ANC2E Wrap-up: A meeting in summary

The majority of attendees at this month’s ANC2E meeting came to show their opposition/support of the GU 2010-2020 Campus Plan. The neighbors made a large show by handing out their signature buttons at the door; the decorations on the front gate reminded passers-by that these are not GU’s dorms, and DC Students Speak representatives came to accuse the residents of Ward 2 of discrimination.

Everything old is … still old

To kick-off the bickering, Commissioner Ron Lewis announced, “Tonight is not a night for input.” He recognized four parties to summarize stances before the Commission would vote on their resolution [PDF]: the University, the Burleith Citizens Association, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and a student advocacy group whose name he couldn’t remember (DC Students Speak).

Vice President for External Relations Linda Greenan took the floor on behalf of the University.

“We’re disappointed we could not come to an agreement,” she said.  Calling the plan modest, citing the enrollment cap, undergraduate counting methods, the loop road, and the 1789 block as examples of the university’s inclusion of community input,

Greenan added, “Our students have a right to live in the community.”

Next up to bat were Lenore Rubino and Jennifer Altemus (COL ’88), presidents of their respective community groups, consecutively swinging their prepared statements.  Unsurprisingly, both support the resolution, and both oppose the University’s plan.

Finally, DC Students Speak sent up Hao Shen (SFS ’13) to read their view of the matter.  Shen spent a significant amount of time accusing the ANC of being discriminatory.

The resolution passed with only a minor alteration. As expected, the vote was 6-1 with Commissioner Jake Sticka (COL ’13) opposing the resolution.

There’s a new sheriff, er, Commander in town

During the meeting’s police report, Michael Reese introduced himself as District 2′s new Commander.

“I think I have a lot to offer,” he said. He mentioned the District’s most salient issues like underage drinking and fake IDs, which probably seem like small beans for a man who started his career catching child predators.

After Reese introduced himself, Sticka asked about the infamous noise ordinance.

Reeese responded that “it is a tool, and we’ll apply it as reasonably as we can.”

Resident Glen Harrison brought up the issue of sign burning, holding up the burnt sign he found on his doorstep last week.

A touch of Gray

Making his semi-regular rounds to all the ANCs in his district, District 2 Councilmember Jack Evans showed up at last night’s meeting.  Although everyone expected him to address the Campus Plan, he largely spoke of the city’s budget shortfalls.

He maintained that D.C.’s financial shape is better than that of any other major American city, despite seeing its savings shrink from $1.7 billion in 2007 to less that $90 million in recent years.

11 Comments on “ANC2E Wrap-up: A meeting in summary

  1.  by  KB

    RE: ANC Plan. Pages and pages in bold, and whole sentences underlined. What an eyesore.
    And the sense of entitlement coming across in the recommendations is astounding.

  2.  by  KB

    Although I do think the proposal to get all GUTS buses going in/out of Canal Rd is golden (p10):

    If necessary, buses with a relatively short turning radius could be obtained; or turntable technology is available to turn buses around in a space not much larger than the length of a bus. See, for example, http://www.carousel-usa.com/large-turntable.php

  3.  by  Fiore

    These people are so dumb. Most of the students added are non-trads or graduate students who are older, have lives outside of school and work regular jobs. They do not disrupt the neighborhood with wild parties. Including them in their doc shows that ANC is just wildly against whatever the university says.

    The school would be good to issue a big “screw you” to them and present and execute the best plan for students. Then I, and I am sure many others, would feel compelled to donate to our Alma Mater. If the school will not stand up for its students in the face of unreasonable, damaging demands, why should students support the school?

  4.  by  Tim

    @ KB,

    Yes, such turntables exist. For that matter, so do helicopters. That doesn’t mean they are practical, cost-effective, or that we should even as a matter of principle have to consider using them to transport city residents through the city.

  5.  by  @Moose

    GM on the DC Students Speak site writes::

    While it may be discriminatory as a general matter, it’s not a violation of the DC Human Rights Act. The DC Court of Appeals has decided that issue exactly. I quote:

    “Although we reject the District’s arguments regarding coverage and its claim that the Board’s actions were not aimed at students qua students, we cannot agree with the University’s contention that the conditions imposed by the Board contravene the interdictions of the Act. Rather, we conclude that the Human Rights Act must be considered in conjunction with the District’s Comprehensive Plan, 10 DCMR § 1327.1 (b), 11 DCMR § 210.7 (1999), and with the applicable Zoning Regulations, 11 DCMR § 210.2. The DCHRA, if read as a whole and together with these land use measures, cannot reasonably be construed as prohibiting consideration by the BZA, in evaluating the University’s Campus Plan, of the “number of students” who [*939] would reside in off-campus University housing and of the effect of that student presence on residential neighborhoods adjoining the campus.”

    GWU v. DC, 831 A.2d 921 (2003)

    In other words, the DCHRA cannot be read in a vacuum. It must be read in conjunction with the zoning regs and the comprehensive plan, both of which mandate that the Zoning Commission consider the effect of off-campus students on the non-student population when evaluating a campus plan.

    I think you can still make a case that it is discriminatory, but you’ve got a steep hill to climb to prove that it’s illegally discriminatory.

  6.  by  JS

    The problem is the university can’t legally do that…

  7.  by  KB

    @sarcasm — I’m glad you pointed that out to Tim.

    You guessed wrong, but good call on the article — great to see this issue on a site whose readership extends beyond Georgetown.

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