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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.


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