that the developers may ask the DC City Council and other DC agencies to
approve tax abatements and other funding supported, at least in part, by the DC
government and DC taxpayers. We ask that
the Council and all other agencies delay any action on these proposals until
the community and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B have had an opportunity
to review the fully and comment.
Resolution regarding Walter Reed Small Area Plan
Commissioner Wheeler presented a resolution
making recommendations for the final Walter Reed Small Area Plan. She moved that the Commission adopt this resolution. Commissioner Grant seconded the motion. The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0
Office of Planning (OP) has developed a draft Small Area Plan for the site of
the former Walter Reed Army Hospital, which borders on Single Member Districts
4B02 and 4B01, and which will have a substantial impact on all of
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B); and OP will accept comments on
their proposal until October 31, 2012;
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B (ANC 4B) supports the goals detailed
in the Office of Planning’s proposed Walter Reed Small Area Plan to provide
compatible, diverse, quality development that invigorates the site and the
community, preserves open space and historic buildings and resources, and
generates additional tax revenues;
Implementation and Community
the public must have confidence that all financial transactions relating to the
site are conducted with transparency and integrity;
the full development of the site could take as many as three decades, the
community needs to remain involved in the on-going process to ensure
that the Re-use Plan is being carried out as adopted by the Walter Reed Local
Redevelopment Authority and the DC Council;
the events that have unfolded on this land and in its storied buildings, from
the Civil War through to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, are important to the identity
of the nation for us to honor and respect;
the historic properties on the Walter Reed campus are important
distinguishing features as well as valuable resources for the campus’
successful redevelopment, for the community, and for the City;
the winding Main Drive is a key historic feature of the WRAMC campus;
one of the most valuable resources of the WRAMC campus is its stands of
mature trees; their protection and very survival are endangered by the
city’s existing tree-save regulations which permit the loss of any tree,
including those 55 inches in circumference or larger, provided that a property
owner or developer pays into a fund or plants additional trees;
currently and historically the campus has expansive green swaths of lawn and
trees along much of the Georgia Avenue frontage which offer a welcome
respite from the hard brick and mortar to the north and south of the campus and
a suggestion of the sylvan character for which the surrounding residential
communities are known;
Compatibility and character:
the height of new buildings directly across Georgia Avenue and Fern
Street from existing, long-established single family homes should complement
and harmonize with them;
easy connectivity to the Takoma and Silver Spring Metro Stations are
essential to provide good access to and from the redeveloped Walter Reed
campus; residential streets and intersections between the Walter Reed campus
and the Takoma Metro Station are too narrow and congested to accommodate
a streetcar line;
excessive noise will be an issue;
the long and narrow Building 14 is proposed to be divided in two to allow a
pedestrian walkway as well as more attractive and comfortable living and
working conditions; H.E.L.P. Development Corporation (which will occupy half of
the building for use as a Homeless Assistance Provider for homeless veterans
and veterans’ families) wants to keep the building intact in order to limit the
cost of rehabilitating their half of the building;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED
that ANC 4B supports the adoption of the Walter Reed Small Area Plan with the
changes and amendments detailed below.
We recommend that:
the Walter Reed
redevelopment be as walkable/bikeable/transit-oriented,
environmentally green/energy-conserving, aesthetically inviting and
economically viable as possible.
Implementation and Community
Plan include details about the formal public review process for land
sales, leases and contracting, the timing of public meetings and public
disclosure, as well the details of DC City Council oversight. The planning function of the Walter Reed
Local Redevelopment Authority should be broadened to include the
implementation function. This would
ensure that development is carried out according to the adopted LRA Reuse Plan
and that there are safeguards to ensure that the sale of what is essentially
public land, located on one of the most desirable development sites in the
city, is fair and equitable.
Plan for a Master Developer be rejected unless there are detailed
requirements for significant transparency and continuous public participation
in the decision-making throughout the entire development process.
DC Government preserve the WRAMC historic properties according to the
same or better standards as those required in the Programmatic Agreement with
the US Army, with weekly interior and exterior inspections to ensure their
protection. Re-use of historic buildings
– especially Buildings 38 (a former guardhouse) and 83 (which formerly housed
animals used in medical research) -- should be considered instead of
changes to Building One – the most historic building
on the site -- need to be handled with great care so that the original
building is preserved undamaged.
