Monday, February 14, 2022
ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Ron Ngiam, Stefan Hurray, Danny Ince, Ana Evans, Phil Eagleburger, Tina Mead, David Kay, and Anne Weir. Also attending were Bonnie LePard, President, Cleveland Park Historical Society, and Camilla Carpenter, Executive Director, Cleveland Park Historical Society.
This meeting was held via ZOOM.
3519 Lowell Street, N.W.
Agent: Colleen Healey, Healey Architecture
Built in 1917, this residence is a contributing structure to the Cleveland Park Historic District. The proposal includes the construction of a new, two-story rear garage at the end of a shared driveway that is accessed from 36th Street. The proposed structure would not visible from the front of the house or from Lowell Street but would be visible from 36th Street. The materials include a standing seam metal roof and stained cedar siding.
Concept drawings were presented to the ARC which has no objection to the general concept. However, the ARC would like to review the project again as it becomes more developed.
The motion passed 9-0.
3506 34th Street, N.W.
Agent: Tom Kamm, Kamm Architecture
Owners: Jay and Svoren
This residence was built in 1952 and is not a contributing structure to the Historic District. The proposal includes the construction of a rear dormer which would not be visible from the street or from the neighboring alley. A skylight would be added and two small attic windows removed. Materials include hardi panels and wood clad windows. Previously, an addition had been added to the south side of the house.
The ARC has no objection to this proposal.
The motion passed 9-0.
3300 Newark Street, N.W.
Agent: David Landsman, CAS Engineering and Joseph Richardson, Landscape Architect
3300 Newark was built in 1920 and is a contributing structure to the historic district. A rear addition was added to the house in 2018 and as part of that project an approximately 9 foot retaining wall, not part of the original addition proposal, was added in the rear. The 2018 final approved plan pulled the deck back from the developer’s original proposal in response to concerns about the impact on the ravine and the view shed. The current proposal includes an above ground swimming pool with another approximately 9 foot retaining wall, steps, a terrace, a 25 x 25 foot sports/basketball court, a batting cage surrounded by tall netting and poles and lighting at various locations, all located in the rear yard which is part of the ravine that runs between Newark and Macomb Streets. The 55 foot long batting cage, located on the edge of the property and near Macomb Street neighbors, will also have a 3 foot retaining wall on the down side and both this facility and the sports court will require leveling and infill. This new proposal interjects hardscape into the ravine, beyond the limit on intrusion previously established.
One of the defining features of the Historic District is its topography and its natural spaces: Rosedale, Tregaron, the ravines and front and rear yards. The Cleveland Park Historic Guidelines cite the topographical and landscape features that have helped shape the Historic District in general and specifically notes the “valley” that runs between Newark and Macomb, stating “Cleveland Park’s topography which includes steep ravines, has sculpted the area and is integral to its historic and future evolution.” This feature has also been acknowledged by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). In 2007, HPRB Commissioner Ann Lewis pointed out this ravine as a “contributing feature” of the CP Historic District, one that should be given “the same weight” as other factors. In 2013, HPRB rejected a proposed pool and pool house in this ravine. The CP Guidelines, as well as the Department of Interior Guidelines, promotes low retaining walls and transparent fences in support of the natural spaces.
In addition to the historic preservation issues that the ARC reviews, this project has raised additional issues for others to consider including drainage, the impact on the stream and broader environmental issues, noise, the recent extensive removal of trees on the slope including at least one “Special Tree” *, the proposed addition of an artificially straight line of screening trees in contrast to the natural occurring landscape in the ravine, the impact of the proposed construction activity on the ravine including the removal of a massive amount of soil and the introduction of construction equipment and the opposition of the impacted, surrounding neighbors. The ARC also notes that the presentation did not include context drawings that would place the proposed additions in the ravine and show the relationship to neighboring structures.
This proposal would severely impact the natural, woodland ravine, a contributing feature in the Cleveland Park Historic District. The ARC objects to the proposal as presented.
The motion passed 9-0.
*An earlier version of this Report referenced a “Heritage Tree.”