January 27, 2013 TO: ANC 5E01; ANC 5E02; ANC 5E03; ANC 5E04; ANC 5E05; ANC 5E06; ANC

5E07; ANC 5E08; ANC 5E09; ANC 5E10 FROM: Bloomingdale Civic Association CC: Kenyan McDuffie; Zoning Commission; Mayor’s Agent; DC Council Representatives; Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions SUBJECT: Objections to and request to rescind the November 19, 2013 ANC 5E Letter of Support - Stage One of VMP P.U.D. Application of HPRB Submission Subject to Certain Specific Conditions and Modifications Dear Chairwoman Barnes (info all other ANC 5E Commissioners), On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 5E passed, by a vote of 6-2, a resolution to send a letter of support for Stage One of the VMP P.U.D. Application of HPRB Submission Subject to Certain Specific Conditions and Modifications (signed letter attached). The PUD statement of support, filed on November 22, 2013, states on page 22 that “On November 19, 2013, ANC 5E voted 5-2 to support the PUD redevelopment.” To our knowledge, there was no discussion of the PUD redevelopment during ANC 5E debate on this issue. This ANC 5E action was taken without the support of the Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA). Further, this vote took place despite strong opposition from two ANC Commissioners: Commissioner Mueller (ANC 5E08), who represents a section of Bloomingdale significantly impacted by the proposed redevelopment, and Commissioner Quinn (ANC 5E06), who serves as President of the BCA. Bloomingdale has a history of concerns that have been previously documented and voted upon (example attached). The BCA objects both to the misrepresentation of Bloomingdale and the denial of an opportunity for Bloomingdale to see and discuss the contents of the letter prior to a vote being taken. The BCA further objects to the denial of an opportunity to review and discuss the submitted PUD application prior to a vote of support being taken. It has been the practice of ANC 5E, prior to this vote, to seek the support or non-support of the respective civic association(s) prior to anyone seeking ANC 5E support. The Bloomingdale Civic Association strongly objects both to the denial to take a position on this matter and to the misrepresentation of the Bloomingdale community on this matter and thus requests that ANC 5E rescind the letter of support. Sincerely, ________________________________________ Teri Janine Quinn, President (BCA) _______________________________________ Mathew Bader, Recording Secretary (BCA)

[Need a signed copy of the last vote of no confidence if one exists. Otherwise, it will need to be the unsigned copy that was voted on by the BCA] *** THIS IS A DRAFT COPY TO BE USED ONLY FOR FEEDBACK FROM THE COMMUNITY PRIOR TO ANY VOTE BEING TAKEN.***

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:  The goals of BCA include the following: To create a process and environment of revitalizing Bloomingdale’s cultural and heritage needs; to inspire and motivate everyone to discover and express their values, talents, and strengths; to develop a stable community with resources assuring the survival and protection the residents and visitors in the Bloomingdale community against displacement [and] other unjust or overwhelming interferences and disruptions in their lives; to achieve economic vitality with full employment, adequate and available consumer goods and services, quality education for young people of the community, sufficient income to meet their needs, and the resources necessary for the continuing health of the community; 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 recommendations on issues to 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 Howard Taft designated the Sand Filtration 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, and 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 was purchased in 1987 by the District 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 as called for in the 1902 McMillan Plan for the City of Washington; 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 have repeatedly 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 requiring that any development on the Site (1) include a contiguous portion for recreation and open space, (2) explore adaptive reuse of some of the underground cells, and (3) consider including 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 developing the McMillan Sand Filtration Site—Ward 5’s largest publicly owned, open-space parcel available for potential mixed-use development—will significantly affect the character and quality of life around the Site 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 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, the affected neighborhoods expressed strong opposition to VMP’s February 2012 proposal and formally identified critical concerns and offered recommendations for improving the 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, 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; 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); 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); 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 for such housing, identify potential funding strategies for such housing, and state the number of units proposed for “affordable” status, although such information is essential for analysis of the financial feasibility of differing Site design 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 going 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 (BCA, 5/21/12) in contrast to the developer’s strategy, which merely meets EPA guidelines that do not account for the inadequate storm water infrastructure in Bloomingdale; 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 made a number of useful, but modest, improvements over the February 2012 plan,but that 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 vote (over the objections of all Bloomingdale Commissioners) a resolution to support VMP's revised technical plan developing 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 was subject; and WHEREAS, against the evidence on record and noted above, the 9/17/12 ANC Resolution inferred 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: Mayor Vincent Gray DC District Council Members Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development



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. (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. (7/10/12). Comments on proposed development plan for the McMillan Slow Sand Filtration 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: Stronghold 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.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful