May 1, 2008

District of Columbia Consolidated Forensic Laboratory
(File Number 6840)

The Commission approved preliminary and final site and building plans for a consolidated forensic laboratory at 401 E Street in Southwest. The facility will accommodate the Metropolitan Police Department Forensic Laboratory, the Public Health Lab, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Government of the District of Columbia.

Submitted by the District of Columbia Office of Property Management, the proposed plans for the laboratory will provide modern facilities and expanded functions for its tenant agencies. The building incorporates environmental sustainability features including a vegetated roof, a water reclamation system, systems and materials to provide a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency, and low flow water fixtures. It is being designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) silver certification.

The building is expected to open in 2011.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Consolidated Planned Unit Development, 2201 M Street, NW
(File Number ZC 07-21)

The Commission reviewed and commented on a proposed action by the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia to approve a Planned Unit Development (PUD) located at 2201 M Street in the West End of Northwest Washington, DC. The plans include an 11-story hotel with 182 rooms, a spa, a restaurant, retail, and underground parking. The building features a contemporary design, incorporates several environmentally progressive systems and features, and is expected to achieve the LEED silver certification.

The project site is currently occupied by the vacant Nigerian Embassy and Chancery. The site is bounded by M Street, N Street, 22nd and 23rd Streets. The proposal is for approximately 122,235 square feet of gross floor area with a building height of 110 feet plus rooftop penthouses, some of which are not set back from the building’s exterior walls.

The Commission recognized and commended the project’s focus on environmental sustainability, but advised the Zoning Commission that the proposal would be adverse to the federal interest because it does not conform to the Height of Buildings Act of 1910. As proposed, the rooftop penthouses exceed the allowable building height and are not set back from all the exterior walls as required by the Act.

In its action today, the Commission recommended that the applicant be required to modify the project design to set back the penthouses from all exterior walls of the building a distance equal to their height above the adjacent roof as required by the Height of Buildings Act.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Text Amendment to the Zoning Regulations of the District of Columbia to Permit Temporary Surface parking Lots In the Capitol Gateway Overlay District
(File Number ZC 07-08A)

The Commission provided comments on a proposed zoning text amendment to allow for temporary surface parking lots to serve the Washington Nationals Ballpark. Submitted by the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia, the proposed action would approve temporary surface parking lots to accommodate overflow parking for the Ballpark while permanent below-grade parking is created in surrounding developments. The proposed parking areas are located in the Capitol Gateway Overlay district, adjacent to the Anacostia River and along the South Capital Street Corridor.

As proposed, these temporary spaces will help fulfill a need for 3,775 off-site spaces identified in the D.C Major League Baseball Park Transportation Management Plan. These spaces are not part of the 1,225 spaces the District of Columbia government is required to provide for the Ballpark; those spaces have been accommodated in parking structures adjacent to the structure.

In its review, the Commission found no adverse affect to the federal interest based on the District of Columbia’s commitment to require storm water management measures for the permitting of the temporary parking lots and if:

• The Zoning Regulations be amended to include “temporary surface parking lots” to maintain the 75-foot setback along the Anacostia Waterfront.

• The final order for the text amendment clarifies that the existence of the parking lots beyond the April 1, 2013 time limit is not subject to Board of Zoning Adjustment Special Exception review.

• The Zoning Regulations require that any request to the Board of Zoning Adjustment for exception to the 3,775 parking space cap be accompanied by documentation from the relevant District of Columbia permitting agencies that the project design conforms to the environmental design standards adopted by the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation as required by the National Capital Revitalization Corporation and Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Reorganization Act of 2008.

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.