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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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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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-2.2.7: 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.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Narrative
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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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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.
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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.
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Action ED-3.2.D: Small Business Needs Assessment
Conduct an assessment of small and minority business needs and impact evaluations of existing small business programs in the District. The study should include recommendations to improve existing small business programs and to develop new programs as needed that are performance-based.
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Action ED-3.2.E: Best Practices Analysis
Analyze what other cities have done to encourage and foster their small business sectors, including the development of business parks and incubators. Use this best practice information to inform District policy. Complete.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsComplete Action
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Action ED-3.2.F: Neighborhood Commercial District Resilience Toolkit
Create a toolkit that builds on the Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit to provide community based economic development organizations tools to navigate changing markets. The toolkit will help organizations identify and leverage public space assets, build market strength, apply creative placemaking, and implement temporary uses.
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Action ED-3.2.G: Study Employee Owned and Controlled Businesses
Evaluate employee owned and controlled businesses’ potential for inclusive economic growth.Research could include identifying successful programs and assessing the feasibility of support for employee owned and controlled businesses through startup funding, technical assistance, and legal support.
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Policy ED-4.1.4: Adult Education
Support adult education and workforce development, career and technical training for unskilled adult workers of all ages. Continue to innovate with
programs that blend adult education and basic skills remediation with occupational skills and work experience.
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Policy ED-4.1.6: Agency Coordination
Promote Expand collaboration between the District’s education, human services, juvenile justice, and workforce development agencies to better serve the city’s youth, reduce barriers to employment, and connect District students with education and training opportunities that connect with career pathways lead to successful employment.
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Action ED-4.1.C: Expanded Youth Services
Expand collaboration between the District's education, human services, juvenile justice, and workforce development agencies to better serve the city's youth, reduce barriers to employment, and connect District students with education and training opportunities that lead to career-track employment. Expand job center services to effectively serve youth customers. Additionally, continue to support the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program for youths and young adults up to 24 years of age.
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Action ED 4.1.F: UDC Certification as a Training Provider Ensure that UDC is fully certified to provide workforce development training that will help more District residents gain the qualifications required to reach career pathways.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Action
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Pursuing the District’s goal of “increasing access to education and employment” is also includes about providing opportunities for career advancement for residents. Many of the city’s entry level jobs have high turnover, low job security and, few benefits., and remote possibilities for advancement. While However, these jobs may offer important initial employment opportunities. Additionally, workforce development programs measures are also needed to increase provide opportunities for upward mobility to good quality jobs and promotion. Some sectors, such as Workforce development programs prepare as many residents as possible for careers in industries with strong advancement opportunities including construction, health care, higher education, and federal employment. These programs in concert with the District’s planning and economic development efforts help create good quality jobs that enable more residents to earn living wages that support families and enable older adults to retireEconomic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Narrative
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Policy ED-4.2.2: Linking Job Training to Growth Occupations Target job training, placement, and vocational career programs towards core and growth sectors and occupations, such as hospitality, information technology, healthcare, construction, home health aides, and computer user support specialists. Seek opportunities to link the pipeline of potential employees from workforce development programs to small locally-owned businesses.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Policy
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Policy ED-4.2.3: Focus on Economically Disadvantaged Populations Focus workforce development efforts on economically disadvantaged communities, including minority communities and particularly those with many unemployed or marginally employed residents. Assistance should also be focused on groups most in need, including persons with limited work skills, single mothers, youth leaving foster care, ex-offenders, and persons with limited English proficiencyEconomic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Policy
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Policy ED-4.2.6: Entry-Level Opportunities Support the creation of entry level career opportunities, particularly for lower income youth and adults, and persons with special needs. Recognize the need for complementary efforts to provide affordable child care options, transportation, counseling, and other supportive servicesEconomic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Policy
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Policy ED-4.2.7: Living Wage Jobs Promote the attraction and retention of living wage jobs that provide employment opportunities for unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Use marketing strategies and performance-based incentives to encourage the relocation of firms with such positions to the District. Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Policy
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Policy ED-4.2.8: Limited English Proficiency and Literacy Promote collaboration between the District's education, human services, juvenile justice, and workforce development agencies to better serve the city's English Language Learners (ELL) and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations, reduce barriers to employment, and connect residents with education and training opportunities that lead to successful employment. Encourage English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) programs and literacy training for residents in need of such services in order to overcome barriers to employment.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Policy
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Policy ED-4.2.9: Upward Mobility
Encourage continuing education and career advancement programs to provide opportunities for upward mobility among the District’s workforce. Encourage the growth of businesses which have been shown to provide career advancement or “ladder” opportunities for employees.
