Greater Greater Washington

It's One City, not eight cities

Mayor Gray's "One City" slogan makes an important point beyond just a campaign slogan. DC is a single "city" (actually a unique state-city hybrid district), not 8 separate mini-cities with their own individual mayors.


Berlin Wall (today). Photo by Noud W. on Flickr.

We have enough problems with boundaries in this region. DC, Maryland, and Virginia often act without coordination or even at cross-purposes on issues that affect residents across borders. Individual counties and cities within Maryland or Virginia frequently do the same. DC doesn't need to create even more divisions.

Yet some DC councilmembers time and again act like mayors of their individual wards. They want to unilaterally control policies for their wards, from liquor licenses to parking. Some even try to exclude anyone outside their ward from participating in decisions surrounding development, as with the Florida Avenue Market in 2008 or Reservation 13/Hill East today.

During Zoning Commission hearings over development at the Florida Avenue Market in 2008, then-Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. opposed granting ANC 6C "party status," a special privilege for organizations in close proximity. The market is in Ward 5, but railroad tracks, New York Avenue, and Gallaudet University separate it from almost all Ward 5 residents, while many people live just across Florida Avenue to the south. It just happens that those people are in Ward 6.

Ward boundaries are artificial legislative districts. An individual congressperson might want to bring projects to his or her district back home, but he or she doesn't get to veto development projects in the district or it set parking policy. When state legislatures gerrymander their districts, people object because it might dilute or strengthen one group's vote, but rarely do protests happen because one block of residents feels passionately about being in the same congressional district as an adjacent block.

Living on the border of a town or even a state carries some challenges. Recently, Veronica Davis wrote about how a liquor license on the Prince George's County side of Eastern Avenue strongly affects residents in DC, but they have no say over regulatory decisions involving it.

There's no reason to go around creating more of these problems. Yet we do, which makes redistricting fights more forceful than they need to be.

Tommy Wells and Jack Evans had an argument over whether the line between Ward 2 or Ward 6 would be east or west of I-395. That's partly because an air rights development project is slated for the road. But it shouldn't matter, because the councilmember whose ward includes the project shouldn't get some special power to control that project.

Since parking zones also correspond to ward boundaries, with only a few small exceptions, residents in the Palisades vehemently objected to being switched from Ward 2 to Ward 3 during the 2001 redistricting. They didn't want to lose the right to park for free in Foggy Bottom, Shaw and other Ward 2 neighborhoods.

Mount Pleasant asked to redistrict a piece of Rock Creek Park, where nobody lives, from Ward 4 to Ward 1. Park Road passes through this area on its way from Mount Pleasant to Cleveland Park. DC would assign Ward 4 constituent service reps to handle complaints about the spot, even though the affected residents with the complaints would live in wards 1 or 3.

Following ward changes, ANC boundaries also change, and usually to line up with wards. People who felt they were part of the same neighborhood one day find they have to act like separate neighborhoods the next.

Luckily, that's not always the case. When part of Chevy Chase joined Ward 4 in 2001, ANC 3/4G bridged the divide and kept the neighborhood together in one ANC. Yet Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) refused to let Kingman Park be part of the same ANC as adjoining parts of H Street in Ward 6.

MPD has avoided the ward-centric trap: police district boundaries do not line up with wards. That's better for public safety, because MPD can make decisions about police resources around where there is crime rather than arbitrary legislative districts.

The worst and most recent "Eight City" thinking came last week at the community meeting on Reservation 13. Yvette Alexander started out the meeting by lecturing Ward 6 residents about how the land moved to Ward 7 in the latest redistricting, and that therefore Ward 7 "owns" the land.

Her leading challenger, Tom Brown, whom we have endorsed, demonstrated the same fallacy in a campaign speech on the Reservation 13 site (from well before this meeting). Brown talks about how Ward 7 is "getting the title" to the land, and that he will then listen to Ward 7 residents about what they want to do with that land.

