Resolution Regarding Proposed changes to the Rock Creek
West Area Element of the DC Comprehensive Plan
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 Rock Creek West Area Element is an aspirational planning document that describes the portion of Washingon, DC bounded by Rock Creek Park, Western Avenue, the Potomac River and Whitehaven Parkway – ANC 3E is completely within the bounds of this element.
OP is currently proposing a number of changes to the text of the Rock Creek West Element.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, ANC 3E generally supports OP’s proposed changes but suggests the following tweaks:
2309.2 a. ANC 3E does not believe the views from Ft Reno Park are of historical significance. The current high point in Fort Reno Park is in fact artificial and blocks the actual views from the natural high point in the park. However, this has not stopped opponents of new housing along Wisconsin Avenue from claiming that this view needs to be protected. ANC 3E respectfully asks OP to completely strike 2309.2a.
2309.9 Policy RCW-1.2.8: Schools and Libraries Place a very high priority on the expansion, renovation and improvement of schools and libraries. The fact that a majority of the schools in this Planning Area are operating at or above capacity should be considered in DCPS facility planning
.., and in the approval of any residential development that could further exacerbate school overcrowding. Changes to school service boundaries, and the expansion of existing school facilities, and/or development of additional school facilities should be aggressively pursued to ensure that school overcrowding is proactively addressed. 2309.9
ANC 3E supports this change but recommends adding that demand for Ward 3 schools should not be treated in isolation to the rest of the city given the large number of out of boundary students, and students who travel long distances. To address high demand and overcrowding in Ward 3 schools, the City should develop and implement growth and investment strategies in school programs and/or support services, in an effort to align capacity and demand and ensure convenient and excellent matter-of-right options in every community.
Further, we note that this policy in Education supports this RCW policy as well:
NEW Policy EDU-1.2.5: Facility Expansion Where additional DCPS school capacity is needed to satisfy enrollment demand and to avoid overcrowding, DCPS may need to consider existing site capacity, site acquisition, and new school development, in addition to school boundary and enrollment adjustments.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, ANC 3E believes that the Comp Plan process is a political process as is resolving the school overcrowding problem in Ward 3. ANC 3E believes that Ward 3 has not shouldered its fair share of the demand for additional market rate and affordable housing in the District. ANC 3E further believes that in order for additional and existing housing in Ward 3 to be desirable Ward 3 must continue to have high performing schools and in order for that to occur the DC Council must, through some combination of additional facilities and boundary revisions, resolve school overcrowding in Ward 3.
ANC 3E approved this resolution at its meeting on February 13, 2020, which was properly noticed and at which a quorum was present. The resolution was approved unanimously by a vote of 0-0-0. Commissioners Jonathan Bender, Jonathan McHugh, Amy Hall and Tom Quinn were present.
By Jonathan Bender, Chairperson