National Capital Planning Commission Meeting - July 12, 2012

Uploaded by NCPCdotGov on 18.07.2012

CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the National Capital Planning Commission's
July 12th, 2012 meeting.
And if you would, please, all stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance.
ALL: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic
for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for
For all in attendance, I would note that today's meeting is being live streamed, and so please
be aware.
And noting the presence of a quorum, I'd like to go ahead and call the meeting to order
and we will proceed per the agenda that's been publicly advertised.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Agenda item No. 1 is the report of the Chairman.
And other than to make a special notation that I think the Commission will be glad to
hear, I don't have much else additional to say.
There's been a suggestion more than once that we start our meetings at 1:00 instead of 12:30.
Allow people take full advantage of their lunch period before we get started.
And so starting in September we will start at 1:00.
That will be the rule from now on.
Of course we do not meet in August, so this gives us the month of August to make sure
that everything is properly advertised and noticed and people know that this momentous
change in the way we do business.
So again, September 6th they're meeting and it will be begin at 1:00.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Agenda item No. 2 is the report of the Executive Director.
Mr. Acosta?
EXEC. DIR. ACOSTA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just have a few announcements to make that might be of interest to the public.
First of all, on July 19th we're holding a public meeting and comment on the Southwest
Ecodistrict Plan which we'll be hearing later on today.
This meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Office of Planning on the southwest side.
So we hope that you will all be able to attend.
In addition, we have just a couple of personnel announcements to make.
First, Bill Dowd, who you all know is our Director of Physical Planning, began a six-month
detail to the General Services Administration.
Bill will serve as the Acting Regional Commissioner of the National Capital Region Public Building
Service and Elizabeth Miller serve as NCPC's Acting Director of Physical Planning until
further notice.
I'd like to also introduce Cathleen Kronopolus.
Cathleen, if you would stand?
Cathleen is currently the Regional Public Building Service Commissioner for GSA, and
she also started a six-month detail at NCPC.
So she'll be focusing on a lot of important issues between NCPC and GSA, including the
implementation of the Southwest Ecodistrict, as well as the Federal Capital Improvements
Program and other things that I think we have a vested interest in.
So we do welcome Cathleen to NCPC for the next six months.
Also we have a few interns that have joined us.
Matthew Killian.
Matthew joins the Office of Physical Planning as a summer intern.
Matthew is a rising senior at Harvard University majoring in chemistry and he has supported
our staff's effort to finalize the Southwest Ecodistrict Plan.
Also we welcome two summer interns from the District of Columbia's Summer Youth Employment
Mary Mease.
Mary is a rising senior at Frank Ballou Senior High School.
And also Johnwilliam Carroll is a rising junior at the University of Oklahoma majoring in
And this is Johnwilliam's second year at NCPC.
He enjoyed it so much, he decided to come back.
So we welcome all of them here at NCPC.
These interns have been great for us and I hope we've given them a great opportunity
So we welcome all of them.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you, Mr. Acosta.
On the NCPC/GSA partnership I would say that obviously our organizations work very closely
together on many, many projects and to have senior-level personnel exchange for a six-month
period, an NCPC person going to GSA and a GSA person coming to here, is pretty great.
And so it's a good opportunity for both organizations and for everyone involved.
And for our summer interns, I'll just say generally we remain grateful for the many
contributions you make to us in the weeks and months that you are here.
So thank you very much for the work that you do.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Agenda item No. 3 is the legislative update.
Ms. Schuyler?
MS. SCHUYLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I do have something to report today.
I'm pleased to announce that HR-2297, which is a bill to promote the development of the
Southwest Waterfront in the District of Columbia and for other purposes, has now become public
The bill has previously passed both the House and the Senate, albeit in different versions,
therefore there was need for reconciliation.
Reconciliation occurred and the bill was presented to President Obama on July 29th and was signed
on July - I'm sorry, on June 29th and was signed into law.
It is now Public Law 1112-143.
And since I know you would like to know what this bill actually provides for, it allows
the transfer of the Southwest Waterfront development property to a redevelopment company or other
private lessee or purchaser by the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and it also
repeals the U.S. Government's reversionary interest.
Essentially what this will do is to allow redevelopment of the waterfront to proceed
in a manner that we have heard about on several prior occasions.
Are there any questions for Ms. Schuyler?
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: That's an important piece of legislation.
It will become more apparent in our first agenda item.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: On the consent calendar we have one item.
This is the master plan modification and installation of a perimeter fence and second containment
fence at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Do we have any questions or comments from Commission members on this
one item?
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Hearing none, is there a motion on the consent calendar?
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: It's been moved and seconded that the consent calendar before you with
the one item be approved.
All in favor, say aye?
(Chorus of ayes.)
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: The first item, which is agenda item 5A on our open calendar, is very
It's been quite a number of years in coming.
And if you'll permit me, I'd like to say a few things about it.
And of course it is the Southwest Ecodistrict Plan.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: The Commission received an informational briefing on the plan at the
May Commission meeting.
The purpose of today's meeting is to receive a full presentation on the Southwest Ecodistrict
Plan so that we can then move to approve the plan for public comment.
Today's presentation is going to be about 30 minutes, and it will be an exciting 30
minutes, I think.
So at our next meeting then in September we will have the staff focus again on the plan.
That presentation will be after the 60-day public comment period and we'll talk about
any changes that have been made to the plan as a result of the very good public comment
that we anticipate.
I think the overriding point that I'd like to get across is that there are a number of
synergies that are working right now that has allowed this plan to come together and
achieve some focus and that also will aid in its implementation.
And basically those synergies are three: One is the Department of Energy Building, which
has no small footprint in the 15-block area that's been our focus.
It is now 40-50 years old and it's coming to a life cycle decision that others who are
responsible for the property will make.
And so that's very important.
Now there are other buildings in the 15-block area that equally are entering that phase
of their lives that require some detailed analysis as to what to do with them.
So that's kind of a fortunate thing.
Second, there's a private sector initiative that's been under way in partnership with
the District on the Southwest Waterfront, and it's a $2+ billion project.
And that's coming to fruition, at least in the planning stages, right now.
Then third, we have the Maryland Avenue project.
And so all of these major components are sort of coming to a head at one time.
And if we had planned it, we probably couldn't have planned it for these things to sort of
come together relatively all at the same time.
And to not take advantage of these very fortunate coincidental synergies would almost be tragic.
And so we have probably a once in a half century opportunity to do this and to get it right
and with this plan and the two-plus years that it's been in development really gives
us that opportunity.
The focus on this 15-block area, about 110 acres, is really because of the many extraordinary
parts of the city.
This is one quadrant that is really a workday quadrant.
It's dominated by federal facilities.
While there are some adjacent neighborhoods in the 15-block area that we've studied, there
really isn't a whole lot of significant post-5:00 life.
And so this is an opportunity to breathe new life in a very important part of the city
as we look over the next two or three decades.
And this will be a two or three-decade implementation.
I would also say that the plan is practical.
We recognize that there's a lot of challenges, there's a lot of pieces, the stars have to
align to see it come about and it provides that flexibility.
There are a lot of public and private sector players that have to coordinate not just their
planning activities, but capital, the investment.
And so there's a lot that needs to be done in a very coordinated way.
And so the plan, we believe, is fairly practical in its flexibility.
That's a good thing.
I'd also kind of state the obvious.
To implement this is not going to be quick, easy or cheap.
It's going to take a heck of a lot of coordinating along the way.
I want to acknowledge not only the Southwest District Task Force, Ecodistrict Task Force
has been hard at work, which more than two years ago was started out being known as the
10th Street Corridor Task Force, and it certainly preceded my time joining the Commission, but
as it evolved and as the scope of its work evolved, it evolved into the Southwest District
Task Force.
The NCPC staff; Bill Dowd, Elizabeth Miller and Diane Sullivan, have been chief among
many who have been working on this.
As we just mentioned, Bill is now detailed to GSA and quite fortunately Cathy Kronopolus,
whom you've just met, is coming from GSA, and she also in her previous position at GSA
was very familiar with this.
So there's a lot of knowledge transfer.
We're not going to miss a beat.
The District of Columbia, Harriet Tregoning and her office, the D.C. Office of Planning,
has been key, as has GSA, Commission of Fine Arts, and USDA, all of whom helped fund the
last couple years of planning.
D.C. Office of Planning also led the small area plan for this area, which was no small
task and has been central to our thinking of what to do with this area.
And then we've had an extraordinary number of consultants who along the way have done
the yeoman's work on this.
Now we enter after today and after your presumed support for this plan to go to the public
comment period.
We will go to a 60-day public comment period.
And, Elizabeth, if I remember correctly, you said that we already have about 50 or 60 people
signed up for the first meeting, which as Mr. Acosta said, is going to be July 19th.
And so we expect to get a great deal of significant public input.
So thank you for your indulgence.
With that, I'll turn it over to Elizabeth Miller who will take us through the latest
overview of this plan.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Commission.
On behalf of the Southwest Ecodistrict Task Force, we are pleased to present the Southwest
Ecodistrict Plan to circulate for a 60-day public comment period.
Before I begin, I would just like to quickly introduce the project team who has been instrumental
in preparing this plan.
As mentioned, Diane Sullivan has been our lead sustainability planner.
She's going to be co-presenting with me today.
Also Sara Moulton, Amy Trace, Kenny Walton and of course Bill Dowd have been invaluable
support throughout the project from strategic planning to urban design, building modeling,
as well as public and stakeholder outreach and also a hands off to our interns who really
helped this get here today, along with our Office of Public Affairs or Engagement.
Otto Condon, urban design principal with ZGF Architects, who is also with us here today,
led our consultant team.
His firm provided the urban design and environmental expertise with support from ARUP Engineering,
HR+A Economic Advisors, as well as Kittelson Transportation Planners and Engineers.
I just want to echo the Chairman's remarks and extend our thanks to the task force for
all that you've done to support our work.
And it is an ambitious plan.
It's a big undertaking, but I believe over time that we can really transform how future
generations are going to live and work and visit and experience this part of the nation's
So today's briefing, Diane and I are actually going to tag team.
I'm going to introduce the project, review the key recommendations, our revitalization
scenario and how the district scale strategies will help us yield greater results.
Diane's going to cover how we can create a highly sustainable mixed-use community and
why an ecodistrict makes economic sense, as well as how partnerships can make this happen.
For those of you that are familiar and to refresh the Commission's memory, this is our
study area.
It's about 110 acres between Independence Avenue and Maine Avenue, 4th and 12th Streets,
as shown within this red boundary.
There's approximately 10 million square feet of office here, primarily either owned or
leased by the Federal Government.
There's one hotel at this location, a little bit of retail and food service, and most of
that is actually buried within these buildings.
So just to explain how our project relates to the work of the Office of Planning - well
first of all, I should say we kicked off this work in January of 2011 with 17 agencies that
made up or task force.
And that included all of the federal tenants and in and around the study area, as well
as those federal agencies who have jurisdiction over this area, as well as several key city
So this is a result of two collaborative planning efforts.
This study area boundary which I've shown you is actually what we've focused on with
the Southwest Eco Task Force looking at neighborhood development and environmental strategies.
And this corridor is the area that the DCOP focused on with the Maryland Avenue Small
Area Plan.
And their focus was how to deck the avenue, improve land use, transit and public space
along this corridor.
These plans were very closely coordinated.
They were really prepared in tandem.
We've held many individual as well as joint meetings with the task force working groups
and advisory committee of private property owners and the public.
I think we've held over 35 meetings in all.
So the overall goal of the Southwest Ecodistrict is to transform both the 10th Street and Maryland
Avenue Corridors into highly sustainable well-connected mixed-use communities and to create an environmental
showcase of high-performing buildings and landscapes.
So the Ecodistrict Plan, which we provided to you all about a week ago and that we've
also got online for the public; and we're happy to provide you a copy as well, a hard
copy if you'd like - but this plan actually lays out the development scenario, the urban
design and environmental strategies, as well as a governance strategy on how we believe
we can move this plan forward.
So what is the ecodistrict?
So the purpose of this study.
The Southwest Ecodistrict is a comprehensive and forward-looking approach to sustainability
and livability.
It will capture, manage and reuse energy, water and waste beyond a single building to
a group of buildings within this defined area.
It will include an increase in mix of uses, transportation choices, to create a neighborhood
of parks and plazas that will knit together a really vibrant, green and walkable community.
So most of you are familiar with the study area, but this is just a glimpse of what we're
trying to fix.
And we've got mammoth single-use buildings, no ground floor uses, lack of pedestrian amenities,
expansive amount of pavement, lots of level changes, the barriers that are created by
not only the rail, but the freeway.
And then when we get down to Banneker Park, which is sometimes hard to access.
It's not easy also to get down to the waterfront.
And I love this picture of the folks who are having to forge their sheep's path down this
45-foot embankment.
So these are the things that we believe the ecodistrict will rectify.
So built during the urban renewal area, these mid-century modern buildings and landscapes
are approaching their 50-year eligibility criteria for nomination into the National
Register of Historic Places, and we do address this in our plan.
One of the challenges that we have is that many of these buildings are outdated and costly
to maintain.
Work space is not efficiently used and they use way more energy and water than necessary.
So why now is the time to act?
The Chairman covered many of these things, but I'd also like to point out that there's
two kind of fundamental policy directives that provide the foundation for our work.
One is the Monumental Core Framework Plan that was adopted in 2009.
And the purpose of this plan was to look at how we could extend the civic qualities of
the National Mall and create new settings for cultural destinations, but also we can
retain and improve the federal office space and create new places to live and work within
the monumental core.
The other critical driver here is Executive Order 13514, the Federal Leadership in Environmental
Energy and Economic Performance, that was signed by President Obama in 2009.
This executive order is a transformative shift in the way that Government does business.
It makes a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions a priority for federal agencies and it sets
very aggressive targets for energy, water and waste reduction.
And Diane will cover this in more detail in a few minutes.
The Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative was launched to show how collaborative planning and implementation
at the district scale can improve sustainability, but also reduce cost and help revitalize an
important area of the city.
And I would just like to expand upon some of the drivers that why we believe now is
the time to act.
The Federal Government, particularly GSA, is reexamining their property and how to meet
these aggressive sustainability targets, but also how to create a more efficient work place,
and of course reduce operating cost.
