Category Archives: Data

Development analysis, reporting, data sheets, surveys, facts.

Tax Increment Financing, It will TIF you off

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a municipal financial scheme whereby DC taxpayers fund and support private development projects throughout the city.

TIFs allow the diversion of taxes that would otherwise be generated by these new projects away from the city’s general budget for social needs (schools, parks, affordability, services, etc.), and instead these taxes are used to pay back private bankers whom authorized the TIF credit and municipal loan.

TIFs act as blank checks from the public to fund and externalize private development costs and is considered a form of corporate welfare.


Governments often use TIF resources to prepare land for development or redevelopment. In addition, governments may use TIF revenues to underwrite certain public structures, such as parking garages. If permissible under state statute, the construction of municipal facilities can be financed using TIF revenues. An Elected Official’s Guide to TAX INCREMENT FINANCING by Nicholas Greifer & The Government Finance Officers Association, July 2007.


The most recent District of Columbia TIF is for Union Market developers.

WARD 5 TIF

THE SOUTHWEST WATERFRONT aka WHARF TIF

The Living Social TIF Gift

TIFs as political hot potatoes, a DC neighborhood-level discussion in Bloomingdale in 2010.


Many of the District’s special deals have been very costly. In 2002, Gallery Place, a mixed-use transit-oriented development, received about $80 million in subsidies. To sell the TIF bonds for just this one project, DC had to pledge that incremental sales tax revenue from a much larger area would be made available if necessary. In 2006, another development in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood, the DC-USA mall project anchored by a Target store, received a $42 million TIF package. The District justified the deal in part by claiming it would enhance sales tax revenue in the surrounding neighborhood (DC has a problem with sales tax “leakage” to Maryland and Virginia), but DC has no method of tracking sales tax by location to determine if that worked. Good Jobs First, “Tracking Subsidies, Promoting Accountability in Economic Development,” Accountable USA – District of Columbia webpage.


ANALYSIS: Before [Baltimore] City Hall loved TIFs, it shunned them as bad policy

Tax Increment Financing: A comparison between Washington, D.C. and Chicago, by Jasson Perez, University of Illinois Chicago, 2015.

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

DCRA Threatens DC Property Owners; Lawsuits

Based on the recent Council hearings, it has become clear that the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has exposed DC taxpayers and property owners to negligence and serious injury with a lack of accountability from the Mayor and Council.

A review of the October 24, 2017, City Council hearing shows numerous cases of fraud and injury perpetrated by this agency and the director, Melinda Bolling, who was chosen to lead this agency by Mayor Bowser.

This follows on in a series of hearings that the Council acts out before the taxpayers, but does little else to enforce the laws or address accountability.

 

Using Law for Good & Bad

While the corporate “journalists” attack the character of local activists when they use the law to demand accountability for developments in the District, slumlords can use the law (Bankruptcy) to avoid accountability and dodge their ethical duty to provide clean and humane residential units to District residents.

That is, when activists use the law to protect their communities they get attacked in the press. When slumlords use the law to cover-up their negligence and assault on poor people and families, the monied classes get a pass.

#tiltedpress
#lawforgood
#legalaction

Non Sui Juris: Who can you sue?

Non Sui Juris = can’t sue me!

While you can appeal administrative decisions by most agencies to the DC Court of Appeals, if you think an District agency and/or officials screwed you and your community over, or is about to, be prepared to know who you can sue when you are going to Superior Court or the Circuit Court in DC.


For more insight, see this case:
FOGGY BOTTOM v. DIST. COLUMBIA OFFICE OF PLANNING, 441 F. Supp.2d 84 (D.D.C. 2006).

From this case: As a preliminary matter, defendants assert that certain parties named in this suit are non sui juris, that is, that they lack the legal capacity to sue or be sued. Specifically, defendants argue, and the Court agrees, that agencies and departments of the District of Columbia government are not amenable to suit. See Community Housing Trust v. Dep’t of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 257 F. Supp. 2d 208, 217 (D.D.C. 2003) (“The law is clear that `agencies and departments within the District of Columbia government are not suable as separate entities.'”) (quoting Does I through III v. District of Columbia, 238 F. Supp. 2d 212, 222 (D.D.C. 2002) (citations omitted)). The plaintiff’s claims against the District of Columbia Office of Planning, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission, the District of Columbia Department of Health and the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs therefore will be dismissed from this case.

