Right on, Harriet Tregoning!
When I moved to DC, many people asked how I could possibly like DC as much as New York. Certainly DC has a few flaws (we need more transit, for example). But DC is terrific in many ways, and on Smart Growth, the DC government is light years more progressive. Just look at this comment by Harriet Tregoning, DC's head of planning, last night at the Dupont Circle Citizens Association:
We know every day how important it is to our future that we have Metro, and have increasingly good transit service of all kinds; that we have retail convenience in some many more neighborhoods, so we can do our daily shopping without having to depend on cars.
Part of doing that, and increasing our fiscal health, is to have more taxpaying people, especially near those resources. We invest in transit so you don't have to have a car. That means that, inherently, our city is more affordable than if you need a car: most households spend $10,000 per car per year, which is equivalent to $100,000 worth of mortgage.
[For new development,] we do try to get near what the zoning allows so we can get full use of the resources, so taxpayers and residents can take advantage of the great access [while at the same time] we want compatibility with historic neighborhoods.
This isn't a surprise to anyone who reads Tregoning's bio
Her remarks came up in the context of the development project at 14th and U. Ramon Estrada of the ANC expressed again his frustration with the Historic Preservation Review Board, its frequent disagreement with the Dupont ANC, and the height of the proposed project in particular. However, as HPRB chairman Tersh Boasberg and Tregoning both replied, the HPRB tries to respect the zoning of an area, and the zoning is not set by the historic preservationists.
Because of the controversy over 14th and U, Tregoning prefaced her Smart Growth remark by saying her statement might not be popular with the crowd. That may be true of some, but several people I spoke with after the meeting told me their reaction was "right on!" I concur: right on, Harriet Tregoning!
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