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  • W3HJ

Chevy Chase Civic Core Hearing: Keep Public Land in Public Hands

Updated: May 16, 2023

Ward 3 Housing Justice


Release: January 13, 2023


Contact: Gail Sonnemann, gsonnemann@gmail.com, 202-286-0845



At a public hearing on Thursday at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, a majority of community members rejected “surplusing”, a disposition of city owned land in the Chevy Chase Civic Core to private hands for development. Attendees challenged the city to first complete thorough planning with the ANC and community before asking Council to surplus any land. Ward 3 Housing Justice urges the city to first issue an RFP for thorough site planning with the community before disposing of any land. Engage a master planning firm to determine what is to be developed and the best kind of developer for the job.

Ward 3 council member Matthew Frumin attended and said “I do not want to have to vote on a "surplus" resolution in the abstract until, at a minimum, we have seen and had input into a proposed RFP. DMPED and I heard loud and clear concerns on the minds of some of our residents including relating to key elements such as the importance of outdoor play and recreation space, that would have to be a part of any successful project. One striking thing was the near unanimous call for affordable housing, even if there were deep differences about how to achieve that goal.”

Meg Maguire of Northwest Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation recommended, “to maintain affordability in perpetuity and get the most from public expenditure the city should partner with the nonprofit Douglass Community Land Trust.” Chevy Chase resident Andrea Rosen asked, ”How can DMPED dispose of land of an indefinite size if there is no plan yet?” Attendees called the DMPED’s rush to surplus without solid plans a “theater of the absurd”, the “cart before the horse”, and a “fig leaf for private profiteers who claim they alone can bring affordable housing.“ Those in favor of rapid surplusing argued for speed, that surplusing land to a private sector developer would deliver affordable housing more quickly.

Send comments by February 9 to Gilles Stucker DMPED (gilles.stucker@dc.gov), to ANC3/4G (3G@anc.dc.gov) and to Matthew Frumin and At Large council members (mfrumin@dc.gov, rwhite@dc.gov, abonds@dc.gov, chenderson@dc.gov, kmcduffie@dc.gov)


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