(Additions to the original building are proposed for demolition.)
the Small Area Plan take
into account the locations of interpretive panels installed for a
self-guided walking tour as well as note the need for DC to maintain the
panels, once installed. (The Army has
agreed to fund the design, production and installation of interpretive panels
as a part of or the equivalent to the Cultural Tourism DC Neighborhood Heritage
of the Small Area Plan not require the widening of Main Drive. Other less disruptive options to the historic
setting should be examined and adopted.
the Office of
Planning, in consultation with Casey Trees and the City’s Urban Forestry
Administration, identify specific mature trees to be saved and
protected, including stands of mature trees in the “green breathers” on the
Georgia Avenue frontage. This means that
any new development would be planned with the preservation of these trees in
all of the green
space approved by the LRA, including the “green breathers” on the Georgia
Avenue frontage, appear on every map created and used to depict the
redevelopment of the property. We also
ask that more green space be added to the southwest corner of the site.
Compatibility and character: the height of the
new Walter Reed buildings directly across from the single family homes on
Georgia Avenue and Fern Street be limited to three full stories above
ground plus dormers, attics or housing for mechanical equipment, given that the
long-established residences across the two streets mostly have two full stories
the Walter Reed site
be excluded from any new zoning regulations that would permit increases
in building height, density, parking, reductions in green space or setbacks or
any other requirements that would change the adopted Walter Reed LRA Re-Use
Plan or the preservation of the historic sites.
noise reduction and
abatement be considered throughout the process.
Transportation: those provisions
in the transportation plan be rejected which
direct vehicular traffic onto Blair Road and would install streetcars on narrow
bus, shuttle bus,
van transportation be considered to the Takoma Metro Station. Also, consider instituting a “circulator”
with stops through the Walter Reed campus, Takoma and Silver Spring Metro
pedestrian walkway be constructed through the middle of Building 14
which will allow pedestrians to walk through as well as allow for utilities to
be re-routed between the two halves through the ceiling or underground.
Recommendations in ANC 4B’s
June 4, 2012 Resolution:
in the June 4, 2012 Resolution be acted upon.
authorize Commissioner Faith Wheeler to represent this resolution on behalf of
ANC 4B before the DC City Council and all other City agencies.
Resolution Adopting Interim Operating Budget for FY 2013
noted that the Commission needed to adopt an interim budget for the current
fiscal year until a final budget can be developed. He presented a resolution to that effect and
moved that the Commission adopt it.
Commissioner Sloan seconded the motion.
The motion was adopted unanimously, 5 yes, 0 no.
The adopted motion:
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B adopts the existing FY 2012 budget as the
interim budget for FY 2013 until a final budget can be adopted.
1) Ms. Wanda
Oates, resident of ANC 4B05, wanted to state for the record that the resolution
supporting the appeal to the Board of Zoning Adjustment of Ms. Ginia Avery, et. al. opposing
the granting of a building permit to Wal-Mart for its location at Georgia and
Missouri Avenues N.W. was authored and submitted by Commissioner Brenda Speaks,
ANC 4B05 at the September 24, 2012 meeting.
Because Commissioner Speaks was ill and had lost her voice, she could
not read the resolution herself, although present at the meeting, so
Commissioner Jefferson read it for her.
2) Ms. Ginia Avery, Ward 4 Thrives, gave a brief report on the
Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing on her appeal opposing the granting of the
Wal-Mart building permit. The Board did
not grant the appeal. The next step is
to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals.
3) Mr. Michael
Sindram, resident of ANC 4B02, asked ANC 4B to submit
a letter to Councilmember Mary Cheh opposing street
trolleys in Washington D.C. He also
asked the Commission to address a letter opposing parking meter fees for the
handicapped to Councilmember Cheh.
Jones noted that the rewrite of zoning regulations would include an increase in
the maximum number of residents of group homes from six to eight. She suggested that this should be a matter of
community concern. Commissioner Green
agreed and said that the Commission should address this issue in a future
There were no presentations or reports.
The meeting was
adjourned at 8:35 PM.