ANC6B Set to Sign Off on Re-design of Virginia Avenue Park/Community Garden/Dog Park
by Larry Janezich
At Tuesday night’s meeting of ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee, 6B04 Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg presented the community-supported plan for the redesign of Virginia Avenue Park and asked the Committee to recommend that the full ANC endorse the project.
Virginia Avenue Park is currently part of the CSX Tunnel project, and the agreement between CSX and the DC Department of Transportation requires CSX to restore the park. Oldenburg coordinated a series of meeting with residents and other community stakeholders to determine what the redesign of the park should include. As part of the agreement with CSX, a dog park was to be included in the final design.
After the last stakeholder’s meeting in 2016, Oldenburg asked the internationally acclaimed landscape firm of Oehme van Sweden – whose offices are on Barracks Row – to help design the park on a pro bono basis, and the firm agreed, producing the design pictured above.
Oldenburg reported that the residents and community stakeholders approved the design and are ready to submit the plan to DDOT: “They judged the new design as inspired, one that would ensure the creation of a Park meeting the needs of a changing neighborhood.”
As Oldernburg earlier reported, “This design adds a sidewalk and street trees along 9th Street, SE, creates a central entrance to the Park at 10th Street, SE, enlarges the multi-purpose open space, and adds lawn terraces along the north side for use by kids and adults. The Community Garden is reshaped into a rectangle and moved slightly eastward to accommodate the new sidewalk and a curb cut for its use on 9th Street. The shared bike/pedestrian path and dog park segment of the Park remain unchanged.”
The Committee voted 11 – 0 to recommend that the full ANC approve the plan at its March 14 meeting, and recommended it be placed on the consent calendar, all but ensuring its validation by the Commission. The ANC’s endorsement will move the plan along in the process and allow DOT to initiate discussions who does what to put the park in place next year.