There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
A Playground for Money Parishioners of the Metropolitan Baptist Church may always believe that the Lord is on their side, but parents and friends of Garrison Elementary School at 12th and S Streets NW have decided to seek the opinion of another authority: On Thursday, school advocates filed a civil complaint in D.C. Superior Court against the city and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), arguing that a land-use agreement between DCPS and Metropolitan Baptist violates D.C. Code. For $5,000 a year, Metropolitan Baptist turns Garrison’s open space into a makeshift parking lot, leaving the grassy field torn up and unusable for recreation activities (“Sunday School,” 10/16/98; City Desk, 8/20). Despite vocal opposition from folks who want to use the field for something besides parking Lexuses and a generous offer from a philanthropist to renovate it, DCPS renewed the land-use agreement this month and even sweetened the deal: In addition to Sundays, churchgoers may now park on Garrison’s property weeknights from 7 to 10 p.m. Garrison parents have asked the court for a temporary restraining order that would bar the faithful from parking until a decision is rendered. DCPS spokesperson Devonya Smith says that that school officials have offered to limit the church’s parking and re-sod a nearby field for kids’ use.”[We’re] trying to work through negotiations, and hopefully it won’t come to [a lawsuit],” says Smith.