Walter E. Lewis, acting dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at Howard University, has been nominated by Mayor Marion Barry for a second four-year term on the D.C. Zoning Commission. The nomination is subject to confirmation by the City Council, which will hold a hearing on the matter July 16.
The nomination of Lewis, who helped plan the city's zoning system in 1958, was supported by some neighborhood groups at a meeting with Assistant City Administrator James Gibson in March. But the Washington, D.C., Citizens Planning Coalition, made up of members of about 40 neighborhood groups across the city, opposed the nomination.
The coalition backed four candidates as replacements for Lewis: Bert Anderson, Peter S. Craig, Carol Santos and Frederick H. Thomas.According to Carol Currie Gidley, coalition chairman, Barry said he had talked with Thomas, a former president of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, and Anderson, an architect and a member of the Committee for 100 on the Federal City and founder of Citizens for City Living.
"It's not so much that we were opposed to Lewis as that we wanted some new blood - a citizen representative - on the zoning commission," said Gidley in a telephone interview. She said her group has not decided whether to oppose the Lewis appointment at the City Council hearing.
Earlier, a coalition member said the organization "is opposed to Lewis' reappointment. We feel his record is anticitizen. He almost always votes with the developers and doesn't have much sensitivity to preservation of neighborhoods."