Leaders from District Government, the University and the community announced Wednesday that the Georgetown Campus Plan debate has come to an end. The University and the Georgetown community have reached an agreement that addresses short-term problems and offers long-term solutions to future campus expansion discussions, officials pronounced.
"Very few if any journeys through the campus plan process have set out so contentiously and arrived safely in port so collegially," said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ron Lewis to knowing chuckles and nods from the crowd.
Georgetown University filed its 10-year campus plan in December 2010. Throughout 2011 and the first half of 2012, the Zoning Commission has listened to the university and the community offer at times bitter arguments and conflicting evidence to support their own view of the university's role and impact on the community.
In April the two sides requested additional time to find common ground and after several months of discussion and more recently, mediation, they have come to an agreement.
"We will be creating a new Georgetown Community Partnership to allow for collegial and productive discussion about our collective future. The partnership will be the framework for all of our future dialogues," announced University President John DeGioia.
Mayor Vincent Gray praised the two sides for their work together.
"What they have done is developed a prototype, set a precedent for how these issues are to be dealt with in the future," said the mayor.
During his remarks, Councilman Jack Evans noted that ANC Commissioners faced criticism from "the people the represent for even negotiating at all."
But Lewis downplayed that sentiment.
"I think people are excited about the cooperation and think they will be excited about the results when the details come out," said Lewis.
Lewis promised more details about the actual agreement would be posted to the ANC website Thursday along with information about a community meeting to discuss the finer points of the agreement.
After the press conference Patch asked Lewis why the details on the actual agreement were so scarce.
"We're still working on it," he said, adding, "We're shooting for tomorrow afternoon."
About the new partnership between the community and the university Patch asked if it would mean that the next 10 year plan might be a joint plan and one without fierce opposition from the community.
"That is the goal. To work on it together over the next several years so that we have something that everyone can agree with," said Lewis.
Check with Patch tomorrow for details on the agreement.