The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC) and Maret have entered into a long-term lease that will allow Maret to use the grounds behind the ECC’s buildings, as well as the smallest of its four buildings, to create a multi-sport field and baseball diamond with an adjacent parking lot and fieldhouse facilities. Maret submitted its application for special exception to establish a private school use in a residential zone district to the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) on November 1, 2021 and refiled a corrected version of its application (found here) a day later.
BZA’s hearing took place on March 9, 2022. After reviewing the application and hearing from residents and all parties, the Commission submitted to the BZA its resolution on the application, including proposed conditions, a week in advance of the hearing date, as required. If you wish to provide comments direct to the BZA, do so before the March 9th hearing by emailing: “bzasubmissions.dc.gov”.
You can find the BZA case record no. 20643 on the Interactive Zoning Information System (IZIS) website and the full log where you can find all exhibits here.
BZA scheduled the Board’s decision in the application for March 30, 2022, which has now been rescheduled to April 6, 2022 at 9:30 am through WebEx (see March 28, 2022 update below).
**April 6, 2022 Update from BZA**
The Board of Zoning Adjustment held its decision hearing on April 6, 2022 and approved the BZA application on a voice vote of 4 (yes), 0 (no), 1 (abstention–one member was absent.) You can find the transcript and video recording of the hearing here. A formal written order is expected to be issued in the coming weeks.
Friends of the Field immediately filed with the BZA a Motion For Stay.
BZA sent a letter addressed to Friends of the Field stating that its Motion For Stay “cannot be retained in the record” as it is prematurely filed. BZA’s decision becomes final when a written order is issued.
**April 5, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The District’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability emailed a confidential letter dated April 5, 2022 to Chair Speck regarding Friends of the Field’s accusation of ethics violation–which the Commission is sharing after the accusation was made public by the accuser in motions filed with the BZA–that stated the following:
Office of Government Ethics
CONFIDENTIAL VIA EMAIL
April 5, 2022 Randy Speck
Dear Mr. Speck,
The Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) conducted a confidential preliminary investigation into allegations that you acted improperly while discussing plans and concerns in review of the Maret School’s Board of Zoning Adjustment Application No. 20643, in violation of the D.C. Government Code of Conduct.
We conducted this investigation pursuant to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Amendment Act of 2011 (“Ethics Act”), effective April 27, 2012 (D.C. Law 19-124; D.C. Official Code § 1-1161.01, et seq.) and concluded that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that you violated the Code of Conduct. Accordingly, we have decided to dismiss this matter. This investigation is now considered closed. Therefore, you will not be subject to any sanctions by this office regarding this matter.
Please note that this matter was never made public by BEGA, and therefore remains in a confidential status under the Ethics Act and the rules of this Office. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact this office.
Ashley D. Cooks
Director, Office of Government Ethics
Board of Ethics and Government Accountability
**April 4, 2022 Update from Friends of the Field**
Friends of the Field submitted to the BZA on April 4, 2022 their, Opposition to the ANC 3/4G’s Motion to Strike Portions of the Response to Applicant’s Post-Hearing Submission.
**March 28, 2022 Update from BZA**
The Board of Zoning Adjustment emailed a letter dated March 28, 2022 to all parties the following letter:
Memo to File:
Re: BZA No. 20643 – Application of The Maret School
Per Subtitle Y § 602.3, the Chairman of the BZA has granted the Motion to Reopen the Record filed on March 24, 2022 by Randy Speck, Chairman of ANC 3/4 G (Exhibit 286).
The filing accompanying the Motion will be uploaded into the record and, to afford the parties 7 days from the date of this letter to respond to the filing, the Chairman has rescheduled the Board’s decision in the application from the March 30, 2022 Public Meeting to the VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2022 at 9:30 am through WebEx. Responses are due no later than Monday, April 4, 2022.
Please serve any responses on all parties to the application. Documents can be filed directly into the case record through IZIS or, if you have technical difficulties, they can be filed by email to email@example.com. To listen to the public meeting, please see the Office of Zoning website for Webex access information: https://dcoz.dc.gov/service/watch-live-virtual-zcbza- hearingsmeetings.
If you have questions, please contact the Office of Zoning at 202-727-6311.
CLIFFORD W. MOY
Secretary, Board of Zoning Adjustment Office of Zoning
441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 200/210-S, Washington, D.C. 20001
Facsimile: (202) 727-6072 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.dcoz.dc.gov Telephone: (202) 727-6311
**March 24, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission filed a Motion (Form 150) to the BZA to reopen the record in Case No. 20643 on March 24, 2022 to permit ANC 3/4G to respond to the Friends of the Field’s “Response to Applicant’s Post-Hearing Submission,” which Maret did not oppose but Friends of the Field stated it “does not consent to the request, and will oppose a motion to re-open if filed.”
**March 23, 2022 Update from Friends of the Field**
Friends of the Field submitted their, Party in Opposition’s Response to Applicant’s Post-Hearing Submission – BZA Case No. 20643, on March 23, 2022.
**March 16, 2022 Update from Maret**
Maret submitted to the BZA via the IZIS website their Applicant’s Post-Hearing Submission on March 16, 2022.
