University, ANC Request Extension of Campus Plan Process
Published: Monday, April 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 16:04
The university and several neighborhood organizations have jointly requested that the D.C. Zoning Commission delay the deadline for filings in the 2010 Campus Plan process by 60 days.
The university, along with representatives of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E, the Citizens Association of Georgetown and the Burleith Citizens Association, signed the request, which was announced at the monthly ANC meeting Monday night.
Currently, the deadline for the university’s submissions regarding the plan is set for April 12, while neighborhood groups may respond no later than April 19. The Zoning Commission planned to reconvene on April 30 to discuss any additional filings and to make a public decision some time in May.
If the Zoning Commission approves the request, Georgetown’s submissions would be due by June 11 and responses by June 18. It is unclear when a final decision would be made.
When the Zoning Commission voted in February to defer the decision to May, representatives cited the need for more time to observe the impact of the university’s initiatives to address neighborhood concerns.
According to Rachel Pugh, director of media relations for the university, the further extension would allow the university to more time to engage in collaborative talks with the community. She added that the request provided an opportunity for the university to cooperate with neighborhood organizations.
“This approach reflects our continued efforts to seek common ground and to engage with city and neighborhood leaders,” Pugh wrote in an email.
At the meeting, the ANC also unanimously voted not to object to the modified designs for the university’s proposed Athletic Training Facility, though they expressed several concerns about the designs.
Originally part of the 2000 Campus Plan, the facility received approval from the D.C. Zoning Commission at the end of 2000 but was not built due to a lack of funds, according to Linda Greenan, associate vice-president for external relations.
The university subsequently decided to scale back plans for the facility, and proposed a modified version to the Old Georgetown Board earlier this year. The complex, which will be built adjacent to the McDonough Arena, is slated to include weight rooms, meeting rooms, locker rooms and sports medicine facilities.
At the meeting, Greenan emphasized that the new facility is crucial for accommodating Georgetown’s sizable population of student athletes, noting that all other 15 schools in the Big East have comparable facilities.
However, commissioners expressed concern about the facility’s limited scope and inefficient use of space.
“I … think it’s fair and appropriate, since we are right in the middle of the Campus Plan, to at least express concern with the Zoning Commission about the less than fully efficient use of the space and the opportunity costs of not having proposed at a least a different use, possibly for on-campus student housing,” Lewis said.
In response, Greenan explained that funding limited the university’s ability to expand the design because construction of the facility will be financed entirely through donations specifically for this purpose.
The ANC commissioners suggested that the university house the athletic facilities on the lower floors and student housing on the upper floors of the proposed building.
The ANC also passed a motion approving of Mayor Vincent Gray's recent proposal extending alcohol hours during the week of the presidential inauguration in January 2013. However, the commissioners did not support the permanent extension of alcohol hours also contained in the Mayor's proposal, citing a lack of late-night public transportation and concerns about the additional noise the extension of alcohol hours would create.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the ANC voted not to support the university's modified designs for the Athletic Training Facility. The ANC actually voted no objection. The correction was posted at 4:25 p.m. on April 3.