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Saturday, March 13, 2010

ANC 5A Meeting on the Brookland Small Area Plan and PUDs

This morning I attended the meeting hosted by the ANC5A on the Brookland Small Area Plan and PUDs. I am not sure why I think every meeting that I attend will be different and informative. I thought this meeting was going to be about timelines for the plan and information on what parts are being implemented; however, it seemed to be an anti-plan and anti-development meeting.

This meeting went along the same lines as the other development meetings that I have attended. In fact I am starting to recognize the same loud, opposing people from meeting to meeting and really wish I could come up with some cool nicknames for them (as a group I call them the fearmonging anti-development coalition). The meeting started with a panel brought together by the ANC5A for the meeting - Ms. Hine (president of the Lamond Riggs Civic association), Mr. Houghton (resident, property owner and architect), Mr. Johnson (resident, business owner and architect/planner), Ms. Pearson-West (resident, property owner and former ANC) and Ms. Thomas (resident, property owner and Premier CDC). This group went through introductions and spoke against the plan and development in Ward 5. The group then fielded questions until Harriett Tregoning, Director of DC Office of Planning, joined the meeting to answer questions.

Ms. Tregoning addressed many of the previous items that had been complained about especially about traffic. She explained that they are conducting a traffic study of the area and the statistics on vehicle ownership in the District. I am not going to go into details of all the discussions that took place because while I lost three hours of my life I do not want to subject anyone else to that. There were people there that indicated that they do not want any more residents in Brookland and they do not want development. Some people even brought up other projects in other parts of the Ward which were not relevant to the meeting. Ms. Tregoning did a great job of fielding questions in a hostile environment and promised to answer all others written down.

I think that the plan is good for Brookland and Edgewood (yes part of this small area plan is in Edgewood which is why I went to the meeting). Change is coming to this area and is needed. I think the Office of Planning is conducting a good number of studies to ensure that the issues involving retail, traffic, shuttle services and green spaces are addressed. I also believe that we all need to learn to compromise because everyone in the community is not going to want the same additions to our neighborhood.

Here is a link to the plan:,a,1285,q,645935.asp

Here are the projects in the Edgewood area:

Chancellor's Row at Brookland Metro (3015 4th Street NE) - 10-acre residential development on St. Paul's campus with construction to begin Fall 2010

CUA South Campus Development (7th Street and Michigan Ave NE) - mixed use development will include approximately 761 housing units, studio space for artists, retail, and a public square with a ground breaking planned for Winter 2011

Brookland Artspace Lofts (3225 Eighth Street NE) - 41 live/work rental units directly adjacent to Dance Place's HQ and studio space for qualified DC artists making 60% or less of the area median income planned construction to begin Spring 2010

What do others think of the developments coming to Edgewood? I know a lot of people that are excited about them but avoid meetings such as this one because of the way they tend to turnout. Maybe more of us that are in support of the development need to attend so our voices are heard as well.


  1. more people are in favor of these developments than are against, i think, but i feel like everyone is just so busy in life that they can't make it to these events. those in opposition seem to have a higher gear they can kick in when they are against something and always seem to make it to speak against something.

    i am excited as hell to see more density around the metro station. more people will be using the multi-billion dollar investment we've put into transit, and the stores in the area might finally have enough residents living nearby and shopping locally to make more business investment viable.

  2. I read some of the written-down questions and some postings to listserves from others who attended the meeting. One thing that struck me was people concerned about new development hurting existing business on 12th St. I almost laugh just typing it, because WHAT BUSINESS?

    Some pizza/sub/wing joints, a CVS, and the Yes? The one store down there that I'd be concerned about is the True Value (thank you for my snow shovel). And if it survived Home Depot, I'm sure it can survive a new grocery store. The point is, there's not much on 12th street, and the street itself is not that appealing. I'm all for supporting local business, but you have to have businesses people want first (and if I'm out of line and there are great businesses on 12th, let me know, I'd love to have a reason to shop local more often).

    Now knowing more about what happens at these meetings, I'm tempted to show up, simply to provide a counterpoint.