The Week Ahead….Update on Swamp Fox Memorial and Ugly Mug Back Before ANC6B
by Larry Janezich
Update on Swamp Fox Memorial
Last Friday, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton released a letter written to Peter May, Associate Regional Director, National Park Service (NPS), requesting him to meet with her before taking any further action on approving the Francis Marion (Swamp Fox) Memorial. May has agreed to the meeting.
Norton said in a press release, “Parks owned by the NPS but used by neighborhood residents require respect and deference from the parties. After hearing from constituents, an increasing number of whom have children and make maximum use of our parks, I am concerned that NPS is rushing through this process without sufficient courtesy and respect for the affected community. . . Neighborhood residents are taxpaying U.S. and D.C. citizens whose quality of everyday life depends on the park.”
In the letter, Norton states: “…it appears that the current process for approving this particular memorial is not allowing sufficient time and effort to consider community concerns, particularly residents’ concerns on the placement of the memorial in a park.” She goes on to say, “We appreciate that Francis Marion is a hero to some, but he has a controversial past for others. This historic figure is not likely to attract frequent visitors, nor is he considered a national figure today.”
The letter stresses preserving the park for use of the residents by not placing the memorial in the center of the park, but stops short of insisting on relocating it.
The letter concludes, “Therefore, there is time to discuss the preference of residents for the placement of the memorial not in the middle of Marion Park, making the center of the park unusable for the community, but elsewhere in the park or in another park.”
In previous scoping meetings hosted by the NPS, nearby residents have expressed concerns, including the short notice neighbors were given regarding the memorial, lack of consideration of resident’s use of the park, whether it is appropriate to honor Marion (a slave owner) across from a church designed by DC’s first African-American architect and built by freedmen, the lack of representation in Congress which gives residents no voice in authorizing the memorial.
For other CHC Postings on the Swamp Fox issue, go here: http://bit.ly/1wzFEQs
The Week Ahead…
Monday, January 12
ANC6D meets at 7:00pm at 1100 4th Street, SW, DCRA 2nd Floor Meeting Room.
According to the non-transparent 6D website, the agenda – as usual – is “still in formation.”
Tuesday, January 13
ANC6B meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center
Among items on the agenda are the following:
Election of Officers
Zoning variances to allow construction of mixed-use residential structure (10 condos) with ground floor retail (La Lomita restaurant expanded) at 1330-1336 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – the current location of La Lomita.
Public space permit for The Ugly Mug Dining Saloon, to permit construction of a temporary rodent proof structure in the alley behind 723 8th Street, SE. Owner Gaynor Jablonski wants to nearly double the size of his bar/restaurant and install a sliding glass roof. Neighbors object on a number of life quality issues. Gaynor is making what appears to be a token effort to satisfy some of the neighbor’s concerns. Last fall, ANC6B voted to oppose the expansion and will protest before the Alcohol Beverage Review Board. Last week, the ANC Planning and Zoning Committee voted to endorse The Ugly Mug’s plan to build a rat proof trash enclosure in the alley on public space as being a step in the right direction – better than the current situation – over neighbor’s protests and the strong objection of Commissioner Dian Hoskins, that it was not only inadequate, but unworkable. For previous post on this issue, see here: http://bit.ly/ZrJ7lp
Wednesday, January 13
ANC6C meets at 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.
Among items on the agenda:
Comments from Council Member Charles Allen
Elections of Officers, Committee Chairs and Membership
320 Florida Avenue, NE, PUD development/concept support for park
300 block of H Street, NE, proposal for development (nonvoting item)
646-654 H Street, NE, Variances, for parking requirements and loading requirements and a special exception for overlay requirements.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
PSA 108, featuring MPD Lt. JB Dykes, meets at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.