Tag Archives: GU Ten Year Plan

The ANC’s Anti-Ten Year Plan Resolution: The Transportation Section

On Friday, GM dug into the first section of the ANC’s proposed resolution regarding Georgetown University’s ten year campus plan. That section dealt with enrollment numbers. Today, GM will take a look at the second section, which deals with transportation issues.

The resolution focuses on three broad issues with regards to transportation:

  • The number of cars being driven to the campus
  • The number of cars being parked in the neighborhood
  • The effect of shuttle buses

Cars Being Driven to the Neighborhood

The university is proposing to add 2,100 new students to the main campus. These would be primarily graduate students, but would also include some non-traditional undergraduate students, such as second degree nursing students.

Many if not most of these students will not live in walking distance of the campus. This is particularly the case for School of Continuing Studies students, who frequently work full time and are not likely to move in order to enroll.

So a large percentage of these students will have to travel to attend classes. Many will choose to drive cars. This adds a burden to congested streets, particularly since many of the relevant classes are held in the early evening, which is to say right around rush hour.

Moreover, G.U. is proposing building an additional 1,000 parking spaces on campus. 750 of those are for the hospital and 250 are for the university. The 250 university parking spots would be added to the Southwest garage, which currently hold 465. This would be a 54% increase in parking spots.

The school argues that this is to address non-regular visitors who are resistant to instructions to use the shuttle bus. But night graduate students would still be permitted to use the additional spots. They simply have to pay $3.00, which is significantly below the market rate and cheaper even than taking transit. Continue reading

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The ANC’s Anti-Ten Year Plan Resolution: The Enrollment Section

As mentioned yesterday, the ANC has issued a draft resolution regarding Georgetown University’s proposed ten year campus plan. As GM predicted, the resolution is critical of the plan, although it went into a lot more detail than he expected. So as promised, now that GM is back from his vacation he’s ready to dive into the resolution step by step and try to give you a little context and his own take. Today he’ll address the enrollment numbers section.

Background:

The resolution begins by discussing some of the historical context of the proposed ten year plan. Specifically it focuses in on the enrollment numbers that GU agreed to under its 2000 campus plan. According to the resolution, G.U. “agreed to house more students on campus and stated that by building the Southwest Quad dormitory, the number of undergraduate students living off-campus in the neighborhood by 2010 would be greatly reduced.”

That’s mostly true, although it glosses over some of the more complicated parts of the history of the 2000 plan. While GM won’t go too far into the weeds, the basic facts are these: in 2000 G.U. proposed to maintain the undergraduate cap from 1990 of 5,627 until they completed the Southwest Quad, at which point the undergraduate cap would rise to 6,016. Enrollment was to be determined by averaging the fall and spring semester’s enrollment numbers (G.U.’s fall enrollment is normally around 10% larger than the spring enrollment due mostly to students studying abroad).

The Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) initially rejected this stepped increase and G.U. sued. This led to seven years of litigation, that ultimately resulted in Georgetown getting to raise its undergraduate cap to 6,016.

One of the reasons G.U. won the litigation was that it agreed to move 84% of its undergraduates on to campus. This promise, along with the plans for the Southwest Quad, swayed the ANC. The body voted to support the plan conditioned on those two factors. This left CAG to fight the plan alone, which it was not well prepared to do.

Either way, as promised G.U. does now house roughly 84% of its undergrads on campus, up from 79% in 2000. But it’s not really accurate to say that they moved five percent of the undergrads back to campus because they added an averaged number of 389 students to the total (and some semesters the total undergrad number has been as high as 6,212). Thus if there is a difference between the real number of traditional undergrad students living off campus now compared with ten years ago, its pretty negligible.

But this numbers game was right there in the 2000 campus plan. So it’s not quite right to say that G.U. promised in 2000 to greatly reduce the number of off campus undergrads. The ANC probably should have seen this, but they apparently didn’t. Continue reading

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ANC Releases Draft Objection to GU Campus Plan

GM spent yesterday morning sunbathing in San Juan, and last night clearing the snow off his car at BWI, so he’s still suffering from a bit of whiplash. Unfortunately he got in too late last night to fully digest the ANC’s draft findings and recommendations regarding GU’s campus plan. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking a look.

