Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tenleytown Safeway Indefinite Postponement


It looks like all the fuss over the Tenleytown Safeway at 4203 Davenport Street is far from over. Last night the DC Zoning Commission approved a request from the Safeway project team to indefinitely postpone the review of the submitted plan, which was scheduled for this Thursday. The team submitted their request indicating they needed more time go back and address some issues brought forth by the Office of Planning and the community. The indefinite nature of the postponement suggests the Safeway team has been nudged into submission by the neighborhood over the past few months; in August a Safeway spokesperson had anticipated plans would be finalized by this past September.

The existing Safeway store is 35,000 s.f. and, according to the plans initially submitted to the Office of Planning, the new store, designed by Torti Gallas, would grow to 58,000 s.f. and include neighborhood retail like a coffee shop, dry cleaners and florist. The project would provide 176 off-street parking spaces, some of which will be on the ground level below the elevated grocery story and some in a surface parking lot. The roof would have 1400 s.f. of green roof elements, the remainder would be a "cool roof," which means a mere 2.6% of the roof is currently designed to be green. Though Craig Muckle, a spokesperson for Safeway, said the building would have other green features and would aim for LEED Silver at minimum.

In October, the Office of Planning expressed concerns about various elements of the plan and requested additional environmental benefits such as an expanded green roof and increased permeability in the surface parking lot. The OP report also cited issues with elements of the site design and building placement. The current plans seeks exemptions including a reduced number of parking spaces, providing 176 when 185 are required, and zoning changes, as several of the included lots are currently zoned for residential uses. Among the more significant requests from Planning was that the applicant better address why the project, given its location, should get zoning exemptions since, unlike many similar projects, the plan does not include any residential density. OP seems to suggest the project has neither demonstrated a need for the requested flexibility nor demonstrated the additional benefits to the community to justify a change in the zoning evaluation from a matter of right to PUD. To paraphrase, what's in it for "us"? A question neighbors have been more than willing to ask.

Neighbors object to a variety of elements about the plan. Certain voices clamor for dense mixed-use development that includes residential space and retail independent of the grocer. Others in the neighborhood prefer the short and squat nature of buildings in the surrounding area and would prefer to see changes come as matter of right development, leaving out the chance of future denser development. Then there are the standard worries about noise, traffic, and lack of community benefits. The community has some reconciling to do and Safeway now has plenty of time to get that feedback.

According to Muckle, the group "had been doing outreach and a number of issues arose" the team requested "more time to explore the issues without the pressure of a pending hearing prohibiting them from examining as fully as needed." Why the indefinite proposal then, why not six months? Muckle said Safeway did not want to be "pigeonholed" by a timeline. In Safeway's request for postponement, the team indicated that they will work with the community and Office of Planning to come to a consensus of sorts at which point the team and Commission will schedule a new hearing.

Washington, DC real estate and development news

169 comments:

IMGoph on Jan 12, 2010, 6:30:00 PM said...

pro, against, who cares.

if i was a developer, i wouldn't spend a dime on the wisconsin corridor, anywhere between friendship and the cathedral.

the people of those neighborhoods are preternaturally good at killing off developments. it's like they have a gift...

Ben said...

No big surprise here. Safeway's design was awful, and they didn't take community feedback into account at all when making revisions. Just a bit of lipstick here and there.

Hopefully, they'll come back with something that better utilizes the land, and respects the immediate neighbors.

rmarvin said...

I live four blocks away

this is a shame. the hidden safeway is so dreary and the new one would be so much more pleasant

bamoll on Jan 13, 2010, 9:38:00 AM said...

Yes, Ben, and we can all enjoy the beautiful Safeway that exists on the site today in the meantime.

The plan was not awful - that's being a bit over the top. There could have been some improvements to it, sure, but Safeway has probably made a business decision that it's not a good strategy to keep throwing money (as IMGoph puts it) at the Wisconsin Corridor with its angry neighbors. With their successful store at CityVista, maybe Safeway will move their focus to emerging neighborhoods, where people actually welcome new development.

Anonymous said...

bamoll .....well said thats prob why the next fancy new safeway will be built in wheaton and in that new deveopment near the southwest waterfront. I hope all the neighborhoods along wisconsin ave block development until they have crumbling facilities and no one wants to invest in their neighborhoods when they finally get some sense

Anonymous said...

I live five blocks from the Safeway, walk there when I just need a few things, and drive there or to the Giant for my weekly grocery shopping. The scale of the Safeway proposal is appropriate to the neighborhood, and I am looking forward to having a larger store with a better selection available. There remain a few issues as to how the store will impact its closest neighbors that need to be resolved and a construction management agreement is necessary. But, once Safeway presents a proposal that deals with the concerns of the closest neighbors, I expect that there will be substantial community support for the PUD.

I would like to provide one correction to this post, I looked at the OP report, and contrary to the implication in the statement above, OP did not request that the project include residential density, but simply stated that they would not oppose the inclusion of residential development. At the Zoning Commission, OP discussed on this issue, and was clear that they were not requesting mixed use, and that they did NOT view development of this site without residential use as being inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Anonymous said...

If my read of the zoning map is correct, a matter of right development on the commercial portion of the property could go to 50 feet. The issue here is the use of land zoned for residential use as a parking lot, which for the immediate neighbors, meant a blank wall dwarfing their light and air.

The nearby residents are supportive of more density on top of the grocery store. This is not a case similar to the Wisconsin Avenue Giant, as is inferred by IMGoph, but rather everyone in the community (except for the Alliance for Rational Development, who had already stated their support for the one-story suburban style redevelopment proposal) is supportive of a plan more conducive to 21st Century thinking.

I, for one, am glad to see Safeway consider a more progressive solution for this parcel, if in fact that is what is happening.

Mike on Jan 13, 2010, 2:12:00 PM said...

Thanks for the posting.
Progress is sometimes hard to swallow, especially when it comes to neighborhood development. People enjoy the familiar. I think the lack of "Green" should be of concern though

Anonymous said...

Once Safeway reaches an agreement with the immediate neighbors on the kinds of issues that abuttors usually have, this should be a slam-dunk. Neither OP nor the Zoning Commission seemed to have any problem with the basic proposal and the neighborhood would welcome a bigger and better grocery store with a livelier street presence (outdoor cafe space vs. brick wall).

But the longer Safeway takes to deal with the immediate neighbors' objections, the more leverage it gives to those who want to hijack the project and send it in a completely different direction -- a direction which, in fact, is likely to generate significantly more opposition than the current proposal.

Safeway isn't a developer. It's a grocery store chain. Build a better grocery store ASAP and get outta there!

Anonymous said...

"Green" (i.e. vegetative) roofs aren't essential to "green" (i.e. environmentally responsible) buildings. "Cool" roofs are an alternative technology that addresses the heat island and energy consumption issues more cheaply.

As for the green-ness of the building as a whole, as the article pointed out, Safeway is already talking LEED silver -- which is more than most PUD grantees aspire to.

I'm glad to see writers taking more of an interest in the details of these environmental standards -- in the past, lots of "green roofs" were just fringe plantings and LEED "certified" was treated as something special rather than the lowest rung of the rating system and one that can often be achieved in this environment with very little real effort (or impact).

Anonymous said...

This Safeway is within a ten minute walk of two metro stations. As a previous commenter said, ‘green’ isn’t just about adding a few plants to the roof. ‘Green’ is about utilizing scarce land near our region’s multibillion dollar investment in the metrorail system to provide much-needed housing in one of the least affordable areas of the DC region. It is well-documented that the amount of vehicle miles travel decreases substantially the closer someone lives next to a transit station. Encouraging development that substantially decreases driving is Green to me. Providing new residential development along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor will also help support a streetcar route from Georgetown to Friendship Heights that DDOT has suggested for study.

To clarify, the Safeway proposed for Wheaton will be on the ground floor of a multistory residential building that takes advantage of that location’s proximity to their metro station.

The outdoor café space is also more than a little misleading. This additional retail as part of the proposed Safeway would be inside the store and it would not have an independent exterior entrance. It would do little to add vitality to this section of 42nd Street.

Regarding IMGoph’s comparison, the opposition to this project is not at all similar to the opposition to the Giant further south on Wisconsin Avenue. Most people in this community would be quite willing to support a rational development (mixed use, includes housing on a site so close to two metro stations) rather than a suburban big-box store that still retains some surface parking.

Anonymous said...

By that logic, any homeowner who asks for a variance when remodeling should be told he has to build apartments or at very least a duplex if his property is within a 10 minute walk of a metro station. A grocer shouldn't have to build residential units just because its property is near a Metro station.

As for making the most of our investment in Metro, that's an argument for incentivizing investment around underutilized metro stations -- not for adding more households along this already crowded segment of the Red Line.

Anonymous said...

Before criticizing the project for a lack of “green,” it might be useful to review the July 2009 LEED Certification Scorecard that Safeway included in the PUD application.

The Scorecard at Tab VIII lists the credits that Safeway will be pursuing (checked in column “Yes”), those that it might pursue (“Maybe”), and those which their consultant determined are not attainable on the site (“No”).

A Silver LEED certification requires the prerequisites plus 50-59 credits. A Gold LEED certification requires the prerequisites plus 60-79 credits.

According to the consultant’s report, the plans for the Davenport Safeway have 54 credits in the “Yes” column, 22 credits in the “Maybe” column, and 39 credits in the “No” column. They also intend to meet all the prerequisites. If the project earns all the credits in the “Yes” column and the prerequisites, it will earn Silver LEED certification, and if it earns all those and at least 6 credits in the “Maybe” column, it will earn Gold LEED certification.

Anonymous said...

The outdoor café area will be near the main pedestrian entrance to the store. Anonymous at 2:57 pm would prefer that it have its own exterior entrance and that its use be limited to Starbucks customers, stating that that change will enhance the vitality of the street. Instead with Safeway’s plan, pedestrians, shoppers and area students using these tables can select from all of Safeway’s prepared foods, packaged foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and non-alcoholic beverages in addition to the Starbucks menu. It seems that this would contribute more, rather than less, vitality to the area than an independent exterior entrance with seating for Starbucks customers.

Anonymous said...

This is very biased reporting and some of the comments are even worse.

Nothing the Office of Planning said at the hearing suggested that Safeway would have any trouble getting the project approved. And they made it clear that they weren't inclined to require housing at this site.

I don't see why this project should be held hostage to someone's fantasy that there should be a streetcar running down Wisconsin Avenue. But, hey, I hear that on the internet if you repeat something enough times, soon enough it becomes true, right?

Hopefully, Safeway will ask its customers whether they want a better store in the next couple of years or whether they'd prefer to hold out for "residential density," a streetcar, or maybe even a pony.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:04 AM

It is not a fantasy at all to suggest that if we had higher density infill development along Wisconsin Avenue, that residents in this corridor could get a streetcar. DDOT has a map suggesting this corridor will be studied for a streetcar route from Georgetown. The way to exclude the possibility of this alignment is to continue advocating Ashburn-style auto-dependent building patterns. If you cared to look, instead of trying to be so glib, you would see that the U.S. Department of Transportation revised its funding guidelines for New Starts grants to include induced economic development that transit projects such as streetcars encourage. The possibility of mixed-use infill development rather than the suburban big-box format that Safeway is offering us will help make DDOT’s proposal for the 37-mile streetcar system more competitive for federal funding.

Second, hopefully the ANC and the DC Office of Planning will ask Tenley and District residents whether they’d prefer more auto congestion, more sprawl elsewhere in the DC region, and more pollution or whether they want a Safeway that includes new housing opportunities for families in one of the most expensive sections of our city. While you’re at it, I’d also ask surrounding businesses if they’d like the new residents that such a mixed-use project will bring to help support their stores. I’ve noticed several vacant storefronts between Tenley and Friendship Heights in the past few months.

Anonymous said...

More residential density along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor is a good idea. It adds tax dollars to the city coffers which enable better schools, better emergency services and other public amenities which have been lacking for decades.

More density along the corridor also provides more customers for the existing and future retail stores and restaurants.

A "green" Safeway means a better development which mitigates the negative impacts seen as a result of legacy building practices from the 1950's-1980's. Safeway should be encouraged for a LEED Gold rating for this proposal. There is even an opportunity for a higher rating under LEED-ND because of the potential connectivity credits the proposal would receive.

Finally, as others have already stated, 'Matter of Right" for this parcel would be upwards of 4 or 5 stories. Surely the regular cast of characters wouldn't oppose a proposal that is matter of right, would it? Afterall, that was the standard for other development proposals such as 5220 Wisconsin Avenue or, *cough* the bank at Ellicot Street.

