President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher,


With spring beckoning, the BCA is gearing up for a busy year. Our first event, the annual Gløgg Party, was held on Sunday, February 5, at the home of Linda Brooks and Ross Schipper. Attendance was excellent and included Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilmember Jack Evans. Thanks to Linda and Ross for hosting another great party. (Click here for photos.)

An Arcadia publication about Burleith will be available after March 6. We are excited about this photographic depiction of our neighborhood, which will be sold for $21.99 through the Arcadia website or Amazon. The BCA will also sell copies. This impressive pictorial history is a must-have for any current or previous resident of Burleith. Co-authors Ross Schipper and Dwane Starlin undertook this massive effort and our deepest thanks go out to them. The BCA will organize a book launch event in mid-March, and Ross will conduct a book talk at the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Neighborhood Library on Saturday, March 25, from 1 to 2 pm.

Please note that as of September 2016, a new zoning code is in effect. Burleith is now an R-20 zone. Details on what this entails can be found in Chapter 12. Much remains the same from the previous R-3 zone, but there are some changes: the maximum allowable height is now 35 feet and how this is measured has changed. There are also detailed rules about accessory dwellings.

Zoning will be one of the issues discussed at the next community town hall meeting. An informal neighborhood development steering committee and others have been researching ways to manage change in Burleith. This next meeting will be some time in March. I am hopeful that we can schedule a community vote on whether and how to move forward with any options in the spring.

On the topic of airplane noise, the FAA’s proposed tweaks to the new route (LAZIR B) is off the table. So, the litigation track is more important than ever. Various briefs will be filed soon. The DC Fair Skies Coalition needs to fundraise about $60,000 over the next few months. The BCA Board recently approved a $1,000 donation (our second such sum in two years). Please also consider making a donation online or by check to the Aircraft Noise Fund, c/o the Citizens Association of Georgetown, 1365 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20007. All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged.

The team involved in renovating Ellington School admitted to having fallen behind, but reiterated that they will finish on time by summer 2017. There has certainly been more activity at the construction site, and I have heard that the number of workers has increased considerably. There have been serious problems with workers parking on our streets. Although the problem persists, DC government agencies and MPD are finally making some efforts. Our ANC representative Ed Solomon has been active in trying to find relief.

At the January meeting of the BCA Board, members voted to publish board meeting agendas on the Burleith website calendar. The board also decided to continue our current practice of making hard copy minutes of these meetings available upon request.

On February 15 we had the first “walk the beat” activity with MPD Officers Atkins, Everett, and Shaheen. The police are committed to keeping Burleith safe and reiterated several safety measures that all residents should follow: keep all doors locked at all times, turn exterior lights on after dark, and get to know your neighbors. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you see any suspicious activity.

Finally, S&R Foundation has received approval to start renovations at the Fillmore School site. All work will be done to the existing building. Plans for an addition are currently on hold. I have asked that they minimize any disruptions to the Tot Lot, but some closures will be necessary.