Langdon neighborhood opposes District Parks and Rec. fleet yard
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Residents of Langdon, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington, say no District official ever told them of their intents to move the Parks and Recreation vehicle fleet into the area. They object to the move, claiming the busy vehicle yard will negatively impact the character of their neighborhood.
“There was a lease in the works here. That’s where we learned about it. We didn't learn about it from our elected officials. We didn’t learn about it from any of the agencies that were supposed to tell us and they still haven't told us anything,” said Langdon resident Shaina Ward. ”We're a neighborhood of senior citizens, families with small children, single people that have just moved to the neighborhood, it's a vibrant community.”
Residents discovered DC’s Parks and Recreation Department planned to move into Langdon after witnessing construction workers on the site on 2424 Evarts Rd NE. It is currently an abandoned warehouse with an empty fenced car lot.
“We expect 90 vehicles in the fleet as well as 30 employee vehicles,” said Langdon resident Jeremy Wilcox. “Having Parks and Rec with their 90 plus vehicles is going to increase the traffic on what should be a quiet neighborhood.”
Residents still felt they were in the dark until Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kevin Mullone discovered the extent of the District’s progress on the move.
“I came across this lease that was executed in October of 2016 by the Mayor's office on behalf of the Department of Parks and Recreation,” said Commissioner Mullone.
The move was even a surprise for Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyon McDuffie.
“I wish it wouldn't surprise me. I wish, even more importantly, it didn't surprise the people who have to live here,” said Councilmember McDuffie. “If you're going to put this here. What are you going to do with the residents who have to live with it?”
“The problem is these DC agencies still think of Langdon as a dumping ground. They wouldn’t do this in any other area of the city, particularly, Northwest. In fact, the reason they say they're moving from Northwest is that it's commercially viable. How does that make us feel?” added Ward.
The District is selling the S Street NW location where Parks and Recreation currently houses its fleet of busses, trucks and vehicles.
7 On Your Side contacted DC’s Department of General Services last week. The department’s director responded Monday.
“We have a process for notification in place that we neglected to follow up with the ANC on this one,” said Greer Johnson Gillis, director of DC Department of General Services.
“As a result, we are reinforcing our notification process. In September, we're going to go live with a website … so that everyone will see that notification anytime there's going to be a change in any community.”
Department of General Services says the move of Parks and Recreation will bring positive changes to Langdon, including increased security, repaving and improved lighting.