Actually, Ward 7 doesn't "own" the land. The District of Columbia does. Decisions about the land get made by the Mayor, who represents all voters, and by the council, which has 8 ward members and 5 at-large members including its chairman.

The Ward 7 member should indeed listen "first and foremost" to residents of Ward 7, but shouldn't have the final say, or even primary say, over what happens on a particular parcel of land. The District should, and all nearby residents, and the entire council, voting together. But if the Ward 7 member is only listening to Ward 7 residents, then the Ward 4 member should only listen to Ward 4 residents, and so on.

With the 395 project, for example, in what would is it logical to say that since the project remained in Ward 6, only Councilmember Wells and residents east of 2nd Street, NW should now have any input into the project, but if the line had put it in Ward 2, those residents ought to have no say whatever and only residents west of 3rd Street NW have the right to weigh in?

The District has a small voice in a big region and no voting representation in Congress. We don't need government processes and legislators who try to deepen divisions and boundaries between neighborhoods. We need people who will work together, prioritizing the needs of their own local residents but trying to unite rather than divide, to better create One City.

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David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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So one city only "one city" when Harry Thomas and Yvette Alexander play nice w/the residents of Ward 6?

WOWSERS!

by HogWash on Mar 26, 2012 3:39 pm • linkreport

Yeah, this can read as one city as long as it agrees with me.

by selxic on Mar 26, 2012 3:42 pm • linkreport

I'm really scratching my head on this one.

The points about ward based parking are very valid. The others?

by charlie on Mar 26, 2012 3:49 pm • linkreport

Wells shouldn't get unilateral control over projects in his ward, either. I've made a couple changes to clarify what I mean.

by David Alpert on Mar 26, 2012 3:52 pm • linkreport

I don't understand the head scratching at all.

If a ward redistricting moves the line from one side of a new development project to the other, do you think that before, the councilmember on one side should have 100% control over the project, and only residents living on one side should have any say, and then after, the other councilmember takes over 100% control, and only residents living on the other side should have any say?

Of course it's fine for Alexander to listen to Ward 7 residents first and foremost, but if she's only the rep for Ward 7, then she only gets 1 out of 13 votes on any project, and other councilmembers should only listen to their own voters and ignore her desires.

by David Alpert on Mar 26, 2012 3:57 pm • linkreport

We certainly had One City under Tony Williams and Fenty...One WHITE-RUN City. The people in the wilson building were to busy asking people in NW what they wanted, so we turned to leaders like Marion Barry for help.

Can you blame us for supporting people who look out for us? Or is it too much that black people support black leaders?

by Longtime Resident on Mar 26, 2012 4:03 pm • linkreport

Longtime Resident: I don't think it has to be either-or. I don't want to stop black residents from having a say in DC, but I don't think anyone should be trying to stop me from having a say, too.

Because skin color is so evident, we tend to assume that all people of one color are the same. That's not the case. Nobody says, "Mayor so-and-so was always listening to the people with innie belly buttons, so us outie belly button people need to have a turn."

Why don't we want to have leaders who listen to everyone, regardless of type of belly button or skin color? I'd never advocate for excluding a group of people from being a part of the debate and I hope anyone who does would take a hard look at what they are saying.

by David Alpert on Mar 26, 2012 4:07 pm • linkreport

@daveAlpert; as an Arlingtontian, I don't have a bone/dog in this fight. Interesting to follow. As you remember, a lot of the argument -- well, a tiny bit - on diving Arlington into "wards" was we didn't want seperate arlingtons. OK, all true.

But I see a lot of anger among DC GGWers, and honestly, again as an outsiders, I a not sure I see it. The Res 13 thing is a great example -- it is about corproate welfare for Synder, not about urbanism and the Redskins.* You words a year ago -- that urbanism is bigger than Fenty and Rhee and Klein were true then true now. I drove down RI ave this weekend and it amazing how much "urbanism" is coming up.

