The Battle of Babe’s is over, and the winner is the alliance between Douglas Development Corporation and smart-growth advocates who argued against the need for parking near the Tenleytown Metro station.
The fight began when Douglas, owner of the long-vacant Babe’s Billiards site, put forward a proposal to build a mixed-use building on the site without any off-street parking. The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission gave its stamp of approval to include retail rather than parking, but some neighbors were not happy about the decision, to put it mildly. Worried about a potential parking crush on the street—-despite Douglas’ promise that residents would be barred from street parking—-one accused the ANC commissioners of “not hav[ing] a brain”; another called them “condescending”; and a third yelled, “The emperor has no clothes!”
That was back in October. Last night, the Zoning Commission closed the book on this long neighborhood battle by unanimously approving the planned unit development application for the Bond at Tenley.
The building will remain parking-free, the neighborhood’s growth will remain oriented around the Metro and bus lines, and the emperor will, alas, remain naked.