Anonymous said...

It makes no sense to replace the 30 buses with streetcars especially on the narrow parts of Wisconsin, like Georgetown, where the bottlenecks will be horrific given all of the trash pick-up, curbside deliveries, etc. to local businesses.

Upper Wisconsin already has heavy rail which wipes out the alleged benefits of streetcars (they are beneficial when they bring transit to places where it doesn't already exist).

Re vacant storefronts in Tenleytown and Friendship Heights. There's always churn -- including lots of new businesses coming into both areas (Crisp & Juicy, Murphy's Law, Cafe of India, Kulturas, Masala Art, TD Bank, Tennis Zone in Tenley over the course of the past year; the list for Friendship Heights would be even longer.)

And, of course, Safeway has already indicated they want to rebuild their store. They aren't saying wait until residential density increases and grocery stores are a type of business that is more neighborhood-centered than many other retailers. It's a bit perverse to argue that we must prevent a retail development in order to promote more residential development which is desirable because it may lead to new retail development. In fact what we're seeing is that retail and residential compete for land and when residential is less attractive, retail development increases. At least in neighborhoods, like those along upper Wisconsin Avenue, where the retail demographics are already strong.

You can (and we do) have mixed-use neighborhoods without mixed-use buildings. The notion that every new project along or near upper Wisconsin Avenue must include street-level storefronts and high density residential will doom that area to increasing retail vacancies (see Tenley Hill and experience elsewhere -- e.g. Arlington County).

Anonymous said...

Opponents of change in the Tenleytown and Friendship Heights areas often cite the overburden of the Metro system in their arguments against new retail and housing density in these communities.

I would suggest that a streetcar line on Wisconsin Avenue from Friendship Heights to downtown will help alleviate this burden and provide additional transportation choices to residents throughout the area.

I would also submit that once upon a time, streetcars ran on the narrow streets of Georgetown. Their presence was so revered that residents on streets where the legacy tracks for one of the lines fight hard to maintain their existence. I would think we should all embrace the forward-thinking idea of a new Wisconsin Avenue Streetcar line as a means of further enhancing the corridor, and the lifestyle choices of the residents in the vicinity.

Added density of spaces such as Safeway exhibit the kind of progressive thinking this city needs to maximize the lifestyle choices for the residents of the city.

Anonymous said...

It does indeed seem strange that those who most bitterly complain about new development in Tenley do so in part because of unfounded fears of auto congestion yet these very same people do not want to charge market-rate prices for parking, don't want to build walkable development, nor it appears, do they have any interest in building a streetcar line that will provide greater reliability and capacity than the 30s-line buses.

Anonymous said...

At least the second of these two posts acknowledges that the hypothetical streetcar (not part of DDOT's 10 year plan, BTW) would just duplicate the 30s bus routes.

As for the claim of increased reliability, that's pure assertion and doesn't make much sense when, essentially, you're moving from a track-less to a track system and the track won't be dedicated-use. So streetcars, like buses, remain stuck in ordinary traffic PLUS they can't change lanes to move around obstacles.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:03 PM

I have a DDOT map at home showing the Wisconsin Avenue that is suggested for further study.

The claim of increasd reliability is not pure assertion at all. One streetcar has probably 2-3 times the capacity of a bus, so multiple buses could be eliminated from the traffic flow. Second, it is possible for streetcars to get signal preemption technology to ensure that they have green lights when they approach an intersection. Third, potential stations would be spaced further apart. Closely spaced duplicative stops greatly slow down the speeds of buses and slows down traffic flow as the buses must merge and re-enter the stream of vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again, the militant and unbending "politically correct" developmentalists (emphasis on "mental") are once again lecturing us on the wonderful benefits of adding residential high rises in places where it's not desirable and/or feasible. Save Gaithersburg from sprawl! Bring it to Tenleytown! Thanks so much for hamstringing the process so we can wait that much longer for a nicer grocery store. Maybe the "pay to play" ANC commissioners were extorting too high a price from the Safeway officials. Maybe the financial risks and funding/feasibility issues for a residential building on this site proved too much for the Safeway people to tackle. Or maybe it's a simpler issue of Safeway wanting to redesign their plans to lessen the impact on the closest neighbors. But leave it to DCmud and the development Nazis to boil it down to a NIMBYs VS SANCTIMONIOUS PRO-MEGA- DEVELOPMENT TOADIES issue. That doesn't require much analysis or thought, does it?

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is there currently exists a dingy outdated grocery store on this site. The grocery chain would like to build a nicer grocery store at the same site. I don't understand the problem. The neighbors already abut an ugly old box of a store. Why wouldnt they welcome an improvemed structure with some sense of design? It's only 2 stories, not a highrise. It's not like the chain is trying to convert a public park into a retail strip.

Anonymous said...

The issue isn't traffic light so much as obstructions along lower Wisconsin where, as a previous post pointed out, you have trash pick-up, deliveries, parking, cabs picking up and dropping of passengers, etc.

And what you're describing is less frequent service with fewer stops which isn't an improvement to public transit from the perspective to most riders.

DDOT may show various of routes for future study but none of them are planned for the next decade and those that are planned still aren't fully funded.

Having just returned from a bus trip from Georgetown to upper Wisconsin, I tried to imagine a streetcar on that stretch under the pre-rush hour traffic conditions I was witnessing. It would have caused serious snarls for an emergency vehicle whose progress up the street depended on other vehicles being able to move out of its way. This is a bad idea that will not come to fruition.

And it's insane to suggest we should hold Safeway's proposal hostage to this misconceived quest to bring streetcars back to Wisconsin Avenue. Or even that streetcars on Wisconsin would ameliorate capacity problems on the Red Line. Tenleytown to downtown by way of Georgetown would not be an appealing commute. Let's get real here or at least fantasize on your own dime rather than try to obstruct a project that would improve neighborhood retail.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the neighbors WANT a new Safeway of two stories, as do most of the area residents who shop there. Unfortunately, the "smart growthers" have hijacked the project to further their own sense of self worth and environmental "correctness". So now the project appears stalled, thanks to them.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:38 pm
The map that you have is probably from the District of Columbia Alternatives Analysis, which reviewed a large number of transportation corridors in the District. In the final report, Wisconsin Avenue did not pass the Screen 2 Evaluation, but was among the four corridors recommended for “local bus service enhancement.” Wisconsin Avenue simply did not meet the criteria for further evaluation for “potential premium transit service improvement.”

Anonymous said...

So are members of the so-called "Alliance for Rational Development" honestly going to suggest that a 1950's suburban style auto-centric standalone grocery store in a parking lot is more "rational" than some of the alternative suggestion in this and other forums?

цarьchitect on Jan 14, 2010, 6:05:00 PM said...

I was going to add some comments to this discussion, however, I believe that the anti-growth comments on this post have made my point better than I ever could.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

That's not anti-growth sentiment you're hearing -- it's pro-grocery store sentiment! There's also lots of pro-library and pro-school sentiment up here. Tenleytowners like change when it's for the better. And Safeway's proposal is clearly much better than what we have now. I hope they go for it and ignore the nay-sayers.

Anonymous said...

Look at this completely shrill tone here. With accusations of bribery/extortion on the part of the ANC and calling smart growth proponents nazis, it is no wonder that a developer doesn't propose anything taller than one-story on parcels that are right next to metro stations. The blame for this project lies solely with the War Profiteers on ARD who only want auto-dependent development that continues our dependence on foreign oil.

Anonymous said...

Several anonymous posters seem to call for Safeway to have increased density and include housing in the project. Yet, the Office of Planning was clear in stating that they were not seeking higher density or housing.

The only attributed public statement that I have seen calling for a higher density, mixed use project was a piece in the Northwest Current written by two individuals who live much closer to the Chevy Chase Safeway on McKinley and Connecticut than the Tenleytown Safeway. Yet, I haven’t seen them issue a similar call for a high density mixed use development to replace their Safeway which sits on a transit-rich corridor, and I haven’t seen they issue a call to replace the Chevy Chase library or recreation center with high density mixed use buildings.

Safeway’s neighbors seem to simply want Safeway to modify the project to address the concerns of the closest neighbors and GDS, and to address the Zoning Commission’s concern about the transition of the building along Ellicott Street into the neighborhood. Once those concerns are addressed, many of the neighbors look forward to having Safeway move ahead with building a new store.

Tenley resident tired of the development wars said...

Please build this project. Blame me. Call me a NIMBY. I don't care. I'd just like a new grocery store. The current one is depressing as hell. I tend to avoid it even though I think Safeway has better meat than Giant (whose pork chops are 15% water)!

Anonymous said...

"development Nazis" -- hah. I remember when the Washington Post quoted ARD leader Caroline Sherman as saying that "developers wanted to come in to rape the fucking community."

Whoever called them war profiteers was right on the money, too. These people just like to fight. So they shill for Safeway. Honestly.

Oh yeah, coming back to ex-ANC and current ARD Caroline Sherman, the thing these people really, really love to fight about is anything that the current ANCs like. If the currents are for it, the formers are against it.

Anonymous said...

Think I made that up about ARD leader saying developers wanted to rape the fucking neighborhood?

http://dcbubble.blogspot.com/2007/05/theyre-coming-in-to-fxxxx-rape-our.html

http://whyihatedc.blogspot.com/2007/05/i-dont-need-their-civil-war.html

Anonymous said...

Wow, that gives a lot of credibility to the former ANC Commissioner. I am glad the Alliance for Rational development has such profound leadership. Who else is drinking that kool Aid?

Anonymous said...

There are probably many stand-alone grocery stores with parking lots and grocery-anchored strip malls in the city and inner-ring suburbs that could be reworked as mixed-use development, including the Connecticut Avenue Safeway in Chevy Chase. Recognizing that every location presents its own unique challenges for the planners, architects, developers and retailers, wouldn't it be great if Safeway, Giant, CVS, and any other chains partnered with the regional planning agencies to at least survey and do some preliminary study of the redevelopment opportunities these sites offer to become catalysts for new transit oriented development in their neighborhoods - models for a new, greener, walkable urbanism to replace the outdated, often rundown, retail strips? Let's issue a call to be more proactive in our planning, more expansive in envisioning ways to work with property owners and developers to create mixed use commercial corridors that enrich and enhance our neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

To recap:

Streetcars good.
Carolyn Sherman bad.
QED Safeway shouldn't be allowed to build a new store unless it builds apartments as well.

Hard to believe that a majority of (or even a dozen) Tenleytown residents see the issue this way. Most people probably assume that Safeway can and will build a new store with its own money on its own land (just like it's doing in Georgetown) and that it's wisest just to stay out of these debates which seem so vicious and so irrational.

Anonymous said...

I don't think mixed-use residential makes sense at that location. The last two such projects approved in the area (Babes and Buick) have gone unbuilt for lack of financing. And the Safeway in Bethesda with the apartment building on top is almost as grim as Tenleytown's current store -- but it can't be rebuilt.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:41 AM

You don't think new residential that is a ten minute walk from two metro stations makes sense in this location? Where do you suppose we put some of the two million new people the DC region is expected to add by 2050? Loundon or Frederick County so we can continue to consume more oil, increase congestion, degrade our air quality, and generate more emissions?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that whether or not there are apartments or even rowhouses at the Tenleytown Safeway will have any impact on how many people end up living in Frederick or Loudoun Counties.

Those decisions are likely to be made based on access to jobs and good public schools as well as on how big a house people can buy for how much money. Fairfax County is already vying with DC as the region's employment center and there has been lots of job growth in Loudoun. Schools are much better in Fairfax than in DC. And housing is much cheaper in Loudoun.

I'm all for decreasing automobile dependence, but I think that the way to do that is to provide more and better transit options --including services to/from/within/among the suburbs --rather than to pretend that we can somehow compel individuals to live and businesses to locate in the District, despite the fact that public services suck and taxes and land costs are high here.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 9:29 AM

Nobody is compelling people to live anywhere but, as you noted yourself, this area of DC has an acute shortage of affordable housing. Many more people would like to live in this area if they could and forego the 1 1/2 hour commute from Loundon County to employment centers in DC and the inner suburbs. Providing new housing options near our transit infrastructure will help allow this.

Providing more transit works on busy corridors (Tysons and the Dulles Toll Road) but continually expanding Metro to these lower density suburbs strains Metro's budget and operational performance. You need a certain level of density for transit to be effective.

