Urban Planning

421 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Jack Evans, Muriel Bowser, Phil Mendelson, David Grosso, Anita Bonds, Elissa Silverman, Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh, Brandon Todd, Kenyan McDuffie, Charles Allen, Vincent Gray, Trayon White, W. G. Sizemore II, Adam Peters

Petition against Masonic Temple Development and Tax Abatement

We, the undersigned, reject the development planned by the Masonic Temple for the lot at 15th and S Streets. NW and petition the Masons, Mayor Bowser, Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, the DC Historic Preservation Review Board, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (Ward 5), who introduced the abatement bill, our Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and all the DC Councilmembers to reject this over-sized development in favor of a park. Neighbors around the Masonic Temple at 16th and S Streets. NW, heard a presentation on Oct. 18, 2018, by the developer Perseus for 150-unit luxury apartments including 2 levels of subterranean cellar apartments. Opposition was loud, insistent and articulate: 1. $22 million tax benefit: We oppose the bill then pending in the City Council to grant a $22 million tax abatement for the Masonic Temple’s development. The District Chief Financial Officer found the abatement not needed in a report in 2017. 2. The Design: We reject the design of the proposed building. It is not ‘in any way historically compatible with the neighborhood.’ The building is too large compared to the historic row homes that surround and originally occupied the site. The footprint of the 65’ high building would block the views of the Temple. “It looks like commercial developments on 14th St.,” were among the comments. 3. The proposed luxury residences will cause more displacement: We object to the inevitable hike in property values and taxes which the proposed luxury building will bring to the whole neighborhood and the subsequent displacement of residents - residents who are black, the last vestige of a once thriving black community. Residents recall the history of the Masons buying all the rowhouses on S and 15th behind the Temple decades ago, displacing the black residents and demolishing their historic homes just before the Greater 14th Street historic district was declared in 1994. The land has since remained undeveloped and unoccupied, depriving the city of tax revenue. 4. Major environmental threat: We note the project plans for two subterranean levels of apartments and two underground parking levels going down 40’, raising concerns that the underground aquifer and myriad streams will be disrupted. An impact study is needed. 5.Threat to pedestrians and cyclists: We are alarmed for the safety of pedestrians / cyclists in front of the proposed building which will open on 15th to a two-lane cycle track. "You may as well put out the ghost bikes now because people will die," said an attendee.  

Nick DelleDonne
888 supporters