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City planners turn thumbs down to Oxon Cove prison proposal

(Published April 19, 1999)

As advocates of a correctional facility planned for Ward 8 renewed city-wide lobbying efforts in recent weeks, the D.C. Office of Planning dealt a blow to their efforts, submitting an official recommendation against zoning the land for a 1,280-bed prison.

"A correctional facility... would likely have an adverse impact on achieving economic development and enhancing the image of this section of the city," wrote Planning Director John Fondersmith. "Mayor Anthony Williams has emphasized his strong commitment to improving the image of the area (east of the Anacostia River)...the proposed correctional and rehabilitation facility on the Oxon Cove site represents a negative image for the entire area."

The recommendation was submitted to the D.C. Zoning Commission April 9. An April 15 hearing on the application by Corrections Corporation of America was cancelled be-cause the commission could not secure a suitable meeting space. Opponents and supporters of the plan called off demonstrations at the last minute. More than 100 people had signed up to testify. The public hearing had not yet been rescheduled at press time.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator