valid photo identification card that is compared in real-time to a photo taken by the machine. They must also provide a thumbprint.

ecoATM records the serial number of each phone collected and stores them for at least 30 days after collection. Additionally, the company announced Wednesday the creation of an eight-member Law Enforcement Advisory Board, who will provide recommendations on how ecoATM can best partner with police agencies and ensure the machines are not used for reselling stolen goods.

Lanier first argued against the use of ecoATMs on WTOP in February, stating that up to 30 to 35 percent of the phones recycled at ecoATMs are stolen. The company disputes these figures, noting on their website that fewer than five out of every 10,000 phones recycled are stolen.

Lanier said Thursday that MPD believes at least 200 phones stolen in the District have turned up in suburban locations of the machines and that MPD has already made six arrests in these cases. She did commend the company for being very cooperative in law enforcement investigations when a phone believed to be stolen is found deposited in the ATM.

ecoATM currently does not have any machines inside the District, and has not announced any plans to establish a D.C. location. The company formerly operated a machine in Temple Hills, MD at Iverson Mall, but the machine was removed because of a licensing issue. There also was previously a machine in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City that no longer appears on the company’s list of locations.

While there are still a number of ecoATMs in the D.C. metropolitan area, the remaining current locations would not be particularly convenient for District robbers. The closest ATMs are in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia; St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf, Maryland; and Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Virginia.

If your smartphone is lost or stolen, you can have the device remotely disabled by the provider to make it more difficult for the phone to be reused or resold. More information is available from MPD’s “Brick It!” website (DC Announces Initiative Encouraging Victims to Disable Stolen Phones).

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm 5 Comments

For the past three years, in anticipation of Capital Pride, we’ve asked readers, “Where’s DC’s Gay Neighborhood?” The Dupont-Logan area is the center of LGBT pride events each year, including the parade, which runs from Dupont Circle, down 17th Street and then over to 14th Street NW in the Logan Circle neighborhood. (See this year’s slightly different parade route.)

Click here to take survey: Where is DC’s Gay Neighborhood in 2013? We will share the results with you next week.

We ask the question each year because DC’s gay population has been shifting eastward and northward from the one-time center around Dupont Circle.In the 1980s it began shifting to 17th Street, on the eastern end of Dupont — after being centered along Connecticut Avenue and P Street NW west of Dupont Circle.

"17th Street "Cobalt" "Borderstan

In the 1980s DC’s gay neighborhood began shifting eastward to 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

As we have asked in previous years, “Does DC still have a single gay neighborhood?” Is the LGBT population spreading out across the city at a slow but steady pace?

In the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Borderstan reader polls, the top choice of readers was Logan Circle. Last year 38% in 2012 said Logan Circle was the city’s primary gay neighborhood, with “Everywhere and Nowhere” in second place, and Dupont Circle in third place — with Shaw making big gains each year. (Results of previous reader polls are below.)

Today 17th Street is still generally recognized as DC’s “gay Main Street” — and only a few blocks from the Logan Circle neighborhood. But, overall, is the Logan Circle area the new Dupont Circle when it comes to all things gay?

Here’s how Borderstan voters responded the past three years.

 
Where is DC’s Gay Neighborhood?
Neighborhood 2012
Reader Poll
2011
Reader Poll
2010
Reader Poll
Logan Circle 38% 34% 38%
Everywhere and Nowhere 18% 22% 21%
Dupont Circle 13% 12% 14%
Shaw 9% 4% 2%
U Street 9% 8% 6%
This is such a 1970s question 8% 17% 18%
Columbia Heights 3% Not asked Not asked
Other 2%  3% 1%

 

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Namita Koppa. Email her at namita[AT]borderstan.com.

"Kiwi"

Get your Kiwi going. (Namita Koppa)

A month ago, I went on vacation with my extended family. Being the adventurous types, my relatives planned a two week jaunt across the Pacific to New Zealand, or Aotearoa in Māori.

It was the best holiday I’ve taken in a long, long time — beautiful scenery, adventure sports, glacial rivers an unbelievable crystal blue, and lots (and I mean LOTS) of furry sheep. Other than feeding a lamb, which rendered me emotionally unable to eat the famous New Zealand lamb for the remainder of the trip, I happily indulged in all kinds of goodies.

From my American POV, some of the food there was just kind of weird. An ice cream flavor called the hokey-pokey (you know you wanna sing)? Vegemite? Cookies called Afghans? A tropical fruit with slightly gushy insides called feijoa?

