39 Community Benefits Requested for STC’s Development at 501 Eye Street SW [Updated to 41 Community Benefits]

Shakespeare Theatre refused to acknowledge all of the community benefits requested by the 70 participants at the community benefits meeting two weeks ago.  The vast majority of suggestions for community benefits were ruled “out of order” by Shakespeare Theatre table moderators and by Shakespeare Theatre’s public relations firm (see the May 23, 2016 post about the meeting). Shakespeare Theatre specifically ruled “out of order” any design and land-use community benefits despite the fact their Planned Unit Development for the property includes design and land-use as community benefits.

Below is my best attempt to convey the community benefits participants actually requested regardless of whether Shakespeare Theatre wrote them down or nor. Please contact me if you were at the meeting and your requested community benefit isn’t listed below. The majority, but not all, of the items listed below were offered in the context of the zoning remaining the same.

Protecting Elementary School Children

  • Lighted playground until 10:00pm each night.  No relocation of existing light poles.
  • Netting along fence line to keep balls from going over the fence.
  • Prohibition  against complaining about noise from children playing on playground.
  • Heat lamps on playground paid for and maintained by Shakespeare Theatre to counteract effects of shadows.
  • Construct R-3 zoned townhouses, which will assure community stability as well as low automobile traffic, both of which would benefit the children of Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.

Affordable and Workforce Housing

  • A free two-bedroom apartment to attract and retain teachers. Rent would be set and collected by Amidon-Bowen Elementary School PTA.
  • 20 three-bedroom apartments at workforce housing prices.
  • Some apartments should be reserved for teachers at affordable rates.
  • 30% of the apartments should be affordable.
  • 20 affordable three-bedroom apartments.

Learning and Careers

  • A Fall and Spring production directed and produced by Shakespeare Theater company performed at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School using Amidon-Bowen students.
  • Apprenticeships for Southwest residents.
  • The already-promised scholarships to Camp Shakespeare should be for the life of the building.
  • Jobs in construction and in the completed building for residents of Southwest.

Long-Term Engagement

  • $250,000 over 25 years for Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.
  • 1,000 free tickets annually for Amidon-Bowen Elementary School to Shakespeare Theatre productions.
  • Shakespeare Theatre should contribute $250,000 to the Amidon-Bowen PTA.
  • Public access to the roof garden.
  • Permanent programmatic benefits for both Amidon Bowen Elementary School and Jefferson Academy.

Parking and Transportation

  • Shakespeare Theatre should not reserve street parking, currently publicly available, for itself.
  • Free parking for Southwest neighbors.
  • Residents of the new building should not be able to get residential parking permits.
  • Shakespeare Theatre should reinstate the Ladybug shuttle.
  • Ensure that there is one parking spot in the building for every person who lives or works there.

The Arts

  • Free or reduced price tickets to Shakespeare Theatre performances for residents of Southwest.

Neighborhood-Appropriate Building Design

  • The building should be built to current LEED platinum standards, not the 2009 standards Shakespeare Theatre states in their Planned Unit Development.
  • The building should avoid shading neighbors.
  • The remaining trees on the site should be kept.
  • The building should be set back 20 feet from the street on each side.
  • Ensure the building has a smaller footprint (no more than 60% of the land).
  • Do not build anything over 4 stories high.
  • The building should be set back 20 feet from the property line of adjacent property holders.
  • Follow current zoning and build townhouses to keep the character of the neighborhood.
  • Ensure that whatever is built does not block out the sun or daylight to neighboring residents.
  • Ensure that what is built matches the character of the neighborhood.
  • Set the building back 20 feet on all sides.
  • Build townhomes on the site instead.
  • Move the driveway from 6th Street to I Street.
  • Ensure that what is built is consistent with the current zoning of the land.


  • Build in Virginia, where Shakespeare Theatre’s developer is headquartered and where the limited liability corporation that owns 501 Eye Street SW site, “As You Like It,” is located.
  • Build elsewhere (either elsewhere in Southwest or elsewhere generally).

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