D.C. City Councilman Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) spoke to members of the Foggy Bottom Association Monday about the planned construction of the new GW Hospital.
FBA President Ellie Becker announced at the beginning of the meeting that the FBA filed a petition Aug. 20 in the D.C. Court of Appeals protesting the decision by the Board of Zoning Adjustment to allow the construction of the new hospital.
According to an article in the October issue of the Foggy Bottom News, the FBA alleges that the BZA failed to require GW to submit an environmental impact statement. The document, according to the article, would have assessed the effect the building would have on traffic congestion, pedestrian safety issues, increased noise levels and parking concerns.
When FBA members told Evans they wanted him to stop GW from constructing the hospital, he said the decision was out of his jurisdiction. He told the audience that if they were angry about the issue, they should send their concerns to Mayor Anthony Williams’ office.
The FBA is planning to protest at the Oct. 6 groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital. Becker asked that FBA members wear black to the protest to signify the association’s anger at GW administrators.
Evans told FBA members he would not try to stop the issuance of industrial revenue bonds to finance new construction by GW. Evans said the program is a good program for the city, and he would have to break procedural rules to prevent GW from issuing the bonds. The Industrial Revenue Bond Program allows non-profit organizations who meet the established criteria to borrow funds at a lower interest rate then other businesses.
The program is mandated by Congress, and the mayor’s office is responsible for approving the bond issuance requests based upon established criteria, Evans said. Evans urged concerned citizens to go to Mayor Anthony Williams’ and tell him not to approve the bond issue.