BLOOMINGDALE CIVIC ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION ON THE McMILLAN SAND FILTRATION SITE AND ADVISORY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 5C

WHEREAS, as noted in the 1863 Gettysburg Address, the United States of America is a democracy wherein "government is of the people, by the people, and for the people"; WHEREAS, in congruence with this perspective of democracy, the Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA), a voluntary, membership 501(c) (3) organization, was established in 1921, and the District's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) were authorized by a 1974 referendum as a means for ensuring input from an advisory board that is made up of the residents of the neighborhoods that are directly affected by government action; and with consideration that:  BCA was established to: provide a means for all citizens...to participate in the shaping of their life in the larger community; assist government officials in developing, publicizing, and implementing city-wide programs ...; determine the community's important needs and problems, and seek solutions and relief; promote cooperation among the various community organizations by providing a forum for exchange of ideas, information, research and opinions; sponsor or cosponsor programs of community education on subjects significant to the city as a whole; provide a forum in which people of any neighborhood may speak so as to be heard beyond the local boundaries in calling attention to civic activities and problems; develop and prepare citizen leadership in facing civic and community problems; and sponsor, encourage, train and develop young people in civic work and responsibilities that they may become the effective leaders of tomorrow. The District's ANCs, whose members are elected officials, are the body of government with the closest official ties to the people in a neighborhood, and are authorized to present their positions and recommendation on issues to various District government agencies, the Executive Branch, the Council and Federal agencies, as well as present testimony to independent agencies, boards and commissions;

WHEREAS, it is customary that ANCs solicit the input of affected civic associations and other community organizations to inform ANC positions and recommendations; WHEREAS, in 1905, the McMillan Sand Filtration Site (bounded by Michigan Avenue NW, North Capitol Street NW, First Street NW, and Channing Street, NW) was completed as a District public health milestone featuring an innovative system of water purification that relied on sand rather than chemicals, and continued to fulfill that purpose until 1986;

WHEREAS, in 1906, Secretary of War William H.Taft designated the Site part of the McMillan Reservoir Park, a memorial to Senator James McMillan for his efforts in shaping the development of the city at the turn of the 20th century WHEREAS, in 1911, Congress in recognition of the landscape and architectural significance of the Site, which involved the efforts of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and others, designated it as a park; WHEREAS, in 1986, the 25 acre Site was declared surplus, and the U.S. General Services Administration reiterated that open space was not the highest and best use of the property, and that the Site would be sold for mixed commercial development; WHEREAS, in 1987, the District purchased the Site for $9.3 million for mixed commercial development, after rejecting an offer to assume ownership of the Site at no cost if used as a park,; WHEREAS, in 1991 the DC Historic Preservation Review Board designated the Site a Historic Landmark and recommended it for the National Register of Historic Places, thereby ensuring that a substantial contiguous portion of the Site would forever be reserved for recreation and open space and requiring adaptive reuse of the Site's historical elements -- both above and below ground; WHEREAS, in 1999, ANC 5C voted unanimously to support the historic preservation and limited mix commercial development of the Site; WHEREAS, since the early 2000s, Site development proposals have been put forward and citizens groups repeatedly have voiced a preference for no or limited mixed use development, contiguous green space of varying acreage, and inclusion of public facilities such as a museum, school, library, park, and recreation center; WHEREAS, the Comprehensive Plan of 2006 identifies the Site for 'mixed use' allowing for medium to moderate density residential and commercial uses, and requires the Site's development to include: a contiguous portion for recreation and open space; exploration of adaptive reuse of some of the underground cells; and consideration of inclusion of monuments, memorials and museums that would capture the Site's historical significance. WHEREAS, in 2007, the National Capital Revitalization Corporation selected Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) as the development team for the Site to develop plans; WHEREAS, since 2007, in recognition that the McMillan Sand Filtration Site -- Ward 5's largest publically-owned open space parcel available for potential mixed use development -- will significantly affect the character and quality of life in neighboring areas and beyond, communities abutting the Site and/or significantly affected by its development have actively and responsibly engaged the planning and political processes related to the Site's proposed development -- including but not limited to participating in numerous community forums and planning sessions with VMP related to several versions of the Site development plan; surveying approximately 1000 citizens living in abutting neighborhoods; supporting and giving input to the McMillan Advisory

