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Controversial 200-Unit Project In Upper Northwest D.C. Gets Key Approval

A rendering of Valor Development's 214-unit project at 4330 48th St. NW

A project that will aid D.C.'s goal of building more housing in wealthy Upper Northwest D.C. neighborhoods is moving forward, though not without a fight.

The Zoning Commission Monday unanimously approved Valor Development's plan to build 219 housing units and a 13K SF Mom's Organic Market grocery store at 4330 48th St. NW, UrbanTurf reports

The approval vote comes after a two-day October hearing during which a host of participants testified for and against the project. More than 90 letters of support were submitted to the Zoning Commission during the process, while more than 80 letters were written in opposition. 

The opposition centered around the project's size and arguments that it did not include enough affordable housing. Valor agreed to increase the proportion of inclusionary zoning units in the building from 11% to 12%. The project has also shrunk over the course of the process from 250 units to 214 apartments and five townhouses. 

The development, branded as The Ladybird, sits in Ward 3's AU Park neighborhood on the former site of a Superfresh grocery store. It is part of an area west of Rock Creek Park that has not contributed the same level of new housing as other parts of the city, a trend Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration is looking to change. A road map Bowser released in October calls for more than 1,900 affordable units to be added to Rock Creek West by 2025, including a mix of new development and conversion of existing units to subsidized housing.