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Policy ED-4.2.16: Digital Literacy Support digital literacy by improving access to technology, including providing internet access and training, through the DC Public Library system. Increased internet access and skills with technology are critical to the District’s workforce development programs. Focus on the communities with the greatest need, including vulnerable populations and those with limited access to technology.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Policy
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Action ED-4.2.E: Workforce Investment Act
Continue implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including programs for job training and placement systems. Measures to improve the coordination of job training programs that strengthen the workforce development system and more effectively target resources should be identified and implemented.
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Action ED-4.2.F: Training Program Tracking Track the effectiveness of job training programs. Use assessments of such programs to modify and improve them. Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Action
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Action ED-4.2.H: Incentive Programs
Continue to offer incentive-based programs that encourage District businesses to hire job-seekers who are disadvantaged and hard to serve.
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Action ED-4.2.I: Wages and Working Conditions
Continue advancing programs including apprenticeships and employer
training that help increase wages for lower income residents while improving
working conditions.
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Action ED-4.2.J: Employment Barriers
Continue to study the capacity, need and participation in programs that reduce barriers to employment for disadvantaged populations such as returning citizens and residents who speak English as a second language.
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Action ED-4.2.K: Improved Training Provide on-the-job training, customized training, incumbent worker training, and cohort-based training to promote existing employees, which produces new entry-level openings.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Action
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Action ED-4.2.L: Increase Access to On-The-Job Training and Workforce Development
Assess opportunities to work with government and/or private sector stakeholders to increase access to on-the-job training and workforce development through internships, fellowships, and apprenticeships. The assessment should prioritize opportunities for youth and young adults as well as older adults navigating career changes that increase economic equity by establishing career pathways.
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Policy ED-4.3.1: Transportation Access to District Jobs Improve access to jobs for District residents through sustained investments in the city’s transportation system, particularly transit improvements between neighborhoods with high unemployment rates and the city’s major employment centers.Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Action
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Action ED-4.3.B: Increasing Access to Employment
Pursue opportunities to develop High Capacity Transit Corridors that connect low- income communities to major employment areas both in the District and region.
Economic DevelopmentEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Action
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Policy UD-2.1.7: Streetscapes that Encourage Activation
Design new streetscape projects with public spaces that can be flexibly programmed to enhance public life with short or long term uses throughout year to meet the needs of a wide variety of community members. Such spaces can be sites for creative placemaking efforts, block parties, festivals, markets, pop-up retail, or food trucks.
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Policy UD 3.2.1: Social & Community Meeting Spaces
New Planned Unit Developments and other large-scale developments should provide for a mix of social and “third spaces”—for example, schools, retail stores, cultural and community spaces, and recreational facilities.
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Policy LU-1.1.1: Sustaining a Strong City Center
Provide for the continued vitality of Central Washington as a thriving business, government, retail, financial, hospitality, cultural, and residential center. Promote continued reinvestment in central city buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces; continued preservation and restoration of historic resources; and continued efforts to create safe, attractive, and pedestrian-friendly environments.
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Action LU-1.2.D:Development on Former Federal Sites
When Downtown sites shift from federal to private or local use, employ planning and zoning approaches that provide for the integration of the sites into the surrounding fabric of downtown. Replace the monumental scale needed for major federal buildings with a scale suitable to the local downtown context, by reconstructinghistoric rights-of-way, dividing superblocks into smaller parcels, and encouraging vibrant contemporary architectural expression. Encourage mixed-use development with residential, retail, and cultural uses, as well as offices, to help support a “living downtown.”
