Zoning Board Decides Not to Decide . . . Yet
The D.C. Zoning Commission has postponed its decision on Georgetown University's 2010-2020 Campus Plan until May. The commission seeks more information on the University's proposals to lessen the impact of its students living off campus, such as its SNAP program, M Street shuttle, expanded trash pickup services and student parking. This second delay will likely require more input from Georgetown residents and the University.
"Well, it turns out the final Feb. 9 Zoning Commission hearing on the G.U. Campus Plan, wasn’t [final]," said Jennifer Altemus, president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown. "This is getting old."
During the hearing, commissioner Peter May said, "We’re not talking about approving a plan with the intention of avoiding objectionable conditions . . . I think that there is substantial evidence that these objectionable conditions may exist now." May added that he found the Office of Planning's proposal that all undergraduate students be housed in university-owned housing. "extreme."
"I would rather the University find some way to address these issues in a more proactive way. I don’t know what it is, I just know that it has not happened yet," he said.
May's puzzlement echoes the doubts felt by many residents and university supporters alike, but other university projects continue as before.
"Despite the uncertainty about housing, many of Georgetown's long-term goals will not be jeopardized by the delay," reported university student newspaper The Hoya. "Several of the construction projects included in the plan are extensions or continuations of schemes that had already been approved as part of the 2000 Campus Plan. Such projects include the construction of the Intercollegiate Athletic Center and the renovation of Reiss Science building. Plans for the athletic facility are still under review by the Old Georgetown Board, but construction of the center does not depend on the Zoning Commission's ruling. . . . Georgetown has agreed to cap undergraduate admissions rates at current levels and cap the increase in graduate enrollment at 967 students if the campus plan is accepted."
University spokeswoman Stacy Kerr told the newspaper: "Our voluntary commitment to these maximum enrollment levels is contingent on the approval of the campus plan package as we've proposed [it]."