December 2008

NCPC Monthly E-newsletter
Providing you with current news and other information of interest.


National Capital Framework Wins Planning Award

On December 9, the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recognized the National Capital Framework Plan with an Honor Award in the “Planning” category. The Framework Plan is a collaboration between NCPC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts aimed at revitalizing the federal precincts adjacent to the National Mall. The draft version, released in July, has been presented to more than 900 people and has generated more than 150 pages of public comments. A final version of the plan is expected to come before the Commission in spring of 2009.

Future of the National Mall Discussed

On December 1, NCPC Executive Director Marcel Acosta participated in a panel discussion at the National Building Museum to discuss the National Mall, the subject of a new book, “The National Mall: Rethinking Washington’s Monumental Core.” Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, the book examines the past, present, and future status of the iconic location and includes ten essays, one of which was contributed by the agency. Mr. Acosta was joined on the panel by book co-editor Cynthia R. Field and Judy Scott Feldman, president of the National Coalition to Save our Mall. Washington Post columnist and University of Maryland professor emeritus Roger Lewis moderated.

Potomac Park Levee Update

At its December meeting, NCPC received an informational presentation from the National Park Service (NPS) on the status of the Potomac Park Levee system. A solution to the possibility of flooding in the monumental core must be in place by November 2009 to meet a FEMA imposed deadline. NPS presented two possible design alternatives. Both options feature the building of concrete and stone retaining walls combined with a temporary, post and panel flood wall stretching across 17th Street, NW. One option puts the wall closer to the intersection of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. The other proposed location is farther south on 17th Street. The Commission anticipates seeing a concept design for NPS’s preferred alternative at its January 8, 2009 meeting.

CapitalSpace on Target for 2009 Completion

CapitalSpace, a joint initiative of NCPC, the National Park Service, and the District of Columbia is on target for completion in 2009. The program is designed to improve the quality of park space in the nation's capital. Once the plan draft is complete it will be released to the public for comment. Five of the plan’s six major goals have been achieved while work is already underway to form key partnerships and pinpoint funding. To learn more about CapitalSpace visit

Commission Takes Action on Two Projects

At the December 4, 2008 meeting NCPC reviewed a submission from the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia for a text and map amendment to extend the existing Sixteenth Street Heights Overlay District. The Commission found that the proposal would not be inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital nor would it adversely affect any other federal interests. The Commission also approved a staff submission regarding procedures for adopting and releasing agency planning documents. The new measures recognize planning work by “adopting” plans and “reviewing” studies. For more detailed information on these Commission Actions please visit the December Actions page on the NCPC website.

January Commission Meeting

The Commission’s next public meeting will take place on Thursday, January 8, 2009 beginning at 12:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and no reservations are necessary to attend. The Tentative Agenda is available on NCPC’s website. Items on the tentative agenda include the final master plan for the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters on the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital in southeast Washington, concept design for the Potomac Park levee on the National Mall, and transfer of jurisdiction of a portion of Fort DuPont Park from the National Park Service to the District of Columbia government.

Be On the Lookout

In January, NCPC will release the next edition of its Quarterly newsletter and the agency's summary report on Capitals Alliance 2008: Greening the World's Capital Cities. Also on the horizon for early in the new year is the release of the agency's 2008 Annual Report.

Happy Holidays

The National Capital Planning Commission wishes you and yours the very best this holiday season.

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National Capital Planning Commission

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NCPC 2008.