This is a fight I'm done with- Richardson Place

So I'm back from a BACA meeting. Two topics took up a majority of the meeting, one being the District of Columbia's criminal justice system, the other being the proposed co-housing, 24 bedroom, 24 bath thing up on Richardson Place. The residents of Richardson, particularly Jim N. have my sympathy, but that property, that problem, I'm done with it. I fought that fight in 2005, it's been over a decade, and I can think of worse things.... which we fought against, and what OakTree development proposes, that ain't it.

Back in November 2005, eleven years and two months ago, I wrote on the old InShaw blog about Wilbur Mondie/ Mondi and his plans to build some buildings on the empty lots, and later Jim N.'s beautiful garden. In that month a few neighbors on that block, people on Richardson, 4th Street and New Jersey Avenue banded together and got our then ANC and BACA president Jim Berry involved.

Then the residents were concerned about water drainage, parking and a concern about shoehorning families in need into some cheaply built cramped looking housing. I should mention in 2005, parking was plentiful (compared to today) and we had lots of Section 8's (poor people housing) with disruptive tenants. No Big Bear. Nothing cool.

The person spearheading the effort was a lawyer (or employed in the legal profession) named Karl K. and of all the people deeply involved he was the last to move in 2016(?). Jim Berry stepped back and later moved. Toby and his wife moved to NoVa after the birth of their first kid. John stuck around to fight another zoning fight but moved to a guaranteed good DC school district after getting married and having kids. And there were others, who eventually moved. A lot happens in 11 years.

Greater density has happened. Within a 5 minute walk houses are getting re-divided (many were built as duplexes, turned into 1 unit, then divided again) into condos, tall infill buildings were filling in, and there were pop-ups, some good, some bad, and some downright ugly. Street parking became harder to find, and until I married a car-owner, I didn't care. And this was coming from the east with NOMA and the west with U Street amenities slowly moving east. 

Regardless if there are 24 or the feared 48 residents, or even a possible 15-20 residents at one time (because of vacancies) parking is going to get scarce. Those wonderful restaurants and businesses that are slowly making their way down Florida Avenue will bring competition for parking. Demographics are changing and the two bedroom, one den condo or house bought by the power couple, and the dozen more like them, will in time get rented to a gaggle of bros or gals or mixed group when the power couple wants to move because of kids or another job opportunity in Phoenix or New York. 

The building is not as ugly as Mondi had initially proposed. It looks like the infills that dot Shaw.
The people that will supposedly occupy the building would be young single childless professionals. That demographic is taking over the area. Whippersnappers.
At this point I'm not sure what would be gained with such fight. Nah, I'm saving up energy to fight for a turret.

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This page contains a single entry by Mari published on January 9, 2017 9:25 PM.

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