WEB UPDATE: Zoning Commission approves 20-year Campus Plan

Posted Monday, March 12, 10:10 p.m.

The D.C. Zoning Commission unanimously voted to approve GW’s 20-year Campus Plan Monday night, nearly one year after the University first submitted the development proposal.

The plan replaces the current agreement between the city and GW on development restrictions and calls for the vertical growth of GW buildings as well as the expansion of Gelman Library, several residence halls and the Marvin Center. The proposal also includes construction of a new science facility and a cancer center.

The commission delayed voting to approve the plan at a January hearing, when the approval process was slated to begin, and requested that GW make more specific commitments about community benefits to compensate the neighborhood for increasing building density.

“We’re very happy. This is very important for the University,” Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said about the plan’s approval after the meeting.

The Zoning Commission, which has had eight hearings on the plan since September, discussed several amendments the West End Citizens Association proposed for the plan. The Commission did not approve most of the proposed amendments, but agreed to a recommendation from the group that prohibits freshmen and sophomores from bringing cars to campus.

“Administratively, it’s going to be more difficult,” Katz said, referring to the student vehicle restrictions. “We’ll be able to do it, but it’s going to be more work for us.”

Some community members have consistently opposed GW’s development plans and have testified against approving the Campus Plan. Monday’s meeting did not include opportunities for members of the audience to give testimony.

The University cannot move on with construction until it receives written approval from the Zoning Commission.

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