Recent history of GW’s campus plan

October 1997The Foggy Bottom Association raises concerns about parking and traffic problems that could arise from a proposed Health and Wellness Center at 23rd and G streets. The Board of Zoning Adjustment approved construction of the facility January 1998.

September 1998FBA voices traffic and parking concerns about a GW proposal for a new hospital, saying the University will be violating its parking requirements in the 1985-2000 Campus Plan.

October 1998The University begins drafting a new campus plan. The Foggy Bottom Advisory Neighborhood Commission has already voiced objections to GW expansion, including Marvin Center renovations, New Hall, the Health and Wellness Center and the new hospital, but GW predicts the new plan will gain approval faster than the 1985 plan did.

October 21, 1998The ANC opposes construction of a School of Media and Public Affairs building. The ANC recommends a delay in the construction of the SMPA building until GW reconfigures its campus plan.

December 2, 1998The District’s zoning board approves construction of the new SMPA building.

May 19, 1999The D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment approves construction of a new hospital and expansion of the parking garage at 22nd and I streets, despite FBA objection.

The hospital pushes campus boundaries further into the historic Foggy Bottom zone, but GW attests that the hospital will be a positive addition to the neighborhood.

June 1999The University purchases the Howard Johnson’s hotel on Virginia Avenue to be used as a freshman residence hall.

FBA accuses GW of being insensitive to its neighbors by expanding outside of its campus plan. GW says it is complying with neighbor requests to house more students on campus.

November 17, 1999GW unveils its campus plan for 2000-10. ANC members say they are angered by lack of information about University property outside of campus borders.

February 4, 2000GW closes a deal to purchase a share of Columbia Plaza apartment complex. ANC and Columbia Plaza residents object to the purchase, saying it is another step towards GW’s takeover of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. GW says it has no plans to turn the building into a residence hall, but leaves open the option of using apartments when the student housing lottery is full.

March 14, 2000GW’s Student Association passes a resolution in support of the campus plan, but requests modifications, including monitoring student enrollment and the need to discuss University expansion outside the campus boundaries. Community members praise the SA for adding the conditions that address neighborhood concerns.

April 26, 2000The BZA begins hearing testimony from the University in support of the campus plan. GW attests that the plan addresses the University’s impact on the neighborhood.

Summer 2000GW and the D.C. Office of Planning meet several times to review the plan. The University makes adjustments, including a five-year moratorium on off-campus property purchases for University use.

August 28, 2000Members of the FBA announce they will fight GW’s off-campus expansion and seek the help of the BZA to address expansion and student housing provisions in the campus plan.

September 8, 2000The D.C. Office of Planning recommends that the BZA reject GW’s campus plan because it does not comply with District Code. The Office cites on-campus housing and undergraduate enrollment policies that would violate D.C. law if enacted. The ANC is pleased with the recommendations. GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg says he is surprised by the Office of Planning recommendations.

September 13, 2000The ANC testifies against the campus plan at a second BZA hearing, saying the plan is inadequate and detrimental to the University, its students and the surrounding neighborhood.

September 26, 2000The BZA holds a third and final hearing on the campus plan. FBA and ANC representatives voice opposition to the plan. GW submits a new provision to house 70 percent of full-time undergraduate students and a plan to have more beds than students on campus by 2005.

November 10, 2000The BZA postpones the vote on GW’s plan to Dec. 12 from the scheduled Nov. 15 vote, saying that because the Office of Planning submitted information late it needs more time to accurately review the proposal.

November 8, 2000The BZA approves Georgetown University’s campus plan. Georgetown endured similar housing and enrollment complaints from its neighbors as GW, but eventually received support of the Georgetown ANC.

November 8, 2000The SA passes a resolution in support of the campus plan after the University addresses reservations the SA had when it originally reviewed the plan in the spring.

November 14, 2000Trachtenberg tells Foggy Bottom residents in a letter that the University has adequately addressed neighborhood concerns. The letter lists concessions to the community covered in the campus plan, including $100 million to construct housing for 2,000 more undergraduate students, a requirement that all freshmen and sophomores live on campus and an additional 2,800 University parking spots. ANC members remain confident that the plan will not pass in its current form.

December 12, 2000 The BZA will vote on GW’s 2000-10 campus plan.
source: Hatchet archives

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.