Councilmember At-Large Phil Mendelson denounced Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan in a Sept. 16 letter to the D. C. Zoning Commission.

In the letter, Mendelson claimed that Georgetown’s 40 percent enrollment increase over the past 10 years has contributed to adverse conditions in the surrounding neighborhoods.

“I join the adjacent communities in expressing serious concern that the university’s proposed plan does not adequately address and mitigate those impacts,” he wrote. “I urge the Zoning Commission to reject the plan as filed and protect the quality of life in our communities.”

Mendelson echoed the D.C. Office of Planning and several members of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E in urging Georgetown to house all “traditional undergraduates” on campus.

The university released an official reply to Mendelson’s concerns, promising to address all stakeholders in the campus plan process.

“Throughout this process, we have listened to our neighbors and responded to their concerns. We have made investments that are improving the quality of life for students and neighbors,” the statement said. “That is our commitment, and we will continue to do that.”

Mendelson’s rejection of the Campus Plan came just weeks after he voiced support for the university in opposition to the ANC’s redistricting proposal.

He called the plan, which would group a disproportionately high number of individuals in the two single-member districts that encompass the Georgetown campus, “grossly discriminatory.”

“Lumping students into one or two grossly oversized single-member districts and then having non-students in the remaining undersized SMDs … would be a violation of the law,” he told the Georgetown Current on Aug. 31.

Jake Sticka (COL ’13), the student commissioner on ANC2E, said that he was not surprised by Mendelson’s new position on the Campus Plan.

“Mendelson is generally conservative about land use issues, and his opinion on the campus plan is consistent with [that],” Sticka said.

He added that Mendelson’s comments about the university’s plan did not suggest that he had withdrawn his support for Georgetown in the redistricting debate.

“Councilmember Mendelson considers each issue in very different spheres,” Sticka said.

Sticka stressed that, despite this setback, he is hopeful that Mendelson and other councilmembers will acknowledge the generous concessions that Georgetown has made to its campus plan in recent months.

“Despite what [Mendelson] said, … we do see that the campus plan is a modest plan, especially considering concessions that have been made,” he said. “Hopefully as the hearings in November play out, [he] too will see that this is a modest plan.”

Mendelson’s office could not be reached for comment.

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