DC for Reasonable Development by and with the Save McMillan Action Coalition (SMAC) deliver to good McMillan supporters like you, news of our McMillan Park.
There has been a whirlwind of activity thanks to the many folks like you. We are calling for an international design competition to present an alternative vision for a lower moderate-density project and plan that saves more than half the existing green space as a park (public surveys consistently show a desire to retain the vast majority of the site as a park). The OPPOSITION to the DESTRUCTION OF MCMILLAN GROWS!
We will transform the Mayor's gargantuan mistake (the proposed downtown sized project with 120+ foot tall buildings that have poor doors) into a positive plan for the future of Wards 1 & 5, let alone the city and nation.
* February 14, 2018 -- Hearts for Parks at McMillan Park (stay tuned!)
In 2018, our legal teams will be back at Court to protect a federal and local historic landmark of such calibur that this project should be reverse unless be squandered to the whims of global capital at the expense of the people of DC (health impacts; environmental impacts; traffic; noise; congestion; concentrated populations; overdevelopment crisis).
In 2018, with your help, we will hire a community organizer to keep our mission to win on track. At our McMillan Holiday Gathering 2017, you helped to donate $1,000 for our paid organizer. Big thanks, and keep it coming. We want to raise at least $5,000 by the end of January.
In 2017, we defended our McMillan Park again. We went to the zoning hearings and preservation hearings, outnumbering those in support 10:1. Experts testified on behalf of our public park and in defense of much better civic planning. We also wrote hundreds of letters to the Council and about 10,000 supporters have signed petitions.
"This may be the right project somewhere, but certainly not at the crossroads of major east-west, north-south throughways of Wards 1 and 5 here in the District of Columbia." ~ Eddie Johnson, longtime Ward 5 planner and architect.
The DC Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) supported McMillan with their first Amicus Brief.
On November 2, 2015, attorneys with the DCOGC and Friends of McMillan appeared in Court to challenge the fact that the City Council, and particularly Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, is unnecessarily resisting the law to disclose emails, letters, and other documents about our McMillan Park and the bad deal to destroy it.
According to this press release, DC's highest Court seemed surprised to hear an attorney for the DC City Council assert a sweeping interpretation of the FOIA law in an attempt to withhold the requested McMillan records.
In June 2016, the Court of Appeals sided with US! They have remanded the case to Superior Court ordering the requested Council documents to be disclosed. See the article and our press release!
But wait, there's more... bizarre Council behavior!
Back in November, the DC City Council voted on the Mayor's request to extend out 5-years the disposition (giveaway) of our public land at McMillan Park. The Chair of the Council, Phil Mendelson championed the Mayor's request to destroy our park, ignoring the independent Auditor's findings and backing off all the other Councilmembers except for one, at large Councilmember Elissa Silverman. See the FOM press release about the vote. Click here.
DC Auditor Update on McMillan: In the summer Kathy Patterson, the DC Auditor, sent a letter to Brian Kenner, Mayor Bower's Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development, asking 1) what is the "legal basis for a sole source procurement" of VMP as McMillan developer and, 2) why the District is now paying for VMP's pre-development expenses when documents from 2007 and 2008 say that VMP "is to be responsible for [these] costs."
Neither the Mayor nor the Council have responded yet to the DC's Auditor's call for a re-bid of the McMillan Park Project!
MORE SAVE MCMILLAN INFORMATION
Lincoln's Cottage: The McMillan development will have far-reaching negative impacts on its neighbors, including on Lincoln's Cottage, just north of McMillan, where the President drafted the Emancipation Proclamation.
In a letter to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), Erin Carlson Mast, executive director of the Cottage, asked the Commission to correct the staff report that "the views of the Capitol Dome from President Lincoln's Cottage . . . are either not significant or non-existent." By letter, NCPC Chairman L Preston Bryant, Jr. rejected this request. The Cottage has three historic designations: it's a National Historic Landmark, a listed site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (read the Lincoln's Cottage letter).
Lawyers, Consultants, Taxpayers & Public Sentiment
Presumably this will continue as part of the "$78 million in predevelopment costs, including fees to lawyers to obtain zoning and other approvals, and for site preparation, preservation and amenities . . . in a market where the demand for more housing, offices and retail continues to grow." (NYTimes, June 23, 2015).
McDuffie (Ward 5)
Grosso (At Large)
Fontaine & Co., a Baltimore pr firm, was put on the VMP team to "maximize local support/effort while effectively discrediting opposition" . . . [and to] . . . "provide continuous political cover to local elected officials."