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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Give Your Comments on Congress Heights Small Area Plan

The DC Office of Planning (OP) has released a Draft Congress Heights Small Area Plan (CHSAP) for public review and comment.

The public comment period runs until July 31, 2022. During the public comment period, written comments are encouraged, and can be submitted using this online form.

OP will hold a public hearing on July 27, at 6:00 p.m. at the R.I.S.E. Center. This will be an opportunity to share comments about the CHSAP in person; all comments will be recorded for the public record. To speak at the hearing, please sign up here.

Small Area Plans (SAPs) supplement the overall Comprehensive Plan, which guides development in the District. The SAP gives more detailed recommendations and strategies for the development of particular blocks, corridors and neighborhoods.

Area studied under Congress Heights SAP. Detail Map, CHSAP. Image: OP

After years of stalled inestments, Congress Heights is facing rapid change as federal- and District-led construction on St. Elizabeths Campus drives additional development in the area. The plan is intended to provide a community-informed vision for future development, set in the contest of District-wide growth patterns.

In 2020, OP put together a ten-person advisory committee, made up of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and other community leaders to help guide the SAP. The public provided input during a series of topic-focused group discussions and public meetings, most of which were virtual due to the pandemic.

At the kick-off meeting in December 2020, organizers said that ongoing development in the area coupled with impact from the pandemic, have created a “planning gap” in Congress Heights. That is made all the more urgent by way that institutional racism and disinvestment have shaped the neighborhood over the years.

The SAP is focused on equitable development. It will guide long-range planning and development with the goal of improvement, identifying gaps and opportunities in neighborhood services and amenities and finally, to advance social and economic benefits.

Parts of the Congress Heights retail corridor as identified in CHSAP. Image: OP

The Congress Heights SAP makes recommendations around housing diversity and affordability; civic facilities; economic development and opportunity; historic and cultural preservation; parks and public space, and transportation.

After public comment has closed, OP will submit the CHSAP to DC Council for approval. Your comments will be included as part of the record.

You can download the Draft CHSAP, submit written comment and sign up for the public hearing at publicinput.com/CongressHeightsPlan

If you prefer paper, copies of the CHSP will be available at the Parklands-Turner Neighborhood Library (1720 Alabama Ave. SE)and the Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center (3500 Marin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE) starting June 9th.

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