Saturday, April 01, 2017

Zoning Commission hearing on Thursday, 05-18-2017, on Howard University's Campus Plan amendment, which includes removal of Slowe & Carver Halls

See this tweet from Helder Gil, who delights at reviewing and tweeting the contents of the DC Register ~ regarding the futures of Howard University's Slowe and Carver Halls --

the university has announced that it issued RFPs to the development community to have the two dorms converted into market-rate rental apartments.
The biggest squawk from the community appears to be the lack of parking.

Zoning Com'n 5/18 hearing on Howard Univ Campus Plan amendment; will remove several bldgs no longer used by school: …


TIME AND PLACE:                       Thursday, May 18, 2017, @ 6:30 p.m.
                                                            Jerrily R. Kress Memorial Hearing Room
                                                            441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 220
                                                            Washington, D.C.  20001


CASE NO. 11-15F (Howard University – Amendment to Central Campus Plan Pursuant to 11-X § 101.10)


On March 9, 2017, the Office of Zoning received an application from Howard University (the “Applicant”).  The Applicant is requesting to amend the boundaries of its Campus Plan to extract several properties which the University has determined are no longer needed for university use. The properties at issue include the following properties (collectively, the “Extraction Properties”):

1.                   Effingham Apartments located at 2711-2719 Georgia Avenue, N.W. (Lots 833, 834 and 835, Square 3058);

2.                Carver Hall located at 211 Elm Street, N.W. (Lot 830, Square 3084);

3.                   Slowe Hall located at 1919 Third Street, N.W. (Lot 835, Square 3088);

4.                   East Towers Parking Lot located at 2251 Sherman Avenue, N.W. (part of Lot 1101, Square 2873);

5.                   9th and V Street Parking Lots located at 9th & V Streets, N.W. (Lot 797, Square 2873; Lots 156, 159,162, 167, 218-220, 284, 302, 331, 382, 383, 872, 873, 976, 982, and 1108, Square 2875);

6.                   Parking Lot Three located at the northwestern corner of Georgia Avenue and W Street, N.W., (Lots 62, 811, 934, 945, 968, 970, 972, 977, 979 and 1023, Square 2877); and.

7.                   Florida Avenue Townhomes located at 907 and 909 Florida Avenue, N.W. (Lots 872 and 873, Square 2873).

This public hearing will be conducted in accordance with the contested case provisions of the Zoning Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, 11 DCMR Subtitle Z, Chapter 4.


  1. My own little squawk is that I think this is a good thing. Howard has been in a tough financial position for a long time-- developing these lots could be a big help to an institution so important not just to Bloomingdale but the nation. And it is good for Bloomingdale and Ledroit Park. Adding hundreds of residents in those locations could help discourage crime in adjacent or nearby blocks which have had pockets of crime over the years. And it will enhance neighborhood housing supply in a manner more consistent with neighborhood character than endless pop-ups and pop-backs. Which will in turn benefit the diversity of neighborhood housing stock. These developments will likely have a number of condos from studio - 3BR, which will diminish demand to carve up old rowhouses into such units, so we can preserve some housing supply for families to buy or rent. I'll take all those benefits over some extra time hunting for a parking space any day. I'd also wonder how many people who would choose to live there will even have cars or want them. Once down to 2nd and 3rd, Shaw metro is close, and the G8 (and 9!) stop at 3rd St.

    Parenthetical comment, I've noticed the lower traffic here on many topics (including my own lack of commenting). Anecdotal evidence suggests people are so consumed by their social media presence and the national politics discussions there that space to engage in other domains is going way down. I've noticed I'm reading more and writing more since taking a social media break except for posting / writing / publishing very intentional things. So I hope to be around here more!

  2. The points above are good ones.

    At the last Civic Association meeting, there were several comments/concerns about parking, all valid since Second Street is the border for two wards and the surrounding streets are zoned for parking for both neighborhoods.

    Unfortunately, the reps from Howard University could not state how many apartments might be created, or the size distribution of the units. This seems like critical information for impacted neighbors to have to form an opinion. I think it was stated that no new (additional) parking would be created and I didn't hear a number of existing spaces mentioned.

    I stopped the attorney on his way out to inquire about the Mary Church Terrell house. He said that the funds raised by the development of the two dorms could help pay for the restoration of the house. I would love to see that be a requirement included in the Zoning documents.

    1. Thanks Betsy! And yes, they will certainly need to give more info re size distribution for my own initial reaction to be lasting support. And the zone boundary matter does create complexity. Great idea on the house restoration requirement! It would seem a reasonable ask given what they could stand to make on dev if they sell to a group building hundreds of units.

  3. Seems like these sites would be perfect for the Mayor's Ward 1 Homeless Shelter.