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Mr. HUDDLESTON (continuing). Comparable to the Senate bill rather than H.R. 679 which provides for a sort of reciprocity with foreign governments and apply the same rules to the location of their chanceries in this country as they apply to our chanceries located in their countries.
In other words, you are appearing
Mr. Hale. H.R. 5882 is what I am familiar with. H.R. 679 has the provision about repair, making repairs, doesn't it?
Mr. HUDDLESTON. It has several sections.
Mr. HALE. I am not interested in that. It seems a good idea but that is not my
interest. Mr. HUDDLESTON. Thank you. Mr. MULTER. Thank you, Mr. Hale.
Has Mr. San Juan come in, the representative of the State Department?
Mrs. Howard, will you come forward? Do you wish to file a statement? Mrs. HOWARD. I would like to say
word. Mr. MULTER. Please.
STATEMENT OF MRS. ERNEST W HOWARD, PRESIDENT,
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS CITIZENS ASSOCIATION
Mrs. HOWARD. I am Mrs. Ernest W. Howard, president of the Columbia Heights Citizens Association. Our area is east, on the east side of 16th Street, taking in the whole east side of 16th Street, south to Florida Avenue, and north to Shepherd Street and east to 11th Street.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, 16th Street has always been known as the street of Presidents. Of course, it has probably been changed now. And, of course, we have had many embassies on 16th Street and so we are not-years ago, more years than I am going to tell you, so it has not been of recent date, our objections, that is.
We are here objecting in a practical way and as citizens of the United States of Ainerica to which we have, of course, according to the Constitution every right to complain.
We object to these embassies-to the chanceries and embassies, if you want to say so, because as has often been pointed out, once they become entrenched in your neighborhood you are lost.
In other words, in the parlance of today, you have had it. Because of the parking situation, all inconveniences that anyone can experience are located in this whole setup. They will take over more land, as has just been pointed out about the parking, as you pointed out, Mr. Chairman, about the immunity. We know they often not long ago, about a year ago, they parked on the sidewalk at one of the embassies and there wasn't anything you could do about it.
And so we object very much to these now with the many more and more all the time.
You must remember that the District of Columbia takes in only 10 miles square and with all the nations now over 100 or so, and it makes no difference as to the race, color, or creed, where we soon won't have any more property even for the residents of the District of Columbia. It has been pointed out by Mr. San Juan that the citizens should come second in Washington, in the District of Columbia, that it is the Federal business that has to be tended to. We must remember, he must, that the people who have to attend to the business of the country are citizens and they must of necessity live here.
So we do not think and we are a little impatient at so much of this doubletalk about what we must do as citizens in order for somebody's image to be such and such a way.
We are getting tired of that talk and we are also impatient at the arbitrary and capricious way in which the Zoning Adjustment Board ignored the majority, one of the largest majorities of people, citizens, that ever attended a hearing. I have been attending them for over 25 years. And citizens were entirely ignored and were smacked on the wrist and told, “We have to go on with this business.'
So we are opposed to any more chanceries and we would say embassies now, because when you get in- if you go out on 16th Street, you will see some beautiful embassies but the whole front of 16th, the sides going down, you try to get a place to park and you can't do it, and then we have to stand all sorts of--anything else that they want to give us.
Now, we had that up in our particular neighborhood especially, and I must say that you must have lived around this in order to be able to speak.
We had it when we had the Purchasing Commission, and by the way, too, our Columbia Heights Citizens Association, we felt that this was a particular one which we were interested in. And we felt that today it is not the proper thing to give 16 acres in this particular case to the enemy of our country. We didn't mince words about it.
I wanted to say, though, that we had practical experience in our area when the Russian Purchasing Commission was there established in 1942 and we had to watch while we had out little slips, you know, where you could only have a pound of butter or a pound of jelly, we had to watch while at night you would see crates of everything, groceries and everything like that, being carried into the Commission to be sent abroad.
And all those sorts of things. That goes way back and we haven't forgotten all the things that we had to put up with, and, of course, as you come along today, with the ideas and institutions changing so, and when you can't-when you have lived in a place for 30 years and have only been able to get out of your car twice in 30 years, you are not looking for any more prohibitions against parking.