So it is a process issue? Not having access? A sense that other players (developers?) are pushing harder?

For a place that is doing better than OK, there is a lot of anti-incuments afoot.

by charlie on Mar 26, 2012 4:09 pm • linkreport

Ward boundaries are practically post-Colonial in their haphazard balkanization of the city. But this only matters if ward government is being given too much power over what happens in the jurisdiction.

I wonder if, based on the growing population of the city, adding another ward might alleviate some of these issues... or just make them worse.

by Dave Murphy on Mar 26, 2012 4:22 pm • linkreport

unlike you and your people, we work long hours and dont have the luxery of biking around with city officials or meeting them at dog parks. we need men like Marion Barry to look out for us...if he thinks that things aren't going well, then I don't think things are doing well either.

similar reformers have come and gone before you, alpert, so dont pretend like we haven't seen this before. NW dc is a trendy paradise, but it might as well be a foreign country to us. we dont feel wanted or needed. i sometimes feel like Your people quietly wish we would all move out to PG county so that you could take over more of our neighborhoods.

we have been shortchanged before, and it will take more than a fancy website to earn that trust

by longtime resident on Mar 26, 2012 4:27 pm • linkreport

Really what's needed is a way to de-incentivise the position of Councilmember.

It won't ever happen, but term limits might go a long way here.

It's difficult to regard your legislative constituency as a fief when you're guaranteed gone in 4-8 years. Maybe 6 year terms for CMs?

But then, horrors, guys like Longtime Resident would have to find someone other than Barry to represent them. I'd like to point out - yet again - that calling the Fenty administration racist is insane. I mean, Tony Williams and Fenty were black, right? Or are my eyes just broken. Bunch of racists over there on the East Side, I guess...

Also, God forbid a mayor looks to the needs of all 4 quadrants. Really grinds my gears to read crap like that.

by Matthew B on Mar 26, 2012 4:28 pm • linkreport

Single member districts and aldermanic privilege. Not all that surprising of an outcome given the structure. Slogans don't change that.

by Alex B. on Mar 26, 2012 4:29 pm • linkreport

Really? Ward 7 now has to involve everyone when we were flat out ignored throughout the entire process? This complaint means nothing especially when brought up by members of the same anc/smd where the ANC rep. is protesting for the right to be included in ward 6 because they are so full of themselves they don't want to be associated with Ward 7. GOH.

by WhoSaidWhat on Mar 26, 2012 4:29 pm • linkreport

unlike you and your people, we work long hours and dont have the luxery of biking around with city officials or meeting them at dog parks.

This is like every stereotype of what GGW'ers think that residents of Ward 8 believe.

by JustMe on Mar 26, 2012 4:35 pm • linkreport

@JustMe,

Which leads me to believe that "longtime resident" is probably neither, but rather looking to stir the pot. Well, that and the whacked-out sense of DC history: "When white supremacists like Tony Williams and Adrian Fenty usurped power, DC's native sons were left with no choice but to turn to their new hope, Marion Barry!"

Seriously?

by oboe on Mar 26, 2012 4:41 pm • linkreport

I don't understand the head scratching at all.

You write an article imploring the rest of DC (in order to form a perfect union) to play nice w/W6 and then don't understand the head scratching?

This is even after you decided to "educate" W7 voters on who owns what land in DC? And now you're suddenly advocating that no CM should have priority say on what goes on in their ward.

Are you really wondering or just playing Sarah Palin...who didn't know that the Queen was NOT the head of England's gov't. :)

by HogWash on Mar 26, 2012 4:44 pm • linkreport

This is like every stereotype of what GGW'ers think that residents of Ward 8 believe.

