February 1, 2007

John Marshall Memorial Park Rehabilitation
(File Number 6725)

The Commission commented favorably on the design concept for John Marshall Memorial Park, located between Pennsylvania Avenue and C Street, NW, which honors Marshall, the longest-serving chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1801-1835). The National Park Service submitted plans on behalf of the John Marshall Park Foundation to significantly modify and rehabilitate the park, which was originally authorized by Congress in 1882 and was created in 1981 by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation.

The concept design proposal would:
• Improve the existing landscape by enhancing the park’s north and south plazas and changing the central rectangular lawn into an ellipse.
• Replace the base of the current statue of Judge Marshall with a new base and move the statue to the lower plaza.
• Rehabilitate the north plaza’s fountains and add new tables and chairs.
• Construct four “interpretive rooms” with etched glass walls and interpretive exhibits around the ellipse.
• Place a new Constitutional pillar at the north side of the elliptical plaza.
• Introduce new benches and a diagonal-pattern paving aligned with Pennsylvania Avenue in the south plaza.
• Add trees and other plantings, lighting, signs, granite paving, stairs, ramps, and walkways.
The Commission recommended that the applicant consider the following in preparing the preliminary site plans:
• Design fountains for year-round use or adjust their appearance when not in use.
• Take security into consideration when selecting trees and other plantings for the site.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Georgetown Waterfront Park – Wisconsin Avenue Terminus
(File Number 6383)

The Commission approved revised preliminary site and building plans for the Georgetown Waterfront Park’s Wisconsin Avenue Terminus. This portion consists of 2.3 acres that will function as the park’s main entry location for its recreational area.

The portion of the park at the Wisconsin Avenue Terminus consists of an interactive water feature, open lawn areas allowing for non-athletic recreation, a pergola with seating underneath, a plaza space at the foot of Wisconsin Avenue, steps along the riverfront providing direct access to the water, and a waterfront promenade. The Crescent Bike Trail will pass through the park at its boundary near K Street.

In July 2005, the Commission approved preliminary site development plans for the terminus with several exceptions, which the National Park Service (NPS) responded to in this revised submission. The NPS altered the pergola design, including its materials, geometry, and height. The seating under the pergola will be comprised of granite, arranged in curving shapes to provide a variety of viewing orientations. The granite for the pergola seating will match that used in the fountain and river overlooks, providing for a consistent look. The sidewalk’s north extension is slightly larger than originally proposed, making a pedestrian crossing more prominent. The revised design now calls for a single-lamp Washington Globe—rather than a multi-lamp fixture—to line the park perimeter along K Street and 31st Street.

The entire Georgetown Waterfront Park will encompass 10 acres along the Potomac River and extend from 31st to 34th Streets, NW.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital: District Elements
(File Number CP19)

The Commission commended the District for preparing a dynamic and functional Comprehensive Plan that will serve the needs of all the District’s citizens and stakeholders and ensure that Washington, D.C. remains one of the world’s great cities.

The Commission found that the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital: District Elements will not have a negative impact on the interests or functions of the federal establishment in the National Capital with the following exceptions:
• The final sentence of Policy LU-3.3.1, Chancery Encroachment in Low Density Areas, page 1-70, Land Use Element has a negative impact on the interests or functions of the federal establishment.
• The final sentence of Action LU-3.3-A, Modifications to the Diplomatic Overlay Zone, page 1-70, Land Use Element has a negative impact on the interests or functions of the federal establishment.
• The word “chanceries” in Policy H-2.2.1, Housing Conversion, page 1-126, Housing Element has a negative impact on the interests or functions of the federal establishment.
• The term “foreign missions” in Policy NNW-1.1.7, Loss of Housing, page 2-155, Near Northwest Area Element has a negative impact on the interests or functions of the federal establishment.
• Paragraph 2215.2, Page 2-189, has a negative impact on the interests or functions of the federal establishment.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Anacostia Streetcar Initial Line Segment
(File Number 6686)

The Commission approved final site and building plans for the Anacostia Streetcar Initial Line Segment. This four-stop 1.3 mile streetcar line will run south from the Anacostia Metro Station to South Capitol Street near Bolling Air Force Base. The project, submitted by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), will function as a demonstration line for a future streetcar network in the District.

The Commission encouraged DDOT to investigate alternative technologies for expansion of the streetcar line that do not require overhead wires, noting that overhead wires for streetcars are prohibited by law in the historic L’Enfant city and Georgetown.

The Commission also requested that DDOT return to the Commission for review of elements planned for a city-wide streetcar system including pylons, signs, and passenger shelters.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


H Street NE: Street, Sidewalk, and Streetcar Rail Construction
(File Number 6724)

The Commission approved preliminary and final site and building plans for street and sidewalk reconstruction along H Street, NE, between 3rd and 14th Streets. A part of the "Great Streets" program, DDOT will rebuild the street and sidewalks along H Street, NE; improve lighting, and add new trees and other amenities.

The Commission commended the District for implementing the Great Streets program, which will improve public spaces, enhance accessibility, and provide pedestrian amenities.

To save on construction costs and minimize disruptions on the street, the reconstruction project will include the installation of tracks for a future streetcar line, which is expected to start running within the next five years.

The Commission encouraged DDOT to investigate alternative technologies for expansion of the streetcar line that do not require overhead wires, noting that overhead wires for streetcars are prohibited by law in the historic L’Enfant city and Georgetown.

The Commission also requested that DDOT bring before the Commission for review any elements planned for a city-wide streetcar system including pylons, signs, and passenger shelters.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.