Office of Planning Sides with Neighbors, Calls for 100 Percent Housing for Undergrads

In response to the Georgetown University campus plan, the Office of Planning came down strongly on the side of neighbors.

The D.C. Office of Planning (OP) called for 100 percent housing for traditional undergraduate students (TUS) at Georgetown University by the Fall of 2016 in a report submitted to the Zoning Commission Thursday. (The full report is available in the companion PDF for this story.)

In the report, OP echoed concerns consistently raised by neighbors in the ramp up to the . 

"OP is concerned that the maximum total enrollment of students...places the surrounding neighborhoods at the tipping point of diminished residential character. Off campus student living and commuting traffic add to the deterioration of the residential character of the surrounding neighborhoods."

The OP agreed with the University's self-imposed enrollment cap at 15,000, but added a phased increase of 500 a year for graduate students to get to that total. The real limitations proposed, however, are those for undergraduate students.

As Georgetown Metropolitan wrote, "If GU is mildly perturbed about the overall cap conditions, they’re probably livid about the undergrad requirements."

If the requirement to house 100 percent of the TUS enrollment is unreachable, then the OP proposes a reduction in the enrollment of those students.

"...The TUS enrollment shall be reduced annually by 25 percent of the difference between the TUS enrollment and the number of university provided beds, until 100% of the TUS enrollment is housed in university provided housing approved as part of the campus plan, effective for the Fall of 2017 through the Fall of 2020."

To top it off that extra housing must be provided on the GU campus and not "within zip code 20007 or east of the 37th St University gates"

The OP recommended approval of the plan, assuming the restrictions it suggested were met.

"All in all, it’s a pretty devastating report for GU," wrote Georgetown Metropolitan.

One commenter on student newspaper blog Vox Populi wrote, "This is patently absurd, both in terms of the demand and the time during which they need to complete the task."

The plan continues its time before the Zoning Commission next Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m.


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