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The structure of retail space is another important factor. Retail space is most likely to be successful when it is contiguous with other retail spaces, ceilings are at least 12 feet high, storefronts are transparent, and sidewalks are at least 8 feet wide. Each commercial center has its own market position based on numerous factors including the characteristics of the residential and daytime populations; function and composition of nearby centers; and accessibility. The type of retail mix and amount of space that can be supported depends on a center’s market position which can change by increasing housing and jobs in or near the center and/or increasing access to the center.

Improving access to neighborhood commercial centers for pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists, and drivers is an important factor for successful retail. Pedestrian access is the most important accessibility factor for all commercial centers because it is the common thread that connects retail space with patrons using all other modes.
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Even the most successful neighborhood centers in the District must deal with land use conflicts. Excessive concentrations of bars, liquor stores, fast- food outlets, convenience stores, and similar uses are causes of concern in almost every part of the city. Commercial parking demand affects nearby residential streets around many centers. In some locations, commercial andresidentialrearyardsabutoneanother,causingconcernsoverrodents, odors, noise, shadows, view obstruction, and other impacts. Effective zoning and buffering requirements are important to address such concerns while accommodating growth, enhancing local amenities, and respecting neighborhood character. Zoning has been used in some commercial districts to limit the range of allowable uses and reduce the likelihood of external impacts.Land UseEntrepreneurs & food access

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Policy LU-2.4.7: Location of Night Clubs and Bars
Provide zoning and alcoholic beverage control laws that encourage a mix of ground floor uses in commercial areas creating stronger retail environments and minimizing potential negative effects of liquor licensed establishments (e.g.,night clubs and bars) in neighborhood commercial districts and adjacent residential areas.Newusesthatgeneratelatenightactivityandlargecrowdsshouldbe prioritized Downtown, in designated artsor entertainment districts,and in areas where there is a limited residential population nearby.
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Updated Policy
164
Policy LU-2.4.9: High-Impact Commercial Uses
Ensure that the District’s zoning regulations limit the location and proliferation of fast food restaurants, sexually-oriented businesses, late night alcoholic beverage establishments, 24-hour mini-marts and convenience stores, and similar high impact commercial establishments that generate excessive late night activity, noise, or otherwise affect the quality of life in nearby residential neighborhoods.
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Existing Policy
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Action LU-2.4.B: Zoning Changes to Reduce Land Use Conflicts in Commercial Zones
As part of the comprehensive rewrite of the zoning regulations, consider text amendments that:
Moreeffectively control the uses which are permitted as a matter-of- right in commercialzones;
Avoidthe excessive concentration of particular uses with the potential for adverse effects, such as convenience stores, fastfood establishments, and liquor-licensed establishments;and
Consider performance standards to reduce potential conflicts between certain incompatible uses Completed – See Implementation Table.
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Policy CH-1.1.3: Upgrading Commercial Districts
Reinforce and upgrade the major commercial districts of Capitol Hill, including the H Street and Benning Road corridors, the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, 7th and 8th Streets SE, and Massachusetts Avenue between Union Station and Stanton Park. Support the further development of these areas with corridor-appropriate retail services, provided that such uses are compatible with surrounding land uses and the historic architecture and scale of the shopping districts themselves. Support the retention of existing neighborhood-serving businesses in these areas through programs that provide technical and financial assistance to small, locally-owned establishments.
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Policy CH-1.1.4: Directing Growth
Direct growth in the Capitol Hill Planning Area to commercially zoned land, with a particular emphasis on the H Street/Benning Road corridor and to infill opportunities in residential zones. Along the commercial corridors in this area, mixed use development combining ground floor retail and upper story residential uses should be supported in this area, along with streetscape improvements that improve visual and urban design qualities and enhance pedestrian, bus, and auto circulation. In the residential zones, the scale of development must be sensitive to adjacent buildings and uses. All development should reflect the capacity of roads, infrastructure, and services to absorb additional growth.
