Office Of Zoning Re-Confirms 901 Monroe Development Approval Decision – Video

Colonel Brooks' development Brookland NE Washington DC
901 Monroe Street Development Rendering Courtesy of Esocoff and Associates

It has been a while since we have had an update on the much anticipated 901 Monroe Development. Readers may remember that the development is tied up in an ongoing legal battle with the “200 Footers” – a group of residents who filed a court case with the Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the Office of Planning’s decision to allow the development. On Thursday, May 16th the Court of Appeals verdict was released. While the court found the 200 footers claims “meritless” they did feel that there are some issues that need ”additional findings of fact and conclusions of law”. Because of this, the case was remanded back to the Zoning Commission to “further consider…address… and to explain its conclusion”. The Office of Zoning met to discuss these matters last Thursday, July 25th, and there really is no way to interpret their findings but as a win for the 901 Monroe development team. We listened in to the Office of Zoning meeting (video below) and summarized their findings:

  • The development is next to a Metro rail station, and near a transit zone and other developments, thus requiring some density. The development is not inappropriate commercial use.  The commercial use of this development is limited and not encroaching on the neighborhood;
  • The Office of Zoning’s  record is complete on this type of transit oriented development and this is the direction the city has been moving towards – mixed use development at Metro rail stations. Being that this is how the Office of Zoning has gone historically, the 901 Monroe decision is no deviation from their policies or previous decisions. The evolution of cities is to balance livable cities while conserving a neighborhood character but this does not mean no changes to neighborhoods are allowed;
  • This development has no adverse impact to neighbors;
  • The Future Land Use Map is not a Zoning Map – it does not follow land parcels, and serves merely as a guide for future use;
  • The development team made changes to their plans to make the development more cohesive with the neighborhood;
  • The tearing down of the 4 homes that were on the development property is acceptable when considered in relation to the benefits of the increased density near the Metro rail station, the undergrounding of utilities, and new businesses;
  • The project is not out of character with the neighborhood. Having a Planned Unit Development (PUD) actually “raised the bar” on scrutiny of how the 901 Monroe project was approached by the Office of Zoning.

A vote was taken by the Office of Zoning on the discussion, and all agreed to prepare an order of finding, based on the points summarized above, and remand it back to the Court of Appeals in early August. It is anticipated that once the Order is sent from the Office of Zoning, construction will begin soon thereafter. We will keep you up to date when we learn anything new. Here is the video from the Office of Zoning meeting:

6 thoughts on “Office Of Zoning Re-Confirms 901 Monroe Development Approval Decision – Video”

  1. It will be nice to have an attractive building and retail instead of vacant and semi-vacant lots. I’m glad the Office of Zoning wasn’t infected with Cmr. Carolyn Steptoe’s nonsense.

    DEFEAT STEPTOE AT THE NEXT ELECTION!

  2. This is indeed good news. The 901 Monroe development is attractive and will compliment the Monroe Street Market development. For years, many, if not most, Ward 5 residents have felt left out of the city’s development boom and it’s about time that we have some amenities, too.

    I join James in looking forward to Steptoe’s defeat in the next election.

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