Wardman Engagement Session

If you missed the session on Feb 21st with Ward 3 Vision and CPSG to review the Wardman development project, the recording is posted here. The goal was to get folks up to speed on what’s happening at the site and for people to send a message to the owners, Carmel Partners, and the District leaders, to engage in the upcoming planning process so Carmel can feel confident a better project is available to them, one that benefits them and the community. I’ve posted the letter I sent below the video. Sorry to those I left waiting in the “waiting room” – completely my fault. Will do better at Zoom administrating next time!

Here are the slides we used:

My email to ANC 3C commissioners, David Grosso (counsel to Carmel), Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio, and Councilmembers Mendelson and Cheh:

“Cheh, Mary (COUNCIL)” <mcheh@dccouncil.us>

I am writing to the commissioners of ANC 3C, who have the Carmel HPRB application before you tomorrow night, to Mr. Grosso, as representative of Carmel Partners, to Deputy Mayor Falcicchio, to Council Chair Mendelson and to Councilmember Cheh —

My collective ask is for Carmel to slow down and take a closer look at the environment surrounding the Wardman, and for the city to actively step up and demonstrate the benefits to Carmel for doing more than what they have planned.

Carmel has so intensely studied the last battle at the Wardman, the 2016 JBG fiasco, that it has completely missed what is happening today:

  • The ANC is completely different and is extremely pro-housing
  • The city has prioritized housing development in Rock Creek West, and has a full HPTF and other financing tools to assist in the construction of affordable housing
  • The Council has passed a change in the FLUM for the site to allow for mixed use, and has funded a planning study set to kick off next month to allow for a predictable land use process
  • The are community groups now organized to help projects that represent good urbanism and planning to win local support.

Carmel can do so much more than what they have proposed. They can upzone to RA-4 across the site without any planning required. They can participate in the planning process and rezone to high density mixed use. Imagine a new street plan through the site and grocery store allowing all of the new residents and nearby neighbors to walk to get their daily needs. Woodley Parkis one of the few neighborhoods in Ward 3 without walkable grocery options.

Under the proposed plan, the site is an impermeable suburban campus. Grocery runs will largely be done by car, inundating Woodley Park’s already choked streets.

Look to City Ridge as an example of a well designed urban mixed use project anchored around an historic landmark. Only this one is right on top of the Metro.

I lead an organization of residents who are ready to go to bat for Carmel if they choose to go bigger.  Let us help you.

Stop this HPRB application, and let’s plan a course to double the proposed housing on the site and create a vibrant urban setting that will be the anchor of the neighborhood.

I am ready to go to work to help make this happen.

Bob Ward, Chair
Cleveland Park Smart Growth

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