The National Park Service is working diligently trying to protect the Mall as a cultural resource,
and we've got really billions of dollars being invested by the private sector.
The CSX is really on a fast forward motion to improve its rail corridor.
The waterfront development.
L'Enfant Plaza, which is actually within our study area, is also expanding and renovating
their facilities.
And the District has also set out on the course to become the greenest, healthiest and most
livable city in the nation.
So I think the synergy of all of this happening is definitely an indicia that now is the time
to act.
So I'm going to turn it over to Diane who's going to talk about our strategies.
MS. SULLIVAN: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission.
So we set out to achieve a highly sustainable mixed-use community in what you know of today
as an isolated federal office enclave in the Southwest.
And before Elizabeth comes back up here to talk about the focus areas, I thought I would
do a brief recap of the framework that we presented to you in May.
This is the framework that informed the development of the revitalization scenario and it's a
framework that is going to inform development in this area over the next 20 to 30 years.
The framework includes guidelines, objectives and recommendations for this development.
And really we look at it in two parts; neighborhood development and environmental systems.
Neighborhood development includes public spaces, land use, transportation and street network.
And this framework was largely informed by a market study and user survey that the D.C.
Office of Planning did last year.
The market study looked at the viability of land uses in this area.
And the user survey asked people what would make this area a more desirable place to live?
And not surprisingly the overwhelming response was a mix of better amenities in this neighborhood.
So the framework basically put together strategies for linking public spaces with new museums
or new sites for museums and memorials.
It looked at how to infuse mixed use into this federal office enclave, especially in
that middle area there, while protecting the federal and cultural character of Independence
Avenue and Banneker Park.
We looked at new places for retail nodes and how to activate building frontages.
And we did two transportation studies, the first which looked at whether it was actually
possible to reconnect these streets and meet acceptable clearances.
And the second study actually looked at the development scenario and tested its impact
on the street network and the existing transportation.
And these studies in turn informed our recommendations for creating a much better intermodal system
here, improving walkability and mobility and improving just the overall transit circulation
throughout the area.
And then we also did a conceptual high-level analysis of looking at possible bus area layover
parking for tour buses underneath 10th Street and under Banneker.
This is clearly something that needs to be studied in more detail and we need to take
into account the neighborhood concerns in this area, but these areas are possible solutions
for the problem of tour bus idling in this area.
And then we also looked at street function and character.
So recognize which streets should be more monumental in character, ones that emphasize
view corridors, significant architecture, and that play host to public events, and which
streets should be more local in character.
And then the second part of our framework was the environmental systems.
And again, just a recap of what you heard in May, this looked at energy, water, waste
and green infrastructure.
Very early on we worked with GSA and the private property owners to sort of establish an existing
baseline of how the buildings are performing today.
As you know, the federal mid-century modern buildings are not performing that well in
terms of energy and water use just because of their age, their size, their orientation.
After we established that baseline, we set targets for all of these areas, most of which
are based on the executive order.
And then we went forward with building strategies.
These are low-hanging fruit.
We always want to try and reduce our energy and water use first before looking at other
sources for providing that.
And then we looked at block and district strategies which really are the crux of this plan and
allow us to meet our targets.
So at the building scale, basically we put together a list of different strategies that
can be done based on whether a building was going to be around for the long term.
Or if it was going to be fully altered or redeveloped in the near term, then obviously
we're not going to employ as many strategies in terms of making them more energy and water
And then at the block and district scale, let's start with energy.
Our energy source, as you know, today is very dirty and most of it is from coal-generated
It's very inefficient and it emits a significant number of greenhouse gas emissions.
Our goal for this area was to strive for a zero net energy district as measured in carbon.
This is very hard to do in an urban area, however, our block and district strategies
do get us much closer to achieving this goal.
So at the block scale we had four bit strategies and all of these really allow for the sharing
of energy in between buildings within a block.
They're solar thermal, which is just basically heating hot water on the roof.
There's solar PV, obviously using the sun's energy for electricity.
Ground source heat, which is using the constant temperature from the earth to provide heating
and cooling in buildings.
And then the central utility plant as well, which allows for the sharing of cooling and
heating between buildings also.
At the district scale we had two very big strategies.
One was expanding the central utility plant that is owned and operated by GSA.
As you know, it is only allowed to service federal buildings, which it does in this area,
and for buildings beyond, in some of the Smithsonian buildings as well.
We see this as a very valuable resource because it runs on natural gas and could possibly
run on a renewable source in the future.
But it really plays a large impact in reducing this area's greenhouse gas emissions.
We would really like to see the new development, private development come onto this plant as
And then the other is just to start to establish micro-grids in this area, which basically
allows for the local production and distribution of energy.
It's more reliable and it can be more efficient.
We set goals for water.
We tried to reduce our potable water use in half and we also set out to manage all of
our storm water within the area, which is an awful lot, and also something very hard
to do in such an urban area.
And we have been able to meet these goals.
At the block scale basically just taking all of the rain water from the roofs, from the
streets, treating it in planters and then it ends up in our district water system.
Waste water systems.
Basically black water is going to continue to go to D.C. Plains where it makes energy
through anaerobic digestion, and gray water will be reused in this area.
At the district scale all of this will go to cisterns under 10th Street and if we're
able to capture all of this water, send it under 10th Street and have all of the development
utilize this water for its non-potable water needs.
It will provide 71 percent of the total water use in the District, which is just an enormous
reduction in water that now has to come from D.C. water, which is a huge energy reduction
as well.
We set waste targets for both construction waste and building waste.
This is where I think there is so much room for improvement.
We right now divert only about 35 percent of our waste from the landfill in this area.
I always use the example of the entire City of San Francisco is diverting 77 percent of
its waste from the landfill.
So we have a lot of room for improvement here.
This is where we're still going to take advantage of the regional waste system because it just
was not feasible for us to actually manage our waste within this tiny little district.
However, what we need to do is just improve our recycling.
We need to start a composting program and continue - just start buying products with
less packaging.
And I have to say that both GSA and the District are already making great strides in this effort.
So I think we're going to see a great improvement in this area very soon.
And then lastly is green infrastructure.
And what is green infrastructure?
It's a connected system of parks and open-space vegetated areas.
And basically the idea is that being connected vastly improves human health and ecological
We have chosen to measure this concept in three ways: One through the amount of pervious
So we set a target of 35 percent in our area.
Tree canopy.
Right now only eight percent of the area has tree canopies, so we want to shoot for 40
And then a green area ratio.
GAR is an indicator that the District is using now, and basically it is a calculation that
looks at the amount of tree canopy and permeable surfaces compared to the entire surface area.
And so basically 0.45 is a pretty aggressive target here, but I do think that we can meet
At the building scale this includes doing things like green roofs, edible rooftops,
green walls and rain gardens.
And then employing it at the district scale it's looking at corridors of tree canopies,
using native vegetation, healthy soils, all the things that you would think of, and pervious
areas of course.
So basically that's a quick recap.
You heard a lot.
You know, you heard more in May, and it certainly is in a lot more detail in the plan.
What we then did was take this framework to inform the development pattern and the phasing
of how things might occur or how development occur over time.
And so I'm just going to quickly walk through that.
Here we have the area today.
And then first you would probably start with your light rehab and full rehabilitation of
So the buildings in the darker blue; you know, there's four of them there, those the ones
that we really think will be here for the long term and are worthy of, you know, larger
investments because there will be time to pay them back.
You can see the central utility plant there located south of the USDA building.
And then there's the existing park spaces.
We see that three buildings could possibly be re-purposed over time.
This means that they have the opportunity to expand in terms of maxing out to the building
They could also change use and change ownership over time.
And then we have infill.
Infill can happen on vacant under-utilized sites here.
This does not preclude any major redevelopment from happening, so it could happen first and
then the major redevelopment sites could follow.
This actually is at the point where you would start to set up your new street network.
And then finally you bring in the big moves, which are the big redevelopment sites, the
Forrestal site and the big development that could happen over the freeway.
And so here we have everything together.
And we added in our solar canopy over the freeway as well.
And so now basically I'm going to hand it over to Elizabeth.
She's going to actually go into what all of this looks like in more detail within the
focus areas.
MS. MILLER: So each of these topic areas that Diane just reviewed comprise either a development
or an environmental system that when we applied it to our study area really helped to inform
our revitalization scenario.
And so chapter 4 of our plan lays out a lot of very site-specific recommendations for
both parcels and streets.
And it's way too numerous to recap here today, so I'm just going to spend a few minutes highlighting
what we believe to be some of the catalytic moves.
But to help us organize this and to help organize these site-specific recommendations into manageable
projects, as well as sort of a logical action plan, we've designated four focus areas.
And that's how I'm going to organize this part of the presentation.
The first is the 10th Street Corridor and Banneker Park.
We also what we're calling Independence Corridor, which is between Independence and Maryland
The third is the Maryland Avenue Corridor and the 7th Street Corridor, which also includes
Reservation 113 at the intersection of Maryland and Virginia Avenues.
And just to orient you, those streets really don't exist.
That's right here.
That's Reservation 113.
And lastly the Southwest Freeway.
And so what I've done is taken shots of the model.
So we've got the model here, which has really been an invaluable working planning tool.
And I'm going to walk you through again those key recommendations.
So that's all the areas together.
But this is a shot of the model that represents the existing conditions along 10th Street
and Banneker Park.
So 10th Street - this is on axis with the Smithsonian Castle and it runs under DOE and
then it actually is elevated across the rail tracks and the freeway terminating at Banneker
And this is a representation of the proposed develop scenario.
And the 10th Street proposal - the idea here is to create a permanent cultural corridor
to serve really as a contemporary extension of the National Mall.
We're proposing to narrow the street down to a width closer to that of L'Enfant Plan
and to improve the street to be really a multipurpose boulevard.
This is a ground shot of what you see today looking back towards the Smithsonian Castle.
And this is how we begin to envision 10th Street, to be a prominent densely-green mixed-use
corridor that can extend the civic qualities of the National Mall and the Smithsonian Museums
and Gardens down to the waterfront, but also a place that infuses the vitality of the city
into the monumental core.
So we envision this to be walkable, an active street with places to eat, learn, rest and
engage, to accommodate special events and exhibits, as well as daily life activities.
And we also believe as the sustainability spine of the District that this area can exemplify
state of the art urban design and environmental practices that will reintroduce nature back
into the city and increase public awareness about the functions of an urban ecodistrict.
So at the southern terminus of the street this is Banneker Park, which is about an eight-acre
open space.
Currently it's an isolated tree-lined plaza in this location with a fountain that as I
mentioned before sits about 45 feet above Maine Avenue and it's bisected by several
interstate ramps.
So our proposal is to actually try to retain that central focal feature and use the topography
here to help provide view sheds down towards the river.
Because when you reach this location, we really want people to feel like they've reached the
Potomac River, that they're at the waterfront.
And as the city's next cultural destination the idea here is that we would line the freeway,
which currently sits back here, with museum sites, or cultural institutions, or different
kinds of learning facilities.
That would help buffer what could be a new signature landscape in this location.
This site could be one major museum or memorial in a landscape, but we also believe that it
could accommodate up to three to four museums and a memorial.
So the range of what could happen here is quite extensive, and this is just one idea
of how that could occur.
This is an image taken from Maine Avenue looking back towards the Mall.
You can see the Washington Monument in the background looking at Banneker Park.
And this image illustrates how a signature landscape in view of the Washington Monument
could become both an identifiable feature of the ecodistrict, but also a southern gateway
to the National Mall.
Stairs, ramps and garden terraces can provide commemorative opportunities at a lot of different
And this actually represents a structure that would be on axis with 10th Street and the
Smithsonian Castle.
And here we feel that by putting a major structure or feature we can programmatically extend
the idea of the Mall to this cultural site and then actually use it as a pivotal point
to connect you to the water and even on over to East Potomac park.
And what's great about this; and we can use the elevation to our advantage, is that not
only can we provide ground floor uses at Banneker, but we also can use the building to engage
Maine Avenue to improve the relationship with the new development, the new wharf development
just to the south.
This shot illustrates the Independence Corridor that I mentioned earlier.
And it's a little bit - probably hard to orient you here, so just to recap, Independence - this
is where the train tracks go through.
This is the proposed Maryland Avenue.
Twelfth and Ninth Street.
Tenth Street is here.
And believe it or not, this site is about 19 acres.
So it's quite large and highly under utilized.
So we believe that redeveloping this area is going to provide us the greatest opportunity
to create a new walkable neighborhood that's going to help blur the boundaries between
the local and federal city.
And in this location we can reconnect the street grid, reestablish Virginia Avenue,
build a new state of the art Department of Energy Headquarters and still have quite a
bit of space left to increase density for new housing, new office, hotel and even cultural
This is an existing shot of the Maryland Avenue Corridor.
We're looking from the Capitol towards the Jefferson Memorial.
This would be the proposed Eisenhower Memorial site.
Reservation 113.
And you can see where the rail line is depressed here.
This is also the area that was the focus of the Office of Planning's small area plan,
which actually was approved by the City Council on June 26th.
And because these two projects are so intricately related, I felt that it was important to kind
of summarize those recommendations here.
So this is the proposal for Maryland Avenue.
And we can actually deck the avenue by realigning and lowering the train tracks, and that will
accommodate double-stacked trains as well as allow the opportunity to add a fourth track
that's going to help maximize both commuter, rail and freight rail through this corridor.
And by establishing Maryland Avenue, we're really able to reconnect that street grid
and develop these parcels that right now are just these kind of odd-shaped parcels along
its edge.
And we feel that because of their shape and configuration and location that they should
be prioritized for residential development.
And we also have a great opportunity here to design the avenue to feature really a series
of small urban parks that really will befit the monumental core.
This is an image from the small area plan.
This image here in the upper right depicts kind of the idea of the park-like avenue.
And you can kind of start to see how it would sit over the tracks.
And in this particular location it would deck over a portion of D Street.
Both plans actually recommend expanding the VRE station and making this a really significant
intermodal hub in the city.
And so this actually will give us the opportunity to take some of the pressure off of Union
Station as well.
So this is a view if you're standing on the VRE platform looking towards the Department
of Energy.
This is the Department of Energy here.
And these are the three tracks.
And the recommendation is to actually expand the number of platforms, improve vertical
circulation so that you can access both the commuter rail above, Metrorail below, as well
as the bus systems at the street level.
