We had a great turnout at last night’s ANC 6B Reservation 13 Special Call Meeting to discuss the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s plans for parcels F1 and G1 on the site. Unfortunately, we may be looking at another year+ of process before the city selects a developer. Extremely frustrating.
Here were my takeaways:
- As expected, Deputy Mayor Hoskins announced that instead of seeking best and final offers from the two developers who responded to the 2010 request to develop parcels F1 and G1, his office plans to issue a new request for proposals for the two parcels. The reason? DMPED has received a legal opinion from the Office of Attorney General stating that not re-issuing the request for proposals would subject the city to potential litigation. I’m personally skeptical that the litigation risks associated with choosing one of the two responding developers are higher than the litigation risk that comes with any proposed development. ANC 6B is requesting that the Office of Attorney General provide a written legal opinion on this issue. The commission’s preference would be for DMPED to seek best and final offers from the developers that bid in 2010, which would get the long-stalled project moving sooner.
- Some new information – I asked Deputy Mayor Hoskins directly if the city had ruled out a proposed Redskins training facility for parcels F1 and G1. He said that F1 and G1 are “off the table” for a proposed training facility but did not rule out using the remaining parcels for such a facility. Deputy Mayor Hoskins’ statement a proposed training facility was “never on the table” for Reservation 13 was extremely confusing, given that Mayor Gray has said a number of times that he would like to see a training facility at the site. Until I hear Mayor Gray say the training facility is off the table, it is still on the table in my view.
- DMPED appears ready to eliminate language from the 2010 request that gave the winning development team for parcels F1 and G1 the “right of first refusal” to develop the rest of the site. I strongly disagree with this decision and feel that any new request should include this language. If nothing else, it requires development teams who bid on parcels F1 and G1 to develop plans with the entire site in mind.
- After hearing from the Deputy Mayor, his team and the community, ANC 6B approved a resolution that, in lieu of an opinion by the Office of Attorney General, urges DMPED to immediately seek Best and Final Offers from the two developers who responded to the 2010 request. This is exactly what Mayor Gray directed DMPED to do during the March 22, 2012 Reservation 13 community meeting. The commission is also asking the Mayor and DMPED to develop a phased plan for preparing infrastructure for full development of the site and for addressing the future of community/social services at the site.
- Deputy Mayor Hoskins announced that he and his team would be meeting with Ward 7 ANC commissioners next month to get their feedback on the site.
- ANC 6B is also sending a letter to the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs asking for clarification as to why DCRA continues to classify Reservation 13 as “unzoned” for purposes of building/construction permit applications. The site is zoned as the “Hill East District.”
A big thanks to all who attended. And I also want to thank Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins and his team for attending the meeting and answering commission and resident questions. I’ll post ANC 6B”s resolution in the next day or so.
Please post your takeaways from the meeting below.
Thanks for your efforts. But for some of us, sitting through that blather from all those junior city officials, for whom every bump in the road is Everest, came closer to elder abuse or cruel and unusual punishment than worth the time. Actually, it should be against the law. A few more meetings like that and you’ll have to call an ambulance for some of us.
Brian, I understand that you and your ANC commissioners have good intentions. You want to be nice, reasonable people and work with city official, not against them. Or some such. Lord, I was in my 50s when we started trying this in regards to Res. 13, and now I’m in my 70s. It didn’t work. How many more meetings about the minutia of form based codes, the future of Ann Archibald Hall, and Attorney General’s opinions used as excuses, etc., must I sit through in my declining years?
I took a walk down on Res. 13 the other day for an hour or so. The situation there is infinitely worse than it ever was in 2005 when we first thought it would be worthwhile referring to the mess as “The Hill East Waterfront.” What has that gotten us? Even the goals these officials proposed last night are pathetic and tailored so they can build stuff on Res. 13 that will do us little good and less credit. I believe a more committed and nasty effort is called for.
These officials should be scared to come into the neighborhood with a performance like last night’s. I think some of the elected officials involved in the creating the disgrace that Res. 13 has become should be encouraged to find some other line of work. But are there committed people in the neighborhood who would be willing to take the gloves off and get tough? That’s what I’m wondering.