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Want to have an impact on D.C.'s comprehensive plan? It's time to speak up.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Washington Business Journal by Karen Goff

It’ll soon be open season on amending D.C.’s comprehensive plan.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the D.C. Office of Planning and the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on Friday will launch an open call period for anyone to speak up on amendments that will shape D.C.'s future development.

“As Washington, D.C., continues to develop as a model for inclusive prosperity, my administration is committed to ensuring that residents have the opportunity to shape our city’s future,” Bowser said in a statement. “Together, we will answer our growth challenges and turn them into positive opportunities for residents and businesses across all eight wards.”

The District government uses the comprehensive plan as a 20-year guide for future development as well as the investments the city makes in its services and infrastructure. It is the city's primary tool for managing change.

The current comp plan, initially adopted in 2006, was last updated in 2011.

D.C. has changed at a rapid pace in the last decade, with a flurry of redevelopments at the Navy Yard, the Southwest Waterfront, Shaw, and Northeast neighborhoods such as Eckington, Union Market and Ivy City. Entire neighborhoods have transformed, occasionally to the dismay of existing residents.

The city’s population has increased by more than 70,000 people since 2010.

The open call period will run through late May. Accepted amendments will be submitted as legislation to D.C. Council for approval in early 2018.

Information for those interested in submitted amendments can be found on the [PLAN]DC website. The city is expected to host a series of technical assistance workshops, where participants will be able to ask questions and receive support in preparing proposed amendments.

Meanwhile, a group of developers has joined with nonprofits and housing advocates to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing as D.C. works towards the comprehensive plan amendments.