when local Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners provide limited notice of meetings
and little to no interpretation at meetings and translation of flyers and materials
to what is a neighborhood with many immigrant families.
the developers only view our community as a place to invest
and make money... with little regard for those families directly
impacted by a project of this size and this use in a residential
Adams Morgan Hotel Project Wins
Approval Based on Conclusory statements by District Zoning Commissioners
Councilmember Graham Does Not Request Postponement
and Opposition Issues Are Completely Dismissed
Washington, DC -- On the night of Monday, November 19,
2012, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission decided to
pass initial approval for the proposed Adams Morgan luxury hotel.
Hotel developers still require Zoning Commission approval of
a text amendment to the Reed Cooke Overlay regulations so that
this hotel can be built at the corner of Euclid and Champlain
Streets at the edge of the residential community. And, the National
Capital Planning Commission will also need to review and approve
Parties in opposition to the hotel were left wondering how
any of this hotel project discussion can be considered appropriate
planning in the 21st Century in the Nation's Capital.
The Kalorama Citizens Association suggested various conditions
for approval, all of which were ignored by the Zoning Commission.
Directly impacted residents living on Champlain Street and represented
as a party called the Champlain Street Neighbors submitted twenty
pages of analysis and sixty pages of attachments all of which
received two minutes of review and dismissed entirely by Zoning
Chairman Anthony Hood finished his quick evaluation of opposition
documents proclaiming, "This has come a long way... everyone
was accommodated... everything was vetted... I am ready to move
forward with this case." (http://tinyclip.tv/32282e97)
In a most conclusory manner, Commissioner Peter May claimed,
"While there are certainly still some objections from members
of the community, its clear to me the major issues have been
May, one of two Federal appointees on the Commission, went
further to highlight how the Champlain Street Neighbors and
small businesses along Columbia might get hurt, "The mere
truth of it is that there may be some effects on some folks
they regard as quite negative but in the long run it will be
a superb project for the neighborhood."
These "negative" effects are those brought to light
by the most directly impacted residents living on the same block
as the proposed hotel site -- like rising rents, commercial
gentrification, noise, pollution, traffic, two-years of construction,
pedestrian safety, and bringing the 18th street party further
into the residential neighborhood, among other concerns.
Eleanor Holmes Norton referred to these community concerns in
an official letter of inquiry sent to the Office of Planning
on Friday, November 16, 2012, and which has not gotten a response
The Champlain Street Neighbors have also been raising these
concerns with Councilmember Jim Graham since this past summer,
but Graham has never hosted a forum to discuss them with the
"The Office of Planning has received a letter of inquiry
from Congresswoman Norton because poor planning was evident
enough to warrant as such," explained Chris Otten, authorized
to speak at the Zoning Commission for neighbors living on Champlain
Street. "The Champlain Street Neighbors asked the Zoning
Commission to postpone their deliberations to allow time for
Graham and the Office of Planning to work with these most impacted
neighbors along with the developers and forge anti-displacement
agreements for the final Zoning Order, but the Zoning Commission
was wired to hand this gift over to the developers with little
to no analysis of the concerns being raised."
Councilmember Graham would not commit to a community meeting
before the Zoning Commission decision, and chose not to intercede
and ask the Zoning Commission to postpone a decision despite
urgent calls and emails from many neighbors.
Graham, as well as some Council colleagues received campaign
contributions from the developers about the same time the City
Council discussed and passed an "emergency" 46 million
dollar tax abatement for the hotel back in December 2010.
Champlain Street Neighbors intend to pursue what they feel
as unethical and discriminatory behavior of the Zoning Commission,
CM Graham, and the City's Planning agencies with regard to the
dismissing how adverse impacts of this hotel will particularly
affect low-income and diverse working families and small minority
businesses. These residents want and will sek justice,
especially vis-a-vis DC's Comprehensive Plan, to the furthest
FMI >> www.chaplainstneighbors.wordpress.com
COUNCILMEMBER MENDELSON: NO TAX ABATEMENT
Jim Graham be getting money from hotel supporters to push such a game changing
project in Adams Morgan?
Breaking rules, accepting monies, and helping
corporate developers get City handouts is something Jim Graham seems to excel
Adams Morgan coalition holds
rally, press conference, asks Jim Graham to intercede in Zoning
Commission proceedings to postpone decision on proposed high-end
hotel; Zoning Commission expected to deliberate on the hotel
project on Monday
What: Rally, press conference with local groups to oppose
local Adams Morgan Hotel Project When: Thursday, November 15, 4:00PM Where: UNITY park at Euclid and Champlain Streets NW
Washington DC Responding to Ward One DC Councilmember
Jim Graham's offer to hold a meeting on a controversial hotel
project in Adams Morgan, a coalition of Adams Morgan residents
and small businesses have asked Graham to request DC's Zoning
Commissioners to pause their deliberations regarding the proposed
hotel as scheduled for Monday, November 19, 2012 (ZC Case No.
Those residents and small businesses most directly impacted
by the proposed hotel project believe a postponement will create
the space for Graham to finally pull in all necessary city officials
to meet and meaningfully discuss the implementation of anti-displacement
provisions found throughout the District's Comprehensive Plan
critical planning laws which are designed to protect
the cultural and economic diversity and heritage of DC's unique
neighborhoods, like Adams Morgan.
Since Graham brokered a 46 million dollar City tax break for
hotel developer Brian Friedman in December 2010, the Councilmember
has not held one single community forum about what may be the
tallest and densest commercial project in Adams Morgan history,
not including the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue. Graham
has not yet held a community forum despite many residents and
neighborhood groups raising persistent concerns at local ANC
meetings and through letters to the City.
Further, the Councilmember has ignored how the promised hotel
jobs have been reduced by 50-75% since the hotel developer got
his City tax gift. Broken promises about the hotel revenue to
the City, which has been nearly halved from 7 million down to
4.2 million, requires a simultaneous reduction in the tax abatement
level by the City Council.
Hundreds of Adams Morgan residents have signed petitions in
complete opposition to the hotel. The Champlain Street Neighbors,
Columbia Road Commercial & Friends, and Adams Morgan for
Reasonable Development groups have come together in coalition
to simply request that the important policies of DC's Comprehensive
Plan, as approved by the Zoning Commission, City Council, Mayor
and Congress, be examined meaningfully and used to guide decisions
about this project regarding the great many real concerns being
raised by those directly impacted.
Community coalition concerns include: 1) Lack of Language Access
to the Planning Process;
2) Discrimination through Poor Planning which ignores City Planning
laws; 3) Broken Promises & Reductions in City Tax Abatements.
** Councilmember Graham is invited to announce potential meeting
dates with the Adams Morgan coalition at the upcoming press
5 MINUTES AND SEND A NOTE!
TELL CITY LEADERS THAT THERE
SHOULD NOT BE CORPORATE HANDOUTS FOR LUXURY HOTELS WHILE SOCIAL SERVICES GET CUT.