Tuesday, January 17, 2017

InTowner: "Legality of redevelopment plans for historic McMillan Parl called into question by just-revealed covenant; Mayor's Agent sets new public hearing"

Click on the link to read the entire InTowner article:


Legality of Redevelopment Plans for Historic McMillan Park Called into Question by Just Revealed Covenant; Mayor’s Agent Sets New Public Hearing
Accompanying images can be viewed in the January 2017 issue pdf
     
By William G. Schulz*
            
In their quest to radically redevelop the city’s historic, 25-acre McMillan Park reservoir site, contractor Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) and DC city officials have prepared and approved plans that appear to violate covenants that are part of the city’s own 1987 purchase agreement with the federal government for the land. That is the only plausible conclusion from a read of the purchase agreement– signed by federal and District of Columbia government officials at the time of the sale.
The InTowner was not able, by deadline, to reach city officials or VMP for a response to the recently surfaced documents, but welcomes and will continue to seek their responses to the facts now surfacing nearly 30 years later.
   
And the facts are these:
    
Four binding covenants — explained in detail under the headings “nondiscrimination,” “excess profits,” “FAA clause,” and “historic resources” — were attached to the $9,300,000 sale of the park by the federal government’s General Services Administration to the District of Columbia. The covenants, the documents make clear, convey to any future purchasers or developers of the land — such as VMP.
  
The historic resources covenant is key: “Any and all rehabilitation and renovation work at the parcel will be undertaken in accordance with ‘The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Building’ (Standards),” the covenant reads.
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