Nobody is suggesting that supporting three floors of residential development above the Safeway will alleviate the region's demand for housing but land-use decisions in DC definitely do impact neighboring counties. When these no-growth radicals prevail in DC and other inner suburbs, new housing is pushed out further to the fringe of the region-- to areas that are not walkable and that lack transit.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 9:29 AM

Yes, the schools are bad in DC- terrible in most areas in fact (aside from a few decent elementry schools). This is why the objection that the No-Growthers raise about crowded schools and increased enrollment in a nonstarter and merely a cover for their self-interest. The people that would move to these 1 and 2 bedroom condos most likely do not have school-age children. They are singles and young couples who want convenient access to jobs and the amenities DC offers. Second, if the services are so bad in DC, wouldn't you want new residents (most likely affluent to be able to afford to live in this neighborhood) who would pay income and sales taxes to support improved services and schools?

Anonymous said...

Nobody's offering to build affordable housing on top of the Tenleytown Safeway, much less the kind of SFD housing people seek in Loudoun. And, again, job growth is elsewhere in the region.

And if the goal is more people living in the District (rather than connecting more people to public transit which, of course, can be done in the suburbs), then we should be steering investment to the neighborhoods that have lost significant population over the past decades. Investments in schools would be one win-win way to spur reinvestment in these communities. And the housing built in such areas will be more affordable than that built in upper NW.

There's no shortage of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments along the Red Line and between Wisconsin Place and the Roadside project at the B of A lot, close to 500 new units have recently been or are being built within walking distance of the Friendship Heights metro stop.

There's growth in the area and no reason to demand that every commercial property owner contribute more residences regardless of whether or not that owner is in the business of developing housing.

And, again, job growth is focused elsewhere -- our regional environmental and transportation challenge is to make those areas accessible in ways that don't force people to depend on cars. The focus on requiring that residential construction be included in every project along upper Wisconsin Avenue is just a distraction from an honest, sustained, and effective effort to address the environmental impact of sprawl.

Anonymous said...

Classic: Yes, let's steer everyone to those other neighrborhoods.

Keep it up ARD, you just keep making yourself look better all the time!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1027AM:

Are you suggesting in your last paragraph that everyone who wants housing close to jobs or transit in Upper NW DC has been able to find it already? If that is the case how would you explain the very high cost of housing in Ward 3? If that demand had been met would housing prices not have cooled in upper NW as much as they have in the far suburbs where you seem to believe all of the job growth is happening?

Also are you suggesting that rather than using existing public transit infrastucture we instead build more of it? If so how do you propose to pay for it?

Or alternately are you suggesting rather than build on existing developed lots with appropriate in-fill development that we build on undeveloped lots further out thus decreasing open space and contributing to sprawl?

And finally in your last paragraph you express concern about urban sprawl but seem to be arguing that we should be fighting it in other places and not in Ward 3? Am I understanding correctly that you are opposed to urban sprawl and wish to fight it but not in Ward 3?

That sounds a lot like - well I won't say it.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm suggesting that upper NW DC isn't "close to the jobs" of people who now live (or will live) in Loudoun or Frederick. And that 1 or 2 bedroom apartments or condos on top of the grocery store aren't the housing they're looking for.

I'm also suggesting that if our goal is to make the most of existing infrastructure we should focus our efforts on areas where there is significant unused capacity rather than on areas where the infrastructure is already straining to meet current demand.

And I'm suggesting that the way to decrease dependence on cars is to expand the reach and reliability of public transportation.

There's a certain chasing your tail quality to the whole "where will the money come from?" argument. DC government finds money for plenty of things -- DPR contracts to cronies, developer subsidies, sports stadiums, endless consultant reports -- but it doesn't focus on funding transit improvements that will connect people to jobs and to the other places they want to go. The heat is off on that issue in part because so many so-called transit advocates seem to have got caught up in or co-opted by RE development schemes and fads rather than insisted on nuts and bolts planning based on actual data and analysis of how to get people from where they are to where they need or want to be. The pols are perfectly happy with this outcome -- it lets them give their developer-contributors what they want while simultaneously claiming to be progressive iconoclastic visionaries who are creating a world-class city for the 21st century. Rome fiddles while the Metro system and DCPS implode.

In the end, it's a silly game to demand a particular kind of development at a location where it makes no sense and then to respond to anyone who points out the fallacies in your reasoning by claiming that they are anti-growth or afraid of change or *gasp* the new N word. And it's really counterproductive (not to mention disingenuous) to try to derail any project (new library, expanded and modernized school, bigger and better grocery store) that doesn't include more housing while claiming that we need more housing to improve retail or fund school and library modernizations.

Safeway wants (or, by this point, perhaps "wanted" would be the more appropriate tense) to build a new store in Tenleytown. A handful of smart growth advocates have worked to block this project because it doesn't conform to their ideological agenda. Likely outcome: Safeway shrugs its collective shoulders and moves on to the next modernization project on its list.

IMGoph on Jan 15, 2010, 12:22:00 PM said...

good god, 47 comments in and about 5 of them have attribution?

can any of you people not post anonymously?!? it would be so much easier to figure out who's replying to whom, etc., if you would just take the time to come up with a little pseudonym or something.

pretty please? do it for the children.

For the Children said...

I will, I promise.

Anonymous said...

Shame on the Tenley no-growth radicals and the 'Alliance for Rational Development' for preventing quality transit-oriented development in Tenley and Friendship Heights.

http://www.uctc.net/access/35/access35_TOD_and_Carsharing.pdf

Ferdinand on Jan 15, 2010, 6:43:00 PM said...

I think this is just so funny, the leaders of the anti-growth-on-Wisconsin groups crying about a developer's inalienable right to build what it wants on its property, period, even if the developer needs a PUD to do it. How many years have those people screamed about how they get to decide what gets built on property, gawd, especially when theres a PUD involved. I so hope they ditch the anonymity on this one!

Anonymous said...

The positions aren’t inconsistent.

No landowner should be allowed to build more than the zoning maximum unless there’s a clear and persuasive case that the project leaves not only that landowner but the other property owners in the vicinity better off. So you can't take more than your share at the expense of others.

It doesn’t follow from that that any request for zoning relief entitles the community to dictate that the landowner take on a larger and fundamentally different type of project (e.g. primarily residential vs. exclusively retail). Property ownership doesn't carry with it an obligation to develop your land in accordance with other peoples' conceptions of its best and highest use.

As other posters have already indicated, there are lots of people who believe both that Safeway needs to address the concerns of its immediate neighbors if it wants support for the PUD, and that Safeway shouldn't be compelled to build apartments in order to get permission to rebuild its store.

And, of course, matter-of-right redevelopment remains an option at this site. It defines the parameters within which the landowner has free choice.

Ferdinand said...

Hey, you said it:

"No landowner should be allowed to build more than the zoning maximum unless there’s a clear and persuasive case that the project leaves not only that landowner but the other property owners in the vicinity better off."

It's not just property owners, it's the community. Safeway's piss poor proposal doesn't leave the community better off than a matter of right development there. At least I haven't seen anything like clear and persuasive evidence of that.

They don't want to build a mixed-use project that will make the neighborhood more vibrant? Fine by me. Let them build a smaller store (but it would still be quite large as a matter of right), and put green space or townhouses on the part of the property zoned residential. Why aren't the anti-growth people for that?

Hey, I'll answer my own question the way one of the many other anonymouses did: They just really like to fight, and if the current ANC is for something, they are against it. Oh, and vice-versa of course.

Anonymous said...

These are the same people who bring drawings of 5 story buildings and tell developers who propose 7 stories that they could have a perfectly nice 5 story project, so that's all we are going to "let" you have.

Like Ackridge maybe? Oh right, they weren't dictating what Ackridge could build on their own property and telling them what the highest and best use of their property was.

I agree that' not inconsistency. It's rank hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Your claim is that ARD, the one group that has indicated it supports Safeway's proposal and who did so before anyone objected to the project and after having been pilloried for opposing previous development projects was spoiling for a fight? I'm not a member of ARD, but, frankly, that doesn't make any sense. More likely, they were trying to point out that they welcome new retail development -- a point they've made previously.

Others have withheld judgment on the PUD (but not critique of some of the bases for opposing it) until they see what happens in the negotiations between Safeway and its neighbors. I don't see any reason why someone who might support the PUD would oppose matter of right. First, what would be the the point and secondly, there's not a whole lot of difference. Less a matter of size, I'd think, than how and where the store would be positioned on the site.

Anonymous said...

ARD supported the project even after it knew the neighbors were being screwed. Just look at the posts on the tenleytown listserv.

I heard the neighbors say at an ANC meeting that theyd love to see a matter of right store and matter of right residential behind their houses. So, why doesn't ARD push for that?

Because they allied themselves with Safeway. It gives them something to fight about. It doesn't matter that they are shilling for a giant corporation, the corporation wants to build low-rise, and other people want to see something else. So ARD is back in action! Yeehah!

We all know that Safeway ITSELF had originally proposed building mixed-use on that property. ARD thought they dodged a bullet and went to bat for this iteration of Safeway. When the ANC and others raised concerns about the project, that just stoked the fire in their bellies.

Anonymous said...

I'll second the rank hypocracy comment.

Sure, Safeway ought not be compelled to have density atop its store, but at the same token, the community - most particularly the immediate neighbors - are not compelled to support the PUD application.

Reasonable compromise? Sure, Safeway builds its store within the footprint zoned for commercial use, and the area zoned for residential can be townhouses or garden apartments.

If that compels Safeway to put its store/employee parking under the new development and offset the cost with apartments on top, then all the better for everyone. This could all be done as a matter of right project.

Would ARD fight this?

Anonymous said...

9:01 and 10:07 have misrepresented the facts.

Here's what Adam Rubinson, who seems to be serving as the spokesperson for most of the neighbors, posted on the Tenleytown listserv:

(re a direct mail campaign from Safeway seeking neighborhood support)

"However, if Safeway (or some other interested parties) attempt to construe these postcards as evidence, not just that some neighbors favor the overall
development idea, but that they specifically support the current plan in every detail, then it could result in an attempted end-run around the most impacted neighbors. This, in turn, could create an impasse, and a real lose-lose for
everyone. We, whose homes are adjacent to the planned development, are really counting on all of our neighbors to be supportive of us, during this period of negotiations. Again, the goal is not to kill the project, but to slightly modify it."

(and from a subsequent post):

"To answer your question, there are a few items we are discussing with Safeway about their current redevelopment plan. While we like the concept of a newer, nicer, larger store, under the current plan, the new building would cover almost the entire footprint of their property, including the current parking lot area (much of which is zoned residential) next to the property line of several homes.

The issues we are discussing with Safeway have to do with items such as height, proximity, and noise concerns for the parts of the planned store that would be closest to people's homes. We also want a solid construction management plan for the expected 1.5 years that the site will be under construction.

Based on recent discussions with Safeway, I have hope they will show sensitivity to our concerns, and will consider making a few reasonable changes to accomodate them, while still being able to maintain the integrity of their project. This is why I am grateful if all neighbors in the extended neighborhood would continue to show solidarity with the neighbors most greatly impacted by the planned redevelopment, so that this dialogue with Safeway can continue, and conclude amicably as a win-win for all concerned."

and a third post:

"We don't want to derail or delay the Safeway project; we are
asking for small changes that should be relatively minor for Safeway, but extremely significant for the immediate neighborhood."

and

"There is a great deal of space there to build a megastore, without needing to build almost up to the property line.

Let me re-emphasize that we are not trying to stop the building of a new, nicer, much larger store. This is not a "Stop the Safeway Coalition," and I haven't yet heard any neighborhood group advocating that. We are only asking for a reasonable compromise, due to the proximity of the store to these homes."

The neighbors aren't calling for mixed use. They aren't saying ARD has stabbed them in the back. They differentiate between support for the concept (which both they and ARD have expressed) and support for PUD approval prior to coming to terms with the immediate neighbors (which, so far as I know, ARD has not offered).

It's also worth pointing out that Safeway's original PUD application for the Tenleytown site was for a standalone lifestyle store. There was no prior proposal submitted for a mixed-use project.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:10PM

As the saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Safeway was interested in building a mixed-use development here as recently as 2008. Here is the Northwest Current (Aug 19, 2009. http://www.currentnewspapers.com/admin/uploadfiles/NW%20Aug%2019%201.pdf)

"Bender had other environmental
concerns. A low-density, one-story
building is “not a particularly efficient use of space in an urban area,” he said. But plans reported last year to build up to 200 residential units along with a redeveloped Safeway have been scrapped, according to
Muckle."

