September 27, 2016
for Review of a Decision and Order of the District of
Columbia Board of Zoning Adjustment (Order No. 18852/18853)
Ait-Ghezala, with whom Barbara Schauer was on the brief, pro
A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia,
Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, Loren L. AliKhan, Deputy
Solicitor General, and James C. McKay, Jr., Senior Assistant
Attorney General, filed a statement in lieu of brief for
T. Feola argued for intervenor. John T. Epting and Cary R.
Kadlecek were on the brief.
BEFORE: Fisher, Beckwith, and Easterly and Associate Judges.
case came to be heard on the administrative record, a
certified copy of the agency hearing transcript and the
briefs filed, and was argued by counsel. On consideration
whereof, and as set forth in the opinion filed this date, it
is now hereby
and ADJUDGED that the Board of Zoning Adjustment's
("Board") denial of petitioners' requests for
party status is affirmed. The Board's grants of special
exception and variance relief are reversed, and this matter
is remanded for further proceedings.
FISHER, ASSOCIATE JUDGE.
September 8, 2015, the Board of Zoning Adjustment ("the
Board" or "BZA") granted intervenor SB-Urban,
LLC's application for special exception and variance
relief permitting the construction of a two-parcel apartment
community (the "Project") which will offer no
automobile parking. A portion of one parcel (the "M
Street Property") currently houses a historic garage
onto which SB-Urban intends to build an addition. The other
lot (the "9th Street Property") is presently
unimproved. The Project will consist entirely of small, fully
furnished studio apartments marketed to young professionals
who SB-Urban maintains will require neither on-site nor
Ahmed Ait-Ghezala and Barbara Schauer own property within 200
feet of the Project site. They primarily contend that the
Board (1) wrongly denied as untimely their requests for party
status, (2) erred in determining that SB-Urban was entitled
to the parking variance requested for the 9th Street
Property, and (3) improperly granted special exception relief
from parking requirements for the M Street Property. We
affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand this matter to
the BZA for further consideration.
proposes to build a two-parcel apartment community in the
Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District. One parcel,
located at 90 Blagden Alley (Square 368, Lot 165), is
situated midblock along M Street, Northwest. A one-story
garage, which has been declared a contributing building
within the historic district, lies at the rear of the M
Street lot. Because the garage contributes to the historic
district, it must be retained and, under District historic
preservation laws, cannot be demolished absent exceptional
circumstances. The other parcel, located at 91 Blagden Alley
(Square 368, Lot 164), is situated midblock along 9th Street,
Northwest. It is presently unimproved. The parcels run
perpendicular to each other and are intersected by Blagden
Alley. Both are located in the C-2-A Zone District.
plans to build a large addition to the garage on the M Street
Property and to construct a new building on the 9th Street
Property. The two buildings will be connected by a pedestrian
walkway over Blagden Alley. They will share amenities, a
lobby, and common spaces, effectively functioning as one
apartment building. The Project will include approximately
123 dwelling units, 79 of which will be in the M Street
Building and 44 of which will be in the 9th Street Building.
These residential units will consist entirely of small, fully
furnished studio apartments. ...