Greater Greater Washington

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Proposed project stirs debate

This article was posted as an April Fool's joke.

A new controversial project has drawn vigorous support from some residents but strong opposition from others. Proponents insist that it will enhance the community, while those against see it as yet another example of change in an already changing neighborhood. Both sides agree that the change that will greatly impact the quality of life, for better or worse.


Yes/no image from Shutterstock.

Several local leaders and neighborhood activists insist that the project is an important way to help the community adapt to the 21st century and accommodate new ways of doing things that many residents want. They also argue that this is only a minor adjustment to previous plans.

Opponents disagree, insisting that the project does not fit into the character of the existing neighborhood and will ultimately render it unrecognizable from its current state. Both sides have marshaled data (and, more importantly, anecdotes) to support their vision for changing things or keeping them exactly the same.

Some community meetings have become intense affairs of shouting, foot-stomping and finger-pointing and the rhetoric on the neighborhood listserv has become increasingly vitriolic. The most passionate supporters and opponents insist that they love the neighborhood so much that they will move away if the wrong outcome comes to pass.

"I just moved here, and I would not have done so had I known that this project could have even been proposed," said one opponent. "I can't believe that no one consulted me to let me know ahead of time that such a change was even possible," said another. "I have kids. What about them?" she continued.

"I have lived in this neighborhood for a long time and I can't recall a time that our community was this divided," said a resident who supports the project. "This is yet another example of how the side I disagree with on this issue continues to put their own interests over mine."

Several residents have argued that this change will push elderly people out of their homes, while others insist it is necessary to ensure they can continue to live in their homes. The needs of poor residents have frequently come up, as affluent proponents say this change will help the less fortunate while wealthy opponents are certain it will harm the poor.

The fierce debate over the project has even garnered attention from the local media. After the last community meeting, one reporter filed a memorable story, "Community Members Square Off Over Controversial Project." Several notable local newspaper columnists have written that this project is a prime example of the tensions over change in the region.

Both sides do agree that the current public process has not involved enough residents. Those who support the project and those who oppose it both believe that certain voices in the community have spoken up at public meetings out of proportion to their numbers, while a "silent majority" of other residents who agree with their side of the issue have not yet been heard. Local elected officials have generally agreed that the government agency or private organization promoting the project has not done enough to involve the community.

Tensions continue to run high, but a decision should be reached soon. Whether the community rallies behind the eventual outcome and the project is advanced or rejected, or whether the project moves forward or stalls and the rift carries on for years to come, remains to be seen.

Comments

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I get it... but what's the point?

by Navid Roshan on Apr 1, 2014 9:51 am • linkreport

Oh its April 1st, ugggggh... I'm going back to bed

by Navid Roshan on Apr 1, 2014 9:51 am • linkreport

http://www.theonion.com/articles/you-will-suffer-humiliation-when-the-sports-team-f,10804/

As you can see from the calendar, the game is coming up this weekend. I'm sure you are as excited for it as I am, as our cities are rivals and have been for quite some time. Your confidence in your team is high, but rest assured, you will suffer humiliation when the sports team from my area defeats the sports team from your area.

On numerous occasions, you have expressed the conviction that your area's sports team will be victorious. I must admit that every time I hear you make this proclamation, I react with both laughter and disbelief. "Ha!" I say to myself with laughter. "What?!" I say to myself in disbelief. How could you believe that your sports team could beat my sports team? It is clear that yours is inferior in every way.

by Alex B. on Apr 1, 2014 9:53 am • linkreport

Speaking of the onion this seems appropriate: http://www.theonion.com/articles/city-planner-gets-halfway-through-designing-city-b,35611/

by BTA on Apr 1, 2014 9:56 am • linkreport

Brilliant. 10/10.

by pdovak on Apr 1, 2014 9:56 am • linkreport

This project has been a problem for a long time, and the community divisions undermine my confidence in neighbors, elected officials, agency representatives, businesses, and advocates. I'm moving to a cabin in the woods.

by Ben Grousin on Apr 1, 2014 9:58 am • linkreport

I live in the area and it's obvious that many of these commenters do not or are simply plants because that would be a good use of resourcers for a developer.

What you don't understand is that this has been a long process where we've been to meetings and voiced our opinion and have been told that what we want is physically impossible! What's physically impossible is that this building will ruin the neighborhood and make it look worse than after the riots. I hope you people enjoy lower housing prices because building here will cause that.

by drumz on Apr 1, 2014 10:07 am • linkreport

Think of the children!

by CyclistinAlexandria on Apr 1, 2014 10:07 am • linkreport

Not in my back yard.

by likedrypavement on Apr 1, 2014 10:09 am • linkreport

So I see we're not getting anything real today...

by PotomacAveres on Apr 1, 2014 10:09 am • linkreport

The project? Moving a bus stop fifty yards back to accommodate parking and a bike lane.

by Jasper on Apr 1, 2014 10:23 am • linkreport

@PotomacAveres, I feel your pain; levity... meh

by Navid Roshan on Apr 1, 2014 10:31 am • linkreport

Further study is needed.

by contrarian on Apr 1, 2014 10:37 am • linkreport

OTOH, if only we had market pricing, the problem would resolve itself. I learned this in Econ 1059, where we discussed how the area below the curve always exceeds the area of the triangle formed by lines AB, CD, and EF, resulting in consumer surplus at P* and Q*. All we needed to assume was perfect information, atomistic competition, no taxes, and a few other things, I forget what. I think you can get the same result dropping those assumptions, but that was taught in a different course, which I lacked the prerequisites for. If only the planning dept was better at explaining this to the public, I think we could move past this debate.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 1, 2014 10:37 am • linkreport

This is so ridiculous. Every time we try to get something done for the better in this city, it's stymied by the NIMBY crowd. I'm getting absolutely sick of it.

Dear PoPville, should I call 311, 911, or my elected officials?

by LowHeadways on Apr 1, 2014 10:40 am • linkreport

This is EXACTLY what I've been talking about. Without getting too much into the particulars of this unique project, I think we can all agree that we deserve an improved political culture that will consider the local issues that matter the most.

by Tom Veil on Apr 1, 2014 10:51 am • linkreport

What are you people complaining about? This is exactly how the process is supposed to work. All sides have been heard, each advancing every side of the issue.

Soon the decision will be made, and then we can move forward with the appeals process.

by JimT on Apr 1, 2014 11:01 am • linkreport

@Navid

If only it were actually humorous

by PotomacAveres on Apr 1, 2014 11:18 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by selxic on Apr 1, 2014 11:32 am • linkreport

Quick! Demagogue about how the project isn't really about making the community better but merely just a gift to evil developers.

by Cavan on Apr 1, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

The other side of this debate is acting akin to a fascist government that attempted to impose its will on an unsuspecting public.

by DAG on Apr 1, 2014 11:35 am • linkreport

Tevye Responds:

On the one hand, the change will be new and wonderful.
But on the other hand, who want change? Things are nice the way they are.

Tradition!

by Ben Kintisch on Apr 1, 2014 12:10 pm • linkreport

I'm not from around here!
My customs are different from your customs!

by scratchy on Apr 1, 2014 12:23 pm • linkreport

Nailed it.

The worst thing is, they (the other side) do it every time!

by Sydney on Apr 1, 2014 12:27 pm • linkreport

Dedicated transit lanes for some, miniature American flags for others!

by LowHeadways on Apr 1, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

And this is why historic preservation laws need to go away

by anon7 on Apr 1, 2014 1:56 pm • linkreport

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