How very unfortunate of GGWr's.

by HogWash on Mar 26, 2012 4:47 pm • linkreport

unlike you and your people, we work long hours

Dah-ling, pass the champagne and bon-bons. I need some nourishment for taking some leisure to read a blog...

by you people on Mar 26, 2012 4:49 pm • linkreport

Because yes, its the guy who wants people to work together who is stoking the flames of division and not the council member who thinks that she now has sole possession of a plot of land to build as she and her constituents see fit, prior plans and other concerns be damned.

by X on Mar 26, 2012 4:58 pm • linkreport

You write an article imploring the rest of DC (in order to form a perfect union) to play nice w/W6 and then don't understand the head scratching?

This is pretty comical. The article made the argument that individual councilmembers shouldn't treat their wards as their personal fiefdoms (this is after at least one GGW piece during the redistricting fight arguing that it makes no difference who's your councilmember, because such things are irrelevant, but we'll leave that aside). You respond to this plea with the most distorted interpretation possible, then end with a gratuitous insult. If you leave that massive chip off your shoulder and turn down your hypersensitive sense of grievance, it's pretty obvious what the original point was. Why not make a constructive contribution?

by oboe on Mar 26, 2012 5:03 pm • linkreport

@you people

Indeed, the latest iteration of the St. Petersburg Ballet was mahvelous, just terribly wonderful. I do wish my Kennedy Center season tickets came with extra caviar and Verve Cliquot, I always seem to run out after the second act.

Squire Alpert, perhaps your next post could be on the importance of constructing a new marina for my various yachts and dinghies to moor upon.

Yes, and perhaps we can turn Independence Avenue into a private bike lane for the 1%. Mmm, mmyes, indeed.

Pardon me sir, but could you please pass the Grey Poupon?

by Matthew B on Mar 26, 2012 5:04 pm • linkreport

Seems pretty straightforward to me too. I live in Ward 7 and I'm more than happy to see my Ward 6 friends participate in the Reservation 13 discussion because yes, it does impact them more than it impacts me. It's not brain surgery.

by Joe on Mar 26, 2012 5:16 pm • linkreport

I saw this play out in the performance parking policy when it first got started. Since Jim Graham had oversight of DDOT, and Wells of Ward 6, Wells didn't criticize DDOT enough for not doing well on the performance of the pilot, and Graham didn't look enough into how the pilot was working in Ward 6.

by Michael Perkins on Mar 26, 2012 5:31 pm • linkreport

I think former Gov. Rod Blagoyavich put it best when he referred to the empty senate seat as his "golden ticket" and he wasn't about to give it up for nothing. Well, Res 13 is Alexander's golden ticket.

by Falls Church on Mar 26, 2012 5:33 pm • linkreport

You forgot to mention the ANCs .... When I was on the ANC it was a small ANC (2 members) and we split the tasks between us ... and not the constituents. When I moved to Dupont Circle I found it disconcerting to find that each ANC commissioner viewed a part of the already small ANC as his or her concern only ... leading to many of the issues you pointed out in regards to Wards. I can understand some 'it's mine' in regards to the ANCs since they're supposed to represent one or more communities within the District (i.e., the 'local' in DC.) But I can't understand how the commissioner's area can similarly be separated from the rest of the ANC given the non-fact-based boudary lines at that level of representation.

by Lance on Mar 26, 2012 5:39 pm • linkreport

Tell 'em why you mad, son. Tell 'em why you mad!

You're right. Nice work.

by The Madd Rapper's blogger on Mar 26, 2012 5:48 pm • linkreport

Myoptic racists, that's all ya'll are. Sorry for trying to be part of one-city. I'm done with this site. Please try better in the future to include everyone who lives within your the borders of your city. Citizens need to look out for each other.

To all the others out there who think I'm being facetious or stupid, I ask you this: is there more? Really good cities need broad foundations to be healthy, flourishing places. Death to Flanders. Otherwise we are left with un-livable polities which do not cater to the needs of their populace. Lest we forget the mistakes we made back in the 1950s/1960s; we need not to do that again. Loving one's city is a game of give-and-take, and it is evident that circumstance may warrant Senate action to overcome the mistakes of local and state governments.

