DC Food Policy in the District's Comprehensive Plan Tracker
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DC Food Policy in the District's Comprehensive Plan Tracker
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In October 2019, the DC Office of Planning released its proposed updates to the District's Comprehensive Plan. The DC Food Policy Director created this tool to help residents and community organizations examine the changes to food policy issues in the Comprehensive Plan. If you are interested in reading the entire Comprehensive Plan or the Element Summaries, visit the PlanDC.dc.gov website.
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Instructions to use this tracker: you can use the filters on the columns to the right to focus on one or a series of elements, food policy topics, and type of Comprehensive Plan material (policies, actions, narrative language). You can search by food policy topics including Food Access & Equity; Sustainable Procurement, Entrepreneurs & Food Jobs, Urban Agriculture, Food Waste, and Nutrition & Food System Education.
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Proposed Comprehensive Plan for Public Review Comp Plan ElementFPC Topic(s)Type of Comprehensive Plan Material
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Environmental Changes
The District of Columbia was sited to take advantage of the unique environment and landscape at the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Urbanization over the last 200 years has compromised almost every aspect of this environment, leaving us with our rivers and streams polluted by raw sewage and urban runoff, air quality that fails to meet federal standardsfor ground level ozone, and a city where heavy tree cover remains below historic levels. On a global level, issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, sea level rise,food security, and deforestation may have even more far-reaching impacts on the way we live and work in the future.There is now greater potential for increased rainfall and flooding from more damaging storms. In addition, there is a greater likelihood of extreme heat conditions, exacerbated by the city’s urban heat island effect, that disproportionately affects vulnerable residents.Finally, environmental degradation continues, threatening air and water quality.
FrameworkGeneral FPCUpdated Narrative
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Environmental Changes
This Plan incorporates and builds upon the 2012 Sustainable DC and the 2016 Climate Ready DC plans. Sustainable DC makes a conscious effort to promote natural resource conservation and environmental sustainability. It incorporates measurable goals such as reducing citywideenergy consumption by 50 percent, sending zerosolid waste, to landfills and reducing total waste generation by 15 percent, and making the Anacostia River fishable and swimmable by 2025. These goals can only be achieved through fundamental changes in the way we live and the way we build. Greenbuilding and “low impact development” have become the norm rather than the exception. The concept of sustainability runs through much of the Comprehensive Plan, from the renewal of brownfield sites, to healthy food access, to storm water mitigation,to a renewed commitment to environmental justice in all neighborhoods of the city. In addition, Climate Ready DC identifies the impacts that a changing climate will have on the District; the risks to the city’s infrastructure, public facilities, and neighborhoods; and the actions the we must take now and in the future to prepare.
FrameworkFood access & equityUpdated Narrative
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Neighborhood Commercial Centers
Neighborhood Commercial Centers meet the day-to-day needs of residents and workers in the adjacent neighborhoods. An area served by a Neighborhood Commercial Centeris usually less than one mile. Typical uses include convenience stores, sundries, small food markets, supermarkets, branch banks, restaurants, and basic services such as dry cleaners, hair cutting, and child care. Office space for small businesses, such as local real estate and insurance offices, doctors and dentists, and similar uses, also may be found in such locations. Many have upper story residential uses.
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Neighborhood Commercial Centers
Unlike Main Street Retail Corridors, the Neighborhood Commercial Centers include both auto-oriented centers and pedestrian-oriented shopping areas. Examples include Penn Branch Shopping Center on Pennsylvania Avenue, SE and the Spring Valley Shopping Center on Massachusetts Avenue, NW. New development and redevelopment within Neighborhood Commercial Areas must be managed to conserve the economic viability of these areas while allowing additional development, including residential, that complements existing uses.
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Narrative
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Future Land Use Map and Categories
Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR):The Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR) category is used to describe areas characterized by manufacturing, warehousing, wholesale and distribution centers, transportation services, food services, printers and publishers, tourism support services, and commercial, municipal, and utility activities which may require substantial buffering from noise-, air pollution- and light-sensitive uses such as housing. This category is also used to denote railroad rights-of-way, switching and maintenance yards, bus garages, and similar uses related to the movement of freight, such as truck terminals. A variety of zone districts apply within PDR areas, recognizing the different intensities of use and impacts generated by various PDR activities. The representativezone districts are generally PDR, andother districts may apply where the PDR designation is striped with other land uses, when approved as described in Section 225.1. The present density and height limits set by these districts are expected to remain for the foreseeable future.
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Future Land Use Map and Categories
Mixed Use Categories: The (FLUM) indicates areas where the mixing of two or more land uses is particularly encouraged.The particular combination of uses desired in a given area is depicted in striped patterns, with stripe colors corresponding to the categories described on the previous pages. A mixed use FLUM designation should not be confused with the Mixed Use (MU) zoning districts, although they frequently apply to the same area or parcel of land. The Mixed Use category generally applies in the following circumstances:

a.Established, pedestrian-oriented commercial areas which also include substantial amounts of housing, typically on the upper stories of buildings with ground floor retail or office uses;

b.Commercial corridors or districts which may not contain substantial amounts of housing today, but where more housing is desired in the future. The pattern envisioned for such areas is typically one of pedestrian-oriented streets, with ground floor retail or office uses and upper story housing;

c.Large sites (generally greater than 10 acres in size), where opportunities for multiple uses exist but a plan with the location of these uses has yet to be prepared; or

