Federal and District of Columbia planners unveiled yesterday the "final draft" of a new Georgetown Waterfront redevelopment proposal that calls for a 75 percent reduction in the number of offices, stores and apartment buildings once planned for the site.
But members of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, which has long campaigned against any development at all on the site, complained yesterday that the new proposal still allows too much construction.
"It's great big step forward and a little step backward," said Charles L. Poor, president of the association. "There's a park-and that's a step forward-and an enormous reduction in the potential level of development, but it is not as low as we'd like."
James O. Gibson, director of the city planning office described the new proposal as a "pragmatic balance of factors," that had to be considered in any design for redevelopment at the site. These factors, Gibson said, include property rights of The System and Inland Steel in the area the city's need for a larger tax base, and the lack of federal or city money to turn the whole site into a park, which the citizens association had lobbied for.
"We think it's a reasonable compromise," said Herbert Miller, president of the Western Development Co., which has joined in a venture with Chessie to develop that company's five acres along the waterfront.
The proposed redevelopment area comprises 24 acres bounded by K Street and the Potomac River, Key Bridge and Rock Creek Park.
Under the new plan, a 160-foot-wide strip of land along the river between the bridge and Rock Creek Park-a total of 20 acres-would be converted into park land. Behind the strip, developers would be allowed to construct apartment buildings and town housw condominiums that would range in heigh from 50 to 60 feet near K Street and up to 3/ feet at the edge of the park.
Western Development president Miller said yesterday that The Chessie System had agreed to donate a 160-foot strip of its property along the river for the park.
The plan was produced by the Georgetown Waterfront Task Force, which includes representatives of the National Capital Planning Commission - the federal planning agency for the Washington area - the D.C. Office of Planning and Development and the National Park Service.
The three agencies have been working for months on a plan that would be acceptable to both developers and citizens, so that the much-delayed development could begin.
NCPC chairman David Childs, who heads the task force, described the plan to citizen representatives as "a final draft" but asked them for the re- action of their organizations. A Georgetown town meeting is planned to discuss the proposal.
Georgetwon citizens have battling with the city government for years over various plans to revitalize the old, decaying waterfront site.
After the city's zoning commission rezoned the site in 1974 to allow 1.4 million square feet of new building construction- some 90 feet high-the citizens association filed suit aganist the city. The U.S Court of appeals last year upheld the validity of the rezoning.