The Equivalent of 10 DC USA Projects Coming to the Old Soldier’s Home?

See for yourself and make your voice heard at a meeting Monday night. I saw the following on the Petworth Listserv:

“The National Capital Planning Commission will be hosting a public meeting regarding the proposed development of the Armed Force Retirement Home Monday night at 6:30pm. The AFRH are proposing to build at 9 million+ SF development along Irving Street, Park Place, Rock Creek Church Road, and North Capital Street. This is as large as the Pentrgon, or 10 DC USA’s, and will bring the equivenant of 2 Nationals ball games of traffic into East Columbia Heights (Pleasant Plains, and Park View) and South Petworth.

There is a lot of support in the District Government, Congress, and National Parks service to create a public park, much like Atlanta’s Peidmont Park or Brooklyns Prospect Park in Park Slope, instead of more condos to the land along Park Place, NW. This would still allow for significant development, but reduce the amount and provide much needed green space to an area that is lacking it now, but we need residents to come out to support this concept.

Monday, April 14, 2008

6 Comment

  • I encourage everyone to attend this meeting tonight. Unlike many development projects, this one is planned for federal land (i.e. OUR PROPERTY). Take your pick from environmental, urban planning, government accountability and neighborhood impact concerns- they are all in play in here. A greedy developer land grab at the AFRH will be to the detriment of all of us. In short, THERE CANNOT BE TOO LITTLE GREEN SPACE IN ANY PLAN FOR THE ARFH.

    Get informed and organize for the life of this community and city. Go to the meeting tonight AND DEMAND A GREEN AND SMART IMPLEMENTATION FOR THIS SITE!

  • yarrr lets complain about developers! keep the AFRH fenced in and off limits to the community! restrict housing development to ensure prices stay unaffordable! make a stand on principle against any and every development proposal!

  • Between the mall and rock creek park, does the city really need more vast, unsusable land? It’s not like we’re talking about Manassas here, this is surrounded by infrastructure that is either sufficient or close to it for many many people to access it for purposes other than getting a tan? Purposes like more and more diverse retail to compete with Pentagon City and the Rt 1 Shoppers? More housing stock, be it affordable or tax revenue-gathering or both? How about a small industry incubator –I have friends who would fall all over themselves to be allowed to produce craft beer in the city. Or are we just going to keep thinking in the “I must be surrounded by enormous green space yet still call myself an urbanite” box?

  • I am all for opening this to the ommunity and finding creative, revenue-generating uses that serve the community – perhaps addressing the food crisis and at-risk youth and global warming too, in it’s own small way. But I know that “enormous green space” actually contributes to human beings in a lot of ways, and as a homeowner on the street in question I feel perfectly willing to give up calling myself an urbanite if that is what is bothering “Anonymous,” as long as I don’t have to have the reasons I bought the house cut out (sky and trees and wild geese.) Green spaces and wetlands don’t just come back once they are destroyed. It’s a bit late in the environmental game to be making this same mistake; we don’t have the excuse of ignorance. Below is my letter to the meeting:

    We as a people have a more valuable asset in this acreage remaining green than we would in building it up. I support the restoration of the land to park use.

    I strongly feel that to pave and build on this land would be stealing from generations of citizens of this city, who have few options when it comes to enjoying green spaces, and destroy one of the few remaining open spaces in this urban zone. Once this is done, that pristine land cannot be regained.

    Personally, I bought my house because it was the closest I could find to nature. To increase the traffic and erase the sky with looming buildings would plunge my quality of life. I treasure the limited peace and quiet, and I enjoy the wild geese that fly past each day. I want them to keep their home.

    Many other cities are finding ways to be both profitable and green and to use natural resources to help at-risk youth, strengthen communities, generate energy for the grid, address the coming food crisis, provide jobs, and raise the quality of life and reputation of the city. I hope we can be among the innovative. I would even be willing to have a pay-per-use scheme to help with upkeep of the grounds.

    I would also be more than willing to take whatever legal means are at our disposal as a community to block the proposed construction and return the commons to the common weal.

    Let me close by pointing out the disparity in this part of the city, historically inhabited mostly by African american families, and parts west. Is not our part of the city equally deserving of parks and green spaces? While I myself am not African American, I still feel that this aspect of the proposed use of the space should not be glossed over.

  • This is not an anti-development proposal. Washington Central Parks supports some development, but asks for some of the AFRH land to be provided as a public park in return for support for the development. It’s sad to have this much open space exist behind barbed wire and not accessible to the neighborhood. The main development will be along North Capitol St, but we would like to see a neighborhood park along the western side, that neighbors on the Petworth neighborhood.

  • I think the development sounds really really cool, but if that write-up is true it’s probably overkill for the neighborhood. The AFRH is a total waste that thumbs its nose at us- completely unused crap there. I will say this though, I long ago stopped giving a crap about at-risk youth and all that. There are many kids on my block who have their act together using the existing systems for getting their act together. The kids who want to commit crimes don’t deserve jack but the back of our hands- they’ve sucked our communities dry and my interest in them is as dead as their career prospects.

    I have seen the Target strengthen our community- my wife and some friends walked to it this weekend for a quick errand. There’s no reason that properly-created retail doesn’t create community, look at farmer’s markets.

    I wonder if we could build a successful Fairfax county style park for the good kids though:

    But overall, I’m sick of the Federal government wasting our city’s space with crappy placeholders while we waste gasoline driving to Virginia because the store we need isn’t on the metro…

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