Tag Archives: Office of Planning

City Neglect Causing Neighborhood Blight in Fort Lincoln

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The now closed Thurgood Marshall School, which once stood for a symbol of progress  in Fort Lincoln, is now a symbol blight and poses a continued threat to public safety.  Everyday, the graffiti, break-ins, homeless squatting, and now loitering of youth has engulfed this facility.  In the past year, I have called emergency personnel for serious violations consisting of everything from busted water-mains in the winter, homeless squatting,  drug & gang paraphernalia, open live electrical boxes, burning cars and more.  This is all taking place within a few hundred feet of a senior citizen residential building, the recently completed Villages at Dakota Crossing and is across the street from another residential development under construction with homes prices starting at $600,000. Moreover, the damage to this  school is beyond vandalism; it is also structurally degrading.  The roofing membrane has been ripped up, mortar between bricks have been washed away, window are broken, and concrete is now chipping away on structural members.  The District Government has reacted to short term resolution of some of  the issues as they arise; however, this only happens after I observe, call, and tweet the issues while walking my dog during daylight.  With the earlier sunsets and absence of lighting around the facility, days go by before I observe anything.  At this rate, the entire facility will be covered in graffiti  by the beginning of the new year 2016.   I once even observed amateur photographers taking pictures of the graffiti who were from Maryland, I might add. The developer has petitioned the city since the Gray Administration about the conversion of the School to a YMCA .  This conversion would take advantage of the indoor pool as well as having another City Agency occupy the remaining space.  Today, we are no closer to moving in a suitable tenant or having the city appropriate funding to stop the degradation of this valuable asset.  As district residents do we not deserve better than this?  What would you do if this was happening in your community?


 

Below are photos from vandalism and decay at the school which is adjacent to Fort Lincoln Park.

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Live electrical box was repaired after I called & tweeted the same day it was reported. Not sure how long it was open before I observed it.

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Door is open on the roof allowing access for graffiti now on the front of the building.
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Roofing has been pulled up causing significant damage. Almost as if it is intentional…

 

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Water damage to brick mortar

 

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Concrete chipping away

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New Layout for the Shops @ Dakota Crossing? Before & After Proposals

 

Part 3 of 13.Fort Lincoln Multi-Family BZA App. Plans 05.14.2014_Part3

Construction at The Shops at Dakota Crossing has yet to restart and the proposal below may be the key reason why.  I’ve always believed that opening Ft Lincoln Drive to the Shops next toLowes would not fix the traffic problem.  The volume of Costco traffic would easily congest that portion of the road .  The new Multi-Family Development shows a new and more functional layout for the Shops at Dakota Crossing.  I’m not sure if this will be the official design, however, I was informed 3 weeks ago that the DDOT permit was not yet approved and  this could be the reason why.


Previous Retail Proposal

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The previous (or current) layout for the shops features a main street with the smaller retail buildings on one side of the street.  It shows one large parking lot for Costco, and another large parking lot to serve the remaining shopping center.  Costco traffic currently creates congestion along the main street which will only worsen with the opening of Lowes and the other smaller retail.  Even with the second entrance from Ft Lincoln Drive,  Lowes would create its own congestion essentially bringing traffic to a halt.

Current Retail Proposal ( As shown in the BZA Application for the Multi-Family Development)

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The layout included with the BZA Application splits the smaller retail on two sides of the main street which is similar to proposals from 2006.  This new layout isolates  traffic for Costco, Lowes, and the other larger retail from the Main street.  It also creates smaller parking lots for the smaller retail making it more walkable.  In addition, it creates two  separate exits from Route 50; one to the “Costco” Gas station and the other to the Main Street, which would also alleviate traffic congestion.  I’m not sure if this is the official plan but I believe it is a much better layout than what’s currently designed.  Also putting shops on two sides of the main street creates a more natural street scape and doesn’t look like a staged movie set.


New Residential Development Changes

Previous Residential Proposal

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The previous Multi-Family Development Proposal is more of a juxtaposition than a revision to the current proposal and may leave some residents in the Villages feeling like they’ve been mislead when purchasing their home.  The previous proposal featured a significant tree buffer with mature trees which creates a more natural separation for the new development which was a selling point to many residents when purchasing on CJ. Barney Drive.  It also only featured 6 Apartment Buildings with 352 units and a awful parking lot around the perimeter.  The previous development is a bad design however, the natural tree buffer made it palatable because no one would have to see it.

Current Residential Proposal

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The current proposal indicates a much better traffic pattern and will now feature townhomes in addition to the apartments.  The townhomes appear to be a NV Product which is a luxury home builder and parent company to Ryan Homes.  They also feature both roof top and rear decks which would be a first in the community.  The apartment look to be a garden style edition of the two Towers on Fort Lincoln Drive.  They are horrid in my opinion and must be redesigned, they architecture is uninspired and is not of the same Architectural consistency of the townhomes.  It looks like government housing next to luxury homes and is situated in the most prominent location.  The natural tree buffer has been completely annihilated and will be replaced with new trees.  The Wetlands is protected so the retaining pond and wild vegetation growth will remain.  I’m sure the frogs, turtles and birds will be happy to know that. It also may worth noting that there is are no parks or open space associated with this development.  All things considered I think its a good improvement on the original proposal.

 

District Gateway Proposal!

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The District Gateway is an idea that I conceived which encompasses taking advantage of the current Dakota Crossing Development and extending it across South Dakota Avenue creating a Gateway Neighborhood. I submitted the idea to DC’s Office of Planning and to the Ward 5 City Council as an unsolicited proposal which at a minimum could be converted into a Small Area Plan for future Development. This idea is in its infancy and I will post more updates on the plan as I meet with different agencies.