On the March 2nd edition of Kojo Nnamdi’s Politics Hour radio program, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans talked about his desire to bring a Redskins training facility to Reservation 13. In answering a question posed by my ANC 6B colleague, Commissioner Neil Glick, Councilmember Evans said the following about the Reservation 13 master plan:
“I’m very familiar with that. Actually, there was a plan, a small area plan that was passed by the council back in 2002. And I have the plan. And it’s not as specific as you would say it is. It has a lot of uses. It even talks about building a baseball stadium there if you look at the plan, which is — makes it somewhat obsolete. And so that plan has not now been acted on since the council voted on it. I believe in 2003 is when it was adopted, and so there’s a lot of things that need to be updated.”
I’m not sure what plan Councilmember Evans is “very familiar” with, but it is clearly not the Reservation 13 master plan. Here are links to the plan and the zoning for the site:
- Reservation 13 Master Plan (adopted by Council of District of Columbia)
- Zoning Commission Final Rulemaking for New Hill East District (April 2009)
Let’s take each of the Councilmember’s claims separately.
“I have the plan. And its not as specific as you say.”
The master plan is 37 pages long and represents hours of painstaking work by both city officials and neighborhood residents. It lays out a clear vision for the site, dividing the 67-acres into four districts:
- Independence Avenue District – devoted to city-wide uses, including St. Coletta of Greater Washington, health-care, recreation and education.
- C Street Neighborhood District – primarily residential with retail located at the “Village Square” along 19th Street SE and near the Stadium-Armory Metro station.
- Massachusetts Avenue District – civic and municipal buildings that separate the residential/retail area from the DC Jail.
- Waterfront District – New parklands including “The Meadow,” Monument Circle and a series of bike and pedestrian paths. This is where the surrounding neighborhood connects with the waterfront.
The plan even includes building masses and heights for each area (height increases as the land slopes down and approaches the water) and concrete steps for implementation. The plan was specific enough that the Zoning Commission based its zoning for the site on the master plan. This is clearly not some vague, poorly defined document.
“It even talks about building a baseball stadium there if you look at the plan, which is — makes it somewhat obsolete“
Read the entire master plan and the final zoning. There is no baseball stadium in the plan. A stadium is not listed for any of the four districts nor mentioned in the Zoning Commission’s final rulemaking document. The only mention I could find of a “baseball stadium” is in the section on public comments at the end of the document (page 35). During a couple public meetings, residents mentioned a “baseball stadium” as one of a long list of possible land uses on the site (UDC satellite campus, swimming pool, skating rink, etc.) and it was captured in the notes. A baseball stadium is not in the master plan. Also note that NFL training facility is not in the plan nor in the notes.
“And so that plan has not now been acted upon since the council voted on it.”
Again, this is false. Since the plan has been adopted, the District has:
- Successfully assumed ownership of the land from the federal government (a process that took until 2010 to complete)
- Approved zoning for the site in 2008-2009
- Issued a Request for Expressions of Interest in 2008; four development teams responded to the RFEI
- Due to the recession, issued a scaled back RFEI in 2010; two developers responded to the scaled-back RFEI
I understand that Councilmember Evans wants to help Dan Snyder put a training facility on Reservation 13. He should make his case on the merits and not by obscuring the facts and needlessly diminishing the work of the surrounding community.