It used to be that Foggy Bottom residents had to beg each other to run for the volunteer seats on the local advisory neighborhood commission. This year, they are jostling to push each other out of the race.

Behind the attitude change is a group of citizens who organized a several months ago for one purpose: to put five new people on the next elected ANC commission.

Leaders of the group, which claims to have about 40 members, say their gripe is the current commission's voting record on development in their residential neighborhood between Georgetown and the White House.

By the August deadline for filing, the group, called Citizens for a Responsive 2A, already had left its mark: Four of the six current commissioners had pulled out, leaving the rebel group's candidates running unopposed and ensuring them a majority.

All four cited personal reasons for stepping down from the commission, one of 37 in the District that by law must be given heavy weight by the city on issues affecting neighborhoods. One candidate also hinted that she couldn't stand the heat.

"They are a really nasty group," said commissioner Sue Schumacher, who is not seeking reelection. "This is for ANC seats. We're not talking major deal here."

Still in the race are incumbents Charles L. Clapp, the ANC chairman, and Maria Tyler, the only current commissioner to receive the rebel group's endorsement.

City officials said this is the first time in recent memory that residents have mounted an effort to unseat practically an entire ANC.

"It's unusual for Foggy Bottom because in each of the last three elections, there was only one seat that had some competition," said Jim Zais, a Ward 2 coordinator.

In the past 18 months or so, ANC 2A has approved three major development complexes.

The one that outraged residents the most was a proposal by Jim and Ted Pedas to tear down the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue for a 600,000-square-foot commercial complex replacing the Circle Theater and other neighborhood businesses.

The Foggy Bottom and West End civic associations opposed the project. The ANC supported it.

"Why would an ANC support a developer?" asked James J. Molinelli, president of the West End civic group. "They are supposed to be elected by the people, not developers."

Commissioner Maria Tyler, a retired economist for the International Monetary Fund, cast the lone dissenting vote.

"It's a building that will span the whole block, replacing neighborhood buildings. It will bring in 600 cars in the morning," she said. "Our ANC should have come down as a ton of bricks against something like that."

To win the commissioners' favor, the developer offered a multimillion-dollar amenities package, including $50,000 for a playground and $100,000 to tenants at the West End apartments to help them purchase their building.

ANC leaders said they decided it was a fair trade.

"The ANC is not pro-development by any stretch of the imagination," said commissioner Beverly Sklover.

Citizens for a Responsive 2A say many residents also harbor lingering resentment against the ANC for supporting the city's placement of seven trailers for 108 homeless men near the upscale Watergate condominium and hotel complex.

Elayne DeVito, president of the Foggy Bottom Civic Association, said most ANC commissioners have been "too long on the job."

All but one commissioner has served two or more terms, and Tyler has served five two-year terms.

Current commissioners, with the exception of Tyler, contend that Citizens for a Responsive 2A are mostly homeowners worried about property values.

"It's to keep their property values high {that} they don't want any more development in Foggy Bottom," Schumacher said

Citizens group members counter that "if development is to occur . . . the development {should} be in line and consistent with the character of the neighborhood," said Lawrence G. Myselewski, head of the Foggy Bottom Historic District Conservancy.

The rebel group's four unopposed candidates are Jean E. Swift, 32, a health-care consultant; Robb Austin, 39, a political consultant; Edward Kelly, 55, a public policy consultant; and Sara Maddux, 48, a management analyst for the state department.

The group's co-chairmen, Barbara Kahlow and Kerry H. Stowell, met at an ANC meeting. "We both looked at each other and realized that this was not right," said Kahlow, a policy analyst.

Commissioners said they are surprised at that characterization.

"Some of them have never been to a meeting," said Ralph Rosenbaum, who is not running. "It makes me angry that these people know so little but are causing so much trouble."

Moreover, commissioners and others say some in the group have tried to intimidate candidates not to run. Kahlow said they did persuade some would-be candidates to drop out.

"They said they would dig up information on me and any other candidate," said a 12-year Foggy Bottom resident, who pulled out of the race for Schumacher's seat.

Incumbent Clapp is being challenged by Al Taran, 44, a computer lab manager, and Tyler faces David Alexander, 35, an Environmental Protection Agency lawyer.

Alexander said he refused when Citizens for a Responsive 2A tried to persuade him to back out. "We need honest, open debate. Stifling debate is not the way to go," he said. They are "basically a {politica} machine operation. That's not what the ANCs were created for."