Testimony in partial opposition to Zoning Case 22-25 Zoning Commission hearing June 12, 2023
Margaret Dwyer June 12, 2023
Testifying on behalf of Ward 3 Housing Justice
In opposition to parts of 22-25
I begin by noting with appreciation that the Zoning Commission and the Office of
Planning have listened to community concerns and that improvements have been made
to this proposal. Nonetheless, Ward 3 Housing Justice, a grassroots organization
working for more truly affordable housing and economic opportunity in Ward 3 and
across the city, urges further, significant changes.
Our members and supporters are lay volunteers, not land use or zoning experts, or
attorneys or developers with large professional staffs. It matters greatly to us that
zoning procedures be clear to average community members.
In general, we think that there should be more uniformity of procedure across cases,
regardless of their classification, a simple, clear, reliable system to sign up to receive
notice, and more opportunities for community participation, not fewer. We want to see
simple, clear notice emailed and mailed to the widest possible interpretation of
interested persons and groups, including renters; uniform procedures regardless of
type of case; required opportunities for public participation at set down so that insights
during the period leading to set down can be aired; and opportunities to address
conflict early, thus avoiding cumbersome appeals
We are also very committed to improving ANC processes. We would like to see all
applicants required to present at the ANC, and greater, more specific expectations for
how ANC’s meaningfully share notice and discussion of proposals in their jurisdiction.
This also means that we strongly urge the ZC not to accept the proposed amendments
to Subtitle Z § 500.1, which would result in keeping OP and OZ text amendments from
important public discussion at ANCs and public case records.
Finally, as we have previously testified in other cases, we want to see the strongest
possibly racial equity procedures that would be based on neighborhood-based historic
data to clarify the type of disproportionate outcomes, which, in areas like Ward 3, should
not be defined just by displacement, but also by systematic, ongoing exclusion, and
ensure that impacted community members are meaningfully engaged.
Ordinary members of the public should be supported and encouraged to participate in
zoning decisions. Every avenue of meaningful public participation should be
strengthened, not limited.