Long-standing African-American churches are disappearing from the nation’s capital one at a time, like victims in an Agatha Christie murder mystery, the culprit – residential only parking. As the city’s new, mostly white residents push for special neighborhood parking, they are inadvertently forcing churches out of the District of Columbia, city officials and church members said.
On K Street in Washington’s southeast neighborhood, two churches have been demolished since August. In their places are empty, gated plots of land sit waiting to be developed into condominiums. Word of God Baptist Church, once located at 1512 K St., and nearly century-old Mount Paran Baptist Church two blocks away have sold their property and relocated to Prince George’s County in Maryland. City officials said many other churches have done the same including, Metropolitan Baptist Church, a church attended by former President Bill Clinton.
As apartment buildings replace old businesses and homes, parking is getting tighter in the District. Now, residents can petition for exclusive street parking, known as resident zoned parking. Once a street is zoned, vehicles without the appropriate zoning sticker are limited to only two hours of parking during the hours designated on the sign. As a result, one person’s solution becomes another person’s problem. (The Skanner)