Below are several important updates on the Lauriol Plaza’s two applications — (1) application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) to renew the “special exception” for the T Street parking lot, and (2) new application for valet parking staging on 18th Street (instead of T Street). You can see the prior posts on this topic by clicking on “Lauriol Plaza” in the tag cloud to the right.
- The valet parking permit application was not processed by DDOT Public Space in time for the ANC’s January 2013 agenda, so we plan on hearing that application at our February 13, 2013 meeting.
- We considered the zoning “special exception” application at our January 9, 2013 ANC meeting, and below is the full text of the resolution as passed by the Commission.
- The BZA hearing for the “special exception” renewal is on January 29th at 9:30am in Room 220 South (Second Floor) at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street NW. Lauriol Plaza is currently the 5th item on the agenda. This is an open meeting, and the public can testify.
- I met with Lt. Lindsay of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the MPD is supportive of the valet parking permit application because the new location should alleviate traffic congestion and safety concerns.
- Lauriol Plaza is now seeking to amend their valet parking permit application to be for 5 parking spaces, instead of 3, which would be essentially the entire frontage of the restaurant on 18th Street.
Resolution on Lauriol Plaza BZA application for renewed parking lot (AS PASSED 1-9-13)
Whereas the Lauriol Plaza has applied to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for renewal of a “special exception” for the small parking lot off T Street NW (Square 152, Lot 862), originally granted by the BZA in 1998;
Whereas the Lauriol Plaza is a large and popular restaurant that brings in patrons from around the metro area, including many by car;
Whereas the parking lot benefits the neighborhood by relieving parking pressure on neighborhood streets, and Lauriol Plaza has operated valet parking at the lot for many years, in order to maximize use of the lot for parking;
Whereas due to its location very close to the intersection of 18th Street and T Street, the parking lot also adversely affects the neighborhood when patrons’ cars form a queue, which bottlenecks traffic at the intersection – causing hazards to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers on both T Street and 18th Street; preventing emergency vehicles from passing up and down 18th Street; and creating noise nuisance to surrounding properties;
Whereas since the parking lot “special exception” was originally approved in 1998, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) constructed a new streetscape along 18th Street NW, including new pedestrian “bulb-outs” at the intersection of 18th Street and T Street NW that substantially narrowed the opening to T Street to 1 car width and eliminated substantial curb-side idling space near the corner;
Whereas this change in infrastructure has exacerbated the problems associated with the queuing of patrons’ cars;
Whereas also since the parking lot “special exception” was originally approved in 1998, the D.C. Council passed and DDOT implemented new rules and regulations for any valet parking that utilizes public space; and
Whereas the current valet staging area utilizes public space for staging, because the cars queue up on T Street and in the public space driveway, despite efforts from the restaurant to dissuade this behavior using traffic cones and off-duty police officers;
Whereas in response to the concerns raised about the negative effects of the parking system at T Street, Lauriol Plaza has applied toDDOT for a valet parking permit to stage all car drop-off using 3 space on 18th Street, directly in front of the restaurant;
Whereas the ANC appreciates the efforts of Lauriol Plaza to mitigate the hazards and to apply for the DDOT permit;
Whereas the ANC had hoped to consider the DDOT permit and the BZA application together at the ANC’s January 2013 meeting, however, the DDOT permit application has not been posted for comment and will not be on the DDOT Public Space agenda until February 2013;
Therefore be it resolved that ANC 2B supports the renewal of the “special exception” for the parking lot, but conditioned on DDOT’s approval of a permit for the new 18th Street valet staging area, in order to alleviate the hazards and nuisance issues that derive from the existing lot and valet system.
Be it further resolved that ANC 2B also requests as part of its support that Lauriol Plaza plant or re-plant taller trees or greenery in the garden outside the wall separating the parking lot from T Street, to mitigate views of the lot from T Street and surrounding residences.