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“Dear PoPville,

Saw the post about the unusual Spring Road pop up.

Additional information about this construction – they took down about 6 trees lining the alley in order to build the addition. And there was a really nice backyard before, which has been converted into what I think will be patios for the first level and parking spaces.

And a historical fact: the alley to the left of the addition was once a road called Cedar Road. If you look at google maps satellite view, you can see the gap running from Spring to about Upshur that used to be the road, which is now mostly empty space between row houses and parking areas. My deed actually describes two parcels – the one where my house sits and a portion of land that was called “Cedar Road – Closed”.

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Last time we looked from the front – 1300 block Spring Road, NW

In the blue corner:

“Concerned District residents are petitioning Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials for a moratorium on building permits for rowhouse “pop-up” conversions that are changing the character of D.C. neighborhoods. The petition asks the Mayor and other city officials to place a moratorium on building permits for rowhouse conversions to apartment buildings until D.C.’s Zoning Commission has completed its rewrite of the zoning rules. This request builds on a similar request from then-Councilmember Muriel Bowser in July 2014 to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”) when then-Councilmember Bowser asked for a “hold” on any building permit requests until the Zoning Commission settled the issue of pop-ups. “Pop-up construction could have adverse, long-term effects on properties and neighborhoods that have not been fully considered,” then-Councilmember Bowser stated (See Attached Letter).

Letter (PDF)

With no movement from DCRA on the Mayor’s request for a hold on permits for pop-ups, District residents are appealing directly to the Mayor and the Zoning Commission for a moratorium on pop- up permits until the Zoning Commission has completed its rewrite of the zoning rules. District residents may sign the petition by accessing this link: http://tinyurl.com/stopthepopdc. StopthePopDC, a grassroots community group, is encouraging concerned District residents to sign the petition.

“We have heard from many seniors and other residents whose homes have been damaged from pop- up conversions,” says long-time D.C. resident and StopthePopDC member, Tracy Hart. “We need an immediate moratorium to protect homes from irreparable damage and to protect the character of our rowhouse communities.”

“Pop-up” is the term used to describe single-family rowhouses that have been converted to apartment/condominium buildings. Developers typically add one or more stories to an existing rowhouse and build large rear additions to gain square footage for each condominium. The resulting pop-up apartment buildings have been criticized as dwarfing nearby rowhouses and blocking air and natural light. Each condominium unit typically lists for $500,000 to $900,000.
StopthePopDC is a community group working to curb the practice of developers converting single- family rowhouses into multifamily apartment buildings (“pop-ups”).”

In the red corner:

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Full release in PDF below:

JAN 2015 Letter (PDF)

611 2nd St. NE photo 1.21.15

“Dear PoPville,

I recall that months ago you featured an under-construction huge popup at 611 2nd St. NE . . . the one next to Union Veterinary Clinic. I bike by it daily on my way to work and took the attached photo today. As per the sign in front, “4 Designer Condominiums,” 2 bed + 2 bath, starting at $519,000. All things considered, I think it turned out well. I’m curious to read what Popville thinks of it!”

I agree looks much better from this angle. Now what do you think about the price? :)

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From an email:

“More than 160 people signed up to make comments. (At least 6.5 pages on the witness list at 25 per page). Could not stay until the end so I don’t know if everyone spoke. They were processing about 16 speakers an hour when I left.

Looks like the speakers were about evenly split between pro-downzoning and anti-downzoning.

The hearing was about R-4 zone changes. If these changes go through and if the Lanier Heights downzoners succeed in changing Lanier Heights zoning from R-5-B to R-4 then Lanier Heights will be affected by these R-4 changes.

Attached is my statement. I read my statement shortly after the Lanier Heights downzoning leader, Denis Suski, read his statement supporting the reduction in R-4 zoning.

ZC-14-11-statement (PDF)

The hearing was video tapped and should be available for online viewing soon.

Thanks

Ronald Baker
Lanier Height home owner
NEIGHBORS AGAINST DOWNZONING