Is 469 Luray Place A Sign of Things to Come
Now that 469 Luray Place, NW, is done and having open houses, I thought I would revisit this property and its implications for the neighborhood. Readers will recall that over a year ago the property sold for $251,990 — a price that was just too good to be true for a local developer. The original single family home part of the development is currently on the market for $567,720. Also interesting is a claim that the property may have been purchased fraudulently.
What is sad to me is that despite involving DCRA early in the process and expressing many concerns about lot coverage and how the new structure was being over built — ultimately DCRA sided with the developer and ruled that the entire project was by right and within the rules and regs. The reason being that in an R-4 Zone a building or structure being converted to an apartment building is allowed the “Greater of 60% or the lot occupancy as of the date of conversion.” A Row dwelling, flat, church, or public school in an R-4 Zone is only allowed to cover 60% of the lot. 469 Luray was purported to be converted to a multiple family dwelling.
Now, after visiting the property and talking to the realtor, I have a better sense of how developers swoop in, diminish the character of the neighborhood, get around DCRA, and make a lot of money while leaving a hot mess in the community.
According to the developer’s representative at the open house, they now intend to subdivide the lot into two separate properties — one with the original single family home and one with the new structure as a two-unit condo. Not so bad you say, well consider this. Had the lot been split prior to construction, there most likely would not have been enough land to legally build what was actually constructed (hence building first, dividing later). The implications are huge. Park View has a few key corner lots like this which could be similarly developed leaving uninteresting towering eyesores at the end of several rows dotted throughout the neighborhood.
While not everyone seems to agree that such development is bad for the community — I for one think it is a real eye opener. With little to no protection outside of historic districts — which Park View does not have — the residential section of the neighborhood is vulnerable to unsympathetic pop ups, additions, and tear downs and replacements.Development, Housing, Real Estate comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.