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D.C. United, Southwest Land Holder LLC come to Buzzard Point stadium agreement

The Zoning Commission meeting will be moved back so revised plans for the stadium can be completed

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D.C. United’s quest for zoning approval appears likely to be put on hold for an additional two weeks, but it also looks like the club has reached an agreement with those objecting to the existing Buzzard Point stadium plan. According to Exhibit 25, a filing submitted to the Zoning Commission by United's land use counsel Goulston & Storrs, the team has come to an agreement about the stadium plan with Southwest Land Holder LLC, who was prepared to testify at next week’s Zoning Commission hearing.

Specifically, United’s land use counsel told the Zoning Commission that “the Applicant [D.C. United] is pleased to report that the parties have arrived at an agreeable solution.” We do not currently have any specifics as to what that solution might entail, but it removes the major roadblock to D.C. United’s zoning commission hearing, the last step before the team can start putting shovels into the ground.

The Washington Post’s Jonathan O’Connell originally broke the news of the meeting being moved back by two weeks.

With the lateness of the agreement, Goulston & Storrs has asked for a continuance for the hearing. The request is because “it will not be possible to have the revised plans and drawings reflecting such solution prepared in time to deliver the revised plans to the Zoning Commission appropriately in advance of the November 2 hearing.” In later filings, both ANC 6D and Goulston & Storrs requested that the hearing be moved until after Thanksgiving.

Adam Gooch, Senior Vice President of Akridge, told Black & Red United:

Our coalition is encouraged by the recent design changes the team is pursuing to make the stadium fit better for the neighborhood. We also appreciate the efforts the Mayor's office expended to facilitate a solution. We expect that if the plans submitted to the Zoning Commission for a hearing on the Nov. 16 are consistent with the ones we have recently seen, there will be no need for us to testify at the hearing.

Twelve days ago, Southwest Land Holder LLC applied for party status (the ability to testify at a hearing) for the November 2nd Zoning Commission hearing, in which the group planned to present four witnesses that would testify against the current plan of the stadium. The group still supported the stadium, but wished to see changes to the transportation plan, the stadium design, including possible noise issues by not having a canopy covering all four sides of the stands.

A copy of the full letter from Goulston & Storrs can be seen below.

Exhibit 25 - DC United stadium (PUD 16-02)

This agreement might remove much of the opposition to the previous plan that United was set to face at the November 2nd ZC hearing. In addition to SWLH’s four witnesses, Advisory Neighborhood Committee 6D has recently approved a resolution that was to be read at the hearing stating their opposition to the stadium plan, despite their continued support for the stadium itself.

On October 19, the Near Buzzard Point Residential Advisory Committee, consisted of people who live and work close to where the stadium will be built, also applied for party status at the November 2nd meeting. Today's developments do not appear to have any impact on that request, aside from the date change.

Correction: A previous version of the article stated that “SWLH consists of Akridge, Stuart Investment Company, Western Development Corporation, Capital City Real Estate, and Capitol Riverfront BID.” However, SWLH only includes Akridge. The other four are part of a coalition with Akridge that advocated changes to the stadium plan.