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In January, Neighborhood Watch backgrounded the fight brewing around the Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan. As Chris Heller reports, battle is about to be joined—and the main beef is housing.
The issue: On April 26, Georgetown University officials will present the final draft of the University’s 2010 Campus Plan—a blueprint for University development through the next decade. Among other things, it proposes to increase graduate enrollment by 3,200 students and cap undergraduate enrollment at the current 6,011 students.
The charge: Despite adding thousands to the student population, Georgetown’s plan doesn’t involve building more on-campus housing. The University doesn’t currently offer graduate housing, but neighborhood groups—no strangers to battling student migration off campus—are chagrined at the prospect of a sudden influx.
The plaintiffs: Jennifer Altemus, President of the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG), believes that the University should build more dormitories on campus. And they’re ready to fight: CAG a fundraising effort called “Save Our Neighborhood,” to raise money for legal advice (Level 1 is $300). “It is clear that we will need support from experts to enhance our efforts in advocating the needs and concerns of the residential community,” the release reads.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E chair Ron Lewis is skeptical too. During a Campus Plan presentation last November, Lewis implicitly threatened to derail the Plan if the University did not comply with residents’ demands. “It’s not our role, it’s not our job to figure out the solution—it’s the University’s,” Lewis said. “But there is the problem. And unless the problem goes away, it’s going to be a problem for the plan.”
Now, the Burleith Citizens Association has gotten into the action, with an editorial decrying Georgetown’s plan:
“As a community, we cannot ignore the well-documented incidents of irresponsible behavior by some University students who have lived or currently live in Burleith. The University’s 2010 plan displays no understanding or acceptance of these realities. Indeed, the University’s plan promises to exponentially increase these same problems.”
Read more: The Georgetown Voice is all over it.
Photo from flickr user ehpien.