Friday, February 20, 2009

Greater Greater Washington on Giant

The Greater Greater Washington Blog has an outstanding review of the first evening of the Giant PUD hearing before the zoning commission.

It was interesting to see the Zoning Commission continually ask the opponents to refrain from repeating questions and grandstanding.

The proceedings will continue on April 6th, 2009.

EDIT: Interestingly, the Cleveland Park Listserv ran an informal poll, the results of which are below:

POLL QUESTION: How do you feel about the planned Giant development at Wisconsin and Newark, which includes a larger supermarket, and a residential, office and retail complex? For more information about the project visit Giant's website, read the ANC's resolution of support with conditions, and see the current issue of the Northwest Current. The question of how the Giant supermarket figures into the neighborhood has been an issue on the Listserv since 2004, and it may finally be resolved by the Zoning Commission.

- Build it already! I support the Giant's development proposal as is., 205 votes, 77.36%
- Build it but with conditions: I support part of or all of the ANC's resolution, 44 votes, 16.60%
- This isn't good for the neighborhood: I oppose the Giant's development proposal., 16 votes, 6.04%

Monday, February 16, 2009

CPCA rejects Giant

In an unsurprising move, the Cleveland Park Citizens Association on Sunday voted to approve a resolution offered by the Executive Committee. By a count of 32-4, the membership supported a resolution that called for 1) the demonstration that the developer show proof of financing for the whole project prior to any construction commencing and 2) to oppose the project as proposed and argue for its rejection before the Zoning Commission.

The meeting was charaacterized by President George Idelson:

After spirited discussion at a well attended Sunday meeting, members of the the Cleveland Park Citizens Association voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify the resolution drafted by its executive committee. The resolution withholds support for the Giant proposal in its present form. It states that while CPCA supports a large new supermarket and has worked hard to get one, the applicant needs to demonstrate why it cannot achieve that goal without zoning changes creating much higher density and other negative impact on the community. The resolution also asks the Zoning Commission to require that Giant have a financing commitment to complete the job before starting to build. (We don't want to be left with a hole in the ground or more evicted stores.)

This is not the first time the CPCA or other Cleveland Park entities conducted business on a holiday weekend, with scant notice to the community. Further, the CPCA had already filed opposition papers with the zoning commission on this proposal making this vote simple window dressing. However, the Association appears to be a pariah in the community.

ANC 3C, the Woodley Park Community Association, Mass Ave Heights, various condominiums and the Woodland-Normanstone Community Association are among the groups in support of the project (even with conditions).

In addition, the Office of Planning and the District Department of Transportation have issued reports supporting the PUD.

This sets up a very long hearing process where immediate neighbors and the CPCA will be fighting the proposal, while the other neighbors and organizations will support it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cleveland Park Citizens Association and Giant

An announcement on the Cleveland Park Listserv notes:

The Cleveland Park Citizens Association will meet at the Cleveland Park Library (Connecticut and Newark, NW) on Sunday, February 15 at 2 pm. Our speaker will be Kilan Boardman Schoyer, Legislative Director for At-Large Councilmember, Michael A. Brown.

Members will also take up a resolution on the proposed Wisconsin Avenue Giant.

Of course, as one contributor notes, the CPCA has already submitted papers with the Zoning Commission in opposition to the Giant PUD proposal. Makes one wonder what value the organization's leadership has for its members and for the greater community.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tenleytown Chat with Cheh

On Saturday, February 7, Councilmember Mary Cheh will hold another "Chat with Cheh." Ward 3 residents are invited to the Starbucks located in Tenleytown at 4513 Wisconsin Ave, NW, between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm to talk with the Councilmember.