HPA No. 2004-457 (In re. Jonathan Ledecky Garage)
- HPA Number: 2004-457, O.G. 2004-273
- Name: In the Matter of: Jonathan Ledecky
- Location: 1400 34th Street N.W.
- Date of Order: 12/15/2004
- Type of Permit: Alteration - Curb Cut
- Disposition: Granted
Applicant, a homeowner in the Georgetown Historic District, applied for an alteration permit to install a one-car garage in a stone retaining wall on his property. The Mayor's Agent reviewed the history of the property, which had been altered extensively since the end of the nineteenth century. The Mayor's Agent noted the differing positions that the Old Georgetown Board and the Historic Preservation Review Board had taken on the application. The Mayor's Agent approved the Applicant's final plan, which the Office of Planning supported after extensive consultation with the Historic Preservation Office staff, and which also was not inconsistent with the position of the Old Georgetown Board and the Commission of Fine Arts. The Mayor's Agent found that the garage and the accompanying curb cut, as approved by the Office of Planning, were "necessary in the public interest" and "consistent with the purposes of the Act."
- Both the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Old Georgetown Board discourage the introduction of new curb cuts as generally incompatible with the character of pre-automobile Historic Districts.
- This case was distinguishable from In the Matter of Gondelman, HPA No. 00-306 (11/10/2000) and In the Matter of Lowe, HPA No. 02-155 & 01-140 (6/17/20003), where the Mayor's Agent denied applications for curb cuts. In those cases, the proposed curb cuts would have resulted in loss of green, public space that was a defining characteristic of the historic districts where the properties were located. Here, what little public space existed was already paved. Significant alterations had been made to the property, including a change in street level so that little, if any, of the street level's original fabric appeared as it did in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Also, the house, at one time, included a garage. The proposed garage also would be located at the rear of the house in an area that was typically the service area of the house.
- In addition, unlike in previous cases, Applicant enjoyed the support of the affected ANC and the Old Georgetown Board/Commission of Fine Arts in his curb cut application, and the curb cut was consistent with precedent already established for Georgetown by the Old Georgetown Board and the Historic Preservation Review Board.
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