Saturday, November 07, 2009

Buzzard Point Gets Attention


A little-known area in the SW waterfront will get a lot of attention when the American Planning Association (APA) spends four days this month analyzing Buzzard Point, the southern promontory of southwest DC, where the Anacostia and Potomac converge. The Planning Assistance Team (PAT) intends to produce a series of recommendations for further study and suggested visions for the future of the area between South Capitol Street and Fort McNair. The PAT will speak with stakeholders and property owners, and a public meeting to review the recommendations will likely be held on Saturday, November 21st at the Police Building on M Street SW. Details will follow as the event approaches.

The area is zoned within the Capitol Gateway Overlay for mixed use of commercial and residential; the APA's review is significant because the area currently has no master plan. A hodgepodge of industrial buildings, Buzzard Point will continue to be the home of the U.S. Coast Guard Head Quarters until its move to St. Elizabeths in Anacostia. It will also be the terminus point for two of the planned DDOT street car lines.

During the four-day period the PAT team will speak with area property owners such as Monday Properties, Akridge and Douglas Development as well as representatives from the War College, Fort McNair and other area civic associations. After the four day evaluation, the PAT will make recommendations available at a public meeting, which will be an opportunity for feedback and further suggestions from the community. Michael Stevens, AICP and Executive Director of the Capitol Riverfront BID, said a final report could be expected within two months of the APA evaluation.


From that point the report will go to the Office of Planning, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and to the District Department of Transportation for review and consideration. Stevens hopes the Office of Planning will ultimately develop a Small Area Neighborhood Plan setting out zoning changes and offering a broad vision for the community, which until now has consisted of a few large development firms on an interesting but largely unknown spit land, with only hopeful ambitions of what it some day may become.

Top image from the Capitol Riverfront BID.

4 comments:

BINH on Nov 7, 2009, 5:45:00 PM said...

Were they not thinking about the D.C. United Stadium at Buzzards Point?

otavio on Nov 8, 2009, 3:24:00 AM said...

Hey DC MUD,

This is excellent coverage of APA's Planning Assistance Team activities for this year at Buzzard Point.

I also hope that DC's Office of Planning will be inspired to create a Small Area Neighborhood Plan for the Buzzard Point area. It really needs one!

SkidroweDC said...

BINH: The soccer stadium scheme is for Poplar Point, which is across the Anacostia.

This area was rezoned only a few years ago via the "Capitol Gateway" overlay zone, which is a very detailed zoning covering all the planning basics (public parkland along the water, view corridors, taller buildings inland, promotion of mixed-use & "vibrant" streetscapes, etc.) The CG Overlay also engaged area property owners and other "stakeholders." I'm not sure what the PAT is intended to accomplish that's substantively different, especially since it's make-believe whereas the zoning hearings were real!

If the city is serious about development/redevelopment of Buzzard Point, they need to do something about (Hope VI, anyone?) the housing projects (James Creek, Syphax) through which one must pass to get to Buzzard Point from most everywhere else. It's hard to imagine Buzzard thriving until these hotbeds of human misery are improved.

Anonymous said...

James Creek, Syphax Gardens as "hotbeds of human misery," indeed. When the baseball stadium was built they dismantled the welfare zone and cut a check to all the residents who were forced to leave. They got their money and we got rid of them and their problems. They mostly went to Baltimore for the welfare benefits. Good deal for everyone.

 

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