Planners, architects, and neighbors these days seem more and more sensitive when it comes to the scale of a block. We’ve attended countless neighborhood zoning meetings where developers have sought a few feet of extra height than is permitted by right, and neighbors stand in opposition as a result. While the new zoning code adopted last August increased the allowable height in many zoning districts by a few feet, it also created protections to maintain blocks that contain primarily two-story homes, insisting on an eight-foot setback of the third floor for new construction three-story homes. The sensibility of this requirement can be debated, but it’s in there.
It’s clear that no such rule exists in Washington DC. A thread on Philadelphia Speaks led us to an interesting story on Dcist that we felt we had to share. We present to you a new condo project at 1013 V St. NW, which sticks out like a sore, uh, middle finger.
According to Dcist, the property was purchased back in 2011 for $386K (!), and the developers who own it are in the process of constructing a five-story building with three condo units. It’s true, the building looks completely out of scale with the other homes on the block, but it should be noted that a six-story condo building has recently gone up a few doors down and can be seen on the left hand side of the image above.
What do people think? Is this building a monstrosity, or is it no big deal? In twenty years, will it continue to stick out from the rest of the block, or will a couple of other developers take advantage of the fact that the height limit on the block is a generous 65′ and follow the example set out for them? Is anyone else at least a little impressed that they appear to have maintained the original facade in this project, rather than tearing it down and starting with something new? What do people think?