Some things there were downright party-in-my-mouth material. Green-lipped mussels, which our kind chef steamed to absolutely perfection. Avocados, similar to Haas but with a slightly different, equally as buttery flavor.

Wine, wine, and more wine which my family sampled every single evening. Kumara bread, made from the Kiwi version of the sweet potato. Divine dairy products courtesy of New Zealand’s most prosperous industry.

To avoid the disappointment of returning to a regular schedule, I’ve been making dishes at home that remind me of this trip. Inspired by both avocados and summertime, this has been a staple in my kitchen. Kia mākona!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Use as a dip, spread, or sauce with pasta.

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 11:00 am 3 Comments

From Farrah Joon. Check out her blog, sexandfessenjoon. Email her at farrah[AT]borderstan.com, follow her on Twitter @Farrah_Joon.

Night out: Friends and Boys. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Night out: Friends and Boys. (Luis Gomez Photos)

All men are dogs. There are the purebreds and the street dog/mutts. Purebreds can be trained. They are keepers. Mutts are for the streets.

When I graduated high school I didn’t think about the pressure of finding a nice guy who is responsible, well suited for dad, and treats me well (aka a purebred). Back then it was all about whether they were hot or not.

In the early days of college, going out was about meeting boys and either bringing them back to our place or making out with them at the bar.

We went out solely to meet boys. Our night’s fun was dependent on how many times we gave our number out and whether we kissed anyone.

During my sophomore year of college, I lived with my four best friends under one roof and it was a mess. We went out maybe four times a week. We pre-gamed, dressed up in our sluttiest outfits (back when it was “cute” to wear lingerie tops to the club), and set up a buddy system so that one of us always had a “wing-woman.”

And shockingly, we weren’t the only group of girls (or guys) who did this. At the end of the night, we would grab drunchies (at your local Jack in the Box) and retell our shenanigans.

Regardless our night’s success was based on d*ck at a time where we were still too scared to actually do anything with the d*ck.

But we were uninhibited — and we had just joined a world where these activities were perpetuated through a series of experiences… mistakes… and downright fun — we were young, sleazy and free.

I had a year of fun, excitement, and stupid, harmless mistakes — then one day, going out wasn’t just so I could meet boys… going out became something where I could go, drink, and have fun with my friends.

Our success was not reliant on whether we made out with anyone or gave our phone numbers — our successes were based on finding good bars, laughing, and no one getting sick at the end of the night.

There’s a very real difference between going out to just meet boys and going out to just have fun.

My “bar outfits” are no longer put together to attract guys — they’re put together for me. Whether I choose to wear a sexy top or just a plain white tank top — whatever is more comfortable for me.

The best ending — to a night is not finding the hottest guy and taking him home to my bed, it’s when I end the night stuffing my face with a burger and laughing about some random drunken nonsense with my best friend.

There’s nothing wrong with going out to meet guys and having fun that way — but there is something very wrong with not valuing how much fun you can have without meeting a guy.

It’s the fun nights spent with our closest friends that we will remember — not the names of all the guys we kissed. (Take my word for it).

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Scott Thompson. Follow Scott on Twitter @foureyedblond or email him at thompson[AT]@borderstan.com.

"Spell check"

Spell check. (Luis Gomez Photos)

If Johannes Gutenberg were alive today, he would slap me in the face.

Five centuries ago, Herr Gutenberg meticulously lined up individual Latin letters on a metal press to create the first-ever printed Bible. The revolutionary final version contained 1,280 pages of text, colors, calligraphy — and no misspellings.

In 2012, it sometimes takes me two attempts to type and spell my own last name correctly.

I like to tell myself that this worsening problem is in no way related to my IQ. I used to be a fairly decent speller, and given the schadenfreude I feel upon discovering typos made by The New York Times or Perez Hilton, I certainly retain at least some command of the English language. Rather, I believe that I can no longer spell correctly because I no longer have to spell correctly. Modern technology does it for me.

My relationship with Microsoft Word exemplifies this situation. In 7th Grade, when my father brought home a table-sized Acer computer, I typed and spelled with joyful precision, out of respect for the old days when I had to write book reports carefully by hand. Today, I use Microsoft Word the same way the British and the Germans used the Enigma machine. Thoughts leave my head and land on the page in a garbled, red-accented collection of letters — decipherable only to me. Most often, it takes Spell Check longer to finish its run that it took me to type the paragraph.

Phone communication is no better. On my previous flip phone, texting was an arthritic endeavor. The tactile button-pressing required a modicum of mental focus and helped prevent a large swath of mistakes. On my new iPhone, the motion is so easy, so swift, and so autocorrected that I have to follow up each text with at least one or two *(asterisk texts) to explain myself.