d. [NEW] NEW] Sites designated for a mix of PDR and residential uses. These sites are anticipated to foster mixed use developments that include residential uses together with residentially-compatible industrial uses.Such development is anticipated toinclude considerably greater affordable housing than required by statute or regulations such as Inclusionary Zoning.Development in any area which includes PDR striping should maintain an industrial character through the incorporation of significant amounts of space dedicated to PDR uses such as maker space, artist work space, or light manufacturing with any retail as ancillary to the PDR space. In areas which include PDR striping, any rezoning is anticipated to be achieved through a Planned Unit Development. 225.18
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Land Use Changes
Despite these limitations, there is room for growth in the District of Columbia. Key opportunities include government lands, underused commercial and industrial sites, and vacant buildings that can be repurposed, repositioned and/or redeveloped.The sites vary in scale from those of significant acreage to smaller infill lots. Together, these areas hold the potential for thousands of new units of housing and millions of square feet of office and retail space.
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Fiscal Changes
The District’s fiscal situation will continue to influence land use and economic development choices. It is currently driving the redevelopment of large former federal sites with tax-generating uses, creation of new retail centers that reduce the “leakage” of sales tax dollars to the suburbs, and mixed use development in downtown and elsewhere. Such efforts may reduce the imbalance but are unlikely to eliminate it. The most effective strategies will combine revenue-raising strategies with strategies to break the cycle of poverty in District neighborhoods.
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Generalized Policy Map
The guiding philosophy in the Land Use Change Areas is to encourage and facilitate new development and promote the adaptive reuse of existing structures through future land use planning. Many of these areas have the capacity to become mixed-use communities containing housing, retail shops, services, workplaces, parks and civic facilities. The Comprehensive Plan’s Area Elements provide additional policies to guide development and redevelopment within the Land Use Change Areas, including the desired mix of uses in each area.
FrameworkEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Policy IN-2.2.2 Decrease Stormwater Run-off
Reduce stormwater runoff through a variety of approaches, such as raingardens, bioswales, green roofs, trees, cisterns, and pervious pavement. By 2032 capture, retain or reuse storm water from at least 10 percent of Washington DC’s land area. Focus on areas that flood regularly, have steep topography, or have known drainage capacity issues.
InfrastructureUrban agricultureNew Policy
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IN-3 Solid Waste
The District-owned solid waste facilities transfer roughly 450,000 tons of solid waste per year, which is collected by both public and private solid waste collectors. Municipal Solid Waste consists of everyday items such as product packaging, food waste, furniture and other household items, clothing, and larger bulk items such as household appliances. The District Department of Public Works (DPW) Solid Waste Management Administration is responsible for waste collection services from all government entities and approximately 105,000 single-family homes and residential buildings with up to three living units. Private solid waste collectors handle solid waste from commercial establishments and multi-family residential buildings containing four or more units. The Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for managing solid waste generated at District Government facilities. Approximately 63 percent of the solid waste received by the two District-owned solid waste transfer stations is from commercial sources and multi-family residences, while 37 percent is generated from DPW-serviced residential uses and the government sector.
InfrastructureFood wasteUpdated Narrative
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IN-3.1 Solid Waste Transfer Facilities
An efficient solid waste transfer station system is essential for the District. There are currentlyfour solid waste transfer facilities, two of which are privately owned and two of which are District operated. Map 13.1 on the next page shows the location of these stations. DPW operates two transfer stations in the District, the Fort Totten Facility, located at 4900 John McCormack Drive NE, and the Benning Road Facility located at 3200 Benning Road NE. At each transfer station, waste is consolidated, sorted, and loaded onto long-haul trailers for transfer to landfills, energy facilities, recycling facilities, or compost facilities across the region. Of the municipal solid waste (MSW) managed by District-owned transfer stations, approximately 60 percent is processed at the Fort Totten Transfer Station and the remaining 40 percent at the Benning Road Transfer Station. All MSW in Washington, DC is removed by truck since there are no active incinerators or landfills within the District.
InfrastructureFood wasteUpdated Narrative
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Policy IN-3.1.3 Zero Waste
Work to achieve Zero Waste in the District by 2032 by diverting 80 percent or more of waste generated in the District. This diversion can be achieved through reuse, composting, and recycling.
InfrastructureFood wasteNew Policy
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Action IN-3.1.C: Develop Zero Waste and Solid Waste Management Plan
Develop a holistic plan that includes all waste streams, and related strategies to enable Washington, DC to reach its goal of 80 percent waste diversion. Strategies should include transfer station modernization needs, optimization of residential drop-off locations, and consideration of waste streams that include refuse, compostable materials and recyclable materials, including hard-to-recycle items.
InfrastructureFood wasteNew Action
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IN-7 Infrastructure Resilience
The District Preparedness System (DPS) forms the foundation of Washington, DC’s efforts to integrate preparedness principles District-wide, addressing protection, mitigation, response, and recovery capabilities and needs. Success of the DPS relies heavily on collaboration among District agencies with utilities across the National Capital Region. By working together to identify and build the capabilities to address them, DPS stakeholders can continue to prepare for the most critical threats and hazards. The DPS includes consideration of civic facilities (such as hospitals, fire and police stations, schools, libraries and parks) as well as infrastructure.

This section addresses the protection and enhancement of critical infrastructure to address vulnerability to adverse effects of natural and man-made shocks, such as extreme weather events and security incidents, and to long-term stresses, such as sea level and temperature rise, which are driven by climate change. Washington, DC has adopted robust, multi-pronged strategies to address these issues.In addition to addressing sudden threats and hazards through the District Preparedness System (DPS), Washington, DC is working to address chronic stressors, such as poverty, safety, and access to health care and healthy food, through a wide range of policies contained throughout the Comprehensive Plan. While Washington, DC recognizes that many, if not most, of the Comprehensive Plan policies are connected to resilience, policies that explicitly identify resilience are contained in specific subsections of this Element to provide a logical framework: this section and the “CSF-2.2 Healthy Communities and Resilience” section.
InfrastructureFood access & equityNew Narrative
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CSF 1.1 Long-Term Planning for Public Facilities

Co-location is the reuse of a publicly-owned sitein a manner that accommodates a combination of public and/or private uses. Co-location can help Washington, DC to achieve many of the goals described in the Comprehensive Plan, such as maximizing the public benefits that a given public property, asset, facility or combination thereof can deliver.

