Sunday, October 17, 2010

two Design Salons on the McMillan Sand Filtration site development: 10/18/2010 and 10/25/2010

See this 10/16/2010 message from Tania Jackson:

Thanks to all of the people who came out today for our first McMillan Sand Filtration Site Planning Meeting. We had a great turnout and hope to capitalize on that, and expand attendance.

We`ll be holding Design Salons where interested individuals can meet one on one with the design team. These are the two dates:

o Monday, October 18 6-8PM with Matt Bell, Urban Design Architect -- here is an update from Tania Jackson: tonight's first salon will be held at Big Bear Cafe, 1st & R Street NW in Bloomingdale
o Monday, October 25 6-8PM with Warren Byrd, Landscape Architect

Please call me or email to schedule yourself into these two sessions.

We will be holding two more meetings at St. Martin’s Church:

o Saturday, October 30 9-12 (preliminary design concepts with recap of feedback)
o Saturday, November 20 9-12 (final concept plan)

Please also feel free to email or call me with questions.


(m) (202) 355-8998


Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

From Edgewood resident Michael Henderson:


My notes from Saturday's McMillan Sand Filtration Site community meeting are now posted on the Edgewood neighborhood website. From the home page just click on "Meeting Notes/Minutes". There you'll see the link (let me know offline if you are unable to view the document and I'll send it to you directly).

Below is a synopsis of the meeting from Scott Roberts as well.

Michael Henderson

Already Disappointed in Bloomingdale said...

I thought there was agreement at the meeting that October 30th was a bad date. Once again, it appears that the Bethesda-based development team has their own agenda and doesn't really care about fairness. The folks who took the time from their Saturday to give this process some legitimacy already have some indication that this new process looks a heck of a lot like the earlier failed process, managed by the same people!

Maybe someone in the neighborhood should host our own meeting and allow people to speak their minds about the disposition of this public property.

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

From Bloomingdale resident Mehdi Mansouri:

Response to McMillan Sand Filtration Site: Two Design Salons Coming Up -- Monday, 10/18/2010, and Monday, 10/25/2010

I want to encourage everyone to please come to this new series of meetings that the Office of ``Development`` (or most appropriately ``Office of Destruction``) is now running to see for yourselves the depth of deception and dictatorship that is being skillfully enforced on people in these meetings.

This is the 2nd ``new start`` to push the McMillan project that is even more deceptive and controlled than the first round by the City. Yesterday`s meeting was 100% controlled by the City and every effort was made to stop people from asking critical questions. During the break in yesterday`s meeting someone approached me and we talked about how closed, totalitarian, and deceptive these meetings and speeches are. I asked ``how come no one gets up and demands they stop insulting everyone`s intelligence and start a democratic process?``

She said (maybe with slightly different words which I can`t remember exactly) ``this is what America has become today.`` In other words, she confirmed my findings that as the government`s tactics to deceive people become more sophisticated, a greater majority of people seem to be falling for the government`s lies and deceptions. And a vast majority of those who understand these tactics have lost hope in being able to help change anything. The McMillan process has become a textbook example of all of the above in every sense.

But I believe the glass is more than half full, because those who came before us and fought corruption and injustice had a much harder time doing so. Today`s communication tools alone are so powerful--tools that we have and they didn`t. If they could shift the balance of power from all those medieval and pre-medieval times and even until very recent years (of civil rights movements) where ``ordinary`` people like us were treated like objects and subject to unthinkable treatments by those in power to what we have today, then we must continue their ways to complete the transition, trying our best to make our system a clean, just and fully democratic one before we pass the system to the next generation. The question always is: will we pass on a better government to our next generation than what we received? If our answer is yes, the question is how?

If anyone has any questions about why I think the McMillan process is what I explained above, I would be happy to discuss my reasons. If anyone is convinced after our discussion or even now that this process is clear evidence of major flaws in our DC Government system, then I hope they too will take a stand in preserving and improving our democracy and our right for an honest and clean government. After seeing the depth of the problem in the DC Government, I have made it my mission to do everything I can to make a difference. I look forward to hearing from others who see the devastating depth of the problem and want to defend and improve our democracy so we can join hands and be more effective.

Mehdi Mansouri

TheCommiss said...

To all:

Love to hear your comments about the metting and especailly Mr. Mansouri's comments...

Anonymous said...

totalitarian? corruption? lies and deception? do you wear tin foil hats Mr. Mansouri and "Commissioner" Danneker?

I personally can't wait for the city to finally open up McMillan for development, and the more the better. Couldn't possibly come soon enough.

TheCommiss said...

@ Anonymous-- I agree it's time we have a plan for McMillan and move forawrd with it.