Google (and perhaps a FOIA to the Office of Planning) is a powerful thing.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 11:10 PM

To scrap something suggests that there were plans to build a mixed-use development at one time. Is it possible that the Alliance for Rational Development bullied Safeway into submission to build, as suggested before, the store that they would foresee has having the least possible opposition? It is pure chutzpah, then for these very same people to claim it is those advocating for responsible growth to be stalling progress on this store.

Ferdinand said...

Notice how 11:10 (y'all are too lazy even to come up with a pseudonym so we've come down to IDing with timestamps) completely dodges the hard question by posting paragraph after paragraph of irrelevant quotations?

So the neighbors would support something that doesn't screw them? Now there's a surprise.

Why hasn't ARD, and what is that, like 10 people, but that's a different story, proudly and publicly told the world that they OPPOSE Safeway's application and will continue to OPPOSE the application until the neighbors' concerns are addressed? If ARD, and the other 10 or so rabble rousers who are CSTO, FNA, TNA, and YMMV, cared a whit about their neighbors they would applaud Safeway's decision to postpone their hearing, because it would be what they want.

Golly, you might look at everything that's been said and find yourself thinking, these people are just playing both sides.

Anonymous said...

I would submit that the interests of the nearby neighbors, as quoted by Adam Rubinson, and those of the so-called Smart Growth advocates are closely aligned.

This is why, I believe the Alliance for Rational Development (I suppose the 10 or so people who represent the organizations outlined be Ferdinand)are now posting falsehoods and malicious information about the ANC and others.

Facts are a horrible thing in their case.

Anonymous said...

Developers frequently consider (and even discuss in the media) projects that they don't ultimately undertake. Do you have any evidence that Safeway went to ARD with a mixed-use project? Safeway certainly did not go to the Zoning Commission with one.

As a previous post pointed out, mixed-use projects (with approved PUDs in hand) in this area have still not been built for lack of financing. If, as you suggest, ARD consists of only 10 people, it strains credulity to claim that ARD forced Safeway to walk away from a mixed-use project. By contrast, the housing market slump and other projects currently or potentially in the local pipeline are the kind of facts that influence rational decisionmaking about development projects.

The most striking thing to me about this thread is not the lack of pseudoynms but the abusive tone of many of the posts opposing the Safeway PUD and the failure of mixed-use advocates to address any of the substantive points made by those who believe that Safeway should be authorized to build a free-standing store at this site.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:08

Abusive tone? You have to be kidding me. It was the no-growthers/ARD people you labeled me a SANTCIMONIOUS DEVELOPMENT NAZI in a previous post.

It does not strain credulity one bit to suggest that ARD forced Safeway to abandon a mixed-use project considering the disproportionate influence they had with the library public-private partnerrship, Maxxim condos, Akridge, and the Giant further south on Wisconsin.

You can try to twist and evade all you like but the blame for the auto-dependent development and the large number of retail vacancies falls squarely on ARD.

Anonymous said...

Responsible neighborhood groups have simply been holding Safeway to the legal standards for approval of a PUD, just as they had done with other controversial PUD applicants in the past. For the Safeway PUD, meeting this standard would entail relatively small changes in the project to reflect the concerns of GDS and the closest neighbors, as well as some minor changes and additional information to address the specific issues raised by the Zoning Commission at its meeting and by the Office of Planning in its report. These mostly relate to the design of the western side of the building, the handling of the traffic and loading, pedestrian walkways and the architectural details on the Ellicott Street side. Adding three floors of residential use and thirty feet in height would do nothing to address these concerns. It is not inconsistent to support one PUD and oppose another when what you're doing is asking whether the legal standard (a standard designed to balance property rights) has been met.

On the other hand, the "smart growth" advocates and some anonymous posters on this blog would demand that Safeway build an entirely different project, one that satisfies their personal vision of desirable development. The apparent basis for this preference is a belief, through their deeply flawed analysis, that housing at Davenport and 42nd Street as well as various other sites in this mile-long portion of Wisconsin Avenue, is essential to protecting the global environment and eliminating sprawl in distant counties.

The smart growth groups have participated in PUDs not by reviewing the proposals and determining whether the project meets the legal standards. Instead, their less-than-credible arguments about global warming might be viewed as a front for more self-interested demands. They seem to view the PUD process as an avenue for demanding that the developer change the project to fit their own personal preferences, such as dictating the type of retail stores that can occupy space at the Akridge PUD (See Exhibit No. 212 which outlines an agreement between Akridge and Ward 3 Vision to limit the uses on the ground floor and how the façade might be altered to accommodate commercial tenants), requiring another developer to provide the operator of their child’s day care center with a new, additional 3,000 square foot facility with a capacity to enroll 44 children, for which she would pay rent of only $1 a year for fifty years, or in this case, that the developer change the design to have the space devoted to the supermarket on two floors, increase the height of the building to at least 54 feet and add three floors of residences and perhaps a few townhouses.

In fact, the project that the smart growth groups are asking for would have a much larger negative impact on the immediate neighbors.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 12:03 PM

"less than credible argument about global warming..."

I encourage you to put your rabid ideology aside for a minute and read the article for the link I posted above (http://www.uctc.net/access/35/access35_TOD_and_Carsharing.pdf). People who live in transit-oriented development have fundamentally different commuting patterns than those who do not live near rail stations and drive noticeably less. If you believe that auto emissions are a significant contributor to global warming, which has been pretty well established, than there is a very strong connection between smart-growth infill-development and reducing global warming.

Second, it has been pretty well established in the postings above who are the self-interested actors in this debate. I'd suggest it is those who noted that sprawl is a problem and that the District should add more people but just not in their neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Concerns about traffic without offering any alternatives (mixed-use walkable development, streetcars, market-based pricing for curbside parking) and concern about overcrowded schools without finding one actual school-age child who lives in any of these 1-2 bedroom condos might be viewed as a front for more self-interested demands.

Anonymous said...

As Cervero points out, the higher transit use of people who live near public transit is largely a function of self-selection -- not a conversion experience. There is no shortage of transit accessible 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and condos near Metro stations -- if anything, there's been a glut. Relocating Van Ness residents to Tenleytown (or a new resident choose Tenley over NOMA or Brookland) doesn't decrease VMT or global warming or the population of Loudoun County.

It's kind of funny to watch people claim that residents have foiled TOD in Tenleytown and Friendship Heights. In fact, these are among the most successful TOD areas in DC (based on transit access, walkability, mix of residences, retail, jobs, institutions) and they successfully compete for affluent residents with the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Still no answer from the ARD to this one:

"Why hasn't ARD, and what is that, like 10 people, but that's a different story, proudly and publicly told the world that they OPPOSE Safeway's application and will continue to OPPOSE the application until the neighbors' concerns are addressed? If ARD, and the other 10 or so rabble rousers who are CSTO, FNA, TNA, and YMMV, cared a whit about their neighbors they would applaud Safeway's decision to postpone their hearing, because it would be what they want.

Golly, you might look at everything that's been said and find yourself thinking, these people are just playing both sides."

Anonymous said...

I'm confused on this one as well:

"Relocating Van Ness residents to Tenleytown (or a new resident choose Tenley over NOMA or Brookland) doesn't decrease VMT or global warming or the population of Loudoun County...In fact, these (Tenley) are among the most successful TOD areas in DC (based on transit access, walkability, mix of residences, retail, jobs, institutions) and they successfully compete for affluent residents with the suburbs."

So it appears you are conceding that mixed-use development near transit does reduce driving and sprawl?

Anonymous said...

"In fact, these are among the most successful TOD areas in DC (based on transit access, walkability, mix of residences, retail, jobs, institutions) and they successfully compete for affluent residents with the suburbs."

Isn't it these affluent residents who would pay for new services and improved schools you seem to want?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1203PM - what is the problem with providing daycare facilities in the neighborhood?

Or are you against children too?

The daycare in question, by the way, is a non-profit.

And presumably you are not aware of this but there is an incredible shortage of spaces for little ones in daycare in Upper NW.

So that sounds like a pretty good amenity to me and one that the community definitely needs.

This is another example of the divisiveness that the anti-growth folks constantly generate - take something completely non-controversial and in great demand like daycare and try to twist that around and make it into something nefarious.

Or is your concern about the daycare really a personal issue because you dislike the person who advocated for additional daycare space or you dislike the daycare director?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1252PM - are you seriously arguing that if we add additional residential capacity along Wisconsin Avenue that Van Ness is going to empty out?

Presumably you are aware that the DC Metro region is projected to add 2 million additional people over the next 25 years?

And that the downtown business district is the 4th largest in the United States and is still seeing significant growth? And that excludes close in business districts like the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Crystal City, Silver Spring and Bethesda which are also on Metro lines and for all practical purposes border the District. And completely excludes Tyson's which is the 13th largest business district in the US and which will be on metrorail in under 3 years.

And excludes the fact that gas is back to $3 a gallon and is predicted to be back to $4 a gallon as soon as the US economy recovers?

Where do you then propose everyone lives? And how do you propose keeping them from driving through your neighborhood on their way to their jobs in downtown DC?

Or are you for transit oriented development (just like another anonymous poster is opposed to sprawl) but you just want it somewhere else?

But are you seriously arguing that this is some zero sum game - that if we build new residences along Wisconsin Avenue that there is going to be some magical surplus of housing units in Van Ness and that neighborhood is going to empty out?

Do you have any evidence of this whatsoever?

Because a lot of developers clearly disagree and are proceeding with significant size projects at the White Flint and Tysons Metro stations among others. And even in this economy Roadside is proceeding (they actually broke ground) with a condo project in Friendship Heights which is going to have a very high per square foot cost.

If you in fact know that the demand for housing near Metro has already peaked and is on the verge of collapse I'm sure there are a lot of developers who read this blog who would be grateful to see this evidence and thus be given the chance to spare themselves certain economic ruin.

There are a lot of unsubstantiated claims and unanswered questions in this thread.

Anonymous said...

It was a market-rate daycare whose clientele at least at the time was primarily from MD (in violation of a previous PUD amenity agreement). And the supporter-for-hire who negotiated the deal also got a design contract out of it for her architect husband.

Meanwhile one of the two co-authors of the Current Viewpoint opposing the Safeway PUD and saying mixed-use should be required at that location is a not very successful mixed-use consultant and developer, a fact he didn't bother to disclose in the author blurb at the bottom of the piece. That might give readers a different take on his opinion that mixed-use should be required near Metro stations even at sites where the landowner does not want to build it.

Anonymous said...

There's no reason to believe that anyone from ARD is reading or posting on this board and most of the supposedly unanswered questions have already been addressed in previous post.

Anonymous said...

It certainly seems more likely that someone deciding where to live would choose Tenleytown over Van Ness or Brookland or even NOMA or downtown than that they'd be trying to decide between Tenleytown and Loudoun or Frederick Counties.

Anonymous said...

With all the crap posted in this thread, this takes the prize for BS:

"There's no reason to believe that anyone from ARD is reading or posting on this board and most of the supposedly unanswered questions have already been addressed in previous post."


HA HA HA HA

Come on. Does ARD and Sue Hemberger (who is "not" a member of ARD) OPPOSE the Safeway project until the neighbors' concerns are dealt with, or not?

Tom Quinn said...

I've stayed quiet on this one long enough and am going to post along with my name and hope others will follow and perhaps it will be evident if this is 2 people or 20 conducting this argument.

For the person who posted as Anonymous at 218PM it is self evident who you are so I hope you will have the courage to post with your name going forward, especially if you are going to make such serious allegations about people.

I know to whom you are referring when you say that a supporter of the project in question (Stonebridge) was a supporter for hire - since you have made this allegation do you have any evidence that this particular person was paid for her support? If so please furnish that evidence.

Also your assertion that the daycare in question (Friendship Childrens Center)was in violation of the previous PUD agreement is incorrect. The previous agreement, like the current one, stipulates that preference for spaces be given to nearby residents and to employees in the neighborhood. A simple examination of the roster of students at any given time would provide no evidence whatsoever that the center was in violation particularly because the covered preference area is so small and there is no way to determine from home addresses whether a parent works in the neighborhood or not.

And any testimony in the Stonebridge PUD alleging that FCC was in violation of the first centers PUD's rules would have required using the student directory to ascertain that information which would have been in violation of the centers rules - or maybe the rules only apply to some people some of the time?

Not surprisingly you completely dodged the substance of the question about whether or not a daycare, in a community lacking daycare spaces, is an amenity or not. It strikes me as a clear cut amenity - but I am a parent who lives two blocks away and walks his son to the daycare everyday (and who got in because of his proximity) so I guess I could be biased? But explain what is controversial or divisive about daycare (even if it is market rate prices which is primarily because the daycare provides health benefits for its full time staffers which is rare for people in that line of work)?

