Wednesday, December 28, 2016

a proposal for the McMillan Sand Filtration site

See the 12-27-2016 message:

Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 2:37 PM

Subject: [HistoricWashington] A Proposal for McMillan Park

Members of this Group are, or should be familiar with our city's neglect and isolation of McMillan Park, effectively erasing the memory from the public consciousness. This once elegant and healing space was the first integrated park in DC and the people used it regularly to get away from the concrete and heat of the city, to play and relax on the green grass and many shade trees.  It was, as one now aging resident called it,"  ... Our Beach."  After decades of neglect a series of administrations attempted to "give away," this 20 acres of green to a cabal of maximum density developers, violating city ordinances, regulations, and even Federal restrictions on it's use.  

Our coalition, The McMillan Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture and The Friends of McMillan Park,  (FOM), along with DC for Reasonable Development  (DC FORD) filed an appeal in opposition to the Zoning Commissions ruling in Superior Court.  All three judges unanimously agreed with us that the administration did not make the case necessary to destroy the historic site and that their argument did not constitute a, "...  special merit exemption," from the Federal Covenants placed upon the park when it was sold to the city.

Today, we are putting forth the basic concept of our plan for a viable alternative to more concrete, and maximum density construction.  Setting forth the first discussion on how we can save the park and turn it into a real community asset, combining enhanced quality of life as well as, a career training center of excellence to train green high tech urban farmers.  McMillan will produce tons (yes, tons) of fresh green vegetables by using high-tech lighting in the cool stable caverns beneath the park and we will not need to touch one blade of grass, or cut down one tree to do it. 

We can do this for an estimated one-fifth of the cost of the current plan, a faster cash flow, and  a much faster break even.  The park will  produce valued food eagerly purchased by high end retail and restaurants.  This will generate substantial revenue.  The park will become economically sustainable and will make a significant contribution to the tax base as well.  Also, a  portion of the production will go to SNAP to help end food desserts here in the District.  Depending upon how we use the space, as much as 19 million pounds of vegetables and fish could be produced here inside the beltway on an annual basis.

Finally, as to any perceived conflict of interest.  My company:  The Family Fish Farms Network, Inc. will act as an honest broker in the design and build.  Upon completion, all of the equipment and facilities will become the property and asset of the People of Ward 5 and/or The District with every single citizen receiving one, non transferable share.  This will be a community owned enterprise.  Operated by and for the Citizens.   We put this plan forward to the zoning commission who blatantly refused to consider it.   In the Judges ruling, Mr. Hood and the commission are specifically directed to consider viable alternatives.  We expect our plan to be heard and considered along with others with creative ideas and initiatives.

Jerry Peloquin
Founding Associate
The McMillan Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture.
A registered citizens organization under the laws of the District of Columbia

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