ANC Questions G’town Theater; Names Ellen Steury Commissioner; Sets Dec. 19 Meeting
The Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission met Nov. 2 at Visitation Prep and focused on Wisconsin Avenue traffic, Metrorail in Georgetown, new designs for the former Georgetown Theater, the Georgetown Business Improvement District’s “Georgetown 2028” and the first annual report for the 2010-2017 Georgetown University Campus Plan.
During the meeting, Ellen Steury was named the commissioner for single-member District 7 – on the east side, north of P and Q Streets, NW—including Evermay, Oak Hill Cemetery and Dumbarton Oaks—to Whitehaven Street. There was no election, as no other citizen applied for the position.
The Georgetown ANC is in agreement with the Glover Park ANC that the District Department of Transportation return Wisconsin Avenue traffic (just north of Georgetown) to six lanes. Sidewalks have been widened only in a few spots.
The ANC also supported bringing subway stations to town. It has passed such a resolution before. All major community groups want Metro. No one in the room expressed opposition.
Owner and architect Robert Bell’s plan for the former Georgetown Theater property (1351 Wisconsin Ave., NW) got another look. The ANC again voiced its concerns – “unprecedented large footprint” – about rear-addition designs that have gotten neighbors’ complaints. This week, Bell will be before the Old Georgetown Board, which also questioned his designs for the rear of the property, which is in the center of the block. The ANC also worried about the “loss of privacy” with the rear addition. Bell replied that the designs offered an upgrade to “a derelict situation.”
Georgetown BID CEO Joe Sternlieb presented a lightning-round version of the BID’s ambitious “Georgetown 2028” concepts. He said the BID “wanted a stronger commercial district without negatively impacting the residential district.” Sternlieb listed transportation, physical improvements and the economy as the top categories. He also wants to see Metrorail in Georgetown within 15 years by 2028. Also mentioned was the idea of a gondola or cable car from the Rosslyn Metro over the Potomac River to a station within (perhaps) the Car Barn – and also easier access to Roosevelt Island, whether or not a pedestrian bridge is built over the river from Georgetown. A final report from the BID task force on “2028” will be made public Dec. 12.
As for the university’s campus plan and community partnership, ANC Chair Ron Lewis complimented all involved, saying, “The partnership has worked as a true partnership.” It helped to have a detailed road map, he added. Georgetown University’s Lauralyn Lee noted that 450 beds had been added to on-campus housing, with a new dormitory planned as well as the renovation of space within the Quadrangle. (The Zoning Board has not yet approved these projects.) Also important to note, Lee said, was the Office of Neighborhood Life – for students as well as lifelong residents of Georgetown – at 36th and N Streets. She invited residents to call 202-687-5138 or email NeighborhoodLife@Georgetown.edu anytime (Cory Peterson is the director). The annual report will available on the university’s website in about a week.
The next ANC meeting will be on Dec. 19 – and count as its January meeting. Why meet then? Because the Old Georgetown Board plans to meet Jan. 2, leaving the ANC few dates before Christmas or after New Year’s Day. It usually meets a few days before the OGB monthly meeting.