I appreciate the efforts at balance in the Oct. 4 Metro article on the proposed plan for George Washington University's Mount Vernon campus and the resulting concerns of the campus's neighbors. However, a more complete and fair assessment of the university's plans requires me to make the following points.
First, the proposed plans do not constitute any "expansion" of the campus. All the improvements would be within the existing campus perimeter, with setbacks far in excess of what is required by zoning regulations.
Second, a community working group organized by the university has been meeting regularly since June to review and refine the campus plan. In response to the group's concerns, the university has agreed to numerous significant and costly changes.
Third, some people quoted in the story unfairly criticized the city. The Office of Planning and the Department of Public Works have been responsive to the need for a comprehensive approach to land use and traffic planning. The university has been working with these agencies on solutions to the problems--problems stemming not from the development of the campus but from broader regional phenomena.
Finally, the Mount Vernon campus predates almost all of the surrounding residential development. Since 1946, Mount Vernon has been a good citizen and neighbor, and it will continue to be just that with a campus plan that is sensitive to its social and natural environments.
Mount Vernon Campus
George Washington University