Breaking: the neighbors oppose the Campus Pla… oh wait, nevermind

In a recent joint press release by the Burleith Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown, respective presidents Lenore Rubino and Jennifer Altemus remind whomever is listening that they do not like students in their neighborhoods.

It’s nice that some things never change.

In the letter, Rubino and Altemus cite that the “proposed mitigations for the adverse impacts students living off campus have on the community,” which include daily trash pick-up and the M Street Shuttle, miss the point.

These “limited initiatives” fail to address the most important issue: students live off campus. And no number of daily trash pick-ups can fix that (we think).

So what’s the solution? It’s a shocker: House 100% of students on campus.

The full letter is after the break.


GU’s 2011-12 Fall Semester is in full swing. The students returned to campus at the end of August and the University began implementing its proposed mitigations for the adverse impacts students living off campus have on the community. The University has instituted twice-daily trash pickups in the neighborhoods, an expanded MPD reimbursable detail and bus shuttles to and from M Street bars. Unfortunately, as we have witnessed this month, these limited initiatives do not address the most important issue: student housing. In the past ten years, GU has built one dorm in 2003 for 780 students, but has also increased student undergraduate and graduate enrollment by close to 3,700 from 2000 to 2010. According to the ANC Presentation to the Zoning Commission, approximately 2800 GU students live off campus in zip code 20007. Transient student rentals now make up close to 35% of Burleith residences alone.

Despite GU band-aid fixes in place, this September has just reinforced the strong case presented by the Burleith Citizens Association, the Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E regarding the negative impact of increases in GU enrollment on surrounding neighborhoods. Housing GU undergraduate students on campus or in satellite locations is the only solution to the problems of noise, traffic, and deteriorating houses that plague our communities.

On November 17, 2011, the DC Zoning Commission (ZC) will hold a sixth hearing on GU’s Ten-Year Campus Plan. The ZC scheduled this hearing to allow the University a third opportunity to submit a plan that the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) could properly review and in turn discuss on November 17. We look forward to the completion of these sessions and to a Zoning Commission decision that will ensure livable neighborhoods for now and for the future.

Residents, leaders of community organizations, Mayor Vincent Gray, and Councilmembers Jack Evans, Mary Cheh and Phil Mendelson have asked the Zoning Commission to require GU to commit to a responsible Ten-Year Campus Plan that houses undergraduate students on campus. In a September 28 editorial, The Current Newspaper endorsed our cause, suggesting GU house 95% of its students and give relief to the surrounding communities. This is in line with the Office of Planning’s recommendation that GU house 100% of its students. We agree.

Lenore Rubino, President, Burleith Citizens Association
Jennifer Altemus, President, Citizens Association of Georgetown
October 5, 2011

11 Comments on “Breaking: the neighbors oppose the Campus Pla… oh wait, nevermind

  1. As a long-time liver in the Georgetown community as both a resident and a student I actually oppose the associations.
    All the kids have to do is to pick-up their trash and STFU at a decent hour. And yes, you can have parties but they have to be controlled and end at a decent hour. When I was a student we would invite our neighbors and they would actually attend. We also looked after their homes, picked-up our trash and theirs and shoveled their walks when it snowed. This started after a housemate of mine made a snarky comment to the child of a neighbor. We had a bad moment and we contacted the angry man and sat down with him and let him vent. We told him it would never happen again (truth one housemate was a bit of an asshole), and it never did. Lesson? My guess is that most of the students are decent people and like our house in the 90s have a couple of idiots that ruin it for everyone. So police that friend and pick-up the garbage and smile. If you see something that needs to be moved help your neighbors. You never know where this might lead.

  2. I give up. There is no making these people accept students in the community.

    Shame on Altemus for calling herself a Hoya.

  3. @Beltway Greg: While you’re at it, how about a dusk to dawn curfew?

  4. seriously box, I’m a student and that sounds shockingly reasonable. Excessively nice, yes. But it has no tint of student-hating or the absurdity of forcing us on campus. He’s saying be super nice and your saying what a ridiculous guy, they might as well just do something awful if they are going to ask us to be nice!!!

  5. I like what Beltway Greg says–prudent, reasonable, practical–Bravo. Still, many people purchased homes in Burleith when it was a residential community that included students (grad & undergrad), seniors (old timers), singles, families with children, etc. Over the last 10 years, the community has inexorably moved toward student group homes. Should this continue without limit–30, 40, 60, 90% student group homes?

    What is GU’s responsibility to its students and to its neighboring communities with respect to providing safe, affordable housing for its students?

  6. @Walter: And who is renting those homes to students?

    Before you keep blaming GU and students for that, how about you take a long hard look at the owners of those houses.

  7. Lenore Rubino and Jennifer Altemus just admitted what we’ve known for years: their opposition has nothing to do with student behavior, they just don’t want students to live in their neighborhood, period. They support segregation based on demographics and actions don’t matter. And the demographic issue isn’t limited to enrollment- keep in mind that the GU student body has a growing number of ethnic minorities, unlike the non-student residents of Burleith, Foxhall, and West Geogetown.


    The opposition:

  8. @Box

    Only if you’re afraid of vampires. Tip to the kids. These people on the citizens associations can’t find their ass with a map and compass. Most are meddlesome housefraus or over zealous lawyer types who are waiting for hubby to come home (or are avoiding the little woman) and are tired of the soaps. But, meddlesome is the key word. Keep the trash picked-up and keep the outside of the house looking neat and let them bitch.

  9. As a law abiding adult American citizen and human being I have a right to live wherever I can afford to pay the rent. Period.

    Oh, and isn’t Lenore Rubino a real estate agent who would see her business jump through the roof if a massive number of homes suddenly hit the market, and then were bought and sold at a higher rate by mobile “young families?”

  10. @Logic.

    Good work. Everyone has a dog in the fight and everyone has a price and everyone is willing to put a price on their dog to fight.

  11. @Logic: More to the point, one of the neighbors’ ‘counterproposals’ has been to forbid the University from purchasing any property in 20007 w/o explicit approval of the ANC. Whom can we think of who might profit from such a (blatantly illegal) provision? Washington Fine Properties, perhaps?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>