St. Elizabeths Hospital East Campus Master Plan Transportation Environmental Assessment
St. Elizabeths East is approximately 170 acres in the Congress Heights neighborhood and represents one of the largest single redevelopment opportunities in the District. Although it is geographically contained in Ward 8, it presents an opportunity for workforce development, small business development, and community development for the city and region. The DCOP and have prepared a land use master plan and recommendations to support the District’s land use, economic, and connectivity goals. On April 18, 2012, DCOP released the Draft Master Plan for St. Elizabeths East for a 30-day public comment period. After managing public involvement for the 2008 St. Elizabeths Campus Framework Redevelopment Plan, the Collaborative Strategies Group team returned to complete the public involvement program for the master planning phase of the campus. This included management of a stakeholder advisory group of community leaders, extensive community outreach, and facilitation of several community meetings that led to community support of the campus master plan and transportation environmental assessment.
Together, the District Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, which developed a series of transportation recommendations, worked with community stakeholder and resident comments through two joint public meetings and a public hearing. Collaborative Strategies worked with a team led by Ayers Saint Gross and CH2MHill to implement a comprehensive public outreach and engagement program. The facilitation and public involvement efforts were a tremendous success because of the transparency of the process and trust building from previous projects involving the community, agency and facilitator. The evidence is the widespread support for the preferred plan alternative. Public involvement for the project included work within existing community networks to build interest, participation, and support for the planning process. This ultimately led to strong support of the master plan and transportation plan.
In addition to several large community meetings on the plans, W. Steve Lee, Collaborative Strategies Group president, facilitated the consulting parties through a series of contentious meetings required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This group included local and federal agencies, community representatives, and non-governmental representatives. Collaborative Strategies Group provided logistics and support for several large public meetings.reate and sustain public involvement with the project. The strategies included mailings, outreach and education materials, project website, advisory groups, public meetings, walking tours, meeting facilitation, and media outreach. The plan was also designed to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act.
To address the challenge of engaging the community and building their trust, Collaborative Strategies Group worked with PRR create an extensive public involvement plan. We built a database covering a widespread area of Ward 8, elected officials including advisory neighborhood commissioners (ANCs), businesses, and neighborhood, environmental and historic preservation organizations. To engage the public on a grass-roots level, Collaborative Strategies Group formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group of area leaders, and PRR formed the Community Action Team of area residents who recommended and helped implement public involvement activities. Community Action Team members involved youth from area schools in two art contests showcasing their vision for development on the East Campus.