TESTIMONY BEFORE THE D.C. ZONING COMMISSION
Zoning Commission Case 05-26: 2950 Tilden Street, NW


June 22, 2006

Chairperson Mitten and members of the D.C. Zoning Commission, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify before you tonight on the application for a planned unit development at 2950 Tilden Street, NW.  My name is Eric Goulet.  I live at 3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW, which is two buildings south of the proposed site.  The Clark PUD application and proposed zoning adjustment that is the subject of tonight’s hearing should be denied, and this property should remain as matter of right R-2 zoning, which will allow for the construction of 8 semi-detached single family houses.

The Clark PUD can only be justified by turning a “blind eye” to all of the major themes of the Ward 3 section of the Comprehensive Plan.  As has already been discussed, in great detail, in the testimony and the resolution of ANC 3F, this PUD is in conflict with many areas of the Ward 3 element of the Comprehensive Plan, which takes precedence over general objectives of the citywide plan because:

The Ward 3 element also calls for maintaining stability.  This project has already disrupted the stability of the surrounding community, but it has served to galvanize residents against this project in a way that is almost unheard of.  There are good reasons why the residents are 100% adamantly opposed to this project:

  1. Residents on the north side of 3883 Connecticut Avenue, NW, who were misled by Monument Realty into believing townhouses would be constructed on the Tilden site, must now face the possibility of living in shadow during the day and the illumination of bright glass corridors and blinking outdoor lights at night.
  2. Residents on Tilden Street would face the reality of looking across the street at a building that as been designed to look like the surrounding buildings of South Beach, Florida…not Tilden Street, Washington, DC.
  3. Anyone attempting to drive down Tilden Street to the East during peak hours will be impeded by vehicles making u-turns in the median towards Connecticut Avenue.  From personal experience, I can tell you that it can easily take a full minute to take that u-turn into westbound traffic on Tilden Street during peak hours.  If the two parking spaces allocated per unit are tied to the purchase of units, buyers with one or no cars will rent these parking spaces out to commuters, thus further increasing traffic on Tilden Street well beyond the estimates in Clark’s traffic study.
  4. Nearby residents, like myself, who utilize Zone 3 street parking, must already walk blocks to find a parking space.  With this proposal we would also be forced to compete with visitors and employees of the proposed Tilden Street PUD.  During construction, the certain loss of parking spaces on Tilden Street will create a parking shortage for the entire neighborhood.
  5. And finally…Only as the June 5, 2006 hearing did the Tilden Street community receive word that any real community benefits would flow to affected neighbors of the project.  Ironically, repairs to the median strip and replanting of trees that are purported to be community benefits by Clark Construction, are merely undoing the damage done by Clark during the construction of their 3883 Connecticut building.

Members of the zoning Commission, this is not smart growth. This PUD would be an eyesore, a traffic and parking nightmare, and building that is wholly inconsistent with the Ward 3 element of the Comprehensive Plan. I strongly urge you to maintain matter-of-right zoning as the only appropriate use for this site.

 

Eric J. Goulet
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apartment 308
Washington, DC 20008