Brookland residents lost a zoning battle last week when the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) approved a plan to build 30 piggyback condominium units at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Quincy Street NE. The development, known as Quincy Court, will consist of two-bedroom units expected to sell for approximately $75,000 each.
"Let us help keep our area as an area of low-density, single-family homes," asked Douglas A. Daiss, vice chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A, which opposed the project. "We are not at all anxious to invite the condo speculator and developer into our area."
"Such construction means an intensity of housing clearly discontinuous with the surrounding community," said John P. Hogan, chairman of the social concerns committee of St. Anthony's Church at 12th and Monroe streets NE, which opposed the project "due to its impact on our neighborhood and its potential for fostering congestion and overpopulation."
Until they were demolished to make way for the new tract, two single-family houses occupied the 38,000-square-foot site.
"When we moved to 12th and Qunicy in 1914, Mr. Cassidy (a stone cutter who worked on many of the buildings at Catholic University and Trinity College) was just finishing his house," said Brookland resident John Facchina, who canvassed the neighborhood and turned in petitions with the signatures of several dozen residents opposed to the project.
But Robert Moore, director of the District's Department of Housing and Community Development, told the BZA that the proposed condominium complex was "consistent with the objective of providing housing for families of all income levels."
Without BZA approval, the developer, Nivan Inc., could have built three-story townhouses on the site. BZA approval was needed for "piggyback housing," however, since the total height of the buildings will be four stories instead of three.
The BZA voted 3 to 1 to approve the development. Board member Connie Adams Fortune, a Brookland resident, cast the only vote against the project. a
At the same meeting, the BZA approved plans to build three rowhouses at 5427, 5429 and 5431 MacArthur Blvd. NW. No neighbors opposed that project at a public hearing on Dec. 12. But the BZA held up approval of plans for 418-420 and 419-421 32nd St. SE, where Lawson and Lawson Realtors want to convert two apartment houses into four semi-detached and four row dwellings. The BZA asked the developer first to develop a satisfactory relocation plan for the present tenants of the apartments.