Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zoning Commission Issues Giant Order

The District of Columbia Zoning Commission issued its order for the Giant on Wisconsin Avenue (search Notice ID #165208). The delay was due in part to Giant seeking clarification on some ambiguous conditions, and also in part by a brief filed by opponents of the development.

Once the order is published in the DC Register, opponents will have a short window to file another appeal. Time will tell how soon the ground breaking will take place.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheh to Cleveland Park: Build a Garage

A contributor comments on a Northwest Current article (PDF) in the Greater Greater Washington blog regarding the trial balloon Councilmember Mary Cheh has floated regarding a new municipal parking garage in Cleveland Park.

Notwithstanding the budgetary implications or issues regarding placement, this proposal raises several issues. Parking has long been a concern for Cleveland Park merchants, particularly given the recent spat of vacancies. However, one has to better analyze the problems to arrive at appropriate solutions.

On the issue of vacancies, many neighborhood activists would suggest that this was a result of broader economic issues surrounding national chains (Blockbuster, 7-11) while others blame the lack of parking. The Commercial Zoning Overlay, which limits to 25% certain food establishments, is blamed for many of the problems. Either way, in the short term, it appears that vacancy rates are not an issue in this upscale neighborhood.

Instead, the problem is the high demand for a limited number of parking spaces, by residents, retail employees and commuters. The RPP zone system was implemented, in part, to address the issue of Maryland Commuters parking for free on residential streets during the workday. Now, however, commuters with legal zone stickers are taking those precious spots.

It seems as if a hybrid parking system which encourages the use of meters and a sub-zone system should be piloted in Cleveland Park. Certainly the market based system employed in the ballpark district of Southeast and Southwest could be tried as well.

Either way, the idea of spending millions of dollars for a parking structure in one of the most transit-rich communities in the region is absurd and certainly not an environmentally responsible solution normally supported by Councilmember Cheh.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tenleytown Insurrection

Greater Greater Washington covers the great Tenleytown Snow insurrection of 2010.

Aimed at shoveling scofflaws, the goal is to make passage for pedestrians easier while also shaming property owners into doing the right thing, as well as complying with the law.

Stay tuned, as current weather conditions may postpone the anticipated 4:00 meeting time at the Tenleytown Metro station.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Sustainable Forest Hills Needs Your Help

The Forest Hills area has been working with the DC Office of Planning on a Neighborhood Sustainability Indicators Study. The program needs input per the information below:

Voting is your opportunity shape the direction of this community-driven process and to help us form working groups to take action on things like energy efficiency, water quality, biking, and many other areas.

Renters, homeowners, business owners, students, and workers of the study area (see map on our website) are all invited to vote

All voting closes Sunday, February 14th, so please vote now and spread the word!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Community Appears to Favor Mixed Use at Safeway

The Tsarchitect has revealed a poll circulated to discern the sentiment of the community where the Tenleytown Safeway is concerned. Sponsored by the Alliance for Rational Development, the poll is purportedly meant to provide a snapshot of support for the most recent plan released by the food store.

One cannot imagine that the current results showing a 68% response in favor of a mixed-use development (despite the obvious biases) is what the ARD had in mind when it created this survey.

As noted in the Tsarchitect blog:

ARD doesn’t represent the silent majority, and they don’t even represent a significant minority. The secretive organization is nothing but sound and fury crippled by ineptitude and a lack of web savvy.