MARCH 29 MEETING TO FEATURE COUNCILMEMBER WHITE: The Kalorama Citizens Association will meet Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at Good Will Baptist Church, 1862 Kalorama Road NW. Our guest speaker will be At-Large City Councilmember Robert White Jr. (D), elected in 2016. He serves on several committees: Education; Finance and Revenue; Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization; Human Services; Labor & Workforce Development; and the Committee of the Whole. White earned undergraduate degrees in philosophy and political science from St. Mary’s College in Maryland and a law degree from American University. Please bring your questions and concerns for the councilmember.
Also on the agenda: continued discussion of potential changes to 18th Street to improve safety. ANC 1C has scheduled a series of community meetings on this topic. KCA in November 2017 approved a resolution proposing a pilot project to establish Pick-up/Drop-off Zones on 18th Street for ride-hailing vehicles. Ride-hailing services and traditional taxis have caused increased traffic congestion as they drop off and pick up passengers in the traffic lane.
Other agenda items might be added before the meeting.
DC JUDGE HALTS DESTRUCTION OF SUNTRUST PLAZA UNTIL APRIL 2018 TRIAL
District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Todd Edelman in August 2017 issued a preliminary injunction to stop the destruction of the SunTrust Plaza at 18th Street and Columbia Road NW so that a trial can be held to determine whether the public has an easement to continue using the spot for a farmers’ market and other events.
The trial is scheduled to begin April 17, 2018.
The Kalorama Citizens Association and Adams Morgan for Reasonable Development sought the injunction to stop the construction of a luxury condominium building by developer PN Hoffman. The planned building would cover the entirety of the 16,000-square foot lot, including the existing 4,000-square-foot plaza.
Judge Edelman said the community groups proved at two hearings in July that the public would suffer “irreparable harm” if the plaza were destroyed before the court could decide whether a public easement on the plaza exists.
KCA and Adams Morgan for Reasonable Development argue that developer PN Hoffman can’t build luxury condominiums on the plaza portion of the site, because the public for nearly 40 years has enjoyed an easement given to it by the plaza’s original developer, Perpetual Federal Savings & Loan Association.
“The judge found there was a substantial likelihood that we’re going to win on the merits, and the defendants are prohibited from blocking public use of the plaza until the final decision,” attorney Paul Zukerberg said following the judge’s August 4 ruling. “Thanks to this decision, the future of the plaza is going to be decided by a judge and not a bulldozer.”
Adams Morgan activists in 1976 opposed Perpetual’s plans to build a branch at the site because of the bank’s discriminatory lending practices and because the vacant lot at 18th Street and Columbia Road had long been used by community vendors. In an historic effort, neighborhood groups took their case to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Atlanta, which had to approve the bank’s plan to open a new branch on the site. The groups dropped their opposition only after Perpetual agreed to change its lending practices, provide bilingual services, and build and dedicate a plaza for public use.
Click here to read the transcript of Judge Edelman’s ruling, delivered from the bench, when he granted the injunction. Click here to read the order granting the preliminary injunction. Click here to read the complaint, the motion for a preliminary injunction, and the motion exhibits.
Paul Zukerberg is representing KCA and Adams Morgan for Reasonable Development on a pro bono basis, generously donating his time and expertise. But there are many costs to bring the case to trial, including court fees, transcripts, exhibit preparation, and others. DONATE NOW TO HELP KEEP THE PLAZA OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! MAKE YOUR CHECK OUT TODAY TO THE “KCA PLAZA LEGAL EXPENSE FUND,” AND SEND IT TO KCA, P.O. BOX 21311, WASHINGTON, DC 20009. OR DONATE BY CREDIT CARD VIA PAYPAL HERE:
KCA: WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
THE KALORAMA CITIZENS ASSOCIATION is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization founded in 1919 to promote the interests of the residents of Adams Morgan, DC. Meetings are at Good Will Baptist Church at Kalorama and Columbia roads, where we host civic leaders, activists, and experts on a range of timely issues. Our activities are:
- Historic Preservation: KCA is Adams Morgan’s chief advocate for historic preservation. Click on Historic Adams Morgan for details and reports.
- Parks: KCA supports the Biltmore Triangle Garden and sponsors walking tours of Kalorama and Walter Pierce Parks. Click on Parks for more.
- Neighborhood Development and Zoning: KCA works to mitigate challenges to our neighborhood’s quality of life that arise from development pressures. Click on Development & Zoning for more.
- Neighborhood agreements with liquor-serving establishments: KCA pursues voluntary agreements with liquor-license-holding establishments to ensure that the interests of residents are being served. See Business Agreements for details.
To join KCA, annual dues for single members are $25 and $40 for household memberships. Go to Join & Donate.
To contact KCA, you can email President Denis James at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 202-705-7411. Our mailing address is: Kalorama Citizens Association, P.O. Box 21311, Washington, DC 20009.
KCA’s 2017 officers are: Denis James, President; Robert Ellsworth, Vice President; Bonnie Rowan, Secretary; Larry Hargrove, Delegate to the Federation of Civic Associations; and Jean Stewart, Delegate to the Federation of Citizens Associations.