We wish to express our support for the proposed Master Plan for the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant. This plan is a carefully designed redevelopment and preservation plan that will highlight the unique historic resources while putting this significant parcel back to productive use. This 25-acre site, adjacent to the 68-acre McMillan Reservoir site helps reconnect the Washington Hospital Center complex and adjacent neighborhoods back to the rest of the city while also addressing the growing need for more housing, especially more affordable housing, local retail, medical offices, and celebration of the historic features of the site.
We wish to express our support for Robert Miller to be confirmed as a Zoning Commission member. I have personally worked with Rob through several Council chairs and have always found him to be respectful of input from D.C. residents, thoughtful and diligent in his analysis, and deeply committed to making D.C. a better place for all of its residents to live and work.
We are pleased to express our support for the 1900 Chapman Ave project which will replace the old Syms building and surface parking lot with two street-oriented moderate-density apartment buildings. These new homes will be within a few hundred feet of the Twinbrook Metro station. We commend this proposal as the kind of transit-oriented development this city and region needs to remain sustainable and competitive.
The key to a sustainable and equitable future for our region is a network of transit-oriented communities which mix a range of housing with jobs and services. We need the next generation of transit including streetcar, light rail, and bus rapid transit to expand high capacity transit service to more of our region, expanding access to jobs, reducingvehicle trips and fighting climate change. TOD not only maximizes transit trips but it also maximizes walking and bicycling trips as demonstrated by recent Council of Governments’ travel surveys.
In the last couple of years we have seen Montgomery County renewing its focus on transit and transit-oriented development (TOD) — first and foremost with the Purple Line, as well as the White Flint plan, CR Zone and now the Rapid Transit proposal in the list of important county initiatives.
With more effective management of the District’s on-street vehicle parking space we can foster quality neighborhoods, reduce congestion and air pollution, and enhance housing affordability. As a participant in the 2003 Mayor Williams’ Parking Task Force, I continue to support many of the reforms that were proposed in Task Force Report, including the recommendation “that parking is market priced for all users.” We still need to move forward in this direction – price parking so that supply equals demand. Where supply is ample, prices will be low. Where demand is high, price should reflect that scarcity.
We wish to express our support for the proposed project for the Hine Junior High School site. We concur with the results of the HPRB approvals and believe that the proposed scale and overall design conforms to the Capitol Hill Historic District and enhances key historic assets such as the open space of the L’Enfant square on Pennsylvania Avenue and the market house. Given the large amount of open space adjacent to the site, we agree that a larger scale building is needed to give definition to the expansive square around Pennsylvania Avenue. The project also restores the historic street grid with the reconstruction of C Street. The project offers important benefits to the community in the form of a flexible low-speed C Street that can accommodate an adapted flea market, new retail space to complement Eastern Market and Pennsylvania Avenue retail, office space to support surrounding businesses, and affordable and accessible housing.
We strongly support the zoning text amendment proposal to revise and similify the requirements for permitting accessory dwellings. We commend the Planning Board for addressing some of the key problems within the current rules which are discouraging the creation of accessory apartments that are perfectly compatible with existing neighborhoods. We also commend the Board for recognizing the potential of accessory units as a key opportunity to address the county’s tremendous affordable housing shortfall.
Of course Montgomery County had begun many years before to implement smart growth policies, earning a national reputation for its early planning initiatives including: wedges/corridors, Agricultural Reserve, TDR’s, downtown Bethesda, Kentlands/King Farm, and of course, MPDU’s
Public land development has traditionally been viewed as a catalyst for revitalization and private investment in distressed neighborhoods. However, given D.C.‟s strengthening real estate market, public land can play an important role in providing the diversity of housing the city needs, especially in areas with high and rising values. Public land redevelopment can also meet other community needs for services and amenities for a thriving city. Effective public-private development can provide updated public facilities such as libraries and schools, affordable housing, and enhanced community amenities, along with cost savings and other efficiencies.