Thursday evening will be the first test that the recently filed Georgetown University 2010 Campus Plan will need to go through before it goes to the D.C. Zoning Commission in April.
The special Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting—which will be held at nearby Duke Ellington School—begins at 6:30 p.m. and will likely include speakers from the Citizens Association of Georgetown, the Burleith Citizens Association, and, of course, the ANC commissioners themself.
Jake Sticka (COL ’13), a newly elected member of the ANC, said in an interview with Vox that the special meeting will focus solely on the plan and will be used to help draft a resolution from the ANC. The resolution will not be voted on until the next regular meeting of the ANC at the earliest.
Sticka also noted that public input—including students—is likely to be the focus of the evening.
As of early Monday evening, there were approximately 280 signatures, according to Scott Stirrett (SFS ’13), an organizer of the petition. The group also created a Facebook event page encouraging students to attend the ANC meeting and voice their opinions.
In reply to his email, some neighbors refuted—without providing any supporting evidence—his claim that the University raises the property value or the homes, and also claimed that students cause the lack of parking space surrounding campus.
Several neighbors have expressed support for the plan and have signed the petition, Stirrett claimed in an email to Vox.
Read Stern’s full email:
My name is Mark Stern and I am a sophomore at Georgetown University. I’m writing today as a member of our community to share with you my perspective on GU’s 2010 Campus Plan. I believe that the plan is a good one. It will allow Georgetown to build facilities that it has long needed: a new athletic training facility, additional spiritual space, an expansion to Lauinger Library and a state of the art Science Center. Each of these measures will, in turn, benefit the broader Georgetown community. The training facility will enable our athletic programs, like our powerhouse men’s basketball team, to continue to offer first-rate, inexpensive sports competition in Georgetown’s backyard. The additional spiritual and study space will remain, as always, open to the public while the Science Center will allow GU to remain on the cutting-edge of research, as befitting for one of our nation’s top universities. In short, a better Georgetown University is a better Georgetown. I know that many within the community leadership, like CAG and various ANC2E commissioners, have spouted vitriol about the plan. I understood this opposition when the plan included university expansion into the neighborhood in the form of the “1789″ block. I feel as though GU’s administration showed a serious commitment to compromise and community engagement when they dropped that proposal. With its removal I know no longer see objectionable elements in the plan. The remaining points of opposition do not, as covered here and here, seem to stand up to facts. Luckily, I only see this university antagonism reflected in community leaders. Actual community members that I have spoken with, like my neighbors this summer, see students as the great resource that we are. They affirm, unlike CAG and others, that GU is an integral part of this community. If you agree, please consider signing this petition in support of GU’s 2010 Campus Plan.
And our favorite response to Stern’s email:
Yeah, I’ll sign your petition – when pigs fly. Get rid of the extra tall smokestack so that I’m not inhaling your waste! Build more dorms on campus so you’re drunken fellow students aren’t living next door to me in nice homes which they decimate with trash, urinating, vomiting, and defecating in my garden and on my sidewalk! You should be proud of your e-mail — I’m taking out my checkbook right now and writing a check for $5,000 to CAG to oppose GUs ridicuilous [sic] plan!