Even Words With Friends — an electronic game solely designed to encourage proper, creative spelling — is now an orthographic wasteland. Rather than thinking critically about the set of seven letters before me, I often simply throw out a group of consonants and vowels, convinced that they will form some unknown, Scrabble-approved word from ancient Aramaic.  Or I spell a word like “at.”

It’s wrong to blame frenetic 21st century life for this problem. The question is not “Am I really that busy?”, but rather “Am I really that lazy?” Imagine if Thomas Jefferson had argued for man’s “unalienable tights,” or if the Duke of Wellington wrote a letter instructing his generals to “evade” Waterloo rather than “invade.”  One certainly could forgive these slight errors, given other life-threatening priorities at the time — not to mention the lack of impermanent ink.

But they didn’t make such errors. On the contrary, they did what our generation and every generation before us used to have to do in school spelling bees, pen pal exchanges, and testing blue books. They focused, took their time, utilized their minds and spelled (or at least did their best to spell) correctly – with no software system doing the thinking for them.

Today, if Herr Gutenberg asked me in person whether the word “misspelling” had one “s” or two, I would politely shake his hand, hand him the fire iron, and say, “Honestly, Sir — I can’t remember.”

“Let me Google it.”

This column first ran August 7, 2012.

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

"Pizza"

&pizza at 1250 U Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.

"Pizza"

&pizza soon to open on U Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The newest installment of H &pizza, simply named &pizza  is almost ready to make it’s presence felt on U Street. Located at 1250 U Street NW, the lease for the new space was signed at the end of last year with the idea that it would open some time in mid-May.

That time has clearly come and gone but judging from the flyers cropping up all around the neighborhood, the opening is coming soon.

Simply named &pizza according to a piece in the Washington Business Journal last March, the new pizza place will be opening at the old Quiznos location just a few steps away from the U Street metro. There were plenty of renovations going on to get the location into shape but they have since come to completion. The poster campaign currently seems to be the primary method for getting the word out about the impending opening.

A New Pizza Contender

&pizza is about to become another contender amongst the many Italian and pizza places recently opening up along 14th Street. Right in the area is Matchbox, PiolaGhibellina, and that’s just to name a few of the newest restaurants (we can’t forget about classic stand-bys like Manny & Olga’s).

What sets &pizza apart from the rest of these locations, speaking geographically, is that it will be located up on U Street instead of 14th. So when you’re hanging out on U Street or getting out of a show at the 9:30, &pizza just might be the first place that you see. Not to mention that &pizza is meant to be quick and easy, perfect for when it’s late, you’re hungry, but you also want to get home.

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 8:00 am 1 Comment

"gun robbery"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

DC Police reported an assault with intent to rob around 7:30 pm, Tuesday, May 28, at Vermont Avenue and V Street NW. The lookout is for one man; details are below.

From the Police Alert: “Assault w/ intent to Rob. UNIT 3061 CONFIRMED A Assault w/ intent to rob at Vermont & V St NW. LOF a B/M, 6′ all dark clothing. DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20130257166. Sent on: 05/28 19:50.

From the DC Police Twitter feed: “Assault w/ intent to rob at Vermont & V St NW. LOF a B/M, 6′ all dark clothing. 6972.”

Police Alerts, More Information

  • You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts  by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts.
  • You can follow the DC Police on Twitter @DCPoliceDept.
  • You can get more information about crime in the Borderstan area through the MPD listservs for the Second and Third Districts on Yahoo! Groups.

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by Borderstan.com May 29, 2013 at 6:00 am 0

"Graffiti"

Graffiti is by thisisbossi from the Borderstan Flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, Graffiti is by thisisbossi. The photo was taken May 12.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from DC’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

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by Borderstan.com May 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

"United"

Sweet Daddy Grace, founder of the United House of Prayer Parade lived at 11 Logan Circle NW. Click on the image for more photos of Saturday’s parade. (Luis Gomez Photos)

See more photos from Saturday’s UHOP Parade as it made its way around Logan Circle.

On Saturday, we were lucky to enjoy what has become a neighborhood tradition during Memorial Day weekend — the annual United House of Prayer for All People, always on the Saturday before Memorial Day. Starting from UHOP’s main location at 6th and M Streets NW, the parade of marchers and marching bands wound its way through the Shaw and Logan Circle neighborhoods.

The parade reached Logan Circle around noon, and the location has become a gathering spot for residents in the neighborhood to watch the parade. At  the Circle many neighbors gathered with lawn chairs while kids played and dogs sat beneath the shade trees. The parade took almost two hours to go around Logan Circle, while the bands and congregants marched their way back to UHOP.

