Monday, November 28, 2016

ANC Expresses Concern Over Components of D.C. United Stadium Plan

The Zoning Commission will be meeting this evening to hold a public hearing on the D.C. United stadium PUD. Ahead of the hearing, several letters of support and others in opposition have been pouring in to the Commission. One of those letters of opposition comes from ANC 6D, which still has concerns about the transportation plan and environmental issues with the Buzzard Point site. At the October ANC meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to not support the PUD until a number of issues were addressed. Although D.C. United revised their PUD application earlier this month, partially in response to the October vote, those changes did not sufficiently address the major concerns of the ANC. 

On transportation, the ANC feels that there is insufficient planning with regard to parking, ingress and egress from the stadium, and a lack of public transport options. Since a streetcar is no longer planned to serve Buzzard Point and the promised restoration of the Convention Center – SW Waterfront Circulator route has lost funding, some of the assumed transportation options can’t be considered to serve the stadium. From the ANC letter: 
ANC-6D continues to assert there exists no reliable Transportation Plan for the Stadium & Buzzard Point. DC United’s transportation plan is not informed by and/or directly contradicts a number of transportation proposals advanced by DDOT, team consultants, Office of Planning (each of which is currently in the Case File), and most specifically, the Buzzard Point Vision Plan which purports to present Half Street as the “Transportation Spine of Buzzard Point.” In addition, and in answer to specific questions about the current Buzzard Point Plan, we have also heard statements quotes made in public meetings from both the Directors of Transportation and the Office of Planning that contradict the recommendations of their own departments in this matter. 
With regard to environmental concerns, most of Buzzard Point was used for industrial purposes and as a result, the land contains contaminants. The land will need to be remediated before construction begins. From the ANC letter: 
ANC-6D recognizes that the near Buzzard’s Point residential community is a close knit neighborhood currently facing definite health consequences as a result of the excavation and remediation of the soccer stadium site. Although a great deal of preliminary work has been on-going for months to prepare this extraordinarily contaminated site for future development, including tearing down and removal of structures that contained asbestos and other hazardous materials, little or no effort has been directed toward preparing community residents to deal with the enormous environmental impact that the removal of all of the chemicals and contaminants may have on their health. Significant vapor contamination from dust, gases and fumes is inevitable on site since the clean-up plan includes removal of such contaminated soil both on and below the surface. 
In light of these concerns, the ANC is requesting a delay in the start of construction until these issues are resolved. If the Zoning Commission approves the PUD, construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 with the stadium opening by the summer of 2018.

Update: Many of the issues addressed by the ANC were brought up during the 4+ hour Zoning Commission hearing. Among the other concerns brought up by the Zoning Commission include the stadium's industrial design, while in the eyes of the Commission is improved, still looks utilitarian and exposes the "underbelly" of the facility; too much signage; valet bike parking located opposite of the main stadium entrance; and no reuse of water collected on site. There was not enough time to complete all testimony at the hearing, so a second meeting was scheduled for December 14 at 6:30pm.

Rendering courtesy of D.C. United

1 comment:

Wizzyliz said...

We've all seen what happens to M Street during a baseball game. Times that by 100 for pedestrians and cars going down a one lane residential street. If there is no tranportation plan for the soccer stadium, there will be so much traffic on 4th Street you will be able to literally walk on top of the cars. I'm all for the soccer stadium but not if it turns the neighborhood into a parking lot. Literally.