Monday, December 10, 2007

O Street Project Moving Forward

I think most of the Shaw bloggers were at tonight's zoning commission meeting, so there will probably be redundant accounts.

The upshot is that the O Street Market project was "set down" for public hearing--no date set yet. Since I am basically clueless about the process, I had a chance to ask the gentleman from Roadside (can't recall his name, sorry): "This is a good thing, right?" He was smiling from ear to ear, and replied, "Oh, yes. A very good thing."

What I gathered from a rather cryptic exchange among the commission members was that developers had modified the design to meet the objection about the hight of the hi-rise building. Since no discussion was permitted, no details were offered. The chairman, Anthony Hood, made a remark suggesting that he was not expecting any neighborhood opposition to the project--sure hope he's right.

A good crowd of neighborhood residents turned out--I'd say at least 25-30, and the commission chair obviously took note. Jack Evans was there and recognized, but not allowed to speak on "any specific" project. At the beginning, Mr. Hood made a statement about the impropriety of any "ex parte" conversations with commission members about the project, which means that no one is supposed to lobby them about the project. Couldn't tell if that was directed to anyone in particular.

Anyway, it looks like one stumbling block has been shoved aside, so keep your fingers crossed. Thanks to everyone who turned out tonight.


At 12/10/2007 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news.

At 12/10/2007 7:40 PM, Blogger IMGoph said...

at least one of the "ex parte" letters was from jack evans. he admitted as such in the elevator lobby afterwards.

At 12/17/2007 10:16 AM, Blogger LTRez said...

Anthony Hood's comments were "pro forma"... that is, part of the required dialogue that he must recite at the outset of every ZC hearing or meeting. So it was nothing specific or personal. You'll hear it again at the outset of Roadside's PUD Case once the ZC gives them a hearing date.

The ANC is automatically a party to the case, particularly the Commissioner in whose SMD the project is located.

Check out urban planner, Richard Layman, and his blog (, which has tremendous resources in this area.

At 12/17/2007 10:44 AM, Blogger IMGoph said...

i'd argue that hood's comments weren't strictly pro forma. especially since he specifically referred to instances where he has been confronted by individuals regarding certain projects. i can see why he needs to say something to that regard regularly, though.

At 12/17/2007 7:13 PM, Blogger LTRez said...

IMGoph said...
"i can see why he needs to say something to that regard regularly, though."

While Chairman Hood may have decided to ad lib on the topic of ex parte communication with some personal anecdotes at the O Street set down meeting, he is required by our municipal regulations to make that statement.... just as Carol Mitten and all other ZC Chairs before him were.

Additionally, any Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment members are required to recuse themselves from cases on which they could be making a decision that has even the "appearance" of benefiting them or their families.

e.g. Newly ascended (from the BZA) Zoning Commissioner, Curtis Etherly, is a six-figure marketing VP for Coca Cola. At his first ZC hearing in November, he didn't recuse himself from a GWU hearing, wherein the university was asking for further approvals despite community concern and opposition. His company has an exclusive contract with GWU that it will sell only Coke products (including all vending machines and university events) until 2012.

Not only was there not a peep out of Etherly about this multi-multi-million dollar relationship, he had the nerve to propose the resolution and lead the vote accepting GWU's application.


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