Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Save McMillan Park folks: McMillan Park Legal Cases Reveal Startling Facts; Responses Due this Week

From: WARD5@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:58 AM To: ward5@yahoogroups.com; HistoricWashington@yahoogroups.com; dcsgp@yahoogroups.com; friends-of-mcmillan-park@googlegroups.com; woodridge5b@yahoogroups.com; ward5dc@yahoogroups.com Subject: [WARD5] Fwd: McMillan Park Legal Cases Reveal Startling Facts; Responses Due this Week

McMillan Press Update May 22, 2016 :: SAVE MCMILLAN ACTION COALITION :: 202 344 5385 ::  savemcmillan.org 

McMillan Park Legal Cases Reveal Startling Facts Not Considered by City Council or Planners During Park Giveaway Proceedings

Legal filings demonstrate overwhelming traffic conditions, millions of gallons of wasteful sewage and water use, and serious air pollution & displacement factors

May 23, 2016, Washington, D.C. -- District of Columbia residents and several DC citizen groups[1] have filed legal briefs with the DC Court of Appeals to save their historic McMillan Park. Their legal teams are awaiting responses this week from attorneys representing the city and a cadre of well-heeled developers, all paid for by DC tax dollars.  

The appeals seek to defend McMillan as a national historic landmark, to protect a key water-source feature (20-acre cistern) to help the  capital city resist increasing climate chaos, as well as to safeguard the surrounding working-class community from a myriad of adverse impacts.  www.savemcmillan.org/legal

Residents are challenging what they describe as "arbitrary" decisions made by DC zoning and historic preservation officials which show an "absolute disregard of fundamental planning protocols."  

For example, the filings show the Zoning Commission chose to upzone the site from a low-rise community to that allowing massive downtown-sized development to serve the developers interests in bringing online over 2 million square feet of dense commercial and residential buildings and paving over two-thirds of the open public space. This upzoning flies in the face of city planning documents that call for more limited moderate community-minded development that preserved most of the open park space. 

Evidence on the record shows that just on a Saturday alone, the proposed "McMillan Town Center" will generate nearly 25,000 vehicle trips, and 40,000 "person" trips to and from the site.  And, the project will push 3 million gallons of water plus an equal amount of sewage through aging city pipes on a daily basis. 

No analysis was done to determine if the city's infrastructure can even handle a project of this size, and who would pay for upgrades, nor did anyone take into account the more than 50,000+ vehicles already coursing around McMillan everyday and how adding thousands of more cars will affect the air quality and emergency services of the surrounding communities.

Moreover, local residents are deeply concerned that the amount of luxury housing proposed for the site (more than 500 market-rate units) will "accelerate gentrification pressures" in the surrounding community.  The staffers with DC's Office of Planning provided no evaluation of displacement effects brought on by this project.  

Local developers and architect design teams (Jair Lynch E.Y.A.; Trammel Crow; Perkins Eastman DC; Robert Silman Associates; EHT Traceries; and others) are getting cover from city officials who are eager to get started on the project.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n240yomawg

These developers are anticipating a 2+ billion dollar windfall to come at the expense of DC taxpayers who are paying for the vast majority of pre-development costs, including a PR firm hired to discredit those in opposition, as well as paying for architects, designers, and for the legal help. savemcmillan.org/calendar#fontaine

The city has recently released a Request for Proposals for the so-called horizontal development, which means the demolition of the site, as well are shopping preliminary plans for the “park” in spite of the legal battle unfolding in Court.  

This legal battle follows on from mounting public dissent to the project (More then 8,000 people have signed the petition to Save McMillan park; www.savemcmillan.org/opposition) and DC's independent auditor, Kathy Patterson has asked that the McMillan project be competitively rebid because competition was minimized for these favored developers under the banner, Vision McMillan Partners. 

Holland and Knight, the lawyers for the developers who are being paid with DC taxpayer monies, may be submitting responses to the residents' initial legal claims this week.


[1]    Appeals of the DC Zoning Commission to destroy McMillan Park have been brought by Friends of McMillan Park (friendsofmcmillan.org), the DC Preservation League (dcpreservation.org), the Committee of 100 (committeeof100.net), DC for Reasonable Development (dc4reason.org) and the McMillan Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture.  FMI: www.savemcmillan.org/legal


  1. The "Monstrosity on Michigan Avenue" planned by Mega Development conglomerate, www.envisionmcmillan.com is a tasteless super urbanization of our DC Central Park. Fenced off for over 75 years in racist discrimination against the African-American community, a theft of enjoyment that would never happen in upper income Chevy Chase!
    The last 25 acre greenspace is our Central Park, for a Glen Echo arts/performance/education campus for our families, a DC Wolf Trap outdoor concert stage, and the 20 acres underground filtration galleries are perfect for urban agriculture, with 5 times the production of surface farms.
    Please see this fascinating video on the future of urban agriculture: http://youtu.be/ILzWmw53Wwo

    Critically we must save our public park FROM DEMOLITION and the biggest land theft since Manhattan! We need the engineering marvel for a back up system for clean water security, from our threatened water supply.
    The banal, cookie cutter massive development plan will bring 31,000 auto trips to congested N. Capitol, and an insane 24,00 mass transit users, where there is no mass transit. 600 buses and shuttles a day will be needed to get to Brookland and RI Ave Metro, ridiculous! The DC govt. collusion and corruption even required the Deputy Mayor hiring the Jamie Fontaine PR firm to suppress our right to express our opposition.
    See landscape architect Mary Pat Rowan expose the slime campaign, and Daniel Wolkoff explain the adaptive re-use and restoration of our Central Park in City Council testimony,
    Please join Friends of McMillan Park and fight for a green city and block the millions of tons of carbon emitting concrete, keep the historic site, reduce the urban heat island effect, save this"great place" for kids to play, music, art, and a healthy food, exercise and nutrition hub .
    You can be a founder of DC's Central Park, stop Bowser and McDuffie, EYA, Jair Lynch and Trammel Crow.

  2. You get points for perseverence but your over-the-top rant makes me wish for the day development is over so you'll move on to some other lost cause. "Tasteless super urbanization of our DC Central Park?" You mean The Mall, DC's Central Park that is being filled with cultural museums, some made of that nasty "carbon-emitting concrete?" Dial it back a few notches, because you might have some good points if we could cut through the garbage. It is cute how you cite yourself as your own authority.