But what the Foggy Bottom community got right in their suit is the naming of the Mayor.  From the case:  The Mayor of the District of Columbia, Anthony Williams, sued in his official capacity, is a proper defendant, and the suit against Mayor Williams shall be treated as a suit against the District of Columbia. Arnold v. Moore, 980 F. Supp. 28, 36 (D.D.C. 1997) (“It is well settled that if the plaintiff is suing the defendants in their official capacities, the suit is to be treated as a suit against the District of Columbia.”). Thus, the Court may proceed to consider the merits of the claims against the District of Columbia itself (a named defendant) and the Mayor of the District of Columbia in his official capacity.


The naming of individuals carries to others under the Mayor too, like the DC Zoning Administrator.

The  acting  Zoning Administrator  for  the District  of  Columbia,   Olutoye    Bello,    sued   in    his    official    capacity,  is  a  proper defendant,  and  the  suit against  Bello  shall  be treated  as  a  suit against the  District  of  Columbia.  See  Kentucky  v.  Graham, 473  U.S.  159,  166 (1985); accord Arnold v. Moore, 980 F. Supp. 28, 36  (D.D.C. 1997)(“It   is   well   settled  that   if   the   plaintiff  is   suing   the  defendants   in   their  official   capacities, the suit is to be treated as a suit against the District of Columbia.”).  Thus,  this suit  may  proceed  against defendant Bello.   COMMUNITY HOUSING TRUST, et al., Plaintiffs, v. DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS, et al., Defendants. No. CIV.A. 01-02120 (HHK). April 16, 2003


For more on Non sui juris, see this case, and this case, and google it!

 

#McMillanPark Supporters Pack Courthouse

Changes to ZRR, Already

=================
TONIGHT, Sep 22, 6:30PM
=================

Tonight, Washington, DC, at the DC Zoning Commission, 441 4th Street NW, Suite 200 South, 6:30PM, Sep 22.

The Zoning Amendments Being Amended;
Ad hoc project for favored developer prompting consideration of substantial changes to the ZRR

Members of the Committee of 100 found that the Office of Planning was trying to define “substantial” changes to the ZRR as only “technical” changes.  There is a difference that requires a more public process for substantial changes.

Tonight, the DC Zoning Commission will be considering OP’s suggested changes, one which includes completely waiving the minimum area requirements for when developers request the city for a super variance, i.e. PUD applications.

EastBanc is asking the city for an entitlement to ignore the standards and rules regarding the minimum size of PUDs. However, the regs make clear that the Commission must not use their flexibility or discretion beyond what is allowable by law, which is why the Commission chose to have the hearing tonight.

08-06F :: https://app.dcoz.dc.gov/Content/Schedule/ZCCalendar.aspx

The public is welcome to testify, but it’s hard to imagine what OP’s rationale could be for a substantial change that could invite a PUD to be dropped anywhere in the city, especially without comprehensive planning direction.

Tonight, Sep 22, 6:30PM at the Zoning Commission Hearing Room, Suite 200 South
441 4th Street NW, WDC 20009
Judiciary Square Metro

===================
IN OTHER NEWS
===================

A report from the Hine School legal team tells favorably of efforts that resulted in the Deputy Mayor’s Office putting online a list of land abuse contracts between developers and DMPED.

Deputy Mayor’s Office Website with LDA’s >> http://dmped.dc.gov/node/1019962

There are noted issues, for example The Grimke School LDA Term Sheet reveals that the developer acquired the property for $25,000, while the appraisal indicates the property is valued at around $15-$20 million.

DC for Reasonable Development wishes if you have the time and interest to dig into the numbers of these contracts that affect DC taxpayer assets and the public interest and inform us of any perceived malfeasance.

Contact Chris: dc4reality@gmail.com || 202 810 2768

This information was delivered via Mr. Oliver Hall, Esquire, who will be speaking at the upcoming BreakingthroughPower.org conference starting September 26, 2016.

