Housing Complex

More Moves in the Battle of Garfield Street

Chop chop. (Lydia DePillis)

Chop chop. (Lydia DePillis)

Yesterday, I got a couple of distress calls from the vicinity of 2910 Garfield Street N.W., the large corner lot in Woodley Park slated for subdivision into two gigantic single-family homes by the Chevy Chase-based Zuckerman Partners. Even after enlisting Councilmember Mary Cheh and getting a letter opposing the development signed by almost half the City Council, construction crews were starting work on the sidewalks, and taking down the majestic trees on the slope behind the existing house.

The Zuckermans may have been emboldened by a mid-August court order dismissing the neighbors' appeal for a preliminary injunction–the Superior Court ruled that since permits had been issued and there was no requirement to notify the ANC, razing and tree-clearing could proceed. The neighbors, now displaying yard signs that read "NO Subdivisions, NO McMansions," have two last chances: An appeal before the Board of Zoning Adjustment, and a sympathetic ruling from DDOT on Zuckerman Partners' public space application.

For the former, neighbors have retained planner George Oberlander, who spent 31 years with the National Capital Planning Commission, mostly as associate director for D.C. affairs. His pre-hearing memo for the BZA hearing contains this illustration of what the houses are projected to look like:

Picture 2

  • John

    Just out of curiosity. Don't you have to pay huge fees to remove mature trees in DC? Of course those sums wouldn't mean much to a firm that has probably been greasing palms for the past year to make this project happen. But if it's a good number of trees they are killing it could add up. I'd advise the neighbors to count the stumps and follow up with the DC forestry people to levy fines if those fees weren't paid ahead of time. Also by sidewalk work, does that mean they were granted curb cuts as well? Curb cuts are notoriously hard to get in DC being denied to even handicapped people. Just makes me wonder how connected these people are. What other projects they've done etc. Shame to lose all the trees and give away curb cuts for 2 tacky mcmansions. I'd be more supportive of a small condo development going in at that location myself.

  • ah

    A story published elsewhere said they paid $11k for the tree-cutting permits (it's based on inches of circumference above some threshold).

    They still need the curb cut permits.

    How would you like to be the purchasers of these houses coming into that neighborhood?