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Union Market Neighbors v. District of Columbia Zoning Commission

Court of Appeals of The District of Columbia

March 28, 2019

UNION MARKET NEIGHBORS, Petitioner,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ZONING COMMISSION, Respondent, and Gallaudet University and JBG/6th Street Associates, LLC, Intervenors.

         Argued November 13, 2018

Page 1268

          Petition for Review of an Order of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission (ZC-15-24A)

          Aristotle Theresa, Washington, for petitioner.

         Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Loren L. AliKhan, Solicitor General, Stacy L. Anderson, Acting Deputy Solicitor General, and Richard S. Love, Senior Assistant Attorney General, filed a statement in lieu of brief for respondent.

         Philip T. Feola, with whom Christine Roddy, Washington was on the brief, for intervenors.

         Before Fisher, Thompson, and Easterly, Associate Judges.

          OPINION

         Fisher, Associate Judge:

          This dispute arises out of the proposed development of four parcels of land in the Union Market/Gallaudet University neighborhood. The District of Columbia Zoning Commission ("Commission") approved intervenors’ first-stage application for a planned unit development ("PUD") of that property. Petitioner, a citizens’ association, challenges the decision. Finding petitioner’s arguments unpersuasive, we affirm.

          I. Background

          The four parcels of land at issue are located in the northeast quadrant of the District of Columbia, adjacent to Sixth Street and bordered by Penn Street on the north and Florida Avenue on the south. On October 15, 2015, Gallaudet University and JBG/6th Street Associates submitted an application for approval of a mixed-use development spanning the 273,514 square foot property. The Office of Planning ("OP") reviewed the proposal and convened a meeting with various agencies, including the Department of Transportation ("DDOT"). On April 21, 2016, the Commission published a notice in the D.C. Register — and mailed notice to owners of all property within 200 feet of the parcels — that it would hold a hearing to review the proposal on June 23, 2016. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5D presented a letter supporting the project.

         Union Market Neighbors ("UMN") submitted a request for party status to oppose the project. On the day of the hearing, the organization supplemented its submission with form letters filled out by eight individuals living in the area and one person who worked there. A representative of UMN notified the Commission that same day that he could not attend the hearing; instead, he renewed the group’s request

Page 1269

for party status and urged the Commissioners to ask the staff of OP and DDOT a list of questions spanning three pages. Nobody from the group appeared at the meeting, and the Commission ...


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