For many years, Germantown residents have been keeping a close eye on developers, often with complaints over lack of communication. The Germantown Community Alliance (GCA) launched Jan. 2020 with the mission to foster transparent communication between developers and neighbors. The Alliance wrote on their Facebook page three days ago about the foundation of their mission.
The social media post said, “For too many years too many developers have been building in Germantown without considering their project’s impact on the surrounding community.GCA is working to make sure developers stick to their promises and that they maintain a good, neighborly relationship with the surrounding community.”
The alliance focuses on the preservation and expansion of affordable housing, advancement of economic opportunities for low-income communities, and facilitation of community engagement in the planning and development of Germantown sites.
GCA Board member Patrick W. Jones said the non-profit was formed during a Germantown-Fulton Campus Coalition Meeting in Nov. 2019. The coalition was previously known for having active communication with the Germantown High and Fulton Elementary School developers and it’s owners, Jack Azran and Eli Alon.
Jones said the coalition decided to create the non-profit after learning the coalition would need to draft a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with school developers. He said the group of several neighborhood organizations agreed to consolidate their voices into a non-profit.
“We decided that if we were going to have a CBA we had to define that it’d be best for all of us to form an actual legal entity to do that,” he said. “To be under one voice, for you know, Germantown High School and other projects.”
Jones said the alliance is fairly new to the scene but has organized several committees and operates a website. Among the committees are those that focus on housing, education and economic reinvestment.