Press Alert: Changes to Plan Maps “Work Around” Community Input

For Immediate Release
Contact Marc Poe, 202-577-7104,

Ward One Neighbors Demand “Actual Planning” Come With Amendments to DC Comp Plan; Changes to Plan Maps “Work Around” Community Input

Washington, DC — Residents living and working in the Pleasant Plains and Parkview communities of Ward One have sent a letter to Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and Council Chair Phil Mendelson about the proposed changes to the DC Comprehensive Plan.  See attached below.

Residents are asking the city to do “actual planning” as “required by law” …  “to coincide with a desire for more population growth.”

The Mayor wants to change DC’s central planning document — the DC Comprehensive Plan — and the Office of Planning sent more than 1500-pages of redline amendments to the DC Council to review.

Council Chair Phil Mendelson held a multi-day hearing across more than 15 hours of testimony from more than 100 people in November 2020.  Rumor is that the Council may begin a public review and mark up the Mayor’s proposed changes sometime in April.

“The Mayor’s Comp Plan changes seek to bypass our protected rights regarding major zoning changes in our neighborhood,” said Marc Poe, a gardener at Bruce Monroe park. “Tearing out some of the last green space along the Georgia Avenue corridor to construct a downtown-sized building adjacent to our low-rise rowhouse community will obviously have impacts on existing community services, the environment, transportation, housing costs, and aging utilities. Not planning for these issues harms the collective future of both existing and new residents in our neighborhood.”

“We haven’t heard a peep since November of last year but now all of a sudden the bell is ringing and yet we still don’t see the required impact analysis from the Office of Planning as to how the Comp Plan changes may permanently harm our community,” said Ryan Cummins, a longtime Parkview resident and petitioner in the successful Bruce Monroe appeal. “Instead of actual planning, we are witnessing CM Nadeau assist developers with a stroke of the pen to work around community-input and avoid mitigating real negative effects of their unprecedented 10-story glass tower project at Bruce Monroe park. The Comp Plan map changes should be rejected outright as unlawful, and certainly unethical and antithetical to basic planning tenets.”

The Bruce Monroe project was vacated by the DC Court of Appeals in early 2020 in part because it noted agencies didn’t do the work required to identify impacts and plan for them.
The biggest project in the area’s history at Bruce Monroe is slated to be part of the Park Morton public housing redevelopment plan. However, as the neighbor letter notes, even Park Morton residents prefer their existing garden-style apartments further north on Georgia Avenue and don’t “want to be squeezed” into a giant building sited away from their homes now.

The letter suggests that the Council immediately “adopt the Park Morton resident-led equity plan” and allow time for real “small area planning” for the affected neighborhoods. Until then, residents would like the Council to defer the Comp Plan markup, asking that the Office of Planning provide the required Plan policy progress reports and analysis of impacts brought on by the proposed Comp Plan changes.


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