RESOLUTION REGARDING PROPOSED CHANGES TO FUTURE LAND USE MAP
- The District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP) undertook an update of the 2006 Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) in 2016 and is seeking feedback from Advisory Neighborhood Commissions about its proposed changes before sending a final proposal to the DC Council to be voted on.
- The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) more than any other component of the Comp Plan guides future development and land use decisions in the District of Columbia as it aspirationally indicates what might be built on a particular lot rather than what is there today.
- As part of this process OP received numerous amendments to the FLUM within the boundaries of ANC 3E.
- OP proposes to conduct a process after FLUM changes are made to develop recommendations for improvements to the neighborhood as a whole, including streetscape changes. The process proposed is akin to a Small Area Plan (SAP), except FLUM changes are ordinarily considered in conjunction with recommendations for improvements to the neighborhood as a whole.
- ANC 3E believes the better course would be, in fact, to conduct an SAP process so that the ANC, community members, and OP can work together on a holistic set of recommendations for improving the neighborhood, including density changes.
- Schools in our ANC, particularly Alice Deal Middle School and Wilson High School, are overcrowded and enrollment is expected to continue to grow sharply. DCPS has known about this problem for years and has not taken adequate steps to address it.
- Most of this overcrowding comes from existing housing and increasing desire of in-boundary parents to send their children to public schools here. Nonetheless, increasing permissible density (“Up-FLUMing”) will exacerbate this situation.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
- ANC 3E strongly believes a broad and robust planning process would provide a greater opportunity for community input for the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor between Van Ness Street and Western Avenue and would lead to better policy outcomes than considering FLUM and broader neighborhood needs sequentially. Accordingly, we prefer a plan for the corridor that would study lot by lot how best to transition between the commercial corridor and the adjacent single family homes. ANC 3E therefore strongly urges DCOP to immediately initiate a small area planning process for this area and to postpone the implementation of the changes to the FLUM for one year to allow for a small area plan. However the ANC does not believe a planning process should be a mechanism to put a halt to all development via a “death by process” and requests that if the small area plan has not been completed and submitted to the DC Council within 1 year of the formal passage of the FLUM revisions that the changes to the FLUM go immediately into effect.
- If OP refuses our request for a SAP, we provide comments on specific proposals below. We again note our strong preference for an SAP, however, and we provide comments below about how an SAP would enable fine-tuning of density. We note that although we would expect an SAP to involve both decreases and increases of density from that currently proposed, the net change could well be increased density beyond that currently proposed.
- All change in land use designation should be accompanied by policy language that indicates that any rezoning to higher density should be accomplished only through Planned Unit Developments, so that any increased-density projects be architecturally sensitive to adjoining residential neighborhoods, and include appropriate community benefits, such as increased affordable housing and attractive public open spaces
- 2154.21 (the “WMATA Lot”): Part of the southernmost portion of this lot adjoins relatively small apartments and condominiums in a moderate density zone, and part is diagonally across the street from low-density duplexes. We believe, accordingly, that it is appropriate to step down density here from high to medium. The precise delineation of this stepdown should be determined in an SAP.
- 2155.14 (the “Lot Behind Rodman’s”): OP proposes to change this from low to moderate density. Because the lot, particularly the section behind Rodman’s parking lot, is relatively far from Wisconsin Avenue and adjoins single-family housing on two sides, we believe that limiting language should be added to this change to the effect that “moderate-light” is most appropriate here, such as townhomes or multi-unit housing that approximates townhomes in height, density, and general appearance. For avoidance of doubt, we support the proposed change of the portion of the lot closest to Wisconsin Avenue to medium density.
- 2430 (the “Lot Behind the Fox 5 Building”): Like the Lot Behind Rodman’s, OP proposes to change this from low to moderate density. Because the lot, is behind Wisconsin Avenue and adjoins single-family housing on two sides, we believe that, like the Lot Behind Rodman’s, limiting language should be added to this change to the effect that “moderate-light” is most appropriate here, such as townhomes or multi-unit housing that approximates townhomes in height, density, and general appearance. For avoidance of doubt, we support the proposed change of the portion of the lot closest to Wisconsin Avenue to medium density.
- 2155.2 (the “Rome Pizza Lot”): The parking lot behind this building was not included in either proposals for FLUM changes or OP’s recommendation. Accordingly, for process reasons, we do not here recommend changes to it, but note that if OP institutes an SAP, discussion should occur as to whether the parking lot’s FLUM designation be changed to moderate.
- 2155.5 (the “Maartens Lot”): The southwestern portion of this lot is behind Wisconsin Avenue and adjoins single-family housing. We believe that it would be appropriate to step down some of this part of the lot to moderate density. The precise delineation of this stepdown should be determined in an SAP.
- This lot is well behind Wisconsin Avenue and adjoins single-family housing. Moreover, it is the only lot in our ANC that OP proposes to Up-FLUM from low-density to medium density. Given these facts, we believe that OP should increase the density only from low to moderate on this lot, which will provide a step down from the large medium density lot between it and Wisconsin Avenue.
- This lot is far from any single-family housing, and close to Wisconsin Avenue. OP proposes to keep the lot medium density. Although we do not oppose that recommendation if no SAP process is initiated, we believe that if there is an SAP process, this lot should be a candidate for high density residential.
- 2155.9 (the “Whole Foods Lot”): Except for the southeastern portion of this lot, which is near single-family housing, this lot is on or near Wisconsin Avenue and relatively far from single-family housing. OP proposes to keep the lot medium density. Although we do not oppose that recommendation if no SAP process is initiated, we believe that if there is an SAP process, this lot, except for the southeastern portion, should be a candidate for high density residential.
The resolution passed by a vote of __-__-__ at a properly noticed meeting held on February 13, 2020, at which a quorum was present, with Commissioners Bender, Hall, McHugh, and Quinn in attendance.
by Jonathan Bender
 This lot would then be high-density residential and medium density commercial. In general, when we refer to possible Up-FLUMing, we are referring to the residential portion, and intend no change to other parts of the proposal).