A Dupont Circle hotel's plans to build a rooftop bar and kitchen might soon blow up in smoke if residents in the neighborhood get their way. In the zone that The Carlyle Hotel at 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW is located, the development cannot legally expand its commercial interests to the rooftop without a zoning variance. Zoning regulations rule that "The total area within the hotel devoted to function rooms, exhibit space, and commercial adjuncts shall not be increased." Borderstan reported that on Wednesday's ANC 2B meeting, many residents spoke against the hotel's plans, arguing that the bar would add unwanted noise to the neighborhood and would provide direct eye contact into one neighbor's bathroom, bedroom, and living room. This isn't the first time that Dupont Circle residents have spoken against the hotel's plans for a rooftop bar. In a Board of Zoning Adjustment public meeting on June 30, 2015, local residents spoke against the renovations, arguing that the rooftop deck goes against zoning regulations. Matt Wexler, who serves as part of the ownership team of The Carlyle, argued on Wednesday that the space would only be used for sunbathing, socializing, and "special events." The ANC 2B voted to support the appeal in a 7-0-0 vote and will request the Board of Zoning Adjustment to give it special consideration. Wexler described the roof deck construction at the hotel as the second phase of the development's renovation process. He also stated that construction would not begin until there was an agreement with the neighbors.
The Carlyle Hotel reopened April 29 of this year after an extensive renovation and expansion from 170 rooms to 198 rooms. According to The Washington Business Journal, there are additional plans for a new 153-seat restaurant, called The Riggsby. The restaurant will be headed by celebrity chef Michael Schlow, who is known for opening the Latin American-themed Tico at 14th and U streets NW in 2014. Residents have similarly taken issue with the plans for a restaurant, arguing that it will "unduly burden the the existing infrastructure and irreparably harm the residential character of the area," according to the residents' appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals, issued March 19 of this year.
Curbed DC reached out to Wexler to gain more information about the project, but did not receive a response by press time.
· Dupont Residents, Carlyle Hotel Co-Owner Clash Over Planned Rooftop Bar [Borderstan]
· Exclusive: Kimpton Hotels adds two more D.C. hotels to its portfolio [Washington Business Journal]
· Neighbors protesting new Michael Schlow restaurant, Carlyle renovation [Washington Business Journal]
· Regular Meeting Agenda on August 12, 2015 [Dupont Circle ANC 2B]