Rally to Oppose Redevelopment, Restore Deanwood Firehouse

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From Left to Right: McCree Burwell, ANC Commissioner Dorothy Douglas, Tacretia Cree.

Join Deanwood residents fighting to save their homes as they demand the city respect their history and restore historic Fire House #27. The story was covered by East of the River News in October 2017.

The Saturday, July 13th event will include a community BBQ at 4306 Sheriff Rd. NE with local residents, an outreach tour of the planned site for the new firehouse, and a press conference to share community concerns about the development.

Come get information with community and city residents on the legal updates in the legal challenge to the development. The case, next scheduled to be heard in DC Superior Court on July 26, seeks relief to stop the abandonment of the historic firehouse and its relocation to 4409 Minnesota Avenue NE.

The plaintiffs argue that the introduction of the lease to DC Council and the process that followed it, including a failure to give the required ‘great weight’ to the ANC opinion on the matter, violated District law.

Residents, including Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 7D oppose the planned construction of a major firehouse, EMS and storage facility to be located at 4409 Minnesota Ave. NE. The district intents to close historic Firehouse Engine 27 (4201 Minnesota Ave. NE) and to install a major firehouse, EMS and storage facility in the residential neighborhood of Minnesota Avenue NE.

Plaintiffs in the law suit say that Valor had gained community support for the construction of a housing complex at the site where the firehouse is planned. However, the project was abandoned and replaced with plans for the a firehouse. a

Organizers Dorothy Douglas and Deborah Brown oppose the relocation of the firehouse, which they say will enrich Valor, the developer and owner of the property at the expense of the community.

“This proposed major installation of a firehouse, EMS and storage facility will encroach on, endanger and pollute vulnerable residents’ land, all while profiting Valor for over $30 million plus tax relief for an ill-fitted, unworkable, compromised replacement for Firehouse#27,” they wrote in a press release.

“Firehouse Engine #27 is a historic firehouse for its architect, [and] as the second African-American firehouse in the District is on the National Historic Registry of Firehouses, and the city has purposely neglected it, allowing this facility to deteriorate.”

Residents argue that since the residential development was abandoned, the property has been neglected ‘to the detriment of the community’. There have been two car explosions on the site, they say, one in November 2018 and another in January 2019.“I am a long term home owner of 4401 Minnesota Ave. Ne, where I have been a resident for over 35 years,” said ANC Commissioner Dorothy Douglas (7D03), a plaintiff in the case against Valor. “When I moved into my home, my purpose was to establish a foundation for my children and grandchildren, which is now being threatened. The neglect and now new proposed use of 4409 [Minnesota Ave. NE] has caused and continues to cause me anxiety and stress worrying if I could lose my home.”

Join Deanwood Residents for the rally at the white tent at 4306 Sheriff Rd. NW (corner Minnesota Avenue & Sheriff Road NE) from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday July 13.