Posts Tagged “Georgetown Neighborhood”
On our last few posts about the 2010 Campus Plan and the Georgetown Neighborhood, a few student commenters have said that students need to show up in greater numbers to the community meetings that organizations the Citizens’ Association of Georgetown, Burleith Citizens Association, and even the University itself holds about the community and the 2010 Campus Plan.
It’s true that the age distribution at these meetings tends to be a little … one sided. So, if you’re interested in attending a meeting, there are two that Vox of slated to take place in the next week. The first will take place tonight in Burleith, with the BCA hosting. From a neighborhood listserv:
“TONIGHT: SPECIAL COMMUNITY MEETING
Wednesday, April 21st, 7 p.m.
Washington International School, 1690 36th St
(36th St. between Reservoir Road and R St.)
Only once every ten years do Burleithians have an opportunity to voice their position regarding the University’s plan, and NOW is that time …. The University’s plan will be shaped and supported by expert architects, consultants, and lawyers—all paid by the University. Burleith has no budget to pay for our own experts to articulate our position. So, we are asking for your help.
Consider contributing to the Burleith Community Fund to pay for experts (to the extent we cannot find them among ourselves) to help us counter the experts the University will certainly have on their side. Go to www.burleith.org to donate to the BCF via PayPal
COME TO THE MEETING AND FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP FIGHT THE PLAN!”
So, there’s that. Then there’s the final community meeting Georgetown University will host about the 2010 Campus Plan. It’s on Monday, April 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation (1524 35th Street Northwest). Members of the Georgetown administration will present their final draft of the plan with information residents asked for in previous meetings, and material on the final draft of the plan will be available here shortly.
Vox will be sure to keep you updated on who’s holding meetings on the Campus Plan, where, and when. And of course, if you can’t make the meetings, we’ll always cover them in excrutiating detail.
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Posted by: Molly Redden in News, Vox Populi, tags: 2010 Campus Plan, Burleith, Burleith Citizens' Association, CAG, Georgetown Neighborhood, Gianluca Pivato, Off-Campus Housing, Student Noise, Trash
Earlier today, we ran a post about the general sentiment that the Citizens Association of Georgetown and residents feel toward the 2010 Campus Plan draft that the University presented in November, as shown in the first public meeting about the plan ever to discuss a coherent strategy to combat it.
For the sake of brevity—and it was still kind of a monster post—we isolated a presentation that CAG Vice President Gianluca Pivato, of “fuck off” fame, gave about the information CAG compiled when it researched the impact of students on the neighborhood.
It’s town-gown tensions by the numbers.
Pivato demonstrated the impact students living in Georgetown and Burleith have had on the neighborhood in terms of the space they take up, the trash they generate, and the 911 calls and arrests they invite. Pivato was clearly going for shock factor, and he got it, most of all with a Google Map which boasted a red marker for every undergraduate household in Burleith and Georgetown, and a blue one for every graduate student household. With more than 400 markers total appearing on the screen, the map elicited a gasp from the audience.
According to Pivato, who based his numbers on what seemed like thorough research through neighborhood listservs and city-reported statistics, the neighborhoods around the University could be described in terms of …
… the number of students currently living in Burleith and West and East Georgetown, and the number of houses they occupy. Currently, 1,109 graduate students live in the area, and Pivato and his team were able to confirm that they live in at least 79 houses, which they except to rise to at least 124 houses when their enrollment numbers increase. “[This] will considerable displace undergraduates” further into the community, he said. Undergraduates living in Georgetown and Burleith number 1,305 and occupy over 350 houses.
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On Monday night, the Citizens Association of Georgetown held its first public meeting on the 2010 Campus Plan since the final draft of the plan came out last Fall. And even though a lot of what was said has been said before—why neighbors dislike the 2010 Campus Plan, why students make awful neighbors, etc., etc.—this meeting was a pretty big deal.
CAG didn’t just hold another rant session—it kicked off the first truly organized (monetarily and politically) movement Georgetown University will have to combat if it wants to pass its 2010 Campus Plan in one piece. Or, as Lydia DePillis of “Housing Complex” wrote, they held a council of war.
The GU Relations Committee, the group of citizens who are organizing CAG’s campaign to influence the plan, outlined the aspects of the plan that will negatively impact the Georgetown neighborho0d. CAG also passed out contact information for elected officials and urged residents at the meeting to lobby officials on the plan, and pushed residents to donate to the “Save Our Neighborhood” fund, to hire experts to testify against the plan in its official review stage. Then residents were given a chance to ask questions, make suggestions, and comment on CAG’s strategy.
Because this was a hefty meeting, Vox is going to recap this list-style, and in two separate posts. What follows is summary of neighborhood sentiment toward the campus plan. Later this afternoon, we’ll run a summary of some of the more interesting discoveries CAG made about the Georgetown neighborhood in its research.