BZA Application No. 20643 – Post-Hearing Submission of The Maret School (“Applicant”)
**March 15, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission discussed and approved by a vote of 6 (yes), 0 (no) (a quorum being 4) the draft MOU at our properly noticed, Monday, March 14, 2022 public meeting where six of the seven commissioners were in attendance. The final MOU between Maret and ANC 3/4G, as requested by the BZA at the March 9, 2022 hearing, was executed on March 15, 2022.
**March 11, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
At the March 9, 2022 BZA hearing, BZA asked Maret to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding that includes all of the ANC’s conditions in the Attachment to its February 28th resolution. Maret prepared the MOU and the Commissioner reviewed it and made a couple of small changes. You can find the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) here.
Other than the formalities of the MOU — the “whereas” clauses at the beginning and the signatures at the end — the only changes from the previously approved conditions are on pages 3 and are highlighted in yellow. These two changes are to address issues that were raised by the BZA at the hearing: (1) to make clear that Maret shall use best practices with its installation of the turf field, particularly as relates to any chemical and biological factors; and (2) to require Maret to report to the ANC annually on its compliance with the conditions.
The Commission aims to discuss and vote to approve this MOU at its Monday, March 14, 2022 public meeting.
**March 9, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The BZA hearing on March 9, 2022 took place over 8 hours, starting around 11 am and ended around 7:15 pm, with a short break in between. The hearing for case #20643 was recorded and can be viewed on the BZA website, and a transcript was produced. You can find the direct link to the Maret BZA application hearing here (make sure you click on the volume icon on the right bottom to hear what is being spoken). If you have trouble with this direct link, you can go to the general link for the entire March 9, 2022 hearings, and click on the video for “Case No. 20643: Application of The Maret School” which begins at 01:22:54.
**March 8, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission learned that the Attorney General filed an opposition to Maret’s BZA application on the grounds that its proposal is not a permitted accessory use under the zoning regulations. To be clear, the Commission’s resolution does not address or make any legal argument.
The Commission also received an email dated March 8, 2022 at 5:46 pm from Friends of the Field’s attorney that notified us that they filed another motion to postpone the hearing:
Attached please find our request for renewal of the Motion to Postpone, with attachment. This document was filed on IZIS this afternoon.
The Friends of the Field’s motion to postpone included reference to a Supplemental Statement of Opposition filed on March 7, 2022 (Exhibit 261).
**March 2, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
We are sharing final collated letters of support and of opposition/concern regarding Maret’s BZA application that the Commission received through March 2, 2022. Some of these letters were also sent directly to BZA while other letters were sent only to BZA. Letters that BZA received can be found on their Interactive Zoning Information System (IZIS) website under case record no. 20643 under exhibits in the full log.
Note that letters of opposition were received by the Commission up through February 4, 2022 and letters of support were received up through March 2, 2022, according to our records.
** March 2, 2022 Update from Maret**
Maret contacted the Commission by email regarding a Tweet that indicated a Maret bus was idling at the Jelleff field. This Tweet tagged Commissioners Chang and Gore. Commissioner Chang responded and subsequently added to the final ANC 3/4G draft resolution under proposed conditions the words “and cars” to the section on bus idling. Below is the email received from Maret on March 2, 2022:
I wanted to reach out to you about a matter that came to our attention regarding a Maret school bus. On Monday, February 28, 2022, Safe Sidewalks DC issued a tweet indicating that a Maret bus was idling at the Jelleff field for approximately 45 minutes. Commissioners Chang and Gore were each tagged on the tweet. We promptly responded, thanking Safe Sidewalks DC for bringing the situation to our attention, and indicated that we would follow up on the matter.
We have spoken to the driver of the bus and the rest of our transportation team to underscore that both Maret and District policy require that buses not idle for more than three minutes (or five minutes if temperatures are below 32 degrees), regardless of the circumstances. We understand and share neighbors’ concerns regarding extended idling times, and will continue to be vigilant to ensure that our fleet complies with District regulations.
If you have any questions or require any additional information, please let me know.
Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations
MARET SCHOOL | www.maret.org
3000 Cathedral Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
**March 1, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission voted to approve the final resolution regarding Maret’s BZA application (case no. 20643) at its properly noticed February 28, 2022 public meeting by a vote of 7 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions (with a quorum being 4). The Commission forwarded its resolution with required Form 129 to BZA on March 1, 2022, which was accepted and noted as Exhibit 233 (it was recorded originally as Exhibit 279).
**February 27, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission is sharing its final draft resolution and conditions document on Maret’s BZA application which will be voted on at our public meeting tomorrow night, Monday, February 28, 2022 at 7 pm. Here is the final draft resolution with conditions attached, the redlined version against the original draft which was shared on February 21), and the meeting information page for the Feb 28th public meeting where you can find the agenda, Zoom details, and later the video recording and chat log.
**February 26, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
A question was raised by Claudia Russell, a member of Friends of the Field, at the third and last Commission special public meeting on Maret’s BZA application held on February 24, 2022 concerning ECC’s failure to maintain a stormwater infiltration pit that was installed in 2002.
