Fournier v. D.C. Zoning Comm'n, No. 18-AA-1146

Docket NºNo. 18-AA-1146
Citation244 A.3d 686
Case DateFebruary 04, 2021
CourtCourt of Appeals of Columbia District

244 A.3d 686

James FOURNIER, et al., Petitioners,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ZONING COMMISSION, Respondent,
and
Jair Lynch Development Partners, Intervenor.

No. 18-AA-1146

District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Argued November 4, 2020
Decided February 4, 2021


Chris Otten, with whom Daniel Wolkoff, James Fournier, Linwood Norman, Jerome Peloquin, Melissa Peffers, and Cynthia Carson were on the brief, pro se.

Philip T. Evans, with whom Cynthia A. Gierhart, Washington, was on the brief, for intervenor.

Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Loren L. AliKhan, Solicitor General, and Richard S. Love, Senior Assistant Attorney General, filed a statement in lieu of brief for respondent.

Before Easterly, McLeese, and Deahl, Associate Judges.

McLeese, Associate Judge:

This case arises from a proposed planned unit development (PUD) at the McMillan Reservoir and Filtration Complex. The case involves Parcel 2, one of seven parcels on the site. In 2013, intervenor Jair Lynch Development Partners and affiliated entities ("the developers") sought approval to construct a residential/retail building on the parcel. The Zoning Commission gave first-stage PUD approval to that specific project, and this court affirmed. Vision McMillan Partners, LLC , ZC No. 13-14(6), slip op. at 13, 85, 95-96 (D.C. Zoning Comm'n Sept. 14, 2019); Friends of McMillan Park v. District of Columbia Zoning Comm'n , 211 A.3d 139, 142 (D.C. 2019). In the order currently at issue, the Commission gave second-stage PUD approval to the project. Petitioners ("the opponents") argue that the Commission (1) did not conduct an adequately detailed review before granting second-stage approval and (2) impermissibly permitted the developers to cluster affordable-housing units in the building. We affirm.

244 A.3d 688

I.

Although the zoning regulations were amended in 2016, the Commission in this case applied the pre-2016 PUD regulations to this application, which was filed before the amendments. The parties do not appear to object to that approach, and we therefore also apply the earlier regulations. Those regulations describe both stages of PUD approval:

The first stage involves a general review of the site's suitability for use as a PUD; the appropriateness, character, scale, mixture of uses, and design of the uses proposed; and the compatibility of the proposed development with city-wide, ward, and area plans of the District of Columbia, and the other goals of the PUD process[.] The second stage is a detailed site plan review to determine compliance with the intent and purposes of the PUD process, the first stage approval, and this title.

11 DCMR § 2402.2 (2015). "If the Commission finds the [second-stage] application to be in accordance with the intent and purpose of the Zoning Regulations, the PUD process, and the first-stage approval, the Commission shall grant approval to the second-stage application ...." 11 DCMR § 2408.6 (2015).

In the second-stage application, the developers proposed several changes from the building as designed in the first-stage application, including a decrease in the total number of units and total square footage in the building and an increase in the number of affordable-housing units in the building.

II.

We will affirm the "Commission's order approving the proposed PUD so long as (1) the Commission has made findings of fact on each material contested issue; (2) there is substantial evidence in the record to support each finding; and (3) the Commission's conclusions of law follow rationally from...

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1 practice notes
  • Elliot v. D.C. Zoning Comm'n, No. 18-AA-0483
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • March 4, 2021
    ...revisit an issue already raised and decided during the first-stage proceedings. See James Fournier v. District of Columbia Zoning Comm'n , 244 A.3d 686, 688-89 (D.C. Feb. 4, 2021). Still, in "an abundance of caution," the Commission then "analyzed the specific allegations of ......
1 cases
  • Elliot v. D.C. Zoning Comm'n, No. 18-AA-0483
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • March 4, 2021
    ...revisit an issue already raised and decided during the first-stage proceedings. See James Fournier v. District of Columbia Zoning Comm'n , 244 A.3d 686, 688-89 (D.C. Feb. 4, 2021). Still, in "an abundance of caution," the Commission then "analyzed the specific allegations of ......

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