Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Giant and the CPCA

On several occasions the Cleveland Park Citizen's Association's executive committee has voted to oppose the Giant supermarket's proposed modernization and residential/shopping complex.

A question was posed recently on the Cleveland Park Listserv: "Didn't the Cleveland Park Citizens Association vote against this? Did the recently revamped board do anything to reverse their stated position on the Giant?"

The answer is no. The Cleveland Park Citizens Association has not reversed its position against a modern Giant supermarket.

Last year the CPCA's former president declined to revisit the question, stating on the Cleveland Park Listserv, "The Giant hearings have ended and the record is closed. The Zoning Commission will decide whether all the upzoning requested in our low-density neighborhood is worth the potential impact."
Now that a lawsuit has been filed, the record is far from closed. The CPCA, which claims to be a broad-based community organization, needs to commit to what the vast majority of neighbors want: a modern supermarket and a revitalized block at Wisconsin Avenue and Newark Street.

Unfortunately, the CPCA pretends to support the Giant supermarket, while continuing to oppose it. In 2001 they called for landmarking the building that the Giant supermarket is in -- something that would have made it very difficult, if not impossible, for Giant to modernize its supermarket. In 2009 the CPCA officially opposed the Giant supermarket before the Zoning Board.

Greater Greater Washington has had some recent excellent coverage of the Giant, if you need to get up to speed on this.

The CPCA has been an organization that beats around the bush when it comes to saying what it really thinks. In 2009 the CPCA filed as a party in opposition to the Giant PUD so that it could support the Giant -- so sayeth the CPCA. How is that? According the CPCA's president at the time, "Since we had some unresolved issues with the proposal, the most effective way to get them before the Commission procedurally was to take a position in opposition." Say what? The CPCA opposed the Giant before the Zoning Commission because they support it?

The Cleveland Park Citizens Association should stop pretending that it supports a new supermarket, when it's clear that it's always opposed it.  Either that, or it should clearly and unequivocally oppose the lawsuit to block the Giant.


    By Deborah Kavruck
    Mayor Fenty announced today that negotiations have been successful for
    the construction of a new Giant development.
    "This will make everyone happy" the Mayor said as he was surrounded by
    smiling, cheering neighbors.

    "Neighbors close to the current Wisconsin Avenue location have
    protested the probability of increased traffic, truck deliveries,
    noise, density, and influx of people from other areas coming to the
    new development. Community members not in that immediate vicinity
    have protested not having access to nearby shopping in a modern large
    supermarket. So the obvious choice to move the development has been

    The new location will be along the Connecticut avenue corridor between
    the Uptown Theater and Cleveland Park Library. The west side of the
    street will have a long, narrow supermarket with underground parking.
    The first level will have fresh produce, cookies and chips; the
    second level, a deli and bakery, the third level, frozen and
    refrigerated foods, and the fourth level will have paper goods, pet
    foods, kitchen items, etc. Above that will be three floors designated
    for affordable low income public housing.

    The east side of the street will be constructed for posh luxury
    apartments as the Giant Corporation would not be able to afford
    building the new market and public housing project without the income
    from this high rent facility.

    Shop owners were somewhat disappointed at the prospect of losing their
    current business location, but plans are being made to move them to
    the Wisconsin Avenue site. As the owner of the Cereal Bowl said,
    "People everywhere eat cereal."

    Mayor Fenty was lifted up to be carried on the shoulders of strong
    community neighbors and declared, "this is a win win. everybody wins".

  2. Well that is a lovely example of how good propaganda is written. The forced relocation of business is a nice touch, but the most excellent part is that scary bit about public housing. "Oh noes. Poor peoples will live among us!"