Co-location can help Washingtonians individually, by providing “one stop shopping” with a variety of services typically needed by the same people in the same facility; or by keeping facilities occupied and thus safer day and night, as when apartments sit atop libraries or schools are used for community meetings in the evening. Co-location can be physical, when two or more uses occur on the same site; and/or temporal, where different uses take place at different times even in the same rooms or same building on the site, as when religious congregations rent school auditoriums on weekends and private sports leagues use school athletic facilities.

Thus, co-location includes but is not limited to the following potential combinations of uses on a single site:
·One or more community services or programs located with government offices or in government facilities;
·Private uses, such as affordable and mixed-income housing built together;
·Public uses, such as libraries, recreation facilities, police and fire stations located together or with private uses, such as housing;
·Child development facilities located on school property;
·Multiple health and wellness-related facilities; and
·Retail and commercial uses (such as grocery stores), that can serve community needs located alongside government uses.
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Policy CSF-1.1.10: Agency Coordination for Co-Location Strategies
Ensure that the Civic Facilities Plan includes inter-agency coordination for co-location of public uses early in planning and project initiation processes to ensure that critical input is captured and incorporated. Joint planning of District-operated facilities with other community facilities such as schools, health clinics, community kitchens, healthy food growing or retail spaces, and non-profit service centers should also be supported through ongoing communication and collaboration among relevant District agencies and outside agencies and partners.
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Text Box: Food Hubs
The US Department of Agriculture defines food hub as “a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of course-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.” (Source: USDA 2012 Regional Food Hub Resource Guide).
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Policy CSF-1.1.11: Developing a Food Systems Network
Support development of a system of food hub and processing centers where nutritious and local food can be aggregated, safely prepared, and efficiently distributed to District agencies, feeding sites, homeless shelters, schools, non-profits and local businesses.
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Policy CSF-1.1.12: District-Owned Facilities and Shared Uses
Encourage the shared use of District-owned facilities, such as recreation centers, as sites that can support a variety of programs and activities. These can include community education about nutrition, nutrition entrepreneurship, and small business development; urban agriculture; and cultural performance, production, and exhibition; and child development and care.
Civic FacilitiesEntrepreneurs & food jobs

Urban agriculture

Sustainable procurement
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Action CSF-1.1.E: Opportunities to Promote Local Food Businesses
Identify best practices and potential locations for food hubs, food business incubators, and community kitchens to expand healthy food access and food-based economic opportunity in underserved areas through co-location with job training, business incubation, and entrepreneurial assistance programs.
Civic FacilitiesEntrepreneurs & food jobs

Food access & equity

Sustainable procurement
New Action
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Action CSF-1.1.H: Central Kitchen Facility
Explore the potential for establishment of a central kitchen facility, as required by the Healthy Students Act and subject to funding availability, which could function as a meal preparation site for the District’s institutional meal programs (i.e. schools, homeless shelters, etc.), and aggregation center for fresh food to be distributed to local businesses, and a job training facility, among other potential functions.
Civic FacilitiesEntrepreneurs & food jobs

Food access & equity

Sustainable procurement
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CSF-2 Health
Notable trends displayed in the District’s 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) annual health report show a slight improvement among residents who receive preventative care and who take steps to prevent future illness. However, data trends from 2015 demonstrate a steady decline among Washington, DC residents who are overweight or obese. The variation in obesity rates is linked to access to healthy foods and to parks and recreational facilities.
Civic FacilitiesFood access & equityNew Narrative
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CSF-2.2 Healthy Communities and Resilience
Healthy communities, where social and structural determinants of health are met and supported, are also resilient communities. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “health is a key foundation of resilience because almost everything we do to prepare for disaster and protect infrastructure is ultimately in the interest of preserving human health and welfare.” Communities with poor health outcomes and disparities in disease incidence, physical activity levels, and healthy food and healthcare access are more vulnerable and slower to recover from major shocks and chronic stressors. When these social and structural determinants of health are addressed, communities improve their ability to withstand and recover from disaster, becoming more resilient.
Civic FacilitiesFood access & equityNew Narrative
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Action CSF 2.F: Advancing Grocery Store Access in Underserved Areas
Enhance healthy food access, address diet-related health disparities, and generate economic and social resilience by supporting the development of locally-owned, community-driven grocery stores in areas with low access to healthy food options. Such support should include targeted financing, technical assistance, and co-location with new mixed-use developments.
Civic FacilitiesFood access & equityNew Action
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CSF-2.2 Healthy Communities and Resilience
Given the strong links among resilience and community health, equity, and social cohesion, communities can employ multiple strategies to become more resilient, including improving access to health care facilities and social services; increasing access to healthy foods; expanding communication and collaboration within communities so that individuals can help each other during adverse events; and providing equitable disaster planning and recovery, recognizing some areas of the District will be more heavily impacted than others due to existing socio-economic conditions and other factors. These cross-cutting components of resilience and public health are addressed with policies that are contained throughout the Comprehensive Plan. While this section focuses on health facilities and services, it is important to understand these within the broader context of health in all policies, equity, and resilience.
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CSF-6.2 Resilience and Critical Facilities
This section addresses the protection and enhancement of Washington, DC’s facilities and lands to address vulnerability of critical facilities to adverse effects natural and man-made shocks, such as extreme weather events and security incidents, and to long-term stresses, such as sea level and temperature rise, which are driven by climate change. Washington, DC has adopted robust, multi-pronged strategies to address these issues.In addition to addressing sudden threats and hazards through the District Preparedness System (DPS), the District is working to address chronic stressors, such as poverty, safety, access to health care and healthy food, through a wide range of policies contained throughout the Comprehensive Plan. While the District recognizes that many, if not most, of the Comprehensive Plan policies are connected to resilience, policies that explicitly identify resilience are contained in specific subsections of this Element to provide a logical framework: this section and the “CSF-2.2 Healthy Communities and Resilience” section.
Civic FacilitiesFood access & equity

