Rescission Possible in West End Emergency Resolution
Robert Miller, Legislative Counsel in Chairman Vincent Gray’s office, left open the possibility Tuesday of rescinding the West End Emergency Resolution in the new Council legislative session that begins on Tuesday September 18.
In an hour-long meeting with community advocates from Empower DC, the Foggy Bottom Association, and the DC Library Renaissance Project, Miller said that rescission could be introduced if the emergency resolution had not yet been “implemented.”
Miller also cautioned that the council was bound not to take action that could be harmful to the city’s contractual obligations. Miller was also informed that last week the tenants of the Tiverton Apartments, located adjacent to West End Library, ended negotiations with Eastbanc, the developer named in the emergency resolution. While the Tiverton situation was not included in the resolution, it was leveraged by the council to create the appearance of an emergency.
For the resolution to take effect, Mayor Fenty must submit a Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) to the Council within ninety days, which he has not yet done. The council has forty-five days to “disapprove” an LDA — a requirement that Kwame Brown’s office has cited as adequate public protection — but the LDA passes automatically if not acted upon by council.
Opponents are not willing to wait for an LDA to come to council for “possible disapproval.” We want the deal rescinded first. Our mantra, “Fix the Broken Process,” was echoed by Phil Mendelson, the lone dissenting vote against the emergency, who said at the time, "This might be a great deal, but I don’t like the process."
Advocates also let Miller know that Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, cosponsor of the emergency resolution with Brown, had acknowledged a mistake in not getting community approval. At a July 18 meeting of Foggy Bottom ANC2A, attended by more than one hundred citizens, Evans promised to abide by the community’s wishes. (See video of the meeting at http://beltwayimc.org/en/node/196).
Since then, calls for rescinding the West End emergency resolution have come from numerous civic groups including the Federation of Citizens’ Associations, the Foggy Bottom Association, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, the Kalorama Citizens Association, ANC2B, ANC1C, and TENAC.
Read all the documents in the case at the Library Dynamo Project web site: http://www.librarydynamo.org/read.php/dynamos/westend/timeline, and sign the public petition to rescind the West End emergency resolution: http://www.librarydynamo.org/read.php/dynamos/westend/petition.
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