Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MVSNA - ANC 6E Proposal

If there is any doubt, the W6TF has not made any decisions on the ANC/SMD boundaries. 

At a recent Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association (MVSNA) board meeting, Board Members discussed possible configurations for integrating the new Shaw areas of Ward 6 into areas covered by existing Single Member Districts (SMDs) of ANC 6C.  Since the last redistricting exercise 10 years ago, MVSNA has been spread across two Wards (Ward 2 and Ward 6) and several SMDs as well as sharing boundaries with several other neighborhood associations in Wards 2 and 6. Currently and through the past ten years, members of the MVSNA Board of Directors have been active participants in ANC activities in both Wards and have a concrete understanding of the issues facing both the new Shaw portion of Ward 6 and ANC 6C.

First, the new ANC created by the addition of the Shaw area and parts of the current ANC 6C should have 7 SMDs. Given the population of the northwestern portion of Ward 6 and the previous experiences with a smaller number of SMDs, 7 seems to be the appropriate number to provide a equal representation across the diverse and growing neighborhoods.  Additionally calling it the “Shaw ANC” is a misnomer. The Shaw area makes up just a portion of what will be a Ward 6 ANC and does not fully represent all of the neighborhoods and residents that will reside in the new ANC. In fact, the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association extends north of New York Avenue NW to N Street NW.  

Our recommended ANC and 7 SMD redistricting map (with population numbers) is shown below.

The MVSNA Board of Directors believes that there are several strong benefits to this configuration. Namely,

The proposed ANC and SMD boundaries preserve the diversity of neighborhoods in our area of Ward 6 but don’t isolate one particular SMD from other SMDs in the same area of Ward 6.
Upper areas of proposed ANC boundaries (north of M street to 5th Street to north of N Street) which represents existing SMD boundaries have several possible configurations; this is just one of the proposed divisions. MVSNA would leave it to the constituents of Shaw to weigh in to determine how to best divide up the boundaries for those 6162 residents.

Neighborhoods that currently have a mix of row houses and residential apartment/condo buildings would continue to have that mix. Those residents have worked well together during the past 10 years and we want to continue that cooperation between residents and not physically separate them by arbitrary borders.

Continuity of major ANC 6C projects is maintained specifically with regard to the development of K Street, NOMA, I-395 Air Rights, and the Union Station Air Rights (Burnham Place) projects.  ANC 6C constituents have invested a great deal of effort into the success of each of those projects and the knowledge and involvement of those constituents must be maintained. For example, the alignment of the street car lines will have an impact on the development of K Street and the Union Station Air Rights projects and all of the residents along the path. With the large footprints of the upcoming I-395 and Union Station Air Rights projects, the continuation of a consistent, cohesive vision is critical to ensure that the zoning, transportation, and public space issues of the residents of this new Ward 6 ANC are addressed.

Arbitrary boundaries such as North Capitol Street cannot be used to physically separate the neighborhoods. NOMA and the Northwest One communities will share common issues that need to be addressed by the ANC and community as a whole. The Amtrak tracks and yard serve as a greater physical boundary than North Capitol Street. Many of our residents already shop there and a good number of them consider NOMA as part of their neighborhood. The K Street axis will only continue to strengthen together as NOMA and the Mount Vernon Triangle are built out.

Although future residents cannot be taken into account in this redistricting process, MVSNA acknowledges that there already has been and will continue to be considerable future growth in this ANC.  Accordingly, we are proposing these boundaries so that not all new development is centralized in any one single SMD.

The Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association applauds the transparency that has been applied to the Ward 6 redistricting process and the ability for residents, community groups, and neighborhood associations such as ours to weigh in on these important decisions.

Rob Amos
President, Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association


  1. One alternate configuration that we also discussed and would be supportive of is to use North Capitol Street as the ANC dividing line between the new 6E and 6C but then stopping at either K Street or H Street over to the Amtrak tracks as boundaries for the northern and eastern boundaries of ANC 6E. This keeps all of the northern areas of NOMA together in one ANC and the more concentrated, developed areas south of K Street or H Street together.

    Rob Amos
    President, MVSNA

  2. Rob,

    Thanks for posting this map. I would definitely agree with a North Capitol Street border for the the Northern portion between 6C/6E, going over to the tracks at K or H. This would effectively keep the residential areas of NoMa together. South of H/K is nearly all built out as office (and the few unbuilt sites will mostly be office as well).

    For now, the two sides of NoMa/Near Northeast are very well connected through the tunnels at K, L, M and Florida, but separated by the massive superblock between Mass and K. In the future, the sides will (hopefully!) be well joined by H Street at Burnham Place, so either K or H would be appropriate borders.