From a quick glance, it looks pretty comprehensive. It identifies 15 different findings along with relevant recommendations. They range from student caps to parking. And they didn’t object to every element of the plan, such as the roof enclosure for Keough Field.

Anyway, have a look yourself. Once GM gets settled, he’ll have some more to say on it.

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About that Ten Year Plan…

Last night, the ANC held a special meeting to discuss one topic: Georgetown University’s Ten Year Plan. Labeled a factual inquiry meeting, the ANC invited input from the university, the four area citizens associations (Georgetown, Burleith, Foxhall, and Hillandale), and the public. Located in the expanded space of the Duke Ellington School theater, the meeting drew a large (although not packed) audience.

The lengthy meeting was separated into four topic sessions: residential living concerns, plans for the hospital, transportation, and student enrollment numbers.

Residential Living Concerns

This was truly the heart of the meeting, and the primary reason most people attended. After relatively perfunctory opening remarks, the session turned promptly over to public questions (and a good deal of public rhetorical questions too).

A steady stream of Georgetown and Burleith residents testified as to the negative impact students were having on their quality of life. Suffice it to say, it was pretty much what you’d except a bunch of Georgetowners and Burleithians to say if asked what they think of Georgetown students living in the neighborhood.

And, it should also be said, that a relatively small but determined group of G.U. students also testified. Perhaps recognizing that the deck is pretty much stacked against them, they didn’t so much offer a strong defense of the plan but rather a criticism of the criticism of the plan. Also, they offered a petition that was apparently signed by over 700 people, although it was followed by a discussion on IP addresses and whether the people that signed the petition are even really from Georgetown.

But setting aside the discussion of the qualitative impact students have had, the core of this portion of the debate surrounded whether Georgetown can and should build more on-campus housing. The short answer from the Georgetown representatives (Provost Jim O’Donnell, Senior VP of Administration Spiros Dimolitsas, and Dean of Student Affairs Todd Olson) is that the university rejects the notion that another dormitory could be built on campus. The neighbors think that’s wrong.

This led to a long discussion where the two sides were simply talking past each other. Georgetown is insistent that the plan is good because it caps the number of undergrad at 6,675 (GM will get to what that means later). They simply want to increase graduate enrollment by about 2,000 (which would bring the total main campus enrollment to 16,133, a 14% increase over today’s roughly 14,000 number.)

This led to a somewhat fractured response from the neighbors because: A) the plan doesn’t address the neighbor’s assertion that there are too many undergrads and not enough dorms and B) while you mention it, they don’t really want more graduate students either. By failing to address the two issues separately, the neighbors arguments occasionally got muddled.

While expansion of new metro-accessible locations for graduate programs would be desirable (one of the solutions mentioned), there’s no doubt that the be-all-end-all issue is the question of more dorms. The school says they looked and there’s no space. The neighbors say look harder, there is. Students say they wouldn’t want to live there anyway. Wash, rinse, repeat.

As this process moves forward, GM can’t help but think that this central question is all that will really matter. And both sides have made their respective cases. Ultimately it will be up to the Zoning Commission to determine the outcome. (By the way, the first Zoning Commission hearing on the plan is on April 14th). Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo from Key Bridge by Brownpau.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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Special ANC Meeting Next Thursday to Discuss GU Ten Year Plan

Next Thursday (January 20th), the ANC (or rather the Committee of the Whole of the ANC) will meet to discuss Georgetown University’s Ten Year Plan. The meeting is going to be held at the Duke Ellington School at 6:30 pm.

At the meeting, the ANC will hear from Georgetown University and various community groups, such as CAG and the Burleith Citizens Association. It’s not clear yet to GM whether the public will be invited to chime in, but it seems unlikely that at least some public testimony won’t be allowed.

Any ANC resolution on the matter won’t be adopted until the normal January 31st ANC meeting. But GM will let you in on a little not-at-all-secret secret: the ANC is going to object to the campus plan. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown and welcome to 2011. Here’s the latest:

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