Tuesday, April 18, 2017

McMillan Park: Dispatches from Twilight Zoning Commission

From: WARD5@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 8:45 PM
Subject: [WARD5] [new] McMillan Park: Dispatches from Twilight Zoning Commission

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Dispatches from the Twilight Zoning Commission: McMillan Park

Chairman of the Commission, Anthony Hood Denies Public Participation in the Court Ordered Remand Hearings

At the April 6, 2017 zoning hearing on McMillan Park, a motion was filed by McMillan supporters to request the record be opened for greater public participation.  This request follows from the March 23, 2017 public hearing whereby the Chair of the Commission, Anthony Hood, and the Secretary of the Zoning Commission, Sharon Schellin would not allow anyone who wasn't in the room to testify in writing, and further, would not allow some of those who testified in person to put their written testimony on the record.  Despite the public outcry about limited participation in the review of one of the biggest public property giveaways in DC history, again on April 6, Zoning Chariman Anthony Hood led the charge to deny the request that the record be opened to accept public testimony electronically.  The final hearing (no public testimony allowed) will be Wednesday, April 19, 2017, starting early at 5pm.

[ sign the McMillan petition >> http://www.savemcmillan.org/petition/ ]

Numerous Groups and Individuals Ask Karl Racine to Intervene; Racine Takes No Action But Offers to Meet McMillan Supporters on May 8

The public has written letters to the Attorney General to speak out against the limiting of public participation in the McMillan hearings. For, even the lawyers for the developers salivating over getting the 25-acres at McMillan were in favor of opening the record to public participation.  Karl Racine, DC's first-elected AG, has not acted on these concerns other than to monitor the situation and offer to meet with McMillan supporters long after the hearings will be over.   “Mr. Racine is the city’s chief law enforcement officer and has oversight of how the Zoning Commission conducts its proceedings,” said Linwood Norman, a DC resident whose electronically-submitted testimony was not allowed on the public record. “When Mr. Racine assigns someone from his office to “monitor the situation,” we would expect some action to be taken. It’s very eye-opening to watch the Zoning Commission hearings on the City’s website and see how any consideration to allow citizen input has been flatly rejected.”  

[ sign the McMillan petition >> http://www.savemcmillan.org/petition/ ]

Prior McMillan Decision Remanded, Another Challenged for Disparate Treatment of the Elderly

The current McMillan hearings are happening thanks to the Court decision on December 8, 2016.  But there were two other appeals filed by McMillan supporters -- one challenging the second-stage review of Jair Lynch's senior housing and luxury apartment building, the other challenging the approval of another 100+ foot building proposed to built at the park.  Recently, the Court remanded the zoning order that approved the 100+ foot building. In the other case, McMillan lawyers filed a scathing brief on the Jair Lynch proposal as bringing us back to an era of segregation and discrimination, whereby the elderly will have to use a separate door and lobby to enter the same building as the wealthy single professionals. More briefing is expected by the highest Court in the District.

[ sign the McMillan petition >> http://www.savemcmillan.org/petition/ ]

Stabilization and Restoration Work Challenged at the Office of Administrative Hearings

Back in February, the Deputy Mayor's Office on Economic Development announced that despite the court rulings and other appeals cases, they are moving forward on a "Stabilization and Restoration" project at McMillan Park  In reviewing the files at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) the work includes building out the historic regulation houses and sand bins for commercial tenants with electric, HVAC, and water.  "Clearly, this work is connected to the cases that are under appeal, so the city seeks to serve their corporate masters and want to proceed illegally against the  Court decision to nullify the approvals for this build out work," said Chris Otten of DC for Reasonable Development.  There will be a status hearing at the OAH on May 3, 2017 at 11am.

Contact us for more information:
Chris Otten, 202 810 2768

[ sign the McMillan petition >> http://www.savemcmillan.org/petition/ ]

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