August 2, 2007

Chancery of Morocco
(File Number 5253)

The Commission approved preliminary site and building plans for a new chancery for the Kingdom of Morocco in the International Center in Northwest Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of State submitted plans for a 47,700-square-foot, four-story building that will have three main components: a Chancery building, offices for the Ambassador, and a multipurpose hall that will connect the public and private areas.

In granting approval for the project, the Commission required the applicant to consider adding more windows and traditional Moroccan design elements to the proposed guard booth and to reduce its footprint and horizontal massing. The Commission also required the applicant to submit the following information with the final design submission for the Chancery:

• A fully developed tree planting plan that identifies: the existing and proposed tree canopy (including trees on the street and building site); trees that will be destroyed; and the size/type/location of proposed new trees
• A complete evaluation to ensure that vegetative cover will be sufficient to minimize the visual impact of the rear elevation from Reno Road on a year-round basis.
• Fully developed elevations identifying dimensions of the building as well as all related fences, walls, and site/landscaping elements.
• Complete material selection and samples of wall and window materials.
• Proposed exterior building and site lighting, including proposed fixtures, locations, and foot-candle levels.
• A summary of projected staffing and related parking accommodations.
In conclusion, the Commission commended the applicant and design team for consultation with NCPC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts that has resulted in a well developed and elegant design for the proposed Chancery of Morocco.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Washington Aqueduct
(File Number 6572)

The Commission approved final site and building plans for the Department of the Army’s Washington Aqueduct Water Treatment Residuals Management Building and related site improvements. With its approval, the Commission adopted language urging the Department of the Army to work with local transportation officials to mitigate the impact of trucks on the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Washington Aqueduct, a division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, operates the Dalecarlia and McMillan Water Treatment Plants in the District of Columbia. The plants provide drinking water to more than 1 million people in the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. The new building will process residual solid material.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation.


Informational Presentations

Flood Water Forum Update

Commissioners received a report from staff on the Flood Forum held from June 12 to 13, 2007. Representatives of three federal agencies—NCPC, the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) —and the District of Columbia gathered at the forum to investigate the periodic flooding of the monumental core, explore ways to reduce risk, and identify how to improve coordination when flooding occurs.

More than 100 people from federal and District agencies attended the talks, which focused on emergency response, stormwater management, and infrastructure challenges. Participants broke into working groups centered on these three topics and identified specific problems and developed a series of specific recommendations and solutions to address these needs.

Forum participants reached consensus on the need for a thorough hydrology and sewer engineering study that would include models of various storm scenarios to determine sewer performance and estimate the cost to design and construct identified new measures that are needed.

NCPC staff plans to distribute forum proceedings to participants and explore the possibility of establishing a steering committee among NCPC, GSA, DHS, and the District of Columbia government. The committee would offer direction to smaller working groups that are assigned the task of implementing forum recommendations. NCPC staff is conducting a study of flooding risks east of the Anacostia River is underway; results are expected soon.


Update on the Master Plan for the Armed Forces Retirement Home

The Chief Financial Officer of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) briefed the Commission on the status of the home’s draft master plan. The Commission was initially briefed ion the draft plan in March 2006 and provided guidance on 10 issues at that time. The AFRH gave a status reports on efforts to respond to all 10 items. For example, in response to the Commission’s request, the total square footage of planned development has been reduced from 9 million square feet to 6.5 million. In addition, building heights have been scaled down to be more compatible with neighboring structures. The AFRH also provided requested financial data, reported on the project’s overall progress, and indicated that it expects to submit its master plan for the 272-acre campus to the Commission for review in the fall.


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.