Covid, Density and Displacement

Updated 12:30 3/10 with recordings and more links.

Audio and YouTube recordings

This pandemic reminds us of the importance of open space and the dangers over-crowding. On this week’s “Community thru Covid” we’ll hear from Peter Stebbins, with Save McMillan Action Coalition, and Coy McKinney, with SW DC Action, about efforts to approach density in ways that promote racial equity and do not lead to displacement.

McMillan Park

McMillan Reservoir, in Northwest DC, was completed in 1905 as innovative water filtration surrounded by garden and green space. The 25-acre site, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., was once one of the few park areas Black residents could enjoy during segregated decades. It has long been slated for redevelopment as high density/high income residential and commercial space, with opposition from those who propose restoring its original communal function as well as objections from those who see the redevelopment as fuel for displacement.

Comprehensive Plan Detail for McMillan Park area

Description of visual: Map shows shift of previously green land to Residential Low- and Moderate Density

Visit “Save McMillan” for history of the park and more general information and action items as well as documents related to legal cases.

Southwest Density, Equity, Planning

The area of Southwest DC, just north of the Potomac River, is similarly subject to plans for redevelopment as high density/high income residential and commercial space which threatens open space and promotes displacement. SW DC Action is working to promote racial equity in development and to stop Future Land Use Map changes (upFLUM) not vetted by affected communities.

SW DC Action recently requested Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen to reject proposed changes to DC’s Comprehensive Plan. Asked for any response, Allen did not commit to any course of action but said he met with SW DC Action to talk through concerns, “shares their desire to see a Comp Plan that more inclusively addresses issues of displacement, racial equity, & affordable housing,” and “looks forward to reviewing their recommendations and the others that he’s receiving.”

SW DC Action will be testifying on Douglas Development’s Cotton Annex project, at the Zoning Commission hearing, March 18. More on this project from an earlier broadcast. Anyone with an interest is encouraged to to testify themselves. SW DC Action provides background and tips here.

Community thru Covid aids Wednesdays at 11:00 EASTERN. Listen live on We Act Radio (audio) and YouTube Live. Or check back for recordings posted shortly after air time.


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