And this starts to also show how we can start to kind of display the ideas of the ecodistrict.
This is a solar canopy that we're proposing here.
So we really want to use every opportunity to kind of strengthen sort of the interpretive
vocabulary for the public to identify this as an urban ecodistrict.
And I also would like to point out the long view towards the Washington Monument that
we can reclaim when Virginia Avenue is reestablished as the Department of Energy is redeveloped.
This is a view of Reservation 113 looking down Maryland Avenue towards the U.S. Capitol.
And we really believe that this area can really become kind of the central heart of the ecodistrict.
Centered on the intermodal hub, which is just over here in this location, it can be a signature
urban square as well as a neighborhood park.
It can help support the transit activity in this area, provide flexible space for commemorative
art, temporary art exhibits, as well as passive recreation opportunities.
And lastly, this is the Southwest Freeway.
This image is of those 10 lanes that I mentioned.
Has lots of access roads and ramps that really create a barrier between 10th Street or the
National Mall, 10th Street and Banneker Park.
And the recommendation here is to deck the freeway to develop this with air rights development,
which will give us the opportunity to increase private development for additional housing,
offices, even hotels, maybe other types of cultural institutions perhaps.
It allows us to improve connectivity through this entire area.
And Diane mentioned solar canopies.
Because of the incline of the freeway, we're proposing solar canopies that can help buffer
the freeway from adjacent residential and office uses.
So at the onset of this project one of our objectives was to see if by using this district
scale approach we can actually achieve greater results.
And not only have we proven this to be true, but we really can't meet our sustainability
requirements without doing this.
And so I'd just like to kind of recap what we can achieve through this revitalization
So these are kind of the neighborhood development stats.
What we're able to do is retain and improve 7 to 9 million square feet of federal office
And if we improve the efficiency of that space, we actually believe we can accommodate up
to 19,000 additional employees within that space.
We have the opportunity to create 1 million square feet of additional office space, 1
million square feet of residential or hotel space.
We can actually increase our cultural inventory by 1.2 million square feet that we think can
accommodate anywhere between four and five museums.
This plan also improves or creates 14.3 acres of new and improved parks that we believe
could accommodate up to five memorial sites.
It also recommends, as I said, reconnecting the street grid.
And what's amazing is that we can actually create 17 new intersections by basically decking
Maryland Avenue and putting in the street grid C Street and 11th Street.
We also can expand the rail corridor, increase commuter capacity not only for this area,
but for the region.
And the environmental results here are also very significant.
So by planning at a district scale, we're actually able to reduce our greenhouse gas
emissions by 51 percent.
And by basically managing our storm water better, we can reduce our potable water use
by 70 percent.
We can divert up to 80 percent of our waste from landfills.
And as Diane mentioned, by transforming the federally-owned central utility plant into
a highly-efficient - and we can transform it into a highly-efficient and financially
successful energy model.
So I'm going to turn this back over to Diane who's going to wrap up to talk about how this
makes economic sense and about our implementation strategy.
So it was not only important for us to show that these strategies yield significant sustainability
improvements and that we can transform the character of this area, but that they also
make economic sense.
So we performed a high-level economic analysis to evaluate the major investments, and these
include investments in open space and the major redevelopment projects and in the infrastructure.
And we also evaluated the tangible and intrinsic benefits that we might receive from these
And over a 20-year horizon it found that the benefits from the recommended improvements
will likely outweigh the initial costs of investment.
The federal benefits can be summarized as creating efficient work places, reducing leased
space, reducing energy and water use and commuting and costs associated with all of those things,
reducing building operating expenses, and then of course generating land sale revenues.
The District of Columbia benefits are incremental new revenue sales, property and transfer taxes,
residential and employment growth, increased commuting capacity and reduced travel times,
and reduced storm water runoff entering the D.C. system, and also reducing our greenhouse
gas emissions.
And the private benefits of course are increasing net operating income of existing buildings,
creating new residential, retail and commercial real estate opportunities, creating a more
vibrant, attractive and desirable neighborhood, which in turn will increase property values
as well.
And then the intrinsic benefits, the ones that are a little more difficult to quantify,
preserves the National Mall by establishing new sites for cultural facilities, connects
the National Mall to the waterfront, inspires district scale sustainability of federal campuses
and communities nationwide; we hope that this can be replicated, and establishes a high-quality
employment center for a new generation of workers and reduces river contamination and
the area's carbon footprint.
So to summarize, there's no doubt that the required investments in infrastructure, open
space and redevelopment of the buildings are significant, but the overall benefits, too,
over the long term to the Federal Government, the district, to taxpayers, to property owners,
the private sector will likely outweigh the initial investment.
And this brings me to implementation.
In many cases the Federal Government, the city or private sector will have the authority
and funding to move certain projects forward.
We've outlined five high-priority projects; three in the near term, and that's the streetscape
improvements for 10th Street, the connection from Banneker to the waterfront, and a new
business model for the central utility plant.
And the two long-term high-priority projects we see is the redevelopment of the Forrestal
Complex and the decking of Maryland Avenue.
We think that these can actually happen with the partnerships that are in place today.
There are, however, as Elizabeth mentioned in the Commission meeting in May, other areas
where new funding tools and governance structures might be needed.
This is for managing and paying for district-wide infrastructure projects and coordinating the
multiple modes of transportation activity at L'Enfant Station and coordinating the development
activity within the ecodistrict to ensure that the private and public development is
moving forward in the same direction and towards achieving our goals.
So these types of efforts may require formal interagency agreements or even special legislation
that would be specific for the Southwest Ecodistrict.
And so we see immediate next steps for implementation being developing a partnership agreement between
the District and the Federal Government, creating a governance entity to provide district-wide
coordination, financing and management.
And on that note, the southwest business community is very excited about accelerating projects
in this plan and is already undergoing due diligence for the establishment of a BID in
this area.
And coordinating regional transit investments.
And this includes exploring the expansion of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation's
authorities to include transportation planning at L'Enfant Station.
And while these get underway, NCPC is already committed to performing more detailed analyses
on the storm water system, the district-wide solar array and further economic analysis
on the entire project.
So just to give you a summary of what's happening over the next couple of months, as everyone
has mentioned, we have a public meeting next week.
We will be doing public outreach from now until early September.
We will have task force review of the final report in November.
And we will be back to you in January.
And this winter NCPC will also be starting that interim design streetscape for 10th Street
and the Banneker connection.
And so with that, it is the Executive Director's recommendation that the Commission authorize
the circulation of the July 2012 draft Southwest Ecodistrict Plan for a 60-day public comment
And with that, Mr. Chairman, we can conclude our presentation.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you, Ms. Sullivan, very much.
Ms. Miller, thank you.
Very exciting plan.
Long time in coming.
And I would now open it to Commission members for questions and comments.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: Mr. Chair, I would move we accept the Executive Director's recommendation.
For discussion purposes it's been moved and seconded, so it's properly before us.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: And I have some questions.
One area.
In front of the L'Enfant Hotel, there's a large space there.
I think it's got fountains, doesn't it?
It's the pyramid.
Oh, really?
MS. SULLIVAN: There used to be a fountain.
I just think it would be nice to be more, you know, usable by tourists and employees.
And I don't think there's benches or grass anything, but it's kind of almost like the
Freedom Plaza, kind of barren.
And I don't know if there's any thought about doing something about that or not.
No negative comments on the Freedom Plaza, but it's kind of that kind of barren area.
MS. MILLER: Yes, actually that is under the jurisdiction of - it's privately owned and
MS. MILLER: - it's the jurisdiction of - yes, JBJ.
MS. MILLER: So it's not part of our - however, we have met with the developers - COMMISSIONER
MS. MILLER: - and they've actually been following our work.
MS. MILLER: And I believe that, you know, eventually there will be - whenever we - when
we begin the work on the 10th Street streetscape I'm sure that we'll have discussions about
how those two areas will start to interface.
MS. MILLER: I do know that at least in the past the developer has indicated some desire
to kind of redevelop that space.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: Yes, it seems like it's very useful.
They could do something with it, make it more, you know, functional.
Also, the river view you mentioned.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: I guess from the banner elevation you can see the river.
MS. MILLER: You can or can't?
Because obviously the buildings that are being put in for the Maine Street development would
block some of that.
But with the height you'd still be able to see it.
Is that the Potomac River, or what is that?
That's not the - MS. MILLER: Technically the Washington Channel.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: It's the channel?
COMMISSIONER DIXON: When you said Potomac, I said that's - MS. MILLER: Well, you can
see the river out beyond.
MS. MILLER: It's really part of the river.
COMMISSIONER MAY: But not from the current elevation of the circle.
With their new buildings you have to be in a building or on top of a building to see
over what they have proposed.
MS. MILLER: Well, there's two views.
COMMISSIONER MAY: Even through the gap.
MS. MILLER: No, through the gap you can see from - at a pedestrian ground level.
You should be able to see through - COMMISSIONER MAY: But not see water.
COMMISSIONER MAY: No. MS. MILLER: You'll get a glimpse.
COMMISSIONER MAY: You need to look at the current plan.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: The street looks to be a little bit off.
That's what I'm thinking, right?
MS. MILLER: That's going to make me mad if we don't see water.
Well - COMMISSIONER DIXON: Well, the gap that they showed doesn't show you can see out - MS.
MILLER: Well, yes.
COMMISSIONER MAY: It's just that I've seen more recent renderings of that and that was
a question that I had at the time.
So I think maybe you want to take another look at that.
We'll follow up on that.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: Yes, because I mean, the river view is very nice to have that - MS.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: - sense of that.
And the trolley was once talked about coming into this area.
Those tracks on slide 56 - MS. MILLER: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: - where tracks were for a trolley.
MS. MILLER: On, yes, I believe - COMMISSIONER DIXON: A little small for a rail.
MS. MILLER: Well, 7th Street we - COMMISSIONER DIXON: I mean, the train.
MS. MILLER: Yes, the 7th Street Corridor shows potential streetcar or trolley being able
to go up that corridor - COMMISSIONER DIXON: Right.
MS. MILLER: - from Maine Avenue.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: Yes, because it was heading towards the monument, I think, and it wasn't
heading up to 7th Street, that 56 that you showed.
MS. MILLER: Yes, I'm not sure.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: But I'm happy to see that.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: And, you know, there's some controversy over the city about the trolley
to start with, but I'm a believer that maybe we need to think about all that great connectivity
which could be good for us.
MS. MILLER: Yes, we've thought about - COMMISSIONER DIXON: If we can get past some of the other
So that's trolley.
Well, it's basically representing bus lines, Metro, you know, Metrobus lines, Circulator
and streetcar.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: But they had one photo that had the - on 56 that showed it and it
was just a single track with people on each side of it, which is like a trolley jump off
and jump on.
It's not critical.
I appreciate seeing it there, I guess, and hopefully we can connect it.
Thank you.
Very, very impressive.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: If somebody can write a check right away, we'd be - CHAIRMAN BRYANT:
Ms. Tregoning?
I just wanted to commend Elizabeth and the staff at NCPC for their very hard work on
this plan.
I was part of the task force that has kind of been in from the very beginning, and I
think that if anything there are more opportunities today for this plan to be realized than we
might have imagined when we started.
And one of the important developments that's also unfolding is an announcement about an
Amtrak and Union Station Master Plan expansion that I think will be happening the week of
the 25th of July.
And I think there's a very intimate connection between MARC and commuter rail service that
could be expanded here at the L'Enfant Station as part of this ecodistrict plan and the capacity
at Union Station to handle Amtrak and commuter rail service and really give us between the
two areas a much more robust and intense multi-modal connection that would really literally put
lots more people in jobs within striking distance of the city, which I think would be a fantastic
So I just wanted to commend them on a really great job.
Thank you.
MS. MILLER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Mr. Hart and then Mr. Provancha.
Did you have something, Mr. Hart?
COMMISSIONER HART: Yes, thank you.
As a Commission representative to the task force, it was my pleasure to watch this plan
evolve, and I think it evolved in stages that really added layers of complexity and sophistication
to what was originally a fairly simple challenge.
The staff, the city, the task force members, the public and the consultants all contributed
I think to a plan which puts together a very holistic vision and a challenge for implementation.
None of these things are going to be simple, but I think what it does, it pulls it all
together in a way that really shows how all these pieces fit together and the total is
much better than the sum of the parts.
Thank you.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Also commend the staff for the analysis that's been done.
On the high-level economic analysis, could you give us just even a rough order of magnitude?
We know - for example the Southwest Waterfront.
Are we talking 2, 5 10, $20 billion effort?
Just to get a - MS. MILLER: Yes, it's expensive.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Yes, we sensed that.
MS. MILLER: Yes, basically we refrained from actually putting out a number right at the
moment, because our analysis was very high-level and it kind of rolled up a lot of costs without
disaggregating really what it means.
So it doesn't really paint a true picture.
And that's why we're basically confident as we go forward that the benefits are going
to outweigh that cost.
But here's the good news: We actually have money in our budget and we're getting ready
to start a more detailed economic analysis that will take those costs that we have, start
to break them down and how they both impact and benefit all of the key stakeholders, like
the Federal Government, the District of Columbia and the private property owners.
So, you know, it's probably in the magnitude of the waterfront development.
And what's interesting, I just read something yesterday where the square footage here that
we're trying to develop and to put forth and the area is about twice as large as the waterfront
So you want to continue to refrain at - MS. MILLER: Yes.
I understand.
MS. MILLER: Yes, I would like to, mainly because it'll get blown of proportion.
MS. MILLER: And we feel that we really can give you a much better answer at the next
level of analysis.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Couple other comments.
From time to time in these plans we reference executive orders, which sometimes come and
go as we change administrations.
They either get revoked entirely or modified, or sometimes expanded.
So just a cautionary tale that sometimes something that is an anchor requirement or a criteria
or a code can be removed.
Couple of comments about the various strategies.
The first that jumped out at us is the very - and my comments are focused mainly on the
sustainability aspect of it.
LEED Platinum.
Very, very ambitious goal.
Far exceeding the goals of most of the federal agencies which are at the Silver level.
Along with LEED Platinum comes some up-front costs.
I can't remember exactly what the - four to five percent additional up-front costs, as
well as life cycle maintenance costs.
