Decision Summary HPA No. 03-480, 03-481
- HPA Number
- 03-480, 03-481
- Building Name
- 1515-1517 32nd St. NW
- Date of Order
Full Text of Order
HPA Number: 03-480, 03-481
Case Name: In Re Darrin Phillips, et al.
Location of Property: 1515 and 1517 32nd Street, N.W., Square 1270, Lots 74 and 75
Date of Decision: 05/20/2004
Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Approval of Modified Site Plan as Consistent With December 24, 2003 Decision and Order
Prior Case History:
Gtown 32nd LLC (the “Applicant”) sought permission to construct two new houses on property identified as Lots 74 and 75, located within the Georgetown Historic District (the “Historic District”) and situated on the square included in the designation of the landmark Bowie-Sevier House (the “Historic Landmark”). The Mayor’s Agent approved such new construction application in a prior Decision and Order issued December 24, 2003 (the “Prior Order”), on the condition that the Applicant work with the staff of the Historic Preservation Review Board (the “HPRB”) to develop a site plan that would include installation of an appropriate sidewalk and preservation of certain mature trees located on the east side of the 1500 block of 32nd Street (the “Condition”). See HPA 03-480 & 03-481, order of December 24, 2003.
Pursuant to the Condition, the Applicant met with a staff member (Tim Denee) from the HPRB who determined that it was infeasible to both install the sidewalk and preserve the mature trees, as the size and root system of the trees prevented the laying of a sidewalk between the trees and the curb line (and even if a sidewalk could be laid, it could not be made wide enough to comply with District and ADA requirements). The HPRB staff member recommended preserving the mature trees, because: (i) their retention would “help to preserve much of the present character of the street;” (ii) there was no indication that a sidewalk had ever been present on the east side of the street; and (iii) if the Applicant constructed a sidewalk, it would “abruptly end” and not extend fully to meet the adjoining Q Street.
The Mayor’s Agent determined that the efforts of the Applicant to fulfill the Condition, including the on-site meeting with the HPRB staff member, represented a “reasonable effort to come into compliance,” and that the “one viable option remain[ing is to] take all reasonable steps to protect, save, and nurture the trees, rather than to remove the trees for installation of the sidewalk.” The Mayor’s Agent found that “based on the site conditions . . . the Applicant has complied with the limiting condition of the [Prior Order], insofar as the condition, fairly read, required that Applicant work with the HPRB staff in an effort to create a design that would accommodate both the trees and a sidewalk.” Thus, the Mayor’s Agent determined that “the Applicant’s request for approval of the revised site plan is in compliance with [the Prior Order].”
Mayor’s Agent - Procedural:
The Mayor’s Agent stated that because the condition in the Prior Order required only that the Applicant collaborate with the HPRB staff to come up with a design that fulfilled the Condition, and not that other parties review the design for compliance, that no further review of the revised site plan was warranted. “The implementation of an administrative order’s condition(s) is appropriately left solely to the Applicant and the relevant governmental review entities, in this case the HPRB staff.”
Subsequent Case History:
See orders of June 9, 2004, June 23, 2004, and September 24, 2004 for subsequent history.