ANC 1B Urges Zoning Office to Revisit 10th and V Development Plan

by Tim Regan June 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm 9 Comments

Renderings of the short-term family housing unit planned for 10th and V streets NW

Community leaders with the ANC that covers parts of U Street, Shaw, Columbia Heights and LeDroit Park are urging the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) to take a second look at a developer’s plan to build on a vacant lot at 10th and V streets NW.

The commission last night voted on a resolution to oppose a request from the project’s developer, Sorg Arhcitects, to extend several zoning variances the BZA first approved for a different project at the site in 2014.

According to the ANC, the current (and somewhat controversial) plan to build a transitional housing shelter on the site differs too much from the mixed-use development that Sorg proposed for the site years ago, and thus, needs to be examined as a separate project.

“This is a new use for this land. It needs to be treated in that way,” Commissioner Ellen Sullivan said. “As we have said from the beginning, this commission is supportive of having a family homeless shelter in this location… but we want it to be reviewed properly. We are going to have this as part of our community for decades.”

Furthermore, the ANC argues that Sorg isn’t eligible for the variance extension for a long list of reasons.

Commissioner Robb Hudson told Borderstan today that the reason for the commission’s opposition is to “make sure what is built is not something that’s cobbled together from other plans that don’t fit the new use.”

“These families don’t deserve half measures,” Hudson added.

The ANC vowed in its resolution to hold many more public meetings and to treat the forthcoming shelter “like any other construction project.”

  • a

    What a joke… the city is paying $7M+ for land for this when publicly available (READ FREE) land can be had to save us all money.

    • Popeye

      (1) There is no such thing as “free” land, even if the city already owns it. Whatever you use it for today precludes it from being used for some other need as the city continues to grow…and then you have to spend money for that need.

      (2) Specifically, what city-owned land do you have in mind in Ward 1 (that is also close to schools and mass transit – something these families will need)? Or do you just think they shouldn’t be in Ward 1 at all?

      I’ll be blunt. I think you are grabbing at straws looking for any reason to not have to live near the homeless families who would be housed there.

      • jeff

        There is already a ton of subsidized housing in this area. So, your accusation is already off.

        • Popeye

          The proposed shelter is not “subsidized housing.” It is to be transitional housing for homeless families to get them back on their feet. Totally different.

  • Spike73

    Several parcels were presented to Brianne however she is so under Sorg and Bowser’s skirts that they were DOA. There is no representation for Ward one residents and we should fight against this inappropriate use and half-baked proposal being used to hide a payoff. The council has already revised it’s budget language to accommodate Sorg further.

    Apparently public land for public shelters only applies in other wards, an 8 Ward strategy really isn’t, and zoning laws are not supposed to apply, The way the city is rewarding an irresponsible property owner and the way Nadeau and her staff want an award for getting Sorg to pay her delinquent taxes when she gets paid off is revolting.

    The neighborhood needs to fight for its interests and if the BZA truly is independent the city has a lot of work to do, if the site is even viable at all.

    • Popeye

      “The neighborhood needs to fight for its interests…”

      I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 14 years. I AM fighting for our “interests” – which include giving a hand up to homeless FAMILIES to help them transition back to stable situations. One way or another we’ll pay – in the effects of crime, law enforcement, and prisons…or in a more humane way by helping them improve their lives.

      You don’t want to live near the people who will be there and are simply using baseless accusations of “payoffs” because you can’t say what you really believe.

      • Spike73

        I have lived in the neighborhood for 15 years (August 2001) and I am fighting for upholding zoning laws, my property value, and the immediate physical safety of my family.
        Spare me your accusations about my intent, as I and thousands of others in the city have had to endure smears from supporters like yourself who would have given away these properties for massive profits to unseemly people under any terms (see your other posts on this topic prior to the council rebuking Bowser in the budget process).

        The argument that public land for public shelters is what the council was advancing in its rebuke of Bowser and was able to identify parcels throughout the city with the exception of Suman Sorg’s parcel in Ward 1. The V St. property somehow was exempted and now will either get purchased at a price she is ok with, or at least 2 million more than she was willing to sell it for the last time it was on the market. She has been a bad actor to the community, dodging taxes by pretending to be fixing the property (replacing a window once a year, that kind of thing).

        There have been at least 3 identified public parcels that can be used in Ward 1, why wouldn’t Brianne Nadeau support their use? Why has the language in the budget been revised to favor Sorg? Why will the Mayor and City Council agree to do crazy cartwheels to make THIS property work, changing the design several times already to comply with standards that seem to be made up on the fly and changed just as quickly, as long as THIS piece of land for this owner must get used.

        There has never been any opposition to closing DC General, the (kind of) 8 ward strategy, or providing services to the homeless. These FAMILIES can get the services they need in one of the several recently closed schools, (you know like the one right next door to this property) or several other properties that don’t require running over the property rights of residents in a decision making process that has been closed from the beginning.
        The goals of the shelter are noble enough, the process of attaining them has been indefensible and should be opposed. The goal can be met without taking care of Sorg, she can do fine without the government’s help, I think the more important question in the relationship is who needs who more in that part of the city.

  • SH H

    I have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for my property here and the arrogant activist mayor doesn’t care about my investment. This shelter should not be built in this neighborhood. Crime is high and to bring it down similar discounted housing in the area needs to be gone, we don’t need any more of those in our area. This mayor has done nothing good for the city. She can’t be a mayor.

  • Charlie

    But every ward needs more homeless! And every council member has to pay off someone !


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