Emergency community meeting planned after opposition to streetcar trolley barn

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Local,DC,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Plans to house a streetcar trolley barn in Ward 5 have angered neighbors so much that officials are planning an emergency community meeting Monday night.

The city is planning to build a storage and maintenance facility for the H Street-Benning Road streetcar line on the campus of Spingarn Senior High School at Benning Road and 26th Street in Northeast.

Earlier this month, the city awarded a $50 million contract to Dean-Facchina LLC contract to build the facility. The city doesn't have much leeway with the timing as the trolley line is supposed to be running by July 2013.

However, some neighbors have said they weren't consulted on the location and don't like the plans.

Newly elected Ward 5 Councilman Kenyan McDuffie, who took the empty seat of Harry Thomas Jr. who is now in prison, said the location is "a major concern of mine" and said he's trying to find out why it was chosen.

And if the trolley barn is going to go in, residents don't want to be reminded of it. A community survey of 164 residents found that 54 percent wanted the building to blend in, 68 percent wanted it screened with landscaping and 72 percent did not want it to have transparent facade to show the work going on inside.

The meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the media library at Phelps Ace High School, 704 26th Street NE.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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