November/December 2019

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February/March 2019 Newsletter

Hi {{FirstName or “Friend”}},
We’re winding down 2019 (can you believe it?)! A lot of progress has been made this year, but there’s still more to be done. In October, the DC Council adopted the first part of the District’s Comprehensive Plan, and later, released a draft of the remaining portions of the Comp Plan. We are now in the 60-day public comment period, and the Office of Planning (OP) is holding public meetings in each ward. Please come out and support smart growth. The Ward 3 public meeting is on Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10 am to 12 pm, at Wilson High School. Additionally, Each Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) will soon submit comments to the OP for review. We encourage you to attend an upcoming ANC meeting to help shape these comments. You can also send your comments to: [email protected] (due Dec. 20).

Thank you,

Ward3Vision Steering Committee
[email protected]

What’s in this newsletter:


Community Events

Ward 3 ANC Meetings



The big news is progress on the updating of the District’s Comprehensive Plan.

  • On October 8, 2019, the DC Council adopted the first part of the Plan – the Framework Element – which has been in the works for some three years. (Ward3Vision has been commenting on the Comp Plan for over a year and testified in favor of the final draft in March 2018.) Here’s what the Coalition for Smarter Growth said about it: 
 “… we fought for and won two key amendments. The first prioritizes preserving and building more affordable housing, and preventing the displacement of residents. The second fixes the broken review process for Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) so it can be predictable, while also prioritizing affordable housing and preventing displacement.”   

Here’s the Framework Element of the District’s Comprehensive Plan

  • On October 15, 2019, the DC Office of Planning (OP) released a draft of the remaining portions of the Comp Plan. They also proposed amendments to the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and other exhibits. Many, but not all, of Ward3Vision’s proposals were accepted, and some were subsumed in other amendments.  
  • In particular, the Rock Creek West Element and other sections addressing housing and urban design and the like, were amended to recognize the need for development of residential and commercial uses on and near transit corridors, the promotion of public transit, and support for pedestrians and alternative modes of transportation such as biking.  
  • Of note for the future, the Generalized Policy Map proposes a large “Future Planning Analysis Area” for the Friendship Heights-Tenleytown area.

Here’s a summary by Greater Greater Washington of proposed changes on housing.

Here’s the text of the proposed amendments.

  • On October 31, 2019, in light of the many proposals we submitted, members of the Ward3Vision Steering Committee were invited by the director and staff of the Office of Planning to discuss the proposed amendments. Director Andrew Trueblood emphasized the office’s commitment to language reflecting the city’s intention to increase the amount of housing in all sectors of the city.


Public Meeting Coming Up

We are now in the 60-day public comment period, and OP is holding public meetings in each ward. The Ward 3 public meeting is on Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10 am to 12 pm, at Wilson High SchoolPLEASE come out and support Smart Growth. We are talking about environmentally responsible and socially equitable development near transit. Infill development of multi-family housing in Ward 3 will provide housing options that are more affordable than exist now. More infrastructure for bikes and safety measures for pedestrians will make our neighborhoods safer, greener, and more attractive to the families that live here. The proposed amendments to the Comp Plan will make it easier to achieve these goals. As a follower of Ward3Vision, this is the time when your voice needs to be heard and your opinion counted.

  • Submit comments by December 20: If you are unable to attend in person on December 7, please submit written comments to your ANC chair and the Office of Planning before the record closes on December 20, 2019. For more information go to the Comprehensive Plan website. Read the chapters (i.e. land use, housing, transportation, Rock Creek West) and view the proposed changes to the Future Land Use Map and Generalized Policy Map here.
  • The Office of Planning will be reviewing and replying to comments submitted by each of the ANC’s before the January 15 deadline. Ward3Vision would encourage all who support smart growth to attend their local ANC meetings(see schedule below) to help shape the comments in OP’s draft report. Please contact us at [email protected] so we can help coordinate everyone’s efforts.

Lady Bird Mixed-Use Project in Spring Valley 

On October 10, 2019, we testified as an official party in the case before the Zoning Commission in favor of the Lady Bird mixed-use PUD in Spring Valley on the site where a grocery store closed six years ago. (Case 19-10) John Wheeler took the lead in representing Ward3Vision as a party, and Ellen Bass delivered our testimony. See our written submission here.