Group (MAG) -- a group of community leaders designated as the official community advisor to VMP and District government; drafting by ANC 5C, affected civic associations and other interested individuals and community groups of letters, resolutions, and testimony to VMP, the Historic Preservation Review Board, city officials, and ANC 5C; WHEREAS, as a result of such citizen engagement efforts, none of the affected neighborhoods has expressed unilateral opposition to the Site's development -- but the neighborhoods have voiced opposition to the February, 2012 VMP plan and formally identified critical concerns and recommendations related to that Plan, including but not limited to the following:  Absence of support or, unwillingness to support or not support the VMP plan (ANC 1B, 4/17/12; Bloomingdale Civic Association [BCA], 5/21/12; MAG, 7/10/12; Pleasant Plans Civic Association [PPCA}, 4/24/12; Sierra Club Washington, DC chapter, 9/24/12; Stronghold Civic Association [SCA], 4/21/12) ; Need for more creative thinking and design that is appropriate for a site of national historical significance (BCA, 5/21/12; MAG? Incompatibility of the Site's unique history, green open-space character and its current degree of historical integrity with the proposed development's scale (approximately 2.1 million square feet), size/height (including 8 to 10 story buildings) and density. (ANC 1B, 4/17/12; PPCA, 4/24/12; SCA, 9/10/12); Need to preserve vistas from, into, and through the Site (MAG, 7/10/12); Inadequate size of the contiguous Central Park and limitations on its active and public use as green space. According to preliminary findings of a community survey, more than 85% of the estimated 1000 residents surveyed in neighborhoods abutting the Site, indicated a preference that no less than 50% of the Site be contiguous park space (BCA, 5/12/12; SCA, 9/10/12; Sierra Club Washington, DC chapter, 9/24/12); in addition a need has been expressed to replace the South Court's hardscape with green space (MAG, 7/10/12); Need to significantly increase the number of underground cells that are preserved for potential re-purposing (SCA, 9/10/12; BCA, 5/21/12); and absence of any specific implementation plan and timeline for re-purposing underground cells (BCA, 5/21/12); Insufficient preservation of above ground structures e.g., silos, regulator houses, sand bins, gated entries to cell, walls of regulator courts (MAG, 7/10/12); Insufficient design elements that will serve to document the Site's historical significance such as a museum, memorials, monuments, etc. (MAG, 7/10/12); Need to reduce the number of housing units on the Site (e.g. by reducing one row of townhouses at the Site's southern end) in order to mitigate traffic concerns and increase green space and the size of the Central Park (BCA, 5/21/12; MAG, 7/10//12); Insufficient details related to the Site's affordable housing: Although the VMP plan calls for a significant proportion of 'affordable housing', it fails to: specify a definition(s)/criteria of eligibility for such housing, identify potential funding strategies for such housing, and state the number of units proposed for

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'affordable' status -- although such information is essential for analysis of the financial feasibility of differing Site design and development options (BCA, 5/12/12); Insufficient traffic mitigation strategies: The VMP plan would negligibly ameliorate the increased traffic pressure north/south on North Capitol, First and Second Streets NW, and east/west on Channing Street NW and Michigan Avenue NE\ NW due to the proposed development bringing thousands of new daily vehicle trips to and from the Site (BCA, 5/21/12); Need for the Site to include a full service recreation/community center of substantial size (BCA, 5/21/12); Need for an aggressive storm water management strategy that exceeds LEED standards, in consideration of the extent of Site's built environment and the history of flooding in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, and in contrast to the developer’s strategy, which merely meets EPA guidelines that do not account for the inadequate storm water infrastructure in Bloomingdale(BCA, 5/21/12); Unnecessary urgency and lack of clarity in plan decision-making (SCA, n.d., 4/2/12);