Fire on the Metro

Burn After Reading: Metro, Office of Planning, #ZRR

The ZRR expects more & more residents riding Metro

Over the past several years, DC planning and zoning officials have been reviewing and changing DC’s real estate development rules, a process referred to as the Zoning Regulations Rewrite (ZRR).

The Office of Planning went hard during the #ZRR to amend the zoning code so that the area known as Downtown DC is tripled in size, and where parking requirements are all-together eliminated.

Downtown DC has some of the tallest buildings with most density, driving significant traffic, killing any remaining parking, even in garages, and abusing daily the city’s aging infrastructure, including the recent troublesome time for Metro, a transit system routinely catching on fire.

Back in 2001, WMATA conducted a Metro transit capacity study which had predicted the future, which is now:

Expanding the capacity of the existing Metro system to accommodate a doubling of ridership, which will just maintain its vital market share in the region during the next 25 years, is a prudent and cogent investment. The existing system cost $9.4 billion to construct over a period of thirty years; the $4.5 billion investment in core capacity improvements represents half of that original cost and 20% of the price–more than $22 billion–that would be required to build it today. This investment is in the context of the $246 billion annual economy of the Washington Metropolitan area. The return on investment is compelling: an enhanced and expanded Metro system fully capable of meeting market demand, fostering economic vitality and an enhanced quality of life, meeting the mobility needs of this vibrant region as it continues to grow and providing requisite transit services during times of emergency.

When do the Corporations kick in their fair share?

Using the Zoning Regulations Rewrite process and tapping connections in DC’s planning offices,  “Smart Growth” associated agents, Cheryl Cort and David Alpert, have vociferously called for a zoning amendments wishlist serving DC’s real estate investment community, i.e. the loosening of standards governing parking in DC.

Less parking requirements, they say means less cars on the streets and more people on public transit.  Perhaps this why Metro has reached capacity in many parts of the system.  Yet despite business being good, WMATA’s Metro system is bleeding money.

Part of the reason for increased transit costs is liability.  In recent years Metro has demonstrated a keen ability to roll the razor edge of danger for riders and residents who have witnessed high-profile Metro incidents and accidents as part of the larger DC municipal systems collapse.

It is clear, the Metro system is aging and maxing out, leading to burn out and death.

DC Metro, Fire and Death

Questions:

  • How many more people need to get hurt on Metro, or even die before the City gets serious about regional urban planning?
  • Shouldn’t District planning officials be seeking no-strings attached funding from the corporate world, especially those businesses “downtown” who benefit significantly from workers getting to their jobs through DC’s municipal systems? That is, what’s the 1%’s share of our collective transit burden?
  • Is it because the smart growth community is funded by developer-interests they won’t advocate that developers be required to contribute to infrastructure and transit upgrade costs serving their new luxury hotel, condo, and office projects?

#ZRR

Chapter: 10-A25 of the DC Municipal Regulations was to guide the ZRR process, but the DC Zoning Commission did not evaluate the efficacy of OP’s zoning review.

The Zoning Regulations Rewrite is scheduled to be implemented this September.

Some residents whose concerns like the tripling of “downtown”, inter-alia, were dismissed by OP and ignored during the zoning review process are organizing  to challenge this unacceptably poor planning here in the Nation’s Capitol in the 21st Century.

www.twilightzoning.org

JetStream DC planning

DC4RD Jet Stream Update [Council Hearings]

DC4RD Jet Stream Update — Winter/Spring 2016

Please visit DC for Reasonable Development on the inter-webs:
www.facebook.com/dc4reality
@dc4reality
www.dc4reality.org/resources

Here’s the next DC4RD informational Update — (did the groundhog see its shadow or not?)


