Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.
In November 2009, APA assembled a CPAT for an area in Southwest Washington, D.C., called Buzzard Point. The team was formed at the request of D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6) to look at the largely industrial area along the waterfront where the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers converge. Team members interviewed more than 40 neighborhood groups, government agencies, property owners, developers, and residents as part of their pro bono study of the neighborhood.
Alternative Futures: Final Recommendations
Community Planning Assistance Team Report
Amid the economic recession in 2009, the team did not propose a single vision for the future of Buzzard Point because it concluded that there were too many constraints, too many unknowns, and too much uncertainty to present a single direction at the time. Many of the recommendations in the report, however, shaped later plans that now guide the area's rapid-paced development. The team spoke strongly about preserving existing affordable housing. It identified opportunities to reconnect residents to the waterfront and link the neighborhood effectively to adjacent areas, among other topics.
On November 10, 2011, DC Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6) issued a press release regarding the Southwest Community House (SWCHA). From the release, "After more than a year of working closely with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Councilmember Wells is pleased to announce that this week a Complaint for Receivership and Other Relief was filed with DC Superior Court. This action seeks to put any SWCHA remaining resources back into the community either through appointment of a receiver or dissolution of the nonprofit and distribution of assets. Councilmember Wells is anxious to see that any funds remaining from the sale of the property [$500,000] be put to good use for the neediest in our neighborhood through disbursal to other local charitable organizations with purposes similar to SWCHA."
At a D.C. Preservation Review Board meeting in late July 2010, Southwest D.C. residents cited the PAT's report to help protect the James C. Dent House, a historic home from the early 1900s in Buzzard Point. The structure was previously the home of the Southwest Community House Organization, which served low-income residents in southwest D.C.
The Buzzard Point PAT reported that this house is one of the last remaining homes from the early 1900s to survive urban renewal and gave strong recommendations that this house be preserved for the community's benefit. PEPCO utility company currently owns the property and stated during the Preservation Review Board meeting that they are neither in favor nor opposed to the inclusion of the house on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Review Board approved the community's application to protect the home and have now recommended to the National Park Service that the home be included on the National Register of Historic Places.