President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher, president@burleith.org

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The Burleith Citizens Association has a busy autumn planned. First, let me highlight our Annual Meeting—Thursday, November 9, 6:30–9:00 pm—at the beautifully renovated Duke Ellington School of the Arts. We will be voting on a proposed slate of nominees for the 2018 Board, including two new faces, proposed by the BCA Board’s Selection Committee, to fill two board vacancies. In addition to electing the 2018 board and voting on the proposed budget, we are hoping to hear from Tia Powell-Harris of Duke Ellington, MedStar about the coming hospital construction, Ed Solomon, Jack Evans, the police, Georgetown University, and the Mayor’s office. We will also have copies of the Arcadia book on Burleith for sale.

Before the annual meeting, we will have our Halloween party for kids on October 29 from 2–4 pm at the Tot Lot. After, our community clean-up will be the morning of Saturday, November 11. Thanks, as always, to the Russell family and Janice Sims for organizing these events. We are also hoping to schedule a meeting in mid-October about managing change in Burleith. The meeting will discuss the survey results from earlier this year and the possibility of a customized zoning option.

It looks like discussions about parking in Burleith and Georgetown, which have been on hiatus, will start up again in the next few weeks. This will be happening at the ANC level, but the BCA has been and will remain involved in all discussions. Several elements are on the table:

  • Parking passes—some want “coupons.” Some want to keep the current method, but perhaps open other venues to procure them (like the DMV office or the library);
  • One side of the street parking only for residents;
  • More metered parking;
  • Shrinking the Residential Permit Parking zone to just ANC 2E boundaries so that other residents from Ward 2 would not be able to park all day. The flip side is that Dupont or Logan Circle might respond in kind, limiting our ability to park there for no more than two hours;
  • Better enforcement. There is wide recognition that each part, sometimes each block, of the ANC has different challenges and needs. We will keep you fully informed as the discussion progresses.

There also has been some movement on the airplane noise front—a good article in the Washington Post last month, the community meeting to discuss the results of the District’s noise study on September 19, and the on-going legal efforts of the DC Fair Skies Coalition. As legal costs continue, please do consider making a tax-deductible donation at http://www.dcfairskies.org.

The formal reopening ceremony for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts was held on August 19. I would like to thank various members for representing BCA at the festivities. Nan Bell’s remarks were inspiring. Although there was certainly tension during the years of construction and major budget issues, the renovated building is a stunning achievement and will be a world-class learning environment for our city’s artistically-inclined young people.

Finally, I want to assure everyone that the BCA continues to monitor issues affecting the neighborhood. For example, we are keenly aware of the potential impacts from the MedStar construction project scheduled to begin in 2018. The conversion of the old Holiday Inn into condos and retail might affect traffic and parking in Burleith. The ANC recently voted to replace several parking places on K and Water Streets under the Whitehurst Freeway to make way for a dedicated bike lane. This will displace parking for tour buses. There was a rumor that the buses might park on Whitehaven Street by the old Holiday Inn, but we have been assured that this is a nonstarter. The intersection of Whitehaven Street and Wisconsin is already quite busy and this would make it worse. We hope that meetings of the Ellington Community Partnership will start soon so that we can discuss the parking plans the school envisions when they have performances, as well as the frequency of such events. Finally, we are happy to see that the Circulator route up to 35th and Wisconsin will not be changed.

Please check out our website, Facebook page, and Twitter. Do think about patronizing our generous sponsors. And if you are not already a member of the BCA, please consider joining.

I hope to see you at our upcoming events.