* HOMELESS DC RESIDENTS & FAMILIES
* SAVE UNION ARTS!
* PLANNING & ZONING IN DC
* ZONING REWRITE (ZRR)
* AFFORDABLE HOUSING
* UNITED NATIONS & WARD EIGHT
* DC COUNCIL OVERSIGHT HEARINGS


HOMELESS DC RESIDENTS & FAMILIES

Mayor Bowser gave two-day notice regarding her trumpeted closure of the structurally sound, yet internally neglected DC General — a building, and grounds of which are currently public assets >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WQXeGE1Al0

As a result of the DC General Closure plan, the City keeps only the status quo number of homeless beds, except now homeless DC families will be scattered around the city at random locales >> >> http://tinyurl.com/wapo-2016-dc-shelter-locations

On top of that, the Council has defunded individual bathrooms in the new shelters, telling DC families they didn’t want them to “get too comfortable” in the shelter >> http://www.grassrootsdc.org/2015/11/dc-council-votes-to-lower-the-legal-standard-for-new-family-shelters-whats-wrong-with-us/

Bottom-line: Despite the great costs of demolishing DC General, and leasing new shelter sites around the District, plus the planned privatization of the vast Reservation 13, there is still no net increase in beds for DC’s homeless families and individuals, and the new shelters will be dormitory in nature with several proposed to be sited in strange locations not suited for families.

DC’s homeless numbers are increasing, so if the Mayor’s self-limiting real-estate focused DC General closure plans are pursued, there will be even more homeless folks on DC’s streets in the coming years >>
* http://tinyurl.com/wapo-2016-homeless-counts
* http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2016/01/23/3742195/dc-winter-storm-homeless/


SAVE UNION ARTS!

411 Artist Union seeks collaboration to avoid displacement of an “eco-system” consisting of authentic professional arts and other expert cultural craft. SUPPORT DC’S ARTISTS! Rally & Hearing! February 23, 2016, 5:00 Rally; 6:30 Hearing begins: Testify in support of DC Artists & Art! http://www.artistuniondc.org/events/

Check out the 411 Artist Union open studios this entire weekend. Please be sure to put Feb 23 in permanent marker >>
https://www.facebook.com/events/1110113062353471/


@OPinDC + @OZinDC

The District of Columbia Office of Planning and Zoning agencies will be available for questions/testimony very soon . . . ZONING & PLANNING Oversight Hearing — Wednesday, 3/2/2016, 9:30am – DC City Council Hearing Room 412 – John A. Wilson Building – 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW –  The Committee of the Whole will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing on The Office of Zoning, The Office of Planning & the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) — To Testify, CONTACT: Sarina Loy, sloy@dccouncil.us or 202-724-8058.


#ZRR

The Zoning Regulations Rewrite (ZRR) has left out so many voices and so many needed fixes.  For example, the ZRR never clarified critical zoning definitions into plain language for “habitable space” & “cellar” as well as “adjacent-grade,” among other terms.  Further, the ZRR allows Downtown DC to be tripled in size without the Office of Planning assessing the impacts of this drastic development change against any analysis of the capacity and efficacy of the existing transportation and utilities infrastructure >> twilightzoning.org

Controversial as the #ZRR may be, it is without a doubt a massive overhaul of DC’s development rules which somehow the Office of Planning and Zoning Commission have together over 7 years failed to evaluate through the prism of the Implementation Element of the District of Columbia 20-year Comprehensive Plan.  http://tinyurl.com/dc-comp-plan-ch-25-and-ZRR

Maybe the Mayor should rename it the Zoning Rewrong!


AFFORDABLE FOR WHO?

Right now the DC Office of Planning and so-called smart-growth supplicants are pushing the City to define “affordable” as rent set at $1,200/month for a studio/one bedroom apartment.

That would equate to $14,400 a year for housing costs not including utilities.  Developers would be able to rent this “affordable” unit to someone making about $50,000 a year and in return the developer gets to build bigger and taller buildings.

We want to redefine an “affordable unit” as one which reflects REAL levels of affordability, $500 to $800 a month in rent.  And, we want to push for the construction of more family-size units to meet DC’s a number-one priority >>  http://www.dc4reason.org/updates/172

Developers should not be rewarded for building more cramped studios and junior one-bedrooms using damn cheap materials – this is not helping DC’s affordability crisis.