Hence, I offer a simple, yet feasible proposal for civic health in our republic. Cities are fine in Estonia, but not America? The United Nations must be stopped at all costs. Why is it that Romania invests more in their cities than we do? Building cities is the work of great men, like Erasmus, or Goethe, or even Sarte and Camus. Let us emulate them. Go in peace.

by longtime resident on Mar 26, 2012 5:52 pm • linkreport

Wait so now you're accusing the general people here of not caring and willing to spend to fix the cities problems? A blog dedicated to celebrating urban living?

by Canaan on Mar 26, 2012 6:00 pm • linkreport

@longtime resident: I admit that I just started reading after your comment at 5:52 PM, so surely you explained all of your outrage upthread...

but could you possibly explain what on Earth you're talking about?

by Gray on Mar 26, 2012 6:05 pm • linkreport

duh, maybe its having lived in Chicago, or reading Coase, or whatever, but Im not sure I see why this can't be settled under the current governance structure. The obvious answer is for CM Wells to ask CM Alexander what she wants in exchange for the go ahead on Hill East. And then roll the logs - you rub my back, I'll rub yours. And the peoples bidness gets done.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 26, 2012 6:26 pm • linkreport

I had the same reaction as you when I read the CM Alexander comments on Res. 13 and yes, it reminded me of the Florida Market issue in particular, although yes it's not the only example. And your one city vs. eight cities is a good line.

(When people pull the "where do you live s***?" on me at public meetings, I always respond "the District of Columbia, and I want every block of it to be great.")

And related to Alex B's point, I have been thinking about Chicago and aldermanic privilege lately as it relates to development in the various wards here.

I suppose I wouldn't mind Councilmanic privilege if most of the councilmembers weren't so f*ing pathetic. (Walmart, Redskins training facility, Internet gaming, requiring students to apply to college, etc.) E.g., I have been mentally composing my blog entry on the coming election and I just wonder if there is any point at all.

Unfortunately, I don't think that DC has made it to the point of critical mass where the momentum of improvement is somewhat resilient and impervious to degradation.

by Richard Layman on Mar 26, 2012 6:28 pm • linkreport

Um, we have at-large councilmembers, too.

I don't see the problem.

by mch on Mar 26, 2012 6:42 pm • linkreport

If you leave that massive chip off your shoulder and turn down your hypersensitive sense of grievance, it's pretty obvious what the original point was. Why not make a constructive contribution?

If anyone holds a chip on their shoulder..that would be you sir. I don't live in neither ward so my opinions about it is just that. So despite your whistle, there is nothing for me to feel "aggrieved" by.

The original point is what I thought it was...only when people play nice with the "aggrieved" W6 residents will the city become one city. And that the whole Res13 is so "unfair" to W6 residents. And that all residents should have "equal" say in what goes on in our one city.

You've never met a GGW or Saint Wells position that you don't like and will never give the impression otherwise. So I'm not surprised that you would single me out and suggest that I have nothing constructive to say here. What else is new. I mean, I don't live in W6. Why would you?

by HogWash on Mar 26, 2012 6:51 pm • linkreport

@mch, speaking of Councilmanic privilege, most of the time at-large councilmembers will not step in and get involved in ward-specific issues such as development at Florida Market or Res. 13 although they may get involved at the legislative level (e.g., CM Catania was key in getting a requirement written into Orange's bill about Florida Market, requiring that the designated land developer had to get 51% of the total landowners to agree before moving forward. OTOH, in Orange's bill the intent was to put the eminent domain authority of the city behind the designated land owner without such buy in from the other landowners. And this was done through suasion by people with connections to him, at levels far above my involvement in the issue.)

by Richard Layman on Mar 26, 2012 7:23 pm • linkreport


When Graham had DDOT oversight Alpert and crew were willing to go alone with Ward Council Member as mini-Mayor as long as that mini-Mayor, Graham, went along with Greater Greater Transit Oriented Development gimmicky policies and provided access.

by W Jordan on Mar 26, 2012 7:34 pm • linkreport

On another note, the link to the recap of 2008 Gateway Market Residences, didn't say what Thomas' reasons were for not allow An6 party status.

