Great Streets Testimony *Reminder


The deadline to sign up to testify at the public hearing on the economic development plan for the Rhode Island Avenue NE Greats Corridor is Thursday, February 25, 2010, no later than 2 PM. Stakeholders are encouraged to call 202.727.6365 to sign up to testify. Up to three minutes of testimony will be allowed per stakeholder. Written testimony should be emailed to derrick.woody@dc.gov or sent to:

c/o Coordinator – Great Street Initiative
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 317
Washington, DC 20004

FAX: 202.727.6703

Please bring a written copy of testimony if you plan to testify.





Monday, March 1, 2010

6:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Woodridge Neighborhood Library

1801 Hamlin Street, NE
Washington, DC 20018

The District of Columbia’s Office of Planning and Economic Development (“the District”) will conduct a public hearing to receive public comments on “RHODE ISLAND AVENUE: Diamond of the District” (“the RIA Plan”). The document represents the conclusion of a community, economic development planning process which outlines specific redevelopment and use targets for Rhode Island Avenue NE between 3rd Street NE and Eastern Avenue NE. Over 200 community, business and institutional stakeholders provided input during the series of community meetings which led to this document.

Historically and to this date, Rhode Island Avenue NE has been one of the District’s prominent corridors, but it is now characterized by used car lots, auto repair and tire shops, vacant structures, redundant uses, cross-town trucks, commuter traffic, and suburban style development and densities around a prominent Metro station. Implementation of the plan aims to transform the land uses along the corridor into a series of well-defined, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood centers while preserving and enhancing the quality of life of the diverse, existing neighborhoods abutting it. The RIA Plan is to be implemented over a twenty year horizon, but puts forth an emphasis on achieving visible progress sooner rather than later.

The RIA Plan presents a wide range of private and public investment opportunities for existing and new retail businesses, office services, housing providers and cultural entrepreneurs while conveying preferences and concerns shared by area stakeholders and the District for the appropriate redevelopment of under-utilized, private commercial and industrial properties along this three-mile corridor.

The District plans to submit the RIA Plan to the DC Council for adoption as a “small area plan.” Upon approval as a small area plan, the RIA Plan will then provide guidance in public policy decision-making along Rhode Island Avenue. Guidance will be provided to District agencies, commissions, and the broader public about affordable and mixed income housing, local business development, quality design and development, public art, zoning and local resident participation.

A copy of the Final Draft will be posted to http://www.dcbiz.dc.gov under ‘Great Streets’ then ‘THINK: Rhode Island Avenue’ by 5 PM on Friday, January 29, 2010. A black and white copy of the plan can also be mailed by request to 202.727.6365.

Copies are also being emailed and/or mailed to the office of Councilmember Harry Thomas, Ward 5, and impacted Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners on the corridor. Copies will also be available for review at Woodridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE, Washington, DC.

Given the considerable interesting in this planning effort to date, stakeholders are encouraged to call 202.727.6365 to sign up to testify no later than 2 PM on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Up to three minutes of testimony will be allowed per stakeholder. Written testimony should be emailed to derrick.woody@dc.gov or sent to:

c/o Coordinator – Great Street Initiative
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 317
Washington, DC 20004

FAX: 202.727.6703

Please bring a written copy of testimony if you plan to testify.

7 Responses to “Great Streets Testimony *Reminder”

  1. 1 Kristen
    March 3, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I wasn’t able to go to this. Does anyone have an update on how it went?

  2. March 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I attended the meeting and posted my
    thoughts on http://www.lifeontheedgewood.blogspot.com

    I am interested in hearing what everyone else thought as well!

  3. 3 Woodie
    March 4, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I was only able to attend the first 16 minutes. Derrek Woody, who heads Great Streets, chaired the meeting. He permitted Councilmember Thomas to speak first. Thomas wanted to remind everyone of how useful “The Church” has been in spurring economic development. He told us it was the only thing that was investing in this part of DC. He mentioned his efforts with the Safeway, and other things. As far as I’ve been told no one from Edgewood testified at the hearing except possibly Debbie Smith. She’s been in conflict with the Edgewood Civic group on many issues including the Safeway. The Edgewood Civic group recently posted a poll on the Brookland Yahoo group on the services it provides to the community and suggestions for improving them. I didn’t see a link to this poll on this new Edgewood blog. This might be a good opportunity for people to voice their concerns over discount stores and grocers at the 4th and RIA plaza.

  4. 4 Kristen
    March 5, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Great to know about the Life on the Edgewood blog! Unfortunately I can’t comment without an account somewhere. So how powerful was the opposition to the plan?

  5. 5 Anonymous
    March 5, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    All the storefront “churches” are a blight on the community, IMO. They locate here because the commercial corridors in NE are so depressed, they can afford the rents. Most of the license plates for patrons of these churches are MD, anyways. PG county has plenty of depressed areas, why can’t they locate closer to the patrons’ homes?

    We are going to have to shake up the current Ward 5 politics if we ever want anything to change. Time for some new blood.

  6. 6 Roy
    March 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I hope Thomas doesn’t get voted in again, he’s useless and not doing anything to move Ward 5 forward.

  7. 7 Ms. D
    March 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Anon…unless these are the same people who live here and never bother to register their cars in DC. There are quite a few of them in my neighborhood, but I agree that there are very few DC license plates in the church-going crowd. Not to mention that the sheer number of people who drive to many of these churches combined with their limited parking creates a traffic NIGHTMARE. I attend the church of brunch and farmers markets, and often had so much trouble navigating streets near churches (two on the way out of my neighborhood, near accidents on several occasions) to attend my worship services that I started Metro-ing, despite the fact that it easily takes me 4x as long to get where I’m going and one of our regular companions has a parking spot I can borrow on the Hill.

    On top of that, just yesterday I was in a business adjacent to a storefront church and the music was so loud I couldn’t complete my order…my ears were starting to ring. If I lived near one, I think I’d be filing a lot of noise complaints.

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