President’s Message

By Eric Langenbacher,


Greetings from Argentina, where I am teaching for a couple of weeks. A fringe benefit is escaping the steamy DC summer. I am enjoying 60-degree late-winter days, great steaks, and U.S. Summer Olympic success.

Redevelopment in Burleith seems to be intensifying. I have heard from many neighbors about houses that have been gutted and largely demolished—or plans for the same. Other neighbors have called various DC agencies about this but it appears that everything that is happening is within the zoning code. Any possible violations of permits will likely be rectified by developers with retroactive permits or possible moderate fines. This is exactly why the community is exploring historic designation now—to contemplate how change in our community can be managed. The Historic Designation Committee is planning a couple more town halls in the fall and a vote is likely at the annual BCA meeting in November. Please make your voice heard.

On that note, the Historic Designation Committee recently won a $5,000 matching grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the highest amount awarded, to help cover outreach activities and the services of an architectural historian. Fundraising is essential to make this grant work, so please consider donating to the Burleith Community Fund. Tax-deductible donations made on the Exploring Historic Designation webpage (rather than on the BCF webpage) will be earmarked for historic designation.

The BCA Board—along with other community associations—recently approved the 20-year Georgetown University Campus Plan (2017–2037), which is posted on the university's campus plan website. During the comment period earlier this summer, the university responded to most concerns raised. This is essentially a continuation of the last plan—students will be required to live on campus for three of four years and undergraduate numbers will remain the same. The Georgetown Community Partnership will continue to operate, and there will be several check-in points and redress procedures if the university does something egregious. The long-term vision is to further green and pedestrianize the campus. As noted on the campus plan website, the university anticipates filing the Campus Plan with the DC Zoning Commission in September 2016. The new building at the hospital is part of this plan, but there will be separate procedures to deal with construction-related issues. I think this is a great plan for Burleith. Thanks again to BCA vice president Nan Bell, who has so wonderfully represented our community throughout this process.

Infrastructure issues continue to be addressed. The water pipe replacement on 35th Street and Whitehaven Parkway has been completed and re-paving seems adequate. Sidewalks have been repaired on 37th, and repaving has been scheduled probably in September. DC Water’s DC Clean Rivers Project will be conducting green infrastructure improvements in Burleith and Glover Park. Work in Burleith will predominantly affect alleys.

The fight against increased airplane noise continues on several fronts. I have been informed that there are some new legal costs, so please consider donating on the DC Fair Skies Coalition’s attractive new website. The coalition is also seeking volunteers to provide legal services. If you are willing to volunteer your time to help prepare the case for argument, email

There will be many changes on ANC 2E after this fall’s elections. Chair Ron Lewis is stepping down, as are long-term commissioners Tom Birch and Jeff Jones. Thankfully, our able representative, Ed Solomon, is running for another term.

Finally, I would like to thank organizer Kay Twomey and the numerous other volunteers who made the annual summer picnic such a success on June 18. If you have not seen them yet, check out the picnic photos. As always, the food, band, and activities were awesome. Many thanks to Georgetown University, Town Hall, Lenore Rubino/REALTOR, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, Glover Park-Burleith Farmers Market, Dry Bar, Gardens for All Seasons, Hop, Cask & Barrel, Jetties, Palisades Vet Clinic, Shanghai Lounge, Surfside, Unleashed by Petco, Unum, and Yates Field House for their generous support. I was also thrilled to see so many information tables staffed by neighbors, volunteers, and DC government employees spreading the word about environmental issues, historic designation, the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, and the Burleith Garden Club.

Enjoy the last placid days before everything gets busy again!