November 2, 2006

National Capital Region Rail Pilot Project
(File Number 6712)

The Commission approved preliminary and final site and building plans for the National Capital Region Rail Pilot Project, which will use monitoring technology to establish a security perimeter for the 8.1 mile section of the CSX rail line that runs through Washington, D.C., through the monumental core and near Capitol Hill.

With its approval, the Commission requested that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security remove all equipment, wires, and support poles associated with the project when the project is no longer needed or becomes obsolete. In addition, the commission stressed that diligent and continued maintenance and clean-up of the right-of-way is recommended to assist security activities.

The Commission also encouraged the evaluation of permanent solutions to address the risks associated with hazardous materials being transported through the nation’s capital. This should specifically include the possibility of rerouting the freight rail service, which NCPC is currently examining through its Railroad Realignment Feasibility Study.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

United States Institute of Peace Headquarters and Public Education Center
(File Number 6669)

The Commission approved preliminary site and building plans for the U.S. Institute of Peace Headquarters (USIP) and Public Education Center, located at 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue, NW.

With its approval of the preliminary plans, the Commission emphasized that the lighting treatment and luminance level of the Institute’s new headquarters must defer to the Lincoln Memorial. The Commission requires the U.S. Institute of Peace to provide the following when it submits its final project design to NCPC for approval:
• Complete site grading plans indicating, with grading contours, all ground elevations within the site and adjacent to the new building.
• Complete building design and fenestration details of the parking attendant booth at the USIP parking garage, including all gate apparatus, flagpoles and equipment.
• Samples of all final project colors and materials for the building and site.
• Complete labeled and detailed site landscape planting plans. The plans shall include a planting design that establishes a vegetation buffer or screen at the west and southwest areas adjacent to the exterior building loading dock, as a component of the project’s Phase 1 construction. This planting must effectively screen this area with evergreen trees for all-season visual screening.
• A completed Transportation Management Plan addressing traffic management for conference and event traffic at the USIP at relevant times within an anticipated year-long USIP activities schedule. This analysis should evaluate both daytime and nighttime events and identify traffic management strategies that will be the full responsibility of the USIP. The Plan must indicate how traffic control signals are coordinated with the project vehicle entrance drive.
• A proposed schedule for onsite testing and review during the construction period of the project of project lighting luminance limits for the NCPC Executive Director and a draft copy of the section of the building manual specifying the general format and content of the luminance limits for the project that will ultimately be provided to NCPC for record purposes.
• A fully completed and signed Memorandum of Agreement under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to be provided with the submission.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

White Oak Federal Research Center Southwest Parking Garage and Surface Parking Lot
(File Number 6704)

The Commission approved the final site and building plans for a parking garage and surface parking lot at the FDA White Oak Federal Research Center (WOFRC) in Montgomery County, Maryland, including landscape design and implementation once the garage construction is completed.

Due to construction timeline changes, the General Services Administration (GSA) also sought approval for a modification to its campus master plan, approved by NCPC in 2006. The Commission approved the modification to Phasing Plan IIIB of the 2006 master plan and transportation management plan. However, the Commission required that the applicant resubmit Phasing Plan IV of the master plan prior to submitting any future projects.

The Commission also reiterated the following requirements that accompanied the 2006 master plan approval:
• A parking ratio of 1:1.5 through 2011, limiting the number of employee parking spaces to 5,141, with no new parking spaces in the event of future expansion of population or buildings, except to serve the proposed on-site transit facility.
• GSA must submit an updated transportation management plan in 2008 reflecting current conditions at that time, in accordance with the policies of the Commission’s Transportation Element in the 2004 Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital.
The Commission recommended that the FDA and GSA continue to work with Montgomery County and relevant transit agencies to increase ground transportation from the campus to Metrorail stations, and consider establishing a cross-county public express bus service between Montgomery County and the White Oak site.

The Commission also reminded the applicant that it must submit its designs for perimeter security projects conforming to the master plan to the Commission for review.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Washington Canal Park
(File Number 6713)

The Commission commented favorably on the design concept for Washington Canal Park, which will occupy a three-block site in Southeast Washington that was part of the former Washington Canal that connected the Anacostia River to the National Mall and the Potomac River. The new park will be bound by Canal, 2nd, I, and M Streets, SE. The Commission requested that the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation provide the following information at the next stage of approval, the preliminary design stage:
• More fully developed streetscape designs at street edges and crosswalks.
• Simplified overall design with consideration of durable materials and elements that require less routine maintenance.
• Lighting design that has minimal visual impact on adjacent streets and mixed-use development.
• Details of water elements that demonstrates their character when water is turned off.
• Design details indicating accommodations for the physically disabled, including persons with visual or hearing impairments.
The Commission commended the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and its design team for integrating low-impact development strategies that will minimize the effects of storm water runoff from the site. Washington Canal Park will be the first new public park built under the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, a partnership between the federal and District governments to transform the Anacostia River. The Park will eventually link to a system of riverfront parks and trails, including parks at the new Department of Transportation headquarters and the Southeast Federal Center.

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.