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The title of this post and the examples don't illustrate very well what I believe is the legitimate story, Councilmember McDuffie's legislation. That legislation should be applauded and does not need the surrounding discussion about how "[d]iscussions in DC's Ward 5 often center around what people oppose." I say this for a few reasons.

First, I believe many neighborhoods in Ward 5 have Small Area Plans. It probably would have been helpful to at least identify the various small area plans as a starting point for the vision people have for their communities so that there's at least an acknowledgement that people in fact are not simply stating opposition. For example, Brookland has a small area plan. So contrary to the assertion presented in the opening paragraph, residents in that community have articulated a vision of what they want. Whether development taking place actually reflects the small area plan is another story, but it's inaccurate to suggest that people are only stating what they do not want. If it is the case that the areas mentioned in the article do not have small area plans, then it would be helpful to state that. Where there are no plans is certainly where communities find themselves in a more reactive position.

Second, I don't think there really is a credible argument against the notion that we should share the sacrifice of housing burdensome facilities that serve large portions of the city. For example, the Fort Totten trash transfer station abuts Fort Totten Park in NE. An argument could be made that the park camouflages the station so it's great that the station was placed where it is. On the other hand, that also means no one uses much of the park. That's not to say the park doesn't still serve a purpose in being green. Interestingly enough, the residential area that sits across the street is marked as an affordable housing zone.

Third, the bus garage is just a poor example to illustrate the point I think the author would like to convey. Residents of the 14th St. neighborhood do not want the bus garage there and they want it moved so that the current site can be developed into a mixed use development. I'm not sure why it would be expected that residents in other communities would feel any differently about housing the bus garage. Unlike the streetcar barn, the bus garage already exists. That there seems to be no discussion about rehabilitating the site where it currently stands is confounding at this point.

I'll end this long comment by saying the title and the examples seem to convey this notion that people are only whining, which is too bad because I don't think that was the real point of the post. It's also unfortunate that there's an element of "thems the breaks" underlying a few of the comments because it essentially renders the people who would have to live near these facilities as virtually invisible because it supposedly makes economic sense to do so. They just become part of the industrial landscape that supposedly pervades the ward.

by Uchenna on Nov 16, 2012 4:28 pm • linkreport

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