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New Narrative
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Policy CSF-6.2.7: Promote Resilient Communities
Promote resilient communities in Washington, DC by advancing resilience on a citywide basis and at a neighborhood-specific level. Improve coordination across plans and strategies that address the city’s social, health, physical, and food systems, and the positioning of city assets to help neighborhoods withstand, adapt to, and recover from adversity.
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Overview

The critical environmental issues facing Washington, DC are addressed in this element. These include:
·Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and adapting to climate change
·Restoring the city's tree canopy and expanding green infrastructure
·Improving our rivers, streams, and stream valleys
·Reducing erosion and stormwater run-off
·Conserving and restoring wildlife habitat and plant communities
·Conserving water and energy
·Expanding recycling and composting
·Encouraging green building techniques and facilitating compliance with green building mandates
·Growing access and use of clean, local energy
·Reducing air pollution
·Increasing the acreage of wetlands along the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers
·Eliminating the harmful effects of environmental hazards on all residents
·Increasingresilience to flooding.
Environmental ProtectionUrban agricultureUpdated Narrative
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Policy E-2.5.6 Ecosystem Services and Nature-Based Design
Support and encourage ecosystem services and nature-based design related to air and water quality, noise reduction, flood risk reduction, recreation and food supply, among others.
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Action E-2.5.C: Pollinator Pathways
Create pollinator pathways and other contiguous habitat paths that allow the migration of species into natural habitats and that support the goals of the Wildlife Action Plan. Incorporate biodiversity and the use of native plants in green infrastructure along roads and sidewalks.
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E-32.3 Reducing Solid Waste Disposal Needs
Sustainable materials management practices and policies consider the entire lifecycle of products from materials extraction, manufacturing, distribution, usage, through end-of-life management, including solid waste disposal and recovery. This systematic approach is supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the goals of reducing environmental impact, conserving natural resources, and reducing costs. Sustainable materials managing programs implemented in the District include sustainable purchasing guidelines, product stewardship programs, as well as waste diversion and resource recovery activities.
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E-32.3 Reducing Solid Waste Disposal Needs
Sustainable DC included the goal of reducing the waste generated and disposed of in the city. This led to the creation of the Sustainable Solid Waste Management Amendment Act in 2014, which called for the District to achieve 80 percent waste diversion citywide without the use of landfills, waste-to-energy or incineration, by 2032.Accomplishing this goal requires the collaboration of District agencies, business, non-profits, residents, and neighboring jurisdictions.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteNew Narrative
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E-32.3 Reducing Solid Waste Disposal Needs
Waste diversion is the process of diverting waste from landfills. Source reduction is the elimination of waste before it is created.Solid waste can be diverted from landfills through source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion. Additional waste diversion can be achieved through public education, recycling of construction and demolition debris, and expanded recycling in schools, offices, and other places of employment. Among the many benefits of recycling is the fact that it reduces demand on the city’s trash transfer stations, with attendant benefits to nearby neighborhoods.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteUpdated Narrative
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Text Box
The District’s Sustainable Solid Waste Management Amendment Act sets a bold vision to divert 80 percent of all solid waste generated in the District through source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion. This law applies to residential, commercial, and industrial waste and requires that waste is source separated at the point of discard.

To support this goal, the Office of Waste Diversion was established in2015 in the Department of Public Works (DPW). This office is charged with supervising and coordinating the implementation of the District’s waste diversion policies and programs.

