- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 28, 2008

Developers plan to meet with Ward 3 residents tonight to present competing plans for redevelopment of the Bernard T. Janney Elementary School at 4130 Albemarle St. NW.

Disputes between residents, the D.C. Planning and Economic Development Office and developers have forced a rethinking of how the 3.6-acre site would be rebuilt.

Developers resubmitted their proposals this month at the request of the planning office.

When the planning office issued a request for proposals in November, it sought a single project that would join Tenley-Friendship Library and Janney School in one complex. Tentative plans also called for about 100 condominiums or apartments on the site.

Three developers — LCOR, Roadside Development and See Forever Foundation — met the Jan. 4 deadline for proposals.

Even before their documents and diagrams were reviewed, local residents joined to complain that the school would be too small and would lack parking if a library, school and housing were built together on the same lot.

The Office of Planning and Economic Development responded by notifying the developers Feb. 1 they must revise their plans to rebuild the school separately.

“My main objection is that the school’s needs were not looked at first,” said Anne Sullivan, chairwoman of the special committee Advisory Neighborhood Committee 3 organized to study the issue. “Right now, it’s the most overcrowded school in the system.”

D.C. Public Library officials wanted to speed up redevelopment of Tenley-Friendship Library by asking developers for the revised proposals. The D.C. Council has approved $16 million for the library project, which means it could be rebuilt without waiting for ANC-3 and the District to work out a development agreement on Janney School.

“D.C. library officials subsequently decided that they did not want any delays in the library project and were concerned that the school project and the other development might do that, particularly if the projects were on top of each other as opposed to side by side,” said Doxie McCoy, spokeswoman for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.

Excavation work on the library already has started. The District is aiming for an opening day in early 2010.

The library has been shuttered since 2004. Further redevelopment delays would increase costs by about 1 percent per month, said Danny Carozza, an ANC-3 special committee member.

Funds for the school rebuilding are not yet approved.

The planning office originally wanted the developer to pay for redeveloping the school in exchange for a right to build condos or apartments over it.

The funding plans could be thrown into turmoil if residents, the developer and the District fail to reach agreement on how the parcel would be shared.

LCOR representatives said they will withhold comment on their plans until after the community meeting this evening.

“That’s how we would like to address any concerns the community might have,” said Tim Smith, LCOR senior vice president.

Property Lines runs on Thursdays. Call Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail tramstack@washingtontimes.com.

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