Evans addresses community concerns

D.C. councilmember Jack Evans discussed the District’s finances and explained the city’s $450 million revenue shortfall to concerned residents of the Foggy Bottom and West End communities at an Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting last Wednesday.

Evans, a Democrat representing Ward 2, was in the race for chairman of the D.C. Council, but announced Friday that he is “unlikely to run” for the position, according to the Washington Post.

During his appearance Evans said D.C. must “stop spending or raise taxes.”

The meeting’s attendees used the face-time with Evans to express concern over the improvements planned for Francis Field, located on M Street between 25th and 26th streets.

Stadium lighting in the field was a cause of complaints by many residents in surrounding housing, who are frustrated that they are “stuck with blaring lights at night,” as one community member said.

Evans told residents that he would try to find out how neighbors can work with those in control of the lights, but no solution to the issue was decided Wednesday night. The councilman also spoke about planning to work with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty to create a new dog park on District land.

Rebecca Coder, chair of the commission, said the park will likely be located on the northern end of Francis Field.

After Evans finished speaking, community members discussed the development of the historic Stevens Elementary School property.

In September, D.C. chose Equity Residential to develop the site into apartments, against the preferences of the ANC.

Community members said they did not want the Stevens land to follow the trend of the Apartments at 2400 M, another Equity Residential property, which they said attracted GW students who were described as disruptive and rowdy by some residents.

At the meeting, the commission voted against the development of the Stevens School site by Equity Residential, responding to worries that it would become an off-campus housing hotspot for GW students.

“We’re interested in more mixed housing than just rental housing right now,” said ANC Secretary Florence Harmon, citing the need for affordable home ownership. “There were concerns regarding it becoming a de-facto dorm.”

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