Mark Your Calendars

This, That And Many Other Things 

If you don’t live in or just near the U Street/14th bullseye (neighbors will understand) and you’re wandering about, take a look up. I guarantee what you’ll see.

Sky cranes. Many, and more on the way! Music to some people’s ears – notably those at the DC BID, eh, Logan Res? – while mostly a short-term inconvenience for others. Or so the pro-hyper-development types would have you believe. But like they say…don’t believe everything.

There are several things happening on the ground. Genuinely on the ground, as in neighbor to neighbor to neighbor; people who’ve been in this area for decades talking with those who are relatively new here. And there is going to be news, and news, coming from all these offline talks. (Darn, it’s hard to track person to person conversations, isn’t it JBG?)

So the point of this post is voices, and making neighbor’s voices heard. What’s coming up:

  • Thursday, April 6, ANC 1b meeting. The agenda looks pretty blah, given how many developments seem to be popping up without serious neighborhood input. But there’s always the “comments and concerns” section. We’ll see how interested residents are.
  • Tuesday, April 11, JBG meeting. The sharpies at JBG, who have been touting the need of a hotel in this area, will present their latest idea for cash at 13th and U to the neighborhood they have three times lied to. (Yes, we’re counting.) If the suits present an anticipated apartment block, expect whining on their part that this was that they were forced to do, due to “unrealistic” neighborhood demands.  (Unrealistic means building within even a modicum of the local codes, but whateves.) This is a game of deep pockets who think they can roll a tiny community that actually blocked them several years back. Meaning: this is the mother of battles.
  • Tuesday, April 17, City Building. Interested in Mayor Gray’s proposal to keep the bars open to 3am? Honestly, whoever you are, this is something that’s easy to have an opinion on. Voice yours at Councilman Jim Graham’s little meeting, 5pm in room 500.  Just bring 15 copies of your testimony.
Oh, but we just begin. For example, is anyone – anyone (Hello Washington Examiner?)  – even trying to cover what Mr. Graham is up to with his secrety task force on ABRA city alcohol regulations? Really? Haven’t heard of it? Yeah, so just ask yourself what that’s all about. Oh, and anyone (read pro-pro-hyper-development flaks) watering at the mouth to reply, how about you actually attach a real media report of what this task force is doing? Let’s make that the rule: on this, blab all you want but attach an established media report.  If you can’t, ask yourself what that means.
But we just begin. There’s much happening in the area. Developers are paid to squire teams of lawyers to bend city policies to their will.  The rest of us have to make do while feeding the child, walking the dog, cleaning up the gutters and the the rest. Yeah, I know. Boo hoo.
But we who live here, increasingly, are unhappy. Trust me. We are talking face to face. We are thinking and proposing and readying for any fights we need to have.
It’s always foolish to threathen, as JBG did in our front room 3 years ago by promising that if we didn’t give them everything them wanted, they would “…build the ugliest building that the law allowed them to.”
Memo to JBG, and others: you’re not paying attention to your neighbors. And that will not serve you well.
Oh…and I guess you can’t spell “JBG” without “Jim Graham.”  (Yes, we know his middle name, look it up.)

Development debates usually track along three lines. First, those in the area most impacted who feel their voices aren’t being heard (or are intentionally being ignored) and are tarred with the dread NIMBY acronym, and/or taunted to just move from their homes and lives to make way for others who haven’t yet been there but wish to transform said area to their vision. Second, those from elsewhere who want more and more, who love what the area is and can’t wait to visit, but when the moment comes that the singular economic model (nightlife entertainment) fails, will bail to their safe suburban climes, waiting to pounce on the next “hot spot”, and on and on.

Oh, and the third? I think you know. Share your thoughts here, neighbors.

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