Resolution Regarding Proposed changes to the Future Land Use
Map for the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home
- The District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP) undertook an update of the 2006 Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) in 2016 and is seeking feedback from Advisory Neighborhood Commissions about its proposed changes before sending a final proposal to the DC Council to be voted on.
- The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) more than any other component of the Comp Plan guides future development and land use decisions in the District of Columbia as it aspirationally indicates what might be built on a particular lot rather than what is there today.
- As part of this process OP accepted amendments to the FLUM from any party interested in proposing an amendment however the deadline for proposing amendments from the general public has already passed however the ANC deadline has not.
- The Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt home (the Home) located at 5425 Western Avenue NW (lot 0009, Square 1663) is a non-profit senior care facility that has been at this location bounded by Western Avenue, 42nd Street and Military Road NW since 1941. It provides long-term senior care to low income District residents.
- The President of the Board of Directors of the Home (the Board), Matthew Frumin, a former ANC 3E Commissioner, presented at the ANC 3E December 2019 meeting and indicated that to secure the Home’s long term financial viability, the Board is considering allowing residential development on some portions of its land (and other changes to its building and service mix) but that the land is currently shown on the FLUM as for Institutional Uses (INT) which could preclude or at a minimum complicate any multifamily residential development on the land.
- Frumin indicated that the Home is asking that while the site retain its Institutional designation on the FLUM that the FLUM be amended to also call for low-density commercial and medium density residential.
- On January 10, 2020 Mr. Frumin and the Chief Executive Officer of the Home, Ward Orem, on behalf of the Home submitted a comment to OP requesting that FLUM designation be amended to add low-density commercial and medium density residential.
- Changes to the FLUM must be approved by the DC Council and if this proposed change is not incorporated into the current Comp Plan update the Home is concerned that before it could proceed to undertake a multifamily development on the site, it could need to seek such a change in another piece of legislation which could be costly and time consuming.
- ANC 3E believes the Home fills a critical need in both the neighborhood and the city by providing badly needed affordable long-term care.
- ANC 3E also believes the District of Columbia should be building additional housing units, including in Ward 3 and in ANC 3E, and believes the Home’s site within a block of the Friendship Heights Metro is an appropriate site for additional residential density.
- ANC 3E however does have concerns about the viability of additional commercial square footage in a neighborhood that has a significant amount of unutilized retail space today, some of which has been vacant for some time.
- ANC 3E is also concerned that adding commercial uses on both 42nd Street and Military Road which currently have no commercial uses adjacent to the home could significantly change the nature of both streets.
- ANC 3E believes that medium density could be appropriate for portions of the Home particularly along Western Avenue and that medium density would enable the Home to add more housing units while potentially preserving more of the open green space currently on the site. The ANC is also concerned that changing the FLUM to medium density would reduce the ability of the neighbors and the ANC to negotiate a sight plan and massing through a future PUD that best transitions between a new higher density multi-unit building and the existing single family homes that the home borders on.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, ANC 3E proposes that OP adds an amendment to FLUM adding a designation the site at 5425 Western Avenue NW to allow for Moderate Density Residential.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, ANC 3E supports a change to the FLUM for 5425 Western Avenue NW to allow low density commercial but only for offices within the footprint of the existing building.
ANC 3E approved this resolution at its meeting on February 13, 2020, which was properly noticed and at which a quorum was present. The resolution was approved unanimously by a vote of 0-0-0. Commissioners Jonathan Bender, Greg Ehrhardt, Amy Hall, Jonathan McHugh and Tom Quinn were present.
By Jonathan Bender, Chairperson