“Sweet Daddy” Grace (photo above), the founder of the denomination lived at 11 Logan Circle NW and the church still owns the house; Cultural Tourism DC has a good write up about Grace and the history of the house.

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by Borderstan.com May 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

"Cafe"

M Bar and Cafe, possible opening June 15. (Luis Gomez Photos)

M Cafe and Bar, a long-awaited 90-seat Italian restaurant at 14th and R Streets, may have to open without outdoor seating. It will be located on the ground floor of the newly constructed apartment building The Aston (1634 14th Street).

Representatives from the restaurant, failed to show up for a scheduled hearing requesting ANC approval on its public space permit at the May 22 ANC 2F Community Development Committee meeting.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend the full ANC vote at its next meeting to oppose the application. The reason: there will be no community or ANC review of the sidewalk seating plans before it comes before DC authorities for approval next month.

M Cafe and Bar and Bar di Bari both located at the corner of 14th and R Streets are aiming for a June 15 opening. Bar di Bari will be located on the northwest corner in The Northern Exchange, a former Verizon building.

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by Borderstan.com May 28, 2013 at 11:30 am 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.

"Maddy"

Maddy’s Taproom at 13th and L Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Maddy’s Taproom, recently anointed one of the best brunch locations in Borderstan, has a surprise in store for old and new patrons. Likely beginning this week, Maddy’s will officially be opening up the first phase of a new outdoor seating area. On the L Street side of this corner bar, there will be brand new tables and chairs to accommodate 50 customers.

After a month or two, there are plans to set out seating for another 45 customers on the 13th Street side of the establishment. With these two areas in place, Maddy’s will double the seating capacity and get you out into the sunlight while enjoying some of the 40 beers on tap and the “Texican” food it has become known for.

What To Expect Outside

The new outdoor areas will be operating from 11 am until midnight, seven days a week. You’ll still be able to order food off the same menu, enjoy the same brunch and get the same happy hour prices that you already do inside. Maybe most importantly though, the new outdoor areas will be dog friendly, complete with water bowls for your thirsty canine friends.

To keep things even more interesting, Maddy’s will be featuring special events in the new outdoor areas, like scotch and cigar nights. There is no set date yet for when these events will begin, but expect to hear about the first one sometime in the near future.

Maddy’s In Borderstan

Maddy’s Taproom, located at 1100 13th Street NW, opened this past October as an offshoot of Maddy’s Bar and Grill in Dupont Circle. Since then, it has become one of the most popular places to head to for a beer at the southern end of Borderstan. Staked out amongst Au Bon Pain, Dominos Pizza and Quiznos, Maddy’s is one of only a handful of places in this corporate area conducive to good post-work happy hours as well as settling in and getting to know the friendly and helpful bartenders.

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by Borderstan.com May 28, 2013 at 10:00 am 5 Comments

"Development"

South side of the 1400 block of Church Street NW, just east of 15th Street. The Metropole is visible at the far right. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.

At the May 22 meeting, The ANC 2F Community Development Committee heard a presentation from Brook Rose Development on the construction of a multi-story apartment building on the site of 1456, 1458 and 1460 Church Street NW. The developer characterized the present structures on this site as “three small row houses in disrepair”.

Brook Rose Development will request relief from the obligation to supply parking spaces for the residents. The new apartment buildings, as planned, will contain 37 rental units. The size of each unit will be 250 to 400 square feet, and will rent for $1800 to $2000 per month.

UrbanTurf has more details, including artist renderings of what the building would look like. The three Church Street buildings remain, with the developer adding construction behind them.

Normally, DC regulations would require a building with this many units to contain at least 18 parking spaces. Due to space constraints and the long narrow footprint of the site, there is only room for two. If these two spaces were used, it would impede trash collection for the building, the developers said.

After consultations with the DC Office of Planning, the developers were seeking ANC endorsement on a zoning adjustment for the parking space requirement.

“It is physically impossible to put parking on this site,” one of the developers said.

Not only would there be no off-street parking, but tenants would also not have the right to residential parking permits. Applying for one would be cause for termination of the lease agreement. The developers pledged to periodically check for compliance with DC’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They also said it is possible to register a building with DMW so that residents will not be able to get residential parking permits.

“The appeal is to a carless urban dweller,” a developer said.

The CDC voted to recommend to the full ANC to support Brook Rose Development’s application before DC’s Board of Zoning Adjustment for relief from the parking-space requirement.

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