University files 2010 Campus Plan, nixes 1789 block housing

Earlier today, Georgetown University filed its 2010 Campus Plan with the District of Columbia’s Zoning Commission.

“The plan reflects our fundamental commitments to academic quality, strengthening on-campus community life, protecting and preserving environmental resources and being a good neighbor,” President John DeGioia said in a University press release.

Aspects of the plan include enhancing academic and recreational spaces, more walkways, and places for buses to turn around on campus.

Additions to Lauinger Library and renovations in New South to create more student space are also a part of the plan. Both were part of the 2000 plan, but were not completed.

Conceding to neighborhood complaints, the University removed the proposed 1789 Block of new student housing and adding to the height of the chimney for the heating and cooling plant. Both were major concerns of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, which they wrote about in their special edition newsletter against the Campus Plan.

20 Comments on “University files 2010 Campus Plan, nixes 1789 block housing

  1. I thought the neighbors wanted more housing? How will this help? I know a few neighbors made a rather silly distinction between inside vs. outside the front gates, but I imagine most preferred more housing of any kind.

    And isn’t the smokestack an EPA requirement? Do we even have a choice? Are they just taking it out of the campus plan, but still planning on doing it later?

  2. Actually, the distinction between inside and outside of the gates is quite significant. Building more student housing outside the gates only increases the transformation of an owner-occupied residential area to a student / rental neighborhood. They did the right thing to eliminate the plans for 1789 block development.

  3. Yes, God forbid the area immediately adjacent to a major university contain STUDENTS! The horror!

    That distinction is only real in the minds of those who have acquired more wealth and comforts than 99.9999% of humans who have ever lived and now have no greater worry than how their property values might be impacted by having masses of lower-class in close proximity. Here’s a real distinction for you: the 1789 block is part of Georgetown’s campus, per long-standing zoning documents, exactly the same as any space inside campus. Complaining about it is like complaining that someone has the temerity to use their back yard as a back yard.

  4. @resident

    That’s pretty short-sighted. There WILL be students in your neighborhood – there’s nothing you can do about that. What you CAN do is manage where and how they live. Its better to have them living in university-provided student housing (where they will be subject to the school’s supervision) than in a residential rental property. The 1789 block was a great way to balance interests – while it may have been “outside the gate”, it was as close to campus as you can get without being on it (technically, it is), and it moved students out of rentals and into university housing. By rejecting it out of hand, you’ve wasted an excellent opportunity to reign in student sprawl.

  5. So the University has made some (more) major concessions. Will the neighbors also make conciliatory moves? I think not, but hope so.

  6. Hope springs eternal, hm? Despite the fact that this plan is essentially toothless, neighbors will still fight it, tooth-and-nail. The best we can do as students is defend ourselves from the ridiculous claims that neighbors will make about us in that fight.

  7. I’m going to give the University some credit here from a negotiation standpoint, but I’m probably giving to much to them. Chances are they never had any intention of building the 1789 block anyway. I doubt they had the money for it. By putting it in the plan, and then pulling it out it makes them look like good neighbors by giving concessions to the community. Again, I’m probably giving the University to much credit for utilizing any sort of strategic positioning.

  8. “Building more student housing outside the gates only increases the transformation of an owner-occupied residential area to a student / rental neighborhood. They did the right thing to eliminate the plans for 1789 block development.”

    Really? The 1789 block is so close to campus that no resident such as yourself would reasonably decide to live there. It was always going to be rentals. More than that, it was going to graduate students — those who would cause less of the so-called “problems” the neighborhood is complaining about ad nauseum. The neighborhood is shooting itself in the foot with this decision.

    As for the smokestack, typical NIBMYism.

    This whole thing is a joke. I’m sure they’ll STILL find things to complain about.

  9. Residents,
    Can you back off now? I’m sorry the 8 ft. Gold statue of Jennifer Altemus wasn’t in the Campus plan, but now that Georgetown has conceded over 50% or it’s original campus plan leaving pretty much only what was on the 2000 plan will you please stop with the endless charade of playing the victim? The real victim is Georgetown and its students. Ever seen other universities? They are expanding and improving facilities (what audacity?!?!), how is Georgetown supposed to compete if it has to drag you all and your sacks of money through the process (please see: 300$ donation each).

  10. You’re absolutely correct. It really doesn’t matter what the university does, residents will respond in the same manner. Here is the email that went out to the community listserv this evening, even after the changes were made public:

    Georgetown University is filing its 2011-2020 campus plan with the zoning
    commission and CAG has published a special edition of our newsletter to
    provide information that all residents need to know and consider. A copy of
    the newsletter is attached and is also posted on the CAG website at The newsletter provides a concise overview of the situation

    What GU Wants & Why CAG is Opposed
    Enrollment Growth and Insufficient Housing
    Neighborhood Safety Questions
    The 1789 Block
    Who Decides? Politics and Decision Makers
    Expanding Enrollment Will Impact East Georgetown
    Why the “Save Our Neighborhood Fund?
    Environmental Hazards

    Yard signs (shown here) opposing Georgetown University’s campus plan are
    available for pick up at the CAG office. The signs which say OPPOSE GU’s
    CAMPUS PLAN or OUR HOMES NOT GU’s DORMS are 18″ by 24″ red and white vinyl
    and are anchored on a metal stick-in frame. If you would like to support the
    effort to hold the University to their commitment for responsible growth,
    please pick up a sign from the CAG office at 1365 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite
    200 (entrance via the exterior staircase on the O Street side).

    Fact of the matter is that groups like CAG will oppose the university’s plans regardless of what they include because that is the only way CAG can fundraise and get members to be involved with their organization. University conflict is necessary for CAG to be relevant.

  11. I am sure Georgetown negotiating with itself will be a road to victory.

  12. Yep,

    Recently, Annie D. Montemayor wrote on the Georgetown Forum, regarding students: “One has to prove without a doubt that these persons are guilty. Who is everyone kidding? …A RESOUNDING NO TO THE 2010 CAMPUS PLAN.”

    Yep, Annie D. Montemayor is opposing the campus plan to protest the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    The biggest problem in the neighborhood is the proximity of nutty activists – who would buy a house to live next to someone like her?

  13. I think I would be fine with it if the University’s next 10-year plan was to (1) buy up, one-by-one, the property of every single neighbor, (2) burn their homes to the ground, and (3) salt the Earth on which they stood.

    Whether we give the neighbors time to move out before implementing step (2), I could go either way.

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