“LCCA VS. LUTHER PLACE: CBRF Fiction?” (“Streetscape,”1/27) refers to a recent ruling by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) that denied a request by the Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) to revoke Luther Place Church’s building permit for its new N Street building. The article inaccurately reports the position of Luther Place Church, as well as the BZA’s ruling.
First, the new building will not be “an expansion of the N Street Village homeless shelter that the church already maintains.” As I have told you before (see my letter to Washington City Paper,dated 11/19/93), there will be no shelter in the new building. Why does City Paper persist in perpetuating this fiction? The church will continue to maintain the shelter in its Parish Building, for which the BZA granted approval on Nov. 2, 1994.
Second, the issue before the BZA was not whether the new building would be “a regular apartment building” or a community-based residential facility (CBRF), but whether Luther Place Church was entitled to a building permit to construct a building that met all applicable legal regulations. Luther Place testified at the BZA hearing that the new building has been planned to provide supportive services that are not typical of “regular” apartment buildings. Such uses as community centers, child day care, and after-school care facilities, etc., are permitted as a matter of right and do not require a CBRF permit, as even LCCA’s witness, Christopher Reutershan, testified at the BZA hearing. The statement attributed to LCCA’s attorney, Andrea Ferster, that D.C. zoning regulations do not allow apartments to be mixed in with “institutional uses” in the same building, is incorrect.not use the new building for uses that require a CBRF permit without first obtaining such a permit.both sides of the issue and made a well-reasoned and thoughtful decision in accordance with the law.
Member, Luther Place Church, and LCCA, Logan Circle