On the ground in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Tent city still standing in Shaw on final day of warning period

October 6, 2010 - 03:50 PM
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Parcel 42 tent city
No sign of garbage crews or other city agencies at Parcel 42 on Wednesday. No sign of the tent city occupants, either. (Photo: TBD Staff)

Wondering if anything's changed at Parcel 42? As of this afternoon, the answer is still no.

Today marks the final day of a 15-day warning period the District of Columbia government gave the occupants of a tent city at Rhode Island Ave. & 7th Street NW to gather their things and clear out. The city hasn't said exactly when it would send crews to clean up the vacant lot known as Parcel 42, only that it would happen "soon."

"Our crews will be out there soon to do the clean up work," Sean Madigan, a spokesperson for the Office of the City Administrator, wrote in an email Wednesday.

Last we checked in with the tent city occupants, they were still debating how they'd respond to the District's order. No one could be found at the site on Wednesday afternoon, though the various tents, pieces of furniture, articles of clothing and signs that have marked the land since July remain.

Protesters originally created the tent city in the hopes of highlighting concerns over a planned affordable housing development that has been dramatically scaled back. Those organizers have long since moved on, but a handful of homeless individuals and activists have remained living on the land.

Convention Center Community Association president Martin Moulton expressed concern last week over rumors that the Fenty administration may have decided to wait a while longer to move on cleaning up Parcel 42. 

"... the lame duck administration now seems to be backtracking off the plan to clear the site, willing to pass the buck to the next regime," he wrote to two neighborhood email lists.

But Madigan gave no indication Wednesday that the city had changed its mind. So when will the city take action at Parcel 42? Stay tuned.



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