In fact, there are some studies now available in the literature that says if you don't maintain
a LEED-certified building, the costs of maintenance are higher than if it wasn't LEED-certified
int eh first place.
So I don't know, for example, if the current administration in the District campaign was
selected on the basis of expanding the investment in infrastructure, but without the investment
the commitment to invest appropriately as we modify the usages, there's some risk involved.
MS. SULLIVAN: I think those are good points.
I think that we in terms of, you know - we see more and more private buildings here being
built as LEED Platinum in Washington, D.C. And I think that, you know, our assumption
for the federal buildings; if there were to be new federal buildings here, that these
are long-term investments, that we're going to be around for a really long time and that
the cost of doing LEED Gold and LEED Platinum is now coming down the more - COMMISSIONER
MS. SULLIVAN: - and more that people are doing it.
So by the time these actually - we are building these, that this is definitely something that
we should shoot for.
The other thing though in this plan though, too, is actually the idea of the block and
district strategies, which we hope - and as we study more in terms of the economics, actually
pan out in terms of, you know, creating great sustainability results without costing too
much more money.
And we will be addressing that, too, in our further economic studies.
Solar energy.
We commend you on exploring solar energy, but the key component of the solar energy
capacity/capability is the storage system that goes along with that.
So sometimes there's additional expense as well as the maintenance for those systems.
Limited capacity I think for solar here in D.C. as our days get shorter.
While it's ambitious probably to put the panels conceptually over the freeway, while it might
be entertaining to watch the maintenance, it might be also challenging to maintain a
solar panel that bridges an active and wide expanse like the Southwest Freeway.
Ground source heat.
It was cited as a good source of heat, as you mention I think in the plan.
In the presentation though you also talked about the cooling aspects that you get.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: So it's a double benefit.
With this area being close to the river, is there any consideration of using the river
as a heat sink to further improve the efficiency of - MS. SULLIVAN: Our consultants did look
at that very early on and felt that it wasn't as realistic as some of the strategies that
we ultimately put in the plan.
So, but that definitely did come up very early on and I know that some people have started
to look at that elsewhere.
I saw that as another strategy.
Is it realistic given the current level of investment in infrastructure that that might
be feasible in the future?
MS. SULLIVAN: Again when our consultants did the analysis, they felt that it was.
It's important for it to be near residential development, so it sort of ultimately depends
on how close, you know, and how much residential development goes in.
And so, that's where you would really take advantage of that opportunity.
And, I mean, as you know, it's the same idea as ground source heat.
You know, it's using that constant temperature already to start with.
MS. SULLIVAN: So if there is a concentration of residential development near the area which
we've proposed, then yes, you know, it would be - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: It sounds like
what you're relying on heavily is the 20-25-year - MS. SULLIVAN: Yes.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: - to either improvements in technology, political will, commitment
of funds - MS. SULLIVAN: Yes, and looking at, you know, the cost-benefit analysis.
Again, it's over 20 years that we see it actually working.
Oh, there's an energy strategy about shade and reflective structures.
When I hear about reflective structures, I always think about who's gaining the heat
that's being reflected?
And if the entire District is not reclad with reflective structures, then you just radiate
heat from a non-reflected older building from a newer one.
Any plans to how we would protect, if you will, adjacent non-reflected surface buildings
from the heat again from the adjacent newer buildings?
MS. SULLIVAN: We did not look at it in that much detail, but I think that's a great suggestion
and we certainly can do that over the next couple of months as we take in the public
comment as well.
I think read something about waterless urinals.
Also a maintenance cost for those.
Reuse of water.
Did it talk about using non-potable inside buildings which would require you to have
two separate - MS. SULLIVAN: Dual plumbing.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: And dual plumbing is one of the concepts that you - MS. SULLIVAN:
Yes, and that would be for new buildings, obviously.
Then additional expense there to - MS. SULLIVAN: Yes, you know, but I didn't - COMMISSIONER
PROVANCHA: - install, operate and maintain dual systems.
MS. SULLIVAN: You know, we have looked though at the increasing costs of water here, too.
So when you start to bring that in, again over the next 20 years it's not a small increase
that we're going to be looking at.
Is that not already going to Blue Plains and - MS. SULLIVAN: It is.
And they've just put - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: - they're getting methane from the - MS. SULLIVAN:
Yes, it is going to Blue Plains and they have just put in I believe the nation's largest
anaerobic digester facility, which is pretty amazing.
We couldn't compete with that in our - I mean, it just was not cost feasible for us to do
something like that within this ecodistrict.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Oh, we had a great briefing on that, an information briefing
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: - a few months ago.
On the composting, based on our research the facilities that handle composting from commercial
facilities are not even in the National Capital Region.
You have to go all the way to Delaware.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: So then you have the tipping and hauling fees.
MS. SULLIVAN: Yes, and I just - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Does your research confirm that?
MS. SULLIVAN: And I don't know the details yet, but this is somewhere we really would
like to work closely with the District, because I know that they heard a lot about this through
their sustainability planning, you know, their sustainability plan exercise as well.
And so, I'm confident that, you know, we can work with them to, you know, jump on board
with their solution for that as well.
You know, and USDA is - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Again leveraging the 25-year cycle, there
might be - MS. SULLIVAN: I don't know, Harriet, if you know more about this, but I think it's
going to be happening a lot sooner than, you know, the next 20 years.
COMMISSIONER TREGONING: We actually got funds in the 2013 budget, so beginning in October
we'll be able to fund pilot projects and feasibility studies that are going to touch on some of
these areas that we're discussing today.
Construction waste.
The Federal Acquisition Regulations at this time prohibit use of salvage materials.
Is that consistent with what's envisioned in the plan?
While we're encouraged to use materials that have high recycle content, use of salvage
materials, at least for federal projects, is - MS. SULLIVAN: Yes, and did - COMMISSIONER
PROVANCHA: - not permitted.
Is that part of the governance structure and the change in regulations - MS. SULLIVAN:
We definitely alluded to the best practices for the construction waste materials in the
We didn't go into quite that much detail in this plan, but recognize that those are the
practices that need to be employed when these buildings get redeveloped.
The plan talks about almost 8 million square feet of federal office space, accommodating
19,000 employees.
I just did the math quickly and that's over 416 square foot per employee.
Seems very, very generous.
It's two to three times sometimes the standards of some of the federal agencies.
I'm I using the wrong numerator or denominator to arrive at that?
MS. MILLER: In fact we were looking - and my consultant can remind me of the number,
but I believe we were looking at like 150 to 200 square feet, which is very generous
on what GSA is currently striving for, which is like less than 100 square feet per person.
So I'm not quite sure.
I'll double check those numbers.
We came up with different calcs.
Let's see.
I think there's a minor inconsistency in the plan about the new intersections.
In one place it says 17 and another place it says 11, which is I think what you covered.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: I'm concerned about if we make this a drivable zone people will
drive there as opposed to only having emergency vehicles, garbage trucks, delivery vehicles,
commercial taxis, that type of thing.
How are we going to maintain the walkability?
I think I heard early on we want to make this the healthiest, most walkable, greenest city
in the U.S. MS. MILLER: Looking at the transportation analysis that was done, we don't really believe
that this development's going to really generate that much more vehicular traffic.
It will probably generate a lot more transit traffic or capacity needs.
And of course by creating that grid, we're going to provide a lot more maneuverability
and a lot more mobility within this area.
but I think those streets can handle it, just like any other.
It really distributes the cars throughout the city in a better way.
But we're really, really connecting the grid to improve pedestrian mobility.
Final comment had to do with optimal uses of these lids that go over freeways.
One that we would recommend - I'm sure you probably have studied a little bit.
In Seattle the I-90 Corridor, they put a 20-acre park in a place called Mercer Island.
That's a suburb.
And because of the structural loading, it's much cheaper than putting an unoccupied space
and it provided the same buffer and lowered the pollution and so forth.
So would recommend - further reference that's a good benchmark, that 20-acre park.
Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you, Mr. Provancha.
COMMISSIONER MAY: I would also like to compliment and thank the staff for all their hard work
on this, and the consultants as well, and the members of task force and so on.
I mean, there are a lot of hands involved in this and it's been a lot of work.
And I appreciate the fact that we've gotten this far, and it looks very good at this point.
I would just want to note a couple of things.
You know, the majority of the impact of this plan is really focused on buildings, but certainly
there are a couple of key pieces of parkland that are involved.
Reservation 113 to one extent, and of course Banneker Circle.
And we're very interested in seeing how this unfolds.
I can't say that every idea that's been explored for both of those sites are completely palatable,
but it's very early in the process.
And we're actually I think quite anxious to see what can come from it and optimistic that
it will be very good things, not that it's going to be easy or uncomplicated, because
we never do anything easy and uncomplicated.
But we're glad to see something happening.
I'm also very happy, or we're also very happy that a couple of issues that are near and
dear to our hearts are being addressed.
Water, in particular water retention and reuse, which is very important to us.
And by the way, we're still looking for some additional water to help water the lawn over
at the Mall.
We don't have too much capacity in the existing cisterns, but you know, if you've got some
water to get rid of and you've got some money to build some cisterns - maybe GSA.
Maybe the District.
I don't know.
You know, we got some room underneath.
We can hold the water and we can use it.
And the other topic is buses, which is a shared issue.
And we're eager to look at every potential creative solution to try to address the bus
So, indeed we will meet on it soon.
So that's what I have to say.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you, Mr. May.
Any additional comments or questions?
Ms. Wright?
COMMISSIONER WRIGHT: Since you just reminded me about Harriet's bus parking issue - COMMISSIONER
MAY: I'm glad you call them Harriet's buses.
COMMISSIONER WRIGHT: Yes, this is her issue.
I said it's her issue.
COMMISSIONER MAY: Oh, it's her issue?
She keeps calling them our buses.
They're not - COMMISSIONER WRIGHT: Mine had been Banneker Park on this trip that's been
the Southwest Ecodistrict.
And I want to thank you for indulging me.
I was Johnny One Note on what about Banneker?
And I really was glad to see it receive the attention that it did in the final draft and
particularly in the implementation plan, pushing it up in the order of issues to be addressed.
Because I have always believed that it is the linchpin to the entire problem, because
it does present such a vexing urban design problem.
And we've sort of moved away from the one vision, which was the sort of Spanish steps
And there are a bunch of ideas presented for it, which I appreciate.
And the other thing that I think is worth noting is that you hit just the right tone,
I think.
It's really easy to get so out there and get your Buckminster Fuller on and be incomprehensible
to the public, or be very banal and not very imaginative.
And I think the plan in its final draft really hits just the right place and pushes people
to imagine and think hard and stretch, but not so much that they say, oh, those people
at NCPC are out to lunch and nothing will ever happen.
So I want to note that and thank you.
MS. MILLER: Well, thank you.
COMMISSIONER WRIGHT: And I also promised Bill that I would say something nice about the
plan, and since he's my boss now - I know where my bread is buttered.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Two additional comments.
I think I read in the current plan there's 14.
3 acres and you plan to double that.
I just missed that though, where those would go in the - MS. MILLER: No, actually there's
just - basically there's just - I don't have the exact number what's existing.
MS. MILLER: But the 14.3 represents improving the existing parks plus adding - there's a
couple of new park places that we can create with this redevelopment plan.
MS. MILLER: So that 14.3 is the total.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Just trying to reconcile, because part of the plan it talks about capturing
and reusing all of the rain water, but it also talks about increasing the amount of
pervious surfaces plus parks.
So I was just trying to figure out all the factors in that equation.
MS. MILLER: Pervious is parks.
Pervious is roofs, you know, roof - right, and as well as bio-retention and rain gardens.
Combination of all of those?
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: And the last point was on the transportation.
I think it was the Maryland Avenue study where you were going to raise and depress some tracks.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: I noticed that VRE and WMATA are not members of the task force,
but they have participated and are on board at least conceptually?
MS. MILLER: Yes, they were actually on our working group.
MS. MILLER: So they were involved and attended - at least WMATA attended almost all of our
COMMISSIONER WHITE: I just wanted to echo Commissioner Wright's comments about tone
and readability.
And it really struck me as sort of a newer member and an at-large member of your ability
to convey that this could really be a district, not just sort of a place where there are buildings.
And coming from the outside every month, it really was striking to me how well you captured
what's there and what could be in the quality of the graphics as well.
So I mean, it's a really easy plan to read.
And I think you said it so perfectly; it's not banal and it really strikes that balance,
that it's accessible to the public.
And so I really commend you for that.
And I'm very curious to hear how your public meeting goes next week and see how folks respond.
So congratulations.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you very much.
Sensing no additional Commission comment or questions, the EDR has been properly moved
and second and is before us.
So all in favor of the EDR as presented, which would put this to public comment, say aye?
(Chorus of ayes.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: And opposed, no?
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Congratulations.
MS. MILLER: Thank you all very much.
We look forward to bringing this back to you as a final document.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: I think we're going to swap - are we going to swap this out?
Elizabeth, are we going to move this?
MS. MILLER: Oh, yes, thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Let's just pause for just a second while we change exhibits.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Agenda item 5B is the preliminary site and building plans for the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Visitor Center, and we have Ms. Hirsch.
MS. HIRSCH: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Commission.
The National Park Service on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has submitted
preliminary site and building plans for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center.
MS. HIRSCH: The center will be located on a portion of the Lincoln Memorial grounds
within the boundary of the National Mall.
This site was approved by this Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts in 2006.
The site is bound by Constitution Avenue on the north, Henry Bacon Drive on the east,
Lincoln Memorial Circle to the south, and 23rd Street on the west.
It's directly across the street from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
There's an existing food service kiosk that was approved by this Commission in 2005 on
the south side of the site.
In the northeast corner there is a ball field.
The remaining portion of the site is an open lawn panel surrounded on the perimeter by
Here you can see some existing conditions on the site looking south toward the Lincoln
Here's the existing food kiosk.
And this is looking down the sidewalk along Henry Bacon Drive.
This photo is looking north towards Constitution Avenue.
You can see the American Pharmacists building in the background there.
To provide some background on the project, Congress authorized the visitor center in
2003 with special legislation, and that legislation specified that the visitor center would be
built underground, that the visitor center would be considered a commemorative work subject
to the Commemorative Works Act, that the center could be sited within the reserve without
any additional approvals, that the size of the visitor center would be limited to what
is necessary to educate the public about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam
And the legislation also amended the Commemorative Works Act to allow NCPC and CFA to develop
site-specific design guidelines that were mutually agreed upon.
