GU Housing Plan Sparks Controversy as Debates Continue



The D.C. Zoning Commission will hold its fifth meeting tonight to continue discussions over the 2011-2020 Georgetown University Campus Plan with hearings from locals both for and against the proposal.

Because Georgetown University enrollment grew by 40 percent in the last ten years, the plan seeks to make room for the campus’ growing number of undergraduate students by developing a 15,000 student enrollment cap and adding 250 beds to on-campus housing.

However, the last Thursday’s meeting was bombarded with public protest against the plan. Dissenters said insufficient on-campus housing forces students to move into and alter surrounding neighborhoods.

At last Thursdays’ meeting, the Citizens Association of Georgetown testified against the proposal, saying it violates D.C. zoning laws, which state “The university shall be located so that it is not likely to become objectionable to the neighboring property because of noise, traffic, number of students, or other objectionable conditions.”

The CAG believes large student populations in the area cause problems for the neighborhood by bothering residents and scaring off potential businesses and investors. CAG president Jennifer Altemus showed the board a video presentation to further prove CAG’s point depicting young people outside bars in Georgetown apparently drunk, yelling and fighting.

The Burleith Citizens Association is also taking issue with the campus plan. The BCU believes university provided on-campus housing and housing incentives would better serve students and the surrounding community.

The University is standing firm behind the proposal which has been in the works for over two years.
“The Campus Plan was created with rigorous care with over two years of planning,” said Jack DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, in his testimony at the initial proposal meeting. “The goal is to reaffirm Georgetown’s commitment to partnership. The 2011-2020 Campus Plan is a modest and responsible plan for the university’s future with substantial commitments that respond to community and city concerns.”

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