We are sharing the letter dated February 25, 2022 from President and CEO of ECC, Stephanie Nash, sent to the Commission regarding this matter and the 2002 covenant between ECC and the Department of Health that were part of an email exchange between the Commission, Maret, and ECC regarding this stormwater infiltration pit on February 26, 2022. The email exchange that is shared below addresses responsibility for the pit going forward and provides additional context related to heightened inspection standards for new stormwater management facilities:
Email from Maret with letter and covenant:
Hi Randy and John,
Please see attached a response from the ECC regarding history on its filtration pit. In addition to the ECC response, below we are providing some additional context related to heightened inspection standards for new stormwater management facilities.
DOEE now requires stormwater management facilities to be inspected every three years. According to our engineers from VIKA, in the past many of these facilities were underground, just like the facility for the Media Center. With the new stormwater requirements that lean towards bioretention designs, the facilities are more visible and DOEE is taking a more active role in inspections. Additionally, the new, and more visible, bioretention facility that will be built for the field will replace the filtration pit. We expect that DOEE will continue to be active in their inspection and enforcement moving forward, including the new rain garden proposed as part of the field project.
As always, we stand ready to answer any additional questions you may have.
Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations
MARET SCHOOL | www.maret.org
3000 Cathedral Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
t. 202-939-8821Email to Commission on February 26, 2022 at 9:02 am from Maret and ECC
Commission’s response to the email:
Thanks, Trey. Will the filtration pit be removed when the new athletic field is built? (It appears to be close to the edge of the field.) If not, will it be maintained by ECC?
RandyEmail from Commissioner Speck on February 26, 2022 at 9:17 am to Maret and ECC
Maret’s response to the Commission’s question:
That’s right. When the new field is built, the pit will be removed. The water that is currently being filtered by the pit will be brought to the new rain garden and treated there. ECC, Maret and VIKA had a call yesterday to discuss that plan and we all agree that is the best way forward. We don’t have drawings for that yet since this is all new, but that is our intention for the site.Email from Trey Holloway, Maret’s Head of School for Finance and Operations on February 26, 2022 at 9:25 am
The Commission will address this issue in our revised resolution and conditions document that will be posted shortly to be voted on by the Commission at our regularly scheduled public meeting on February 28, 2022.
**February 25, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission received the Office of Planning report supporting Maret’s BZA application with conditions via email on February 25, 2022. The Commission has heard from Maret that OP’s conditions are acceptable to them.
The Commission received DDOT’s report on Maret’s Comprehensive Transportation Review via email on February 25, 2022. The Review supports the application, but with a number of conditions. The Commission has heard from Maret that DDOT’s conditions are acceptable to them.
The Commission only just learned that Friends of the Field filed a submission dated February 18, 2022 to the BZA on February 22, 2022 regarding Maret’s proposed parking lot. The Friends submission was not sent to all parties as they are required to do.
**February 24, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission learned that the Public Space Committee approved Maret’s public space permit application for a curb cut on Nebraska Avenue. See below for the copy and paste of the email the District’s Public Space Regulations Administration sent to Maret’s consultant, Brian Ruhl from Vika Capitol, on February 24, 2022 that was forwarded to us from Paul Tummonds, Maret’s attorney. See February 15, 2022 update from ANC 3/4G regarding our public meeting on February 13, 2022 where this application was discussed.
re: PSC hearing status is Approved for Permit application # 383995
Dear Brian Ruhl,
PSC hearing status is set to Approved for your application.
Tracking Number: 383995
Work Location: 5810 – 5898 BLOCK OF NEBRASKA AVENUE NW
Permittee: Stephanie Nash
Hearing Date: 2/24/2022
Hearing Status: Approved
District of Columbia
Public Space Regulations Administration (PSRA)
**February 24, 2022 Update from Friends of the Field**
The Commission received an email from Friends of the Field on February 24, 2022 at 3:11 pm with the following message and several attachments, including a memo, exhibit 1, exhibit 2, exhibit 3, exhibit 4, exhibit 5, and exhibit 6 in response to the Commission’s draft ANC 3/4G resolution on Maret’s BZA Application.
Please distribute the attached material to the other Commissioners so that it can be discussed at tonight’s ANC meeting. Thank you.
Beins, Axelrod & Keating, P.C.
1717 K Street NW Suite 1120
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: 202-328-7222 x 223
**February 23, 2022 Update from ECC and Maret**
The Commission received an email from Bill Simons, ECC’s Board Chair, on February 23, 2022 at 8:38 am asking for one edit to be made in the proposed conditions document that is attached to the ANC 3/4G draft resolution as follows:
Good Morning Randy,
I took the liberty to have our attorney review the ANC Resolution document and he found section 7 confusing and a bit conflicting. See his two recommendation below. I don’t mean to wordsmith your document and perhaps there is a specific reason for that wording. We just find it slightly confusing.
Let me know what you think.
As always, many thanks for all your work on this project.
BillEmail from Bill Simons to the Commission on February 23, 2022
I think 7.B. should come out. The intention in Section 7.A. is that the Agreement is in effect while Maret or its successors use the Athletic Facilities. Once they stop using the Facilities the Agreement should terminate. ECC should not have any obligations once the Agreement terminates.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
MichaelEmail from Michael Ravitch, ECC’s attorney to Bill Simons, ECC’s Board Chair on February 23, 2022 at 7:52 am
If the lease terminates in 20 years, is ECC bound to this agreement for the next 30 years? Section 7.B. suggests that ECC is so bound. Section 7.A. suggests that ECC is not bound once the lease terminates.Email from Michael Ravitch, ECC’s attorney to Bill Simons, ECC’s Board Chair on February 22, 2022 at 4:44 pm
The Commission also received a phone call on February 22, 2022 from Stephanie Nash, ECC’s President and CEO, asking to correct the acreage for the ECC (7.1) and the leased field (5.0) in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the draft resolution.
The Commission received an email from Maret’s attorney on February 23, 2022 at 5:26 pm with the following message and attachment in response to our proposed conditions that can be found in the attachment to the Commission’s draft ANC 3/4G resolution on Maret’s BZA Application:
ANC 3/4G Commissioners – On behalf of the Maret School and the Episcopal Center for Children (“ECC”), please see the attached memo which provides comments on the proposed conditions of BZA approval that the ANC will be reviewing at the ANC 3/4G Special Public Meeting on February 24, 2022.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
**February 23, 2022 Update from Friends of the Field**
The Commission received an email from Friends of the Field on February 23, 2022 with the following message and attachment regarding the Commission’s regularly scheduled public meeting held on February 14, 2022 and special public meeting on Maret’s BZA application held on February 16, 2022:
Community group Friends of the Field offers this response to ANC meetings last week in which Maret School’s BZA case #20643 and Public Space Permit Application #383995 were discussed.
Friends of the Field
**February 23, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission learned that at its meeting this morning, the BZA denied the Friends of the Field’s motion for a postponement and said the hearing would be on March 9th, as scheduled. The Chair did not address our response or the Friends’ complaint about the ANC except to say that some of the issues raised by the Friends were beyond the purview of the BZA.
**February 22, 2022 Update from Friends of the Field**
The Commission Friends of the Field submitted their comments on the Wells + Associates Comprehensive Transportation Review conducted for Maret for their BZA application.
**February 21-22, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
The Commission has posted its draft ANC 3/4 resolution with attachment (conditions) on Maret’s BZA Application that will be discussed and possibly voted on at our Special Public Meeting on Thursday, February 24th from 7-9 pm. Go to the Meeting Information page for the agenda, Zoom details, and draft resolution as of 2/21/22 here.
The Commission has responded to Friends of the Field’s motion to postpone the March 9 hearing which we got word of late on Friday, February 17, 2022. The motion contains mention of a complaint Friends filed to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (BEGA) which warranted a response from the Commission delivered to the BZA, Maret, Maret’s attorney, and the Friends attorney on February 21, 2022. On February 22, 2022, Maret’s attorney filed Maret’s response to the Friend’s motion to postpone to the BZA, the Commission, and the Friends attorney.
**February 21, 2022 Update from Friends of the Field**
The Commission received an email from Friends of the Field on February 21, 2022 at 1:56 pm with the following message and an attached flyer:
You are invited to attend two virtual Town Halls this week focusing on topics of great concern to recent survey respondents. Details in the attached flyer.
Friends of the Field.
The flyer shows two Town Hall meetings scheduled for:
February 21, 2022, 7 pm, on “Problems with Artificial Turf”
Speakers: Diana Conway, President of Safe Healthy Playing Fields (Montgomery Co.), and Kyla Bennet, Director of Science Policy at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. SHPF (www.safehealthyplayingfields.org) advocates for natural grass playing fields nationwide. PEER supports public employees who seek a higher standard of environmental ethics and scientific integrity. (www.peer.org)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81741071612?pwd=dTdkY1dUb1ZiV0RENUZNYnIvODRFZz09 Meeting ID: 817 4107 1612 Passcode: 767439
February 23, 2022, 7 pm, on “Making Sense of Maret’s Traffic Study”
Speakers: Tom Downs, our neighbor and former DDOT Commissioner, and David Patton, our neighbor and Transportation Planner for Arlington County.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81600838144?pwd=WUl4Z2QxMHRHNXVqZEEwblkybC90dz09 Meeting ID: 816 0083 8144 Passcode: 716669
**February 16, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
ANC 3/4G held its second special public meeting dedicated to the Maret BZA Application tonight/February 16, 2022 to hear from contributing parties, DDOT, Urban Forestry, and DOEE. DOEE declined the invitation to appear because they are not asked to provide direct input to the BZA. They give their advice to the Office of Planning. The Commission sent along questions and received DOEE’s responses on February 16, 2022, in time to read them out at the special public meeting. The questions and responses are below, including DOEE’s comments on the BZA to the Office of Planning:
Good Afternoon Mr. Speck,
Below are our responses to your questions. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
- Please explain how DOEE’s permitting process relates to the BZA process. For instance, is it typical that the BZA order requires completion of the project in accordance with the DOEE permit? At what stage in a project does an applicant typically apply to DOEE for a stormwater management permit?
Response: DOEE reviews stormwater management plans for compliance when the project applies for a building permit, which is when reviews are conducted by DCRA and other sister agencies. Comments on a BZA case are usually high-level and based on sustainability goals due to the engineering plans not having been fully developed yet. We strongly encourage applicants to voluntarily meet with our stormwater team early in the design process to discuss general stormwater management strategies prior to submission for the building permit, which this project did in January.
- What are the applicable regulatory requirements that Maret will have to satisfy in order to obtain the necessary permits for this project? Are these regulatory requirements modified in any way by the goals set forth in DOEE’s Climate Ready DC Report (https://doee.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ddoe/service_content/attachments/CRDC-Report-FINAL-Web.pdfCLIMATE READY DC – Washington, D.C.Climate Ready DC LETTER FROM MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER Climate change is no longer a distant threat. In order to prepare Washington, DC for the future, we can and must respond to new and substantial challengesdoee.dc.gov)? If there are changes in regulatory requirements, will Maret have to meet the regulatory requirements as of the time the permit is issued?
Response: As far as stormwater management is concerned, this project will generally need to:
- Retain the 1.2-inch storm (Hold runoff on site until it soaks into the ground or evaporates)
- Detain the 2-year storm, which is 3.2 inches (Release runoff slowly into the sewer system no faster than if the entire site were an undeveloped, grassy meadow)
- Detain the 15-year storm, which is 5.2 inches (Release runoff slowly into the sewer system no faster than the existing conditions)
This athletic field can be exempted from the 1.2-inch retention standard only if the field is made available for use by the general public. Otherwise, it is regulated the same as the rest of the project. DOEE will base regulatory requirements on the time in which a project is submitted for building permit. We have not yet updated our storm sizes to account for regional climate change projections but are currently analyzing the impact of doing so.
- Are the elements of Maret’s stormwater management plan at this conceptual stage consistent with the EPA-DOEE RiverSmart program in terms of LID (Light Impact Development) and the 1.2-inch rainfall standard?
Response: The proposed stormwater management plan includes some bioretention facilities, tree planting, and tree preservation, all of which are considered LIDs. These practices are like those in the RiverSmart program, though more engineered. Though we were not provided any design calculations, the conceptual plan we reviewed appeared to generally provide sufficient stormwater management if the athletic field is exempt from the 1.2-inch standard. If the field is not exempted, we agreed the site likely needs more stormwater management by either adding facilities or making proposed facilities larger.
- On stormwater management issues, is it your understanding that the Office of Planning provides DOEE’s preliminary comments to the BZA for its consideration of an application? Does DOEE typically provide written comments on an application to the Office of Planning?
Response: Yes, DOEE typically provides written comments on BZA applications to the Office of Planning. We typically comment on the extent to which (and advocate for improvements on) a project will further DOEE’s sustainability goals, such as those in Sustainable DC.
- What is the practical difference in designing a stormwater management system to a 15-year storm, a 25-year storm, or a 50-year storm? What projects in the District, if any, have been designed for a 50-year or greater storm?
Response: Practically speaking, designing for larger storms means facilities and infrastructure will increase in size. For example, a project might need bigger pipes to convey larger storms; a bioretention will need to hold more stormwater by being designed deeper or with a larger footprint. Typically, the 15-year storm is the largest storm size DOEE requires designers achieve since this is the capacity of the District’s sewer pipes. On a case-by-case basis, we require designing to the 100-year storm if it appears a project may cause flooding to a downstream property. Other agencies may base design requirements on different storm sizes.
1/24/22: Comments on BZA case (Julienne Bautista via Connor Rattey to the Office of Planning)
- DOEE’s major concern – will the field be publicly accessible? DOEE would want to see the fields available to the public during non-school daylight hours
- If the field is publicly accessible, the proposed practices of detention and a bioretention to treat the parking lot runoff appear to meet project requirements
- If the field is private, expanding the bioretention for the parking lot will be required. This will take away parking spaces and will require patrons to potentially park on the adjacent streets
- Any stormwater calculations were not discussed at this meeting
- Please keep DOEE in the loop regarding heritage tree transplanting and any tree preservation or tree planting plans
Julienne Bautista, P.E.
Branch Chief, Building Permit and Plan Review
Regulatory Review Division
Department of Energy & Environment
1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Desk: (202) 299-3345
Cell: (202) 527-0958
**February 16, 2022 Update from Maret School**
Maret is required to submit to the BZA 21 days before the hearing their pre-hearing statement that covers all of the changes Maret has made in its proposal since the original filing on November 1, 2021. In an email to the Commission, OP, and DDOT, Maret communicated the following with their pre-hearing submission enclosed:
Enclosed please find the pre-hearing submission of the applicant in the above-mentioned application.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
**February 15, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
One agenda item on the ANC 3/4G public meeting on February 14, 2022 was a discussion and possible vote on Maret’s public space permit application for a curb cut on Nebraska Avenue (Tracking No. 383995) (Commissioners Higgins and Speck). You can watch the video recording here.
— A Friends of the Field petition dated February 13, 2022 submitted via email to the Commission opposing the curb cut.
— Maret School’s response to the Friends of the Field petition in opposition to the curb cut application, which the Commission forwarded to them, and DDOT Urban Forestry email approving Maret’s tree preservation plan for the curb cut application.
**February 8, 2022 Update from Maret School**
On February 8, 2022, Maret informed the Commission that their Tree Preservation Plan was submitted on February 4, 2022 to DDOT for their review:
Attached is our tree preservation plan (and associated memo) for the two heritage trees that will remain in place along Nebraska Avenue. It was submitted late on Friday to DDOT for their review as part of our curb cut application. Normally, the tree preservation plan for trees remaining in place is handled later in the design process (which is what will happen on the two other trees remaining in place on the site). But because we are closing the one existing curb cut, DDOT requested that the preservation plan for the two heritage trees on Nebraska be completed now.
Our arborist will be meeting with DDOT to go over the finer points of the plan and ensure all is in order. If there are changes, we’ll work to get that reflected in updated materials for our February 16 pencils down deadline, but of course we’re trying to prepare and provide any and all documents we can in advance of the minimum required date.
It is now considered a public document and we’ll also be getting this posted to our website in the coming day or two. Feel free to post it on the ANC website if that would be helpful.
Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations
MARET SCHOOL | www.maret.org
**February 8, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
ANC 3/4G resident and environmental research analyst, Cynthia Collier, gave the Commission her permission to share email correspondence from January to February 2022 with Commissioner Higgins regarding her opinion on artificial vs grass turf and stormwater management that she first conveyed at Maret’s office hours.
Collier’s opinion on turf:
Compaction starts in the upper layers of the soil, where maintenance can provide some relief. But once compaction advances below the first inch or two of soil, the only way to fix it is to dig up the field and rebuild the soil substrate. It’s an expensive, messy, and invasive process that requires shutting down the field for months. From personal observation, the field owner usually doesn’t rebuild the field until it is in such bad shape that water pools on the compacted and impenetrable field in such big puddles the field is unusable for days after a rain, i.e., years after the field has lost most of it’s [sic] capacity for infiltration. That means years of minimal stormwater control. That’s what I was thinking of when I condemned natural turf fields during the Maret office hours. A natural turf field inevitably spends years barely functional for either sports or for stormwater mitigation, then spends months shut down having soil dug up and trucked in and out, which is always a mess.February 8, 2022 email to Commissioner Higgins clarifying remarks made at the Maret office hours on January 11, 2022 and a follow up email on January 12, 2022
Collier’s opinion on stormwater retention bar:
Claudia Russell asked about why the retention bar is set at a 1.2″ rain. In DC, 1.2″ rainfall is a 90th percentile rainfall event. Based on historical weather data, 90% of rainfall events accumulated 1.2″ or less in a day. This calculation excludes sprinkles of less than 0.1 inches. Probably based on the National Weather Service Reagan Airport location (DC’s only official weather station). In other words, 1.2″ capture is predicted to be sufficient 90% of the time. If you want to push the bar higher, a 95th percentile rainfall event is 1.7″. In DC, the Anacostia Waterfront Development Zone requires retention of 95th percentile rainfall events. Obviously we’re not in that zone, but it’s a precedent for requiring the 95th percentile rainfall event. The 95th percentile standard is also used for federal development projects. The Anacostia zone has special exceptions and stormwater credits because that standard can be hard to reach. Indeed, that much retention would be a stretch for this site …January 12, 2022 email to Commissioner Higgins
**February 4, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G (with additional updates on February 8 and March 2, 2022 below)**
We have collated letters of support and of opposition/concern regarding Maret’s BZA application that the Commission has been receiving, some of which were also sent directly to BZA (and other letters that were not sent to the Commission but only to BZA can be found on the Interactive Zoning Information System (IZIS) website under case record no. 20643 if you look at the exhibits in the full log). These files have been updated with additional letters we received. Between our February 4th update to March 2, 2022, the only letters received were of support.
— As of March 2, 2022: letters of support (updated)
— As of February 8, 2022: letters of support (updated)
**February 2, 2022 Update from Maret**
Please join us at upcoming Office Hours as we share the Site Design and 3D Model of the Maret Proposed Fields at the ECC.
Our team will guide you through this interactive model and answer your questions.
Thursday, February 3 at 6:00 pm on Zoom Link to Register and attend
Tuesday, February 8 at 12:00 noon on Zoom Link to register and attend
Director of Development
MARET SCHOOL | www.maret.org
3000 Cathedral Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20008
**February 2, 2022 Update to the January 25, 2022 Update from ANC 3/4G**
ANC 3/4G is planning the following special Commission hosted meetings, each of which will be devoted entirely to the Maret BZA application. Each meeting will begin at 7 pm:
February 1st — Presentations by and discussions with the parties — ECC, Maret, and Friends of the Field. You can find the draft agenda here (note that the agenda was amended to begin the meeting with ECC’s presentation first). Video recording, chat log, and presentations at the special public meeting can be found on the ANC 3/4G meeting information page here.
February 16th — Presentations by and discussions with DDOT, DOEE, and Urban Forestry on Maret’s application. You can find the draft agenda here. Video recording and chat log at the special public meeting can be found on the ANC 3/4G meeting information page here.
February 24th — Discussion and possible vote on a proposed ANC 3/4G resolution. You can find the draft agenda here. Zoom details, draft ANC 3/3G draft resolution as of 2/21/22, and post-meeting video recording and chat log can be found on the Meeting Information page here.
