DC for Reasonable Development (DC4RD)
This is the first update of 2015 from the DC for Reasonable Development all-volunteer team.
5) 2015 — ACTIONS AND SOLUTIONS
* Talking Transition this Saturday
* MLK Parade & Events this Weekend
* Black Lives Matter Petition & Activities
* Impact Hub Happenings
First, a look at 2014 — The last quarter of 2014 was frightening.
As predicted the DC Office of Planning and DC Zoning Commission performed well for the developers this past fall, approving City deals giving away major public parcels: 20 acres at Barry Farm in Ward 8, and 25 acres at McMillan Park in Wards 1 & 5, among approval of many other development projects >> http://www.dcfeedback.com/fit2print/
Instead of stepping up for the people this winter, the Council looked away, let things slide, no questions asked. Instead, Councilmembers bent over backwards to fund a private soccer stadium with more than $150 million in public funding of site preparation costs and tax abatements to the wealthy soccer team owners. Check out this link by DC for Democracy >> http://www.dcfordemocracy.org/2014/11/14/dc-for-democracy-opposes-the-soccer-stadium-deal/
Meanwhile back at the Zoning Commission, these planning hacks razed the roof on capricious behavior and voted to take proposed action on the controversial DC Zoning Rewrite (ZRR) >> http://www.dcoz.dc.gov/news/2014/news111814.shtm
This means the Office of Planning working with attorneys for the Zoning Commission are preparing to publish their edited version of the new zoning text for the DC Register fairly soon. How did they get to this point?
In several hearings in October, Zoning Commissioners boiled down hundreds of pages of public testimony into one statement, for or against the proposed changes or alternative text. Zoning Commissioners did not demand the Office of Planning provide reports, studies, or review other jurisdictional zoning changes to determine how the proposed changes could adversely affect the City.
It’s amazing how ineffective DC’s Office of Planning staff has been with regard to the ZRR compared to how other cities have updated their zoning code >> http://dczoning.blogspot.com/2014/04/learning-from-philadelphia.html
DC for Reasonable Development made the case for how arbitrary the ZRR is at a forum with DC’s first Attorney General candidates back in October >> http://www.dc4reason.org/agshowcase/
And, in September, there was a Citywide letter calling out the bad planning being borne of the Zoning Commission and DC Office of Planning >> http://www.dc4reason.org/openletter.php
So far calls by neighbors throughout the City for better planning, as such based on a logical evidentiary process and that serves the needs of the people, have gone unheeded by City officials.
The end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 is sadly proving our predictions about how the unreasonable over-development happening in the City right now challenges all long-term DC residents who love this City — threatening our property interests, and our lives.
Pipes are cracking, sink holes are opening up, massive methane leaks are bubbling away, drinking water is being threatened, and our transportation modalities are stressed beyond capacity leading to accidents and death.
It is clear that the bad planning resulting in massive over-development is pushing DC’s underlying archaic and largely unmaintained infrastructure to collapse.
~Look at how real this problem is despite how much priority the soccer and public land giveaways apparently take up in the minds of City officials. See these links below.
* Maxed Out Metro Capacity and Efficacy
* Old Cracking Pipes
* Water quality issues
* Sinkholes Gaping Open
* Methane Leaks
Last Monday, Council Chair Phil Mendelson was on the Kojo show admitting that DC’s infrastructure is “falling behind” but gave the impression City officials are scratching their heads as to where they will find funding for upgrades >> http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2015-01-05/breaking_down_local_infrastructure_breakdowns
Mendelson failed to acknowledge at all how the Office of Planning (OP) and Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) together have done little to nothing in forging a long-term plan to upgrade and maintain the critical municipal systems that serve the new luxury hotels, restaurants, condos, and large office buildings which politicians consistently tout as positive growth.
In fact, OP and DMPED have dismissed entire Chapters of the DC Comprehensive Plan which is supposed to guide the City’s growth over twenty year periods >> http://www.tinyurl.com/dc-comp-plan
Particularly ignored have been those elements of the Comp Plan which demand that corporate developers be compelled to contribute to upgrading municipal infrastructure around their large-scale and newly minted corporate developments >> http://districtdynamos.org/dc_laws/2012/comp_plan/comp_plan_ch13_infrastructure.pdf
So here we are, on the precipice of seeing our City become a corporate mall, rotten at the core and crumbling underneath, transforming with its pale façade of new urban singles with money to burn who largely care not of the culture and history of the long-term DC residents and families who have been here for generations.
This twisted nightmare is being played out on the stages of planning and zoning, economic duress, and police brutality on the streets.
It’s time to wake up, revive our dissent which may have taken a nap over the holidaze, and move to Defend the District and our right to a positive future made by good planning that seeks open and transparent collaborative decision-making with the people who have lived here and want to make a long-term home here.
~ Here’s some upcoming events and links to stay engaged!
===* Talking Transition this Saturday *===
Please join several hundred other DC residents from all eight wards on Saturday, January 17 at the Convention Center for a facilitated and dynamic discussion to prioritize important issues and choices facing our city. Lunch will be provided. The event is sponsored by the Urban Institute, DC Vote, the National Institute for Civil Discourse and DC Working Families and Space is limited, so register for Talking Transition DC in order to guarantee your place at the table here >> http://tinyurl.com/tickets-talking-transition
or goto >> www.talkingtransitiondc.org
===* MLK Parade this Weekend *===
===* Take a look at the Impact Hub happenings *===
The McMillan Park and Barry Farm Deals, and the terrible Zoning Regulations Rewrite (ZRR) are not final, far from it. We will continue to build resistance to these terrible, fraudulent deals that steal our property for private developer gain.
And, if by chance you are a progressive lawyer, architect, engineer, or other professional, we are especially looking for you to stand with us and the grassroots activists to demand reasonable development in the District.
Join the Resistance —
Please contact 202-810-2768, email@example.com
ANC Commissioner 2008-2010;
2006 Mayoral Candidate (http://www.otten06.com);
Homeless services advocate;
Public property watchdog