September 25, 2019, 6:30 pm
The meeting convened at about 6:38 PM. Commissioners Bender, McHugh and Quinn were in attendance. Commissioner Hall arrived later.
Discussion of and possible vote on application by and memorandum of understanding with Valor Development regarding redevelopment of former Superfresh site
Commissioner McHugh summarized the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Valor Development and the Commission. Items addressed in the MOU include but are not limited to: the inclusion of a full-service grocer; offering any remaining commercial space to existing tenants; setting aside 11% of the building for affordable housing vs the 10% that is required by law; obtain LEED Gold certification for the project; cleaning up and widening the alley behind the Spring Valley Shopping Center; installation and maintenance of landscaping around the development; installation of a HAWK signal across Massachusetts Ave; setting aside $15k to study the intersections of 49th/Yuma/Massachusetts and 48th/Warren/Fordham and to study breaking the median on Massachusetts Ave to alleviate traffic traveling on Yuma St and improve upon the triangle at 49th/Massachusetts/Yuma; reserving four parking spaces in the garage for car share vehicles; allocating space on Yuma St for ride hailing vehicles; installation of an “alternative vehicle sharing” station along the western side of 48th Street to help organize transit sharing options including scooters, bicycles, mopeds and car sharing; installation of a CABI station; setting aside $100k for connecting building residents to the Tenleytown Metro station; agreeing to not allow tenants of the larger apartment building to receive residential parking permits (RPPs); developing waste management and restaurant venting plans; restricting the hours the rooftop terrace can be used; restricting the building from signing a master lease with American University; the installation traffic calming measures at four intersections; developing a loading management plan; designating a delivery zone; providing at least one parking space for each unit; and limiting blasting during construction.
Attendees: asked for clarification on whether there were changes made to the plans since the last time they presented; asked if the three bays/courtyards along 48th street would be accessible to the public and if not, what public spaces would be improved as part of the amenity package; asked if there would be an outdoor eating area; asked for clarification about where the grocery store would be; raised safety problems with the AU bus stop; asked about the levers of enforcement; thought that many items in the MOU should not be considered amenities; wanted studies done for the HAWK signal across Massachusetts Ave; wanted a signed agreement with alternative ride sharing providers; was disappointed that a dedicated shuttle to the Metro is no longer in the agreement; wanted more details on the waste management and mitigation sections of the MOU; wanted more clarification on the uses of delivery/drop off areas and their effects on traffic flow; wanted clarification on the elimination of metered parking spaces on 48th St; asked if the Commission could request data on garage occupancy/use; had some suggestions for changing the language on public space improvements in the MOU; asked for clarification on which parks are included in the MOU and if the triangle park at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave/Yuma St/49th St falls under National Park Service, DDOT or DC Department of Parks and Recreation jurisdiction; and asked about hazardous material remediation during the demolition of the existing building.
Commissioners: asked about the number of electric car charging stations included in the parking garage; offered friendly amendments to the MOU including having the $100k available for transportation to the Metro be placed in escrow account before the certificate of occupancy is obtained and having the construction mitigation items apply to the razing of the existing building; stated that many of the items listed as amenities are benefits to the community, come at a cost to the developer and are positive additions to the community; thought this project was better when Windom Walk was included; regretted the loss of the shuttle to the Metro; thought that while a Harris Teeter-type grocery store would have made the project better, was happy that Mom’s was chosen over a Balducci’s; thought the public space portion of the agreement could have been better; thought having apartments over a grocery store could help minimize car trips; thought the project is better than what currently exists and offers more to the community than a townhouse development would have offered; and thought this isn’t a perfect project but it is reasonable and moderate in scale.
Commissioner McHugh moved and Commissioner Bender seconded a motion to approve the resolution in support of the development and the amended MOU. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.
The meeting was adjourned by acclimation at about 8:10 PM.