The West Heating Plant auction will not happen until 2013, though no official date has been set.
Friday, the General Services Administration (GSA) posted its Environmental Asessment online to allow for public review and comment. It determined a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) from the proposed auction of the decommissioned property at 29th and K Streets, NW.
As required by law, the GSA has opened a 30-day public review period, which concludes Jan. 14, 2013. Copies of the assessment are available online and at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library (3260 R St., NW).
In the FONSI, the GSA reminds potential bidders that local zoning rules and planning overlays would apply:
"Any future redevelopment on the site as undertaken by the successful transferee entity would be subject to local planning, zoning, and review controls that would regulate the type of development that could occur; these restrictions would ensure that any new development or reuse be consistent with the character of the surrounding area."
More specifically, the assessment states that the DC Office of Planning would probably require a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to develop the property. A PUD is "a special multi-purpose project that permits 'flexibility of development and other incentives, such as increased building height and density; provided, that the project offers a commendable number or quality of public benefits and that it protects and advances the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience' in a manner consistent with the DC Comprehensive Plan," according to the assessment.
That is to say, the community will have a leading role in determing what can and cannot be developed there.
Both additions to the assessment are testaments to the active work of the community, which has strong opinions about future development of the site. Many nearby neighbors would like to limit any future development to the existing building footprint and for there to be significant green space included as a community ammenity.
Comments and inquiries regarding the EA and FONSI can be submitted to:
U.S. General Services Administration
Attention: Ms. Suzanne Hill, NEPA Program Lead
301 7th Street, SW, Room 4004
Washington, D.C. 20407
Requests for copies of the Final EA and FONSI may be directed to Ms. Suzanne Hill.