Georgetown residents form two new groups to address town-gown issues

The West Village People: like this, but more concerned about trash and student noise

With the battle over Georgetown’s 2010 campus plan starting to heat up, a couple of new neighborhood groups have been formed to defend the interests of permanent residents, according to an article in the most recent edition of the Georgetown Current [PDF].

About three months ago, the “West Village People” group was formed as a way for permanent residents living close to the University to communicate their grievances.

Members send comments and complaints about the University and its students to gtown411@ymail.com. The anonymous person behind the email account then removes all personal information from the complaint and sends it out to Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the Citizen’s Association of Georgetown and sometimes the University.

More recently, CAG has formed a committee to deal specifically with “longstanding differences” between neighbors and GU, mostly “quality of life” issues like alcohol, noise and trash, as well as the 2010 campus plan.

More about the new committee’s plans after the jump!

Even though CAG already hires off-duty police officers and independent security officers to patrol the neighborhood at night, this new committee is pushing for the University to have GU’s Department of Public Safety patrol off-campus, too:

A solution long-requested by the association, said the committee’s Luca Pivato, is to send the university’s public-safety officers to patrol off-campus areas in order to counter late-night noise. The officers can’t arrest anyone outside campus boundaries, but they can call in offenses “so the residents don’t have to,” said Pivato …

The university has long said that such patrols would be illegal, said Pivato, but his new research uncovered nothing in city law that would prevent them. At a meeting yesterday, he said, university representatives said simply that “they preferred not to” patrol outside the school’s bounds.

On the issue of trash, the commission is pleased with the University’s recent decision to put in new dumpsters for students living on the 1400 block of 36th Street and the north side of the 3600 block of Prospect Street, but they’d like Georgetown to go further and pick up all student trash—both on- and off- campus.

As for the University’s 10 year plan, the residents interviewed by the Current vowed to provide some stalwart opposition:

And the university will certainly hear residents’ voices about the issues that matter most to them, promised Pivato. “You will see it escalating this year,” he said. “The residents are becoming more vocal and more aggressive—they’re fed up.”

9 Comments on “Georgetown residents form two new groups to address town-gown issues

  1. How many times does it have to be pointed out to the residents that the University has been around since 1789 and they haven’t. It’s not like a school just opened up after they moved there. Ugh. Georgetown residents make me sick.

  2. Does the off-campus trash pickup include non university housing? Because while I would say they may have a valid point on university owned townhouses, I don’t think it would be fair to GU to force it to pay for the trash that students not paying it for its services (other than tuition, obviously) produce.

    Would be nice if they reached out DIRECTLY to the students to INCLUDE them in these discussions, rather than simply use backchannel dealings. That’s the whole point isn’t it, to build relationships?

  3. When you live in a Georgetown townhouse, it is rented from GU. Of course, there are rules, etc., but there are rules in most rental situations. When was the last time you expected your landlord to pick up your trash for you? That seems kind of absurd, especially since the University is cheap and will end up charging us MORE for it. I already can’t really afford to live in a townhouse. Are they going to send me all the way to Southeast DC to get affordable housing?

  4. From today’s WaPo article on town gown issues:

    “This year, residents living near Georgetown University plan to hang signs on the doors of student renters, informing them of the rules about garbage collection and noise.”

    Also, this confusing hypothetical from CAG’s president:

    “Even if you see them hauling in a keg the first weekend, maybe that will be their one party of the year,” said Jennifer Altemus, president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown. “Still, I wouldn’t think that’s a great sign.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/16/AR2009081601839.html

  5. This courtesy of Georgetown Metropolitan:

    The new group “West Village People” will meet Sept. 10 and 6:30 pm. WVP describes itself as “informal group of permanent neighbors that work together in hopes of improving quality of life issues in our neighborhood.” GM guesses that the word “permanent” can be read as “non-student”.

    Wonder what those sneaky residents will be up to?

  6. @M as a resident of Southeast D.C., I think you’ll find that it’s not actually so bad.

  7. @Mike: The issue wasn’t actually living in Southeast DC. The issue was living 45 minutes away from Georgetown by public transportation for cheaper rent. I’ve heard some very nice things about Southeast, especially about the neighborhoods around the Hill.

  8. Pingback: The Morning Metropolitan «

  9. Why is it so hard to understand? GU cannot be where it is as a matter of right.
    GU is there as a special exception provided that it doesn’t have an adverse impact.
    When GU opened up it had 12 students. Georgetown as a residential area predates GU

    So, homeowners have a right. GU doesn’t.

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