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H Street NE-area gardeners can breathe a sigh of relief: The Wylie Street Community Garden probably won’t become a surface parking lot after all.
Last month, it appeared the garden could be headed that way, as the developers converting the nearby R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H St. NE into condos struggled to find another location for the parking they sought to provide residents. “The community wanted more parking,” Ben Miller of Rise Development, one of the two developers behind the project, told me at the time. “We want to give them as much parking as we can.”
But now, in response to objections from neighbors, the developers have changed course, reports the District Source (which broke the news of the possible parking lot in the first place). Instead, the developers will seek to reduce the number of parking spaces available to residents and to prevent some residents from obtaining residential parking permits for street parking.
It’s a strategy being pursued by an increasing number of developers in transit-rich neighborhoods. The developers of both the former Babe’s Billiards building in Tenleytown and the Patterson Mansion in Dupont Circle have gone the no-parking route, restricting residents’ ability to get residential parking permits. It’s a solution that limits the need to build expensive and logistically difficult on-site parking without making it more difficult for neighbors to find street parking.
So far, the District Source reports, the plan for the H Street project has won praise from neighbors for backtracking from the elimination of the community garden. If you want to cut parking without angering neighbors, threatening to do away with a popular neighborhood amenity is a pretty good way to do it.
Image via Google Maps