JustMe said...

If you believe that the development of McMillan is proceeding inappropriately, contact your city council representative and make your concerns known. There is no reason to expect that McMillan should be handled by referendum of local neighbors. What role has Harry Thomas played in the McMillan development decisions? Ranting about totalitarianism is ridiculous.

As long as there's walkable, dense development rather the strip malls we see up on RI Ave NE, it seems like it's fine.

TheCommiss said...

JustMe--I couldn't agree more. It is ridiculous. It's been OurMcMillan, the McMillan Park Committee and Mr. Mansouri that have been creating this outrageous hysteria around McMillan. Harry Thomas has been involved in McMillan since we began the MAG meetings. He has reviewed everything attached to this plan and the players. As for a decision, there isn't a plan yet....

As for the dense development, which is good urban planning...the folks mentioned above including Mr. Fournier have been opposed this development because of the density, despite VMP reducing some density in order to form a compromise. It's these groups don't know what they want, but complain every plan is flawed. They will stop at nothing to see the development gets killed again!

1st Street resident said...

@JustMe - There are many of us in favor of development, but wanting to know more about the known constraints -- mainly traffic and stormwater mgmt. The last plan, which was enthusiastically supported by Councilman Thomas and Barrie Daneker, was so poorly conceived that the developer fired the team they themselves assembled and is now starting from scratch, or so they say. You may have noticed they are now going through the motions of another community input process, but on an extremely fast track. It seems clear that the Bethesda-based developer is working with their allies in the Fenty Administration to push this through before Gray's people have a look. This is a unique piece of property--25 acres in the U.S. Capital overlooking the reservoir and the city. It is public-owned property and we as taxpayers have every right to ask for transparency, accountability and the best possible use of this unique parcel of land.

Personally, I think there should be an international competition of ideas, much like the successful development of the Seattle Gasworks site. I know others would like to be closer to food establishments, but isn't U Street close enough? A little walking would do everyone some good, right?

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

Unfortunately, I could not attend last night's McMillan Design Salon with architect Matt Bell. How did it go?

TheCommiss said...


I went. It was a good opportunity to speak with the new EEK architect that will be revising plans, since it's been a reiterative process from the get go. EEK was brought on by the OED and OP due to the various other successful projects of this nature that EEK has worked on in the District in the past. Matt was very nice, took 15 mins with each person. But again it was just the same old group who show up, Our McMillan and McMillan Park Committee members who are few and far between from the majority of residents. I was happy to see the turnout at St. Martin’s and I hope that many many people from 5C turnout for these sessions and public forums, it’s important they voice their desires, ideas, and needs with respect to this development.

Randolph Rez said...

I went to the design salon last night (Mon., 10/18) at Big Bear and was surprised, even disappointed, to see it poorly attended. In the first hour, only 4 or 5 people had shown up to speak.

I'm on the "make it all a park" side of the spectrum, and though I wasn't eavescropping, the few words I heard from other commenters seemed to indicate they were not on the "more development" side. The architect, Matt(?) Bell, actually had very good points for not making all of McMillan a park, namely that such a big space with structures and different levels and no means of access for patrolling, could make it a haven for ne'er-do-wells, like many biggish parks in Baltimore. He seemed open to "aggregating" the park/green into one big area rather than essentially counting space between buildings as the park area. He seemed to agree that even modestly sized buildings, built atop the escarpment that is the current site, could impose over thje rest of the neighborhood; grading/leveling in some places might be an option, but the historical preservationists would have to weigh in on that.

Still bothersome, however, he seemed to indicate that retail, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. could do well at McMillan because of the easy access/traffic along Michigan and N. Capitol. that means the site would be a car-dependent destination spot, which is what I'd like to avoid.

Finally, the head of the McMillan Park Committee was there, as I overheard him say to make sure everyone got a fair shot at speaking their minds. That self-appointed-arbiter quality rubs me the wrong way just a bit, but it's going to be difficult for him to cite/claim community outrage over current plans considering hardly anyone showed up last night. Controversy over disposition of the site has dragged on for a quarter century now, to the poiont of it becoming a joke. The hysterical opponents, and MPC (and, no, they are NOT the same), are just going to have to give a little ground (no pun intended).

David said...

I also attended last night (was one of the first to speak with Matt). I wouldn't worry too much about how many people attended considering the format was not set to allow 50 people to speak their minds. There will definitely be additional occasions for people to discuss their view.

I second the notion that "The Commiss" said above regarding the Mcmillan "neighborhood" groups. I am offended when these groups make statements that imply they have talked to all of the neighbors...when it is not the case.

