October 19, 2021
Officers Present: Dan Schramm, Joe Miller, Leila Duman, René McCray, and Fred Jackson
1. Welcome – Dan Schramm
Dan welcomed everyone and reiterated that he will not be running for BNCA President next year. If anyone is interested in the position, he is happy to talk with them about it.
2. Treasurer’s Report – Joe Miller
Joe provided the October report in which the account had:
- $6,307.87 at the beginning of the month and $5,874.34 at the end of the month.
- $174.12 in paypal deposits and $607.65 in total expenses (expenses were split between web service migration and reimbursement for Back-To-School donation).
- $108 in GoFundMe funds remain.
Dan noted that the web migration process was discussed last meeting and that the Board authorized the improvements to manage our membership signups and database more effectively. He also noted that BNCA is looking to spend down the remaining GoFundMe funds over the holidays and has room in the budget for some additional gift making as well. The Board will gladly accept ideas about how best to support the community if anyone wishes to share them.
The Treasurer’s report was accepted with no objections.
3. Reed Street Redevelopment – Dan Gordon et al. (Hanover)
Dan introduced the guests from Hanover, the developer in charge of this project, and provided background for the project which is the development of a collection of parcels along Reed St. in SW Brookland (ANC5B04). BNCA has been aware of the Reed St. development project and has discussed it with the owner in the context of the DC comprehensive plan, achieving the density designation on the future land use map that the neighborhood had hoped for. This will be pursued as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). Hanover is contractually obligated to move through the community process by February and are looking for community input and ideas at this stage.
- Dan Gordon: development partner at Hanover
- Jake Denny: development associate at Hanover
- Brandon Robinson: Architect (Hord Copland Macht)
- Christine Schiker: land use counsel (Holland & Knight)
- Erwin Andreas: traffic consultant (Gorove Slade)
- Corneius Brown and Mike O’Hara: engineering partners (Bohler DC)
Dan Gordon explained that Hanover is a narrow organization that builds exclusively ground-up apartments, primarily mid-rise of the kind proposed for Reed St. They are their own landscape architect, interior architect, general contractor, and asset manager, though they do contract with outside resources. They have worked to develop projects in other DC neighborhoods and wish to be accessible to the community. The property for which Hanover is a Contract Sale Purchaser is along the Reed St. alley, between Franklin and the Brookland Press apartment building. They have met so far with the BNCA president, neighborhood representatives, ANC Commissioner Ra Amin, the DC Office of Planning, DOEE and DDOT, and Councilman McDuffie’s office.
Christine discussed the DC Comprehensive Plan which recommended for this area mixed use for high density residential and/or production distribution and repair (PDR). BNCA had recommended that the northeast side of the development be a moderate density, mixed use zone, the northwest portion be a medium density mixed use and the south side be high density. Ultimately, the Council set the northeast side as a moderate density zone and the south to northwest strip as a high density zone. All is mixed use residential/PDR.
The PUD is a detailed design review process that balances public benefits and project amenities with flexibility in zoning.
Dan Gordon discussed other recent developments in the area, including Rowan and Brookland Press, and emphasized the plan for this development is to stay nearer the medium-density zoning (~7 stories max, with tiering in the NE portion nearest existing residences). He also explained how the plans would involve the network of alleys within the parsels.
The south parcel west of Reed St. will be developed first as Phase I while the north parsel on both sides of Reed st will be developed together as Phase II. According to DDOT, Reed St. is an alley, not actually a street. Hanover is endeavoring to realign Reed St. to create a more direct pedestrian and vehicular connection between Franklin St. and Rhode Island Ave., including streetscaping and creating a 50 foot right of way.
Brandon provided more details about the architecture of each of the three proposed sites which are envisioned to ultimately hold ~700 residential units. Phase I (the south parsel on the west side of Reed St.) will be predominately residential, Phase II-B (the north parcel on the west side of Reed St.) will be the visual anchor, and Phase II-A (the parcel east of Reed St.) will step down in scale to meet the townhomes of the neighborhood and will include PDR-compliant “maker” space (e.g., coffee roaster or brewery would qualify). The facade designs reference the industrial and art deco character of the neighborhood architecture in this area and creating an inviting environment for the community.
Dan G. discussed ideas Hanover is considering for public benefits and amenities. Regarding affordable housing, the plan would include Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) at 60% MFI for 15% of gross floor area devoted to affordable housing (likely over 100 units). The realignment of Reed St. to be more direct and have PDR uses along with streetscaping are also benefits built into the plan. They are open to additional benefits and amenities.
Though the development is near the Metro, and thus lower parking ratios are typically encouraged, the development will likely be around .4 to .5 parking spaces per unit, meaning around 40% of residents will be able to pay to park on site. The parking will be out of sight and is not expected to impact parking of residents currently in the neighborhood. Residents will not be able to park on the street. Because the buildings all technically “front” on Franklin, they will have a Franklin St. address, and Franklin is not a residential parking permit (RPP) zone. Therefore, residents will be unable to obtain RPP permits.
Loading spaces and trash pickup will take place off of Reed St. and curbside space will be flexible for ride-shares etc. Stop signs will be included at Evarts and Reed St. and concrete pavers will likely be used in the alleys to the east and south, which will replace broken concrete, improve stormwater management, and should have a traffic calming effect.
Community discussion followed, covering:
- Concern over sunlight and solar production on existing roofs. Response: Protecting sunlight exposure for the yards of the homes on Evarts and 10th Sts was a key consideration in development and the shadows are expected to have a de minimis impact on immediate residents. A shadow study will be presented at a meeting on 28th which will provide more details.
- Concern over building higher on south parcel to accommodate more affordable housing. Response: The Phase I building is already at its maximum height of 7.5 stories and maxes out wood frame construction. It could therefore not be extended to an extra story to add more floor space for affordable housing.
- Affordable housing: In designing the plans with affordable housing in mind, the choice was between more units or more levels of affordability. The latter seemed preferable and so 15% of the units will be set at 60% of median family income. This is a welcome topic for future discussion.
- Parking concern: They are willing to include nearby signage to try to limit unlawful parking nearby. Residents will not be eligible for on-street parking.
Dan G. closed with an explanation that Hanover will submit an application for set-down (meaning the zoning commission has accepted the case initially) in February. Before then, they want to run a robust community process. It will likely take another year to get full approval so construction of Phase I might begin Spring 2023 with construction of Phase II following in Spring 2024. Slides will be available publicly after the next meeting on the 28th which will take place at 6:00 pm and Evarts and Reed St; this is intended primarily for immediate residents. They will also make a brief presentation at the ANC meeting on October 27.
4. Neighborhood Announcements
Marita Riddick, of Councilmember McDuffie’s Office noted that the office is meeting with the DDOT director regarding stoplights, stop signs, and road fixtures have not been addressed properly. They are also meeting with WAMATA regarding train concerns.
ANC commissioner Prita Pieraka noted there will be a meeting next Wednesday at 6:30 PM for ANC 5B. She has a survey that residents can fill out for the proposed 2022 ANC 5B budget. She has been informed that 13th and Hamlin will get a 4-way stop sign.
The next BNCA Zoom meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 9th at 7:00 PM ET.