In 2006, as I mentioned, NCPC approved what was known as Site A, the current project site.
That was conditioned upon implementation of mitigation that was described in NCPC's FONSI.
The mitigation consisted of 14 design guidelines, as well as an additional mitigation measure
that was related to the potential loss of recreational space on the site.
In 2007, CFA and NCPC both reviewed an initial concept design.
And then in the spring of 2009 both commissions reviewed a revised concept design.
More recently, February of 2012, CFA approved the design.
And then in March of 2012, the design was presented to NCMAC.
In 2007, when this Commission saw the design, the underground facility was centered around
a sunken courtyard.
These right here.
In addition, there were long linear skylights that extended into the landscape.
The concept of a courtyard was introduced in order to get light and air into the facility,
thereby reducing any need for air intake grills or other kinds of mechanical equipment that
would typically be necessary for a building like this.
The building was to be accessed off of Henry Bacon Drive or Constitution Avenue with sloped
And here you can see a photo rendering of that design.
The Commission commented at that time that they were concerned about the visibility of
the center from the Lincoln Memorial, as well as the surrounding streets, and also the impact
that the courtyard and the skylights had on the landscape.
And the Commission recommended that the applicant reduce the size of the building and also in
order to reduce the intrusions on the landscape.
When the applicant returned to this Commission in 2009, they had made a series of modifications
to the design.
They were proposing at that time to raise the grade of the site by approximately three
That helped to simplify the design of the ramp.
They also moved the building north on the site and were proposing to use a grass berm
to decrease the visibility of the building.
At that time the Commission found that the design had improved and was consistent with
approximately half of the design guidelines, but that the Commission asked for the applicant
to eliminate the walkway, the skylights, the extension into the landscape and to also reduce
the size of the courtyard and the guardrails that were proposed.
So here on the right you see the site plan as it proposed today.
The applicant has been working to address the Commission's comments and also has completed
the NEPA and Section 106 processes.
In response to the Commission's comments, this walkway from Constitution, as you can
see, has been eliminated.
The concept of a courtyard has been retained, however, a green roof is being used to cover
portions of that courtyard.
In addition, a horizontal rail condition has been designed along the green roof right here
and also along the edge of this retaining wall.
In addition, the approach the visitor center has been reconfigured only to be off of Henry
Bacon Drive from this curvilinear ramp that will bring one down into the center.
The applicant is still proposing to raise the grade approximately by three feet.
You can get a better idea of what the approach to the center would be like off of Henry Bacon
Visitors can either approach from the curved walkway that will be an elliptical green area
in the middle of that walkway that will be also bermed; that is to decrease the visibility
of the center from the surrounding sidewalks, or take the stairway down to the entrance,
which is right here.
There's a skylight here to provide additional light into the entry vestibule.
And then you also see that horizontal rail condition here along the edge of the green
And along this condition here would be low-growing evergreen shrubs.
And then here is the courtyard opening.
The architect has designed a detail that's known as ha-ha, that I'll describe in a bit
more detail, to protect the opening.
Views from the bottom of the ramp right here indicate - this also gives you an idea of
the materials that are being proposed for the center.
Slate walls are here.
Granite benches, as well as a stairway.
And then the walkway itself would be precast concrete.
This view is showing at the bottom of the entry stair what the view would be.
Here's a little more detail on that horizontal rail condition along the edge of the green
When one is standing on that green lawn there will be a low concrete curb.
The horizontal rail would consist of a concrete structure with a metal frame and tension wires.
This is to provide a warning to anyone who may be approaching that edge that there's
an edge condition and it would not be a walkable surface.
And then the ha-ha detail around the courtyard opening.
Essentially that is a low concrete curb here with a space to a higher concrete wall that
would be capped with a guardrail.
However, the top of that concrete wall will be flush with the lawn.
And so any kind of visibility from the Lincoln Memorial would be very minimal.
As far as the landscape design, recommendations from the Lincoln Memorial Cultural Landscape
Report would be implemented.
Essentially rows of trees would be planted along the perimeter.
A few trees will be removed, however, in the end apparently 20 more trees will be planted
on the site than currently exist.
And I wanted to note that the trees here on this south end of the site.
So staff's analysis of the project focused on the response of the Commission's comments
from 2009, as well as the consistency with the design guidelines.
In this chart here you can see the Commission found the project consistent with approximately
half of the design guidelines in 2009.
And so the remaining portion of the presentation will focus on how the design is now consistent
with the design guidelines that it was inconsistent with in 2009, and also where there was more
information needed.
So design guideline 1 stated that the visitor center would be constructed underground and
that no portion of it would be visible from the Lincoln Memorial or from the surrounding
streets and view sheds.
As you can see from this photo rendering, only a small portion of the horizontal rail
and the ha-ha detail here would be visible.
In addition, these red dashed lines indicate where after the trees that I pointed out in
the landscape plan would be planted.
When they fill out their canopy they would also screen these two elements.
This is a view from Constitution and 23rd.
The center would not be visible.
And then a view from Henry Bacon Drive.
The top of the horizontal rail would be minimally visible.
So based on the revisions the applicant has made in terms of removing the skylights and
the walkway the visibility of the center from the Lotus Notes as well as the surrounding
streets has been greatly reduced and staff believes that it's now consistent with those
design guidelines.
In 2009, there were two design guidelines related to the lighting of the center that
the Commission did not have enough information to evaluate.
At this time the applicant has submitted information that the center will be lit to the minimum
necessary for public safety, security and maintenance.
And therefore from these renderings you can see that any light that would exist would
be fairly minimal and would not interfere with the surrounding monuments or streetscapes
and that the lighting from the street and also the surrounding buildings would be more
dominant than the lighting of the center itself.
In 2009, this design guideline pertains to the center's intrusion into the landscape
that no protrusions including skylights, monitors or light wells would be visible.
As you can see from the two site plans, the plan that's proposed today is more compact
and does not interrupt the landscape as much as the one that was proposed in 2009.
By eliminating the walkways the Commission requested as well as the skylights and incorporating
the use of this elliptical green bermed area the visibility of the center has been minimized.
And here's a view of the design as it was proposed in 2009.
From Constitution you would have seen much more of that retaining wall.
And then as it's proposed today the view, although it would be visible, would be the
top of the horizontal rail here along the edge of the green roof.
Design guideline 10 related to any new pedestrian crossing points that would be added as a result
of the project.
At this time no new pedestrian crosswalks are proposed.
The Park Service has stated that the existing crosswalks along Henry Bacon Drive here as
well as on Constitution would be sufficient to serve the center and that if in the future
after the center's opened if any additional crosswalks are needed, they would return to
the Commission with that proposal.
Design guideline 13 stated that the visitor center would not impede the use of the site
for multipurpose recreation.
In 2009, based on the design of the center, a smaller area on the south side of the site
was available.
However, today, based on the modifications that have been made to the design, there are
two larger areas that are available for multipurpose recreation.
It's approximately 26 percent of the site and so therefore staff is recommending that
the design is now consistent with this design guideline.
Design guideline 14 stated that the center would be designed without guardrails or perimeter
security elements.
In 2009, based on the size of the courtyard, there was an extensive system of guardrails
that was proposed.
These were going to extrude up from the ground plane and be vertical elements.
As I mentioned, to keep part of the design as it exists today are these horizontal rail
elements that are minimally visible from the surrounding monuments and the street.
As far as perimeter security, the park police have conducted a threat assessment and determined
that three bollards would be necessary here at the top of the sidewalk along Henry Bacon
It's primarily to prevent an errant vehicle from being able to enter down the stairway
or also enter somehow off of 23rd Street.
In addition, the center has been designed to accommodate any kind of security screening
that would be needed for visitors on the interior and the lobby.
And then as far as the additional mitigation measure that was included in NCPC's FONSI
at the time of site selection, this required the Park Service to identify an additional
site for recreational purposes within a half a mile of the project.
At this point the site that's been identified is south of Independence Avenue just west
of the MLK Memorial.
In addition, because of the way the site has been redesigned and the design modifications
there's additional recreational space actually available on the project site itself.
So overall the design modifications that have been made since the Commission last saw this
project in 2009 have greatly improved the project.
It reduced the impact to the landscape as well as reduced the visibility of the center
from the surrounding memorials and monuments.
As I mentioned, the Park Service has completed NEPA, as well as NCPC.
Both agencies have issued FONSIs.
And the Section 106 process has completed with a memorandum of agreement.
So therefore, at this time staff feels the project has addressed all of the Commission's
concerns that were provided in 2009 and also satisfied the design guidelines.
I should note that the staff report included in your materials for the meeting today included
analysis against the 14 design guidelines.
So with that, it is the Executive Director's recommendation to approve the preliminary
site and building plans for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center and notes that the
applicant has addressed the Commission's comments providing in June of 2009.
And also finds that the design of the visitor center meets the design guidelines included
in the FONSI at the time of site selection, and that it notes also that as a condition
of the Section 106 MOA additional consultation would occur over the courtyard opening, the
skylight over the entrance, the development of the landscape and the night lighting of
the visitor center.
That concludes.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you, Ms. Hirsch.
Are there questions for Ms. Hirsch or comments on the EDR from Commissioners?
Mr. Provancha?
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Appreciate you addressing in turn each of the 14 design guidelines and
show how much progress.
Some of our concerns remain safety.
Did you indicate that also on the 23rd Street side there are some bollards that would prevent
vehicles from coming in from that side and going into the courtyard?
MS. HIRSCH: There won't be any bollards on the 23rd Street.
I was just - the ha-ha detailed around the courtyard opening, that that - COMMISSIONER
Those are sufficient?
I'm struggling just a little bit with the 3'6" change in the topography.
For example, is that immediately adjacent to the center courtyard so that there's a
change in elevation that would discourage - I'm trying to think of the recreational
activities that are immediately adjacent - MS. HIRSCH: No, the change in grade - COMMISSIONER
PROVANCHA: - both to the courtyard as well as to the entrance area.
MS. HIRSCH: Sorry.
The change in grade would be very gradual.
From the low point it's Constitution Avenue - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Right.
MS. HIRSCH: - which about 18 feet.
And it would slope up from there to - I think the highest point it would be would be about
22 feet.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: What I'm trying to wrestle with is if you have an active sports
activity going on immediately adjacent to the courtyard, even with those low guardrails.
So have some danger.
However, the low-growing evergreen shrubbery that's on - is it on the south end of the
- close to the entrance - MS. HIRSCH: Yes.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: - provides a sufficient buffer to keep people away from the guardrail.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Are those recreational facilities just impromptu, or are they going
to be set up as a soccer field or a baseball diamond, as that type of thing?
MS. HIRSCH: Right.
No, those fields will be just open recreational for passive recreation.
There won't be any assigned sporting activity.
That remains our only concern about the project, just the safety.
COMMISSIONER TREGONING: I think the applicant has made a lot of improvements and addressed
a lot of the comments that were made by the Commission.
I'd like to move the EDR.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: The EDR's been moved and seconded.
Are there any additional comments?
Mr. Miller?
COMMISSIONER MILLER: Yes, I agree there has been a lot of improvements and I appreciate
you going through each of the Commission's previous recommendations and how much progress
has been made and addressing each.
I just had one question on the FONZI.
It said that an additional mitigation measure would be the establishment of a ball field
west of the MLK.
COMMISSIONER MILLER: But weren't there already existing ball fields there, or was a new ball
field established?
MS. HIRSCH: You're correct.
Those are existing recreational fields, but think that the FONZI was indicating that recreational
space be identified by the Park Service, not that they actually reconstruct a new field.
COMMISSIONER MAY: I think there's actually going to be some reconfiguration of those
that will make more playing fields readily available, but I don't know the details of
I mean, those fields have been used for different purposes over the years - COMMISSIONER MILLER:
COMMISSIONER MAY: - and we do adapt them occasionally.
COMMISSIONER MILLER: It just seemed to me that the mitigation measure was calling for
new or an additional field.
Because I guess even though there is more recreational space in this design than the
previous design, I don't know if it's big enough - it doesn't appear to be big enough
for a softball field.
We'd stopped using that field for softball some time before this project was proposed.
I mean, there's no extra land to be found in that area, unless we wanted to start cutting
down trees to put in softball fields or take out golf courses.
We tried that once actually, and that didn't go over very well.
I wasn't suggesting that.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: - I was just curious about the mitigation measure using existing as opposed
to new to replace.
So that was just my only comment.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: What is a ha-ha condition?
MS. HIRSCH: It's the term that the architect has defined as that condition around the courtyard
It's not a technical architectural term though.
COMMISSIONER MAY: This is something that goes back to Medieval times.
It's, you know, the idea that you have a wall that you cannot see from a distance.
And so the grass, you know, the landscape slopes down to the wall.
And the wall is there and it's a barrier, but you know, if you're storming the castle,
you don't realize until you get very close that you're now in the middle of a field and,
oops, there's a wall there.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: You want to pass the laugh test, I guess.
Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Anything else?
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Well, it's been moved and seconded.
The EDR before you has been moved and seconded.
All in favor of passing the EDR, say aye?
(Chorus of ayes.)
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: It's unanimous.
Thank you, Ms. Hirsch.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: Perhaps a better name might be the ah-ha moment.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Agenda item 5C is really a continuation last time.
As we left it last time, we had received public comment and had returned the discussion to
the Commission for deliberation.
We all know that public comment participation has been critical, integral, very important
to this project to date.
So we will not take further public comment today since it rests with us at this time.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Last month when we deferred it for one month, there were really two issues
that were really at hand.
One was around the solar array, the photovoltaic array that was on top of the parking garage.
Then there were some questions and the need for additional information on storm water
management for both state and federal - that is Maryland and federal regulations.
So that's probably where most of the discussion, perhaps all of the discussion will be now.
And to set it up we have Mr. Hinkle.
Thank you.
MR. HINKLE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, and good afternoon.
What you should have received is a supplemental analysis from staff in terms of storm water.
And what I wanted to do is take a few moments to summarize those regulations and then I'll
hand the floor over to Mr. Manzelmann who represents the applicant.
And he'll be describing in more detail how the project is meeting those requirements
as well as how the applicant has been working with the community over the past month.
So to begin with, federal properties in Maryland have to follow two requirements for storm
water management.
