Every ten years, all Colleges and Universities in the District of Columbia must file a Campus Plan with the DC Zoning Commission. For Georgetown University, their next ten-year plan was due before December 31, 2010, and they officially filed it on December 30.
The original proposal presented to the community included plans for an increase in student enrollment from 2009 levels. It did not provide any additional housing on the traditional campus. The plan proposed converting the University-owned property on what is known as the “1789 Block” into mixed-use buildings, constructing an 83-foot tall smokestack to replace a 10-foot tall chimney, and adding 700 parking spaces to accommodate additional traffic to the campus and hospital.
Although the Campus Plan filed by the University removed the development proposal for the 1789 block and the construction of the new smokestack, which were non-starters to begin with, the plan filed did not include any language to address the off-campus student population.
The single most important issue raised by the community is increasing on-campus student housing, specifically behind the gates at 37th and O Streets, NW, with the goal of having all students housed on campus. Even if students who live off-campus in our neighborhood are well behaved, it is too much of a strain on residents. When you have houses and tenants that are not well behaved, the burden becomes impossible.
I was very disappointed with the plan filed, and I have strongly urged Georgetown University to rethink their campus plan filing and produce a plan that houses 100% of undergraduate students on campus.