Housing Complex

In Response to Concerns, American Moves Beds Around

Taking a cue from Georgetown University, which made last-minute concessions before its first date with the Zoning Commission, American University is tweaking its campus plan to appease the neighbors before going through the review process.

On the "east campus," now a parking lot on Nebraska and New Mexico, A.U. proposes reducing the number of new beds on the from 770 to 590, converting some of it to administrative office space and reducing square footage by 18 percent. The new dorms will have no windows facing the street—even better than ANC 3D's suggestion that they be sealed shut!—setbacks will be increased from 40 feet to 100 feet, and no freshmen will be allowed to live there.

Overall, though, the changes don't crimp the University's style too badly. The new plan calls for just as many beds to be added to existing dorms elsewhere on campus in places less offensive to the neighbors. A.U. is also changing its "projected enrollment" of 13,600 students by 2020 to a hard "cap," which is something ANC 3D had been adamant about—though not an actual reduction in A.U.'s expansion plans, it's an important change for the University to be able to negotiate in good faith.

In re-jiggering its plans before going before the Zoning Commission, A.U. might be responding to the harsh way in which the Office of Planning responded to Georgetown's campus plan, insisting that all students be housed on campus by 2016. If its campus plan goes through as currently proposed, American will have 6,400 undergrads and 4,300 beds for them by 2020.

American faces the Zoning Commission on June 9th.

  • RT

    No windows facing the street?! These neighbors are absurd!! This will look like a prison,

  • JH

    This is ridiculous. The neighborhood around AU has consistently treated the university and its students like they were a prison and its inmates. They have the world's stupidest parking regulations, an overly sensitive temperament when it comes to noise or anything else that offends their sensibilities, and a general disdain for anyone associated with the university. Having gone to AU for graduate school, I can say that the university is consistently getting the raw end of the deal with the neighborhood. The sad thing is that, rather than fight for common sense solutions, AU consistently passes along bad situations to the students. That's why the parking situation is terrible and the students are consistently put in terrible living situations (dorms being moved, dorms in old offices, students being moved to the *shudder* Berkshire apartments down Mass, etc.). This neighborhood has consistently gotten everything they have wanted (with the possible exception of no university) out of the campus and still whines and complains. Its truly sad given the amount of money that AU funnels into that community.

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  • http://marketurbanism.com Stephen Smith

    I hope they leave the walls completely blank as a "fuck you!" to the neighbors.

  • Weiwen

    While visiting a local business near AU's law campus, AU ticketed my car. It turns out that the ticket would only apply to AU students, and I'm not one, so obviously I ignored it.

    I can see the point of not wanting the students to park up the neighborhood. And I'll admit - I was obnoxious as a freshman student, and all of us were too. But that was a bit aggravating. It does speak to a certain mentality on the part of the neighbors.

  • jen

    I used to call them the tenleytown cockblock committee. They are the biggest bunch of NIMBYs you've ever met, who all seem to want their section of NW to resemble a suburb. it's why that neighborhood has crap in terms of retail and nightlife too.

    i used to live there in a house, an actual rent-paying member of the neighborhood (and no, we were not loud and never had a single party) who had as much of a right to park there as anyone else, and I too would get "ticketed" by AU rent-a-cops.