The first is to comply with Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act,
which is known as EISA.
And EISA also requires that federal facilities comply with state and local requirements.
And the state requirements are defined by regulations of the Maryland Department of
the Environment, which through EPA regulations implements requirements of the Clean Water
Act for federal facilities to obtain permits to control water pollution.
And then as a side note, the state guidelines include performance measures that actually
vary by the county, but Montgomery County does not have separate requirements from the
And so what's the difference between EISA and MDE requirements?
EISA requires federal agencies to use site planning, design construction and maintenance
strategies to maintain or restore the pre-development hydrology of the property to the maximum extent
technically feasible, and the EPA has provided guidance to help agencies establish appropriate
performance goals and determine what is technically feasible.
For MDE, the requirements for federal redevelopment projects are defined in Maryland Storm Water
Management Guidelines for State and Federal Projects.
And these require federal redevelopment projects to detain and treat the first inch of storm
water on impervious surfaces to the maximum extent practicable and to reduce impervious
surfaces on the site.
So Mr. Manzelmann will be speaking in detail about how the project meets Maryland storm
water requirements.
So I'm really going to focus my next couple of slides on how this project is in compliance
with EISA.
So EPA's guidance on EISA provides two options for calculating the amount of storm water
to be used in determining performance standards for sites.
Option 1 is really to prevent off-site discharge of rain water from all events less than or
equal to a 95th percentile storm.
Option 2 is to develop an estimate of pre-development conditions and then limit runoff volume and
peak flow discharges to levels that do not exceed pre-development conditions.
However, the guidelines recognize that in the context of redevelopment projects that
fully detaining the 95th percentile storm or restoring pre-development hydrology could
be difficult to achieve due to some existing conditions on the site.
So therefore the guidance actually recommends using a systematic maximum extent technically
feasible analysis once a performance standard is determined for the site.
So this is a graphic from the guidance document that depicts pre-development and post-development
If you actually look on the lower graph, the first one shows a pre-development condition,
and then the second is of course a post-development condition.
If you note, in terms of storm water and what falls onto the ground, there's a significant
amount that evaporates and a significant that infiltrates into the ground with a limited
amount of runoff on the pre-development site.
And then of course, on the post-develop site you may have a condition where you still have
a lot of evaporation, but you have limited infiltration into the ground and then a significant
amount of runoff.
So as you can see, existing site conditions can influence the amount of runoff of a site
and may limit the ability to do on-site storm water management for redevelopment projects.
And so the guidance really does recognize this factor.
So what the guidance has is a process to develop storm water management plans.
So the first step is to use option 1 or option 2 to determine the performance standard for
the site.
And that again is how much water is required to be retained under EISA.
The second step is to use green infrastructure, low-impact development design strategies really
to the maximum extent technically feasible to meet that performance standard.
So these design strategies of course; and we saw a lot in the previous presentation,
include rain gardens or bio-retention facilities or porous pavements or green roofs and the
The third step is to document why some of these strategies are not technically feasible.
And within the package of the supplemental information you should have received a copy
of a memo from the applicant that actually describes some of the green infrastructure
low-impact development design strategies that they feel cannot be used at this site.
And then the last step is to determine and design appropriate runoff control measures
if the performance standard cannot be met.
So then according to step 1, the EISA performance standard for the ICC-B North Campus site is
to retain 1.
7 inches of storm water in a 24-hour period.
So after going through the remaining steps to determine what was technically feasible,
the applicant actually designed a system that increases impervious surfaces, adds underground
storage vaults and uses one bio-retention facility.
And so this system detains actually 2.
1 inches of storm water and then systematically treats and controls its release.
And I just want to note that the system is actually larger than that two-inch capacity
because it can actually manage a 25-year storm, which is over 6 inches of storm water over
a 24-hour period before overflowing.
And this is simply because as the rain falls water is actually concurrently passing through
the system and then leaving the system.
So because of all this, staff does find that the proposed detention, treatment and controlled
released of the storm water at the site does meet the EISA requirements.
With that conclusion, what I would like to do is invite Mr. Manzelmann who will speak
in more detail as to how the project meets the Maryland storm water requirements, as
well as his work with the community over the past month.
And he'll also talk a little bit about how the applicant proposes to address the off-site
storm water runoff.
So if you could hold the questions until afterwards.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Yes, Mr. Manzelmann, welcome and we very much appreciate your diligence.
MR. MANZELMANN: Thanks to the Commission for this opportunity.
And what I wanted to do is come back - as Commissioner Dixon had asked us to do, engage
with the community.
So I'm going to go through this really - if you think of it in two parts: Where we were
based on our design 30 days ago and then the engagement with the community that we've done
over the last 30 days.
And we did, sir, just exactly as you had asked.
I am the executive agent for the intelligence community working on this project.
And if you recall - and have been frankly working with the community since last December,
because when we brought the master plan to you at that time, there were concerns there.
And my way of addressing concerns as a licensed architect as I listen to my client, kind of
see what their concerns are and then work through solutions that address those concerns.
I'm not a civil engineer.
I basically went to school with the civil engineers.
And so what I want to do is talk - refresh on the impervious/pervious MDE, how we really
exceed that in a few areas.
And MDE is strict criteria.
There was a discussion a little bit about retention and detention and what that means
and how detention is helpful on the site as well, and then talk about the community engagement.
And then last the PV panels, which I think we've addressed as well.
This is the existing site and what I want to call your attention to is basically the
phase 1 side is up here at the north end of the property and it's almost 100 percent asphalt
surface right now.
So there is a lot of runoff off that site.
And the design by itself improves that.
So everything you see there in light green is now pervious surface, landscape surface
that was asphalt before.
So we actually reduced by 40 percent the amount of impervious surface to the site.
MDE does have strict requirements.
And I'm a - actually practiced architecture in California for a considerable amount of
time, and environmentally California can be very difficult as well, but I would say MDE
has their strict requirements.
It was important to us and important to me as representing the owner on this site that
we do better than the standards.
And in that case there are four areas where we exceed MDE requirements.
On the top on there, MDE would require us to look at - if you recall the previous drawing,
that we collect in the areas that were impervious only.
So if you think of the top of the parking garage and the drives into it and the visitor
center, that's all we were required to do.
We chose to take the entire site, impervious and pervious, and design our system around
the total.
So if you go to line 2 there, we actually built the capacity - actually increased the
capacity not quite, but almost threefold what MDE required us.
And the importance of that; I'll show you in a minute, when it comes to detention, what
we can do to help not only the site, the neighboring streams, but also the water quality downstream
as well.
It was mentioned before; and I think Jeff hit on this - is that in a rainfall they ask
you to treat the first flush, which is basically that hard rainfall hits a parking surface,
automatically picks up the oil residue off that and is generally the first to go.
We actually did it for 2.1 inches.
So we have an additional factor there of really 100 percent.
And then lastly, MDE asked us to design to a 10-year storm.
We're designed to the peak flow of a 25-year storm.
So if you recall in the master plan we kind of discussed this and looked at it.
And that was our target.
We actually have now achieved our target based on the size of the detention structure.
This is the storm event data.
And as Jeff mentioned, the 6.
11 inches is your 25-year storm.
Mother Nature does different things.
And when you ask a civil engineer; and believe me, I asked several of them, you know, the
size of the structure and can you do this and can you do that, even if you take the
case of a 100-year storm and it's a 24-hour period and it's only one inch more, this complex
really can, you know, depending on how that water is spread over the number of hours - can
actually take care of that as well.
But it is designed to the peak flow, the 25-year, which is our target based on the plan design.
Now this isn't as great as the graphics on the eco area in the District and all that,
which were very well done, but having three kids myself and being the oldest of seven
kids, this was the best analogy I had.
And so, if you think about retention, retention was talked about, and I think a couple of
the speakers last time talked to that, retention would be like a reservoir on the site, be
it one that's permanently filled with water or one that fills with water and then eventually
it either evaporates or drains into the soil.
And that would be with the plug in the tub.
Detention though also has a value, and the value here is - you know, and when I was a
little kid I used to do this, but you know, turn on the water faucet as fast as it would
go, leave the plug open and see if you could fill the tub.
Now, you know, I'm an architect, so I do crazy things like that.
But in this case what's happening here and what the value to the neighboring streams
is that we have a controlled outflow on this project.
So we're detaining 250,000-some gallons.
At the same time we're able to control the outflow to a smaller amount.
Again, erosion's caused by volume and velocity.
So if we control that outflow - and additionally it gives us the opportunity to treat the water.
So the water leaving the site is treated, so that helps the water quality down the watershed
of the Potomac and on into the Chesapeake itself.
So this is, on the left - if you look over here, and it's done by the different rainfall
And then you see existing as it today and then proposed.
You see that the gallons per minutes are greatly reduced, and generally in the case - anywhere
from 40 percent - really 50 percent plus or minus less than the current conditions.
So that reduces the volume, and all that water that's coming out of there is treated.
Now on the Commission hearing on the 7th, sir, you asked us to engage with the community.
And that was the motion and action of the Commission last time.
And so, immediately the next day Mr. Berg - I engaged with him and Mr. Salop.
Mr. Salop was very interested in the PV panels, which I'll talk about in a minute.
Mr. Berg was very interested in the water and the storm water runoff.
I felt the best way to do that was just like the master plan.
I went to them on the 8th and I said, well, could you craft some questions of things that
you would want me to look at and work with with the design team of what we could do.
We got that the beginning of the following week and I worked through that with the engineering
And then on the 21st of June we hosted a meeting at the site with the community, the community
leaders, the county, NCPC, as well as the National Park Service attended that, and we
discussed the issues.
And out of that came four prime discussion points.
One was the adequacy of the north channel and the north channel is where the north end
of the site will go into.
And basically it was a look at, okay, does this - you know, based on our design do we
improve the dynamics and the operations of that channel?
And we believe we have that taken care of and solved and designed to do that.
And not only that, but improve the flow in the channel by changing the discharge point.
And the other thing, and I'll answer part of this up front is - one thing we talked
about, okay, how do we ensure that?
And in my letter of commitment to them is we're going to be on the site for the next
four years.
This part of the project will actually be completed in 12 months.
So we'll have the opportunity to work with the Park Service and periodically go out there,
look at how the performance of the design is working and if there's anything we need
to adjust, we're there to do it.
But I'm convinced based on the efforts of our civil engineers that we're improving the
overall situation and reducing, as I showed, the volume of water as - the velocity as well.
Because when the velocity comes out, it goes into a drop.
So in other words, it comes out your pipe, goes into a larger pipe which reduces your
speed and velocity or the hydraulics of the water coming down the hill.
The second bullet there, they talked about the north discharge and moving it further
down the hill and closer.
Now we're going to do that design, take a look at it and then we're going to bring it
back to the community and our partner in the NPS to make sure, because one of the things,
if you recall in the master plan, we're trying to preserve is every tree possible.
Moving the garage, realigning the garage.
I don't want to do this if I'm going counter to that and start removing trees that we were
trying to preserve before, so I'm going to bring that back to the community, that design
to discuss.
The phase 1 site is limited.
It's less than a third of the overall project.
So additionally, in working with the community, we're going to - and as we go to the phase
2, which is the balance of the site, we're going to work on design solutions that increase
the retention and the environmental site opportunities like bio-ponds and things like that.
And we even talked about the cistern for gray water, because I have more opportunity in
that phase 2.
In the phase 1 we basically have a parking garage and an entry, and it's a small portion
of the site.
And then last, with sharing the MDE submittals, I have here on my slide mid-July.
Those submittals were actually provided to MDE on Tuesday and were also delivered to
NPS and to the community.
So that actually occurred before the brief here today.
So the solution; and, you know, we talked through this, but the best solution, given
the collective group that was there as we discussed through it, is, if you recall, I
did a commitment letter on the design of the project overall and was then to amend a supplemental
to that that addressed the storm water management and also the PV panels.
And that's what we collectively arrived at as the best solution.
I prepared that document and sent that out to the community on the 6th, along with copies
to NCPC and NPS as well.
And then my understanding - and I saw the communication from the community to NCPC that
they supported that effort.
It's my commitment to all of you that we're going to be on this project for several years
and I'm here to meet and help the community and make sure we're coming up with the right
solutions overall.
So with that, PV panels just very quickly.
If you recall when I was last here, the design showed, or the elevation showed a penthouse
that is something above my head and then the PV panels on top of that.
What we've gone to is a different design where the PV panels themselves have been lowered
So they're - this is sort of the deck, the top deck of the garage one foot four inches
off the deck and then they slope up from there to about seven foot, two inches.
So at eye level looking at that over the parapet wall you're only going to see a little over
three feet of that top edge of that triangle.
And then if you think about the garage, and if - and most everybody around it is below
the garage, if you're looking up, something would have to be in the neighborhood of 12
to 16 feet tall, depending on your distance, for you even to see an item.
So in that case, from most of the surrounding areas the PV panels won't even be visible.
There is an actual engineering kind of cross-section.
So if you look at the red dashed line on there, that's kind of your parapet wall height, and
it shows how we lowered the panels down from starting at 10 feet down to that one foot
four inches.
So I think - and Mr. Salop, we presented - showed those drawings to him and my understanding
it's in the response as well that he is satisfied that that meets their - So, sir, Mr. Chairman
and Commission, you know, I've worked this project really hard and I feel like we've
done the right things for the community and, you know, hope you would agree and approve
our submittal on this phase 1 portion of the project, and standing by for any questions
you might have.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you very much, Mr. Manzelmann.
I'll note that in the packet, the supplemental packet, in case you haven't gotten through
it, there are many communications from community members who - including those who were in
opposition, or at least sought additional improvements that are now supportive of the
There's also a letter from the engineer on storm water noting that they've met, in their
opinion, the maximum extent feasible, technically feasible for the storm water.
So with that - COMMISSIONER DIXON: Mr. Chairman, I'd move the approval that's been requested.
It's been moved and seconded.
Is there any further discussion?
COMMISSIONER DIXON: Mr. Chairman, I just want to comment that, though I was given some note,
it wasn't my action.
It was the Commission's action that brought you back.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: I just made a suggestion and I'm not surprised at the results at all.
I'm not surprised, because - MR. MANZELMANN: Yes, sir.
Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: - I've sensed that early on you guys would - we all would work it out.
And you did.
