Comcast addresses neighbors’ grievances over utility boxes
Comcast is finally in discussions with the Georgetown neighborhood and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) after residents became angry with the placement of “small refrigerator-sized green utility boxes” around the Georgetown neighborhood. Many residents were upset by this as they had not agreed to the placement of the boxes and felt that it was ruining the aesthetic of the Georgetown neighborhood.
“This business is coming into our community and is just making an aesthetic wreck of what we try to conserve in our historic district,” said Commissioner Tom Birch in an ANC meeting on November 1st. Usually, any architectural changes in the area must be approved by commissioners in order to preserve the historic feel of the neighborhood.
Other residents complained that Comcast had left “a pile of bricks and plywood” after placing the box and one resident claimed that the boxes were so unsightly, they “wouldn’t even be approved of in a tacky, suburban area.”
In the recent discussions, Comcast stated that it had obtained the appropriate permits for construction in the area. However, according to the news site TheWrap.com, Comcast is now working with “interested parties” to find “mutually beneficial solutions as we continue to provide Georgetown customers with our innovative products and services”. Spokeswoman for Comcast Aimee Metrick said in a statement that Comcast was unaware that it had to meet any additional requirements.
Georgetown residents like Birch hope that the boxes can be removed from the street and placed in locations in which they won’t be disrupting the historical feel of the neighborhood, such as to rooftops or other alternative locations. Birch mentioned that in addition to being an eyesore, the boxes could have a negative effect on the real estate values of properties around the neighborhood.
Residents hope that further discussions will lead to a review of the situation and that a mutually beneficial solution will be found for the issue.
Photo courtesy Tom Birch via the Georgetown Patch