The DC Comprehensive Plan (“Comp Plan” or “Plan”) is a key legislative document that covers a range of topics, from economic development, housing, the environment, parks and community services, transportation, and more.
There are maps within the Comp Plan, the most important being the Future Land Use Map (FLUM).
The Future Land Use Map (FLUM) determines how DC will develop and grow as we move into the future and allows all residents and city planners to anticipate and prepare for development, no surprises!
The DC Office of Planning under the direction of the DC Mayor is now suggesting changes to the Comprehensive Plan, 1500-redlined pages of proposed amendments to the existing Plan policies and maps. They have delivered these proposed changes to the DC City Council to consider passing into law.
The Mayor put up a website to show the public (to a degree) the massive tome of amendments to the Plan. By the way, if you don’t speak or read English, you have been left completely out of the conversation.
On the Mayor’s Comp Plan website, there is a nifty maps page that was recently uploaded that uses a slider to let you see the proposed areas of the city where the Office of Planning wants to change future development, going up with bigger and denser buildings.
Sliding over the whole city and you see an array of properties that the Mayor seeks to upzone, aka upFLUM. What you don’t see are the numbers in square feet of how much density the mayor wants to allow to be developable as a “matter of right” (MOR).
In fact, no where on the Mayor’s Comprehensive Plan website will you find any facts relaying to the public that the proposed FLUM map changes equate to upzoning close to 200 million square feet of land and air rights.
As a friend suggests, the map changes show city officials essentially printing money for the landowners of these lucky properties being upFLUMed.
The result of this conversation was a matrix showing the reality of the proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan FLUM map, or almost 200 million square feet of proposed upzoning around the city.
This 200 million square feet of new habitable space and construction represents about what would be 100 “matter of right” McMillan Park projects.
Do you think this substantial change to the city’s built environment came with any impact assessments as required by the law? If you answered No, you’d be correct.
Why should we expect the Mayor’s Office of Planning actually do any “planning”? In fact the DC Council Chairman thinks planning is a popularity contest!