The Greater Greater Washington blog sent all ANC candidates a questionnaire about local and city-wide issues. The responses will be published by GGW in the coming weeks. I’m sharing my response to one question which asked, “How would you like your neighborhood to look in 20 years? How will you help bring that about?” Here is my answer:
Twenty years from now, set amidst the historic residences and buildings, I hope to be living in a more economically and demographically diverse neighborhood known for its vibrant urban street-scape, where creative entrepreneurs are serving craft foods, goods and services to the residents and office workers of Cleveland Park’s main street.
Neighbors pack the farmer’s market on the broad sidewalk in front of the retail stores on Connecticut Ave, where the service lane once stood. A band is playing on the Sam’s Park & Shop plaza, where kids and families are gathered. Neighbors up the hill use their tech to hail the electric club carts (probably autonomous) that transport people to the shops up at Wisconsin or down on Connecticut.
In twenty years, Cleveland Park has become a model for historically-sensitive smart development. In the back yards of the historic cottages and bungalows are award-winning accessory use structures – some housing new families, others home offices. On the commercial strip, the Cleveland Park Metro is as much a destination as it is a departure point on the morning commute, as workers fill the diner for breakfast before heading upstairs to the plethora of non-profits and professional firms the neighborhood is now known for.
In its 114th year, the Cleveland Park Club is still running summer camp, where kids make crafts and learn songs we sang as kids, and neighbors get together at a barbeque to celebrate the end of summer.
How will you help bring that about?
I am going to fight to attract people and businesses to Cleveland Park. We are going to rethink our zoning and make changes to the Comprehensive Plan in ways that allow us to grow smartly within the confines of our historic district.
I am going to work with DDOT, entrepreneurs and the local businesses to encourage the use of smart transportation to tackle the wide hilly gap between our commercial centers. My goal is to make parking irrelevant for intra-neighborhood shopping.
I will support the construction of accessory dwelling units as a way to increase residential density in the neighborhood, and add economic diversity. Twenty years from now, the most desirable properties will those with architecturally interesting accessory units.
Through changes in policy and proactive outreach to businesses, I am going to begin to change the reputation of Cleveland Park from a sheltered fortress hostile to any change, to a progressive neighborhood that is open for business and welcoming of diversity.