While the front and side lawns will continue to be owned by the Josephites, EYA plans to build a park on the lawn immediately to the west of the seminary, which will include an open area, benches, landscaping, natural playscapes for children, and potentially public art. The homeowners association will maintain the park.
There will also be smaller open spaces created in the townhome portion of the site that will be owned and operated by the homeowners association but also accessible to the public.
• Historic preservation: EYA and the Josephites plan to apply for historic landmark status for the seminary building and surrounding land area, approximately 50% of the total land area currently owned by the Josephites.
• Tree preservation: EYA plans to preserve all but one tree on the sides and front of the seminary along with almost all of the oak trees along 12th Street.
• Transportation benefits: EYA plans to provide a Capital Bikeshare station, improve the sidewalks and crosswalks surrounding the side, and to provide a carshare space and implement traffic calming measures.
• Public art and sculptures: EYA plans to commission public art and sculpture in the new open spaces by local artists.
• Affordable housing: 11.2% of the homes will be Affordable Dwelling Units with more homes at the lower 50% of Area Median Income level than required by DC’s Inclusionary Zoning Affordable Housing Program. EYA also proposes to make a $10,000.00 contribution to Housing Counseling Services Inc. (“HCS”), a non-profit fund that assists seniors and other District residents on restricted incomes. HCS is not taking a position in support of or in opposition to the Project, but is simply a neutral party that is willing to administer the fund to ensure that the contribution is allocated to individual home owners in need of relief.
• Employment and training opportunities: EYA plans to offer construction education tours and classes for local high school students at the Phelps ACE High School, in what we hope is a knowledge resource and an inspiring extra-curricular event for high school students seeking information and guidance about career pathways.
• EYA originally proposed building homes on the sides and back of the seminary, but is now only proposing homes north of the seminary.
• EYA has doubled the amount of proposed open space, from 1.3 acres to more than 2.5 acres.
• While EYA had always anticipated red brick as a predominant façade material, community feedback about the homes fitting into the neighborhood have guided its choice to use only red brick on front façades and to propose a more traditional style with white trim, front porches, and duplex/triplex patterns.
• To address neighbors’ concerns about cut-through traffic to Providence Hospital, EYA originally proposed a section of extended Webster Street immediately east of 12th Street as one-way eastbound so vehicles coming from the 13th Street and Sargent Road side of the site could not use this new street to access Providence’s emergency room entrance. Based upon community feedback, EYA has modified this recommendation and changed Extended Webster Street to a two way street with traffic calming to deflect cut-through traffic.
• EYA has heard about existing traffic problems, including speeding and cut-through use on 13th Street and Sargent Road. EYA will work with the Department of Transportation to try to implement traffic calming measures on these streets.
• EYA has lowered the height of the homes from 4 stories to 3 stories.
• EYA heard concerns from residents about the loss of mature trees. EYA now plans to preserve nearly all trees on the front and sides of the seminary, and to use special construction measures to preserve the mature oak trees along 12th Street when connecting its utility lines to the water and sewer mains in 12th Street. EYA also slightly curved the extended Webster Street in the current plan to allow it to move development north to further protect the health of the 53 inch oak tree to the south.
• EYA changed the location of an alley entrance along Allison Street so that it now exits onto Extended Webster Street, thus creating shorter strings of homes and a nicer pedestrian experience along Allison Street across from existing homes.
• EYA removed the five driveways proposed for corner houses within the project. The homes now have garages that enter from rear alleys, thereby improving the pedestrian experience and the appearance of the homes.
The rezoning process requires architectural review by the Zoning Commission and provision of community benefits, so EYA believes it will result in a higher quality development with more opportunities for community engagement. A matter-of right development would result in no public benefits, no design review, and significantly less public open space. While RA-1 was chosen because it allows rowhomes, the 12th & Allison proposal prioritizes neighborhood compatibility and is significantly below the maximum density allowed in this zone. For instance, the proposed homes are all 3 stories and approximately 40 feet or less in height. 40 feet is allowed today by-right in the R-2 zone and is consistent with the neighborhood, while 60 feet would be allowed in an RA-1 PUD project.