January 8, 2009

St. Elizabeths Master Plan
(File Number MP211)

The National Capital Planning Commission approved a proposal by the General Services Administration (GSA) for a final master plan for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters at St. Elizabeths, located in Southeast Washington, D.C. The Commission approved the West Campus portion of the final master plan and commented favorably on the Transportation Improvements and the East Campus portion of the plan.

The master plan will guide redevelopment of the 176-acre West Campus and a portion of the 280-acre East Campus and provide a secure federal site for executive leadership of the 22 agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security.

The master plan seeks to maintain the historic character of the West Campus, preserve the natural context of the site to the extent possible, and promote sustainable development by achieving a Silver LEED rating. It includes the reuse of many of the existing buildings, and locates new development to respect the historic resources on the site.

NCPC’s approval is contingent upon several factors including the construction by GSA of a west access road through the Shepherd Parkway; submission to NCPC by GSA of an Amendment to the Final Master Plan for Interchange/Access Road Improvements; and submission to NCPC by GSA of an Amendment to the Final Master Plan for the East Campus portion.

When completed, the DHS headquarters will include approximately 4.5 million gross square feet of office space plus 1.5 million gross square feet of parking. Approximately 14,000 DHS employees will ultimately be housed at St. Elizabeths, beginning with the United States Coast Guard. The project is expected to be implemented in three phases over an eight year period.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Potomac Park Levee
(File Number 6885)

The Commission commented favorably on a design concept for improvements to the Potomac Park levee located on the National Mall near the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, NW. The plan addresses new requirements by FEMA that a more reliable and effective means of flood protection be implemented on the site.

The concept design calls for construction of a new section of the existing levee system across 17th Street, NW that will utilize concrete and stone retaining walls combined with a post and panel flood wall. The first phase will include the post and panel system, concrete walls, and a vault for storage of the post and panel system when it is not in use. The second phase will construct permanent earthwork, surface treatments, and landscaping. This first phase of improvements is required by FEMA to be in place by November 2009.

In providing its comments to the applicant, the Commission recommended that the Park Service develop a landscape plan that minimizes encroachment on the World War II Memorial and respects the intent of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 1976 Constitution Gardens plan and the Olin Partnership’s 2003 plan for the Washington Monument grounds.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Fort Dupont Park Land Transfer
(File Number 6887)

The Commission voted to postpone until March a proposal by the National Park Service to transfer the jurisdiction of approximately 15 acres of Fort Dupont Park in Southeast Washington, DC to the District of Columbia. The District proposes to use the land to build a youth baseball academy and to expand the existing Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Following a presentation by staff and subsequent testimony from members of the public, National Park Service and District officials noted that it would be necessary to renegotiate some of the terms of the land transfer agreement. Therefore, the Commission voted to postpone action on the project in order to allow the National Park Service and the District of Columbia time to resolve all outstanding matters and resubmit a revised agreement.

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.