D.C. Superior Court Judge Sylvia Bacon yesterday denied a request to halt construction on the Georgetown waterfront pending appelate review of Bacon's decision last month that allowed for extensive commercial and residential development there.
Bacon earlier upheld the city's authority to rezone the waterfront area and rejected arguments by the Citizens Association of Georgetown and two other citizen groups who claimed the action violated land use objectives set down by the National Capitol Planning Commission in 1968.
That decidion cleared the way for plans to transform the now run-down area into a collection of small shops, hotels, luxury apartments and office buildings - projects that some developers held in abeyance until the rezoning matter was settled.
During a lengthy hearing yesterday, an attorney for one developer told Bacon that if she now granted the citizen's request for a preliminary injunction to halt construction, his client, which has secured a $3 million loan on a waterfront project, would be "ruined."
The citizens' argument centered on a recent decision by the D.C. Court of Appeals, which, in an unrelated zoning case, ruled that city rezoning decisions must be consistent with the 1968 pan until another comprehensive plans goes into effect. The citizen argued that the appeals court decision upheld the citizen's position.
Bacon disagreed and said, as she did in her original opinion, that it was the intent of Congress, when it gave the city home rule, to have the District of Columbia make its own decisions about rezoning and that it not be bound by the NCPC 1968 plan.