Friday, March 22, 2013

WCP | Mendelson Denies Anacostia Playhouse’s Request for Emergency Legislation


The latest in the ongoing saga surrounding the delayed opening the Anacostia Playhouse.

Go HERE to read the Arts Desk article by Sophia Bushong.

Excerpt:

The Robeys filed an appeal to D.C.'s Board of Zoning Adjustment, but the zoning hearing won't take place till April 23. Construction can't begin until the zoning variance is granted. Why is this a problem? Well, a construction delay could set off a damaging domino effect for the groups that have already signed up to use the theater after its planned June opening. The Robeys, too, are at risk of having to pay $5,000 in monthly rent on a theater that can't open for business. 
So the Robeys reached out to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells for help. On March 14, Wells and Barry (who represent the playhouse's present ward and the playhouse's previous home on H Street NE, respectively) requested that Chairman Mendelson add emergency legislation to the council's March 19 session. The proposed legislation would allow construction to begin immediately, but offer a 60-day window for the playhouse to come into compliance with the Office of Zoning's parking requirements. The request said, "There is an immediate need to allow the District to grant or issue construction permits for the Anacostia Playhouse ... to relieve this business of a costly administrative hurdle that threatens delay and loss of economic opportunity in Historic Anacostia."


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