The Sustainable Solid Waste Management Amendment Act established a sustainable solid waste management hierarchy with the following in order of priority:
1. Source reduction and reuse;
2. Recycling or composting of solid waste, or conversion of compostable solid waste into biofuel; and
3. Landfill or waste to energy.
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Policy E-3.3.3: Organic Waste Diversion
Support policies and programs that will reduce the amount of organic material sent to waste to energy and landfill by encouraging source reduction, food donation, composting, and/or anaerobic digestion of food and yard waste.
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Text Box
Managing Organic Waste - The District, and surrounding Maryland and Virginia counties, lack sufficient capacity/infrastructure to process large volumes of organic materials. A 2017 compost feasibility study concluded that a facility located in the District would be the most cost-effective and sustainable means of extracting the full value from organic materials. The facility would process organics via composting, anaerobic digestion, co-digestion pre-processing, or a combination of multiple options. Sustainable DC 2.0 calls for the creation of a new composting facility within the District by 2032.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteNew Narrative
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Text Box
Sustainable DC Waste Vision
We envision a District that generates zero waste. This means reducing the amount of waste we create and reusing or recycling waste that we do produce. The District will re-capture the value of waste through urban agriculture or composting, recycling, material reuse, and potentially even energy production, creating a closed loop waste management system.
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Action E-3.3.G Zero Waste plan
Develop a comprehensive Zero Waste plan, as required by the Sustainable Solid Waste Management Amendment Act of 2014, with the objective of decreasing all citywide waste streams and achieving source reduction goals. The development of such a plan would tie together existing activities and inform the development and evaluation (including carbon impacts) of further policies so that the District can strategically achieve zero waste citywide, defined as 80 percent diversion of all solid waste from landfill and waste-to-energy.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteNew Action
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Action 3.3.I: Increase Residential Recycling and Composting
Design and launch new incentive programs to encourage residents to increase their recycling and composting rates, which is necessary to achieve the District's 80 percent diversion goal.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteNew Action
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Action 3.3.J: Reduce Organic Waste
Develop and launch a curbside composting program for residential customers and require commercial customers to separate and compost food and other organic waste.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteNew Action
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Action 3.3.K: Organics Processing Facility
Explore creating a new organics processing facility (composting, anaerobic digestion, or co-digestion pre-processing) in the District to capture food and other organic waste.
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E-4 Promoting Environmental Sustainability
Five principal tactics for growing more sustainably are described here:
a.First, encourage green infrastructure that retains stormwater, thereby protecting local waterways from pollution while allowing flexibility for developers to install green infrastructure on-site or in an off-site location where green infrastructure has a larger water quality benefit;
b.Second, promote green building—that is, buildings that are designed through an integrated process that considers site planning, architecture, engineering, the environment, and aspects of the natural world that contribute to human health and productivity, and that incorporate recycled materials, advanced energy and water conservation systems, and minimal use of toxic or hazardous materials;
c.Third, provide opportunities for food production and urban gardening;
d.Fourth, monitor and mitigate the environmental impacts of development and human activities.
e.Fifth, expanding workforce development programs to further develop the District’s green economy.
Environmental ProtectionUrban agricultureUpdated Narrative
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Policy E-4.1.2: Using Landscaping and Green Roofs to Reduce Runoff
Promote an increase in tree planting and vegetated spaces to reduce stormwater runoff and mitigate the urban heat island, including the expanded use of green roofs in new construction and adaptive reuse, and the application of tree and landscaping standards for parking lots and other large paved surfaces.
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Policy E-4.1.3: Green Infrastructure and Engineering
Promote green infrastructure and engineering practices for rainwater reclamation and wastewater reuse systems. Green infrastructure practices include green roofs, bioretention facilities, permeable pavement, and rainwater harvesting. Green engineering practices include emerging wastewater treatment technologies, constructed wetlands, and purple pipe systems or otherdesign techniques, operational methods, and technology to reduce environmental damage and the toxicity of waste generated.
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E-4.3 Enhancing Urban Food Production and Community Gardening
With more than 60 percent of District residents living in multi-family housing with limited access to private open space, community gardens provide an important opportunity for green, community space and for residents to supplement their food budget. There are more than 34 such gardens in the city, each independently operated. Community gardens not only provide a place to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers, they also provide an environmental, recreational, cultural, and educational asset in the neighborhoods they serve. In addition, urban farms are small businesses that contribute to their surrounding communities by growing fruits, vegetables, and other products and offer environmental, cultural, and educational opportunities. The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) plays an integral part in promoting urban food production and community gardening in the District. It helps to manage all 34 community gardens and works with six partner urban farms across Washington, DC, which are all 501(c)(3) organizations that manage farms on DPR properties, focusing on offering gardening and nutrition programs while increasing access to healthy and affordable food to DC communities.
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E-4.3 Enhancing Urban Food Production and Community Gardening
Additionally, the University of the District of Columbia, through the College of Agriculture and Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), and its Land Grant University status, expands academic and public knowledge of sustainable farming techniques that improve food and water security, health and wellness by providing research, education, and gardening techniques to residents and organizations in the city.
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Policy E-4.3.1: Promotion of Community Gardens, Urban Farms, and Educational Growing Spaces
Continue to encourage and support the development of community gardens, urban farms, rooftop farms, and educational growing spaces on public and private land across the city, consistent with the Sustainable DC 2.0 plan, by identifying public and private land suitable for urban agriculture and streamlining the permitting process for gardeners and farmers.
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Policy E-4.3.2: Capacity Building for Community Gardening
Enhance the capacity of private, public, and non-profit community gardening organizations to develop and operate community gardens. This should include working with the private sector and local foundations to mobilize financial support.
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Policy E-4.3.3: Domestic Gardening and Urban Farming
Provide technical and educational support to District residents who wish to plant backyard and rooftop gardens or start urban farming businesses. This could include measures such as partnerships with local gardening groups; education through conferences, websites, and publications; tool lending programs; integrated pest management; and information on composting and best practices in gardening.
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Policy E-4.3.5: Schoolyard Greening
Work with DC public and public charter Schools to make appropriate portions of buildings and grounds, including rooftops, available for green infrastructure and community and school gardens, and to use buildings and grounds for instructional programs in environmental science, urban farming, and gardening classes. Encourage private schools to do likewise.
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Policy E-4.3.6: Produce and Farmers Markets
Support the creation, maintenance of, and outreach for farmers markets in all quadrants of the city to provide outlets for urban farms, community gardens and to sell healthful, locally-grown produce for District residents.
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Policy E-4.3.7: Composting Programs and Community Gardens
Support composting programs at community gardens (through the DPR Compost Cooperatives), food waste drop-off locations at farmers markets (through the Department of Public Works Food Waste Drop Off Program), composting in schoolyard gardening programs, and residential composting. Residents composting in common spaces and at their homes should be properly trained as required in the Residential Composting Incentives Amendment Act of 2018.
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Action E-4.3.A: Community Gardens and Urban Farms East of the Anacostia River
To activate community spaces, increase sustainability, and help address the lack of healthy food retail options east of the Anacostia River, work with community leaders and gardening advocates to establish and identify property for new gardens or urban farms in this area. The District should assist in this effort by providing an inventory of publicly and privately owned tracts of land that are suitable for community gardens and urban farms, and then working with local advocacy groups to make such sites available. This action should supplement, but not replace, efforts to increase retail options in this part of the District.
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Action E-4.3.B: Support for UDC Cooperative Extension
Enhance the capability of the Cooperative Extension of the University of the District of Columbia to provide technical assistance and research, including educational materials and programs, to support citizen gardening, tree planting efforts, urban farming, food entrepreneurship, and nutrition education.
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Action E-4.3.C: Support for Sustainable Agriculture
Continue to support sustainable agriculture with the goal of producing healthy, abundant crops, preserving environmental services, improving neighborhood health, and creating new entrepreneurial opportunities. Implement the “Urban Farming and Food Security Act” and expedite the process to make public and private lands available for a variety of urban agriculture uses.
Environmental ProtectionUrban agricultureNew Action
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Policy E-5.5.2: Affordable Water Access
Ensure affordable access to safe drinking water through continued support for DC Water’s programs that discount the amount of water needed for residents’ basic needs.
Environmental ProtectionFood access & equityNew Policy
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E.5.6 Sanitation, Litter, and Environmental Health
Litter and trash are probably the most visible and pervasive forms of pollution in Washington. Policies and programs have been developed to address issues with litter and trash including establishment of a $0.05 fee on disposable plastic and paper retail bags; a ban on the use of polystyrene foam take-out containers; containers, straws and other food service ware that is not recyclable or compostable from any entity that serves or sells food in the District; implementation of a robust street sweeping program; stringent enforcement against littering and illegal dumping; operation of a skimmer boat fleet in the lower Anacostia River; installation of litter traps in the Anacostia River; robust rat control programs that involve cleaning up litter and trash; implementation of education and outreach programs, and funding for the Mayor’s Office of the Clean City, which provides leadership on these issues.
Environmental ProtectionFood wasteNew Narrative
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Action E-6.C: Sustainable DC
By 2032, fully implement Washington, DC’s sustainability plan, Sustainable DC, to address the city's built environment, energy, food, nature, transportation, waste, and water. Dedicate District Government staff and funding to implement the Sustainable DC Plan, track progress, and make results publicly available.
Environmental ProtectionGeneral FPCNew Action
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Action E-6.2.C: Sustainability in Schools, Recreation Centers, and Libraries
When modernizing all public school buildings, recreation centers, and libraries, reduce their environmental footprint and integrate sustainable and healthy practices into their operations. Continue support of citywide schoolyard greening efforts and related programs, and encourage Public and Charter schools to participate in schoolyard greening efforts.
Environmental ProtectionUrban agricultureNew Action
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Overview
Fortunately, many of the negative trends of the past have begun to reverse course. Washington, DC is strengthening its position at the center of the regional economy, which had the fifth greatest number of jobs in the country with more than 3.2 million jobs in 2017. Since 1997, the District has seen significant private-sector employment growth, particularly in industries that generate large amounts of secondary employment through business-to-business transactions that facilitate the delivery of goods and services to customers. The growth has occurred in industries, such as architectural and engineering services, advertising, and public relations that also have higher than typical average compensation, which generates notable indirect employment growth through consumer spending in sectors, such as the accommodations and food services.
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Overview
Additionally, downtown retail has reboundedafter years of decline, and neighborhood commercial districts like U Street NW, 14th Street NW, and Barracks Row are thriving again. After decades in which retailers shunned areas east of 16th Street NW, new retail and fresh food options are being developed in the eastern half of the city including east of the Anacostia River, national/brand tenants are clustered in in Columbia Heights and Fort Lincoln, and a thriving commercial and cultural district has emerged along H Street NE.
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ED-1 Defining Our Economic Goal
The District economy is underpinned by a handful of core industries, including government (particularly federal government), education, professional, technical and scientific services, administrative support, membership associations, accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment and recreation, and health care. These eight industries account for more than 85 percentof jobs in the city and distinguish the District’s economy in the regional and national economies. Economic development strategies must explore ways to sustain these industries while leveraging them to attract new businesses and jobs. Diversifying the economic base through focused support of fields with high-growth opportunities can expand job opportunities for residents and can increase the District’s resilience against economic downturns.
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ED-1 Defining Our Economic Future
The District’s largest private sector industry is Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, which accounted for approximately thirty percent of the city’s private sector employment in 2017. This category includes lawyers, architects, engineers, and accountants. The second largest category, Membership Associations and Organizations, includes the many industry, trade, and interest groups in the city. The Food Services and Drinking Places industry had the greatest increase in employment between 2004 and 2016. Itadded over 16,600 jobs, jumping from the city’s 5th largest industry by employment in 2004 to the 3rdlargest in 2016.Other key sectors are Educational Services and Ambulatory Healthcare, which added 9,289 and 6,042 jobs respectively.
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ED-1.1 Diversifying Our Economic Base
Tables 7.1 and 7.2 provide some indication of where the District’s economy may be headed. Since 2004 four sectors: professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food service; health care and social assistance; and educational services have produced more than eighty percent of new private sector jobs in the District. Looking forward to 2026, the DOES 2016 industry projections indicate that these four sectors are likely to continue producing the vast majority of job growth over the next ten years. Among these sectors, growth in the professional, scientific andtechnical services segment is particularly beneficial because it is one of the District’s strongest domestic and international export industries. Exports are important because they are help drive higher rates of economic growth through resources from other economies.

