Posted tagged ‘Park Morton’

Notes from February Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting

March 1, 2019

Aimee McHale from the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development’s office sharing information with the Committee.

Last night’s community Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting offered and overview on where things stand regarding the plans to replace and rebuild Park Morton in three phases over two sites. The key information points that were shared centered around the following.

Bruce Monroe Zoning Appeal

As people may recall, the Park Morton redevelopment effort broke down into two zoning cases, one for the current Park Morton site (ZC 16-12) and one for the former Bruce Monroe site (ZC 16-11). Zoning Case 16-12 was not appealed, but Case 16-11 was. Oral arguments for the zoning appeal were heard before the Court of Appeals on February 14, 2019.

There was no decision following oral arguments and there is no required time by which the Court of Appeals must render a decision. Based on past cases, a decision could be between 2-18 month. It is estimated that construction could start 6-9 months after the appeal is resolved.

The primary issues challenging the zoning order shared at the meeting can be seen in the slide below:

Interim Control Funding

The second significant update that was presented was the DMPED funding assistance to the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) to perform interim controls. In 2018, DCHA did environmental studies at its properties throughout DC. At Park Morton, they discovered lead which required remediation. Due to the expense and with redevelopment looming, DCHA initially indicated that it wanted to move residents out and just replace existing buildings. This would have resulted in displacing families which the ANCs, Council, DMPED, and New Communities Initiative are all dedicated to preventing. The current plan is for a phased replacement that does not displace our neighbors.

In order to keep the promise of a development that is constructed in phases without displacement, DMPED agreed to assist DCHA with $4.5M in funding to address the lead and other maintenance issues present at Park Morton that must be addressed between now and the start of the redevelopment.

Housing Mix Review

Another focus area of the meeting concerned the number of units, the affordability of the units, and how many bedrooms each unit had. This was largely a review, but emphasis was made that families living at Park Morton would move into new units once constructed that were appropriate to their needs. Currently, every Park Morton apartment is a  two-bedroom apartment. Some families only need a one-bedroom apartment and others need apartments that are three- or four-bedrooms.

To determine the right size apartment for each family, DMPED has been conducting household surveys and using data from DCHA to identify the various apartment sizes that are necessary to meet the needs of families living at Park Morton. At a very high level, the slide below shows how many housing units will be produced during each phase and where.


The meeting closed out with a Q & A session where questions were asked about job training programs and neighborhood investment in addition to additional information in the areas from the presentation.

Public Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting Scheduled for Thursday, February 28th

February 27, 2019

Curious about where things stand with the redevelopment of Park Morton? Then join the Park Morton Steering Committee on Thursday, February 28th to learn about recent events and updates to the redevelopment effort. See the flyer below.

Soil Testing to Begin Soon at the Bruce Monroe Park Site

November 10, 2017

Beginning next week, soil testing will be conducted at the Bruce Monroe Park site. These tests are a component of the due diligence required for the Build First residential development of Park Morton’s replacement housing.

While the testing is part of the Park Morton effort, it is not the start of the project. Rather it is a preliminary activity to better understand the soil conditions of the site.

Below are some details of what may likely be the most common questions:

Start, End and Hours

  • Tuesday, 11/14, 2017- 11/22, 2017
  • Includes work on Saturday, 11/17, weather permitting
  • Daily work hours are 7am – 5pm

Area of Testing

  • Drilling will commence in different  areas of the park each work day
  • four (4) drills each day
  • A map of the boring locations is below

Safety

  • Impacted area will be cordoned off with cones and construction tape
  • Boring holes will be filled in or patched at the conclusion of each workday
  • The drill rig will remain on site and be fenced during the night

Garden

  • Soil tests will occur in the community garden
  • No garden plots will be impacted
  • Portions of the chain link fence will be temporarily removed and returned upon completion

PARKING

  • A maximum three (3) contractors may park their vehicles in the community

More information can be found on the flyer distributed at the November ANC1A meeting and below:

DMPED Signs Bruce Monroe Redevelopment Land Disposition Agreement

October 11, 2017

Here is some news from the October New Communities Initiative E-Newsletter that I thought people should be aware of. Last month, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) signed the Bruce Monroe Land Disposition Agreement (LDA).

Additionally, the newsletter stated that the community design process for the new park on the Bruce Monroe site will be co-lead by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of General Services (DGS), which will kick off later this year.

(Rendering of approved building and park at the Bruce Monroe property.)

