Mount Pleasant “Resident Alert!!!”


Thanks to a reader for sending:

“I came home to this flyer last night. I believe this must be referring to the vacant city-owned lot that serves as an unofficial dog run at 19th and Lamont St NW. I don’t know any details beyond what’s on this flyer and the one Twitter user who said there’s talk of turning it into a playground.”

Ed. Note: The twitter user referenced says “I haven’t seen flyer but hysterics concern differences btwn some that want no change vs. playground vs. ‘landscaping’. from what I gather it is DPR property and won’t be privately developed.”

Anyone go to the meeting last night?

40 Comment

  • Lots of traffic on the Mt. P ANC group about this. Basically some residents have put together a group, raised money, and gotten their council member to support turning the vacant city owned lot at 19th and Lamont into a small park.
    An ANC member with a house next to the lot is staunchly opposed and trying to stop the park by any means possibly, while claiming that he’s “just trying to give neighbors a voice”.
    Some of the people in the apartment building next to the lot are also opposed. They seem to think the lot belongs to them, which is pretty much their reason for opposing the park.
    Basically some people want to build a park and there’s no good reason not to build a park. So the children haters in the neighborhood try to delay things indefinitely by saying they “just want to make sure everyone has input” rather than admitting that they hate children and fun (that last part may be exaggerating but honestly only a little).

    • Thanks, Jack McKay…

    • This is a gross mischaracterization. Many people who live nearby want to see it improved, but it is not unreasonable that the people who live next to the small parcel want to be sure that it is not very noisy (the land is basically the front lawn of the apartment building). The debate is about what should be done, should it be landscaped, a dog run, a butterfly garden, or a playground?

      • PDleftMtP

        Jack McKay’s house is next to the lot. That is a statement of fact. It looks to me as if his fence encloses a part of the public land as well, but I’m no surveyor. In any event, it’s hard to pretend that the ANC is a neutral vehicle for neighborhood voices here.

        “I don’t want kids playing in the public space next to my house” is not, to my ears, a compelling argument.

        • I don’t know Jack’s motives, but suggesting that anyone who thinks that there should be some consideration beyond an online survey of what should be done on the space “hates children” is ridiculous. Also, it is not just Jack that has raised concerns, there have been a number of people. Finally, many of those same people who raised concerns said they would be happy to see the land used more productively for recreation, but that they were not necessarily in favor of a playground.

          • You don’t necessarily want a playground because it might be loud. Got it. It’s not that you hate children and any joy they may experience, you just don’t want it in your backyard.
            Oh, hey, I just got where that phase comes from!

        • LOL, if you look at Google Maps (which does a fairly accurate job of showing each property’s official property lines in DC) you can easily see that he’s fenced in a large portion of the city’s empty lot into his own private yard. His house shouldn’t even have a side yard. Ridiculous that people like this are running the local ANC.
          Yeah, I don’t think he’s a neutral party in this case.

          • Yeah, it’s pretty clear that this is the unbuilt portion of the Lamont street right-of-way. Not sure it should be a developed park but ridiculous that it’s fenced in as though it were private property.

          • Wow. I’m also no cartographer, but the DC zoning map also appears to show the lot ending at the edge of the structure. The fenced in portion of the yard extends another 10 feet at least. That’s sketchy as hell.
            I hope the neighbors trying to get a park take note of this.

        • Are ANC ever really “neutral vehicles?”
          The fact that many commissioners are elected without opposition means they are essentially self-selected.
          Those who do win in contested races rarely (if ever) run up a significant number of votes.
          Google “ANC dysfunction” and check out the link.

      • justinbc

        Butterfly garden sounds great, go with that one!

    • Allison

      Oh my god my dream has come true and Parks and Recreation has come to life! “I fell in the pit…. we all fell in the pit…”

    • Good lord. Maybe the city should just extend Lamont street right through there so that everyone loses, except drivers trying to go east-west between Connecticut and 16th Street.

    • A small group organized, put a survey on the Mt P yahoo group (who reads that?) and concluded the majority of respondants want a playground. They say they have secured DPR funding, or a committment to fund, the playground.
      Response of ANC, and a number of residents, is to say a plan for this area must have more community input before finalizing any plan. Like, residents not on the yahoo group.This is 100% reasonable, and doesn’t mean people hate kids.

