On July 18, the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (the Assembly) submitted a testimony to the DC Zoning Commission on behalf of community residents. Printed here are excerpts from the testimony. The full testimony can be found at www.swdc.org/docs/SWNA_Waterfront_PUD_Zoning_Testimony_7-18-11.pdf.

The following conclusions were adopted by the 18-member Assembly board based on comments received directly in personal conversations or via email and the six community meetings we’ve organized since the release of the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront (HMW) plan. The most recent meeting was attended by over 350 residents.

We support the general framework of the plan. The HMW team has developed a captivating plan for reactivating the Southwest Waterfront (SWW).  We believe the plan establishes a bold vision for redeveloping our waterfront, long suffering from incomplete development and inadequate maintenance.  HMW has demonstrated commitment to Southwest by establishing interim uses and regularly meeting with community leaders and organizations.

However the plans require further refinement and modification. In the following we highlight a number of zoning & development, circulation, open space, sustainability and public benefits shortcomings. In many respects, our concerns regard not what is written or depicted in the plans, but what isn’t. Given the unprecedented size and complexity of the development this can be expected.

No public meetings have been held to inform the public about the current plan. It’s our understanding that the only community members who were given the final plan (June 28, 2011) were the individual Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC). The ANC graciously spent $700 to make three copies available to the leaders of several community organizations, including the Assembly.

The following is the list of categories in which the Assembly had concerns.

  • Zoning and development
  • Circulation
  • Open space
  • Sustainability
  • Community benefits

Conclusion

Southwesters are looking forward to a revitalized SWW and appreciate the work of the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Economic Development and HMW team to develop a plan. Indeed, several of the properties immediately bordering the Waterfront have come to an agreement with HMW, and now express unqualified support for the current plan. However, the Assembly, which represents all Southwesters, finds further refinement of the plan is necessary to ensure a world-class development that is integrated, accessible, sustainable and a benefit.

This testimony was submitted by Kael Anderson, President of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly.

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