Decision Summary HPA No. 00-601, 01-044
- HPA Number
- 00-601, 01-044
- Building Name
- Calvary Baptist Church
- 711-724 8th St. NW
- Date of Order
Full Text of Order
Applicant Calvary Baptist Church Extension Association sought permits to subdivide four lots into a single lot of record and to partially demolish an addition to one of its buildings (the Greene Building), which was found to contribute to the Downtown Historic District. Applicant sought to construct a mixed-use project that would allow for the restoration of parts of the church’s buildings. The Mayor’s Agent granted the applications, concluding that the subdivision and partial demolition were necessary to allow for the construction of a project of special merit, and that partial demolition of the Greene Building and subdivision of all four lots were consistent with the purposes of the Act and thus necessary in the public interest.
The Historic Preservation Review Board found that Applicant’s conceptual plans for its project were compatible with the character of the Downtown Historic District, a district the Mayor’s Agent characterized as showing a variety of styles and sizes, reflecting the growth and development of downtown.
Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:
Because subdivision and partial demolition of Calvary Church’s Greene building would allow for expansion of church facilities and construction of a new office building, and because the church planned to set aside the proceeds of sale of development rights to the restoration of eleven major items including its once-famous spire, the Mayor’s Agent concluded that the project was consistent with the purposes of the Act and thus necessary in the public interest.
The Mayor’s Agent found that partial demolition of Calvary Church’s Greene Building, a building found to contribute to the Downtown Historic District, was necessary to the overall project in order to bring the building up to code, expand church facilities, and restore exterior features including the building’s façade. All of these improvements were factor’s in the Mayor’s Agent’s determination that the project was necessary in the public interest both as a project of special merit and as consistent with the purposes of the Act.
The Mayor’s Agent found a reasonable expectation that the Applicant had “sufficient financial ability and other expertise to complete the project.”
Necessary in the Public Interest:
The Mayor’s Agent concluded that the partial demolition and subdivision permits for Applicant’s project, a blend of restoration of the church’s buildings, renovation of its facilities, and new construction of an office building, were necessary in the public interest both because they were consistent with the purposes of the Act and necessary to allow the construction of a project of special merit.
Special Merit—Land Planning, Special Features of:
The Mayor’s Agent concluded that the Applicant’s proposed mixed-use project incorporated specific features of land use planning, including furthering such goals of the Comprehensive Plan such as social programs for the homeless and transient and restoration of historic buildings and their adaptation for current use.
Special Merit—Community Services Having a High Priority:
The Mayor’s Agent found that the Applicant’s proposed mixed-use project would provide significant benefits to the District of Columbia and the community by helping to finance and provide facilities for the church’s ongoing social programs including counseling, working with the indigent, and providing day care for and tutoring to young people.
Subdivision of Applicant’s four lots into a single lot of record was necessary for the construction of Applicant’s proposed mixed-use project. Because the Mayor’s Agent determined that the project was necessary in the public interest both as consistent with the purposes of the Act and necessary to construct a project of special merit, he granted the permit request.