Between 2016 and 2026, several high growth industries including Computer Systems Design and Related Services, Management Scientific and Technical Consulting Services, Ambulatory Healthcare Services, Food Services and Drinking Places are anticipated to drive growth, offsetting stagnant federal government employment and procurement as well as losses in declining industries, such as travel arrangement and reservation services.
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ED-1.1 Diversifying Our Economic Base
The 15 industries listed in Table 7.2 represent more than half of the job growth expected in the city during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Some of the gains reflect continued growth of core industries like professional, scientific and technical services, health care and social assistance, and food services and drinking places. Other gains are in emerging sectors which show promise for even greater expansion.
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Policy ED 1.1.4: Promote Local Entrepreneurship
Support District residents seeking entrepreneurship opportunities through layered programs including technical assistance, promotion of District products and services, and market development.
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ED-2.2 The Retail Economy
In the District, strong retail growth has been driven by robust demand from the food and beverage segment. Nationally, the retail economy is experiencing major shifts in durable goods retailing due in part to growth in online retailing. These changes are likely to reshape the regional retail landscape and may yield a mix of benefits and challenges for retail in the District. DOES anticipates that non-store retailers, which include online retailers, will be the fastest growing component of retail trade through 2024. This is a major shift that is anticipated to drive new retail business models that will change how retailers connect with customers and likely impacting traditional bricks and mortar stores.
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ED-2.2 The Retail Economy
Efforts are underway to expand retail choices and strengthen existing retail businesses, both in Central Washington and in District neighborhoods. Continued planning and market assessment will help retail areas across the city adapt to changing market conditions. Since 2006, the DC Office of Planning has conducted two major retail initiatives, the Retail Action Strategy and Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit. These initiatives provide a foundation for communities and retailers to adapt to the changing retail landscape where new retail formats that are experiential and blended with online sales are imparting major changes in retail business models, trade areas and marketing techniques. These studies identified market potential for numerous retail areas and strategies to attract neighborhood serving uses, such as grocery stores, home furnishings, and home improvement stores that are missing or under-represented today. Additional studies may assess the potential for new retail formats, such as shared spaces that are paired with administrative and technical support that make entrepreneurship more accessible by efficiently using limited and expensive land. If the full market potential of retail is tapped starting in 2006, as much as seven to ten million square feet of floor space might be accommodated in the next 20 years.
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Policy ED-2.2.3: Neighborhood Shopping
Create and support additional shopping opportunities in Washington’s neighborhood commercial districts to better meet the demand for basic goods and services. Reuse of vacant buildings in these districts should be encouraged, along with appropriately-scaled retail infill development on vacant and underutilized sites. Promote the creation and growth of existing locally-owned, non-chain establishments because of their role in creating unique shopping experiences, as well as generating stronger local supply chains that facilitate community wealth-building.
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Policy ED-2.2.4: Support Local Entrepreneurs
Support the efforts of local entrepreneurs who enhance the District’s economy by manufacturing and retailing goods within the city, which increases the local employment and tax revenue generated by consumer’s retail spending. 708.8
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Policy ED-2.2.5: Business Mix
Reinforce existing and encourage new retail districts by attracting a mix of businesses including local companies, regional chains and nationally-recognized retailers. 708.9
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Policy ED-2.2.6: Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
Promote the development of new grocery stores and supermarkets, particularly in neighborhoods where residents currently travel long distances for food and other shopping services. Because such uses inherently require greater depth and lot area than is present in many commercial districts, adjustments to current zoning standards to accommodate these uses should be considered.
Economic Development ElementFood access & equity

