Washington, D.C. – Advocates seeking a new design competition and re-working of redevelopment plans for McMillan Park have filed very thorough and detailed opening briefs to the DC Court of Appeals this week.
Credit: Erkiletian (Atlas Obscura)
Appellants say DCRA has given a “green light to …the Applicant to unlawfully and unethically expose our community’s air and DC’s drinking water supply to a known carcinogen imminently threatening significant harm to Petitioners.” See Pro se Petitioners Opening Brief at page 31.
DC residents who live around the park have sounded the alarm with the Mayor, with Council Chair Phil Mendelson, and Mayor Muriel Bowser, but they have largely ignored these pleas even despite one of DC’s key drinking water reservoirs is located just west across 1st Street, NW from what will be a massive demolition project. www.tinyurl.com/mcmillanparknews
“DC officials want to posit that it is their job to issue permits first, then manage safety considerations later. The city’s after-the-fact nonchalant posture to demolition and construction activities is putting the well-being and safety of elders, children, families and residents of DC at risk unnecessarily, and unlawfully, as is happening now at McMillan Park. We ask this Court to use its authority to ensure the city pushes its projects forward without jeopardizing its people, air, and water, per the law.” See Pro se Petitioners Opening Brief at page 3.
DC Council Chair, Phil Mendelson was successful in passing legislation to split up DCRA to get at some of the concerns being raised by appellants, but DC Mayor Muriel chose not to fund a new Building Review department in the 2022 Budget. The Council has backed off the split and isn't pressing for the funding.