HELP TO REDEFINE AFFORDABILITY IN THE DISTRICT
* Please attend the hearing on Inclusionary Zoning (IZ), March 3, 2016, 6:30pm, 441 4th Street, NW, Judiciary Square Metro (redline).  Sign up to testify >> http://tinyurl.com/dc-real-affordability


#JUSTICE for #BARRYFARMS

The United Nations recently cited the historic Ward 8 community of Barry Farm as a flash point nationally for how wrong, racist, and classist Gentrification really is on working-families in US cities >> http://streetsense.org/article/united-nations-stands-against-gentrification/

“The process of gentrification has a heavy impact on African Americans who are being displaced from city centers under the argument of the need for new investment and development. In particular, the United Nation’s Working Group was alarmed by incidents of eviction, demolition and conversion of Barry Farm public housing in Washington D.C.”  >> http://tinyurl.com/UN-report-Barry-Farms

Contact Schyla for ways to Empower our movement against demolition of public housing & to seek community-control over our public land!  schyla@empowerdc.org or 202-234-9119


DC COUNCIL OVERSIGHT HEARINGS

It’s that time again (3 to 5 minutes) of “accountability” DC government-style. Here’s the DC Council’s “oversight” hearing calendar >> www.dccouncil.us/calendar

Be there to inform the Council about the services you are getting from City agencies and for you to “grade” agency service to the public.  Sending letters can help >> http://tinyurl.com/testify-dc-council-hearings

REVIEW OF KEY COUNCIL HEARINGS
http://dccouncil.us/calendar

DC WATER & DGS (Dept of “General” Services)
Thursday, 2/25/2016
12:00pm, Room 500
The Committee on the Transportation and the Environment will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing on the Department of General Services & DC Water. To testify, CONTACT: Nicole Rentz, nrentz@dccouncil.us or by calling 202-724-8062.

DCRA & TENANTS RIGHTS
Monday, 2/29/2016
10:00am, Room 500
The Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABC)
* Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
* Department of Small and Local Business Development & Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity
* Office of the Tenant Advocate
(OTA)
To testify, CONTACT: Peter Johnson, pjohnson@dccouncil.us or 202-727-6683.

DDOT, BIKES, AND PEOPLE
Monday, 2/29/2016
11:00am, Room 412
The Committee on the Transportation and the Environment will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:     Bicycle Advisory Council; Pedestrian Advisory Council; District Department of Transportation (DDOT)
to testify, CONTACT: Nicole Rentz, nrentz@dccouncil.us or by calling 202-724-8062.

TWILIGHT ZONING & PLANNING
Wednesday, 3/2/2016, 9:30am
Room 412
The Committee of the Whole will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Office of Zoning
* Office of Planning
* Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
(DMPED)
To Testify, CONTACT: Sarina Loy, sloy@dccouncil.us or 202-724-8058.

DC PRISON SYSTEM & RETURNING CITIZENS
Wednesday, 3/2/2016
10:00am, Room 123
The Committee on the Judiciary will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Department of Corrections
* Corrections Information Council
* Office of Returning Citizens Affairs
* Commission on Fathers, Men, and Boys
* Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice
To Testify, CONTACT: Katherine Mitchell, kmitchell@dccouncil.us or 202-727-8275.

DC HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Friday, 3/4/2016
11:00am, Room 500
The Committee on Housing and Community Development will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
* Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF)
* Rental Housing Commission
To testify, CONTACT: Oscar Montiel, omontiel@dccouncil.us or 202-724-8198

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION & DOES
Monday, 3/7/2016
10:00am, Room 500
The Committee on Housing and Community Development will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTT)
* Office of the People’s Counsel
* Public Service Commission (PSC)
* Department of Employment Services (DOES)

PARKS & RECREATION (not NBC)
Monday, 3/7/2016
10:00am, Room 123
The Committee on the Transportation and the Environment will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Department of Parks and Recreation & Department of Public Works
To testify, CONTACT: Nicole Rentz, nrentz@dccouncil.us or 202-724-8062

THE DC AUDITOR, STATEHOOD, AND COG
Tuesday, 3/8/2016
10:30am, Room 412
The Committee of the Whole will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Office of the District of Columbia Auditor (Kathy Patterson)
* Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG)
* New Columbia Statehood Commission
To testify, CONTACT: cow@dccouncil.us.