Entrepreneurs & food jobs
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Policy ED-2.2.7: Planning For Retail
Coordinate neighborhood planning efforts with the District’s economic development planning and small business development programs to improve retail offerings by leveraging the Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit. Evaluate techniques, such as consolidating retail near highly trafficked locations along major corridors and particularly near transit station areas. Consider strategies to increase a retail area’s market position, including by coordinated promotion.
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Policy ED-2.2.8: Innovative Retail
Identify and implement innovative retail strategies. This could include supporting pop-up or mobile retailers in neighborhoods with insufficient or unproven market demand for new stores. These strategies can help new businesses to get established, or introduce new products and concepts, provide seasonal merchandise and services, and fill commercial buildings during short-term vacancies.
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ED-2.3 The Tourism and Hospitality Economy
The economic impact of tourism includes both direct employment in the hospitality industry and spending by tourists and business travelers during their stays in the District. As of 2015,hotels, bars, and restaurants directly provide more than 65,000jobs in the city. New hotels such as the1,150-room Convention Center Marriot Marquis have added to the lodging choices in the District.
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Policy ED-2.3.9: Hospitality Workforce Development
Recognize the potential for the hospitality sector to generate entry level jobs and opportunities for upward mobility for District residents by promoting vocational, job training, and job placement initiatives in this sector, and by working with local hotels, the District of Columbia Hotel Association, the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation, unions, and others.
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ED-2.5 The Production, Distribution, and Repair Economy
Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) areas in the District play an important role in city operations, in addition to protecting space for industries that make, distribute and repair goods. PDR industries include the construction trades, utilities, transportation, publishing, manufacturing, wholesalers, and service providers such as commercial laundries. When these industries are assessed collectively, they account for approximately 9 percent of the District’s employment. PDR employment in the District has been broadly stable since 2006. Declines in some industries, such as publishing, have been offset by growth in other industries, such as food and beverage production.
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ED-2.5 The Production, Distribution, and Repair Economy
The production, distribution, and repair sector plays an important role in supporting government operations and the broader economy. Without PDR areas many private sector services and municipal operations could become less efficient and more expensive. The District needs PDR areas for municipal services, including trash collection, street sweeping, fleet storage, vehicle repair and snow removal operations. Utilities and authorities need PDR lands to house key infrastructure as well as for conducting repairs and maintenance. These areas serve a wide range of distribution needs, for example, all the alcoholic beverages sold in the District are warehoused and distributedfrom PDR areas and same day delivery services are seeking fulfillment centers in close proximity to customers. Entrepreneurs use facilities in PDR areas to operate creative businesses including video production, food preparation and beverage manufacturing. Preserving PDR areas supports industries that provide important services and economic diversification.
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Policy ED-2.5.6: Workforce Development Encourage PDR businesses and training programs to link unemployed and underemployed residents to career pathways. PDR industries are particularly effective entry-level jobs for hard-to-employ populations.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Narrative
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Action ED-2.5.C: Siting of Food Aggregation, Processing and Production Facilities
Explore the feasibility of developing food hubs, central storage, and community kitchens to expand healthy food access, federal nutrition program participation, and economic opportunity in under-served areas. These sites should be co-located whenever possible with job training, business incubation, and entrepreneurship programs.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobs

