NEIGHBOR COMMENTS

Thank god you guys started this petition and website; I was wondering where all the sane people were.  I strongly support this petition and all efforts to retain our current zoning designation in Lanier Heights.  I want to retain the right to develop my home--whether to add to it or to redevelop it back into the 4 unit building it was when I bought it in 2003 or, for that matter, to sell it at its highest possible value--which is its value under its current R5B zoning.

The current movement to downzone claims to want to "preserve" the character of our neighborhood by keeping it one home one owner.  Huh?  Adams Morgan and Lanier Heights has a long tradition as a neighborhood of renters, shared group houses, group homes providing social services to the needy, and most importantly of density.

Just because Lanier Heights has now become posh does not mean it has always been so.  To try to freeze it in time denies its history and what makes it so wonderful: its central location, diversity and yes density.  It's why we love it here and also why it is attractive to developers and to the new crop of condo owners who would buy here. 

I believe downzoning is extremely misguided and could significantly damage home values.  I urge those who are behind the movement to question their motives.  While I realize that development is somewhat disruptive (for a time) and creates certain stresses on the community (ie, increased lack of parking), downzoning is at its heart an elitist idea.  Preserve the neighborhood for the affluent few who can afford to own 3500+ sq ft single family townhomes valued well over a million dollars and keep out the rest. 

Please let me know what I can do to support your efforts.  I want the freedom--under the existing appropriate zoning restrictions--to do what I want with my home.  And I reject outright the notion that the conversion of our large homes into multi-unit housing is intrinsically bad for the neighborhood.  On the contrary, DC is hot right now; people want to live here and walk to their jobs and all the exciting retail and nightlife it now has to offer. The naive protectionism being exhibited by our neighbors has ominous implications for Lanier Heights and the city at large and it should be aggressively challenged.

Sincerely,
J.G.
Lanier Heights homeowner



I am extremely dismayed by the efforts of a small group to close the door on a new generation of Lanier Heights residents by limiting the development of affordable homes in our neighborhood. 

Many of the same people who unsuccessfully sought historic district designation for Lanier Heights a few years ago now are involved in an effort to impose new restrictions on homeowners. Although they lost the battle for a historic district due to strong opposition from the neighborhood, they are continuing their war through other means: downzoning.

Under the slogan of "maintaining diversity," this small group seeks a downzoning of the Lanier Heights neighborhood to eliminate any new conversions of row houses to condominiums. This is the exact opposite of diversity: it is actually the imposition of uniformity.

All of us who so recently opposed the establishment of a Lanier Heights historic district stand to lose if this small group succeeds


If this small group succeeds, only the very wealthy will enjoy the possibility of owning a home in Lanier Heights. Everyone else will be locked out. Those who are already homeowners will lose a significant amount of value and control over their property.

If this small group succeeds, long time homeowners like myself will lose rights we have under current zoning to convert our row houses to multi-unit residences. 

I hope someday to convert my own row house so I may "age-in-place" in the neighborhood where I have lived the past 25 years. Other homeowners in Lanier Heights may have similar hopes.

If this small group succeeds, it will be the end of these hopes, for me and others like me and all those who follow after us.

DO NOT close the door on the future of our neighborhood.

Ronald Baker
Lanier Heights homeowner