Sierra Club Opposes McMillan Development Plan

Photo by PoPville flickr user hellomarkers!

We last spoke about the development plans and saw lots of photos for the McMillan Sand Filtration Site here [Located on the north by Michigan Avenue, on the east by North Capitol Street, on the south by Channing Street and on the west by First Street].

From a press release:

The DC Chapter of the Sierra Club has come out against the current development plan proposed for the McMillan Park Reservoir site. In its letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Club asks the HPRB to “reject the currently-proposed master plan” because it contains far too little contiguous public park space.

“The present design plans do too little to preserve the parklike characteristics that dominate the present space,” Jim Dougherty, the Club’s Conservation Chair, tells the HPRB. “A more balanced plan for the McMillan Park site would devote half or more of the surface to contiguous park and park-like use.”

The local Sierra Club thus joins Howard University, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B, and community groups representing Bloomingdale, Pleasant Plains, and Stronghold in opposition to the current plan.

Full Text of the Sierra Club Letter:

On behalf of the Sierra Club and its 2,500 members living in the District of Columbia, I write to express our concerns regarding the proposed master plan and design guidelines for development of the McMillan Park and Sand Filtration Site.

In our view, the present design plans do too little to preserve the parklike characteristics that dominate the present space. Though the site has, regrettably, been fenced off over the past decades, its vast green vistas have always given us hope that the inevitable commercial development plans would honor that tradition and provide nearby neighborhoods with the myriad blessings of accessible parkland. A more balanced plan for the McMillan Park site would devote half or more of the surface to contiguous park and park-like use. Further, this park space should be unfenced and thus available for the use and enjoyment of all of the City’s residents and visitors.

The Sierra Club therefore asks that the Board reject the currently-proposed master plan and insist on the submission of creative alternative plans that achieve a better balance of commercialization and parkland preservation.

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