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Some people look at the McMillan Sand Filtration site and imagine fountains, running trails, strollers, skipping children—-A glorious oasis of green with the city only peaking through the trees.
Others see an antiquated water filtration system with weird silos behind a fence.
On Tuesday night, I sat around listening to people with visions of green grandeur. Over cheese, crackers, wine, and spinach pastries, they shared their “wish-lists” for the site: Creating a self-sustaining park or memorial, planting a community farm or garden for children to visit, stopping the entire development from taking place.
Bloomingdale resident Don McKinnon, who lives at the corner of 1st and Channing Street Northwest, hosted the evening and maintained a burning fire in his living room for several hours.
Once the “wish-list” phase was over, it was time to strategize.
Vision McMillan Partners, the development group charged with transforming the McMillan site, is proposing up to 1,200 units of housing, 400,000 square feet of office space, and a possible boutique hotel, according to a plan presented in December.
The group that I met with talked about finding ways to increase the percentage of park space in the entire development. The McMillan site plan presented in December states there is 8 acres total of open space within the site—-though it is spread throughout the 25-acre parcel.
The group doubted this claim, and wanted to push for one third, contiguous green space or 50 percent green space. They talked about gathering neighbors’ signatures and spreading flyers throughout the bordering areas.
The meeting last night was great. Attended by Park Place residents plus several long-time Brookland-area McMillan activists and several from the pervious evening…We strategized for Saturday morning’s meeting — and for increasing community turnout. One major goal is to take back the process. ALL meetings where EYA has been present have been developer meetings, NOT community meetings. They call all the shots, deciding when and how the community will have input. The District reps presence has basically just provided a back-up band for EYA’s song and dance routine. I think we are ready to turn that around (or at least seriously shake them up) this Saturday morning. (This could get REALLY fun!)