Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Shaw Challenges - Expansion? and Large Residential Buildings

Tomorrow night, Monday, July 25 at 6:30pm, we will be holding the Shaw ANC Community Listening Meeting. There have been two themes of discussion regarding Shaw's ANC boundaries: (1) expand to more than 4 SMDs and (2) retain 4 SMDs.

The Current SMD 2C boundaries within new Ward 6:
2C01 = red
2C02 = orange
2C03 = green
2C04 = blue

Some observations based on the maps:
1. Shaw has a density challenge with several large residential buildings that are driving two existing SMDs to exceed the target of 2,000 residents.

2. 2C03 has lost most of its SMD to Ward 2 and can really only expand east into high density census tracks.

3. The existing Shaw ANC in the new Ward Six only has 7,299 residents - 701 short of supporting 4 SMDs. So, there appears to be little choice but to expand the existing Shaw ANC.

4. So, if the Shaw ANC has to be expanded, where are the new boundaries?

5. Would the Shaw residents rather have residents from Stanton Park / H Street on Capitol Hill make zoning and liquor license decisions for areas south of New York Avenue and west of North Capitol Street?

6. Given the 10 year window and the pending development, does the Shaw Community see any benefits and synergies in expanding to the NoMa community?

Population density within 2C

Red = no residents on block
Darker green = more residents on block, range from 1 to 707
Populations of current SMD boundaries within new Ward 6
2C01 = 2,006
2C02 = 2,272
2C03 = 739
2C04 = 2,282

Just to be clear, there is no preordained Shaw solution. However, if Shaw remains small (4 or 5 SMDs), the other ANCs more than likely will be larger (8 or 9 SMDs). As the city bases the ANC budget on total population, that means Shaw will get roughly one-half the budget the rest of the Ward 6 ANCs receive.

In close, there are no right or wrong answers. But, these are some of the questions and challenges that will need to be addressed in creating the new Shaw.

Regards, Joe Fengler


  1. Thank you so much for creating this blog. With the maps provided I can see where the Georgetown law school area fits in with the "shaw" piece of the puzzle. And that 7 st nw have at least 2 SMD's or perhaps 3. 7th st needs to be embraced, not treated like it has in the past: whatever is left over from a battle...chopped up into pieces is no longer acceptable. And 1301 and 1330 7th should be in the same SMD as the O St Market site. (Joe Fengler posted this for Richard Rogers)

  2. Richard, what would you propose as the natural boundaries for Shaw?

  3. thanks for asking, there are several:

    the 7th Street corridor from massachusetts avenue north to florida avenue is a significant natural boundary. it has several metrorail stops and is really the main street. similar to H st NE the apartment complexes along 7th are NOT public housing.

    another natural boundary is N St (east-west) from kirby to 9th

    the mount vernon square historic district which runs from K north to N is another natural boundary.

    and here's a Q for you sir: each SMD is to have approx. how many people?

  4. One of the firm requirements issued by the DC Council to the ward task forces was that each Single Member District should have 2,000 residents, plus or minus 5% (1,900 to 2,100).

    1. In the existing and the new Shaw ANC, I can see how 7th Street marks the "middle" of the Shaw ANC on a north/south axis.

    2. N Street NW, in the current or new Shaw ANC doesn't quite translate into the southern boundary.

    3. And Mount Vernon is really split between Ward 2 and 6 as well as in the new ward boundaries.

    If you go to there is a discussion on establishing the boundary between the Shaw ANC and Ward 6C. If you want to get a look at the census data in Shaw, click the Filing Cabinet button and select the 5th link under Redistricting Instructions (the one that has MAP in the title).

    The Ward Six Task Force has not adopted any formal guidelines to govern how ANCs and SMD will be construction. We will do that in about two weeks. However, based on the initial discussion in the first set of community listening meetings, there seems to be a consensus forming that:

    1. There should be five ANCs in Ward 6.
    2. Each ANC should have between 7 to 9 SMDs.
    3. The ANCs should have approximately the same number of SMD (plus or minus 1)

    Again, no decision has been made. So consider this part of the discovery discussions.