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Policy CH-1.1.6: Inappropriate Commercial Uses
Prevent the proliferation of fast food outlets, self-service gas stations, convenience mini-marts, and other “drive-through” businesses along Capitol Hill’s commercial corridors.The commercial corridors of Capitol Hill are part of the historic L’Enfant Plan, contribute to the national image of the Capital City and provide a walkable neighborhood environment, inappropriate and automobile oriented uses should be prohibited.
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Policy CH-2.1.2: Clustering of Retail
Recognize that the existing supply of retail space on the H Street NE corridor may exceed demand, and that retail development should therefore be clustered on the 700-1100 blocks.
Capitol Hill ElementEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Policy
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Action CH-2.1. D: Business Assistance
Implement programs to improve retail success along H Street, Benning Road and Bladensburg Road including financial assistance to small businesses, grant and loan programs, façade improvement programs, Small Business Administration loans, and the creation of a Business Improvement District.
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Policy CH-2.2.2: Neighborhood Shopping Improvements
Sustain existing businesses and encourage additional neighborhood serving retail uses along Barracks Row, on 7th Street SE between Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue, and along Pennsylvania Avenue between 2nd Street and 4th Street SE, 6th and 9th Streets SE, and 12th and 16th Streets SE. Any improvements or alterations in these areas should protect and preserve the historic texture, scale, and features of the existing buildings and adjoining neighborhoods. Where possible, improvements should include design features to improve accessibility for aging adults or persons with disabilities.
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Policy CH-2.2.4: Eastern Market
Continue to promote Eastern Market’s intended function as a produce, meat, farmers, and retail market as well as a community meeting place and visual arts center. Preserve the historic character of the Market and surrounding area.
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Policy CH-2.2.5: Barracks Row
Continue to promote Barracks Row as a neighborhood-serving retail center. Emphasize local-serving rather than regional or large-format retail uses, and retain the area’s historic scale and character. Particularly encourage additional retail to locate along the portion of Barracks Row south of the freeway, thus enhancing the connection between Capitol Hill and the emerging waterfront neighborhoods.
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Policy FSS-1.1.7: Retail Development
Support additional retail development within the Far Southeast/Southwest, especially in Historic Anacostia, and in the neighborhood centers at Malcolm X/Martin Luther King Jr Avenue and South Capitol/Atlantic. Projects which combine upper story housing or offices and ground floor retail are particularly encouraged in these three locations.
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Policy FSS-2.2.5:Leveraging Neighborhood Economic Development
Leverage the location of the Department of Homeland Security on the West Campus and a portion of the East Campus to bring needed economic development opportunities to Ward 8, especially retail opportunities to serve both existing and new residents as well as workers and visitors generated by new uses.
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New Policy
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Policy FSS-2.5.1: Martin Luther King Jr/Malcolm X Business District
Encourage a major new retail commercial node at medium density in the shopping area at Martin Luther King Jr Avenue and Malcolm X Avenue. Strengthen this area as the commercial hub of the Congress Heights neighborhood, and upgrade the mix of uses to better meet neighborhood needs. Enhance the opportunities to grow existing businesses in the area and offer incentives for new small and local businesses.Variances for more height or density through a planned unit development should be granted when the project offers community benefits in terms of education and job opportunities, new and affordable housing for homeownership, improved urban design, and public infrastructure improvements. Planned unit developments shall provide civic and cultural amenities, promote quality in the design of buildings and public spaces, support local schools; create opportunities for cultural events and public art; and enhance the public realm by addressing safety and cleanliness issues.
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Updated Policy
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Policy FSS-2.5.2: Great Street Housing Opportunities
Pursue opportunities for additional multi-family housing, possibly with ground floor retail or office uses at medium density, along the Martin Luther King Jr Avenue corridor between St. Elizabeths Hospital and Alabama Avenue.
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Policy AW-1.1.3: Waterfront Area Commercial Development
Encourage commercial development in the Waterfront Area in a manner that is consistent with the Future Land Use Map. Such development should bring more retail services and choices to the Anacostia Waterfront as well as space for government and private sector activities, such as offices and hotels. A mix of high- density commercial and residential development should be focused along key corridors, particularly along Maine Avenue and M Street Southeast, along South Capitol Street; and near the Waterfront and Navy Yard Metrorail stations. Maritime activities such as cruise ship operations should be maintained and supported as the waterfront redevelops.
