Housing Complex

A Dance Party in Protest of Harriet Tregoning

harrietYes, you read that right. This afternoon, a coalition of groups and individuals opposed to the zoning, Height Act, and other changes proposed by the Office of Planning and its director, Harriet Tregoning, are staging a catch-all dance-party protest.

"Has D.C.'s Office of Planning pissed you off and screwed over your community?" a group called DC for Reasonable Development, led by Ralph Nader employee Chris Otten, asks in an email promoting the protest. "Has OP shown you their utmost ignorance of community-minded development and a total disregard of the Comprehensive Plan? Has the Director of OP, Harriet Tregoning's attacks on DC's Height Act really frustrated you? TIME TO PROTEST!"

Lyndi Borne, an organizer with the DC Zoning Changes Network, which she describes as "a pretty loose coalition," follows up with an email rallying people to the protest in which she writes, "Don't Believe the Hype: Day 1 of Zoning Hearings Actions! ("We Need More Time!") Testify, Protest, Dance Party !"

Borne says she "consider[s] it a dance party" if even just two or three people dance. "I hope there will be an outdoor dance party as it is quite chilly today!" she says in an email.

The number listed on the DC Zoning Changes Network website sent me to a voicemail message recorded by a voice that sounds very much like Otten's, and Borne confirms that Otten is involved with the group. Otten has been active in opposing proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the West End Library and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Today's protest will take place in front of the D.C. government building at One Judiciary Square, which houses the Office of Zoning, at 5:30 p.m. (The Office of Planning is located near the Southwest Waterfront.)

"Harriet Tregoning forgets that THIS IS OUR CITY!" the email from DC for Reasonable Development states. "We demand better planning. We deserve development without displacement. We expect City officials to follow the laws of zoning, planning, and construction. ... We will have signs, banners, and the people's voices!"

Photo by Darrow Montgomery


  1. #1

    What a complete waste of Jazz Hands.

  2. #2

    If it's anything like Ottens other protests there will be 3 dancers on the floor and he will be one of them. Speaking of. What's the latest on the Adams Morgan Hotel? That was the last time I saw him on the street corner with a bullhorn. I suppose it's a sore subject for the city paper. but haven't heard anything in awhile and wondering if it's still breaking ground soon.

  3. #3

    Can the Naderites get their panties twisted any tighter? They must be masochists, in that they enjoy punishment. Hopefully, someone will give it to them properly for being complete nincompoops.
    Typical left wingers - can't take no for an answer, so they whine and gum up the works until they run out of other people's money.

  4. #4

    Seems like a protest commensurate with the group's intellectual firepower.

  5. #5

    Love it. Soon Harriet will be Tregoning, going, gone!

  6. #6

    If only these dunderheads had a clue how fortunate we are to have someone with Ms. Tregonings know how and vision.

    Unfortunately they have drunk Ralph's lemonade poisoned by his desperate need to keep things as close as possible to how they were in the sixties when he was relevant.

    Ralph could have been a force if only he could have gotten at least a small part of his ego out of the way which he never could and now he is just another bitter old man.

  7. #7

    Harriet Tregoning is exactly the person I want in charge of planning for this city. Conversely, I couldn't think of a worse person in the world for the job than Chris Otten.

  8. #8

    Naderites for AutoDependent Sprawl!

  9. #9

    This is interesting. DC has become a city where people freely protest for literally anything. I imagine that the people here complaining about those who aren't enamored w/Harriet's ideas wouldn't have as much a problem if the "dance party" was in support of her ideas.

    It kinda gives weight to what Courtland Milloy aptly described as the "myopic twit" brigade.

  10. #10

    This afternoon, I will be presenting my new interpretive dance piece inspired by accessory apartments, lower parking requirements and the Height Act repeal.

    Be warned that there may be twerking involved.

  11. #11

    breaking news - folks who support policy X, make fun of protestors against policy X, but are not as likely to make fun of supporters of policy X.

    Only "myopic twits" (whoever they are) react that way.

    (interestingly, its been a long time since Mr. Milloy has discussed myopic twits, or bike lanes - he seems to have moved on)

  12. #12

    Myopic twits..those (usually liberal) who see things through their own small yet insular world and make assumptions about anyone who dares disagree w/them and their tactics.

    Factually, Milloy didn't discuss bike lanes back then. It's just those rabble rousers w/in that small community who encouraged the "anti-bike" meme. It happens on both sides of the coin.

    Oh, and what more would you like milloy to say about the myops? Kinda odd that you find that interesting...considering it was 3 years ago.

  13. #13

    Myopic twits are usually liberal? Seriously? I support Harriet and I am liberal. Go figure?

  14. #14


    Why yes! Did you think he used the term to refer to conservatives? The overwhelming number of myops were anti-Gray, supported Fenty...and def Wells. Not much about that has changed.

    Nothing wrong w/being liberal and supporting Harriet just as there's nothing wrong w/those who don't support her.

  15. #15

    i attended many of the public hearings conducted by ncpc and the dc office of planning. throughout the hearings, ms. tregoning was reasoned, balanced, and it seemed like she had an open mind. on the other hands, the folks from ncpc had their minds made up by the time the first public hearing was held. the DCOP hired two prestigious consulting firms, have looked at the data and made reasoned suggestions. in fact, at one meeting where the audience was very hostile toward OP and NCSF, fearing a whitewash, a comment i made to the effect that the federal government should have no interest outside the federal enclave and should leave such decisions for the citizens of the city to decide got a big round of applause.
    that is what would happen under tregoning's recommendations--aside from the federal enclave, the citizens of dc would design their own city. Harriet Tregoning is a real professional and did a terrific job

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