Opponents of development plans for part of the Georgetown waterfront filed a lawsuit yesterday in U.S. District Court here seeking to reverse a National Park Service decision easing height limitations for a proposed office and hotel complex.
The suit, filed by a coalition of D.C. environmental and citizen groups, contends the Park Service violated federal law last fall when it agreed to raise a 20-foot height restriction to permit construction of a 52-foot-high luxury hotel and a 60-foot office building near Rock Creek.
In exchange for the Park Service decision, developers agreed to grant permanent public access along the Potomac riverfront and donate $1 million for development of a waterfront park.
The lawsuit contends that the Park Service improperly refused to hold a public hearing on the value of that exchange. Under federal law, such exchanges must be of equal value, or favor the government, which the Park Service has said it does.
Named as defendants in the complaint, which was assigned yesterday to District Judge Barrington D. Parker, were Interior Secretary William Clark, Russell Dickenson, director of the National Park Service, and Manus Fish Jr., regional Park Service director.
The suit was filed by the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, the Human Environment Center, the Environmental Policy Institute and the Committee for Washington's Riverfront Parks.
The complex is to be built by Dallas-based Rosewood Hotels Inc., on land purchased from Western Development Corp., developers of several adjacent developments.