The George Washington University received preliminary permission for its campus expansion plan at a meeting of the District of Columbia Zoning Commission yesterday.

The Zoning Commission granted GWU a Planned Unit Development, which allows developers greater flexibility in planning sites and designing buildings. The PUD is a preliminary step in the school’s Campus Plan, which includes plans to expand residence halls and construct a new science facility and cancer center.

The PUD must still be approved by the National Capital Planning Commission in March before the Zoning Commission can make a final decision on GWU’s overall proposal.

“We know what we need. . [The Campus Plan]’s a comprehensive plan,” Tracy Schario, director of media relations at GWU, said.

If the Campus Plan is passed, GWU said it would agree to construct a retail corridor for the residential community on Eye Street to counterbalance the campus expansion.

Although the D.C. Office of Planning, an agency in charge of planning land use and reviewing zoning cases, showed support for the university’s plan, some organizations that represent residential areas around GWU strongly disapproved of the project.

Elizabeth Elliott, board member of the Foggy Bottom Association, which represents the residents living near the GWU campus, said that she was worried that the Campus Plan might endanger the residential aspect of the area around the university.

“We think this is inappropriate,” Elliott said. “There will no longer be a residential area here [at Foggy Bottom].”

At the meeting yesterday, Trinity College presented its own development plan to rebuild and renovate facilities on campus.

During the hearing, Trinity College President Patricia McGuire said that the university needs more contemporary building designs and better facilities for improvement of student life on campus.

Late last month, the Zoning Commission approved Catholic University’s development plan, which proposed to build more residence halls on campus, and was met with little opposition from the college’s community.

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