Creating an Innovative Public-Serving Development
Contact: Meg Maguire, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-546-4536
On January 12, 2023 the DC Government will hold a hearing to consider surplus and disposition of city-owned land at the Chevy Chase Civic Core. In response, Northwest Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation (NWOP CDC) proposes a model to retain the entirety of the site in public ownership/public trust and to redevelop it without disposing of the land to private sector developers. The proposal would meet critical needs defined in the Chevy Chase Small Area Plan and the DC Comprehensive Plan for a new state-of-the-art library, a dynamic community center with park and recreation space, and much needed permanently affordable mixed-income housing that could be either rental and/or limited equity ownership.
“Ward 3 has almost no public land on which to build affordable housing. Chevy Chase offers an opportunity for a dynamic new cooperative model in the public interest,” said Meg Maguire, Chair of NWOP CDC. “City disposition to a private developer for a planned unit development (PUD) would waste that opportunity and perpetuate what has become a bad civic habit of surplussing city-owned assets for private profit.”
In this proposal, three partners would collaborate with the help of a master planner – and ultimately, a master developer – to carefully plan this multi-use site:
- Chevy Chase Community – a coalition of local residents, businesses, not-for-profit local organizations, and ANC3/4G.
- City (equity partner)- Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), DC Public Library (DCPL) for which the DC Government has budget construction funds, and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)
- Community Land Trust (CLT) (equity partner) – holds the housing portion of the Chevy Chase Core in public trust in perpetuity pursuant to a transfer agreement with the City. (See how land trusts work ) With a CLT partner, the city and community can achieve affordability goals for the long term and address racial equity objectives.
“With imagination and determination, this can work,” said Maguire. “We call on the ANC and the Mayor to chart a new course for public land stewardship in our city.”