20 November 2012

New homes at the corner of Florida and West Virginia Avenues

This summer, DCRA's Office of the Zoning Administrator issued a preliminary ruling on a plan for new houses to be built on the piece of land at the southwest corner of Florida and West Virginia Avenues in Near Northeast. Today, the plot includes a pine tree and weeds that tend to get very tall before being occasionally trimmed.

That hasn't always been the case. Three rowhouses existed here until late in the last decade. Here's an image from DCRA's website, dated August 22, 2004, after the homes had fallen into disrepair.

You can see where they were located on the block in the aerial image below.

Here's how the 3 lots on the block are currently platted.

The developer plans to combine the 2 easternmost lots. This is how the proposed buildings would be laid out on the resulting lots. I'm not a fan of the fact that these buildings won't directly address Florida Avenue. Hopefully the small, oddly-shaped front yards will not be an afterthought in this design.

It's worth noting that the current zoning for these lots calls for at least one parking space per building. DDOT has already let the developer know that they will not allow any curb cuts on the perimeter of this block, so the developer will have to go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment to get a variance. Only if they receive that variance will DCRA issue building permits.

The variance should be a no-brainer. There is plenty of room for street parking on the surrounding streets, and the lots are a short walk to many bus lines one block south where West Virginia Avenue meets 8th and K Streets.

Here are the (very preliminary) sketches representing the front, rear, and sides of the proposed buildings.

I always thought this would be an interesting candidate for a park, either for people, dogs, or both, but more housing opportunities in a city that sorely needs them is a good thing as well.

Finally, a big thank you to Mark Eckenwiler for pointing me towards these documents!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. Thanks for writing this up. I have always wondered about this island due to the for sale sign that was up for a long time. I was surprised to see it was not a park. And now, I'm surprised to learn that there were houses on it as recently as 2004.


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