Washington is updating its zoning laws next year. Since these laws affect everyone in DC, working groups that anyone can attend are being held now to make recommendations on the revisions. While other groups have produced policy recommendations from the clash and collaboration of different groups, the interests of students are being completely ignored on the zoning rules that affect them most.
This is because the Campus/Institutional Working Group is being held in July. Holding the meetings in July, when most students are out of Washington and university employees are more likely to be on vacation, is like holding a working group on Memorial Day or the July 4th weekend and expecting full attendance.
Why the Office of Planning would hold the meetings in July when other working groups meet during school months is unclear, because Steve Varga, the Office of Planning employee who sent out the working group schedule, never responded to requests for comment.
Linda Greenan, Georgetown’s Associate Vice President for External Relations, said in an email that Georgetown will have some administrators attending the meetings. These employees, however, will be a poor representative for student interests.
Students learned from Todd Olson’s alcohol policy to be wary of rules enacted during the summer. The Office of Planning should be embarrassed by this similarly shadowy process, which, deliberately or not, cuts out the group most affected by new university zoning rules.