  • The project will include a grocery store, slated to be a Mom’s Organic. It will contain over 200 apartments, a significant number with two- and three-bedrooms. The PUD contains more than the minimum amount of Inclusionary Zoning (IZ), which provides for lower-than-market rentals for persons with lower incomes, many of which apartments will be larger units. During the hearing, at the Commission’s urging, Valor increased its IZ percentage from its earlier submission with 11% to 12% which is 20% above the amount of square-footage required by the PUD regulations.
  • Both ANC 3D and 3E supported the project.  

This project has been debated before two ANCs and elsewhere for 4 years. It has been before the Zoning Commission before in a different proceeding. We hope that this time it will be approved and go forward.
Bus Priority Workshop

Ward3Vision was invited to participate in a workshop organized by Greater Greater Washington on October 10, 2019 to discuss improvements to the bus network and prioritizing bus lanes throughout the city. Some sections of town rely on bus transit and are currently underserved. Susan Kimmel represented the Steering Committee and urged those in attendance including representatives of DDOT, WMATA, and many ANC’s to consider the benefits of complete streets while developing their plans.

If you are interested in getting more involved with Ward3Vision, please email us at [email protected].  

Happy Thanksgiving,

Ward3Vision Steering Committee

Members of the Ward3Vision Steering Committee (L to R: Samantha Mazo, Matt Bell, and Chair Susan Kimmel) at the Coalition for Smarter Growth annual social at Eastern Market on October 29, 2019. Photo by Ellen Bass


Upcoming Events and Community Meetings

Greater Greater Washington
Events calendar:

Tenleytown Main Street
Events calendar:
The annual Winterfest is November 29 to December 9, 2019.

Van Ness Main Street
Events calendar:

Ward 3 ANC Meetings
Note that each meeting’s date, place and agenda may change between today and the actual meeting, so please check the ANC’s website for updates.

ANC 3B meeting
Nov. 14, 7:00 PM (meets monthly on the second Thursday)
Stoddert Elementary School and Glover Park Community Center,
4001 Calvert St., NW

ANC 3B covers Glover Park and Cathedral Heights.  

ANC 3C meeting
Nov. 18 & Dec. 16, 7:30 PM (meets monthly on the third Monday)
Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave., NW

ANC 3C covers Cathedral Heights, Cleveland Park, Massachusetts Heights, McLean Gardens and Woodley Park.  

ANC 3D meeting 
Dec. 4, 7:00 PM
Wesley Theological Seminary, Kresge Bldg., room K-106, 4500 Massachusetts Ave.

ANC 3D covers A.U., Berkley, Foxhall, Kent, New Mexico/Cathedral, Palisades, Spring Valley and Wesley Heights.  This ANC includes American University.  

ANC 3E meeting
Nov. 12 & Dec. 12, 7:30 PM (generally meets monthly on the second Thursday)
AU Spring Valley Bldg., 4801 Massachusetts Ave. Rm 545

ANC 3E covers the Tenleytown area along Wisconsin Avenue.

ANC 3F meeting
Nov. 19, 7:30 PM (meets monthly on the third Tuesday)
UDC, 4200 Connecticut Ave., Building 38 Windows Lounge

ANC 3F covers the Van Ness area and north along Connecticut Avenue. 

ANC 3G meeting
Nov. 25 & Dec. 9, 7:00 PM (meets monthly on the fourth Monday)
Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW

ANC 3G covers the upper Connecticut Avenue area in Ward 3.

The short-term Family Shelter in Ward 3 takes shape behind Cathedral Commons on Idaho Avenue, NW. Ward3Vision submitted a letter in support of this location to the Zoning Commission. Photo by Ellen Bass


News and articles you may have missed

DC Council Unanimously Approves Updates to Comprehensive Plan, Urban Turf  

Framework Element approved, Washington Post

Public Comment sought on proposals for amendment of Comp Plan, Curbed 

New Affordable Housing Proposals for Affluent Areas of DC, Greater Greater Washington 

Need for Federal help with urban affordable housing crisis, CityLab 

Cities building housing above libraries, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Land Lines Magazine