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Cole v. District of Columbia Zoning Commission

Court of Appeals of The District of Columbia

June 27, 2019

Sharon COLE, Petitioner,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ZONING COMMISSION, Respondent and 777 17th Street, LLC, Intervenor.

         Submitted January 31, 2019

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          Petition for Review of a Decision of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission (ZC15-31)

          Sharon Cole, pro se.

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

         Allison C. Prince, Christine A. Roddy, and Alana V. Rusin were on the brief for intervenor.

         Before Thompson and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Washington, Senior Judge.

          OPINION

         Thompson, Associate Judge:

         On December 17, 2015, 777 17th Street, LLC, (the "applicant" or the "Intervenor") submitted to the Zoning Commission (the "Commission") an application for review and approval of a consolidated planned-unit development ("PUD") and a PUD-related zoning map amendment.[1] The application proposed construction of a mixed-use residential/ground-floor-retail development at 1701 H Street, N.E., located at the intersection of Benning Road, 17th Street, and H Street, N.E. The building (ten floors at its greatest height on the west end, and six floors at its eastern end) would be constructed on lots that currently are an unimproved, vacant lot and a used-car lot. The planned residential component would consist of approximately 180 rental units, with eight percent of the residential floor space set aside for affordable-housing units (referred to by the Commission as "IZ," i.e., "inclusionary zoning," units) for the life of the development.[2]

         Petitioner Sharon Cole, who resides in a building adjacent to the proposed construction site, seeks review of the Commission¬ís decision approving the application, which was published on March 10, 2017.[3] For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the Commission¬ís decision.

          I.

         The District of Columbia Office of Planning ("OP") submitted a report on April 1, 2016, recommending that a public hearing on the PUD application be held, and filed its final report on September 19, 2016, recommending approval of the application. The Commission held a public hearing on the application on September 29, 2016, during which petitioner Cole testified in opposition.[4] At a subsequent public meeting,

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the Commission approved the application, finding that the PUD will provide public benefits of "exceptional quality" and of "substantial value to the community" and that the concerns noted by those who testified in opposition to the ...


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