Environmentalists Sue Over Poplar Point
As our colleage Marc Fisher wrote today, a coalition of environmentalists have filed a notice of intent to sue the federal and District governments over Poplar Point, the 110-acre swath of national parkland along the Anacostia River in Ward 8. You can read the letter here.
The fate of Poplar Point has been much debated and this action will set up another hurdle for folks, including Ward 8 D.C. Council member Marion Barry, who want to see a soccer stadium included in the development that will be overseen by Clark Realty Capital. Fenty has announced plans for 40 acres of mixed-use development and a 70-acre park.
The environmentalists say they are trying to force the federal and District government to do a thorough environmental analysis and remediation of the property before deciding what to build at the site. The question remains when anything will be built at Poplar Point. Eric Bluemel, a lawyer representing the environmentalists, told D.C. Wire today that he doesn't forsee a "shovel in the ground" until after 2011 because of lengthy environmental studies and rezoning efforts that must be undertaken.
Bluemel said the environmentalists want to keep the entire site preserved as parkland and restored to a more attractive and healthy green space. He suggested that private land along nearby Howard Road could be redeveloped to provide the retail, restaurants, housing and office space that Ward 8 residents have been asking for.
"Development can occur and benefit the community and provide the community its fair shake without sacrificing national parkland," Bluemel said.
NOTE: City officials will hold a public hearing tonight at 6 p.m. at Thurgood Marshall Academy, 2427 MLK Jr. Ave. SE to solicit input on the environmental impact study for Poplar Point.
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