Work on a controversial access road to a nearly completed office building at 4000 Wisconsin Ave. NW again came to an unexpected halt yesterday when a city official called for talks between the development companies involved in the building and road projects and a neighborhood group opposing both projects.
The Tenley and Cleveland Park Emergency Committee has fought a legal battle for the last 18 months to prevent the developers, Donohoe Construction Co. and Holladay Corp., from erecting the five-story office building and the access road to the building though an entrance to Glover-Archbold Park. Last week the group lost its second case in D.C. Superior Court and on Tuesday it lost its request for a stay in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Yesterday the developers began installing a 10-foot chain-link fence around the road site in anticipation of beginning the road work today. Dogged by a handful of sign-carrying protesters, a work crew placed several dozen poles in the ground. But before the fence could be completed, protest leader Joel Odum received a call from Fred Green, director of the city's planning office.
A high-ranking official of one of the developers who spoke only on condition that he not be identified said it would be a conciliatory meeting.
"We will build a road on that location," he said. "We don't want to appear to be weakening because we are not. But we are willing to meet in hopes of reducing the rancor."