Cynthia Pantazis, the chair of the GU Relations committee, kicked off the formal presentation.
“The core of this presentation is really about responsible growth in the community,” she said.
Pantazis laid out the timeline for the review of the 2010 Plan by the City. Georgetown will submit the 2010 Campus Plan to the D.C. Zoning Commission, and the Office of Planning will write a report on the plan within 90 days. Then the Zoning Commission will set public hearings on the plan—probably six to 10 of them.
“Parties are able to interface with the [Office of Planning] to provide information to them while they write their report, and CAG will definitely be a part of that.”
The best part of these posts are always the residents’ comments. They’re after the jump!
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Georgetown University’s student Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is a tough gig. Our commissioner doesn’t have many—or any—allies on the issues that matter most to students. If our commissioner is voting in our interest, he or she is probably voting alone. Even when student commissioners simply speak to their colleagues about the student perspective, we’re pretty sure their words fall on deaf ears.
But as if that weren’t bad enough, it’s even harder to become the sole student commissioner on Georgetown’s ANC than it is to be the student commissioner. Freshman Jake Sticka (COL ’13) has committed to running for the position in November 2010—but it’s going to be an uphill battle just to get himself on the ballot. Add that to the serious challenge of even finding someone who actually wants to run, and Georgetown University is lucky we have an ANC commissioner at all.
Finding a candidate is work. While it doesn’t make sense for Georgetown students’ purposes, current ANC Commissioner Aaron Golds (COL ’11) explained that due to the election cycle, only freshman can run. The student commissioner must live on Georgetown’s campus for his or her entire tenure, so a potential student commissioner has to commit to running his or her freshman year, get on the ballot on the August of their sophomore year, run in November, and serve from January of an odd-numbered year (sophomore year) to December of an even-numbered year (senior year). To establish and maintain residency, that freshman also has to commit to living on Georgetown’s campus for a minimum of two and a half summers and to forgo ever studying abroad.
It’s not surprising, given all of these restrictions, that of the eight or so students who attended information sessions Golds held at his house about the position, only one student opted to run. But Sticka has committed, in spite of the constricting nature of the job.
“I’m pretty concerned about whether or not the student voice is being heard, and whether or not the community actually respects the University and the students’ role in the community,” Sticka said. “Hopefully, on the ANC, I can advocate for those interests.”
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Posted by: Molly Redden in News, Vox Populi, tags: 2010 Campus Plan, ANC, Enrollment, Georgetown Neighborhood, GUTS Buses, Housing, Old Georgetown Board, Traffic, Zoning
Well, it wasn’t the late January or early February date they had hoped for. But the 2010 Campus Plan steering committee has announced the last community meeting it will hold regarding the 2010 Campus Plan before it files the plan with the Old Georgetown Board and D.C. Zoning Commission for approval.
On Monday, April 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation, members of the Georgetown administration will present their final draft of the plan with information residents asked for in previous meetings. Those meetings collected community feedback and questions on three specific elements of the plan in November—Transportation, the 1789 Block, and Housing, Enrollment, and Off-Campus Life.
Material on the final draft of the plan will become available here as the meeting date approaches, but so far, the final draft is not available yet. In anticipation of the final draft, let’s recap: what are the major flashpoints for Georgetown neighbors going to be when it does become available, and what did they ask to know about the plan?
- Increased graduate enrollment — Currently, Georgetown is seeking to increase its graduate student enrollment by about 3,200 students, most of whom will be in the School of Continuing Studies. While the University is not going to increase undergraduate enrollment, neighbors are still furious. They want to know how many graduate students they can expect to move into the area.
- New undergraduate housing — Right now, there is no new undergraduate housing proposed in this plan. This is particularly irksome to neighborhood residents who remember that in a May 2009 presentation, the architecture firm working said the University could add 800 beds within Georgetown’s gates. (Although adding that many beds would have required Georgetown to build on nearly every open space left on campus, including the Harbin patio). Expect this to incense neighbors again, unless Georgetown has changed its plans.
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Despite the scary rash of robberies and burglaries that have hit Georgetown in the last month, crime in the first three months of 2010 is actually down dramatically compared to the first three months of 2009. Here are the figures, as reported by Georgetown Metropolitan:
In descending order, thefts from autos (where items are taken from vehicles, which are usually unlocked), stolen autos, burglaries, and thefts dropped by the most—even taking into account the frightening number of burglaries we’ve had in the past month, which may number as high as nine in the last three weeks.
GM hypothesized that the enormous snow storm in February discouraged would-be auto thieves.
