Ladybird development’s zoning hearing sees third postponement

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The Ladybird project would include a grocery store below apartments on Yuma Street NW. (rendering courtesy of Valor Development)

A Zoning Commission review of the contentious Ladybird project has been delayed again, with commissioners recently granting a third postponement request from Valor Development.

Valor hopes to construct more than 200 housing units and extensive commercial space on the old Superfresh site at 48th and Yuma streets NW. The developer unveiled revised plans in July that modified architectural details, pulled back some upper stories farther from the streets, and swapped a proposed full-size grocery store for a smaller one.

Shelly Repp of Neighbors for Responsible Development spoke against the Ladybird project at ANC 3E’s July 20 meeting. (Brady Holt/The Current/July 2017)

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E (Friendship Heights, Tenleytown, American University Park) requested more time for neighbors to review the plans, and Valor agreed to push back its scheduled Oct. 23 zoning hearing. The Zoning Commission is now due to hear the case on Jan. 11 — roughly a year after the first scheduled review. Valor requested a new hearing in November or December, but no hearing dates were available, zoning commissioners said at a Sept. 11 meeting.

Opponents of the project have argued that its scale would overwhelm a quiet residential neighborhood, and July’s modified design retains most of the height and density that they find objectionable. ANC 3E members — generally supportive of development that follows smart-growth principles — have also expressed some concerns about the Ladybird proposal, though some community members say they’d welcome additional vitality and retail options.