Friday, December 08, 2006

Preview of Cleveland Park Giant

A recent contribution to the Cleveland Park Listserv include a brief description of the Stop and Shop proposal for the Wisconsin Avenue Giant at Newark Street.

According to ANC 3C07 elect Richard Rothblum,

One of the significant changes in the Giant plan is an increase in residential units and in the number of commercial and residential levels. According to the web site, the plan last spring called for 11 townhouses on Idaho Avenue, and 34 residential units on two upper floors on the "North Parcel" now occupied by the Giant Pharmacy and Sullivan's Toy Store, among others.

The preview that Giant showed to Nancy MacWood, Sheila Hogan and me on November 13 had the North Parcel building increasing from three to five stories. The number of residential units increased from 34 residential units on two levels to 124 units on four levels - five stories in all, including the ground level commercial space. My impression was that there would be additional residential units and an additional level built on the South Parcel as well.

The reason given for the increase in residential and commercial density and height was that it would provide for a certain but undetermined amount of subsidized "workforce housing" to be included in the residential part. For my part, I am skeptical about this. Giant is asking to develop their land to a far greater degree than would be permitted as a matter of right. They are asking for permission to do this based on a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

It is my understanding that the purpose of a PUD is to allow a developer to exceed certain zoning restrictions in cases where it can be shown that the overall effect benefits the community more than holding the developer to what he would have been entitled to as a matter of right. Offhand, I don't see the benefit of increasing the residential density of our neighborhood.
Since I will be representing ANC 3C07 starting in January, I would be interested in hearing the views of other residents on this subject. I am sensitive to the feeling of many of us that we just want the arguing to stop and to get on with the project, and I will represent the views of the majority. I should point out, though, that it is Giant that is changing the plans at the eleventh hour, and that they are the ones that created the reprehensible situation of the abandoned shops on Wisconsin Avenue.
Richard Stone Rothblum.

No comments: