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Proposed condo building in Capitol Hill held up over curb cut

The HPRB approved this design for a three-level condo at 1220 Potomac Ave SE

The Historic Preservation Review Board at its June 26 meeting approved the concept for a three-story condo building at 1220 Potomac Avenue SE but did not approve the parking situation for the proposed Capitol Hill project.
Developer Todd Ragimov and RAM Design LLC presented a plan to demolish an existing two-story house that fronts onto Potomac Avenue and backs up to I Street SE.
The three-story multi-unit building that would replace it has a brick façade and projecting bays.  The HPRB found the design compatible with the character of the neighborhood, but it questioned details like the front entrance and requested further information to confirm that the building didn’t overpower neighboring properties.
However, the HPRB rejected two parking proposals by the developer as not being part of the historic character of the district. Both parking options maintained curb cuts that were installed on the property before it was included in the expansion of the historic district in 2003.
The HPRB recommended eliminating the curb cuts and a different approach to vehicular access to the property rather than having part of the site devoted to parking and access. The HPRB noted that parking on Capitol Hill is usually in the rear of a building with access by alleys, and recommended redevelopment of the site along those lines.
“They have to resolve the curb cuts to get approval,” said Frances McMillen of the Historic Preservation Office.
If the developer cannot get a waiver from the District of Columbia’s zoning office for the curb cuts, then a revised plan taking into account  parking would have to be submitted to the Historic Preservation Office for review and possible approval, she said.

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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