Sunrise: Wrong Site

This development is wrong for the lot  

Sunrise wants an extraordinary number of exceptions and variances to the R-1-B / residential (single-family) zoning for the Tenleytown, D.C. lot in order to be able to build a commercial facility. These include: 

  • to allow a ‘continuing care’ retirement community at this site at all;

  • to increase the allowable number of stories;

  • to increase the allowable percentage of the lot that can be occupied;

  • to eliminate a side yard setback of eight feet next to the National Park Service land

  • to build a retaining wall three times of what is allowed.

To be on this R-1-B lot at all, the Board of Zoning Adjustment must find that special circumstances warrant that a 'continuing care retirement community' be allowed on the site. This special exception can be granted only if the specific location is deemed appropriate and "does not create a condition objectionable to the neighbors."  

There are numerous conditions that are objectionable. This site is not appropriate for granting a 'special exception.'

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It Encroaches on a neighborhood of single-family and historic homes

The Tenleytown neighborhood between Wisconsin Avenue and Reno Roads is one of the last contiguous single-family home, residential neighborhoods in D.C. 

  • Single family homes surround the development lot on three sides: Alton Place, Yuma Street, and 39th Street. The fourth side, facing Tenley Circle, is owned by the National Park Service and is part of the historic Fort Reno landmark.

  • Just beyond the National Park Service land, there are three Civil War-era homes on Grant Road that are within 200 feet of the proposed development.

  • The development would be a matter of feet away from five single family homes on 39th Street that share a property line with the development.

  • A large truck ramp would enter and exit on two residential roads, Alton Place and Yuma Street, that ban through-truck traffic.

Traffic, Pollution, Noise. In an area where through-truck traffic is banned. 

The operation of the facility would require 20+ trucks per week for deliveries, and a 7-ton shuttle bus running multiple times a day. All adjoining residential streets prohibit through-truck traffic above 1 1/4 ton. Other objectionable traffic implications for the neighborhood include:

  • Trash haulers for a large facility three times a week, including noisy emptying of large garbage containers;

  • Large food trucks 2-3 times a week, other trucks and suppliers throughout the week;

  • UPS and Fed-Ex trucks 10-12 times per week;

  • 7-ton shuttle running multiple times a day;

  • 10~ + fire and ambulance trucks per month;

  • 75 employees daily require parking for their cars;

  • Sunday and daily church traffic for a church that seats 250 people;

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Construction would be directly above the DC Metro tunnel, near the main DC gas line, and within 200 feet of Historic Civil War-era homes. 

The lot for the development is directly above the Tenleytown Metro line, and a block away from the main natural gas line servicing the entire city. 

  • There is no assurance that there would not be damage to either gas lines or Metro tunnel.

  • WMATA and Washington Gas should be very concerned, given that excavation for the buildings and parking lot would be occurring in highly sensitive areas.

  • There are numerous historic homes in the preserved Grant Road historic district, where some homes are located within 200 feet of the development. Grant Road is a Civil-War-era neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • "Vibration experts" have already been offered to the adjacent houses, and vague promises have been made to repair any damage incurred to houses during construction.

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