The only Thomas reference is: A representative from Harry Thomas' office delivered testimony in favor of the development, and I believe it also contained opposition to granting party status to ANC 6C. No representative was present, due to scheduling conflicts, from Tommy Wells' office, but his office did submit a letter supporting party status for ANC 6C.

Yes, I know that you can't cover everything. But since I wasn't familiar w/the issue, I clicked the link expecting to see why Thomas opposed party status. I don't think the Wells/Evans nor the Alexander thing are the best examples of "fiefdom building" but sure, we all can do better.

by HogWash on Mar 26, 2012 8:03 pm • linkreport

So I'm not surprised that you would single me out and suggest that I have nothing constructive to say here.

Not true. I thought "longtime resident" was being petulant and gratuitously combative as well.

Sorry, I just think the adult answer to "Why can't we all get along?" should not be "Why do you stuck-up Ward 6ers think we'd want to get along with you???"

by oboe on Mar 26, 2012 8:04 pm • linkreport

longtime has got to be a troll.

by NikolasM on Mar 26, 2012 8:36 pm • linkreport

I might have written about the party status thing. It was pretty egregious. Because of "privilege" the Zoning Commission allows COuncilmembers or their representatives to speak first at hearings. So Vicki Leonard-Chambers got up and read then CM Thomas' egregious letter. Egregious because the ZC (and case law) has supported the interpretation that bordering ANCs located within 200 feet of a relevant matter have status. (E.g., this is what happened with the Walmart at GA and Missouri Aves. That intersection is the border of 3 ANCs although the Walmart site is in 4B specifically.)

Even if the ZC is going to rule based on case law etc. not the bullshit of Councilmembers, it's has a kind of chilling effect to give them that privilege when they go up there and spout really bad policy.

by Richard Layman on Mar 26, 2012 10:21 pm • linkreport

"If anyone holds a chip on their shoulder..that would be you sir. I don't live in neither ward so my opinions about it is just that"

I don't live in the district, so I guess Im even more objective. If Penny Gross stopped a major mixed use project that happened to be in Mason district, but which mostly impacted a neighboring magisterial district in FFX, she'd lose all credibility in FFX politics, and would soon be out of office.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 27, 2012 4:46 am • linkreport

If Penny Gross stopped a major mixed use project that happened to be in Mason district, but which mostly impacted a neighboring magisterial district in FFX, she'd lose all credibility in FFX politics, and would soon be out of office

Fortunately, that's not the case here as there is no "killing" of this project which is nowhere close to breaking ground. It has become a big talking point for her detractors but even they can't state specifically in what way is the project on its way to being killed.

Also, the only people who can vote out Alexander are her constituents. The opinions of those of us who aren't in her Ward are irrelevant to that fact.

by HogWash on Mar 27, 2012 10:20 am • linkreport

yes for voting, but not for weighing in on an issue that frankly, is more important to all of us as residents of DC than it is to W7 specifically.

The kind of magical thinking people/Councilmembers espouse about development is deleterious to having positive impact and change.

Getting back to the Florida Market thing, the business interests trucked in supporters to the City Council hearing to spout ridiculous things, how it would be amazing for workforce housing, generate massive numbers of jobs, have super duper entertainment facilities--because they needed this in Ward 5, that it was unreasonable to expect people to go bowl at Lucky Strike at Gallery Place (maybe it's too far?), etc.

That was all unmitigated bullshit. Fantasy.

I just don't understand why we have to go through the same process each and every time one of these projects come up.

