The Issue: An abandoned parking lot in Shaw neighborhood is being scrubbed down, spiffed up, and revamped into…another parking lot. This time, however, the 1300 block of 9th Street NW will be turned into a posh 24/7-valet lot, serving area restaurants. But the neighbors think the space’s rebirth isn’t exactly a step up the karmic property ladder. They argue there are better uses; also, the proposed expansion of the curb on 9th raises a Catch-22: A new curb will steal valuable street parking—but without it, the block may be buggered with traffic.

No More Parking! Ralph, of the blog Renew Shaw, told City Desk: “Based on [my conversations with the neighborhood] everyone —myself included—seems greatly opposed to the lot…it would not add value or bring patrons to the area like, for example, a farmers or flea market or community garden would.” Another commenter on the blog says: “There are already two huge lots in Naylor Court on land where historical homes once sat.” The lot is situated close to “the old Abate building,” a federally protected building that neighbors fear could meet the same fate as the demolished Naylor Court stables.

It’s Just Parking: According to zoning regulations, the space is allowed to be any sort of parking lot the lessee wishes—and the only thing the Advisory Neighborhood Commission can do about it is protest the curb expansion. So far, that seems unlikely: Every ANC 2F member called by City Desk hadn’t even heard of the parking lot issue.

Next Step: If this is your sort of NIMBY, talk to the ANC about the curb issue and keep an eye on the Abate home. For the record, there could be a farmers market there someday; the lot is a lease and won’t be there forever.

Photo by Paul Wansen, Creative Commons Attribution License

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