Zoning board delays vote on Ward 3 family shelter

The proposed family shelter would sit adjacent to the 2nd District Police Headquarters at 3320 Idaho Ave. NW. (Rendering courtesy of D.C. government)

Zoning consideration of the proposed Ward 3 short-term family housing project has been deferred to April 5, following community requests for additional time to prepare their written arguments in the case.

Over the objections of the District government, which has emphasized the need to move quickly on the planned family shelter at 3320 Idaho Ave. NW, the Board of Zoning Adjustment delayed its planned March 22 vote on the project. The six-story, 50-unit building at the site of the Metropolitan Police Department’s 2nd District headquarters needs zoning relief for height, shelter use and interim construction parking, all of which proved contentious during a seven-hour zoning hearing on March 1.

In the meantime, the D.C. Department of General Services has introduced new options for police parking during construction of a new parking deck at the station — a project intended to relieve current police parking pressures in the neighborhood; replace existing parking lost to its construction; and serve the shelter once it’s built. Unpopular initial proposals called for the use of nearby tennis courts as interim parking.

The new deck options all call for reserving 129 on-street parking spaces for police, leasing 30 spaces for police at Cathedral Commons, and providing up to 100 overnight and weekend parking garage spaces at the Fannie Mae headquarters a half-mile north for residents displaced from the street. The three options, available at tinyurl.com/shelter-parking, each find those 129 spaces using a different collection of nearby streets. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C (Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, Woodley Park) is asking constituents to email all@anc3c.org to share their thoughts on the possibilities.

The interim parking arrangement would be in place for an estimated eight months.