Last night, 9 ANC commissioners met with Victor Hoskins, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, to discuss the status of development plans for Reservation 13, the 67-acre site of the former DC General Hospital. Here is what we learned:
- The Mayor’s Office is continuing to negotiate with Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins to build a training facility at Reservation 13. Until the outcome of the negotiations is determined, any development plans for Reservation 13 remain on hold. Commissioners strongly pushed back that the community must be involved in the decision about a training facility on the site and expressed frustration that the Mayor is not seeking feedback from residents. Deputy Mayor Hoskins said that his office is not involved in the negotiations.
- Commissioners voiced concern about what a training facility would do to the master plan for the site approved by the DC Council and the community. We also asked where the facility would be located on the site. Deputy Mayor Hoskins said he did not have specific information on where the facility would be located, but said that the community would be involved in the discussion if the city moves forward on the facility. We pushed back that residents should be involved in the discussion now…before a decision is made.
- The Deputy Mayor said his office should know whether the city will pursue a training facility or continue with the current development plans in 30 days. If plans for a training facility do not move forward, he said that the city would return to development plans approved by the community, beginning with parcels located next to the Stadium-Armory Metro station at 19th and C Streets SE. The Deputy Mayor also said that any training facility proposal would have to be consistent with the zoning for the site.
- Commissioners expressed frustration that the Mayor has not made Reservation 13 a priority, particularly given its access to Metro and waterfront location. Deputy Mayor Hoskins responded that his office’s involvement demonstrated that Mayor Gray is still committed to developing the site.
- All 9 Commissioners, representing Wards 6 & 7, agreed thay Mayor Gray needs to come out to the community and explain how a potential training facility fits into the master development plan agreed to by residents. We asked Deputy Mayor Hoskins to relay this message directly to the Mayor. The Deputy Mayor reiterated his commitment to participate in a community meeting with or on behalf of the Mayor.
I’m extremely frustrated about the lack of community involvement or input in the training facility negotiations. As I’ve written before, I’m skeptical that a training facility is in the best interests of the city and neighborhood. However, I’d like Mayor Gray to come to the community and explain why he thinks such a facility would be a benefit. I’m disappointed that he has so far declined our invitation. I plan to continue to keep you updated on this critical project.
A big thanks to the commissioners who were able to attend the meeting with the Deputy Mayor: Nick Alberti (6A05), Francis Campbell (6B10), Sheila Carson-Carr (7A01), Jared Critchfield (6B06), Neil Glick (6B08), David Holmes (6A03), Villareal Johnson (7A07), and Lisa White (7D01). And thanks to the Deputy Mayor and his staff for the update.
UPDATE: ANC 6B Chair Jared Critchfield reports that Mayor Gray committed to attending a community meeting on Reservation 13 during last night’s ANC chairs meeting. More details to follow. Thanks to everyone who called and urged the Mayor to attend the meeting!