Rezoning 1323 E Street SE (DoorDash Dash Mart)

(THIS POST WILL CHANGE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS MORE ITEMS ARE ADDED)

Tuesday, May 10 ANC 6B will vote on my request to file a zoning map amendment to for the property currently being used as a DoorDash DashMart Last Mile Delivery Hub from PDR-1 to RA-2.

If you agree that the property should be converted to residential use (more than likely with the current building razed and a new apartment build to replace it), please sign this petition. (The petition is tied to my government email address and as such your information will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, though likely able to be redacted. You information will be aggregated and personal information removed before sharing with the public)

Before DoorDash even opened, they were bad neighbors on a lot that simply could not accommodate them

What is Zoning? A map amendment? PDR-1? RA-2?

Zoning dictates both what a building can look like and what uses can happen on a property. 1323 E Street SE is zoned for industrial use, call production, distribution, and repair in zoning jargon. This property has industrial zoning based on the long historic use of most properties along the 1300 block of E Street. Breweries, dairies, auto repair, trash transfer, etc. all provided needed but noxious uses to the city and as such their value was recognized with allowable industrial uses in close proximity to residential development. The zone is called PDR-1

The current zoning map for the area, however, has been changed since first adopted. Instead of a number of industrial uses on E Street SE, there is only one industrially zoned-parcel left with front on E Street SE, 1323 E Street SE. A zoning case in 1987 rezoned a number of the industrial parcels and in 2015, two large residential developments went through the process of converting the remainder of the industrial land to residential RA-2 zoning. The block is now a mix of rowhouse and apartments and I am asking ANC 6B to petition to change the zoning of 1323 E Street SE from PDR-1 to RA-2.

The purple properties are PDR-zoned, however the two large areas circled in red went through a process called a Planned Unit Development which changed the zoning to allow for the current residential buildings to be built to RA-2 standard. The only street facing PDR-1 zoned property is circled in Blue. Yellow is RF-1 zoning, which is rowhouse residential, and the yellow is Mixed Use/Commercial along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Why Rezone With DoorDash Leaving Anyway?

DoorDash’s DashMart will close in September and conceivably the existing building could be leased to someone who would bring a less noxious use with fewer adverse impacts. However, the industrial zoning does not require such uses to not have impacts. So rather than fighting each project case by case like ANC 6B did with DashMart, I am simply asking to make clear that the property’s use should convert to residential and to make the highest and best use (and thus most profitable) is to build new housing in our amenity-rich neighborhood close to a metro and other transportation options and close to employment clusters.

And I think while we all were very happy to temporarily host Frager’s from 2013 to 2019, the block was much different. The Buchanan School was vacant. Jerry’s and Signature Collision also brought many cars and block many sidewalks regularly. Bowie’s would have trash trucks coming and going. Frager’s was additive to existing chaos. But if the use came back today, which would be allowable under current zoning with only, the consistent double parking, sidewalk blocking, trucks loading in the streets, and so much more simply would be out of place on this now residential block.

A Street View image of Frager’s Operations. With substandard parking and loading in the street.

The Rezoning Process

As a public agency, ANC 6B is able to petition the Zoning Commission to rezone properties. The standard of review for rezoning is to be determined not inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan. There’s a lot to it and I would encourage you all to read this draft statement of support for more info, but each property is designated for use and density on the Future Land Use Map in the Comp Plan. This property is designated for moderate density residential use. The current PDR-1 zoning is in direct contrast of this designation. There are other policies in the comp plan (infill housing, incompatible industrial uses next to residences, etc.) which also support this petition.

There is also ample recent precedent both at the Zoning Commission and DC Court of Appeals that validates this process initiated by the ANC for a single property.

After ANC 6B files the petition, the Zoning Commission will determine whether to move forward with a public hearing at the Zoning Commission. When the public hearing is scheduled and approved by the ZC, the property will be rezone. However, the existing retail use and building will continued to be grandfathered.

If you agree that the property should be converted to residential use (more than likely with the current building razed and a new apartment build to replace it), please sign this petition. (The petition is tied to my government email address and as such your information will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, though likely able to be redacted. You information will be aggregated and personal information removed before sharing with the public)

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