The McMillan site is ideal for a development of a blend of structures and park/open space. I also mentioned to Matt Bell that the open space needs to be usable and not broken up. A place that all of us will be proud of and make the other parts of the city jealous.

Someone mentioned that they think the developer is trying to push this through the government with their Fenty allies....You have to understand, a development like this takes a long time to go through approvals. It won't even be out of the conceptual design phase before Gray is the mayor. It is impossible for something like this to be slipped through.

Final comment - someone mentioned an the idea of an international competition....not a good idea here because anyone who entered would not have any contact with the neighborhood. Yes the developer is moving fast now but would you rather them sit around and take another few years?

Stu said...


I am just starting to learn more about this project, and it was good to speak with the Master Plan Architect, Matthew Bell, and meet him face to face.

If you would like to learn more about his firm:

The Landscape architect is coming to the neighborhood as well and will be doing the same one-on-one sessions.

Warren Byrd:

Tania Jackson, the community outreach person with the group grew up in the neighborhood as well so it was good to hear her perspective.

If anyone would like to discuss the project let me know.


JustMe said...

I know others would like to be closer to food establishments, but isn't U Street close enough? A little walking would do everyone some good, right?

I want to just say that this is a terrible mindset that causes a lot of the problems in DC we see today. We ghettoize commercial and retail areas into a few enclaves around the city, which makes them very crowded and causes the locals to get upset at the fact that restaurants end up dominating this kind of development. Meanwhile, many other areas and neighborhoods end up being almost entirely residential, without access to decent local amenities or a local bar/restaurant for residents to meet up with their friends in.

In the past, when development DID happen, it follows the strip-mall model of Nemiah in Columbia Heights or that strip mall on H Street NE.

Without a decent amount of commercial development and, yes, restaurants, any large open space would end up being a desolate, dangerous area.

My main point, however, is that waiting for neighborhood consensus is going to result in nothing ever getting done. We have a process for development, let's follow that process. I'm sure lots of people have their own personal "vision" for what they want, but they should appeal to our elected representatives for that rather than expecting that "the community" should dictate what should happen. It may be that no one is listening to your ideas because your ideas are bad ones.

Anonymous said...

I hate whitey.

Anonymous said...

it's okay, as soon as you learn to love, god will forgive you.

TheCommiss said...

To all:

Well just remember the hysterical groups like Our McMillan and the McMillan Park Committee who are attempted to block this project again. Note these special interest groups are endorsing one their members, Mr. Fournier, for ANC 5C07. This is the same group that wants a farm and a chicken coop on the site…the most expensive farm land in the world at 2.8 million an acre; given what it would cost to retro fit into a useable space.

If it’s a balanced plan with 1/3 commercial, 1/3 park, and 1/3 residential you can agree to, and want the project to continue moving forward without filing nonsense lawsuits; if you want a candidate who abides by DC laws, registers their car in DC and obtains the proper permits for a home based business in DC, You want someone who give you the truth, not just some sound bite from a blog!

“Prosperity, Progress and Putting People First.”

Jason said...

Tell me, Barrie, is endlessly trolling comments pages on this blog and the City Paper's website to pollute them with deceptive, self-serving nonsense mandated by your position as "The Commish" for ANC 5C07?

Oh, wait, it's not. It's conduct unbecoming an elected official or an adult of any kind. Your campaign slogan should be "Prattle, Pomposity, and Putting Barrie Daneker First."

TheCommiss said...

Jason--Well meet some of the folk with these special interest groups support Mr. Fournier and you will change your opinion. That's where the problem lies. They are running Mr. Fournier to put an end to McMillan once again! That's the true nature of this race! Facts are have to face have to take a stand on the issues! When met with un-civical voices you can't just stand by and be silent. We all know where that ends up!

Jason said...

Barrie, "un-civical" isn't even a word and your accusations don't equal facts. You're an idiot and a liar.

TheCommiss said...

Jason--excuse the spelling via iphone isn't easy! However, there are even video tapes of MAG meetings, ANC meetings, and even a Gray Rally. in which these special interest groups have used outrageous tactics. Have you seen Mr. Mansouri's blogs? Do you know MAG members complained about those tactics and have felt fear from these groups? Do you know they have suggested turning McMillan in the most expensive farm land in the world? Yes a farm! It was on Kojo, members of these groups stated it on the show. Their goal is to stop development! They have succeeded in the past hence 30 years of nothing. They have put out every possible road block to this development for 30 years. They have threatened MAG members with civil lawsuits. It's is the goal to get someone on the ANC and MAG who will help them to push their agenda. It's very apparent and obvious. Mr. Fournier is endorsed by these special interest groups. Check out these groups!