And that's great.
Thank you.
Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: And before Mr. May says something, I will draw to your attention that - if you
recall in the EDR it does delegate final approval to the Executive Director for certain things,
including site and landscaping furniture.
Mr. May?
COMMISSIONER MAY: No, I just wanted to express my gratitude to Mr. Manzelmann and the entire
team working on this for their cooperation with the Park Service.
In the end everything seems to be working out well.
I also appreciate - you know, we had a few last-minute questions based on the correspondence
from July 6th.
Those were answered and I know we owe you some information on who the principal point
of contact will be for the Park Service as we continue to work together on this.
And I'm looking forward to that relationship.
I've worked with several of your folks and I'm looking forward to continuing that dialogue.
And like I say, we'll have the chance to monitor and watch and make sure that the design is
working as intended; yes, sir.
And you'll be there for 40 years and I think we'll be there at least that long.
MR. MANZELMANN: Probably longer; yes, sir.
COMMISSIONER MAY: So anyway, I want to thank you and I also want to thank Dr.
Berg and the neighbors who worked so hard -Yes, sir.
COMMISSIONER MAY: - because they shared a common concern with the Park Service and helped
us achieve the best possible result.
So I appreciate that.
And of course I appreciate the staff bearing with all of this and working through it as
So thank you.
Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Anything additional?
Does our resident Bethesda expert have anything?
(No audible response.)
It's been moved and seconded.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: May I comment, please?
Yes, please.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: I would like to add my appreciation for the extraordinary Herculean
efforts above and beyond.
I noticed that you're not wearing your Purple Heart from the flesh wounds - MR. MANZELMANN:
No, sir.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: - that you've incurred, you and Mr. Olsen.
MR. MANZELMANN: I think some of those special efforts need to be noted.
We talked about the storm water management, the retention versus detention.
We talked about the photovoltaics.
I think there's also an important piece of documentation in the package, a June 25th
letter from Mr. Leggett issued well prior to even your supplemental letter of commitment.
I think the extraordinary level of cooperation with the homeowners associations - I think
all nine of nine are now on board.
In fact, there's even a comment in one of them saying further delays would be costly
to the community and the federal taxpayer.
I think we're in violent agreement that we need to please approve this project so that
we don't incur schedule or construction delays.
In addition, all of the requirements from the staff have been met.
The site development plan, the amended traffic impact study, the information about the comparison
of the EISA versus the 438 and on and on, deforestation and so forth.
So I think there's been clearly repeated demonstrations of good faith on behalf of the applicant,
for which you should be commended.
MR. MANZELMANN: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Congressional Medals of Honor to follow.
Again, it's been moved and seconded.
Sensing no further comment, all in favor of the EDR as presented, say aye?
(Chorus of ayes.)
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Mr. Manzelmann, congratulations.
MR. MANZELMANN: Sir, thank you.
Thank you very much for the approval.
I also wanted to acknowledge the University of Oklahoma intern having graduated from the
Architecture School of the University of Oklahoma, but I think you already put him back to work.
MR. MANZELMANN: So, sir, thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Again, thank you for your diligence.
MR. MANZELMANN: You have more important things to do, I know.
Yes, sir.
Thank you.
We have two remaining items, both information presentations.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Agenda item 6A is an informational presentation on the memorial trends and practice
in Washington, D.C.
MS. KEMPF: Hi, good afternoon.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Welcome back, Ms. Kempf.
MS. KEMPF: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman.
Today I'm offering a status of a memorial research project we've undertaken with the
Park Service.
The research was completed in 2011 and we're currently finalizing a draft summary.
We anticipate bringing that draft to the Commission this fall with a request to release for public
Today I'm pleased to welcome David Hayes - give us a wave - who is the Regional Planner and
Transportation Officer at NPS National Capital Region, and he's been working with me on this
And I'd also like to thank Peter May for his support and the good work of his staff.
So just a quick background note on the Commemorative Works Act, or the CWA, which governs the memorial
In summary, the CWA defines commemorative works.
It provides guidelines on content.
It requires Congress to authorize each memorial by separate law.
It separates the legislative process on subject matter from site selection and design which
is generally delegated to the agencies.
It establishes a reserve in area 1.
And it also establishes a National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission, or NCMAC as
we like to call it, which is chaired by the National Park Service and provides guidance
to Congressional sponsors, memorial sponsors, the Department of the Interior.
It consults on sites and designs.
Does a variety of things.
And also the CWA precludes donor recognition.
So these are just a few highlights.
The Act does quite a bit more, but in terms of NCPC's role in the memorial process, we
do sit on the NCMAC.
We approve site and design in addition with several other agencies.
So we have a lot of resources available to us about our memorials.
The public comment, for example, has a wealth of information on its Web site about memorials
on park lands.
Of course there's a really excellent Washington sculpture by Goode which provides a really
comprehensive history of memorials.
But we consistently receive a lot of very basic questions about our memorials from law
makers and the public.
How many do we have?
Where are they located?
Are we building more on average per year?
So these are just very basic sort of fundamental questions.
And so with this study, we sat down with the Park Service and are basically taking a lot
of our deep institutional knowledge and providing it to a public in a way that's accessible
and to the agencies in a way that can be easily analyzed.
So the report is really primarily an analytical document.
So there were four tasks associated with the research.
First we developed a memorial catalog which included a lot of information including about
So for example, we know that the Joan of Arc statue was given by the women of France to
the women of the United States.
So little fun facts like that.
We identified the major subject matter themes, sort of a very broad look, but the information
is in Excel, so the public could easily take a look at it and manipulate the information
and draw its own conclusions about sort of subject.
To place our own process in context we explored the practices of other capital cities in the
U.S. and abroad.
So we asked some very general questions.
What are some of the big challenges that you face in your memorial process?
What polices and plans have you put together to address those challenges?
So the list of cities that we interviewed include Ottawa, Canberra, Berlin, Salt Lake
City, St. Paul and Boston.
And finally, we documented the sequence of decisions from authorization to approval for
four completed memorials here in Washington with representative issues for study.
So we had a very large memorial with a complex site selection process with the Air Force
We have an international gift and several smaller memorial projects.
The Victims of Communism Memorial had a rather sort of modest memorial element, but they
have a robust e-museum.
I don't know if that's what they call it, but that's sort of - it provides a lot of
interpretive information and factual information in an online digital format which may be something
that we see in the future more memorials exploring.
The AIDS Quilt, for example, which is here this weekend on its 25th anniversary has a
very robust digital presence.
So I think that will be an interesting trend for us to follow moving forward.
And so the study that we're working on basically summarizes all of these research tasks.
And then it provides some very basic information such as a summary of the major plans that
have shaped our memorial work, agency roles and some key topics associated with memorials
and venues that the agencies can explore to address those topics.
So why is this work important?
Memorials are complex no matter where you are, but in Washington, as in other capital
cities, memorials take on heightened significance because these are places that reflect our
relationships between nations, some of the most significant events and people in our
nation's history.
And so, this is a topic of interest for many Americans.
Although memorials in Washington are a public decision involving these national moments,
they're also very personal for the sponsors who advocate for those projects, and so we
balance that here.
And so because of these complexities the agencies really have a very long history of working
together on memorials.
In the past we've really explored physical planning strategies to protect them all, so
you see that with the Memorials and Museums Master Plan, with the Monumental Core Framework
This current study is sort of the other side of the coin that looks at some very broad
trends about memorials over time.
Over the years we've heard a lot of very anecdotal information about what's going on with our
And we hope that this publicly accessible information will be a tool to sort of have
a more substantive discussion about commemoration and some of the trends.
So I'll just go through just a couple of samples of the type of information that you'll see
in the report.
The research is designed to really give us a snapshot of a variety of angles.
So here you see memorials over time.
We are moving away from commemorating individuals to more groups.
And I think that's also something that's been documented in historical scholarship.
We often hear that we are building more memorials now than ever before, but actually if you
look at the trends of authorizations and completed, we're on a consistent path, I guess.
We looked at memorial themes so we'd have a better understanding of the types of projects
from a content perspective that we are building and we can look at this in a spacial way,
So here you see, maps some of the international gifts that we have in Washington.
And as you can see, they're on 16th Street, Massachusetts and Vermont.
This is something we hope would be useful as we look at siting future international
One of the many factors that we look at when siting memorials is nexus, so relating the
subject matter to the site.
That can be challenging with international gifts, but I think we've sort of over time
formed nexus areas.
So finally, we hope that the research will help us measure our own success, some sort
of a very broad policy level look.
On the left we have the Memorials and Museums Master Plan which clearly suggests that it's
important to locate memorials throughout Washington.
On the right we have our current memorial distribution.
We think that the master plan has been very successful in sort of its main objective of
trying to encourage sponsors to look at opportunities off the Mall, but we certainly have a long
way to go towards introducing memorials throughout all four quadrants of the city.
So in terms of just an example of the types of applications of this study, we hope that
it supports the work of NCMAC.
We hope that it can support how we site memorials, and specifically international gifts.
We'd like to identify opportunities other than permanent memorials for sponsors to consider.
NCMAC has an opportunity to meet with many sponsors who have interesting ideas but that
may not meet the standards of the Commemorative Works Act.
Are there other options than permanent memorialization that they can explore?
The AIDS Quilt is a great example of that.
Finally, one of the things we learned during the case study research is that there might
be some issues that we could resolve by publishing a manual or some type of a process document
that would help really explain who the key players are in the review process and what
our interests are.
We've been looking at this "Foreign Missions and International Organizations Guide," which
is a Department of State manual giving foreign governments the facts if they want to build
consulates or things here in Washington.
I'm not saying what we do needs to be this sort of formal.
It may be an online, you know, sort of document.
But we like this because it involves a process that includes a number of federal and local
And so if you in your capacities have interesting manuals that you think might be applicable
to the memorial process, my door is open.
So please let us know.
Finally, we wanted to offer the public a tool as well, so to give the agencies some interesting
analytical work, but also we looked at an interactive map.
This is sort of unsatisfying in a screen shot here, but basically most of the research is
available to the public in an online Google platform.
We've received about 13,000 comments on this map over the last year and people were so
interested in adding memorials that aren't on Park Service land that we're going to do
a phase 2 application.
So we've got some really excellent interns out in the field taking photos in sites throughout
the region.
So we hope that we'll be able to do an interesting phase 2 application.
And so as I mentioned, we'd like to bring this back this fall with the draft for the
Commission to review and release for public comment.
We'll be circulating the draft here in the next several months and then we'd like to
have a final draft in 2013.
So thank you very much.
Answer any questions you have.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: I just want to make a comment.
You have done such good work on the memorials writ large issue for so long.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: It's really extraordinary.
Thank you.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: I just want to ask a couple questions.
What were the cities that you went to for some insight again?
I just was curious about how that's spread out.
MS. KEMPF: It was very interesting.
We had St. Paul, Boston, Canberra, Ottawa.
I don't want to miss any.
And London and Boston I think were -
MS. KEMPF: It was very fascinating.
I just wondered whether or not something south of the border, South America, some of those
areas down there where they have a different spin, but I know that's money and time.
But you know, other places like Egypt, which you may not be able to get in to at the moment,
but - MS. KEMPF: You know, it's an iterative process, so - COMMISSIONER DIXON: You know,
but places where they have like thousands, thousands, thousands of years of history of
building memorials.
Be kind of interesting to see how they evolved.
MS. KEMPF: Yes, that's a great idea.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: The other thing is your digital effort.
I just wonder whether it would be an interesting idea to encourage future folks in Memorials
to include in their budget - MS. KEMPF: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: - a digital piece.
And maybe if they are encouraged to do that, it may not be such sizeable structures and
sizeable - I mean, the Vietnam Memorial, for example, which we just - you all voted on;
I wasn't here for it, the information, they went underground.
If it was digital, would maybe have saved that space for something else or keep it green.
But if we do that, maybe we could kind of redirect some of the energies and make it
a part of it.
I don't know whether it's something the Commission or you all would think about adding.
MS. KEMPF: Sure.
Also action memorials, you know, like playgrounds.
The Kennedy Playground up on O Street.
I guess it's still there.
Things where people not only have to see things, but they can do things for children, participate
with a different type of a memorial, you know?
I guess a basketball or a recreation facility could be a memorial that could be used and
could still remember people, or actions, events.
And I also have to make my usual point.
I just hope we can keep this percentage of memorials for a lot of reasons down related
to wars.
I mean, I won't be around, but hundreds of years from now; I won't be around, but maybe
we won't be looked back as a country that didn't put so much emphasis on our central
axis and our nation's capital focusing on war.
Maybe we can find some other things.
I mean, King's like an example of peace and non-violence.
And there are other people historically that could be cited.
So less war.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: No wars hopefully.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Ms. White?
COMMISSIONER WHITE: I couldn't agree with you more, and I just wanted to echo your comments.
And I'm curious: In the cities that you looked at, do any of them have a comprehensive analysis
like this?
MS. KEMPF: Two, yes.
That was part of - sort of it helped us to sort of guide how we did the catalog, yes,
both of them in Canada.
COMMISSIONER WHITE: And are the percentages roughly the same?
I'm very curious because we both noticed that 51 percent were military related or war memorials.
Do you have any idea how we compare with the two cities in Canada?
MS. KEMPF: It's more heavily weighted here to war, and statesmen also.
In Canada they actually have policies that try to encourage under-represented material.
But the decision about subject is really squarely in Congressional purview, so the agencies
have a very strictly advisory role as far as content is concerned.
COMMISSIONER WHITE: That's fascinating.
Thank you.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: I just want to make another point.
I know that we have very little sometimes control on what goes in - MS. KEMPF: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DIXON: - because Congress gets involved often when we try to encourage them
not to.
But I mean, I thought about - I mean, Rome, I mean, got to get - there are places where
they have a lot of history.
Seems to me that their idea of how they handle memorials - it may not be helpful, but maybe
at least it would be - they got a lot there, or in other countries that we know about,
all of us.
So I just would raise that as maybe in the future maybe something could be looked at.
MS. KEMPF: Absolutely.
We want to keep building sort of our repertoire.
I don't see this as being a process that stops, so I welcome additional cities that we could
Thank you for your great work and for this wonderful report.
An aspect of our memorials I think that perhaps we locals are occasionally blasé about and
which you can see through the eyes of our visitors who come here and are such awestruck
by what they see all around is that so often the people who we memorialize and the events
that we memorialize occurred here.