And what does it matter if someone has, or has not in my case, successfully developed something? (an allegation which I know to not be true in my friends case but again you could provide some factual support or evidence). Or is smart? Or good looking? Or reasonable? Or whatever?

Many of the anonymous posts in this blog comment section are rife with wild and unsubstantiated theories about market demand for housing (and Nazis too?!) that are clearly authored by people who are not experts on the subject but who are not disclosing their lack of qualifications. Or is there some requirement that authors of a piece in the community newspaper need to qualify themselves in order to speak out - that strikes me as an odd thing to advocate for? Should such a standard apply here as well?

It strikes me as free speech at its messiest but perhaps there is some sort of developer fueled and funded conspiracy behind it?

At this point it sounds like just one person is making the anti-growth arguments on this blog but hopefully that person(s) and others will add their name(s) or something to identify themselves - I have so I'm sure some additional mud will fly now and that is fine but please have the courage to attach your name to what you fling.

And I will reiterate what other posts (unclear if they are from multiple posters or not) have said which is that there are a lot of unanswered questions on here from folks, whether from ARD or not (and ARD's membership is amorphous at best) about this subject - ie why are the matter of right folks suddenly no longer for matter of right? Or why are some PUD's held to one standard and others to a different standard? Or why are some folks for TOD and against sprawl but in neighborhoods other than their own?

Anonymous said...

The Stonebridge story is widely known in the community and has been mentioned on one or more listservs. The design for the preschool was posted on the supporter's husband's website as an example of his work. And, yes, the directory was cited as evidence that MD families were the primary users of the facility.

While I understand why schools like to keep directory information such as phone numbers and addresses for their families private, it's hard to imagine what legitimate "rule" would have been violated by tallying states of residence without any other identifying information.

Anonymous said...

No matter-of-right project has been proposed, so it makes no sense to say some group or other has opposed matter of right. Not that such opposition would matter, since the whole point of matter-of-right development is that the property owner doesn't need anyone's permission or consent to undertake the project.

Anonymous said...

Still no answer:

Still no answer from the ARD to this one:

"Why hasn't ARD, and what is that, like 10 people, but that's a different story, proudly and publicly told the world that they OPPOSE Safeway's application and will continue to OPPOSE the application until the neighbors' concerns are addressed? If ARD, and the other 10 or so rabble rousers who are CSTO, FNA, TNA, and YMMV, cared a whit about their neighbors they would applaud Safeway's decision to postpone their hearing, because it would be what they want.

Golly, you might look at everything that's been said and find yourself thinking, these people are just playing both sides."

Anonymous said...

One obvious answer would be that no one from ARD is reading DCMud. If you want to know ARD's position on the Safeway PUD, why not go to their website, look up their email address, and send a query?

Or go down to the Zoning Commission, look at the file, and see if they've submitted a letter supporting the PUD application.

In either case, once you get an answer, you can post it here.

Anonymous said...

It took all of 18 minutes for the same BS reply -- HA HA!

"With all the crap posted in this thread, this takes the prize for BS:

"There's no reason to believe that anyone from ARD is reading or posting on this board and most of the supposedly unanswered questions have already been addressed in previous post."


HA HA HA HA

Come on. Does ARD and Sue Hemberger (who is "not" a member of ARD) OPPOSE the Safeway project until the neighbors' concerns are dealt with, or not?"

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sue, the question isnt whether ARD supports, but whether they OPPOSE.

Anonymous said...

For those advocating streetcars on upper Wisconsin Avenue I have a couple of questions. Do you also support better conditions for bicyclists on Wisconsin Avenue? If so, how can bicycles be safely accommodated on a roadway that also has streetcars, automobiles and other vehicles (cars, buses, trucks and taxis)?

Usually, bicyclists need so ride as far to to the right as practicable (and away from the motor vehicles). If streetcars are a few feet to the left of the curb, cyclists will need to dodge streetcar riders as they get on and off. If the streetcars abut the curb, then cyclists will be sharing the traffic lane with motor vehicles. One thing we can't allow is for cyclists to ride close to the streetcar tracks because bicycle wheels will get caught in those tracks and cause serious injuries.

Would a streetcar advocate please explain how this streetcar-bicyclist interaction will work?

Anonymous said...

Isn't that DDOT's job? I know they are running the streetcar down the center of K Street. Perhaps that is the plan throughout the system?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 11:12

I would think a streetcar line would go in the center two lanes of Wisconsin Avenue and cyclists could still use the curbside lane. I am an avid cyclist but I stay off of Wisconsin Avenue and ride on Nebraska-New Mexico-Tunlaw when I go from Tenley south to Glover Park and Georgetown.

To the extent that a more reliable transit option (streetcars) exist, some people currently in their cars will shift to transit, reducing the number of cars on Wisconsin Avenue, thus improving safety.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:12:

If you're an avid bicyclist why would you accept poor cycling conditions on Wisconsin Avenue -- one of the most important arteries in DC?

If a streetcar is to run down the center two lanes of Wisconsin Avenue, what happens as the line approaches Georgetown and Wisconsin Avenue narrows? How will Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown be able to safely accommodate streetcars, trucks, automobiles, taxis and bicyclists?

Finally, if the streetcars are to run in the center two Wisconsin Avenue lanes -- away from the curbs and sidewalks -- won't there have to be a raised platform between the northbound and southbound streetcars? Where is the space for all of this?

Anytime bicyclists traveling on Wisconsin Avenue seek to make a left turn, they'll have to cross over four street car tracks (two for each streetcar). This will pose a severe hazard to bicyclists who may get their narrow tires caught in the tracks.

Anonymous said...

Streetcars worked on Wisconsin Avenue for the better part of 50 years at the turn of the last century. If they could figure it out then, I would suppose the collective 'we' would be able to figure it out now.

Anonymous said...

That last Anonymous post -- we'll figure it out somehow -- is not very satisfying. Someday, we'll also colonize planets in different galaxies. How we get to that point is of interest.

Fifty years ago, the DC metropolitan area was far less populated than it is today. Also, fifty years ago, automobiles per capita was less than it is today.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting (but starting up the streetcar discussion on a post about Safeway created a distraction at least for awhile):

Still no answer from the ARD to this one:

"Why hasn't ARD, and what is that, like 10 people, but that's a different story, proudly and publicly told the world that they OPPOSE Safeway's application and will continue to OPPOSE the application until the neighbors' concerns are addressed? If ARD, and the other 10 or so rabble rousers who are CSTO, FNA, TNA, and YMMV, cared a whit about their neighbors they would applaud Safeway's decision to postpone their hearing, because it would be what they want.

Golly, you might look at everything that's been said and find yourself thinking, these people are just playing both sides."

Anonymous said...

@4:53

You make the point that there were fewer cars 50 years ago. This is exactly why we need better transportation options including streetcars, and more transit oriented development, such as mixed-use housing options on our transit corridors.

Thanks for inadvertently helping the cause.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not Wisconsin Avenue ends up with streetcars won't depend on what happens at Safeway. A newer and bigger store will enhance this transit-friendly neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

How will a newer, bigger, suburban-style big-box store that still has a surface-parking lot enhance this transit-friendly neighborhood? As mentioned in several of the comments earlier, people who live near rail stations have fundamentally different transportation patterns than people who do not have convenient access to transit. Denying the opportunity to add new housing here will increase auto congestion in this neighborhood, as people fewer people will be able to walk to destinations and increase vehicle miles traveled in the other neighborhoods of the Washington region, where these potential residents will have to locate instead-- areas that have less transit service and that are less connected and walkable.

Anonymous said...

In much the same way that the Whole Foods expansion and remodeling has -- by providing a larger and better selection of prepared foods and specialty items and by giving people in this neighborhood an opportunity to walk to a decent grocery store in DC rather than drive to MD, as many currently do. And now you won't have to pay WF's ridiculous prices or make an separate shopping trip if you want to buy Coke, aluminum foil, or a reasonably effective cleaning product.

What Safeway has proposed in Tenleytown is certainly less "suburban" than what exists on the site now. The new design addresses the street, provides outdoor tables and seating, and undergrounds most of the parking. It looks similar to the new design for the Social Safeway in Georgetown and appears to be a vast improvement over the remodels done at the Palisades and Chevy Chase stores.

I am a person who lives near Metro -- in Tenleytown, unlike most of the other posters -- and who has fundamentally different transit habits. I still want a bigger and better grocery store and am tired of being told that every improvement in my neighborhood must be held up until someone can find a way to put apartments or condos on top of it. I also know for a fact that many, if not most, of my living-close-to-Metro neighbors routinely drive to Bethesda to do most of their grocery shopping because the stores are much better there. These are people who commute to work via Metro so they aren't transit-averse.

Anonymous said...

Given that everyone (except a handful) have posted anonymously, how can the previous poster claim that others in this forum are not Tenleytown residents?

That helps undermine any sense of credibility. I for one have spoken to many neighbors who understand that added residents help make support the local retail and reduce overall carbon footprint by more efficient housing and housing options, walkability and other amenities. The only people I hear about who are opposed to these kinds of changes are the same cast of characters who seem to think the 1950 urban ideal should continue to manifest in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Many of the people posting don't seem to know much about the neighborhood, the project, or community politics and the posters who identified themselves seem to live elsewhere (IMGoph (Trinidad), bamoll (Bloomingdale), Ferdinand (Andalusia)). ;)

Anonymous said...

I live in the neighborhood (about two blocks from the Safeway) but I choose to post anonymously because I see that some people who post here make vicious attacks on others. In fact, one person who has identified himself has done that in other posts on DC Mud Blog. I don't want to be a part of such uncivil "dialogue."

I walk to Safeway most of the time but sometimes have to drive there when I'm making larger purchases because I can't carry everything easily on foot. Over the years, I have found that when I decide to drive to the grocery store, I'm much more inclined to drive to the Giant off of River Road or even to Costco or Trader Joe's. In other words, I've been spending a lot less of my money at the nearby Safeway primarily because I don't like the selection there.

I am hoping that a new, larger Safeway will regain my business, even for the larger purchases. I don't want to see this project get bogged down or delayed by insisting that housing be added to the site.

All this said, I am most interested in hearing what the closest neighbors to the site think about the project. I know they are legitimately concerned about noise and light, as they should be. I don't hear them clamoring for housing.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Anonymous at Jan 16, 2010 1:29 AM, Anonymous at Jan 16, 2010 1:01 PM, Anonymous at Jan 17, 2010 2:30 PM, and Anonymous at Jan 19, 2010 8:55:00 PM is/are not really familiar with our neighborhood or with the neighborhood organizations. Or perhaps he or she has decided to post this description repeatedly, hoping that it will assume an aura of truth.

With a quick check of Zoning Commission cases in which ARD (formerly CSTO), FNA and TNA have participated, one finds petitions with hundreds of signatures, hundreds of letters, live testimony from dozens of residents, and no examples instances in which any individual was on the board of more than one of these organizations.

Similarly, a quick check of participation by supporters of these groups and other groups from nearby areas in providing testimony at OP hearings and other input when public comments were requested on the UWACS, in responding to a request for public comments from ODMPED, and in writing to Councilmembers on the revised Comprehensive Plan demonstrates that these organizations do not consist of only “10 or so rabble rousers” but that they have significant support in each of their neighborhoods.

In contrast, in one case, even with the help of highly paid strategists from Saint Consulting and seeking support from distant neighborhood, the “smart growth” group did not generate more than a fraction of the signatures, letters or testimony in the record.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the signatories that the prior poster alludes to. In no way was that petition defining in a way that supports my view of more transit oriented development, nor was it presented to me in that way when I supported it.

In fact, how old is that now, 5 years? Please give that one a rest. It is outdated and embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

ZOMG, FNA has like three members, and CSTO has maybe six, and TNA, what, like six, and they are all part of the same incestuous group. If you claim that David Frankel, for instance, is a member of CSTO, he will indignantly tell you that is simply false. Technically he's correct -- and he's been known to threaten libel suits so be careful if you challenge him. Of course, he works hand in glove with Carolyn Sherman and Paul Fekete who basically are CSTO / ARD. If you ask them if they are members of FNA, they will say no, but they work hand in glove with FNA which is Frankel and Gina Mirigliano and Marilyn Simon. Sue Hemberger will proudly tell you that she is not a member of CSTO, ARD, or FNA. She's a member of TNA though, and hand in glove, yadda yadda. Have you ever seen TNA violently oppose something CSTO or FNA supported? Of course not. They are a single group of people with too much time on their hands and an undying belief that more residents means a smaller share of the pie for them.