Speaking of your ward/my ward, this is going on in W4 wrt Walter Reed. For one, the amount of development, all things considered, isn't that significant. But all the expectations are just crazy--that groundbreaking will start imminently, that it will somehow help businesses like Ledos in the short run, that it will trickle down and improve Georgia Avenue rather than detract from it (without specific plans designed to link improvements)--and that I find very frustrating, how magical and fantastical are people's beliefs and expectations.

I'm 52 and it will be easily 10+ years for that site to be built out--longer in all likelihood, because it isn't at a subway station.

Yvette Alexander likely won't even be in office by the time development happens at Res. 13 in a significant fashion.

by Richard Layman on Mar 27, 2012 10:35 am • linkreport

@Hogwash

I said stopped, not killed. If its not going forward, its stopped. IIUC the talk about the Redskins' facility has slowed or stopped discussion of mixed use development.

Of course here in FFX members of the Bd of Supervisors are voted in by their constituents. However we have two party races, and a Dem superviser, for example, relies on the support of the Fairfax county Dem comm for funding, volunteers, etc. Someone who didnt play nice would find themselves low in the priority list for getting such help. In addition they might find many of the major sources of campaign donations distinctly cool to them. And on top of that, at least some constituents would react badly as the "not playing nice" became publicized. Its "One County" you know (Loudoun, with its bitter east vs west split, may be different)

DC afaict does not have this A. because its NOT one city, at least not that much and B. being a one party town, effectively, theres no real leverage of party organizations on individual legislators. That leaves fundraising. If the larger busines/development community is uninterested in Res 13, some folks in ward 6 might consider funding potential challengers to CM alexander - but for all I know, that might itself become an issue, so polarized is politics between those wards in DC.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 27, 2012 10:49 am • linkreport

@RichardLayman, do you know why Thomas was against granting W6 party status?

@AWalker, ok. Well what part of the project has been "stopped?" I don't get it. How can she stop a project that seems years away from starting in the first place? I get that people are upset by the manner in which she addressed the group. And that they feel as if a plan adopted years ago might not happen. But that has little to do w/facts and from what we do know, the city isn't stopping Res 13 development. Frankly, I don't think the training facility (if any) will be located and maybe that's why I'm not as alarmed and emotionally attached to the issue.

Some folks in ward 6 might consider funding potential challengers to CM alexander - but for all I know, that might itself become an issue, so polarized is politics between those wards in DC.

You're right it would and I imagine it would be a start a ward war which will not, in any way, be in the city's best interest.

by HogWash on Mar 27, 2012 11:08 am • linkreport

You're right it would and I imagine it would be a start a ward war which will not, in any way, be in the city's best interest.

Not sure there's not one going on already. Perhaps a PAC that is publicly-funded by residents of all the city's wards might be effective in breaking the city's longstanding traditions of corruption and graft. Can't be any worse than the status quo in which politicians are bought for the price of some sports tickets or a community picnic.

by oboe on Mar 27, 2012 12:00 pm • linkreport

Not sure there's not one going on already.

Man I hope you're wrong. I really do hope that W6 residents' ire at Alexander won't cause a ward war.

by HogWash on Mar 27, 2012 12:28 pm • linkreport

The letter is in the record of the PUD. I don't have a copy. You can get it from the Office of Zoning.

It was a few years ago, basically the argument was that the land is in W5 and groups outside of W5 have no standing in the matter. Although the land is on the border and in fact, since the border between the wards/ANCs technically is in the middle of the street is just feet from W6, yet many miles from the various parts of W5 from which proponents bused in people to testify.

by Richard Layman on Mar 27, 2012 12:59 pm • linkreport

Basically the kind of stuff that CM Alexander was reported to have said at the Res. 13 meeting is the same kind of argument that was in the letter. Very parochial, and fortunately, not how case law has ruled about ANCs and party status wrt land use (and other) actions within 200 feet of their borders.

(the way the zoning regulations work, the 200 feet distance is the basic requirement for notification and standing.)

by Richard Layman on Mar 27, 2012 1:01 pm • linkreport

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