City Paper recap of last night’s Walmart meeting
Image Credit: Lydia DePillis
Last night I attended the first two hours of the community meeting
at St. Aloysius Church regarding the proposed Walmart
at 1st & H Streets NW. My guess is that the attendance exceeded a hundred. As I noticed a few members of the professional media in attendance including so I elected not to take notes to write a full report of my own. This morning Lydia DePillis
of the Washington City Paper is the first out the gate with a comprehensive recap entitled “How Walmart Won Ward 6
.” Elahe Izadi of TBDNeighborhoods followed a little later in the morning with “Walmart’s Ward 6 plans: The best we’re going to get?
” Check them out.
I’ll just add a little color commentary. Over a dozen people in attendance asking the same questions about Community Benefits Agreements despite Councilmember Brown saying currently the project is “by right” and not seeking any public assistance or zoning variances so the District has no opportunity for leverage. Walmart was not in attendance but the developer (The Bennett Group) was and their spokesperson was a former Washington Redskins great named Brig Owens.
You come to expect some irrational comments at a forum like this. However the low point of the evening for me was a member of our ANC6C PZ&E committee yelling at the Brig Owens about his Virginia residency status. He repetitively barked in a hostile tone “You don’t live here” and “Why don’t you move to DC?” There are alot of different legitimate stances on the Walmart project, but what’s the purpose of expecting everyone connected to it to live inside the District. A tad disappointing to see a member of a committee that evaluates ANC 6C Zoning projects be so caught up in xenophobia rather than the merits of the project or the credentials of the developer.
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