DISABILITY RIGHTS
Thursday, 3/10/2016
10:00am, Room 412
The Committee on the Health and Human Services will hold a Performance Oversight Hearing. The following agencies will testify:
* Department of Disability Services
* Office of Disability Rights
To testify, CONTACT: Malcolm Cameron, mcameron@dccouncil.us or 202-741-0909


 

COUNCIL HEARINGS CALENDAR >> www.dccouncil.us/calendar
* Even if you can’t make the hearing, you can send in testimony and letters to help the discussion along >> www.dcfeedback.com/oversight/


JOIN [DC4RD] ON SOCIAL MEDIA
www.facebook.com/dc4reality
@dc4reality
www.dc4reality.org/resources

Orwell is puking >>
http://dc.gov/release/mayor-bowser-launches-private-security-camera-program-part-safer-stronger-dc-initiative

Justice after the Storm Update [dc4rd]

DC4RD sends this update to show you what isn’t cancelled this week!

REMINDER: TONIGHT 1/27
United Nations Townhall Meeting with DC, MD, VA Black Community >>
https://www.facebook.com/events/1500445823595760/
6:30pm at UNION TEMPLE Baptist Church
1225 W St SE, Washington, District of Columbia 20020

REMINDER: TOMORROW NITE 1/28
Affordable for Who?  The Zoning Commission takes up their IZ program tomorrow night.  Take 5 minutes to send in a note seeking to fix the definition of “affordability” in the District of Columbia. http://www.dc4reason.org/updates/275
Be at the hearing, 6:30pm, Thursday, January 28, 2016, at the Zoning hearing room, 441 4th Street NW, WDC 20001 — Judiciary Sqaure Metro.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY 1/29 + 1/30
Service to Justice Conference >> https://www.facebook.com/events/216866925314916/
Jan 29 at 9:00 AM to Jan 30 at 4:30 PM
Luther Place — 1226 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20005

SUNDAY 1/31
Gentrification: the Good, the Bad, and the Incarcerated >> https://www.facebook.com/events/545723382247538/
Sunday, January 31, at 6 PM
Busboys and Poets Brookland — 625 Monroe St NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20017

MONDAY 2/1
#SaveDCArts – The Union Arts building at 411 New York Ave NE is the last collective art space of its kind in Washington, DC — its being threatened with demolition to make way for a luxury hotel.
Monday, February 1 at 6:30 PM
Be at the Zoning Hearing, 441 4th Street, NW, WDC 20009
https://www.facebook.com/events/232235183782617/

TUESDAY 2/2
Black History Kick-Off & Celebration >> https://www.facebook.com/events/1000525560016735/
The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum — 1925 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20001
Tuesday, February 2, at 6 PM – 8 PM

WEDNESDAY 2/3
Washington, DC: ‘TPP is Betrayal’ Action >> https://www.facebook.com/events/102599070123349/
The White House — 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20500
Wednesday, February 3, at 12 PM

###### ARTICLES OF INTEREST ########

Report: Nearly 50,000 East New York Residents Will Face Displacement with City’s Rezoning Plan
http://www.bkreader.com/2015/12/report-nearly-50000-east-new-york-residents-will-face-displacement-citys-rezoning-plan/

DC’s Walmart Problem [Updated] — WCP
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2016/01/22/d-c-s-walmart-problem/

Hemp Fiberboard Poised To Replace Plywood – THC Magazine
http://www.thcmag.com/hemp-fiberboard-poised-to-replace-plywood/

Republicans Push $269 Billion Handout For Millionaire Heirs And Heiresses
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/14/republicans-push-269-bill_n_7061458.html

DC Housing Authority accused of gentrification — WASHINGTON (WUSA9)
http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2015/11/30/dc-housing-authority-accused-gentrification/76587424/

Prototype Quadrotor with Machine Gun! – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNPJMk2fgJU

D.C. Has A New Zoning Code. Here’s How It Could Change The City’s Look And Feel | WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio
http://wamu.org/news/16/01/15/after_eight_years_of_debate_dc_approves_new_zoning_regulations

What Would MLK Say? Displacement & Disparate Treatment | DC4RD Updates
http://www.dc4reason.org/updates/257#walmart

Hundreds of D.C. homeless families to ride out storm in Maryland motels – The Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/hundreds-of-dc-homeless-families-to-ride-out-blizzard-in-maryland-motels/2016/01/22/668e6f30-c082-11e5-83d4-42e3bceea902_story.html

