Saturday’s meeting was rife with speculation over potential and current traffic issues and at a some points over-shadowed the purpose of the meeting which was to vote on two variances:
1. A loading Dock variance on two of the apartment buildings that would prevent semi-tractor trailer trucks from using them.
2. The variance to go from one record lot to multiple theoretical lots for individual townhomes.
The traffic issue became the main point of contention, as it should have, because it effects the way residents are able to get in and around the neighborhood. I think it shows a failure on our governing officials behalf for waiting until after everything is built to make concessions and file for warrant studies. This approach will only produce duck-tape results. Moreover, the solution for addressing and coordinating these issues, which involves a meeting of about 100 angry residents and DDOT, in two weeks is still the wrong answer. In fact, the scheduled meeting was an appearnt impulse move to calm residents by our ANC Commissioner. I’m sure this isn’t the first time he has heard complaints regarding traffic. The developer in turn became the target for years of bad planning by city Officials, however, by the end of the meeting there was overwhelming support of the proposed variances through one of the most questionable voting tactics ever witnessed for a public meeting… (More to follow in a separate post regarding the ANC)
Back to the recap, the following is a summary of the meeting :
The Developer is only building 20% of the allowable density for this development site. This includes:
A. 260 apartment units with 284 Garage Parking Spaces and 36 Street Parking Spaces
B. 103 garage townhomes with driveways and 45 Street parking Spaces
48 of the apartment units will be set aside for affordable Housing (24 @ 50% of AMI and 24 @80%AMI) AMI stands for Area Median Income click the following link for more information regading AMI for affordable housing. Click This Link for AMI for DC All other units will be market rate.
Bob King, current ANC Commissioner wants to increase the number of affordable units to 27 and as the meeting was adjourned, and attendees started to exit, voted to petition the City Council for those 27 as well as more along new York Ave. as it develops. No residents voted on the measure. However, that vote shouldn’t effect this development, because it is on Federal Urban Renewal land not land owned y the city. The push for more affordable housing which ultimately came from Councilman McDuffie is for development on city owner land.
To the dismay of many residents Hurston Lane will be the main connector road between the new development, The Villages, and the retail. Traffic Calming measures will need to be in place to discourage cut-through traffic, speeding cars, retail volume as well as other issues. There is a meeting planned in two weeks to address this. Also residents in the Petersburg noted that traffic along Ft. Lincoln drive blocks them in. ( More to follow on this… )
Other Future Development
Premium Distributors is looking to expand. This needs to be analyzed prior to approval to ensure traffic is taken into consideration.
Besides City Homes at Fort Lincoln and the Banneker Townhomes, this will be the final residential development.
Shops at Dakota Crossing
In a separate meeting with the Developer last week, we had a more in-depth discussion regarding the entire Development and I received the following clarifications:
1. The revised layout shown in the BZA Application for the shops was in error. The layout will remain as previously shown ( Costco on one side and the other retail on the other). See below.
2. The Contract for Lowes has been signed and the building permit issued. Construction will start whenever it starts, I will no longer post dates or times for the start of this development. When it happens I’ll take a photo and post it.
3. Eastern Ave. is only shown as a right-of-way easement, there are no plans to open Eastern ave. along the cemetery.
After witnessing the chaos in the meeting regarding traffic, its no wonder the city hasn’t done anything to fix the traffic problems. I doubt if they have ever received a document clearly outlining what the traffic issues are, a plan on how resolve them and follow up from the ANC or anyone on its progress. If our ANC Commissioner needs to have a community meeting in 2014 after almost 10 years of planning prior to Saturday, what exactly is he doing? We need an effective leader who is concise, forward thinking, inclusive, has a clear vision for Fort Lincoln and a plan to execute that vision. Moreover we need a leader who understands what the needs of the residents of Fort Lincoln are and will work to address them effectively. Until we have that nothing is going to change and that’s no dig at anyone, it’s just the plain truth.