Regarding the March 1 Metro article “Bowser moves to limit legal challenges to city development”:

Sensible housing will not be the only casualty of the Bowser administration’s proposal to curtail legal challenges to District development. Our parks and green space will also be sacrificed.

Environmental devastation caused by the District’s development may already be irreversible. We need only look at how the massive addition of hardscape in the Cleveland Park and Forest Hills neighborhoods — a natural watershed — has destroyed the Melvin Hazen tributary, part of Rock Creek Park. What used to be a meandering stream is now a flood zone. The forest is being killed before our eyes — executed at the hands of District.

The reason for this man-made disaster is that District agencies fail to follow best practices for urban development. Further, resolutions and public testimony from Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and citizen groups crying out for years to correct the environmental destruction are either patronized or simply ignored. The District’s ongoing malfeasance is fully illuminated with its plan to develop Hearst Park. The plan includes significantly increasing hardscape by building an outdoor pool and pool house in the middle of the watershed.

The District’s executives and elected officials’ negligence has taken its toll on Rock Creek Park — Washington’s crown jewel. Removing judicial review for development will eliminate the last remaining opportunity for recourse by citizens to protect our parkland and neighborhood green space.

William W. Matzelevich, Washington