With the recommended closure of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in 2005, the Federal government declared 67.5 acres on the main post of WRAMC in northwest Washington, DC as surplus property, thereby making it available to a local redevelopment authority (LRA) for re-use. Acting through the Walter Reed LRA, the District of Columbia is charged with conducting one coordinated planning processes that will establish the following two major planning documents:
- Base Reuse Plan- The Walter Reed LRA established a Reuse Plan for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)to meet the federal requirements to acquire the site. For more information on the Reuse Plan please visit www.walterreedlra.com. The Reuse Plan provides a vision and framework for the comprehensive reuse of the site as a mixed use destination that will serve the surrounding communities and the District overall by providing economic growth, jobs and a range of public benefits via development of residential, retail, office and public green space on a previously self-contained, insulated military hospice installation. The Reuse Planning process, led by the District’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), engaged in an extensive public planning process to align the District, the community, and BRAC goals into the Plan. The Reuse Plan is a key component of the District’s Homeless Assistance Submission to HUD, which will lead to the successful reuse of the Site. The Reuse Plan will serve as the preferred land use Plan for the future use of the LRA Site. On July 10, 2012, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously approved the “Walter Reed Army Medical Center Base Realignment and Closure Homeless Assistance Submission Approval Act of 2012” (the Reuse Plan, B19-729). Subsequently, the Plan was transmitted to HUD for its determination on July 23, 2012 and approved on January 24, 2014.
- Small Area Plan- Concurrently, the District also established a Small Area Plan, to meet local requirements necessary to accommodate the Base Reuse Plans recommendations for how development should occur on the LRA portion of the site. The Small Area Plan (SAP) process, conducted concurrently with the Reuse Planning process, was led by the District’s Office of Planning (OP) in collaboration with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the District’s Department of Transportation (DDOT). The SAP is required by DC law to establish land use designations, pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital: District Elements (Comp Plan), so that zoning can be established for the Site for future development. The SAP is consistent with the Council-approved Base Reuse Plan and is structured to respond to its recommendations. During this coordinated planning process, OP and its partner agencies provided extensive opportunity for public participation and input. A total of 11 public meeting were held from June 2010 through July 2012, in addition to targeted meetings to engage important stakeholders, including the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and other neighborhood organizations. The Mayor held a public hearing on the SAP on October 16, 2012, and the period for public comment ended October 31, 2012. The Council also held a public hearing on March 26, 2013, and approved the SAP on April 30, 2013 (PR 20-87). While the SAP does not recommend any specific zoning designations, it establishes characteristics that a zone should include, such as building form, setbacks, height and stories. The SAP also includes design guidelines for future development, a transportation analysis and market analysis based on the Reuse Plan’s preferred development concept of 3.1 million square feet of mixed-use development.