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Office of Planning Soon to Publish Adams Morgan “Vision” Final Report

Accompanying images can be viewed in the October 2015 issue PDF

By Anthony L. Harvey

DC’s Office of Planning (OP) held a community open house on September 30th in the family gathering open space at the Marie H. Reed Learning Center as the culminating public event of its series of forums, “community listening” sessions, neighborhood gatherings and tours, surveys and committee meetings in a collaboration with the community and OP working toward the construction of an Adams Morgan Vision Framework. (For our initial report on this initiative, see “Adams Morgan Residents Participating in Initiative to Plan for the Future,” InTowner, September 2014 issue pdf, page 1.)

Led by Joshua Silver, OP’s project manager for neighborhood planning, the session was conducted in two parts: first a lively and informative summary of the Vision Framework by Silver, who also serves as OP’s Ward One city planner, and secondly, reporting on the over six months activities of the OP staff, its consultant team from Beyer Blinder Belle and Street Sense, along with the Adams Morgan Vision Framework Advisory Committee — a 19-member committee including representatives from the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 1B0, the Adams Morgan Business Improvement District, and the neighborhood’s civic associations. The session’s second part was for attendees to view large subject boards covering five core areas and personally interact with individual OP staff members who have worked on the project.

These five areas address the vital issues of “Creating and Strengthening Great Places,” “Bolstering and Strengthening Community,” “Embracing Sustainability,” “Redefining Retail,” and “Connectivity and Access.” An invaluable, recently created English and Spanish language OP pamphlet of current statistical data and pertinent programmatic information, “IAM: Ideas for Adams Morgan; Neighborhood Profile 2015,” was distributed to participants.

The pamphlet, a gold mine of both historical and contemporary information, is based on the recent work of the ANC’s Envision Adams Morgan community engagement meetings and an on-line survey that garnered over 500 responses. The ANC’s work included the strategic contributions of urban planning students from the Catholic University of America. Survey and meeting results from its work, which focused on four major areas — sustainability, transportation, business & retail, and housing — are succinctly summarized in the OP pamphlet.

The informal interactions between participants and OP staff at the September 30th community open house provided the opportunity for post-it comments and recommendations from participants to be added to the illustrated boards for review by OP before issuing the Adams Morgan Vision Framework final report — originally projected, as we initially reported, for mid-October but now postponed until “no later than the first week of November,” according to OP’s Ward 1 Neighborhood Planner Joshua Silver who has advised that “[a]fter a thorough review of the document I’ve determined some additional time is needed to make necessary edits before publishing a draft.” A 30-day community comment period will then be provided, the results of which will be used by OP in preparing the document for final publication.