    For me, since an ANC budget is based on the total population within its boundaries, having one ANC with 4 or 5 SMDs and one with 9 to 10 SMDs means the larger ANC gets twice the budget. That may or may not be a key guideline, but one that should be recognized.

    As an observation to stimulate discussion, it appears the Shaw SMD boundaries will need change as 2C02 has 2,272 residents and 2C04 has 2,282 residents. And the new Shaw ANC loses about 70% of what was 2C03. The fact that so much of 2C03 moves to Ward 2 could open questions about what the new "expanded" Shaw ANC borders. And if the Shaw ANC does expand, it appears that it needs to expand east towards Union Station due to the DC Council's decision on the Ward 2 boundary on Shaw western boarder.

    At Monday's Shaw Community Listening Meeting, I plan on asking where Shaw thinks the eastern boundary is. Is it North Capitol? Is it Union Station? Or is it something else?

    Weekend Regards, Joe.

    AND, I would encourage folks to post comments on the blog so the entire Ward 6 community can learn about Shaw's preferences.

    Richard, I would like to copy and paste our discussion on the Ward 6 blog. Do you have any objections?

    Weekend Regards, Joe

  5. I am posting this letter sent to CM Wells and the account. This letter triggered the thought about residential density in Shaw and how it impacts the SMD boundaries. This is the type of input and insight the Ward Six Task Force is looking for. Thanks Rickey!

    From: Rickey Williams []
    Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:12 AM
    To: Wells, Thomas (COUNCIL)
    Cc: Alex Padro; 'Rachelle Nigro'; Kevin Chapple
    Subject: SMD/ANC Redistricting

    Dear CM Wells & ANC 2C Commissioners:

    I would like to take this time to express my views on the ANC/SMD
    redistricting process. I need to say at the outset, I really had
    hoped to avoid actively participating in this process, but due to some
    of the chatter on the Shaw listserve, I feel compelled to speak up.

    The one and only real suggestion I have for incorporating ANC 2C into
    the new Ward 6 is that the apartment complexes located in the area:
    Washington Apartments, McCollough Apartments, Gibson Plaza, 1331 and the Crawford apartments be dispersed among any new SMDs created. I ask this because there was some talk about confining all these
    apartments into one SMD to give voice to the lower/moderate income
    persons that live there. However, I see this as having exactly the
    opposite effect. By confining all the apartments into one SMD, it
    will cause the voices of significant portion of the Shaw/Mt. Vernon
    population to actually not be heard. By only have one commissioner
    concerned with their problems, it allows other commissioners to follow
    a completely different set of interests and actually consistently out
    vote the one commissioner. Thus, as stated, a significant portion of
    our community will never have any real input and/or influence on
    policy decisions out their neighborhood. This will lead to further
    agitating the already frayed nerves between races, classes, income
    levels and property ownership lines in our neighborhood as many feel
    completely left out of the process.

    By dispersing these communities throughout the new SMDs it forces each commissioner to vive for their votes thus taking their views into
    consideration when making decisions. Each commissioner will be
    obligated to ask for their votes as well as make sure their attentions
    are directed toward this bloc. While these communities may not
    constitute a majority, it will still do a lot to have them press of
    their issue among the different commissioners. As one may realize
    there may be issues that come before the commission that would benefit renters over owners, middle class over poor. In each instance, by
    dispersing these communities it make things more competitive instead
    of appealing to narrow constituent bases.

    Again, please make sure the apartments are generally split among all
    the new SMDs to make sure each voters voice is heard by all our


    Rickey Williams

  6. Is there a reason why the northern portion of 6C02 would not be split off and made part of the Shaw ANC? New York Avenue is currently a dividing line in 6C02 issues and we align more with those to the west of us than those in the southern portion of 6C02 today.