**January 20, 2022 Update from Maret School on their 3-D digital model of the site and Transportation/Comprehensive Transportation Review**
On January 20, 2022, Maret notified the community of the following upcoming Office Hours with their site designers and transportation consultants to learn more about the ECC-Maret Proposed Fields:
SITE DESIGN – 3D MODEL
(session with VIKA): Wednesday, January 26 at 5:00 PM
Zoom Registration Link: Jan 26
As discussed at the December 15, 2021 community information session, the project team will share a 3D digital model of the site which reflects additional updates based on community input.
NOTE, post-meeting, Maret uploaded a video of the 3D site model as well as drawings that can be found here.
TRANSPORTATION – CTR
(session with Wells + Associates): Friday, January 28 at 12:00 noon
Zoom Registration Link: Jan 28
The project team will respond to questions regarding transportation issues including the Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR). Maret will submit the CTR to DDOT this week and post it on Maret Proposed Fields at ECC at that time.
Thank you for registering for these sessions so that we can anticipate attendance.
The Maret Team
MARET SCHOOL | www.maret.org
3000 Cathedral Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20008
**January 14, 2022 Update from Chair Speck (ANC 3/4G-03) on behalf of the Commission concerning Friends of the Field Position Statement**
On January 13, 2022, all seven Commissioners received an email from Friends of the Field with the following note (see below) and attachment of their “Position Statement” (found here):
ANC 3G Commissioners:
Please see attached the position of the Friends of the Field on the proposed development by Maret School at the Episcopal Center for Children. This augments the individual views you heard from some of the FoF community at the ANC meeting on Monday night. Our statement stresses the values of inclusion, transparency, thoroughness, professionalism, and fairness for which we intend to hold the ANC review accountable. We of course reserve the right to modify our position as developments warrant. Thank you.
Friends of the Field— email received on January 13, 2022
Two points in this “Position Statement” warrant a public Commission reply: (1) the Friends of the Field’s statement that the ANC discussed options and plans for the ECC property before consulting neighbors; and (2) the Friends of the Field’s request that the ANC declare actions or associations, past or present, that may reflect bias in considering Maret’s proposal.
On January 14, 2022, Chair Speck emailed the Commission’s response regarding the two points noted above to Friends of the Field.
On behalf of ANC 3/4G, I have attached the Commission’s partial response to the Friends of the Field’s January 13, 2022 position statement.
Chair, ANC 3/4G
Randy.Speck@anc.dc.gov— email delivered on January 14, 2022
The Commission’s full disclosure response can be found here.
In brief, with regard to the Commission’s knowledge of Maret’s plans and consultation with neighbors, the Commission was not involved at all in the Maret/ECC discussions that led to ECC’s decision to lease its fields to Maret. Contrary to the implication of the Friends’ Position Statement, when the Commission initially learned the scope of Maret’s plans, it sought more information in order to inform the community, reported regularly on its efforts to secure ECC space for DCPS use and to secure more information from Maret, and held a public meeting to solicit community input. With respect at least to the Commission, the accusation made in the Friends of the Field’s Position Statement that “most-affected neighbors, were not brought into consultation before the Maret proposal was completed – indeed, as ECC, Maret, and the ANC were first discussing options and then plans for the property” is not true, and the Commission requests that Friends of the Field correct its statement.
And, in brief, with regard to the Commission’s ethical responsibility to disclose potential bias, the Commission is certainly aware of its ethical obligations with respect to potential conflicts of interest. Those standards require a commissioner to recuse herself or himself from participating in any proceeding in which she/he has a financial interest. Beyond these rules, the Commission is committed to transparency and avoidance of the appearance of a conflict of interest. Each commissioner provided statements in the Commission’s response of any actions or associations, present or past, with respect to the Maret proposal. None of these actions or associations described in the commissioner’s statements suggest any financial interest by any commissioner nor do they warrant recusing any commissioner from participating in the BZA proceeding.
**January 10, 2022 ANC 3/4G Public Meeting where 3 hours were devoted to hearing from the public with seven panels of testifiers on Maret’s lease of the ECC field**
**January 7, 2022 Update from Commissioners Higgins (ANC 3/4G-02) and Speck (ANC 3/4G-03) on Councilmember Lewis George’s January 6, 2022 meeting on the Maret/ECC Field**
On January 6, 2022, Councilmember Lewis George held a virtual meeting to hear from residents about Maret’s proposed sports field at the ECC site. More than 100 people attended the two-hour meeting. The video of the meeting is available here, and can be accessed by entering the passcode: maret.ecc*W4 on the space required. The chat from the meeting is available here.
**December 15, 2021 Friends of the Field community group submits a Request for Party Status to BZA**
As noted in the application to BZA filed on December 15, 2021 for consideration at the January 12, 2022 BZA public hearing, Friends of the Field (or, “Friends”) is seeking party status in opposition to Maret’s request for a BZA exemption. Their rationale is provided in their application found here.
**December 13, 2021 Update from ANC 3/4G-02 Commissioner John Higgins at the ANC 3/4G Public Meeting**
There is a newly formed citizens group that has also secured legal counsel to address the proposed Maret School lease of the ECC field. The group’s e-mail address is: email@example.com. The group plans to launch a website as well.
