HPA No. 2015-133 (In re. McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District)
- HPA Number: 2015-133
- Building Name: McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District
- Address(es): 2501 (2507) First St. NW
- Date of Order: 14-Aug-15
- Subject Matter: Subdivision
Summary of Decision:
This case concerned the subdivision of 2501 First Street NW (McMillan Sand Filtration Site). The Mayor’s Agent had previously determined the overall mixed-use project to be one of “special merit.” See In the Matter of Vision McMillan Partners LLC, HPA No. 14-393, April 13, 2015. The applicants sought to subdivide the former sand filtration site into six record lots and 21 building sites. The Mayor’s Agent approved the subdivision.
The Mayor’s Agent may allow the subdivision of an historic landmark or a property in an historic district upon a finding that doing so is necessary in the public interest, see D.C. Code §6-1106(e)—one example of which is to allow construction of a project of special merit, §6-1102(11). Generally, division of open space (and much of the McMillan site is open space) is only consistent with the purposes of the D.C. Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act (the “Act”) if such subdivision is considered with a plan for new development.
The Office of Planning report suggested the Historic Preservation Review Board advise the Mayor’s Agent that the subdivision parcels were designed to retain character-defining features. The HPRB also noted that the overall development plan for the site mitigated many of the subdivision’s adverse effects on the property’s historic character.
Because the Mayor’s Agent had previously determined the project to be one of special merit, the Mayor’s Agent focused on two subsequent questions: whether the subdivision is necessary to construct the project of special merit and whether the special merit outweighs the loss of preservation values. The Mayor’s Agent found the subdivision necessary because the developer would not be able to obtain building permits without it. With regard to the second question, the Mayor’s Agent, citing In Re Subdivision (Tregaron), HPA No. 04-145 (2006), concluded that he must consider whether the subdivision will affect the landscape element and overall visual coherence. In evaluating the development plan’s historic elements and open space and the opening of the property to the public, the Mayor’s Agent concluded that the special merit benefits outweighed any losses to preservation values.
Files in this item
- Full text of order.pdf
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
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)