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Good Morning America‘s new anchor is starting life in a new house in New York, which means that the Georgetown neighborhood is now short one short celebrity. George Stephanopoulos has just sold his Georgetown home for $5.45 million dollars, a sum which, at 14 percent under the asking price of $6.35 million, sounds like a real steal.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the house he sold is four stories, measures about 5,600 square feet, and has a terrace and elevator. Stephanopoulos and his wife, actress Alexandra Wentworth, bought it for $5.2 million in 2006.
The couple bought a home in East Hampton for Stephanopoulos’s new job—a slightly smaller, 4,500 resort-town home that they got at the bargain basement price of $3.5 million. We’ll miss George, but don’t worry, there are still plenty more famous folks where he came from.
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I hope you’re happy, students of Georgetown. Because remember that string of posts we ran a while back, about how the Citizens Association of Georgetown, led by President Jennifer Altemus (COL ’88), was raising funds to defeat portions of the 2010 Campus Plan? And how neighborhood blogger Carol Joynt thought Georgetown was too good for D.C., and should secede? And how Philly Pizza had been shut down? And then you guys were all like, “What?? These neighbors are so crazy!!” and one of you left Altemus’s home address in the comments section?
Well, thanks to that, you’ve gained yourself notoriety in the pages of the Georgetown Current, which recently ran a story about the fight that’s heating up around the 2010 Campus Plan (pdf, page 7). When interviewed for the piece, Altemus took the opportunity to point out that when students get riled up about town-gown issues, you are not very nice. From the Current:
“Over the hours of community meetings, the tone of conversations between residents and university officials has been fairly civil, with some exceptions. But online opinions went quickly negative after university news blog ‘Vox Populi’ covered the fundraising campaign.
‘I don’t know why they have to get so personal,’ Altemus said of largely student-written comments, which included, along with epithets, her e-mail address, Facebook page and — at one point — her home address, which an editor later removed.
‘I wonder if they even know what’s in the plan,’ said Altemus.”
Altemus has a good point, because neighborhood residents are never, never mean and nasty when they respond to our blog posts, right?
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Residents of East Georgetown typically don’t partake in Georgetown student-bashing or get involved in the major campaigns against University expansion in any form. They’re just too far away from our noise, trash, and general aura to care.
But they’re not too far away from George Washington students to complain about them. And on Saturday, when a gaggle of GWU students descended upon Rose Park to barbecue, they struck a nerve with an East village resident who sent this message out to the georgetownforum listserv:
“Today, a large group of GW students took over Rose Park with two volleyball nets and a cookout. Apparently they did have a permit, BUT they are completely tearing up the grass and there is a very big crowd there making lots of noise. I am mostly concerned about how torn up the grass will be after turning it into essentially two volleyball fields.
“Rose Park is scraggly enough looking as it is, unfortunately, and I think it was just sodded with new grass last fall. I also do not want to encourage GW students to make Rose Park and this corner of Georgetown an outpost of GW. Who approves these permits, and who can I complain to about the fact that this event was permitted?”
Won’t somebody please think of the children?
And here we were, feeling like the black sheep of the D.C. college family because George Washington’s Ten Year Plan process is going so much more smoothly than our 2010 Campus Plan.
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Update 4:48—The Department of Public Safety has put out a PSA about this incident, which said that the victim is not believed to be affiliated with Georgetown.
This morning, a violent robbery at gunpoint that sent its victim to the Georgetown University Hospital took place in Burleith. This incident and recent burglaries has prompted the Metropolitan Police Department to increase area patrols to combat burglaries and robberies, Gwendolyn Crump, a public relations officer for MPD, said.
Citing the five recent burglaries that took place in Georgetown, this most recent robbery, and a March 18 robbery at knifepoint that took place at 3100 O Street, MPD said it will be policing the area more thoroughly for the time being.
The robbery, which happened in the early morning of Monday, March 29, took place at 37th and R Streets. A masked, black male, about 5’8″ with a thin build, and another suspect who is not described robbed a victim at gunpoint and beat him.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ed Solomon reported the crime, which he heard about through a text alert, over the Burleith neighborhood listserv. Solomon also provided the crime narrative from the police report, which we have paragraphed and edited for clarity:
“At this location, the victim reports that he was robbed. He was walking west in the 3600 block of R street when he was approached from behind by two suspects. The victim turned when one suspect pointed what appeared to be a gun at him that was white or light in color and told him to give him his wallet.
“The victim reached to give the suspect his wallet when both suspects grabbed him, taking him to the ground where they kicked and punched him, and took his wallet. The two suspects fled on foot and then got into a box style Jeep parked at the end of the block. The vehicle left the scene east on R street. The suspect was taken to Georgetown University Hospital where he was treated and released with minor injuries to the head.”
The five burglaries all took place within nine days of each other, prompting the Department of Public Safety to begin checking with students to make sure their doors were locked. You can read more in Voice news.
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