The D.C. zoning Commission is scheduled to decide today whether to grant a hearing on a controversial proposal to rezone a block of Capital Hill from residential to office use.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobbying group, has asked the commission to rezone their building, at Second and C streets NE, and the adjacent property on Second Street, between C Street and Maryland Avenue.
The adjoining property consists of the Young Women's Christian Home and the office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Officials of both groups have told the commission they have no objection to the proposed rezoning.
Some Capitol Hill community leaders have objected, however. Richard Wolf, president of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, called the proposal "an assault on the residential character of the community."
"We want to preserve the residential character of neighborhood," said Mary W. Jayne, who lives two blocks from the site and is land-use chairman of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association. "In order to do this, we have to maintain Second Street as the boundary between the Capitol and residential use."
The Quakers say they need the zoning change because they want to tear down their present headquarters -- a much-altered rowhouse -- and build a larger one. Under current zoning for the block, the site could be used only for townhouses or apartments once the old buildings are demolished. The requested new zoning -- Special Purpose -- would allow construction of a 65-foot office building for nonprofit organizations.
The commission also must decide whether to grant a hearing on a proposal to build 263 housing units on the site of the former Ruppert Home for the Aged at 22nd Street and T Place SE. Neighborhood organizations have opposed the proposal, and the city's Office of Planning and Development has recommended that the request be denied without a hearing.
The commission is also expected to make a final decision on Hillandale, a 268-unit housing development proposed for the 42-acre Archbold estate on Reservoir Road NW.
Although the plan was opposed by the local advisory neighborhood commission, it won the support of the Burleith Citizens Association. The developer and the citizens association negotiated an agreement whereby the traffic impact on Burleith streets would be eased, and a buffer of trees would be placed between the development and surrounding areas.
The commission is also scheduled to act on the creation of a new commercial zoning category that may be applied to Connecticut Avenue between Dupont Circle and Florida Avenue, on a new regulation governing conversions from residential to commercial uses in mixed-use zones, and on a building for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street NW.
The zoning Commission meets today at 1:30 p.m. in Room 11A of the District Building, 14th and E streets NW.