Support for Affordable Housing, Dense Development, & Sustainability Outcome of Second Hebrew Home Meeting

More than 100 community members from both Ward 1 and Ward 4 attended the second OurRFP meeting on June 2nd and indicated strong preferences for the site to be developed with significant affordable housing, sustainable public spaces, and density maximized through a Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.

IMG_0625(DMPED’s Tsega Bekele addressing the community at the start of the meeting.)

The meeting began at Raymond Recreation Center with an introduction from Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner and included a few words from Ward 1 Councilmember Briannne Nadeau. Afterward, DMPED’s Tsega Bekele provided an overview of some of the priorities that came out of the first OurRFP meeting — such as support for affordable housing, housing for families and seniors, and units that are ADA accessible. Bekele also informed the group on some of the next steps in the process. These included issuing the formal RFP in late June, followed by a pre-response conference and developer submissions.

It was noted that some of the priorities expressed in either of the OurRFP meetings would have their own process and opportunities for community engagement outside of the RFP process. Examples mentioned were the BZA process should the development seek fewer parking spaces than required by Zoning, the Zoning process should the property be developed as a PUD, and a review by the Historic Preservation Review Board for elements that involve the historic Hebrew Home building.

After the presentation, community members were allowed to post dots on three boards to indicate their highest priorities. It is important to note that all of the options on the boards were considered priorities identified during the first meeting. Each resident was given six dots, two of each of the three colors, with which to vote.

IMG_0626(Neighbors visiting the three topic boards and placing stickers on their priorities at Raymond Recreation Center.)

The outcome of the voting broke down in the following ways.

Housing Priorities

The highest priorities identified were affordable housing and housing for seniors.

  • More than 30% of the units set aside as affordable housing — 47%
  • Additional units to target moderate income/workforce housing (50-80% AMI) — 5%
  • Opportunities for Homeownership — 10%
  • Family-sized units — 16%
  • Housing reserved for seniors — 18%
  • Accessible Units (for persons with disabilities) — 4%

Public Space & Sustainability

The highest priority identified was Sustainable public space

  • Active use (e.g. playground, splash park, dog park, educational programming) — 18%
  • Passive uses (e.g. green spae, community garden, benches) — 20%
  • Sustainable public space improvements (e.g. stormwater management, sustainable landscaping, permeable surfaces) — 38%
  • Active, engaged street (upgrades to 10th street exceeding DDOT standards, bike parking, benches) — 20%
  • Public art — 4%

Design and Density

The highest priorities identified were maximizing density and incorporating elements of the historic building into the design.

  • Density Maximized through a Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) — 48%
  • Historic elements incorporated in the design — 30%
  • Modern/Contemporary style of design — 2%
  • Exceed green building requirements — 19%

In closing and reporting out the results of the exercise, Bekele noted that all of the items on the boards are considered priorities to some extent as they all came out of the first OurRFP workshop. The purpose of the exercise during the second workshop was to help DMPED rank the priorities based on the community’s input. This, in turn, will help DMPED to review the forthcoming RFP submissions and make decisions with the community priorities in mind.

Materials from the workshop will eventually be posted on the DMPED page devoted to 1125 Spring Road.

IMG_0630(DMPED’s Tsega Bekele sharing the results of the priority boards and closing the meeting.)

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9 Comments on “Support for Affordable Housing, Dense Development, & Sustainability Outcome of Second Hebrew Home Meeting”

  1. JS Says:

    An incredibly dense concentration of low-income housing? I hope that the city is not honestly considering repeating one of the biggest urban development mistakes of the past 50 years.
    .
    Please let there be a substantial (>50%) market rate component to this project.

    • K Says:

      I agree, no doubt people need access to affordable housing but concentrating it to anything more than 50% (actually studies have shown to be successful it should have at least 2/3’s market rate) would be a big mistake.

  2. Angry Parakeet Says:

    Especially when the massive public housing building (Cavalier, 3500 14th) is steps away

  3. Anon Says:

    It’s worth noting, only about 25 people that attended this meeting attended the initial meeting as well. The place was packed with political activists (i.e. white kids) that don’t live nearby. Having a meeting at 7pm on a weeknight is about the worst time for most working people with families. I’d hardly call this an accurate representation of nearby residents. These kids come and protest and then drive home to their parents house in Takoma Park or Chevy Chase. Easy to demand action when you don’t live within several blocks.

    • JS Says:

      This is an important point. 7 PM is dinner time/bedtime for a lot of families with kids. It’s just not possible for a lot these folks to attend meetings at this time. The previous 11 AM weekend meeting was a lot better time-wise, and in what I’m sure is not a coincidence, featured far fewer activists (who were probably still sleeping off their hangovers from the night before or were out to brunch).

  4. OG Says:

    For a public hearing, this was enitrely too political and biased. It was full of kids demanding 100% affordable housing and one gentleman (I think it was the ANC Commissioner?) gave an over the top political speech at the end. Totally inappropriate. There were even college students protesting outside. It ruined what started out as a fairly decent public comment process at the previous meeting.

  5. tom Says:

    dont forget the expansion of the park morton site to bruce monroe (~120 to 500 units). CH is littered with “affordable” housing.


  6. […] wanting to know more about what this site could be, you can read my notes from the April 9th and June 2nd OurRFP meetings and read the full RPF […]


  7. […] held to solicit community input through the OurRFP process, one on April 9, 2016, and a follow up meeting on June 2, 2016. Following these meetings, the RFP was issued July 1, […]


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