About the River School Plan
The Buchanan Estate (4220 Nebraska Avenue, NW) is under contractfor purchase by the River School and the school has submitted an application for a Special Exception that would allow a private school campus, a child development center and health clinic in this residential area.
The property is roughly 2.27 acres. It is known as Under Oak for the magnificent 250-year-old oak tree that marked the center of the property. (Unfortunately, today that tree is a stump.) The Buchanan family owns Under Oak. Ruth Buchanan lived there until her death in 2019 at 101 years old. She was known for opening her home and gardens to guests, and she was a golfer, dancer, painter and a prolific photographer. Her first husband, Wiley Buchanan, who passed away in 1986, was an ambassador to several countries and served as the Chief of Protocol under President Eisenhower in the late 1950s.
Problems With Their Plan
Based on the details in the proposed plan submitted by the River School in their application:
- Traffic conditions would be made more unsafe for school children and the community.
- Parking relief requested is not permitted and existing parking is already inadequate without further reduction.
- Other neighborhood schools and day care centers would be negatively impacted.
- The impact on our neighborhood’s infrastructure will be strained by Maryland and Virginia commuters (the majority of River School families live outside the District of Columbia).
- Historic structures and foliage are at risk.
The River School proposal is too large for the site, and will endanger the safety of our residents and the neighborhood children in particular, by adding another large school of more than 350+ students, a 9,300 square foot health clinic open to the public and a 20,058 square foot day care facility, as well as a summer camp, to an already heavily trafficked residential neighborhood. The parking is grossly insufficient. This project will undoubtedly disrupt the neighborhood with multiple years of construction, overwhelm current traffic patterns, create significant noise and add new, imposing and unsightly, non-residential buildings to a residentially-zoned neighborhood.
How You Can Help
We need your help. If you are interested, we are happy to provide you with additional information regarding the project, add you to our neighbor email group and inform you of upcoming ANC and other meetings where neighbor input will be essential. Please signup on the form on the home page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept up to date with what is happening.