Decision Summary HPA No. 94-481
- HPA Number
- Building Name
- Marymount University (library and educational facility building)
- 2225 R St. NW
- Date of Order
Full Text of Order
Applicant Marymount University sought to expand an existing circular driveway by eliminating part of the side yard from one of its buildings, an adjunct library and educational facility located in the Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District. The Mayor’s Agent concluded that the proposed alteration to the property was inconsistent with the purposes of the Act and that Applicant had failed to demonstrate that denial of a permit would effect an unreasonable economic hardship.
Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:
Based on the recommendations and findings of the Historic Preservation Staff and Review Board (that Applicant’s proposed driveway expansion would reduce the historic district’s visible green space and would have a negative impact on the district’s residential qualities) and the opposition of the local Advisory Neighborhood Council, the Mayor’s Agent concluded that the expansion was inconsistent with the purposes of the Act.
Since Applicant filed none of the information required by regulation prior to its hearing before the Mayor’s Agent, and instead supported its claim solely on the testimony from the University Treasurer, the Mayor’s Agent concluded that it had failed to establish that denial of a permit to expand its driveway would constitute an unreasonable economic hardship.
Necessary in the Public Interest:
· In order to merit approval, Applicant must show how its application is necessary in the public interest, not to minimize effects on historic districts. Using the latter test would “be to acknowledge that the standard of in the ‘public’s interest’ is met by increasing parking, which would result in mass conversion of open space into parking.”
· The Mayor’s Agent concluded that the Act’s creators understood the Act as balancing the city’s needs with those of historic districts, to the effect that “[b]uildings that would lay fallow because of their unusable nature would be granted exception to facilitate their use.”