City Paper Widget

Thursday, February 6, 2014

ANC2F Champions More Parking in ANC1B

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle last night endorsed a plan to study setting up more parking -- in a neighboring ANC.

ANC2F would like more parking here.
1325 S Street NW is D.C. city government property and used for parking and other purposes by the Department of Parks and Recreation. The property borders on ANC2F on its south side. But it is located in ANC 1B/U Street.

The Community Development Committee (CDC) of ANC2F thinks it would be an ideal place to put additional public parking. Last month the CDC recommended "the full ANC endorse the exploration of public parking options by the City Council for the lot". Last night, February 5, the full ANC approved the committee's report -- agreeing that plans to explore the possibility should go forward.

"It's a very very very early stage of the process," said ANC2F Commission Walt Cain (district 02). Cain is the chair of the CDC.

"There's a lot of conversations that need to happen," Cain said.

The proposal brought several people across the border from 1B into 2F to speak against the idea.

"I have an email from [D.C. City Councilmember] Jim Graham saying that he is opposed," said one man.

Another local resident said ANC2F was advocating the construction of a parking garage in ANC1B. Commissioner Cain said there were many options, and ANC2F was not advocating the immediate construction of an above-ground parking garage. Later, Cain said among the many options was a below-ground parking garage with a park over it on the ground level.

Other residents suggested property developers JBG, one of the authors of the plan, was hoping to gain ANC support in order to get its hands on a valuable property without adequate community input.

"The community doesn't have the opportunity to get on board about what's going on there," one resident said.

Sherri Kimball, constituent services director for D.C. City Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward Two), said ANC2F's plan was "a suggestion". She also said there was a rumor that the lot might be included in the Reeves Center land swap deal, rendering the current debate pointless.

There is a Powerpoint presentation about the plan on the ANC2F web site (available here, starting with slide 8).

(Photo credit: Google Street View)


  1. Walt Cain really needs to learn more about the development process, DC disposition process AND the projects he talks about. The details and facts are important. Oh and of course he should only focus on the properties within his own jurisdiction.

  2. Dear anonymous:

    DC laws regarding ANCs give them an advisory role in matters by which they are affected, not just those within their commission boundaries. Parking issues in ANC 2F are reaching near-crisis levels, so a parcel literally across the street from the ANC boundary line certainly qualifies. I don't know if you have attended any of our meetings, but there are major discussions, issues, or action items regarding parking at virtually every one of them--many of them heated and controversial.

    The cross-cutting pressures of an explosion in both residential developments, retail establishments, and destination dining/nightlife/entertainment, along with the needs of our many houses of worship, are enormous and only getting worse. In fact, Logan Circle recently surpassed Columbia Heights as the most densely populated neighborhood in the entire DC Metropolitan Area. I daresay it is the single most divisive issue we face right now. So it would be a shocking abdication of our duty if ANC 2F didn't explore every possible option to address the situation.

    Your anonymous criticism of Walt is not just unfair, but it's completely off base. Again, I'm assuming you don't attend our meetings regularly because you would have known that he is extremely intelligent and, while relatively new to the ANC, has virtually mastered at a remarkable pace the broad range of development issues we face. It's hard for me to think of a commissioner who has more ably led our Community Development Committee in recent years, and I say that as a former CDC chairman myself.

    Walt took the extraordinary step of holding four separate community forums on parking, each of them at least an hour in length, to explore the entire range of issues, look for potential solutions, and make recommendations. To say he doesn't know "facts and details" is clearly--and ironically--a comment by someone who himself or herself doesn't know "facts and details."

    Walt and the CDC were merely making recommendations based upon those of an independent citizen parking task force that includes residents of both 2F and 1B, so there is no overstepping going on here. Many of the concerns raised by 1B residents were based on rumors, misperceptions, and distortions. For instance, residents alleged that the District has issued an RFP for the parcel, which is simply untrue. And as the story states, 2F is not advocating any specific proposal, despite accusations to the contrary. (The link contained in the story is proof positive.)

    That being said, ANC 2F has prided itself on respecting the prerogatives of our neighboring commissions. For instance, with respect to 1B specifically, we have been asked to intercede on numerous occasions regarding liquor license applications. Even in situations where those establishments were located just feet outside our boundaries, we have consistently declined to get involved.

    If you have any questions or constructive comments, we'd love to hear them. Feel free to contact me or any of my colleagues. Our contact info can be found at

    --Matt Raymond
    Chairman, ANC 2F