Documents obtained by Friends of McMillan Park demonstrate that Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 5E, a local division of the District of Columbia Government in Ward 5, took orders from real estate developers that aspire to turn historic landmark McMillan Park in the quaint Bloomingdale community into a vast high-rise suburban office park development project.
Vision McMillan Partners (VMP), a consortium of developers seeking to build a 115-foot office tower and a cluster of several other buildings at McMillan Park, provided Dianne Barnes, then Chair of ANC 5E, with the text of a Resolution of Support that the developers wanted the ANC to officially adopt during the monthly ANC 5E meeting in November, 2013, for presentation to the DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) during a subsequent HPRB hearing on the controversial development proposal.
Ms. Tania Jackson of Create Communitas, a VMP outreach contractor, drafted the text of the proposed ANC 5E resolution. Commissioner Barnes accepted the proposed resolution text and placed it on official ANC letterhead for presentation to ANC 5E, according to email records between Commissioner Barnes and VMP’s outreach contractor. In the email dialogue, Ms. Jackson further urged the entire ANC to pass the resolution endorsing the commercial development proposal. Barnes replied to the developers that she feared problems from the Bloomingdale Civic Association that could conflict with the ANC vote, apparently referring to resistance from the other two Commissioners representing the Bloomingdale community on ANC 5E and the Bloomingdale Civic Association’s official position of opposition to the developer’s plan for McMillan Park.
Other documents obtained by the Friends indicate that Commissioner Barnes and several VMP employees had joined each other on social media networks such as LinkedIn to further coordinate their activities.