Now, of course, that part has been changed. It has been 20 years--well, not 20 years because they left this in the late 1940's after the war, but we know what it is and we know, as a matter of fact, we have never ever recovered from it and we don't ever expect to.
So the Columbia Heights Citizens Association is in favor of 5882 and we hope, too, that you will be careful, as has been brought out hereI would have to study it a little bit more after I think about it—that if this bill is passed, you will have to watch the Zoning Adjustment Committee if you are going to pass this bill.
You want to be careful that you don't then leave the decisions to the Zoning Adjustment Commission because we are of the opinion now that since they dragged their feet so and waited so long to get information from other sources, whether they should give this approval of this chancery, this particular one, we feel that maybe there should be some reorganization within that Zoning Adjustment Commission.
For instance, it has been brought out here this morning that Commissioner Tobriner is a member of the Zoning Commission. Well, Mr. Clouser is a member of the Zoning Adjustment Board. And they will also have a member of the Federal Government on there, the Planning Commission.
So when you think that the majority of citizens who were opposed to this embassy out on Oregon Avenue and then they were simply given the rush, we think you are going to have to go all the way back and be very careful in any bill that you pass, that after all the final decision doesn't get back to the Zoning Adjustment Board, and we are opposed to any more chanceries or embassies in the residential sections because as citizens of the United States we think we do have some privileges.
Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF MRS. ROBERT BURNS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN
UNIVERSITY PARK CITIZENS ASSOCIATION
Mrs. BURNS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Mrs. Robert Burns, president of the American University Park Citizens Association.
I appreciate the opportunity to be heard on this issue of vital importance to the residential sections of our Nation's Capital.
The American University Park Citizens Association endorses fully the portion of H.R. 679 concerning the location of chanceries in the District of Columbia and is on record as strongly opposing the establishing of a chancery of any nature in a residential neighborhood.
Our reasons for opposition are pure and simple.
(1) A chancery is a commercial endeavor and commerce in a residential area is excluded except when the Board of Zoning Commission due to pressure from higher powers makes an exception. True, we should have a Zoning Board strong enough to overcome such pressures.
(2) The inevitable traffic, noise, and the general usage of such an establishment are not compatible to the character of a neighborhood of home dwellings.
(3) Extra police load is required of precincts involved, this adds another tax burden to the District of Columbia taxpayer.
(4) Since we are a democracy, we grant to other nations privilege which we could never enjoy in their capitals. In Moscow, for example, where everything is Government owned, we could not buy property and negotiate until a little over 5 years ago for even a 25-year lease on property we needed there, and then only where dictated.
We do not enjoy reciprocal agreements with other nations on our chancery locations. Therefore, we should not sacrifice our residential properties to a chancery or any nation.
Mr. MULTER. Thank you, Mrs. Burns.
STATEMENT OF MRS. HAROLD HINTON, VICE PRESIDENT AND
CHAIRMAN, ZONING AND PLANNING COMMITTEE, PROGRESSIVE CITIZENS ASSOCIATION OF GEORGETOWN
Mrs. Hinton. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am sorry I was outside the hall. I was explaining to Representative Diggs something which he brought up and to begin with, I am zoning and planning chairman, and vice president of the Progressive Citizens Association of Georgetown and I have been zoning chairman for 15 years, and I was working on zoning before the 1958 regulations.
I was on the advisory Committee before the 1958 regulations, Advisory Commission to the Commissioners on that particular project, and I am still zoning chairman, so I am really a little bit informed on this.
And what Representative Diggs spoke of as agitation against chanceries didn't begin since 1958. It was very strong before 1958,
. and that is why this regulation was put in forcing chanceries to go to the Board of Zoning Adjustment to ask for variance. Before 1958 nobody ever dared to think that they could control chanceries.
Originally, as you know, before World War II, chanceries were rather small things-a couple of secretaries in the ambassador's residence—and since the war they grew bigger and bigger until now they have hundreds of people in them, and it was such things as the British chancery on Massachusetts Avenue and the Canadian military mission on Massachusetts Avenue, those enormous structures which drove people absolutely so frantic that the zoning people agreed, the people who were studying the zoning, there were some regular planners they hired in New York, experts, who studied this, not a partisan or local matter at all, done according to a kind of-you might say it is a professional zoning, and it was done according to these professional standards and they decided this area, particularly one of the very desirable areas in the Northwest, had been completely devastated by chanceries and therefore there was put into this 1958 zoning which is in effect now, and it has been found that it really is not enough control, and that is why we are very much, our association is very much in favor of this bill.
And if you will permit me, I am going to put in a copy of the statement we made to the Senate subcommittee on S. 646 in which we stated that we would like the bill but we would like to have it amended to include all residential zones, and what it amounts to is that we are just asking the foreign governments to follow the zoning laws like they have to follow the criminal laws here.
It is supposed, I believe, in diplomatic circles that diplomats aren't subject to the laws of the country, and yet they are supposed to live up to them, and if one of their members doesn't live up to them, he is very quickly declared persona non grata.
So it seems to me the whole embassy should live up to the laws, the single individual members, and one of the very important laws which protects our homes, our property values, and tangible values, are the zoning laws and zoning has been upheld by the Supreme Court in 1924 as a proper use of the police power, and it is a basic American law and it is really the only thing you have to protect your property, particularly if you are a homeowner.
So I will just put in the statement, and I won't bore you with any more-it is really along the same line. It is quite short. If I may
Mr. MULTER. Your statement will be received and made a part of the record at this point.
Mrs. HINTON. Thank you very much.
(The statement of Mrs. Hinton follows:) STATEMENT OF PROGRESSIVE CITIZENS ASSOCIATION OF GEORGETOWN BEFORE
THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, May 3, 1963
I am Mrs. Harold B. Hinton, third vice president, and for the last 15 years chairman of the Committee on Zoning and Planning of the Progressive Citizens Association of Georgetown.
The “agitation” against chanceries came before 1958. That is why the regulation was included in the 1958 zoning. The chanceries before 1958 had ruined the residential area around Kalorama and Sheridan Circles.
Our association has long and consistently worked for good zoning practices in Georgetown and in the National Capital as a whole.
Sound zoning has done much for Georgetown and we think it vitally important to the future of the entire District. Only sound zoning practices will prevent overcrowding, overloaded parking facilities, incompatible and disturbing coming and going, lowering of taxable values, and many other evils.
In the interest of good zoning and for the protection of our home areas the Progressive Citizens Association urges the passage of S. 646 in a form which will extend the exclusion of chanceries to all single family zones, R-1 A and B, R-2, R-3, and R-4, plus the apartment zones.
As early as 1924 the Supreme Court in the Euclid case sustained zoning as a proper exercise of the police power. It appears to us that good zoning practice requires a law zoning out chanceries from all residential zoning areas, singlefamily detached, semidetached, row and apartment, and not merely from the areas now zoned for single-family residences.
The existing zoning regulations of the District of Columbia take care of this very well and clearly in so far as ordinary office buildings are concerned. There seems no good reason why chanceries which are diplomatic office buildings, should enjoy privileges which would not be enjoyed by office buildings owned by American citizens.
This seems to us an abuse of diplomatic privilege upon which it is appropriate for the Congress to legislate. In fact Congress can help the Zoning Commission deal adequately with the subject.
The Progressive Citizens Association of Georgetown respectfully and earnestly requests your honorable committee to report this bill favorably with an amendment to include all residential zones, particularly the R-3 row-house zone characteristic of Georgetown, in the prohibition against chanceries.
Since the introduction of S. 646 our association voted unanimously to support it with such an amendment as just indicated.
PROGRESSIVE CITIZENS AssociATION OF GEORGETOWN,
February 15, 1963. Hon. John L. McMillan, Chairman, House Committee for District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.
DEAR Mr. McMillan: The executive committee of the Progressive Citizens Association of Georgetown has directed me to send you a copy of a recent letter addressed to Senator Fulbright regarding his bill S. 646.
The members of our association believe that it might be of interest to you to know of their unanimous opinion that the fine legislation contained in bill S. 646 should be expanded to include all residential zones in the prohibition against diplomatic office buildings (chanceries).
I am forwarding a similar letter to the Honorable Alan Bible, chairman, Senate Committee for the District of Columbia. Sincerely yours,
PETER BELIN, President.