January 5, 2021
Contact Nick DelleDonne
While Rome Burns – DC’s Comp Plan Unmasked
“The [Mayor’s amendments to the DC Comprehensive] Plan fails to reckon honestly with the city’s inequities and past failures, laying the groundwork for repeating the same mistakes in the future.”
Thus begins a blistering critique of the Mayor Bowser’s 1500-page amendment of the Com Plan, currently before the DC Council and due for mark up in February. In its careful and detailed analysis, the Committee of 100 on the Federal City throws down the gauntlet, challenging City elected officials to come to grips with the housing crisis in DC. Will they at last take it seriously? Aside from the full engagement of Chairman Phil Mendelson, most on the Council run from it, while the city burns.
Titled, Unmasking the Rewrite: How to Make the Comprehensive Plan Work for DC, the 74-page assessment by one of the city’s oldest civic organization, pulls no punches. Please take a look and share with persons you believe may be interested in what the Mayor is proposing and who want to see what’s on the table right now, before the Council’s anticipated February vote. Here is the link.
Here are some excerpts:
“Current land use policies have permitted the worst gentrification in the nation with the accompanying displacement of tens of thousands of Black residents, many among the District’s most vulnerable people.
“The vision of an inclusive city has not materialized and the promise of revitalized neighborhoods with strong education options, a safe and clean environment, vibrant commercial areas with essential services, job opportunities for all residents, and healthy recreation opportunities have not been attained throughout the District.
“The amendments do not describe adequately the extent to which the District exists in two separate economies. It recites inequities, then goes on to propose policies that will exacerbate the situation. The 2006 Comprehensive Plan outlines supportable goals, but the policies written to achieve those goals allowed them to benefit the few and deepen the prosperity divide and, in some cases, end life-long ties to the District.
“Some amendment changes within the Planning and Development Priorities sections are updates of completed projects. However, many of the edits distort what the community was saying and change statements to suggestions. Delete those amendments and restore the original wording.”