HPA No. 2004-145 (In re. the Tregaron Estate)
- HPA Number: 2004-145
- Case Name: In the matter of Tregaron
- Location of Property: 3100 Macomb Street, N.W.
- Date of Decision: 3/30/06
- Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Subdivision
- Disposition: Granted
- Date of Case Summary: 5/4/07
Summary of Decision:
Tregaron Limited Partnership (the " Applicant ") sought approval of a subdivision of Lot 839 in Square 2084 to create eight record lots to develop eight single family residences along the Macomb Street and Klingle Road frontages of the Tregaron Estate, a 20.6 acre former country estate comprising two lots: 1) a six-acre parcel owned by the Washington International School (" WIS ") and a fourteen-acre parcel owned by the Applicant. Upon the granting of the subdivision, the Applicant planned on conveying to 1) WIS one-half acre for a soccer field and three acres to be maintained as open space and 2) the Tregaron Conservancy (the " Conservancy ") ten acres to become part of a land conservancy. In addition, the Applicant intended to contribute certain money to the Conservancy generated from the sale of the eight lots. The Mayor's Agent granted the subdivision, concluding that the project was necessary in the public interest as one of special merit by virtue of its exemplary architecture, special features of land planning, and social benefits having a high priority for community services.
Mayor's Agent - Procedural:
Pursuant to the Historic District Protection Act of 1978, the Mayor or his agent must review and hold a public hearing on applications for subdivision of the site of historic landmarks.
Necessary in the Public Interest:
The Mayor's Agent concluded that the Applicant's proposed subdivision was necessary in the public interest to achieve a project of special merit.
Project of Special Merit - Exemplary Architecture:
Although the Historic Preservation Review Board (the " Board ") believed that the subdivision of the Tregaron estate site was "inherently inconsistent with the original unified character of the property," the Mayor's Agent concluded that the conceptual proposal for the eight houses on the subdivided lots was exemplary in terms of its architecture and land use planning in "minimizing the impacts of those houses on the landscape, ensuring that the houses will be invisible from the most important vistas and vantage points within the estate, and will respect important topographical, man-made and natural features and characteristics."
Project of Special Merit - Specific Features of Land Planning:
An agreement between the Applicant, WIS and Friends of Tregaron memorialized the agreement between the parties with regard to the subdivision, limited development of the eight subdivided lots, and land conveyances among the parties. The agreement also included a detailed cultural landscape report that set forth an integrated plan for the "stabilization, rehabilitation and maintenance" of the entire 20.6 acre Tregaron Estate. The Board found that the landscape rehabilitation plan guided by this report and the management of a substantial portion of the property by a landscape conservancy, dedicated to the "rehabilitation, stewardship, interpretation and to ensuring public access to the site," would constitute an "unusual and substantial historic preservation accomplishment with clear benefits to the public and have a direct relation to the public interest in perpetuating, enhancing and promoting appreciation of one of the city's unique cultural assets."
The Mayor's agent found that the landscape plan was a "key component" of the Applicant's special merit case.
Project of Special Merit - Social or other Benefits having a High Priority for Community Services:
The Mayor's Agent found that the Applicant's donation of nearly thirteen acres for conservancy purposes to be reserved as a landmark in perpetuity - ten acres of which were to be available for community use and enjoyment - is a "significant benefit to the entire community, and has a high priority for community services."
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Frederick Douglass Community Improvement Council/Concerned Citizens of Anacostia v. District of Columbia Office of Planning., Historic Preservation Office District of Columbia. Court of Appeals (2015)