From Chevy Chase to Congress Heights: The New Small Area Plans in The Works For DC

  • December 2nd 2020

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase DC.

As the city waits with bated breath for the DC Council's potential passage of a revised Comprehensive Plan, the Office of Planning (OP) is launching a more micro-level effort.

On Tuesday, OP and the Mayor's office announced that five more neighborhood-level planning guides are in the works for the 2021 fiscal year. Some of these are Small Area Plans (SAPs), which are neighborhood-specific companions to the Comp Plan and supplement plan guidance with additional details, recommendations, and strategies for particular corridors and sites in the city. 

“We are excited to launch a series of new initiatives and to partner with residents in neighborhoods across the District to develop community-focused plans that can support neighborhood-level needs and goals,” Andrew Trueblood, OP Director, said in a statement.

The areas and initiatives that are next in the pipeline are as follows:

Congress Heights Small Area Plan

OP is aiming for a plan for Congress Heights that focuses on equitable development. A ten-person advisory committee, comprised of ANC members and other community leaders, has already been convened for this SAP, and a survey is currently live. OP will hold a virtual town hall on Thursday evening.

Pennsylvania Avenue SE Small Area Plan

While an SAP was already completed for Pennsylvania Avenue SE in 2008, this round attempts to focus more on how to implement those prescriptions. The plan is also meant to further the city's goals around racial and socioeconomic equity. The Pennsylvania Avenue corridor is intended to serve as an activated gateway into the city and through Wards 6, 7, and 8.

Southwest Resilience Strategy

In keeping with Southwest DC's and Buzzard Point's flirtation with the floodplain, this plan would focus on flood resilience design strategies for public parks, streets, and residents throughout those neighborhoods. The Flood Resilience Strategy would build on what was established with the Southwest SAP, the Resilient DC Plan, the Buzzard Point Vision Framework and Design Review Guide, along with studies being done by the Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Department of Energy and the Environment. 

Chevy Chase/Upper NW Small Area Plan

This SAP is meant to outline a strategy to increase housing production, implement recommended land-use changes, and revitalize mixed-use corridors in this section of Ward 3. OP accepted a recommendation from ANC 3/4G during the Comp Plan update process to create an SAP envisioning Connecticut Avenue as a gateway corridor. The planning work is expected to start early next year, and will also be focused on advancing racial equity.

North Capitol Crossroads

This SAP would specifically focus on "the North Capitol Crossroads", which refers to the area surrounding the cloverleaf interchange of Michigan Avenue and North Capitol and Irving Streets. Between the expected developments at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, the McMillan Sand Filtration site, and the Washington Hospital Complex, this area could eventually be unrecognizable. OP and DDOT will do a study on the transportation infrastructure in the area. 

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-next-areas-dc-wants-to-create-planning-guides-for/17601.

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