Policy & Tools: Community Benefits Agreements and Policies | The Partnership For Working Families
http://www.forworkingfamilies.org/resources/policy-tools-community-benefits-agreements-and-policies

Why a bright idea for growing food in the city had to move . . . to the country – The Washington Post >> https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/why-a-bright-idea-for-growing-food-in-the-city-had-to-move–to-the-country/2016/01/25/81f96816-bfd2-11e5-9443-7074c3645405_story.html

How to View Five Planets Aligning in a Celestial Spectacle >>
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/science/space/five-planets-align-mars-jupiter-mercury-saturn-venus.html

DC Public Banking Center – Welcome to the DC Public Banking Center
http://dcpublicbanking.org/

Do You Live Within 50 Miles of a Nuclear Power Plant? | Science | Smithsonian
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/do-you-live-within-50-miles-nuclear-power-plant-180950072/

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STAY TUNED! Get at us on social media!
www.dc4reality.org
www.facebook.com/dc4reality
@dc4reality

 

Missing-you DC, Summer Update

Missing-you DC, Summer Update [edited June 15, 2015]

It’s been two months since our last update.    We don’t like bombarding you, but we’ve been a little too quiet.  It’s got to be a loud summer if the people of DC want to preserve and protect the culture, people, history, and public interest of our City.

————
Menu:

1) CITY BUDGETING – LAST VOTE JUNE 30
2) SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MCMILLAN PARK
3) DCRA & CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS
4) ZONING REGULATIONS REWRITE DROPS
5) IMPORTANT ARTICLES
6) UPCOMING EVENTS

————

1) CITY BUDGETING – LAST VOTE JUNE 30th

The main thing that has occurred since DC4RD’s last update has been the City’s budget discussions.

Mayor Bowser submitted her budget to the Council in early May.   The Council has since approved the spending numbers, largely unchanged.

A good analysis of the budget came by way of Justice First, located here in the District >> http://justicefirst.nationbuilder.com/analyzing_mayor_bowser_s_fy16_budget

The voting on our budget isn’t over. 

On June 30th, the DC Council will vote on a bill that informs the Mayor on how to specifically spend or funnel some of the City’s budget allocations.  It’s called the FY2016 Budget Support Act.  DC’s Chief Financial Office summarizes the key components of the BSA here >> http://tinyurl.com/cfo-fy2016-bsa

DC for Reasonable Development working with the Citywide Friends of McMillan Park invite you to join us in asking the Council to include language that defunds the demolition of the park until a full inquiry can happen as to the ethical and planning breakdowns that surround this humongous public land giveaway.

There are two ways to use this last budget vote to protect McMillan now:

  • Put on your calendar to attend the last Council session on the FY 2016 Budget Support Act next Tuesday, June 30th, and demonstrate why McMillan is so important to save from destruction and the clutches of privateers.   We will meet at the Wilson Building, outside of Room 500 at 11am, Tuesday, June 30th.  RSVP, Chris O., 202-810-2768, dc4reality@gmail.com
  • Please send a letter to the Council today regarding McMillan, particularly to CM Elissa Silverman who campaigned on a platform declining corporate contributions so she can objectively review the City’s land deals, like McMillan >> http://www.dcfeedback.com/mcmillan/letter

 

2) SPOTLIGHT ON OUR MCMILLAN PARK

The Save McMillan Action Coalition has found and announced some truly disturbing features of the McMillan Park scandal, for instance:

* The City has paid for a private PR firm to “neutralize” public opposition to the McMillan giveaway, and to give “cover” to elected-officials about this bad deal;

* $500,000 District dollars has been spent on legal services from Holland and Knight, a premier private zoning law firm to push the McMillan land deal forward;  And,

* Most recently, it has come to light that the City will be paying more than $75 million to destroy McMillan and prepare it for private development, but only get $27 million dollars to sell the land to the private developers.  The DC Tax Office has evaluated our 25-acres of public space about 1 mile from the Capitol at about $100 million dollars.  We believe the land after it is privatized and developed will be worth beyond $2 billion.

