Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:09:01 -0700
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: McMillan Park Zoning Not Approved; Current Plan "Too Big to Pass"
Friends of McMillan Park
For Release: July 29, 2014
Contact: Erin Fairbanks, 240-506-6777, firstname.lastname@example.org, @czarinamaude
McMillan Park Zoning Not Approved; Current Plan "Too Big to Pass"
Last evening the DC Zoning Commission postponed a decision on the Gray Administration's proposal to rezone historic landmark McMillan Park for high-rise development. Zoning Chairman Anthony Hood stated during deliberations that “this is too big to pass.” The Commission raised serious concerns that the proposed buildings are too big, would generate too much traffic, and that a "coordinated effort" with the community is needed before the plan would be acceptable.
Chairman Hood expressed concerns that the proposed medical office buildings are “huge for the area” and that “the whole traffic situation… is just too important” to rush to a hasty approval of the development proposal. Commissioner May agreed with Hood, noting that since McMillan Park is “not in close proximity to a metro… it’s a very complicated situation.”
Commissioner Turnbull was also concerned about public transportation infrastructure and “uneasy and uncomfortable with this level of development.” He emphasized the proposal’s over-reliance on words like “recommend” and “explore” regarding transportation mitigations, noting the lack of any commitments by the applicant or regional transit authorities. “There’s nothing positive,” he said. “It’s all pie in the sky. We need to see a more definitive plan.”
Kirby Vining, a long-time resident of Stronghold and leader of Friends of McMillan Park said, “I am gratified that the Zoning Commission did not rubber stamp the Mayor's plan to bring high-rise office buildings, high-end condos, and gridlock traffic to McMillan and turn this public space into a private Tyson's Corner-like development.” He continued, “We will now redouble our efforts to show the community and our elected officials that this plan is bankrupt and should be completely rejected. The city should start over with the citizens' proposal for a community park that would serve our neighborhoods, Ward 5, and the District."
The Zoning Commission will reconvene to decide the future of McMillan Park on September 29.