WHEREAS, in August, 2012, VMP put forth a revised plan that included a revised landscape topography plan, the addition of 1.2 acres of 'open space' throughout the Site-- almost all of which is noncontiguous to the Central Park, the preservation of a third filter bed, the preservation of a third cell in the Central Park, improved views at the south end of the Site; a recreation center with three alternative locations -one of which is in the Central Park where it would occupy approximately 30% of Park space, a slight reduction in the number of townhomes, and installation of a 350,000 gallon storm water storage tank ; WHEREAS, most of the proposed changes of the revised VMP plan do not substantially address the community's continuing concerns; WHEREAS, on September 17, 2012 at an emergency/special public meeting , ANC 5C approved by voice (with all Bloomingdale Commissioners voicing opposition) of a resolution to support VMP's revised technical plan for development of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site titled Resolution in support of the current stage one P.U.D. application HPRB submission subject to certain specific conditions and modifications'; WHEREAS, the 9/17/12 ANC Resolution lends support for all of the specific major existing elements of the VMP plan, but fails to include: (a) specific reference to the articulated critical concerns and recommendations of the affected communities, (b) a single statement of reservation or concern based on those community concerns and recommendations, or (c) clarification of those 'specific conditions and modifications', to which the resolution is subject; and WHEREAS, the 9/17/12 ANC Resolution inferred (contrary to the evidence on record and noted above) support for the revised VMP plan by the affected communities and noted: '"The 5C community, via surveys and in extensive meetings during the last four (4) years, has continued to work with the District and VMP resulting in increased green space, a larger - more programmed recreation

center and an agreed upon strategy for developing sound traffic and storm water management alternative, has signaled its agreement with a balanced approach toward development of the site"; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Bloomingdale Civic Association has NO CONFIDENCE in ANC 5C's representation of community/constituent concerns in matters related to the McMillan Sand Filtration Site development; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Bloomingdale Civic Association will actively encourage other Civic Associations affected by the McMillan Sand Filtration Site development to consider issuing similar resolutions of 'no confidence'; BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Bloomingdale Civic Association will actively seek assurances from District Officials that the recently authorized ANC 5E (which incorporates most of the communities abutting the McMillan Site), upon its constitution, will have rights of advisement, comment and 'great weight' on all matters related to the McMillan Sand Filtration Site development.

APPROVED: This _____ Day of November, 2012.

______________________________ President Bloomingdale Civic Association

______________________________ Recording Secretary Bloomingdale Civic Association

cc: VMP DC Council Members Director, DC Office of Planning Historic Preservation Review Board ________________________________________________________

REFERENCES

ANC 1B (4/27/12) Letter re McMillan Park Reservoir Historic Landmark concept design review. ANC 5C (9/17/12). Resolution in support of the current stage one P.U.D. application HPRB submission subject to certain specific conditions and modifications. Bloomingdale Civic Association. (2007). Bloomingdale Civic Association, Inc. Constitution. Available at http://www.bloomingdalecivic.org/pages Bloomingdale Civic Association. (n.d.).History of the Bloomingdale Civic Association. Available at www.bloomingdalecivic.org District of Columbia Government. (n.d.). Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Available at http://anc.dc.gov/page/about-anc McMillan Advisory Group (MAG). (7/10/12). Comments on proposed development plan for the McMillan Slow Sand Filtration Site. Pleasant Plains Civic Association. (4/24/12). Letter: McMillan Park Reservoir Historic Landmark Concept Design Review. Sierra Club - Washington DC Chapter. (9/25/12). Letter: RE: McMillan Park Reservoir Site. Stronghold Civic Association. (4/2/12). Memorandum: Stronghold Community Association does not support the currently proposed Vision Mcmillan Partners plan for development of McMillan Park. Stronghold Civic Association. (9/10/12). Memorandum: Stronhold Civic Association opposition to McMillan Park development plan. Stronghold Civic Association. (n.d.). Memorandum: Request delay date for presentation of Vision McMillan Partners presentation of the McMillan Master Plan, now scheduled for March 22, 2012. Wikipedia (n.d). Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advisory_Neighborhood_Commission Wikipedia. (n.d.) McMillan Sand Filtration Site. Available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMillan_Sand_Filtration_Site

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