Southwest Neighborhood Plan Gets Mayoral Hearing Tomorrow

by Andrea Swalec January 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm 1 Comment

Lansburgh Park upgrade rendering (Photo via Office of Planning)

Southwest residents have the opportunity to tell Mayor Muriel Bowser their thoughts on plans to transform the neighborhood.

A mayoral hearing on the Southwest Neighborhood Plan will be held Wednesday night.

Issued by the District Office of Planning on Nov. 21, the draft plan has recommendations on everything from the creation of affordable housing to the redesign of local parks.

Here are some highlights from the 146-page document:

  • Future redevelopment of District owned sites should, at a minimum, require at least 20 percent of the units be affordable at varying levels of the area median income (AMI), preferably for longer than 20 years. As part of a community benefits package through the PUD process for new construction, prioritize affordable units above the Inclusionary Zoning requirement or fewer affordable units, but larger in size (e.g., three bedrooms) to better serve families
  • Pilot bus time monitors at bus shelters at locations that serve a high number of seniors, such as stops near the Greenleaf Senior Center.
  • Encourage connectivity, for pedestrians, bikes, vehicular access, including transit where feasible. Promote connectivity by re-establishing the street grid where feasible, as noted in the Plan.
  • Redesign Lansburgh Park to create a true “Central Park” for the Southwest community. Continue the dog park and community garden functions but also include improved walking paths, new landscaping and permeable edges that invite “eyes on the park”. Include additional trees, benches, sustainable vegetation and enhanced signage. Consider a design competition to create a signature design and beautiful park space.
  • Build on and market existing cultural assets and institutions to reinforce the concept of an arts and cultural destination. Foster the Southwest neighborhood arts hub by expanding events, such as Jazz Night at Westminster, Southwest Night at Arena Stage, activities with Art Whino and future events with the Rubell Museum at the Randall School.
  • Establish a strategic marketing approach to attract a unique and tailored retail mix that can promote 4th Street as Southwest’s neighborhood main street. Promote a cohesive and concentrated retail cluster along 4th Street through the development of retail-appropriate spaces, coherent storefront design, signage, streetscape and street furniture as well as management of the retail mix and marketing.
  • Construct a distinctive new Southwest Library at the current site of the existing library on Wesley Place. Future design of the library should incorporate/enhance the adjacent park space currently being developed into “Library Park.”
  • Enhance pedestrian connections and safety throughout the neighborhood. Clearly delineate school crossings for Jefferson Middle School Academy and Amidon-Bowen Elementary School with vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding signage and/or street markings. Pursue funding opportunities with the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs conference room on the second floor of 1100 4th St. SW.

The Office of Planning is accepting comments on the plan through Jan. 30. For more information, see the website devoted to the study.

Photo via Office of Planning


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