The National Capital Planning Commission, seeking to end a neighborhood controversy, approved a compromise plan yesterday to reduce the number of satellite dishes at a site occupied by Intelsat at Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street NW.

The plan, which will clear the way for WJLA-TV (Channel 7) to move its offices to the Intelsat site, drew praise from neighborhood groups and station officials.

"It wasn't totally to our preference, but we do feel the decision was a great improvement over earlier proposals," said Philip Faurot, spokesman for the Tilden Gardens Cooperative Apartment Association. Under an earlier plan, a dish would have faced the Tilden Gardens complex on Tilden Street NW.

"We really felt that the whole process the planning commission goes through was very worthwhile," Faurot said.

"They marched all around Intelsat property and they came onto the roof of my apartment and stared and stared."

John D. Tollefson, a WJLA vice president and the station's director of engineering, said the plan "works very well" technically and will permit the dishes, or downlink antennas, to fit in with the Intelsat building "so they'll really be unnoticeable."

"We think we've worked out a good arrangement that everyone can live with," he said. "We're just very pleased. WJLA looks forward to being a good neighbor."

In the revised plan, Intelsat, an international satellite communications consortium, agreed to withdraw an earlier request to set up a dish opposed by Tilden Gardens residents.

The federal planning commission sought an independent report from a consulting firm last month because of neighborhood opposition to the original plan, which included six satellite dishes.

The compromise plan, prepared by Corporate Telecom Services Inc., provided for four satellite dishes. "The consultants altered the {dish} location in a way that they can now be successfully screened," said planning commission spokesman Lee Feldman. The dishes will be placed on ground-level terraces close to the Intelsat building and concealed with shrubbery.

The compromise was approved by the commission, 11 to 1, with District planning director Fred Greene dissenting.

"I have been fighting a much broader issue in allowing Channel 7 in the Intelsat building," Greene said. Because the building is federal property, it is exempt from D.C. real estate taxes. "Intelsat does not pay taxes, and so the residents of the District of Columbia are in essence subsidizing Channel 7," he said.

JHK and Associates, a traffic consulting firm hired by the commission, found that a van garage planned by WJLA on Tilden Street would cause relatively minor problems, Feldman said.