The neighbor wanted to know what was currently on those blocks… Well after digging (I could have found WMD faster.. YESH), I found the legislation that outlines the addresses in question.
I'll save my ideas/suggestions for those blocks for another day (sorry it's the urban planner in me). Today I must focus on this notion of eminent domain. I have very strong feelings against it, except in extreme circumstances. While I'm happier than a pig in slop at the possibilities for what a Great Street Pennsylvania Ave SE can be, I'm still uneasy about the government coming in and taking private property after providing "just" compensation.
I just feel that governments have so many tools in their toolbox. Why go to "ED"? (lol... no pun intended). Perhaps the DC government has tried to work with the property owners (the legislation doesn't provide much background... that's a whole other issue). Thinking out loud the government could have:
- Worked it out with the property owners. Who knows maybe they did... maybe they didn't.
- Enforced existing laws... A few of the properties are vacant. There is a Vacant Property Law. Not to mention there are laws that regulate liquor stores and food establishments. I'm sure that some of these establishments are violating a health code or two.
- Create new laws... the DC government could have just as easily passed new zoning laws specific to this location, or design guidelines.
I just hope once the properties are purchased they don't go to one of Fenty's cronies.... Just saying.