**December 7, 2021 Update from ANC 3/4G Chair Randy Speck and ANC 3/4G-02 Commissioner John Higgins to the Community**
“On September 27, 2021, Maret School and the Episcopal Center for Children (ECC) presented preliminary plans to ANC3/4G for proposed athletic fields. (That presentation is available here.) Maret/ECC subsequently held five in-person or virtual meetings with residents who live near ECC. In early November, 2021, Maret filed an application (available here) requesting that the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) approve its proposed plans (Case No. 20643). The BZA has scheduled a hearing on this application for March 9, 2022.
“ANC 3/4G has been working with residents and Maret/ECC to resolve concerns that have been raised about many aspects of the proposed fields, including traffic and transportation, drainage, site access, landscaping, parking, protective netting, hours of use, and the location of bleachers and the scoreboard. The ANC is interested in hearing from all interested parties who could be affected by the Maret proposal — both those who live nearby and those who are potential users of the field. There are a number of upcoming public meetings that will continue the discussion. (See the links for more information.)
- On December 13, 2021, at 7:00 pm, ANC 3/4G will provide a brief update on the project’s status at its regular virtual meeting. Join the meeting at this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83601765238, or dial in at (301) 715-8592, Webinar ID: 836 0176 5238.
- On December 15, 2021, at 6:00 pm, Maret School will hold a public virtual meeting to share its updated proposals. You may register to attend this meeting here.
- On January 6, 2022, at 7:00 pm, Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George will hold a public virtual meeting for residents to express their views about the project and Maret’s BZA application. Please register here.
- On January 10, 2022, at 7:00 pm, ANC 3/4G will hear from all interested parties about Maret’s application. The link and the agenda will be posted prior to meeting.
“ANC 3/4G will provide updates on the page of its website [note: this page you are reading] devoted to this project as they become available and will schedule additional meetings as needed so that it can provide its views to the BZA at the hearing in March. We also welcome any comments from the community, which you may send to Commissioner John Higgins, (3G02@anc.dc.gov), Randy Speck, (3G03@anc.dc.gov), or any other Commissioner.”
November 16, 2021 Open Community Meeting Hosted by Maret
Maret has announced that it will hold a Zoom meeting on November 16, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to inform local residents about the proposed creation of a sports field on the property of the Episcopal Center for Children (ECC). Here is the link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMod-6rqTwuEtX3R2GoDrG77A0cocFjrpc. Maret noted that the Zoom link includes a registration form so the school can learn who is attending.
Additional General Information
More information is available at Maret’s project webpage, https://www.maret.org/athletics/proposed-new-fields-at-ecc.
FAQs can be found here.
Responses to all questions submitted to Maret thus far can be found here and will be updated on a weekly basis.
Maret suggests that residents check back with this site often and use its community input form (https://www.maret.org/athletics/proposed-new-fields-at-ecc/community-input-form) to ask questions.
Past Meetings with Surrounding Neighbors
November 1, 2021: Meeting with Nebraska Avenue Neighbors (see ANC 3/4G-03 Chair Randy Speck’s notes)
November 2, 2021: Meeting with Utah Avenue Neighbors (see ANC 3/4G-03 Chair Randy Speck’s notes)
November 3, 2021: Meeting with Rittenhouse Street Neighbors
November 4, 2021: Meeting with 28th Street Neighbors
Maret’s Application to the Board of Zoning
Maret submitted its application to the Board of Zoning on November 1st and refiled a corrected version of its application (found here) a day later. BZA’s hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2022.
October 24, 2021 Commission comments on Maret’s 10/15/21 draft BZA application
The Commission is an advisory body and in the normal course of business is asked to review and point out problem areas of draft permits, applications, and other documents as it affects ANC 3/4G. The Commission was asked to review Maret’s 10/15/21 draft version of its BZA application prior to submission and provided tracked comments on October 24, 2021, which can be found here. On November 1, 2021, Chair Speck told the group of Nebraska Avenue neighbors meeting in Jennie Backus’s backyard to hear from Maret directly (see above for the four dates of these meetings with surrounding neighbors) that he had given Maret these comments, as reflected on page 5 of the meeting notes, “We provided some preliminary comments to Maret on its draft application and will share them with residents.” Upon request, Chair Speck shared the Commission’s comments on Maret’s draft BZA application with David Patton who shared it with the citizens group, Friends of the Field, that requested party status to the BZA in mid-December 2021.
September 27, 2021 ANC 3/4G Public Meeting
The Commission held a preliminary public meeting with Maret and ECC on September 27, 2021, and the video of that meeting is available on the ANC’s website here, beginning at 00:45:10 and ending at 02:46:20. You can find Maret’s presentation at the meeting here and the Q&A/chat from the meeting can be found here.
Between September 2021 and March 2022
Nothing will begin at the site without BZA approval after the hearing. Between now and the hearing, the ANC expects to have many meetings with Maret and residents with the hope of reaching an agreement about all aspects of the proposed project that residents raise — e.g., traffic, parking, noise, stormwater runoff, and days and hours of use.
As we move forward in reviewing the BZA application and discussions with Maret, the Commission will hold additional public meetings, either at our regularly scheduled times or as special single-topic meetings.
In early 2022, after we have heard from residents and negotiated with Maret, the Commission will consider a resolution on the BZA application, including any conditions we might recommend to the BZA. We look forward to hearing from ANC 3/4G residents as we work through this process over the next several months.