• W3HJ

Candidate Questionnaire - Question #5

Question:

Require the Mayor’s Office of Planning to conduct Large Tract Review (LTR) on all developments of 3 acres or more as required by its own regulation. Will you use council oversight to demand OP conduct a full LTR of the Wardman redevelopment and all sites over 3 acres, before permitting, to identify community needs and infrastructure required to fulfill the Comp Plan’s vision of affordable housing and livable communities?


Responses:

Erin Palmer (Council Chair):

Yes. The Office of Planning should follow its own regulations, and the DC Council should engage in meaningful oversight to ensure that it does so. Having seen various stages of the development at Walter Reed, consistent oversight is essential and there are gaps in terms of consideration of infrastructure needs, including transportation, for projects that will result in a large influx of new residents. As noted above, the proposals in my DC Council Accountability Plan would empower the Council to conduct more robust oversight.


Anita Bonds (Council At Large):

No. My understanding is that the Wardman Project does not meet the criteria for the Large Tract Review Process. However, I want the Office of Planning to conduct reliable outreach with communities surrounding new uses of land in neighborhoods during the project proposal review process and before final decision are submitted to the Council.


Nate Fleming (Council At Large):

Yes. A full LTR would be useful in devising a plan to repurpose the Wardman property in a manner that best suits the needs of the community. There is a lot that can be done with three acres in the location of the Wardman property to benefit the community and the planning process should consider different affordable housing designs before executing a final project. Therefore, I will use council oversight to demand a full LTR of the Wardman redevelopment side over 3 acres.


Lisa Gore (Council At Large):

Yes. The LTR process is at the heart of it, a community engagement process. This is larger than 3 acres. However the development area is slightly under 3 acres. Because for by-right development projects, the community does not have any other avenue to provide meaningful input. This is especially important for sites that fall under the purview of LTR. It’s also important for the Council to identify and correct any loopholes that prevent projects like the Wardman from the LTR process. From my understanding the site is needed to fully understand the consequences of how LTRs are structured.


Dexter Williams (Council At Large):

Yes. If I am elected, I will use Council oversight to demand a full Large Tract Review of the Wardman redevelopment and everywhere else LTR is required. It’s essential that Carmel Partners, and developers of similarly-sized tracts, demonstrate that they’ve carried out the policies of the city’s Comprehensive Plan (including affordable housing policies), have minimized adverse environmental, traffic and neighborhood impacts, and have properly consulted with the public, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and appropriate city agencies. Large land tracts present unique opportunities and we should not squander those opportunities because of bureaucratic neglect.


Ben Bergmann (Ward 3 Council):

Yes. Large land tracts present unique opportunities and we should not squander those opportunities because of bureaucratic neglect.


Deirdre Brown (Ward 3 Council):

Yes. As I indicated previously by signing the letter to the Mayor drafted by the Ward 3 Housing Justice, I am in support of a LTR of the 3 acres. As the Ward 3 Councilmember I would try to use council oversight to demand a full LTR of the Wardman Park development.


Tricia Duncan (Ward 3 Council):

Yes. Oversight will be one of my main priorities as Councilmember and I will vigorously advocate for an LTR of the full Wardman property, not just the area they plan to build on. This should have been a key step in the development process and it's not too late to ensure that it gets done. In order to fulfill the Comp Plan's vision of livable communities, we need an LTR to ensure that all stakeholders are well-informed and that the development can fulfill community needs as best as possible.


Beau Finley (Ward 3 Council):

Yes. I still do not understand how the Office of Planning determined that the Wardman is not subject to large-tract review, given its size. I have been disappointed in the Council’s exercise of its oversight role for years now, including Council’s abandonment of oversight of DCPS and VisionZero. As I mentioned above, robust oversight and ensuring accountability are core tenets of my platform. This includes pushing OP to conduct large-tract review of all developments of 3 acres or more.


Matt Frumin (Ward 3 Council):

Yes. In projects like the Wardman, we need every lever available, and if LTR gives leverage and leads to more meaningful planning on a major site now (and other major sites in the future) we should be using that tool.


Monte Monash (Ward 3 Council):

Yes. The word "demand" is aggressive, but I understand the tone based on the lack of response from the Carmel Partners. A LTR will identify the need for a grocery store, school expansion, and other mix-used, commercial amenities. That area is a food desert and with affordable housing, there needs to be affordable retail to support the inclusive community being developed.