Food access & equity

Sustainable procurement
New Action
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ED-3.2 Small and Locally-Owned Businesses
One of the potential downsides of revitalization is the loss of small businesses as the cost of retail space increases beyond what many business models can support in the face of growing demand from new types of businesses, such as fast casual restaurants that generate particularly high-levels of revenue. This can result in the replacement of basic services with specialty retail and dining that is not affordable to as many residents. The District recognizes that neighborhood shopping areas should evolve in response to changes in consumer tastes and preferences, but it also recognizes the importance of avoiding displacement and economic hardship for the businesses that have anchored our city’s shopping areas for years.
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ED-3.2 Small and Locally-Owned Businesses
New programs may be needed to increase opportunities for residents to own businesses in thriving commercial areas. Measures could include income and property tax incentives, assistance to commercial tenants seeking to purchase their buildings, commercial land trusts (which buy local commercial space and hold it in perpetuity for the benefit of the community), and relocation assistance programs for displaced business. Zoning strategies, such tying zoning relief (variances, etc.) to the preservation of local serving small businesses should also be considered. There are also federal programs like the HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone), Small Business Administration Loans that can support local entrepreneurs. Additionally, entrepreneurship training programs can help residents develop successful enterprises that have forward-looking business models that can become the next generation of local businesses that anchor communities.
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One of the potential downsides of revitalization is the loss of small businesses as national chains move in the cost of retail space increases beyond what many business models can support in the face of growing demand from new types of businesses, such as fast casual restaurants that generate particularly highlevels of revenue. This can also result in the replacement of basic services with high-end specialty shopping retail and dining that is not affordable to as many residents. The District recognizes that neighborhood shopping areas should evolve in response to changes in consumer tastes and preferences, but it also recognizes the importance of avoiding displacement and economic hardship for the businesses that have anchored our city’s shopping areas for years.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Callout Box: Employee Owned and Controlled Businesses Employee owned and controlled businesses, such as worker cooperatives are one form of small business ownership that produces an array of economic benefits for low-income communities that can effectively reduce economic disparity on a long-term basis. Employee owned and controlled businesses tend to provide higher wages, more opportunities for skill development, greater job stability and better benefits. This type of business is a proven community development practice that can help build economic equity by promoting living wages and reducing income inequality. Promoting employee owned and controlled businesses is an opportunity to build community wealth and support workforce development in concert with other programs to continue building an inclusive city. Connecting prospective employee owned and controlled businesses with small business financing programs can improve the successful creation, implementation and expansion of worker cooperativesEconomic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Narrative
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Policy ED-3.2.1: Small Business Retention and Growth
Encourage the retention, development, and growth of small and minority businesses through a range of District-sponsored promotion programs, such as Made in DC and 202 Creates as well as through technical and financial assistance programs.
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Policy ED-3.2.3: Access to Capital
Expand access to equity, debt capital including small business loans and lines of credit, long-term debt financing, and grants for businesses to support new and expanded business ventures. These tools should be used to leverage private investment in facility improvements, streetscape improvements, and otherinvestments that help revitalize commercial districts and generate local jobs.
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Policy ED-3.2.4: Partnerships with Major Employers
Promote collaborations and partnerships between small businesses and the District’s major employers to increase contracts for small and disadvantaged businesses, including federal outsourcing contracts, creating new training opportunities, leveraging corporate social responsibility initiatives, or otherwise collaborating on inclusive economic growth initiatives.
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Policy ED-3.2.6: Commercial Displacement
Mitigate the risk of displacement of small and local businesses due to rising real estate costs. Consider programs to offset the impacts of rising operating expenses on small businesses in areas of rapidly rising rents and prices. Also consider enhanced technical support that helps long-standing businesses grow their revenues and thrive in the strengthening retail economy.
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Policy ED-3.2.7: Assistance to Displaced Businesses
Assist small businesses that are displaced as a result of rising land costs and rents, government action, or new development. Efforts should be made to find locations for such businesses within redeveloping areas, or on other suitable sites within the city.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Policy
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Policy ED-3.2.8:Certified Business Enterprise Programs
Expand opportunities for local, small, and disadvantaged business enterprises throughprograms, incentives, contracting requirements, and other activities.
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Policy ED-3.2.8: Employee Owned and Controlled Businesses
Support the creation and advancement of employee owned and controlled businesses. Consider techniques such as public funding to support the formation of cooperatives; prioritizing worker cooperatives in competitive contracting and procurement opportunities; aligning preferences for cooperatives with workforce and economic development initiatives; training partnerships with workforce development programs; and providing technical assistance including financial and legal services.
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Policy ED-3.2.9: Local Business Operational Planning
Promote the development of business operational plans to assess and build capacity of local businesses to prepare for, withstand, operate and recover from identified threats and risks. The intent of business continuity plans is to implement safeguards and procedures that minimize disruptions during and after disasters and to eliminate threats that can jeopardize the financial solvency of the small business.
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Policy ED-3.2.10: Small Business Capacity Building
Promote capacity building for small businesses that expand awareness of financial management, strategic planning, inventory management, legal requirements and risk management, and proven marketing techniques. Expanding awareness of these techniques will help small and local businesses grow along with the District’s economy.
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Action ED-3.2.B: Business Incentives
Use a range of financial incentive programs to promote the success of new and existing businesses, including Historically Underutilized Businesses Zones, the Inclusive Innovation Fund, Certified Business Enterprise set asides, loans, loan guarantees, low interest revenue bonds, federal tax credits for hiring District residents, and tax increment bond financing.
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Action ED-3.2.C: Temporary Retail
Support temporary retail opportunities that would enable entrepreneurs and small businesses to open a shop in vacant commercial space at reduced costs.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Action