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Uchenna -- people don't use Fort Totten Park because it's not set up to be used, and is located in a place that's inconvenient to get to. I don't think the fact that there is a transfer station next door is why people don't use it. (cf. other discussions about NPS parks in DC and how they are provisioned and managed).

WRT small area plans, they aren't really complete plans, they are build out analysis and management plans. But you are right that all the plans should at least be referenced together (+ great streets + transit planning + parks planning + schools planning).

The area elements which cover W5 would be, theoretically, sector plans, or at least a compilation of principles, sort of. But they aren't real plans (compared to places like Montgomery or Arlington Counties).

DC doesn't do sector plans, which is what area elements of the comp plan are.

I agree that the bus garage should go to walter reed, to replace the one or two bus garages serving that area.

wrt the W5 Industrial lands study, I think it's very dangerous. It's obviously an attempt to politicize the use of the land even more than it is already. DC has very little industrial land, which the study from 2006 (http://communityinnovation.berkeley.edu/presentations/industrial/DC-industrial-land-in-a-post-industrial-city.pdf) made the point.

That study is an extension of ideas in planning, including SF, that PDR uses (production, distribution, repair) have to be accommodated somehow, that they can't be displaced, and transit is one of those uses.

W5 has a preponderance of this zoning category because most of this use abuts train tracks.

And it is problematic for a variety of reasons. I think DC made a mistake in allowing nonindustrial uses as a matter of right in many cases, particularly churches and schools, which can outbid industrial uses on noneconomic grounds, especially because they don't have to pay property tax (usually). I submitted an amendment to the comp plan to disallow this in CM zones and it was rejected.

The problem of course is that these lands abut residential areas. I don't know what to say other than people chose to live near the railroad tracks and shouldn't expect to change the land uses there.

Although likely some of the energy about this is the allowance of "strip clubs" in industrially zoned areas.

But the general point that W5 is an artificial construct is true. Better that the focus be on fixing places that don't work, a key example being Rhode Island generally, and specifically the part from 4th St. NE to 13th St. NE, Bladensburg, and New York Avenue.

But yes the W5 parochialism is big (one of the big reasons I avoided looking at houses there) and comes out in projects and plans such as with the Florida Market, where people argued that the rest of the city had no business weighing in on the issues, that they deserved something like Gallery Place in W5 (sort of like the idea that every ward deserves a Level 1 trauma center) with a bowling alley, etc., even though the location is about one mile from Gallery Place, etc. and that justified urban renewal of the market.

by Richard Layman on Nov 17, 2012 12:19 pm • linkreport

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