They've got this longstanding scam where they are members of "separate" groups that are in fact one group of 10 or 20 people. That way, they can say that scores of neighborhood groups oppose something, and yet its the 20 of them.

Sometimes they scare others into signing petitions to stop some development or another, and then they claim or imply that their membership includes everybody who signed the petition.

Anonymous said...

Clearly this blog shows that this project, like the others before in Tenleytown, has become about people's political agendas, not Safeway effort to try to do their job better to serve the community. Looks like a great project. Shame on Tenleytown!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at Jan 20 4:34 pm: The petition, with 505 signatures representing over 90% of the households in the area, was circulated in May 2006. For the April 2007 hearing on that PUD, the Zoning Commission received letters signed by 221 residents in opposition to the project. At the April 12, 2007 Zoning Commission hearing, 28 residents stayed until late at night to testify in opposition to the PUD. On the other hand, the paid strategists with Saint Consulting went door to door attempting to collect signatures to submit to the Zoning Commission and obtained only 79 signatures in support of the PUD. Public comments on the PPP were submitted to ODMPED in late 2007 with less than 20% of the comments supporting mixed use on the site.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 6:05 Actually, the people with a political agenda, those seeking to demand that Safeway add three to six levels of apartments above a supermarket, are largely from outside of the neighborhood — with their position based on ideology, and not on knowledge of the area.

Most of the people in the neighborhood would like to see Safeway move ahead with a new supermarket largely similar to what has been proposed -- after addressing the immediate neighbors’ concerns relating to issues such as noise and light.

Anonymous said...

This gets funnier by the minute, complaining that this is about "people's political agendas, Safeway effort to try to do their job better to serve the community." Get out the violins! Safeway, the 501(c)(3) aid organization, striving to serve the downtrodden who have nowhere else to turn. Please Safeway, fight the politicians that want to keep us hungry. Whole Foods (plural), Giant, Rodman's, they will not feed us -- only you, Selfless Safeway, can do it.

Yes, at your new "lifestyle" stores in the area, you have simply jacked up prices, and yes, Whole Foods has embarked upon a well-publicized campaign to lower its prices but without you, Selfless Safeway, we cannot live. Whatever you want to build we will follow you.

Anonymous said...

So TNA, FNA, CSTO, ARD, and God knows whatever other acronyms, answer the question:

Still waiting (but starting up the streetcar discussion on a post about Safeway created a distraction at least for awhile):

Still no answer from the ARD to this one:

"Why hasn't ARD, and what is that, like 10 people, but that's a different story, proudly and publicly told the world that they OPPOSE Safeway's application and will continue to OPPOSE the application until the neighbors' concerns are addressed? If ARD, and the other 10 or so rabble rousers who are CSTO, FNA, TNA, and YMMV, cared a whit about their neighbors they would applaud Safeway's decision to postpone their hearing, because it would be what they want.

Golly, you might look at everything that's been said and find yourself thinking, these people are just playing both sides."

Anonymous said...

Speaking of playing both sides, we have one post accusing people who want the new store of being shills for Safeway and the next criticizing them for not applauding loud enough or hard enough that Safeway asked for a postponement to work things out with the neighbors.

The clear message I've heard is build us a better Safeway, but don't screw over the neighbors while doing it. That -- not building apartments or condos -- is what Safeway needs to do to get widespread community support for their PUD. Its customers are looking for groceries not housing.

Anonymous said...

Yep. If you weren't shilling, and instead were concerned about the neighborhood, you would publicly proclaim that you oppose Safeway's application until they address the neighbors' concern. After all, you proclaimed how wonderful the project was, supposedly because of you, all over the listservs. So if this isn't about you wanting to fight and be relevant after your crowd was defeated in every ANC in Ward 3, step right up.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, it looks like the Ward 3 Dems is the Waziristan of NIMBYs in the Ward, according to the announcement of their upcoming meeting where a who's who of NIMBY all-stars is leading a panel with Mary Cheh in the cross hairs.

That should make for an entertaining evening!

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's what we can look forward to from Safeway:

"Safeway on Rhode Island Ave. NE Closed Due to Vermin"

http://dcist.com/2010/01/rhode_island_ave_safeway_closed_for.php

he D.C. Department of Health ordered the temporary closure of the Safeway located at 514 Rhode Island Ave. NE on Wednesday due to a vermin infestation, officials said.

A call to the store confirmed that it remains closed this morning. The store "will reopen once all issues have been corrected," said DOH spokesperson Dena Iverson in an email.

Nearby resident Mandi Wolfes stopped by the Safeway to do some shopping just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but security guards were already in the process of escorting customers out of the store, and were not letting anyone inside. Signs indicating the store was being closed were already posted outside the store, she said.

UPDATE: Safeway spokesperson Craig Muckle says that the store is "working to address the issues, and we're hoping that we can reopen the store later today." The Department of Health will need to return to re-inspect the store before an order can be issued to allow them to reopen, and Muckle said the plan is that they will come back today. Muckle didn't know the particulars of what steps are being taken to address the vermin problem, but said that Safeway has a pest control company they use regularly, and "they are involved."

Anonymous said...

Comments on the rat story:

[3] | MikeB

Safeway spokesperson Craig Muckle says that the store is "working to address the issues

Translation: You'll love our new "choice cuts" of meat. Available this week only!
Reply | January 21, 2010 11:30 AM
[ report this ]
user-pic
[4] | DCIrish

The last time I was in the Safeway on Columbia Rd, NW I saw a rat run down the isle and over the foot of one of the employees stocking shelves. The employee barely reacted at all, watching the rat continue down the isle until it was out of sight then went right back to stocking shelves. What does this tell you? It was not the first time that had happened. I'm a dedicated Harris Teeter shopper now.

Anonymous said...

[12] | dc dawg

Sure. They'll be open later today. A vermin infestation years in the making, resolved in only a few hours. No problem. This was probably just a misunderstanding between Safeway management and the vermin. Once it is clearly explained to the vermin they aren't welcome to live in the store, I'm sure they'll cooperate by immediately packing up and moving out. Afterall, the vermin must be reasonable. Yep, open later today. No problem...


[16] | JPB

It's not exactly shocking. Take a look at the Safeway on 13th/Kentucky NE - sour/dried milk on the bottom of the milk cases, dirty floors, rotten produce on the shelves, indifferent union employees, etc.

If there is a heaven for rats, this is it.
Reply | January 21, 2010 1:12 PM
[ report this ]

Kevin said...

Having perused most of the comments, seems most feel, like me, that that ARD is a hypocritical sham, wearing the cloak of rational change as a nice vehicle to derail development. The fact that they only "modifying" the plans gives them cover to say they aren't really opposed to development, it just has to be exactly what they want, regardless of what the landowner or majority of the public wants or can build.

Anonymous said...

The "my way or the highway" approach seems to be coming from the other side on this project. ARD isn't trying to derail this development. Ward 3 Vision is. I guess there's no payoff in it for developers or the I'll support your project if you contribute to my pet project crowd. Just better retail for the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

@Kevin: I would hate to think that anyone is forming an opinion about neighborhood organizations based on the anonymously posted, largely incoherent, uninformed rants of what might be one only individual. Better information is available in their testimony and on their web-sites.

Anonymous said...

I can see the ads now: "Welcome to the 21st century where you can live atop a 24-hour Safeway. Special discounts for cat-owning residents!"

Anonymous said...

"So urbane, you'll think you're in Wheaton!"

Anonymous said...

A neighbor said that one of the things the ANC wanted as a condition was to close 42nd street and create a park that Safeway pays for. That's stupid. Let Safeway build their better store on their land and leave them alone. The immediate neighbors bought houses next to a supermarket, they get what they deserve - don't hold the rest of us hostage.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of neighbors and people who claim that the neighbors have no rights, I have a prediction. At least three of the ten members of ARD, CSTO, FNA, and TNA are GDS parents. The alphabet soup is afraid to say what they really think about their neighbors. Not so GDS.

At an ANC meeting, some cranky old guy stood up, said he was from GDS, and started ranting and raving about how selfish the neighbors were, how they were screwing GDS, etc, etc. Most of us thought he was a teacher, but he turns out to be the head of the whole school. The guy didn't raise his hand to speak like others, and just rambled on spewing his anger.

My first thought on learning that this guy was the principal was "can you believe that Obama's kids actually considered going to this guy's school."

The Great Carmac predicts that GDS, through the crazy old guy, will be the alphabet soup proxy in fighting the neighbors and the ANC.

Anonymous said...

I heard that exchange turned into a really embarrassing incident for the (not coincidentally now former-) ANC chair whose behavior was apparently much worse than the head of GDS's.

I wonder if he's still smarting over his replacement by someone with a bit more self-control. Perhaps the Great Carmac would know.

I hope GC's prediction that the ANC will actually support the neighbors rather than throw them under the bus/streetcar/park/condo building turns out to be true. But my Magic Eightball says "Don't Count on It." Maybe under new leadership...

I was there said...

That's funny. The only person who was able to talk during the school head's rant was the school head. One of the guy's aides had to pull him outside. Then like 20 minutes later the guy came back and was all sweet.

Meanwhile, Carmac's prediction sounds right to me.

Anonymous said...

How do streetcars fit into this again?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what streetcars have to do with a supermarket either and I don't know why we would want them back after doing away with them years ago. But I also don't know why anybody would want a company like Safeway in their backyard. On fox's website there's a link to the health report on the Safeway the health department just claimed. There were a lot more problems than vermin! Disgusting. Here's the link. http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/local/mice-close-ne-dc-safeway-temporarily-012110

Anonymous said...

Re: Streetcars: Anonymous at Jan 13 2:57 pm suggests that requiring Safeway to add housing to the project would support a streetcar route from Georgetown to Friendship Heights. Anonymous posts on Jan 14 at 11:39 am, 12:55 pm, 1:09 pm, and 3:38 pm continue that theme, as do the anonymous posts on Jan 19 at 11:59:00 am and 2:51 pm.

An unsupported statement that Tenleytown residents want a streetcar on Wisconsin Avenue from Georgetown to Western Avenue and that to get this we need to add several floors of apartments above the Safeway is one of several arguments that the smart growth advocates are advancing to derail plans for an improved Safeway in our neighborhood.

The Office of Planning report and the Zoning Commission comments did not show any such concern about Safeway’s basic proposal, and only pointed to concerns about the transition of the building to the residential neighborhood and the impact on the closest neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the zoning commission also said that Safeway's amenities were inadequate, and at least one member said that the property was zoned for mixed use and that we should be encouraging mixed use along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor. The hearing is online, go check it out.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 2:11: Actually, with respect to amenities, the Office of Planning’s report (available on-line) only asked that “amenities to be fully enumerated and detailed.”

At the meeting, Commissioner Turnbull stated: “But I think that structure has to step up to the bar from an amenity standpoint and really reflect the neighborhood better.” For the most part, Commissioner Turnbull’s remarks related to the shadow studies and how the design might look like a “sore thumb.” His main admonition was: “But I still think that the applicant needs to do their due diligence to this project from a design standpoint and actually show that they're respecting the neighborhood and that they're trying to blend in.” He also requested that Safeway submit drawings to show how the project would appear from the neighboring yards.

Commissioner Schlater asked OP staff how the site was treated in the Comprehensive Plan, and whether it could include mixed use with residential. OP staff described the Comp Plan map and assured him that the Safeway proposal for a grocery store was consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, both the text and the maps. Is that the discussion that you are interpreted as saying that a commission recommended mixed use for this site? Commissioner Schlater also expressed his concern about the impact on the closest neighbors, telling OP staff the following: “I think I would share your concern in your report about how this impacts the townhouses and the single family houses on the back of the site. And I would encourage you to work with the applicant to work on that.”

Anonymous said...

GDS doesn't need a proxy. As Safeway's next door neighbors they have applied for (and presumably will be granted) party status in the PUD process. Nearby homeowners should do the same. Lots of different (largely unrelated) stakes here, so you need to be in a position to represent your own interests rather than rely on the ANC to do so.

Anonymous said...

What I find amusing in this discussion on the aptly-named DC MUD is how quickly some of the participants forget what they said previously. All this talk about how corrupt the ANC is for asking that Safeway provide certain amenities in conjunction with its PUD application, and yet ARD and Sue Hemberger used to say the problem was precisely that the Zoning Commission didn't rely on ANC's to determine what amenities were adequate.

If you go to ARD's website, you can find this article by Sue Hemberger, for instance: http://www.arddc.org/Viewpoint070506.pdf

There Ms. Hemberger, presumably to the approbation of ARD, states the following:

"But some developers have found an easy way to short-circuit the difficult process of crafting a project that addresses and ameliorates neighborhood objections, and thereby gains [ANC] approval. . . .

