Residents oppose planned high rise in Northwest D.C. neighborhood

Controversy is brewing in a Northwest D.C. neighborhood over plans to build on a vacant lot at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Military Road NW.

Neighbors say it's not the idea of construction that worries them, but rather what is being built.

For years the one-acre lot sat empty. Now there are plans to build a large 263-unit apartment building.

Rocco Ruggieri and his neighbor, Peter Gosselin, are among those opposed to the 10-story high rise. They live in what could be its shadow and fear the damage it could do to their community.

"This is not an apartment building on Connecticut Avenue," Gosselin says. "Its really an apartment building crammed into a single family neighborhood.

"Its mass is on two small side streets and not on Connecticut Avenue at all and I think that's a main concern of all of us," Ruggieri says. "Just the sheer scale of this."

In addition to the size there are concerns about traffic. If they build it, as many as 170 cars could be added to the community and residents say Military Road is already congested.

The property, which is owned by Calvin Cafritz Enterprises, has been zoned for dense development for more than 30 years.

Northwest residents, even those not directly impacted by the proposed development, would rather see something else built there.

So far, there has been no communication between the two sides on a project that will have significant impact on this community. But the developer and residents are scheduled to meet face to face in two weeks to discuss the building.