April 2017 news


Spring is here, but there’s still a chill in the air.

Not much going on in Ward 3 these days – other than talk about a possible Wegmans at the Fannie Mae site. For the most part, projects are on hold: Georgetown Day School is going forward with the school construction but sitting on plans for the mixed-use portion; Valor has withdrawn its application to the Zoning Commission for a later date; JBG may sell off the Marriott Wardman Park site.

The chill seems to be coming from the DC Court of Appeals’ decision in the case for a 6-story residential building across from Brookland metro stop. As David Alpert observed in a GGW blog last summer: If courts start taking the FLUM’s “this broad area will probably be moderate density” as a stricter dictate that medium-density buildings are verboten, and if OP applies that to other proposals (as it may already be doing), that’d mean a big change for the ability to add housing on major corridors and near Metro stations, housing DC desperately needs.

So what can we do about this?  Amend the Comp Plan to clarify the legal significance of the FLUM (future land-use map); redefine moderate density to allow for 6-story buildings as a matter of right; strengthen language in the Comp Plan to encourage higher density near transit.  Any one of these or a combination of all three could make a huge difference.  OP needs to hear from many people and organizations (including Ward3Vision and individual DC residents) to make the changes to break through this log-jam.

Comprehensive Plan Amendments: The Office of Planning scheduled an “open call” period for submitting proposed amendments, March 24 to May 26, 2017, and it posted a form for doing so. Find additional informational meetings here.

You can also sign onto the Priorities Statement that Ward3Vision, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and numerous other community organizations, ANCs and individuals are supporting to tell the Office of Planning what we think should be the focus of the amendment process. Sign on here.

Emergency Shelter for Families: Ward3Vision expressed its support for the emergency shelter for families proposed for Ward 3 in a letter to the Board of Zoning Adjustment.  We stated that all city wards should participate in providing shelter for homeless families.  We argued and that the increased density and other zoning relief requested would not have any adverse effect on the area and that the positive attribute of having social services located on-site at a larger facility where more families could be served should weigh in the applicant’s favor. See our letter here.

If you are interested in getting more involved with Ward3Vision or assist in drafting amendments to the Comp Plan, please email us at info@ward3vision.org. We need you!

Thank you,

Ward3Vision Steering Committee

Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wisconsin Avenue during a March 20 tour of Tenleytown, with Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and ANC 3E Chair Jonathan Bender behind her. Photo Courtesy of Mayor’s Office.

Upcoming community events and meetings

Get more involved in community affairs by attending one of these upcoming events or meetings.

Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) workshop

Workshop on vision Zero Safety
April 27, 6:30 pm, Tenley Library
Event details >>

Coalition for Smarter Growth Walking Tours

Rockville: Suburban mall to smart growth
Smart growth principles applied at a metro station – inspiration for our Ward 3 metro stations?
April 8, 10-12 pm

Tenleytown Main Street Events

See events calendar here.

Community Design Charrette for Fessenden Park at Fessenden & 42nd St.
April 4, 6:30 pm, walk-thru; 7 pm discussion
Hera Hub DC, 5028 Wisconsin Ave.
Public input sought on programming, landscaping, seating, and other improvements for the park.
Register to attend >>
Please click here to take a brief survey >>

Extreme Clean-Up of Wisconsin Ave and Fessenden Street. Joint Effort with Rock Creek Conservancy
April 22, 9 am -12 noon
Meet at triangular park at Wisconsin Ave and Fessenden Street
Leader Contact: Helen Gibson, info@tenleytownmainstreet.org
More information >>

Van Ness Main Street Events

For more information see www.facebook/vannessmainstreet.

See events calendar here.

Guided Community Ride, AU, and WABA

April 14, noon to 1:30 pm, location TBD
Exploring the best routes to get to and from AU campus. Bring your own bike or contact sustainability@american.edu for alternatives. RSVP is required.
More information >>

The Heart of Iona tour

Overview of programs for the community
April 4, 8:30-9:30 am — 4125 Albemarle Street
Learn more >>

UDC Arts Center at Van Ness

Washington Performing Arts Society is giving performances at UDC Arts Center at Van Ness while their space at the Kennedy Center is being renovated.

Soprano Anne Schwanewilms
April 20, 7:30 pm

Pianist Yefim Bronfman
April 25, 8 pm

Spanish pianist Javier Perianes
April 29, 2 pm

Murch Elementary School at 36th and Davenport St. is undergoing a $68.3 million renovation and expansion. The school building is closed and will reopen in mid-2018. Photo by Ellen Bass

Ward 3 ANC meetings

Get more involved in Ward 3 by attending one of these upcoming ANC meetings. Note that each meeting’s agenda may change between today and the actual meeting, so please check the ANC’s website for updates.

ANC 3B meeting (ANC3B.org)
April 6, 7:00 pm (meets monthly on the second Thursday)
Stoddert Elementary School and Glover Park Community Center
4001 Calvert St NW 

This ANC covers Glover Park and Cathedral Heights.

ANC 3C meeting (ANC3C.org)
April 17, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the third Monday)
2D Police Station, Community Room
3320 Idaho Ave NW 

This ANC covers Cathedral Heights, Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Heights, McLean Gardens and Woodley Park. A proposal to redevelop the Fannie Mae site on Wisconsin Ave will be reviewed.

ANC 3D meeting (ANC3D.org)
April 5, 7:00 pm (per ANC 3D website, date may change. Usually it meets monthly on the first Wednesday)
Sibley Memorial Hospital
5255 Loughboro Rd NW 

The ANC covers AU, Berkley, Foxhall, Kent, New Mexico/Cathedral, Palisades, Spring Valley and Wesley Heights. This ANC includes American University.

ANC 3E meeting (ANC3E.org)
April 11, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the second Thursday)
American University Law School
4300 Nebraska Ave NW, Ceremonial Classroom

Currently considering development proposals by UIP on Wisconsin Ave and one by Valor Development in Spring Valley called “Ladybird.”

ANC 3F meeting (ANC3F.com)
April 18, 7:30 pm (meets monthly on the third Tuesday)
Forest Hills of DC
4901 Connecticut Ave NW 

This ANC covers the Van Ness area and along Connecticut Ave.

ANC 3G meeting (ANC3G.org)
April 10 and 24, 7:00 pm (meets monthly on second and the fourth Monday)
Chevy Chase Community Center
5601 Connecticut Ave NW 

This ANC covers the upper Connecticut Ave area in Ward 3.

Project Updates


News that you may have missed

Wegmans grocery could be a tenant at redeveloped Fannie Mae, Washington Business Journal

Effect of short-term rentals on housing market in DC, Greater Greater Washington

Housing Production Trust Fund for affordable housing found to be mismanaged in audit, Washington Post

DC’s Housing Production Trust Fund isn’t working as it should, audit finds, Greater Greater Washington

Proposed law in DC would require equal treatment of transit and bike commuters by employers who subsidize parking, Washington Post

DC is too costly for millennials, and they are moving out, Washington Post

Trump budget would have devastating effect on housing programs for poor, City Lab

Potential cuts in federal funds for transit, City Lab

Cities before the EPA, City Lab

Making a concrete plaza more welcoming, City Lab