ANC to NADZ: “We were disappointed to see a number of inaccurate representations concerning our process”


“Dear Popville,

On Tuesday, you published a message from NADZ, a group that opposes an initiative by a group of resident in Lanier Heights to rezone the rowhouses there from an R-5-B designation to an R-4 designation. ANC1C has not yet taken a position on the initiative, and accordingly, we look forward to eventually hearing the views of the affected neighbors, whether for or against. We were disappointed, however, to see NADZ make a number of inaccurate representations concerning our process in the message that you published.

By way of correction, ANC1C did not hold a meeting on Wednesday night. Rather, our Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee held a meeting on Wednesday night. The Committee held its meeting on the thirdWednesday of the month at the Kalorama Recreation Center. which is the same night, and the same location, where the Committee has held nearly all of its meetings for many, many years. The location has nothing to do with the Kalorama Citizens Association. All of our Committees hold their meetings at this location because it is one of the few spaces in Adams Morgan that are owned by the District of Columbia government where our Committees can meet without having to pay a fee. And the inclusion of the item the Committee’s agenda was not for the purposes of having the ANC take a position on the matter. Rather, the Committee invited staff from the Office of Planning to explain to the community and to the Commission how a re-zoning proposal would be handled by the District government bodies that have responsibility for such matters, and what ANC1C’s role in such a process would be.

We hope that all Adams Morgan residents who are interested in the Lanier rezoning issue will participate fully in the process as it unfolds. We also hope that all parties will refrain from mis-characterizing ANC1C’s actions.

Billy Simpson
Chair, ANC1C”

11 Comment

  • Just went to the NADZ website and this is what they reference from an ANC email:

    Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee
    Wednesday, September 17, 7:00 PM
    Kalorama Recreation Center, 1875 Columbia Road NW

    Proposed Zoning Change in Lanier Heights. The Committee expects to receive a presentation from neighbors concerning a proposed zoning change in Lanier Heights, and may receive guidance from the Office of Planning concerning the processes involved with such a proposed zoning change.

  • The email (not necessarily the website referenced by ANON) that PoP published completely misrepresented the ANC meeting as I believe I noted in the very first comment on the original PoP post. Glad that Billy wrote in and that PoP published it.

    • Completely misrepresented? By saying “the ANC meeting” instead of the ANC Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee meeting?

      • That wasn’t all the email said…go back and read the original post. The email made all sorts of wild accusations about where the meeting was being held. And committee meetings are different than meetings of full legislative bodies be they ANCs or Congress.

  • Here’s a report on last night’s meeting from our observer:

    Sept 17, 2014: The room at the Kalorama Rec Center was packed and a good 20 degrees warmer than outside.

    Hoping to skip the meeting’s preliminaries, this observer arrived just before 8 PM, one hour after the scheduled start time. But apparently the Lanier Heights re-zoning proposal had been moved to the top of the agenda to accommodate the majority of attendees.

    The three members of the Planning, Zoning & Transportation subcommittee were barely audible at the back of the room.

    Commissioner Rock was speaking about the issue of property rights in Lanier Heights when this observer arrived.

    Commissoner Dehbozorgi spoke next, expressing discomfort at the idea of the PZT subcommittee holding a vote on people’s property rights. She suggested that the entire ANC needed to address the issue of development in Lanier Heights, not just the PZT subcommittee. She said that any neighborhood proposals concerning rezoning or a special zoning overlay should (1) not be submitted anonymously and (2) should have signatures of as many supporters as the proposal’s sponsor could muster.

    ANC Chairman Simpson picked up on Commissoner Dehbozorgi’s concern, observing that past surveys of neighborhood opinion always resulted in people complaining that they had not been made aware of the issues under discussion. Chairman Simpson stated his desire to have input from as many neighbors as possible, not just 10% or 20% but at least 50% and preferably more.

    Chairman Simpson expressed his belief that any action from the ANC should await the final zoning rewrite, since the rewrite could potentially render any ANC action moot. Once the zoning commission has finished the rewrite, he said, then the ANC could hold a referendum of neighbors. He described such a referendum as being held on a predesignated date, with a ballot box, paper ballots, and proper voter identification.

    At this point a member of the audience spoke, suggesting that if there was to be a vote on property rights, the ANC needed to poll every home owner, by mail, using ANC funds if needed, and give them at least 30 days to respond.

    Chairman Simpson seemed amenable to this suggestion but wondered how to determine who should get to cast a vote. He described the Lanier Heights neighborhood’s boundaries in general terms but did not say if he thought votes should only come from home owners or if owners of condos and co-ops should be included. There was no mention if Lanier Heights renters should have a vote in the future of their neighborhood.

    Another spectator spoke, expressing frustration that construction was proceeding at 1726 Lanier Place, where a single family home on a large corner lot is being converted to eight condos. He wondered how such a thing was possible and thought the city needed to step in and stop the project.

    A representative from the Office of Planning replied that he was unfamiliar with that specific address but he presumed it was zoned R-5-B, which meant the project was most likely proceeding according to existing zoning laws.

    There were a few other comments & questions. Then Commissioner Rock stated that they needed to get on with the other items on the evening’s agenda and people started filing out of the Rec Center.

    Please report any significant errors or omissions from this summary to [email protected]

  • Is it just me, or is NADZ a really, really bad acronym?

  • The observer’s notes are wrong. Commissioner Simpson was not present at the meeting. The PZT committee is made up of 3 commissioners: Wilson, Rock, Dehbozorgi. Rock is the chair. Simpson is the full ANC chair, but he was not at last night’s meeting.

    • Thank you for the correction. Comments attributed to Chairman Simpson in our observer’s report should have been attributed to Commissioner Reynolds. We will make the correction on the NEIGHBORS AGAINST DOWNZONING website.

  • From an ANC-1C email
    Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee
    Wednesday, September 17, 7:00 PM – Matters Addressed
    Proposed Zoning Change in Lanier Heights. Joel Lawson, from the District’s Office of Planning, answered questions about the process and timeline for neighbors interested in seeking a change in zoning in Lanier Heights. The Committee decided to invite the submission of proposals from neighbors seeking a change in zoning, and will set aside time at its October Committee meeting to consider those proposals. To be considered, proposals should be emailed to Commissioner Rock ([email protected]) no later than 5 pm on October 8, 2014, with a cc to Commissioner Simpson ([email protected]), and should contain the following information: (i) a description of the zoning changes sought, (ii) the issues that the applicant seeks to address through any zoning change, (iii) the geographic area that the changes would apply to, (iv) a description of public outreach the applicant has already undertaken, and (v) the signatures of all neighbors supporting the proposal.

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