Park Service to Discuss Boathouse Study May 22 at West End Library

The National Park Service will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m., May 22, at the West End Public Library to discuss its Georgetown non-motorized boathouse zone feasibility study. The library is at 1101 24th St., NW, at the corner of 24th and L Streets.

The NPS study has been completed and outlines various tracts of land near Key Bridge that could accommodate a boathouse for rowing, canoeing and kayaking. It envisions three kinds of development scenarios: high density, medium density and low density.

The high-density option calls for work at land west of the Washington Canoe Club (which would be renovated and included in the land use) along with a site west of the Potomac Boat Club and the present Key Bridge Boathouse and land at 34th and K Streets. The medium-density plan calls for use of the western most shoreline in the study, as in the high density plan, not use of the Washington Canoe Club, and use of the Key Bridge Boathouse and the land at 34th and K. The low-density plan uses only the property east of Key Bridge and is included in all three plans. This site at 34th and K Street is seen as having the least impact and is expected to be primarily used by universities (Georgetown and George Washington) and high schools. It would hold a three-story building. This tract is west and adjacent to Georgetown Waterfront Park, which was completed last year.

The following are comments from the National Park Service as well as from its “Georgetown Nonmotorized Boathouse Zone Feasibility Study.”

“The feasibility study examined the potential implementation of a non-motorized boathouse zone on the shore along the District of Columbia’s side of the Potomac River waterfront in Georgetown. The NPS examined the structures and facilities related to non-motorized boat usage, including rowing, canoeing and kayaking, that can be accommodated within this zone, as well as other uses, such as cycling and passive recreation. This study will lay the groundwork for future decision-making regarding: (1) scenarios for development/improvement of NPS facilities or potential land exchanges for private development of boathouses; and (2) further planning and National Environmental Policy Act/National Historic Preservation Act compliance as necessary to implement the non-motorized boathouse zone.”

“This nonmotorized boathouse zone (NMBZ) extends from 34th Street, NW, at the western edge of Georgetown Waterfront Park to approximately a quarter mile upriver from Key Bridge in the District of Columbia. The zone encompasses both public and private lands, including portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal NHP) and Rock Creek Park, and several private parcels (the Potomac Boat Club, several private residences, and a small parcel accessible from the shoreline only).”

“While the public involvement effort of the feasibility study did not produce a groundswell of support for a single development vision, stakeholders were in agreement that a better-defined development program for the entire zone was desirable (in contrast to site-by-site development). Next steps in planning for the NMBZ would likely include preparation of an EIS that would further analyze the development scenarios, a revision of the Georgetown Waterfront Park Master Plan, and proposals for one or more land exchanges for boathouses.”

The deadline for public comments to the NPS is on May 24. The NPS May 22 public open house will run 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the West End Library’s large meeting room.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *