RESOLUTION REGARDING APPLICATION FOR CURB CUT (DDOT TRACKING # 358869)
- An application has been filed with DDOT’s Public Space Committee (PSC) for permission to add a curb cut and driveway in public space for the property located at 4315 Fessenden Street NW, at which an existing bungalow is being replaced with a new three-story house. A full-size tennis court also occupies the lot and will remain.
- Current zoning law does not require properties such as the subject property, that do not adjoin an alley, to have off-street parking.
- Curb cuts are disfavored because, among other things, they expose pedestrians to moving traffic, and remove valuable right-of-way that could be used for trees, planting, or other desirable purposes.
- The applicant seeks to connect the curb cut to an underground garage via a 10-foot wide driveway at a steep grade.
- An existing gravel driveway directly adjoins the property. ANC 3E understands that residents at the property have shared access to the driveway for many years. An easement, implied or otherwise, may exist. Indeed, on the evening before the ANC meeting at which this resolution was passed, a car was parked behind the existing house on the property, having used the existing driveway to get there.
- The existing driveway and parking area permit drivers to turn their cars around before exiting onto Fessenden Street, on which there is often considerable traffic. The proposed driveway will apparently require drivers to back out onto Fessenden Street or back into the driveway, both potentially hazardous movements.
- Finally, ANC 3E Commissioners have frequently observed users of steep driveways leaving their car parked near the top of the driveways because it is more convenient than any alternative. This often impedes public space. Most such driveways are in alleys, but at least one such alley does front a street, as the proposed driveway would, and the residents of the property frequently block the sidewalk.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
- For all the reasons above, ANC 3E opposes the application. The property has successfully shared an adjoining driveway for many years. The ANC believes that the approach that best protects pedestrians, motorists, and the environment would be for the applicant to formalize the existing driveway-sharing arrangement, and notes again that an easement to use the driveway might exist.
The resolution passed by a vote of __-__-__ at a properly noticed meeting held on October 15, 2020, at which a quorum was present, with Commissioners Bender, Hall, McHugh, Quinn, in attendance.
by Jonathan Bender