Park Morton Development Plan for Bruce Monroe Site Draws Appeals

June 9, 2017

Four separate, but nearly identical, petitions to review the Zoning Commission’s Board Order to redevelop the Bruce Monroe site for the Park Morton project were filed with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on May 30, 2017. The petitions were filed by residents living close to the site, and ask the Court to “begin the briefing that will show how [the] final decision [of Zoning Case 16-11] is not in line with applicable DC Code, DC Zoning Regulations, the DC Comprehensive Plan, and the law to [the filer’s] concrete detriment.”

Based on some of the testimony given before the DC Council during the surplus and disposition process and before the Zoning Commission, these appeals were not unexpected. Presuming the Court of Appeals reaffirms the Park Morton effort when they review the petitions, and taking into account the current timeline for appeals before the Court, the appeals will result in either no delay in breaking ground or a delay of 1-3 months. The project and development team are continuing to work on plans with a Summer 2017 start date in mind.

(Design for the Park Morton apartment building at the Bruce Monroe site.)

Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting Schedule for Tonight

March 23, 2017
Tonight’s scheduled Park Morton Steering Committee meeting is Open to the Public and designed to report out to the community where things are with the project. The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center in the rear community room, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Topics to be discussed include:
  1. The Park Morton and Bruce Monroe PUD process and status to date;
  2. Receive an update from the Park Morton Relocation and Re-occupancy sub-committee; and,
  3. The upcoming Bruce Monroe park planning process.

The Zoning Commission held a Public Meeting of March 13, 2017 for Final Action in both Zoning Commission Case No. 16-11 and No. 16-12. Those public meetings are available for viewing here.

(Buildings on Park Road belonging to Park Morton, which will be razed and replaced as part of the Park Morton redevelopment effort.)

Park Morton Redevelopment Effort Clears Significant Hurdle, Receives Council Approval

December 21, 2016

bruce-monroe-site(Rendering of the Bruce Monroe site from the southeast showing park and building locations as proposed in Zoning Case 16-11.)

Yesterday, the Council of the District of Columbia voted unanimously at their Committee of the Whole meeting (watch meeting) to place the Bruce Monroe surplus and disposition resolutions on the consent agenda for their final Legislative Meeting of 2016, at which they were approved later in the day. Prior to the vote, Councilmembers Nadeau, Grosso, Bonds, and May each spoke about the importance of the project and stated their support.

Particularly noteworthy were the comments from Councilmembers Grosso and May. Councilmember Grosso acknowledged having received many emails and calls both supporting and opposing the plan to use the Bruce Monroe site as part of the Park Morton development, but stated strongly that he would be supporting the effort that would allow the District to fulfill its promise to the Park Morton residents. He also noted on a personal level that he grew up in the neighborhood and in his youth the site resembled a jail in the middle of the community with a fence around it, and not a park. Councilmember May, for her part, stated that while she rarely spoke on issues located outside her ward she would be voting in support. She also stated that she was familiar with the needs of the Park Morton residents and that whether in Ward 8 or any other Ward of the city all residents deserve quality housing and a safe place to live.

The Council’s  approval of both the Bruce Monroe surplus and disposition resolutions supports the effort for the site to be used as the “Build First” site in the District’s effort to replace the Park Morton Housing Complex with a new mixed-income community without displacing Park Morton families from the community. The Zoning Commission is scheduled to take action on the related Park Morton Planned Unit Development cases on January 30, 2017, following two hearings held earlier this month (brief overview of zoning hearings here).

Prior to the Council action, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A voted in early 2016 to support the surplus and disposition of the Bruce Monroe site for the Park Morton effort with the condition that the District include a large, permanent park as part of the redevelopment effort. The District Government has recognized this condition and 1.02 acres of the site will be redeveloped as a permanent park with programming to be determined with input from the community. A 6,700 sq. ft. central green is also planned for Morton Street as part of the redevelopment project. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A will also continue to explore opportunities to improve, create, and expand public access to park spaces in the Columbia Heights, Park View, and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods as it considers future development and engages in the Comprehensive Plan amendment process.

In addition to preserving 147 public housing units and establishing new permanent park spaces, the Park Morton redevelopment effort will increase area housing for seniors and families at all income levels. The project will also have a significant and long-lasting positive impact on lower Georgia Avenue. In addition to increasing area housing options, it will also improve public safety and encourage development along the corridor. By aligning new roads and reknitting the development on Morton Street into the surrounding community, blind alleys and the Morton Street cul-de-sac will be removed – a configuration that is not conducive to public safety. And by removing the uncertainty on whether the redevelopment of Park Morton will move forward, the District will encourage developers who own property on Georgia Avenue to move forward with their respective projects.


%d bloggers like this: