ANC 6D Resolution in Support of
Hoffman Madison-Marquette Southwest Waterfront First Stage PUD Case No. 11-03
Whereas the residents of Southwest have been working toward and looking forward to a redeveloped SW Waterfront for more than twenty years, and
Whereas, Hoffman Madison-Marquette has put forth an ambitious and visionary proposal to construct a waterfront project where boats, public piers, pedestrians, cyclists, retail users, and cultural programs come together in a comprehensive, mixed used, mixed income development reconnecting Southwest to adjacent residential areas, the Mall and Riverfront trails, and
development, known as The Wharf, is the most ambitious development project ever
undertaken in the
That on July 11, 2011, at a regularly scheduled duly noticed meeting, where a quorum was present and all Commissioners voting, by a unanimous vote of 7-0, ANC 6D voted to support the Hoffman Madison-Marquette Southwest Waterfront First Stage PUD, Case No. 11-03, with the following concerns and conditions to be further elaborated during written and oral testimony:
Bus Traffic -
Direct bus transport to and from the Spirit Ships, Odyssey or their successors
shall be moved from in front of Pier 4 and away from the existing residential sections
of Southwest including Tiber Island Cooperative Homes, Tiber Island
Condominiums, Harbour Square Cooperatives and any residential units as may be
built on the site presently occupied by St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. All buses and/or passenger vehicles carrying
more than 8 persons and serving the large boats will be limited to the bus lay
by area so designated on page 3.8 of the Updated PUD Submission of
HMW in concert with DDOT and the ANC will develop guidelines to ensure that busses do not park within residential areas. HMW will provide a more precise diagram to demonstrate how tour busses will arrive and depart from on site to discharge and pick up passengers at the big boats. If additional bus lay bys are required, they will not be located east of the existing sites as demonstrated on page 3.8.
ANC 6D recommends further review and analysis of the transportation, design and
safety elements proposed by HMW. The
District’s Department of Transportation has specifically avoided addressing any
of these elements in their letter to the ANC on July 11. DDOT’s
recommendation is to handle transportation and attendant concerns at the Stage
Two submission. This is one of the
largest projects ever undertaken in the
Plan B – HR # 723 is currently before the Congress and will allow for significantly longer docks and reconfiguration of the Washington Channel providing the SW Waterfront neighborhood with the kind of vibrant marine environment we have long envisioned. Should the congressional legislation not prove successful, the current marine aspects of the PUD will need to be reworked. ANC 6D urges that the Zoning Commission request that HMW to develop a Plan B – to be vetted by the ZC and the Southwest community -- to ensure that The Wharf will maintain a balanced and not lopsidedly land-oriented, yet waterfront, development. In any event, HMW will abide by their commitments to maintain the same number of slips in any revised marine plan to ensure approximately the same number of live-aboard slips as exist in June, 2011 (a minimum of 94 slips) with provisions for retention of existing live-aboard slip holders.
HMW has completed a transition plan that it has shared with the Gangplank Marina Slipholders Association (GPSA) Development Advisory Group. The plan provides for reasonable continuity of existing services (including water, electric, trash, pump-outs, security, showers/restrooms, US mail and package receipt, and vehicle access) and amenities (including parking, laundry, and Cable/Internet), and accommodates the current Gangplank Marina slip holders in the Washington Channel during the redevelopment, consulting with GPSA to prioritize vessel moves.
Dedicated Walkway Along the Washington Channel – As intriguing as have been the descriptions of “chaotic” mix of pedestrian, automobile, bicycle and street car uses of the 60 feet of space along the Washington Channel, ANC 6D is obligated to raise safety concerns. ANC 6D would request that this concept be further elaborated -- and with the very specific and detailed endorsement of DDOT, which they have thus far refused to provide -- including their clear understanding and delineation of traffic flow and enforcement. Further, ANC 6D would like assurances that HMW will provide a continuous, dedicated pedestrian pathway of approximately 20 feet with the aforementioned 60 that will be maintained -- from the Titanic Memorial to the historic Fish Market (with the exception of temporary interruption for construction) -- to allow safe passage for walking and jogging and access by both wheelchairs and strollers.
Pier 4 Residential
Structures – ANC 6D does not favor townhouses to be built on Pier 4. However, should residential structures on
Pier 4 be approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers, such structures will
maintain a minimum 10 foot setback from the existing waterside edges of the
Pier. There is great concern about the
height of these structures (as depicted in Section (e-e) on Page 5.9 of the
PUD) impacting the views of the Washington Channel not only from adjacent
Waterfront residences but from the Waterfront Park itself. Should they be allowed, such structures will
not exceed a height greater than 45 feet from current finished Pier surfaces,
including all architectural elements, mechanicals, and/or equipment rooms. The developer will incorporate the existing
brick head house at the entrance to the Pier as well as incorporate all parking
and infrastructure support (trash pick-up, deliveries, etc.) internally within
the design and not exposed to view, and maintain “front doors” on the North,
West and South sides of the existing Pier.
All lighting elements whether architectural or safety in manner will not
in any season illuminate any portion of
The Commercial Pier – As referenced on page 5.9, except for the two story office structure (as indicated by marking dd on the landside portion of the map), the height of the remaining buildings covering the extended Commercial Pier should not exceed the height of the similar existing structure on the current Pier 4.
