Take 5 minutes and SEND YOUR NOTE TODAY!

DC's Office of Planning ('OP') has dispensed with public review by ALL neighborhoods, local elected officials, civics/citizen groups, as well has gone as far as to say they don't respect the local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, as it relates to OP's dramatic changes to the city's central policy document known as the DC Comprehensive Plan.

YOU can help us put pressure on the Chairman of the City Council, Phil Mendelson, to pause any legislative action on the proposed drastic changes to our Comprehensive Plan until OP seeks feedback via citywide public review.

That is, there should be no Council action until OP fulfills their promise to take their formulated amendments on the road to all DC neighborhoods for an open and honest review and public discussion about the future of our entire city.

Take 5 minutes and SEND YOUR NOTE to the Chairman TODAY!


The Comprehensive Plan is DC's central planning document by which all other planning documents and policies are to be derived. The policies in the plan attempt to help DC residents and city officials anticipate predictable physical growth and municipal development (including within the planing realms of housing, retail, commerce, institutions, infrastructure, and public facilities and services) over a 20-year planning cycle. The plan emphasizes building 'successful' and 'inclusive' communities throughout the whole city.

The DC Comprehensive Plan has been adopted as DC law and incorporated into the DC Municipal Regulations as Chapter 10A.

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In 2016, the Office of Planning began to host meetings about amending the existing Comprehensive Plan policies. Then in 2017, OP "opened the door" for amendments, giving the public two months to submit changes to the plan. In June 2017, OP staff stopped accepting submissions, claiming to have received over 3000 amendments to the current plan.

OP told the public (in writing) that they will sift through the proposed amendments and prepare a report outlining which changes they want to accept and which ones they reject, providing written rationale explaining their decisions. OP had said they would submit this report to the public (ANC's, civics/citizen groups, and all residents) for a 60-day public comment period before formulating any final amendments before sending those to the DC City Council for legislative action.

But contrary to his promise, Mr. Eric Shaw, Director of the DC Office of Planning, surprised everyone on January 9, 2017, when the Mayor sent his formulated amendments to the Chairman of the DC City Council, Phil Mendelson. The Office of Plannig has chosen to make dramatic changes to Chapter Two of the Comprehensive Plan, a leading chapter of the plan called the "Framework Element" without your opinion or review.

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The Framework Element sets the scope and overarching goals of DC's central planning document. The Framework Element includes fundamental development descriptions that the city has used for at least thirty years -- Low Density, Moderate Density, Medium Density & High Density – describing the types of DC's commercial and residential buildings and the size of the buildings in the number of stories (i.e. one to three stories; up to seven stories; exceeding eight stories).

Given its importance and potential citywide consequence, amendments to the Framework Element arguably deserve much broader public scrutiny and discussion. However, Eric Shaw and OP have moved away from open transparency and broken their promise of public review by the ANC's, civics/citizen groups, and every affected DC resident by delivering these significant changes directly to the Council to pass their amendments into law!

On top of bypassing public review, the actual changes to the Framework Element are quite dramatic in that OP's proposed amendments affect the entire city map of anticipated future development, permanently dashing predictability in how your community may grow and evolve in the coming years.

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The whole tone of OP's changes to the Framework Element is set by OP's self-derived goal of having one-million residents by 2045. OP has not surveyed the existing residents about this type of growth and our desires for the future of our city. OP has not conducted environmental studies to determine impacts of their contrived population growth expectations. OP has not reviewed existing infrastructure and community facility capacity and efficacy to adequately support OP's desire for another half a million people living in DC.

Further, OP attempts to rewrite history for black DC residents and families who have been displaced or are vulnerable to being displaced. OP's amendments feign ignorance of gentrification, first by not even using the term gentrification and by and through statements that infer black folks are choosing to leave DC, 'Many blacks left the city for the suburbs, or migrated to other parts of the country because of family ties, increased opportunities and lower cost of living.' (Page 5 of OP's Redline Document).

The Framework Element is a key chapter in the plan that also sets the level of discretion that planning officials have as it relates to adhering to the directives and language of the policies in the plan itself. In this case, OP's amendments severely weaken the specific language in the plan that protect YOU and your community, making it especially squishy and easier for developers to work around limits to overdevelopment in your neighborhood.



Send your letter by making sure your receipients are selected (checked) as shown below.

To the City Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Council Chair


To the Mayor of DC
Muriel Bowser

To the Office of Planning
Eric Shaw, Director of OP

To all of the DC City Council
All Councilmembers (Eight Wards + At Large)

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