Double Standard in Woodley Park?

I’ll admit that I haven’t been following the controversy over 2910 Garfield St. NW too closely. Basically one house was demolished, some “100-year-old oak and red cedar trees” were cut down and the developer plans on building two “5,000-square-foot homes on the site”. I’m saddened by the fact that the old trees were cut down but when I was walking by I couldn’t help but notice what seemed to be a bit of a double standard. Across their street there are a number of rowhouses with signs that say “No Subdivision, No McMansions”. I’m not saying these homes are McMansions but I imagine they are on a plot that was most definitely subdivided. See photo below:

26 Comment

  • Well, of course … once you’ve got yours, then you can be up-in-arms about what other people are doing with theirs. I realize there’s more to this than just that — particularly the irreplacable mature trees, which it is a shame to have lost — but now that things are done, really, what’s the point of the protest?

  • Well by that logic every home in dc is on subdivided land. Those 30 year old townhomes aside. What had the neighbors up in arms is that this was clearly a case of greased palms. In a neighborhood where you have to beg and plead just to add a deck to the back of your rowhouse, these developers were able to get approval to demo a house. subdivide the lot. get curb cuts. And all without the neighbors even knowing. And the subdividing wasn’t matter of right either. The lot was smaller than allowed for subdivision yet no variance was saught. No notice given. Again from what I was told it’s not just that the houses are ugly or that trees were cut down. It’s that the system was circumvented by a big developer. Which happens all the time but when your neighbors are other rich people…

    • anan,

      Without the neighbors knowing? It’s none of the neighbors business, nor is it the business of the city to run out and tell every neighbor every time someone applies for a permit to do something that is completely legal to their home or lot.

      And depsite what you were “told” by someone obviously uninvolved you are completely wrong “ala” the zoning and variences. It was all legit and completely by the book.

      You can certainly have an opinion, but at the end of the day unless you want to buy the land from the guy, its none of your business.

      It must be nice that all of these silly “activists” homes were built without subdividing land or cutting down trees. Amazing…

      • Oh Joker. Fancy yourself a Donald Trump jr cause you flipped a house once? Comin out on the blogs to go to bat for the big boys? Anyway the Lot was too small. The zoning office waived it. The suite the neighbors brought I think claims that a variance is needed in that case. I understand they got all the paperwork in order. The question is how. The answer is developer lube. Eitherway I hardly care much but I’d be PO’d too if someone tried to put that tacky crap next door to me. Which will no doubt be purchashed by tacky douche bags. The bottom line is that neighbors often DO get a say what you can do with your land. A neighbor of mine tried to put a 4 story condo addition in his backyard. It wasn’t matter of right. Neighbors (obviously) didn’t sign off on it. Now had my neighber greased some palms it would probably be a different story. Just sayin.

        • Right, because the neighborhood already has enough “tacky douche bags” in it.

        • No, I’ve never flipped a house and I don’t claim to be a Donald Trump. I do claim however, to be an adult, which you and other screaming petulant children are obviously not.

          You “understand” this, you “heard” that. Your biggest problem is that you don’t have the slightest clue what you are talking about and yet are too dense to admit or rectify it. Here, I’ll help. Below is the link to Woodley Park Community Association website where they’ve archived all the issue documentation, complete with copies of the court case dismissals etc, and admitted that “yes”, the developer is within his legal right, and so was the city but have fallen back on the “waaaa, we just don’t like it” prosecution. I suggest you read through it before you come back and write anything else that outs you as an uninformed idiot.

          The Zoning Administrator is legally able, without notifying anyone or asking anyones permission to grant lot size waivers of up to 2%. This lot was 54 sq/ft short of the requirement, or the area of a regular bathroom. The 54 sq/ft waiver was ~half the legally allowed one so he was well within his legal authority.

          Unless you can “prove” there was a payoff (which would have been stupid because again, the action was completely legal) I suggest you try to stop sounding like an Alaskan tea bagger.

          You then go on with additional ridulousness that has nothing to do with the matter at hand because again, the actions were all completely legal and done based on “on the book” laws that DC already has.

          Again, you can dislike the owners plans, but thats all the input you get to have.

          In conclusion, grow up.

          • i admire what a mature adult you are.

          • Joker- you do a better job painting yourself a douche bag than I ever could. Anyhow, nothing I said was false. I just wasn’t as up to speed on the issue as yourself… And I’m ok with that. Given the issue. Pat yourself on the back and when you are heating up that microwave dinner tonight. Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I showed them!” you deserve it.

          • +1 joker.
            -2 anan.

      • That’s not true. If they couldn’t subdivide it by matter of right, then they needed a variance or special exception, which requires a public hearing. The reason a public hearing s required is because it is, in fact, the public’s business.

  • That part of Woodley is filled with NIMBYs that make Cleveland Park’s infamous NIMBYs look positively tame in comparison.

    The new homes or condos or whatever really aren’t that big of a deal, they’re just terrified of getting a bit of mud on their Jaguars as they drive by the construction site. They’re absolutely terrified of the smallest amount of change.

  • Ill add. if you are going to demo the house and cut down all the trees. A better use of that land so close to the metro would have been a small 2 story 10 unit garden apartment. More residents added. No curb cuts needed. No parking. If the city is going to grant subdivision exemptions it shouldn’t be for mcmansions. it should be to increase density. Transit oriented development and all that.

    • +2, but I’d argue even 4-5 stories would be appropriate so close to the Metro.

        • +4-5

          Taking in all the comments as of now, I’m goin’ with “Donald Trump jr.” on this one. And given that that corner has rows and apartments on all other sides, I like the garden apts idea. And finally, since I lived in Ward 3 for a long time, I can confirm that they are douchebags, with variable tackiness — super liberal at the ballot box, hyper-conservative at home.

          PoPs called it right – a double standard.

  • If I remember reports in the Northwest Current, the developer got all the demo permits he needed – and I remember a sign on the front door saying that a demo permit was issued for the property. Hard to say then that the neighbors didn’t know about it.

    And the Current said no variance was needed – one lot was big enough for a subdivision; the other was short by a few square feet which the zoning czar can waive.

    And can you imagine the reaction of neighbors if a multi-family building was put into that spot or – worse! – an affordable housing multi-unit building?

    • Oh, believe me, a lot of people in that neighborhood like to picture in their minds that there are restrictive covenants keeping out certain types of people.

  • This double standard is so common I almost do not consider it a double standard by simply typical attitude. And it is common for people in neighborhoods like this, the suburbs, the exburbs and so on. People always want to protect the original character that brought them there without later people doing the same thing and then changing the character by density of people.

    • And people in a neighborhood like this also need to get back in touch with reality and realize that the demand for more transit-accessible housing may very well necessitate a change in character by way of increased density.

      • its not a double standard anymore that its a double standard to say that we don’t want armed revolutionaries in america.

  • I have walked by here and thought the same thing…who are these people in their awful (subdivided) 1980’s townhomes to say no to subdividing and Mcmansions? It really is pretty funny, makes for a great picture.

  • I blame Michelle Rhee and those anti-social Chilean miners.

  • It’s MPD’s fault. They go and shoot innocent dogs and people build McMansions in the ensuing confusion.

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