26 July 2013
Dear Mr. Caldwell and Ms. McQueen:
In its meeting of 18 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept for a new house proposed to be located at 4664 Broad Branch Road, NW. The Commission expressed strong concern about adding a new house in this location and did not approve the concept.
The members of the Commission noted that their responsibility under the Shipstead–Luce Act is to evaluate the proposed project for potential impairment of the public value of federal properties such as Rock Creek Park. They found that the proposed project, both in itself and as a precedent for future development, would unacceptably degrade the setting and character of the national park. They also commented that the proposed mitigation measures, such as a planted berm and avoidance of a curb cut, are insufficient to provide long–term protection of the park's setting and character from the impacts of this project. While expressing appreciation for the environmental sensitivity of the proposed design and sympathy for the owners' desire to live adjacent to their family, they concluded that a new house in this location is not appropriate. They suggested that a possible alternative approach would be to add to the existing house rather than to insert a separate new house.
Please direct any questions to the Commission staff, which is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Mr. William Caldwell and Ms. Suzanne McQueen
cc: Robert Bell, Robert Bell Architects
Last Modified: July 30, 2013