[P]otential beneficiaries lobby the Zoning Commission to [get what they want], testifying in favor of the project and urging others to send letters of support. Because the Zoning Commission has failed to insist that amenities packages and community support must come through neighborhood commissions, we find ourselves in a situation where local residents may appoint themselves 'community representatives' for the purpose of receiving 'public' amenities."

So true ARD and Sue Hemberger! We have supposed "community representative," e.g., ARD, who appointed themselves, insisting that the store is amenity enough (as long as it is two stories or less). The duly-elected ANC has different ideas than ARD, and ARD has made statements on listservs in favor of the project, and has (quite likely)urged others to send letters in support of the project.

We should heed ARD and Sue Hemberger's final admonition: "Not only are our politicians selling our neighborhoods out, they're doing it way too cheaply."

Anonymous said...

The enemy of my enemy is my friend/

Go for it ARD!

Anonymous said...

What amenities will ARD receive from this project?

Anonymous said...

Yes, for all the talk of "shilling" and the implication that ARD has appointed itself as a representative of the community for purposes of receiving public amenities, no one has suggested (much less provided any evidence) that ARD's support is motivated by anything other than the fact that it thinks that the project Safeway has proposed is the right one for the neighborhood.

As for the ANC, it is authoritative when it acts pursuant to a vote taken at a publicly-held meeting and based on a properly-noticed agenda item. Official action requires a public process. Without it, any ANC Commissioner or even group of Commissioners has no more authority than any other citizen.

Any individual or community group has a right to express support or opposition to any development project based on its assessment of the merits of the project -- even when that opinion differs from that of the ANC.

The Zoning Commission is required to listen to neighboring property owners within a certain distance of the parcel at issue and to give "great weight" to official votes of the ANC, but it may also listen to other voices and, ultimately, its job is to decide whether the project meets the legal standard for a PUD.

Anonymous said...

Oh so coy. ARD wants a small, squat development. ARD and other elements of the alphabet soup expressed great concern about the prospect that Safeway might build a mixed-use project at its site, a prospect that Safeway itself raised in the trade press.

Safeway insists that the new one story (plus parking level) store is a sufficient amenity for the PUD. Although this assertion was mocked by one of the zoning commissioners, ARD and the alphabet soup have been shilling for it since Safeway proposed the big-box version of the store. These self-appointed "representatives" want to ensure that they get the low rise development they have sought for so long and in so many instances. Seeking any other amenities from Safeway risks the amenity that that ARD and company always seek: low rise development.

The long and the short of it is that when when Sue Hemberger and ARD thought they had a lock on the ANCs, they proclaimed the ANCs supremacy as the Voice of the Community. Now, when the majority of commissioners at most ANCs in Ward 3 differ philosophically with Ms. Hemberger and ARD, they claim that ANCs have a very minor, very constrained role.

Providing ARD does not now take the Hemberger Op-Ed down, after featuring it for years on its site, one need only read it to confirm the foregoing. http://www.arddc.org/Viewpoint070506.pdf

By the way, didn't the ANC unanimously pass a resolution at a recent meeting that opposed the Safeway PUD application if presented in its current form to the Zoning Commission?

Are you brave enough to shop there? on Jan 23, 2010, 12:48:00 PM said...

Rodent-Infested Rhode Island Avenue Safeway Reopens

Posted by Tiffany E. Browne on Jan. 22, 2010, at 3:55 pm

The Safeway grocery at 514 Rhode Island Ave. NE that was shut down on Wednesday because of an apparent vermin infestation in the delicatessen has reopened. The question is: Are you brave enough to shop there?

The District's Department of Health ordered an immediate closure of the store after a routine inspection showed critical (and noncritical) health violations—including a mouse tail sticking out from a storage rack and dried blood on the meat refrigerator.

City Desk obtained the "Food Establishment Inspection Report," available for viewing here. Some highlights:

"Bag of rice cakes has been eaten into with rodent droppings next to bag."

"Seafood salad and crab dip held at improper temperature."

"Rodent droppings observed in the bakery in a corner next to the walk-in refrigerator. Also droppings observed next to the Carvel freezer, throughout the produce walk-in refrigerator and along the walls in the rear storage area floor."

"A strong odor of mouse or rat urine detected in the rear storage area along the floor."

"Tail of mouse was protruding from under one of the racks."

"Dried blood on meat refrigerator (open display) shelves."

"The thermometer in the cheese refrigerator reads 58F while it was measured at 37F (by me) and the meat walk-in thermometer reads -8F and no items are frozen. I measured the temperature at 41F."

The inspector also found "food and trash on floors in rear storage area," "holes in the wall along floor in walk-in refrigerator where rodent droppings were observed," and "unclean handwashing sinks."

Safeway spokesperson Craig Muckle could not immediately be reached.

E-mail Tiffany E. Browne

Anonymous said...

There's no reference to any resolution in the minutes of the November ANC 3E meeting where the project was discussed. And a possible vote on the application was taken off the January agenda in response to Safeway's request for a postponement of its Zoning Commission hearing. I heard afterwards they passed a resolution supporting the postponement. A vote on the merits of the project at that stage would have been pointless.

Anonymous said...

Well, the vote wasn't necessarily pointless then because the ZC hadn't yet granted the postponement, so presumably the ANC must have thought it needed a plan in case the postponement was denied.

Don't know why the ZC would do that, but it would explain why the ANC took a stand. In which case, they probably shouldn't have taken the item off the agenda. But no harm done in this case and hopefully they'll be more careful in the future.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at Jan 23, 11:43, you stated “Safeway insists that the new one story (plus parking level) store is a sufficient amenity for the PUD” and “this assertion was mocked by one of the zoning commissioners.” Can you point to the time stamp or post the text where a zoning commissioner stated that Safeway actually claimed this was the only amenity and mocked that claim?

While, in its submission, Safeway did refer to DC legislation encouraging the expansion of supermarkets and pointed out that modernization and expansion of the store advances those goals, I didn’t see anything in the application insisting that a new store is in itself a sufficient amenity for the PUD. The application includes discussion of other amenities, but clearly both the Office of Planning and the Zoning Commission requested more clarity in their description, and such clarification would be useful.

In terms of mocking by one of the zoning commissioners, you might be referring to Commissioner Turnbull’s statement which was part of his discussion requesting that Safeway do their due diligence from a design standpoint, respect the neighborhood and try to blend in: “I mean, I'm sure the applicant is going to say well you're getting a bigger grocery store so that's an amenity in itself. Well, yes, that's nice. But I think that structure has to step up to the bar from an amenity standpoint and really reflect the neighborhood better.” This statement seems to be more about design, and doesn’t appear to be based on a review of any statement by Safeway about the amenities it is offering.

Anonymous said...

"Well, yes, that's nice." That looks like mocking just on the page. If you listen to the tone of Turnbull's voice, there's no question he's being sardonic.

Oh yeah, Safeway does insist that cutting down trees and putting a bench on the 3000 sq. ft. triangle is a big amenity. But then the mysterious Z, who some people think is Sue Hemberger, insisted that it was "cynical" to label as an "amenity" a 4,500 sq. ft. version of such a park, i.e., one that would be 50% larger.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at Jan 24, 2:59 seems to be reviving the suggestion to close a portion of 42nd Street so that Safeway would have a slightly larger “park” to adopt. This is at a controlled intersection where, through fact-finding in three DDOT transportation and pedestrian studies and many years of accident data, there has been no evidence that the current situation presents any pedestrian safety problems.

The suggested changes do make for a less pedestrian-friendly environment. Pedestrians walking down Wisconsin Avenue who currently face extremely light, one-way traffic at the uncontrolled intersection south of Ellicott would now face two-way traffic at that uncontrolled intersection. This includes trucks headed to the Safeway, cars and buses headed to GDS, and the significant amount of other southbound Wisconsin Avenue traffic that currently, safely, bears right onto 42nd Street at Ellicott when they have a green light on Wisconsin.

Moreover, at the January 4 Zoning Commission meeting, DDOT testified (it can be viewed on-line) that DDOT does not have the funds to do pedestrian improvements at a potentially dangerous intersection on the other side of the city that will experience a large increase in pedestrians near a school and a new library. So where is DDOT going to get the funds to reconfigure this intersection to make it less pedestrian-friendly in order to add a small amount of land to the “park” that Safeway offered to adopt, and if the Council should approve this street closing and grant this land to the abutting neighbors, including WMATA, will the land even be made available for a park?

Anonymous said...

The last anonymous seems to be working hard to change the subject, which was that Safeway's amenity proposal sucks, and you apparently just have to ask Sue Hemberger for confirmation:

"Safeway does insist that cutting down trees and putting a bench on the 3000 sq. ft. triangle is a big amenity. But then the mysterious Z, who some people think is Sue Hemberger, insisted that it was "cynical" to label as an "amenity" a 4,500 sq. ft. version of such a park, i.e., one that would be 50% larger."

Anonymous said...

It seems that Anonymous at 11:25 (and other posts) isn’t familiar with the standards for planned unit developments, which call for the Zoning Commission to evaluate the proposal to determine, among other things, whether the public benefits offered are “in proportion to the flexibility or incentives requested.” The Safeway application lists the amount of flexibility that they have requested, although previously announced changes have reduced some of those initial requests.

In terms of the claim that Anonymous at 10:48 today tried to change the topic, Anonymous at yesterday at 2:59 and again at 11:25 today brought up Jonathan Bender’s proposal to have DDOT reconfigure the intersection at 42nd and Ellicott to increase slightly the amount of land that Safeway would adopt as a “park.”

Anonymous said...

Right, Sue Hemberger said that it was ridiculous to call a 4500 sq ft park an amenity, but a 3000 sq ft park is an amenity. I understand.

Uh, you say the 4500 sq ft park was Bender's proposal. I thought I read in the Current that DDOT was asking Safeway to do this.

Bit of shell game of anonymouses here, huh? There was the anonymous who said that Safeway was offering all kinds of amenities besides the store. So besides the store, Safeway's generous offer to maintain the patch of land on Ellicott Street that it has neglected for decades, and the park, or "park," to use your quotation marks, what are the big amenities?

Seems like the last anonymous, who is probably the same as several previous ones, is changing course and trying to abandon their argument that Safeway is offering all kinds of amenities, and instead saying that Safeway doesn't have to offer anything much.

Hey, didn't ARD circulate a petition demanding that Akridge build a matter of right building? Why don't they circulate a petition demanding that Safeway build matter of right. Safeway could build a great mixed use project, the neighbors would be happy, and we wouldn't have to argue about amenities.

Anonymous said...

I've lived here 20 years and watched these battles. The answer to your last question is easy. It's because the people who run ARD all live on the same street as the safeway. They don't want a mixed-use development in their backyard. The rest of us who want more people and things happening in the neighborhood have to suffer or if we speak get labeled as development nazis or something similar.

Anonymous said...

From what I read, DDOT is supportive of closing the slip lane at 42nd Street, and per the PUD, suggests that Safeway include it as part of the amenity package.

Seems like a good idea. Why would the ARD be lobbying vigorously (as they are) for a more auto-oriented solution to the site? Why would the ARD be supporting less green space for the residents to congregate? Why would the ARD be acting outside of the public light to advocate for this position without any sense of true community support for it?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:24

To paraphrase Sue Hemberger, she lives in Friendship Height, not Tenley, so she might not be a good gauge of community sentiment on this.

Anonymous said...

When are you people going to learn? Havent you raised children? If mommy or daddy suggests it, the petulant children oppose it. Smart growth types suggest street cars? The ARD crowd opposes them. John Bender suggests creating a park? The ARD crowd opposes it. Ward 3 Vision suggests mixed use? The ARD crowd opposes it.

Here's the secret, and its not much of a secret. You have to propose the opposite of what you want and then let the ARD crowd take credit for it. Its been many years, but when my kids were two, that's what we did, and it always worked. Let them take the credit - nobody cares anyway. Otherwise they will stomp their heels and make a scene until nobody wants to do anything but get away.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:14 asks about a mixed use project which could be built as a matter of right. There have been several earlier posts in this thread (Ferdinand and a number of anonymous posts) that claim to describe matter of right, mixed use projects that would include an expanded, modernized Safeway. In fact, none of the configurations suggested in this thread would be a matter of right project, and none of them would include enough contiguous space for Safeway to have an efficient, single-level, expanded, modernized supermarket if the store and the loading area are to all be included in the commercially zoned area. As an example, Jan 15/10:07 suggests including townhouses and garden apartments in a single family detached and semi-detached district, with the store on the commercially zoned land. Others assume a number of stories of apartments above the store that would exceed the 50 foot height limit if the ground level is being used as a supermarket.

