On January 29, 2013, the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) held a hearing on the restaurant’s application for renewal of the zoning “special exception” for its small parking lot off T Street. I testified as to the ANC’s resolution, and one neighbor testified in person, as well. The BZA held off on any final decision until the valet parking system is finalized through the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Public Space permitted process. A question arose whether the valets would take cars only to the T Street lot, or whether they would also take cars up to the overflow lot at 18th Street and California Ave NW.
The DDOT Public Space Committee is set to hear the matter at its February 28, 2013 public meeting. Therefore, the Lauriol Plaza will return to the ANC for our February public meeting (7pm-10pm on Feb. 13th @ Brookings Institution), to seek support for the valet permit application. As noted in the prior update, the Lauriol Plaza is now seeking 5 spots instead of 3 spots on 18th Street for valet staging. This is in response to discussions with neighbors.
I plan to recommend that the ANC support the request for a valet permit using the 5 spaces in front of the restaurant, and that the valets should only take cars to the T Street lot, with patrons being directed to drive themselves the overflow lot. Otherwise, there will be a lot of valets driving circles around the neighborhood, which could create additional traffic safety problems instead of resolving them.
Assuming DDOT approves the valet parking permit as described, the BZA will reconsider and likely approve the “special exception” renewal for the T Street parking lot.
Please contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about these issues.