After almost a year of hearings, Georgetown submitted its final defense of its 2010 Campus Plan to the D.C. Office of Planning on Friday. Originally submitted to the Zoning Commission on Dec. 30, 2010, the plan has faced much opposition from community groups, and has been formally rejected by the Burleith Citizens Association and the Citizens Association of Georgetown.
The plan includes the creation of a New South Student Center, expansion of Lauinger Library, and enhanced academic space in the Leavey Center, Reiss, and Walsh. The University has also committed to freezing undergraduate enrollment at current levels with a voluntary enrollment maximum for graduate students, and increasing the number of dormitory beds on campus.
Complaints from neighborhood groups range from the shortage of on-campus housing to unacceptable noise levels at night. While in May the Office of Planning sided with neighbors, calling for 100 percent on-campus undergraduate housing, Georgetown has made no such commitments.
In the new response, the University claims that the total number of students living off campus is less than the OP suggests, and cites other urban campuses, like Harvard University’s, which are significantly less involved in the regulating of their off-campus students. Georgetown also asserts that no other institution in the country houses all of its students on campus.
Georgetown has launched a series of new initiatives to address citizen concerns, including trash pickup, a weekend M Street shuttle, and an increased presence by Metropolitan Police officers around campus. However, BCA and CAG have claimed that these measures have not significantly impacted quality of life in the neighborhoods.
The Zoning Commission has yet to respond to the final version Campus Plan. Nonetheless, Georgetown President Jack DeGioia expressed hope that the final documents will be positively received. “We believe that the proposals that we’ve made are very reasonable, very responsible, very responsive,” he said. He explained that changes in the plan reflect “further engagement and deep listening to concerns that were raised in the hearing on November 17 and subsequent conversations that we’ve had with the Office of Planning.”