In an surprise move, a Georgetown University representative and leaders of three neighborhood groups opposing the campus plan stood side-by-side Monday night to announce their joint request to the D.C. Zoning Commission for an extension to the Georgetown University campus plan proceedings. The university was due to submit filings on April 12 and April 19, but requested a 60-day extension in an April 2 letter signed by neighborhood groups.
The letter requests the extension "in order to permit additional opportunity for facilitated discussions regarding the terms and conditions" of the campus plan.
"We're giving a somewhat different report than we had expected," said Ron Lewis, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission chair (ANC), before calling the representatives to the front of the ANC meeting Monday.
The request would allow the two sides to "explore the possibility of reaching a common ground wherever possible," Lewis explained.
But less than two weeks ago Jennifer Altemus, the president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG), told Patch that more meetings and more time were not going to be the solution for neighbors' ongoing and increasing concerns.
"We don’t have a lot of faith in the university choosing to listen to us," she told Patch at the time.
Now CAG along with the ANC and the Burleith Citizens Association signed onto a letter that would allow more time for conversations, extending filing deadlines to mid-June and a Zoning Commission meeting until late June.
"Joining with our neighbors in requesting an extension is a meaningful sign of progress in a long process. We are pleased that the result of our work together over the last six weeks is a mutual agreement that it is in our best interest as a community to work together and with the city to find common ground" wrote university spokesperson Rachel Pugh in an email to Patch.