Massing - The
massing shown in illustrations 2.10 and 4.16, which is also pictured in
rendering 5.23, appears to dwarf pedestrians who are trying to access the site
Parcel 11 - The redevelopment of Parcel 11 into a
dense residential development is a concern. While ANC 6D is prepared to
accept this change, the resultant development must not be inconsistent with the
existing residential fabric. Preservation of the height
limitations within the R-3 district is necessary to ensure Parcel 11 is
sensitively integrated within the existing successful, well-knit fabric of
low-rise townhouses that defer to the public space by exhibiting generous
setbacks. In particular, setbacks on
residential (South) side of M Street from
M Street Landing – ANC 6D believes that Parcel 9 and 10 need to be brought down to 90 and 45 feet high, respectively, and that Parcel 11 be set back within the M Street corridor. This crucial area anchoring the waterfront development needs to more successfully exhibit sensitivity to the existing residential neighborhood. As proposed, these buildings create a jarring transition. The St. Augustine Episcopal Church bulges out on Parcel 11 eliminating views on the southern half of the grand boulevard leading to the Southwest Waterfront from points east. This violation of the L’Enfant Plan is inconsistent with existing and proposed buildings lining M Street and should be brought in line to successfully create a sense of arrival at the Waterfront – as promised in plans for the Waterfront going back more than eight years -- among other urban design objectives. ANC 6D needs to be assured that the height of the buildings on Parcel 11 will be no higher than 45 feet so that it fits within its waterside and low-rise residential context. The height of Parcel 9 should be tapered so that it’s in line with buildings on the opposing side of the Landing and provides a transition to the taller buildings to the north. Most importantly, topping out Parcel 9 at 90 feet would ensure it doesn’t diminish the landmark
Construction Staging –
Neither Parcel 10, Parcel 11, the
Street Cars –
Overhead wires will not be allowed on the portion of the street car line that
runs along the Washington Channel. Since
HMW will be installing the tracks on the wharf and
Parking South of M Street and East of Sixth Street –Parking will not be allowed at the Waterfront Park nor along the private road leading to Pier 4. Parking in this area will be reserved a small visitor parking lot which may be located on Pier Four should that be approved for residential use and for the DC Harbor Patrol.
Transportation embellishments – While the PUD has a variety of multi-modal transit options, there is no space set aside for car sharing. It must be added. As well, ANC 6D requests that HMW provide an appropriate number of electric car recharging stations throughout the development.
Tree Canopy – There is no clearly articulated plan to preserve and maintain
the extensive and lush tree canopy that is a hallmark of the Near Southwest. ANC 6D is keenly aware that when the Southwest was redeveloped
fifty years ago, a great number and variety of trees were lost never to
return. In particular, we are concerned
about the majestic stands of 50 year old pin oaks along
Internet gaming – Within the boundaries of the PUD, internet gaming shall be prohibited in any spaces other than private residences. ANC 6D and the Southwest neighborhood has been opposed to gambling on the Waterfront and is on record going back more than 16 years. We feel that gambling is totally incompatible and inconsistent with the kind of wholesome and welcoming development that has been promised at this site.
Liquor Licenses – HMW will abide by current and customary practices as regards the licensing of alcoholic beverages and neither seek nor endorse the creation of a zone under which new or existing licenses may be (re)issued or amended without the involvement of the ANC.
Office Space – For a period of twenty years commencing in January of 2019, HMW or its assigns will provide free and equipped office and shared conference space for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D and the neighborhood civic association, the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, comparable to that which is being currently provided at 1101 Fourth Street, SW.
Parks within the Development – ANC 6D urges that kinetic, programmable recreational spaces for people of all ages be maximized within the development, particularly toward the western end and the many mews and passageways.
Environmental Issues – ANC 6D requests clarification regarding information that, even though the project is to be LEED Gold, that there appears to be an exception within the PUD that HMW will not have to abide fully by federal and District environmental regulations regarding storm water runoff. We encourage the developer to explore with the DC Department of the Environment alternative ways that this can be mitigated.
Parcels 6, 7 and 8 -
HMW wishes to retain flexibility of future use yet at this time ensure height
and massing for three buildings without determining what those uses will be. ANC 6D is opposed to this flexibility for the
following reasons: The community has stated for twenty years that we support a
mixed use development. While future flexibility
is vastly beneficial for HMW as real estate markets change, the Southwest community
needs a more complete understanding of precisely how this development will be
configured in its entirety. Clearly, what services,
retail and parking are required for commercial and office use are inconsistent with
that of residential. ANC 6D is concerned that if buildings constructed
on Parcels 6, 7 and 8 are predominantly offices that the ground floor retail
will reflect the needs of the daytime user and not provide the community serving
retail that has been severely lacking in Southwest for two generations. We are a retail desert. Moreover, this flexibility would occur in
very buildings planned closest to existing residential complexes where no
retail whatsoever now exists. Further,
office structures will empty after hours creating population deserts and potential
safety concerns between existing residential complexes and the western end of
the development. After office hours,
parking spaces will turn over emptying automobiles onto
Parcel 7 – On the
north side of
The Titanic Memorial
Ward Six - ANC 6D requests that the Applicant memorialize its commitment to the residents of Ward 6, particularly the low and moderate income residents, who were not among those named in the LDA as targets of community benefits;
Implementing and Monitoring of Benefits – ANC 6D requests that the Applicant agree to on-going collaboration with at least three SW neighborhood-oriented committees or sub-committees to focus on implementation of the community benefits as they can relate to the immediate SW and Near SE neighborhood in the areas of 1) workforce development, 2) CBEs and 3) affordable housing.
District/Developer/Community Partnership – ANC 6D requests that the Applicant agree to be one of the developer partners that will join District and community partners in planning and implementing the establishment of a long-needed community center in SW to address the many needs for community enrichment and services to support the world-class neighborhood envisioned.
Signed and Dated
Ron McBee July 12, 2011