Ward 3 Vision wrote a Viewpoint piece calling for “four to six floors of condos or apartments over the store.” With the proposed store itself having a height of 32 feet (the current store is 24 feet in height), this is a building with a height of at least 72 to 92 feet, measured from the highest point on the site, 42nd Street. Ward 3 Vision notes that the zoning allows for a mix of uses, but doesn’t explicitly state that a supermarket with four to six floors of condos or apartment above it would be matter of right. And of course, it wouldn’t be matter of right, since the maximum height for the zone is 50 feet. It would require a PUD and a map change, increasing the zoning by at least one category.

At any rate, the fact remains that no matter of right project has been proposed, and contrary to the anonymous statements above, the neighbors would not be better off with several floors of apartments above a supermarket.

The Office of Planning and the Zoning Commission did recommend some changes: that Safeway change the building to better respect the neighborhood and blend in. It seems that neighbors would probably prefer changes along these lines, and not along the lines suggested in Ward 3 Vision piece or in some of the anonymous “smart growth” posts.

Anonymous said...

W3V assumed that parking would be undergrounded with the enhanced revenue from mixed use. So that would probably be the existing 24 feet or lower. There are plenty of residential structures that come to no more than 10 feet per floor, so if the supermarket portion could be reduced to 20 feet, three stories of residential could be accommodated as a matter of right.

The rest of your statement, though meant to sound like fact, is just your opinion. How much bigger is the Tenley Whole Foods, a modern, efficient supermarket, than the current Safeway? I would guess its smaller (not counting the parking garage,of course), but if bigger, it can't be by that much. You provide no support whatsoever for the claim that the neighborhood would be better off without mixed use. As to the neighbors, Commissioner Slover asked them at a meeting how they felt about mixed use, and several said that if mixed use led to a significantly smaller commercial footprint next to their houses, they would support it. None of them said they would oppose it.

JR said...

Akridge never proposed a matter of right project either. That didn't stop CSTO and the then-ANC from demanding that they propose one.

Anonymous said...

5:21, in response to your questions: The current Safeway is 24 feet in height and has an area of 32,985 square feet. I don’t have information on the size of the Whole Foods at Tenleytown, but the Whole Foods at Wisconsin Place will be 50,000 square feet (plus the loading area) and the Giant at Chevy Chase Center is 40,000 square feet on two levels (plus the loading area). For Tenleytown, Safeway is proposing a store that would be 58,580 square feet (plus the loading area) and including some services that will not be available at the Chevy Chase Whole Foods or Giant.

In thinking about the W3V proposal, I also assumed that the parking would be underground, but above ground there is the store (which would be a minimum of 24 feet in height, but presumably higher, such as the 32 feet that Safeway is proposing, since the existing store with a 24 foot height does not seem to meet current standards) plus four to six levels of apartments or condominiums, which would be at least 10 feet each. No matter how you work the numbers, it isn’t a matter of right building. It exceeds the height limit of 50 feet and it exceeds the floor area ratio of 2.5. Perhaps you are suggesting that the new store should either be much shorter or well below street level, but that still wouldn’t make it a matter of right project, even if it was reduced to having three stories on top.

As to your alternate proposal that there be only three levels of housing above the store, it still exceeds the height limit and the floor area ratio.

JR said...

Why isn't CSTO demanding matter of right like they did with Akridge. Make it 2 stories of housing then.

Anonymous said...

Holding aside mixed use or anything else, it sounds like Safeway can be fully competitive with a much smaller store than the 59k sq ft they demand. Let those greedy troublemakers do 40k on two levels like giant and be done with this.

Not a Tenleytown Resident said...

God, you NIMBY people are insufferable.

And it is, what it is, you use the tried and true tactics of nitpicking every single point to wear people out for your own self interest. You may as well embrace the truth.

Anonymous said...

I read the last few posts and I am really trying to understand this. Is Ward 3 Vision saying that Safeway should abandon their plans to have a full service Safeway in Tenleytown, and instead build a 40,000 square foot Safeway, comparable to the Chevy Chase Giant, with two floors of apartments and condominiums above? I live in the area, and am looking forward to having a full service supermarket in the neighborhood so that for my weekly shopping, I can stay in the neighborhood, rather than driving out River Road to the Giant in Montgomery County.

A Tenleytown Resident

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for Ward 3 Vision, but it certainly makes sense to have a full service grocery store (as proposed) and put some housing on top of it, to add to the District tax base, to create workforce or affordable housing, to add more customers for the Safeway and other commercial enterprises along Wisconsin Avenue.

This is a particularly helpful result given the negative impact of the latest proposal on the current neighbors. If going vertical helps reduce the impact (as it should), then Safeway gets what it wants, the immediate neighbors get what they want and the District gets a broader tax base and more housing options for the community.

Anonymous said...

Nitpicking? I did see some corrections of gross misrepresentations posted by anonymous proponents of “smart growth”. But these corrections go to the heart of the debate, hardly nitpicking. And if seeing corrections posted is a concern to those individuals, they can solve that problem by checking their facts before they post them.

Anonymous said...

Safeway should build a store of a size appropriate for the neighborhood. The Tenleytown Whole Foods is 'full service' and is a lot smaller than the nearly 60,000 sq ft Safeway insists on building in a residential neighborhood (and the zoning next to the neighbors is just that, residential). This story drips with irony. CSTO / ARD and friends, who have for years demanded that development in the neighborhood be at a "human scale," and told developers exactly how much they would "let" them build, now shills for this huge corporation. If there was any real feeling for "human scale" or their neighbors, ARD would insist that Safeway build a store comparable with or smaller than other stores in the area. Instead, we see what these people really are about -- themselves.

In light of the specificity of previous posts, the claim that ARD/CSTO/FNA/TNA etc operatives are not reading these comments is laughable. The question raised again and again here, whether they will oppose Safeway's application unless Safeway resolves the neighbors' concerns, remains unanswered -- technically. Their silence answers the question in reality.

Look for more attempts here to change the subject, to demonize Ward 3 Vision or the ANC or the neighbors "who knew what they were getting into."

Anonymous said...

In the end, it'll all come down to whether Safeway works it out with the neighbors (who seem to be asking for pretty minor changes).

If Safeway and its neighbors reach an agreement on this project, then the PUD will be approved. If no agreement is reached, my guess is that Safeway will just renovate (as they have in Palisades and Chevy Chase) rather than rebuild.

Mixed-use certainly isn't going to make this project any less divisive. So if the delay means that Safeway doesn't want a fight on their hands, the last thing they'll want to do is escalate the conflict.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:35. In the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor Transportation Study, the DC Office of Planning provided data on store sizes to calculate the amount of additional traffic that would result if various sites were developed to the maximum allowed as a matter of right or with a PUD. According to Appendix N, the Whole Foods at Tenleytown is 166,821 square feet (and not, that isn’t a typo, if you follow the calculations, that is exactly what they used, over one hundred and sixty thousand square feet.) This was critical to their results since supermarkets generate a lot more traffic per square foot than other types of retail.

Do you have any basis for saying that the Tenleytown Whole Foods is a lot smaller than what Safeway proposes? Also, please remember that the grocery stores in Montgomery County cannot sell beer or wine, and that the Chevy Chase Giant has a very limited selection and doesn’t include a seating area.

Anonymous said...

Changing the subject, just as predicted!

You said the following before:

"the Whole Foods at Wisconsin Place will be 50,000 square feet (plus the loading area) and the Giant at Chevy Chase Center is 40,000 square feet on two levels (plus the loading area)."

So even the brand special brand new special Whole Foods will be almost 10,000 square feet less than what Safeway wants to put in this residential neighborhood. I'm sure you also know that the figure you cite for Tenley includes the garage -- it demeans your intelligence to suggest otherwise.

This is exactly what the previous poster meant by nitpicking, but that's the wrong word -- it's obfuscation. Stop shilling and support your neighbors -- genuinely. Tell Safeway to build a smaller store that is appropriate for the neighborhood.

River Road said...

"If no agreement is reached, my guess is that Safeway will just renovate (as they have in Palisades and Chevy Chase) rather than rebuild."

Yes! Why should Tenleytown neighbors bear a burden that Palisades and Chevy Chase neighbors won't?

Why won't the ARD demand this option??? Why do they fight development blocks away but throw their neighbors who are literally going to have this monstrosity in their backyards under the bus??

Anonymous said...

I keep reading anonymous posts here claiming that CSTO, ARD, FNA, and TNA have very few members and those they do have are simply the same people across each organization. I don't know whether that's true or not.

Does anyone know how many members Ward 3 Vision has? I've looked at its web site and it lists eight people, some of whose names I don't recognize.

Anonymous said...

I live in upper NW DC and typically drive to the large Giant off of River Road to purchase our family's groceries. If the Safeway is built as planned (by Safeway), I will be able to walk or, if I need to purchase lots of things, drive to the Safeway. I would like to see a large, full sized Safeway in our neighborhood -- so long as it respects the interests of its nearest residential neighbors.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone know how many members Ward 3 Vision has? I've looked at its web site and it lists eight people, some of whose names I don't recognize."

Despite being formed less than one week ago, the Wisconsin Avenue Streetcar Coalitiion has nearly three dozen members. I encourage everyone who wants to see this investment in infrastructure that will reduce our consumption of foreign oil, reduce pollution, and encourage infill development along Wisconsin Avenue to join the group on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

You have enjoy the logic of Sue/Cassie/Z/Ethan/Heather. We can't encourage Safeway to build a mixed-use project that allows new families to move to this desirable section of the District and that would support a Wisconsin Avenue streetcar because the streetcar is allegedly 'pie-in-the-sky.' In the very next breath, Sue/Cassie/Z/Ethan/Heather says that we can't have a streetcar for this corridor because it is already built out. Which one is it, Sue/Cassie/Z?

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Alliance for Rational Development just updated their website (http://arddc.org/index_files/Page2324.htm). It is really quite revealing and worth a look.

"If you happen not to walk, there’s parking for a quick trip to 1-story Safeway."

I'll leave it the readers of this blog to come to their own conclusions but it seems that ARD is praising suburban big-box style, auto-dependent development. Surely, Sue had no part in this, since she is not a member of ARD.

Next, on ARD's photo-journalism tour, note:

"Here are some other apartments, condos, and townhouses along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase and Woodley Park, many of them quite beautiful, and most no more than 6 stories."

And more:

"What we think of or remember as tall apartments are often really only 5-7 stories. Very few apartments along Connecticut Avenue are more than 6 stories tall.

Why is ARD supportive of 4-7 story buildings for CT Ave, within walking distance of metro stations, but virulently opposes the same types of developments when these are proposed for Wisconsin Avenue?

Tom Quinn said...

Also of note is that nowhere on the ARD website is the name of a single person!

Nor is the name of any person anywhere to be found on the Friendship Neighbors Association (FNA) website!

The Tenley Neighbors Association (TNA) is another group that has repeatedly fought development in Ward 3 and they don't even have a website!

And none of these three groups has held a public meeting of any sort in the last few years.

So these groups speak for the neighborhood but somehow consist of no one and are not open to the community to join?

And the folks who consistently repeat the same anti-growth and anti-change silliness as ARD/FNA/TNA adamantly deny being members of the groups?

Perhaps the hand of God is involved in all of this?

So the 8 people listed on the Ward 3 Vision website (http://www.ward3vision.org/anx/index.cfm/1,82,0,0,html/About-us), which includes me, is 8 more names than you will find on the website of any of the mysterious anti-growth groups active in Ward 3.

Or perhaps 2 people did not want to take credit for 3 groups?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Safeway is just going to abandon you spoiled Tenleytown snobs, like they have in other real neighborhoods:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/10/AR2010021002929.html?nav=hcmodule

You'd all deserve it. - Ward 8 resident

Nelson on Aug 11, 2010, 11:06:00 AM said...

The following Ward 3 schools Failed the NCLB test in 2010

Eaton, Hearst, Janney, Lafayette, Eaton, Murch, Thomas
Failed Reading and Math

Oyster
Failed Reading and Passed Math

Key, Mann, Stoddard
Passed Reading and Math

Secondary schools


Alice Deal,

Passed Reading Failed Math

High School

Wilson

Failed Reading Passed Math

Anonymous said...

with two whole foods, rodmans, and giant all within .25 miles, what's so bad about going slow with the safeway plan and getting a finished product that is pleasing to the residents?

 

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