And there are memorials to these people and these events all over the country, but here
is where so many of these great events occurred and where so many of these great people did
their work.
And to me that's an aspect that makes our devotion to our memorials so important and
so extraordinary and so different.
You get that impression; at least I do, when you go to Fort McHenry and people realize
this is really where Fort McHenry is and where these events occurred, or to the Boston Commons
and so on and so forth.
But here it's all over and it's everywhere.
And I think that's an extremely important aspect of why these memorials are so important
to us.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you.
Mr. May?
COMMISSIONER MAY: I just want to make a couple comments.
First of all, doing something online, doing e-memorial-type work, that actually is becoming
something that is starting to happen.
I don't know that it necessarily has an effect on the size of the memorial itself that gets
built or its impact on the landscape, because the biggest e-memorial project we have going
is also the Eisenhower Memorial, which is not small.
So and then with regard to war memorials, I don't know, did you look at anything in
terms of how the trends are, because I would expect that over time we're doing a lot less
and a lot of the war-related memorials are older memorials.
MS. KEMPF: Commissioner May is right.
I mean, I think that sort of gets back to the trend from individuals to groups.
I think we have 21 Civil War-related memorials and now, you know, as we commemorate wars
we're doing it by a single war memorial.
So, yes, I think that would be a good trend to highlight.
The other thing is that the Commemorative Works Act addresses specifically war memorials
and memorials to the military and so on.
And I think that guidance also helps kind of keep it a bit more restricted than you
might expect.
Although, you know, one of the restrictions is that 10 years have to pass from the end
of the conflict before any sort of commemoration can be contemplated, and there's always somebody
watching the clock.
And so for example we have legislation that has been or will be introduced shortly regarding
Desert Storm.
And so those things just sort of happen sort of like clockwork.
Anyway, thank you very much for all of your work on this study and we look forward to
continuing to work with you on getting the final product done in the least - CHAIRMAN
BRYANT: Thank you very much.
MS. KEMPF: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: The last item on the agenda is also an information presentation, agenda
item No. 6B about the proposed Purple Line light rail, which is no small project.
And Mr. Weil is here.
MR. WEIL: Thank you.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission.
The Maryland Transit Administration and their consultants are here today to provide you
with background information on the proposed Purple Line project.
This is in anticipation of Commission review of the project for concept approval this fall,
preliminary review in 2013, and final review in 2014.
The Purple Line is a proposed regionally-significant light rail transit line that will extend roughly
east-west between Bethesda and New Carrollton through the inner-Maryland suburbs.
The facility will provide direct access to a number of important transportation systems
including Metrorail and Metrobus, MARC, Amtrak and the local bus systems from Montgomery
and Prince Georges Counties.
While NCPC has an interest in the project through the comprehensive plan and the WMATA
Compact, in particular NCPC will review the project under the 1930 Capper-Cramton Act
which utilized federal funding to acquire stream valleys in the District, Maryland and
Virginia to preserve these lands as a regional park system.
The Capper-Cramton Act gives NCPC approval authority over modifications to these parks'
general development plans to ensure that their development is in accordance with plans approved
by NCPC.
And here's a graphic that shows the four Capper-Cramton parks shown in green.
And you can see their location in relation to the proposed Purple Line alignment.
And again, the Capper-Cramton Act affords NCPC approval authority over the modifications
for these parks' plans in order to accommodate the proposed alignment.
NCPC will also review the project relative to the Forest Glen Annex and NOAA Headquarters
building in Silver Spring, Maryland, both of which are federal assets located in close
proximity to the proposed alignment, as well as the BW Parkway National Park Service property,
which the proposed alignment will cross.
And with that, I'll hand over the presentation to Harriet Levine who is one of the lead consultants
on the Purple Line project to provide the rest of the presentation.
MS. LEVINE: Thank you.
I want to start with a general overview of the project and where we are in the process
and our schedule and then get into some more details in terms of our coordination and public
First, I do want to thank Mike Weil for his continued participation with our study team
along with National Park Service, who's here, and Federal Transit Administration, as well
as the other agencies we're working with that I'll mention a little later.
It's been great in terms of helping us progress the project.
To give you a little bit of orientation, this is the Capital Beltway around the top.
The Purple Line preferred alternative is light rail.
It's a 16-mile corridor.
We have 21 stations.
As mentioned, we have major connections to transit at the Bethesda Metro Station, Silver
Spring Metro Station, the new Takoma-Langley Transit Center, College Park Metro and then
New Carrollton Metro.
We also connect with local buses throughout the corridor.
The Purple Line will provide faster more reliable transit for the region's east-west travel.
We also serve a lot of transit-dependent communities and communities where people have chosen to
have one or less vehicles to access jobs in the area.
It also strengthens and revitalizes communities and has a potential to increase transit-oriented
development along our corridor at particular stations which both counties are working with
us to design as appropriate.
Our preferred alternative has 21 stations.
And I mentioned the connections to Metro.
Also we connect to all of the MARC commuter lines, Amtrak and local bus service.
Our projected ridership is 60,000 daily riders.
And what's interesting is that 30 percent of our riders are projected to use Metro for
part of their trip.
So it's people who are taking the Purple Line to get to Metro to come downtown, or maybe
vice versa to go out to the suburbs.
We also estimate that this will result in taking 20,000 cars off the road daily.
We have two projected storage and maintenance facilities, one in each county.
We do go through both Montgomery and Prince Georges County and we've split those storage
and maintenance facilities between the counties.
And our year of expenditure cost estimate is $1.9 billion.
Our current schedule.
On October 7th of 2011 we got approval to enter preliminary engineering, which is the
phase we're in now where we do our preliminary engineering work.
We also prepare our final environmental impact statement.
At the end of this process which is expected, I will hedge on that spring.
I'll say spring-fall 2013.
It's probably closer to fall 2013 when we'll complete our final environmental impact statement
and get a record of decision.
Then we actually request permission from the Federal Transit Administration to enter final
design, and that's the next formal step.
We're projecting construction to begin in 2015 with the beginning of operations in 2020.
During preliminary engineering phase, which we're in now, we're refining our engineering,
we're developing more detailed cost-benefits and impacts of the project.
We are planning our construction phasing and staging.
We're developing more detailed operating plans and funding sources and looking at right-of-way
requirements for the project.
We have extensive coordination with FTA throughout this process.
And as I mentioned, they'll have final approval at the end of this stage before we can enter
the next phase of the study.
A little bit about our public outreach.
We have an extensive outreach program.
We have a mailing list of over 60,000 individuals.
We also have an eBlast list that we use.
We've held larger public meetings and open houses and hearings throughout the course
of the project.
We also have what we call our neighborhood work groups, and these are smaller work groups.
We have one for each of our 21 station areas.
We also have working groups for some of our corridors where we might look at trail or
streetscape elements.
And these smaller groups really allow us to sit down with people in those communities
and get into the details of station access design amenities, bike facilities, how people
might get to the station.
You know, do bus connections or bus stops need to move a block in one direction or another
so we have better connections in those areas?
We have what we call our speakers bureau where by invitation we'll go out to any group, and
we've gone to hundreds and hundreds of meetings over the years with special interest groups,
stakeholders and residents.
We also do stakeholder meetings.
If there are groups we feel we need to talk to or groups that we feel are under-represented
through the process, we'll reach out to them and do targeted outreach in those areas.
And finally, we do smaller community outreach events, and these are events where we'll go
out to major employment centers or community activities with informational displays.
We'll be at farmers markets.
We've also had tables at NIH and other major employers on the area so that we can reach
out to our potential ridership.
Tied to the public involvement is our agency coordination.
We have formal interagency review meetings, which is all of our regulatory and resource
We go to them on a regular basis at various times in the project when we have new information
or progressing into another phase.
We've done targeted field reviews with the agencies, wetland field reviews, taking them
out to see specific resources in the area.
And we also do agency-specific coordination where we've been meeting with the National
Park Service, the Corps, both counties' park departments, Maryland, National Capital, your
Commission staff, as well as National Park Service and Department of Environment and
Department of Natural Resources.
This is just a sampling of the list of the agencies we've been working with.
And it's through those coordination meetings that we're talking about where we traverse
through the corridor, potential impacts.
We talked about the four stream valley parks.
We do cross all of those at existing crossings.
To minimize impacts there are minor projected impacts in terms of strip takes along existing
We don't affect any of the park facilities or developed areas within the parks and we're
working with - in the case of the Parkway, the National Park Service and the other parks
with both counties' park departments to look at both minimization, as well as mitigation
options at each facility as well as county-wide mitigation.
In terms of your future steps; and Mike mentioned this schedule, we anticipate coming back to
you in the future with additional more detailed presentations about the project, looking for
a concept presentation in the fall of 2012 with preliminary approval in 2013 and final
approval in 2014.
And that's what I have, unless there's any questions.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: Yes, thank you for the presentation.
It's been awhile since I had a briefing on this project, and I appreciate it very much.
I heard $1.9 billion.
Is that how much more, or is that the total cost?
MS. LEVINE: That's the total cost estimate in the year of expenditure.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: How much more will it cost than has been spent now and who will
pay what?
MS. LEVINE: We hope to get up to 50 percent federal funding for the construction.
FTR's here.
Can I ask for more?
Typically transit projects now are receiving approximately 50 percent federal funding,
the other 50 percent of the construction funding coming from local, meaning state, local or
private contributions to the project.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: And you said that it's - well, it's not a Metro project, right?
MS. LEVINE: No, it's not a Metro.
MS. LEVINE: It's Maryland Transit Administration.
So it will be MTA.
So the modal split would be to - if you were going east to west, would be to get from Metro
onto the Purple Line and off to the Purple Line and onto Metro, if that was the route
you were taking, if you were going east to west.
Is that correct?
Because you said there were connections to Metro stations?
MS. LEVINE: We have four stations that are adjacent to existing Metro stations; Bethesda,
Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton.
MS. LEVINE: So in those areas we're right outside the Metro station.
Somebody in Takoma Park, for instance, either instead of driving over, taking a bus, could
take the Purple Line over and then transfer and get onto Metro if they wanted to go downtown.
We also see a lot of people - most people don't take - aren't projected to take the
Purple Line from end to end.
Most of our riders aren't going from Bethesda to New Carrollton or back.
They're doing midpoints in between suburb to suburb or suburb or Metro and then either
in or out on the system.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: Are there any studies as to the number of modal splits it would
take to discourage people from using transit of this nature?
MS. LEVINE: There are studies and it's built into the model.
There is a slight penalty every time you have to transfer, whether it's an auto-Metro transfer
or a bus-Metro, or Purple Line-Metro transfer.
That does go into the modeling effect.
COMMISSIONER DENIS: Would two be at the upper limit, or more than one?
MS. LEVINE: No, I mean, even within our system today a lot of people make two transfers.
So a lot of people will take bus to Metro now and then they have to transfer within
the Metro system from one line to another.
And tied to that is that we also look at the propensity of people to use transit, and we're
a very transit-friendly area where we have a high percentage of people who already use
And that also goes into the model because we know that people are inclined to use transit.
And then they would be inclined to make a transfer or an additional transfer.
So that goes into it.
I don't recall the exact number.
It diminishes the more transfers you add, obviously.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Couple of questions.
All at-grade or a mix of above and below?
MS. LEVINE: Mostly at-grade.
We have one very short tunnel where the grades of the road are too steep for us, so we sort
of punch into the side of a hill and come back out.
It's less than a mile long.
And then we have one or two aerial segments, but they're really bridges.
We go over Connecticut Avenue, we go over Rock Creek Park and we're aerial through the
Silver Spring Transit Center, and over CSX.
COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Are you going to be elevated in some areas that are prone to flooding?
Is that part of your plan?
MS. LEVINE: We look at flooding.
We're mostly along existing roadways and trying to stay at those elevations to avoid being
within the flood plain.
There's one area where we actually will be in the flood plain at the crossing of Sligo
And the existing road already is - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: That's the one I was thinking of.
MS. LEVINE: Right, we're aware of that.
We're doing studies now in looking at - we have to replace that bridge and we're doing
hydraulic studies to see about the capacity under the bridge, what that does to flows,
where the storm level might be and then what the elevation of the bridge and tracks would
be to the - what storm year we get to.
We don't want to raise that bridge more than we have to because of the tie-ins from Sligo
Creek Parkway and the rest of the facilities.
So we're really trying to stay as close as possible to the existing road grade.
Any protections for going through residential?
I'm thinking about the walls to buffer the noise of the passing cars for commercial and/or
MS. LEVINE: Transit is different than highways.
MS. LEVINE: It does generate noise.
Most of the noise comes off the rail - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Yes.
MS. LEVINE: - instead of higher up traffic noise.
MS. LEVINE: In some areas through the town of Chevy Chase we are talking about very short
noise walls, four-foot walls - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Yes.
MS. LEVINE: - that capture most of that noise along the Capital Crescent Trail, the interim
trail where we're through some backyards there.
MS. LEVINE: What we tend to find when we do our noise studies is where we're along or
in the median of existing roads you don't really hear the - the delta is very small.
It's almost like another bus or two in the mix of traffic.
MS. LEVINE: So you don't notice a difference.
But we are doing detailed noise studies now as part of the FEIS.
And if we see any, we'll do mitigation.
Operational question for many years down the road, but ease of - for the traveling public
from going from one system to another, do you currently - are there electronic connections,
for example, between MTA and WMATA?
I'm thinking about just ticketing and - MS. LEVINE: In terms of fare cards?
Those sorts of things that are interchangeable.
MS. LEVINE: Our goal is to be smart card compatible - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Got it.
MS. LEVINE: - in our system.
So you might have to go buy a ticket vending machine, but you'll be able to hold the card
up like you do - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: Right.
MS. LEVINE: - in the Metro system and it would - COMMISSIONER PROVANCHA: And it would be
MS. LEVINE: - be recognized for a ticket.
We want to be fully compatible.
Thank you.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Thank you, Mr. Provancha.
Additional questions for Ms. Levine?
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Hearing none, thank you very much.
MS. LEVINE: Thank you for your time.
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: We look forward to seeing you again.
Is there anything else to come before the Commission?
(No audible response.)
CHAIRMAN BRYANT: Hearing none, the Commission will rise.