Seeking Feedback on Long-Term Uses for the Bruce Monroe Parcel

The ANC 1A Task Force focused on the long-term use of the Bruce Monroe site is seeking public participation through a survey that is available online and will be distributed in print as well.

Bruce monroe site(The former Bruce Monroe site (shaded) showing area zoned commercial (east of blue line) and residential (west of blue line)).

For the past five years the Bruce Monroe parcel located at Georgia and Irving has been a temporary park. Despite modest improvements, the site continues to under-serve the community. Early development proposals in October 2010 in response to the city’s call for proposals went no where, and the property has mostly been a nearly three acre open space since that time with the exception of a fairly successful community garden located in the southwest corner of the property.

There have been many ideas over the years on what the future of the parcel could hold, including an idea I floated in November 2013 to use part of the land to help get the Park Morton redevelopment underway.

In an attempt to find a long-term solution to this parcel, ANC 1A passed a resolution to form a task force in February 2014, to begin working with community members and develop a better sense of where the community is on this issue. The result is a survey that is available online and will be distributed in print as well.

Below is the full announcement from  the area listservs. Please take a moment and send in your thoughts on the parcel.

The 1A Advisory Neighborhood Commission’s Bruce Monroe Task Force is soliciting community input to identify the desirable long-term use(s) for the former Bruce Monroe School site located at 3000 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC 20010 (between Irving St and Columbia Rd). The Government of the District of Columbia currently owns this parcel. This site was formally designated to establish the Bruce Monroe Elementary School, which was later demolished in 2009. Currently, the site is designated for temporary park use. We need your input to determine the potential permanent use(s) for this site.The survey link can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BruceMonroe  This survey will take about 5 minutes to complete. The deadline to submit your response is September 9, 2015. Feel free to contact Commissioner Rashida Brown if you have any questions at 1a10(at)anc.dc.gov or (202) 903-4561.

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16 Comments on “Seeking Feedback on Long-Term Uses for the Bruce Monroe Parcel”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Very frustrating… I tried to complete the survey 4 times but it ‘times out’ each time. Gives the error message “504 Gateway Time-out”

  2. Lisa Says:

    Kent – Where can I get a copy of this survey in print?

  3. Barry Says:

    Copies (several thousand) of the survey are being distributed door to door in the area surrounding the park. These will be distributed by volunteers over the next 3 weeks.

    I just successfully completed the survey easily. If you are having problems, I suggest trying again from a different internet connection (if possible). The website hosting the survey is generally very reliable, and any problems are most likely due to your computer or internet connection.

  4. gentrify-u Says:

    Affordable housing? There’s plenty of crap in Park Morton. Build luxury condos!

    • K Says:

      You’re observations are ‘sometimes’ valid but your delivery leaves something to be desired.

      My hope for the space is that they keep the park (possibly adding a community center) and build/improve the numerous dilapidated buildings already along GA. There is plenty of space to build condos (luxury if the market dictates), apartments, and useful businesses without ridding what little green space exists along the corridor.

  5. K Says:

    IF this would get Park Morton moving and satisfy the 1 for 1 replacement, it is an interesting thought. Though I am extremely skeptical given how this process has shaken out thus far.

    I am confused as to how many units are necessary to move off-site in order to technically start the project? How many did the Avenue satisfy?

    Also, Ward 1 is large and doesn’t just have to be concentrated in Park View/Columbia Heights.

    • mbk Says:

      I dont think the Avenue is considered any replacement housing. The spirit of “new communities” is pretty clear that all units must be replaced ON site unless. I believe there are around 140 units at Park Morton, maybe about 30 familes/individuals moved from Park Morton to the Avnue but the original 140 units would still need to be built on site. Its a shortsighted way to replace and rebuild affordable housing. The Dep Mayor determined that any “build first” on site can add up to 10 years to the project. The city should count the units at the Avenue as “replacement units” and any additional off site units elsewhere. The whole point is to deconcentrate low income housing.

      • K Says:

        Agree with you that the whole point is to deconcentrate low income housing and provide better integration into the community. I had always thought (and been told) that the Avenue (and subsequent similar new developments) was counting towards the Park Morton replacement units.

        Kent can you verify this? If this is not true then what is all this talk by the city housing officials about securing more off-site locations before beginning an construction on the PM site?

      • Gabe O Says:

        Hopefully somebody can clear this up for me too, because my memory is something different altogether and I don’t want to search if it’s readily available from someone knowledgeable – Isn’t the deal with PM to relocate the actual affected families currently at PM, not the number of units at PM? In other words, when the PM deal was struck, I was under the impression it was not at 100% occupancy and therefore the actual number of units needed to get built off-site to get the RE-development moving was actually quite small (which makes the delay that much more frustrating…)

      • Sarah Says:

        New Communities has consistently said during community meetings that the Ave is being counted towards replacement units. I am not sure why posters here believe that only on-site units should count (particularly if the ultimate goal is to integrate deeply subsidized units across the community). Please elaborate.

        Park Morton contains 174 units. The Ave development project included 27 units of deeply-subsidized housing, which are considered replacement units. However, to date only 8 Park Morton residents have moved into these units. Some or all of the remaining units in the Ave have been occupied by individuals who never lived in Park Morton. Reasons for this appear to be complex, but I think the main issues relate to restrictions placed on occupancy and Park Morton tenants’ fear of leaving public housing for a privately managed building where they may have fewer rights. I also suspect that at least some Park Morton tenants are so behind on their rent that the only thing stopping them from becoming homeless is that it’s difficult to evict them. These tenants will not want to move, obviously.

  6. Jim Slicio Says:

    We need the park to stay. There are enough vacant/blighted properties along the GA Ave corridor that could be renovated. DC government should utilize eminent domain to expropriate private properties with back taxes and renovate them be used as affordable housing. This would likely be a faster, more affordable and effective than converting a successful park into affordable houses/retail space. Our community would be cleaner, safer, and provide housing to our neighbors without the means to buy/rent a place on the private market.

    It is common sense.

  7. cj Says:

    We don’t need more affordable housing. We have plenty in the area.

  8. lmcniesh Says:

    I disagree with the characterization that this is underserving the community, except for the community garden.

    There are always kids from all backgrounds playing on the playground and people playing basketball or tennis. There are also often young people hanging out under the shade structure. The community garden creates green space, farming out the work (literally?) of creating it to residents rather than it being a burden on the city budget to maintain. I don’t have a plot there and I don’t plan to, but I like to walk through it.

    I know the northeast corner isn’t the best utilized, but it seems like the openness of the space really contributes to it feeling safe and friendly, so I’m concerned that even partial development could destroy this space, especially if it’s big soulless condominiums. I don’t understand why the city wouldn’t invest in the places that vacant/blighted on Georgia Ave., if it’s really about revitalization, rather than taking away this much loved park.

    If it really would be affordable housing, that’s incredibly important, but do we have to choose between sufficient affordable housing and open community spaces?


  9. […] ANC 1A10 Commissioner Rashida Brown is working to schedule a community meeting to sort this out, and I certainly support her efforts. While the short term outcome may indeed be to restore access to the fenced in area, that won’t solve the problem in the long-term. […]


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