* And, the City will be paying for the so-called amenities at the site, like the recreation center, and public right-of-ways.  These are amenities that are supposed to be paid for by the developers in return for sweetheart deals.

There are many activities around McMillan Park to help you engage on this critical public land deal and to expose the ethical lapses verging on fraud in our City politic.  See this page >>  https://www.facebook.com/dc4reality

3) DCRA & CONSTRUCTION IMPACTS

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is the City agency charged with reviewing building permit applications and ultimately ensuring that construction is safely done in the District >> http://dcra.dc.gov/

It would seem DCRA has fallen down on their job, bigtime.

DCRA officials have ignored pleas from residents to protect their neighborhoods (https://www.facebook.com/stopthepopdc), and continues to issue permits with lackadaisical oversight (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Orders-Brand-New-Condo-Building-Torn-Down-Citing-Dangers-to-Water-System-302480421.html), and blows off residents who are hurt by impatient and unsafe construction practices (http://www.wjla.com/articles/2015/05/southeast-neighborhood-blames-breathing-problems-on-nearby-demolition-fights-d-c-housing-authority–.html).

Interim DCRA director, Melinda Bolling, awaits confirmation from the DC City Council and there is a public roundtable scheduled to hear your comments this week on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 500 of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. 

BE THERE — Individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to testify at the public roundtable are asked to contact Ms. Faye Caldwell, Special Assistant to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, at (202) 727-6683, or via e-mail at fcaldwell@dccouncil.us

DCRA has been told to keep issuing the permits to overdevelop at all costs, and simultaneously continues to ignore the lurking issue of DC’s very real infrastructure collapse >> http://www.dc4reason.org/updates/category/updates#up3

4) ZONING REGULATIONS REWRITE DROPS

The highly controversial Zoning Regulations Rewrite has been dropped into the DC Register, and conveniently the Office of Zoning and Planning has ensured the public only has the summer while we are vacationing with our families to review the 1000 pages of changes >> http://www.dcoz.dc.gov/ZRR/ZRR.shtm

ANC’s are being asked to resubmit their prior ANC resolutions about the ZRR.

The bottom-line is that these zoning regulations have been found to be arbitrary and capricious by many people, including lawyers and its one-size-fits-all philosophy is not based on any meaningful studies or jurisdictional reports.  It’s all a gamble with the future of our City.  For more details of its impacts and lack of due process see this blog >>  http://dczoning.blogspot.com/

Check out the archive of the terrible process of review and how the Office of Planning has rankled people across the City >>
http://dcfeedback.com/zoningchanges/venus/press.php

Listen for more information and ask your ANC’s to weigh in soon!

5) IMPORTANT ARTICLES



6) UPCOMING EVENTS

 

  • Our RFP — Parcel 42, Saturday June 13, 10:00am
    The Mayor wants to try out her new RFP process regarding public land deals, starting with Parcel 42.  If this RFP process is anything like Hine School or the West End deals, then the taxpayer will be paying for the costs of amenities and privatizing the land. So be there this Saturday to witness more semantic word play and call it out!  FMI: http://dmped.dc.gov/OURRFP_Parcel42
 
  • Support EmpowerDC, June 15th
    Donate to an amazing grassroots organization fighting to protect the residents of the historic Barry Farm community in Ward 8.  They need your help to keep 400 families from being displaced by DCHA into homelessness.Link >> http://www.empowerdc.org/index.php?page=donate
 
  • DC Ferguson, June 16th, 7:00pm
    WHAT: DCFerguson Movement protest against racist, militarized policing in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.
    WHEN: June 16, 7:00PM
    WHERE: Mt. Vernon Sq.
    FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/865978560116129/
 
  • The Marriot Marquis Coverup, June 19th, 10am
    http://www.onedconline.org/juneteenth?utm_campaign=juneteenth

    Location: United Black Fund, 2500 MLK Jr Ave SE.
    The City spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build a hotel, and got a paltry number of jobs for locals in return.  Be there at OneDC’s press conference which will expose this TIF sham.
  • Hipster Fascism Art Opening, June 20th
    The Fridge opening Reception Saturday,  June 20, 6 – 11pm, free and open to the public >> http://www.thefridgedc.com/