    • The ANC commissioner in question became politically active, i.e. ran for the ANC, to stop a prior effort to do something positive for the neighborhood with the public green space adjacent to his property.

  • justinbc

    I think they’re turning it into a Quiznos in an attempt to drive out the Subway.

  • Huh! I live up Lamont St and hadn’t heard about this at all! I walk past there all the time- rarely see dogs because there are lots of chicken bones. That stuff’ll kill ya!

    • So many chicken bones! We refer to it as the chicken bone yard and have to avoid it.

      • My dog got sick from that park. Don’t the people who live in that apartment building toss their old meat and bones into the space to stop dogs from playing there? What is wrong with people?!?!

  • I’m the person who submitted the flyer for this post because I was trying to figure out what was going on. I live in the apartment building next to the lot. Reading the comments and now the Yahoo Group (which I didn’t know existed until now), I am utterly baffled as to why there is an argument over park vs. playground. It’s not like anyone is proposing a beer garden or outdoor concert series so I don’t think a park or a playground will be any more disruptive than barking, running dogs. Am I missing something?

    • You’re missing the fact that your ANC rep lives next to the lot, has illegally expropriated a significant portion of the lot for his private use by extending his backyard fence, and is now using his position on the ANC to stop any progress that would allow a wider variety of constituents to use the lot more frequently as a public space.
      There’s a whole lot of self-serving shadiness happening in the Mt. Pleasant ANC.

      • I understand why he’s opposed, but not others… As far as I can tell, he’s not the only one complaining about it?

        I’ve gotta take a closer look at the fence tonight. The whole lot is fenced in but I never noticed any of it fenced off as though it’s part of his yard.

      • You’re wrong about the ANC/Jack stopping progress on improving the lot. He, along with others NOT on the ANC, are calling for a more transparent, inclusive process in determining the best use of this space. And not relying only the preferences of the few people who responded to an on-line survey published on a yahoo group hardly anyone uses

  • I attended the meeting last night and live in Mt. Pleasant. Mtp-er’s comment is basically spot on–Jack introduced a resolution stating the following:

    Resolved, that ANC1D advises the Department of Parks and Recreation that any plans for changes to or development of the park at 1900 Lamont NW be offered to the public, and to this ANC, for a full review, prior to any decisions or commitments. The residents of the 1900 Lamont apartment house warrant special attention, due to their proximity to this park.

    The ANC, after hearing from the community, decided to table the resolution because it did not want to give the appearance that it wasn’t interested in the budget request that has been put forward for improvements to this space. Basically, the community can still debate/hold meetings/seek input on what improvements can be made to that space while not slowing down the bureaucratic process of trying to get $$ for improvements.

    • A recusal is in order…

    • Prior to this meeting, ANC had already planned to table the resolution until November. Sure they listened to people during public comment time but already knew that greater community input was needed before passing any resolution

    • Jack must have forgotten his promise made in 2005 to recuse himself from discussions about this plot.

      • Wow. This is from the mount pleasant forum thread. I’m assuming this is jack. Both clarifying and disturbing.

        “A far better solution would be to permit me to purchase the land. Since there is no longer any possibility of running Lamont Street through to Walbridge, and the lot was purchased by the District for specifically that purpose, it makes sense now to let me buy it, as we once attempted to do, many years ago. Yes, I’ll even throw in the rent for the space for the past 33 years. “

  • I can’t believe they’re still fighting about this space and about Jack’s fence around part of it. Neighbors were arguing about this 15 years ago on the old Mt. Pleasant Forum. I hope there is some resolution soon. Personally, I would vote for a new outdoor mattress store.

  • To speak for myself —

    Concerning what is to be done with the DPR park at 19th and Lamont, if it’s okay with the residents of the 1900 Lamont apartment house, then it’s okay with me; and if it’s not okay with them, then it’s not okay with me. Other than that, I don’t care. My house is well soundproofed, so what goes on in that park is rarely even audible here.

    • Why should these residents hold veto power over the land use (in your view)? It’s public space, for use by the public. Not subject to the approval of a small group of nearby residents

Comments are closed.