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Policy AW 1.1.X Southwest Ecodistrict Plan Implementation
Explore ways to jointly fund the implementation of recommendations of the Southwest Ecodistrict Plan in coordination with the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) to improve the aesthetic quality, identity, and pedestrian character of Near Southwest and strengthen connections between the Wharf and the National Mall. Identify and implement design guidelines for new or renovated buildings, streetscape and signage improvements, pedestrian circulation changes, and measures to mitigate the scale of the area’s monolithic buildings.Promote new residential, cultural and/or retail uses if federal properties transfer from federal use, or pursuant to any new arrangements with the NCPC such as 99- year ground leases.
Lower AnacostiaEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Policy
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Policy AW-2.2.2: Ballpark Entertainment District and Capitol Riverfront
Leverage the success of the Washington Nationals Ballpark and Audi Field, the new professional soccer stadium, drawing residents, workers and visitors to the Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard area to catalyze additional development of the South Capitol Street corridor with retail, high density residential, entertainment, and commercial uses.
Lower AnacostiaEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Policy
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Policy AW-2.3.4: M Street Southeast
Transform M Street into an attractive pedestrian-oriented thoroughfare, lined with retail shops and services, with upper story office, hotels, and residential uses. The street itself should be designed as a multi-modal boulevard, accommodating pedestrians, bicycles, and transit vehicles as well as cars. It should strengthen connections between the Near Southeast, Southwest, and Capitol Hill.
Lower AnacostiaEntrepreneurs & food jobsExisting Policy
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Policy AW-2.3.6: Near Southeast/ Capitol Riverfront Urban Amenities
Leverage new and existing developments in the Near Southeast/Capitol Riverfront area to create amenities such as parks, trails, child care facilities, civic uses, and retail space that serve the area’s residents and workforce. Encourage the redesign of Virginia Avenue Park into a more inviting park and green space that supports a wide range of users of all ages and abilities.
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Existing Policy
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Policy AW 2.3.X: Revitalization of Lower 8th Street SE
Support new development and active ground floor uses in the area around 8th Street SE, south of Virginia Avenue to create greater retail and residential opportunities that reinvigorate the area. Increased development will improve linkages with areas north and west, benefit workers at the Navy Yard and existing businesses along Barracks Row, and support the redesign of Virginia Avenue Park.The planned unit development process should be used to allow for additional building heights on portions of the Lower Eighth Street SE corridor while not encroaching on the existing view shed of the historic Latrobe Gate of the Navy Yard. Prioritize supporting ways to allow existing businesses to remain at potential ground floor uses in new developments.
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Policy AW-2.4.3: Poplar Point Mixed Use Neighborhood
Create a new transit-oriented mixed-use neighborhood oriented around the Poplar Point Park, and linked to the Anacostia and Congress Heights Metrorail stations. The neighborhood should include a significant component of affordable housing as well as retail and civic uses that benefit the adjacent communities east of I-295.
Lower AnacostiaEntrepreneurs & food jobsUpdated Policy
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Policy AW-2.1.6: 4th Street, SW as aThriving Town Center
Develop 4th Street as a thriving town center and commercial heart of the community with a range of neighborhood-serving retail options, an active street atmosphere, high quality public realm, new development and accessible transit options. Support the redevelopment of the remaining parcels of land at Waterfront Metro Station (formally the Waterside Mall site) with residential, office, and local-serving retail uses.Fourth Street should serve as a retail anchor for the surrounding Southwest community and to improve aesthetics, circulation, and connectivity.
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Policy AW Buzzard Point Development
New residential development in Buzzard Point should be concentrated near the waterfront, between Potomac Avenue and P Street. Commercial, cultural, retail uses should be concentrated around the traffic oval along Half Street, the soccer stadium and the waterfront park and plaza. Support the long-term redevelopment of Buzzard Point with mixed-use medium to high density development.
Lower AnacostiaEntrepreneurs & food jobsNew Policy
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