Category: Development

PRESS RELEASE: Arlington Claims Ongoing Housing Discrimination to Bolster Case for Upzoning

October 12, 2020.

As the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 3, I’m concerned that my opponent, County Board Chair Libby Garvey, is misusing the racial justice movement to push upzoning on County residents.

In a September 24 County press release, Garvey indicated that the purpose of upzoning, which replaces single family homes with townhouses and duplexes, is to redress exclusionary policies that have locked minorities out of residential neighborhoods. She said: “Without changes these policies will exclude ever more people from being able to live in Arlington.

Unfortunately upzoning will likely have the opposite effect. Studies have shown that due to ever increasing land values no one earning less than area median income will afford the housing built on densified lots. In addition many moderate income residents, including people of color, will be forced to sell when real estate assessments escalate in their upzoned neighborhoods.

In another press release, Garvey emphasized the Board’s resolve to address “historic and ongoing patterns of discrimination,” implying that homeowners in predominantly white, residential neighborhoods are racist.

This drew an angry rebuke from Bill Roos, member of Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF)who reported in a letter to the editor of the Sun Gazette that the County has produced no evidence to support ongoing housing discrimination. He said:

The county government’s own summary of housing complaints shows that there were no – zero – complaints of housing discrimination based on race, color or national origin in the latest year for which data is available, 2019.

Bill Roos of ASF

Worse still, both Mary Margaret Whipple and Michelle Winters, who lead the Alliance for Housing Solutions (AHS), the principal advocate for upzoning Arlington, own homes assessed at over $1 million.

Is densification the solution for their upscale Arlington neighborhoods? If so, do they plan to make a killing by flipping their homes to a developer who will replace them with duplexes? If not, why are they pushing densification on their neighbors?

If elected, I plan to demand answers to these questions from those pandering the illusion that upzoning will solve racial inequities in Arlington County. I will also:

  • Say YES to affordable housing, and NO to upzoning.
  • Use bond money for needed facilities not boondoggles.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clear cutting wooded areas as the first line of defense against runoff and flooding.
  • Exercise the County’s own independent authority to deal responsibly with the COVID crisis.
  • Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.

As a 16-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and current member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.

PRESS RELEASE: Candidate Responses to Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future Questionnaire

ASF QUESTIONS FOR ARLINGTON COUNTY BOARD NOVEMBER 3 ELECTION CANDIDATES, August 31, 2020.

Below are County Board Candidate Audrey Clement’s responses to an Arlingtonians For Our Sustainable Future (ASF) candidate questionnaire. These responses are also available on the ASF website.

Question 1 (two parts):
ASF KEY ISSUE: DEVELOPMENT
Cost-Benefit Analysis for New Development – Reflecting a key recommendation of the 2015 Community Facilities Study, our County Board in 2017 directed the Manager to study options for county performance of cost-benefit analyses for new site plan projects. Such analyses, done by many jurisdictions, quantify likely tax and revenue income generation per site plan, as well as potential incremental costs on nearby schools, parks, water/sewer and other community infrastructure. So far, the Arlington County Board appears to have done little or nothing to implement this recommendation. What would you do, if anything, to move forward on this directive?

Population Density – Our county board currently supports very high growth/density rates. (Estimated U.S. census growth from April 2010 to July 2019 was 14.0%. U.S. census density in 2010 was 8,309 people per square mile, the highest of any county in Virginia.) If you are elected, would you support growth/densification at the same, a greater, or lesser pace and why?

Answer(s) for Question #1: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Population Density

Cost-benefit analyses for new projects are routine for most local governments. Arlington County is an exception. Its site-plan impact analysis is perfunctory, at best. Two recent examples come to mind—both reviewed by Arlington’s Transportation Commission, of which I am a member: 1) the Key Bridge Marriott redevelopment site in Rosslyn and 2) and the plan to redevelop Shirlington Village.

Though I spoke in favor of the Marriott design on March 5, I objected that the traffic impacts of three other nearby redevelopment projects were excluded from the Marriott’s traffic impact analysis (TIA): Rosslyn Gateway, Rosslyn Plaza and the Ames Center at 1820 Fort Myer Drive.

These three developments could easily double the traffic at Lee Highway and Fort Myer Drive, an intersection that the TIA says is already congested. A traffic impact analysis that excludes the cumulative impact of all new sources of traffic isn’t real planning.

On July 2, I challenged staff’s claim that Shirlington Village could accommodate even more traffic than generated by its recommended redevelopment proposal — without bothering to prepare a TIA. Staff advised that GLUP studies don’t require TIAs and that a TIA would be produced during the site plan review process. This is why we see no discussion whatsoever of redevelopment impacts on schools, green space, historic structures or public safety in the 200-page Shirlington Village GLUP study. If the County routinely disregards or avoids performing impact and cost-benefit analyses during the initial GLUP planning process, then the cumulative impact of these projects is never quantified or addressed.

If elected, I will insist on impact and cost-benefit analyses for every major site-plan project as well as a study outlining the economic benefits of the 40% population increase that staff intends to effect over the next 25 years.

Question 2 (one part):
ASF Key Issue: DEVELOPMENT

Answers for Question #2: Covid-19 and Missing Middle Housing

Impact of Covid-19 on Missing Middle Policy – With Covid-19 showing few signs of significant decline either nationally or in many states, both anecdotal evidence and recent statistics reveal that people may once again be moving out of central cities and first-tier suburbs to outer suburbs and even rural areas—looking for more room for living and more accessible and abundant green space. At the same time, many employers with an Arlington or Metro area presence are reconsidering the need to have workers concentrated onsite in dense employment centers, facilitating even greater telework and materially reducing the need for home-to-office commuting. Many experts believe that these changes will endure well after the pandemic subsides.

Should the County plan to measure and factor in these apparent trends for Arlington as it pursues greater densification of housing at a time this concept may be losing favor locally and regionally? If not, why not?

Whereas many U.S. economic sectors have contracted since the national pandemic emergency was declared in mid-March, the housing market has rebounded, with previously owned home sales increasing by almost 25% in July. Telework is the new normal for many American workers, who are seeking more space at home instead of easier commutes to the office. Rather than moving into city centers, people are seeking safe havens outside major urban corridors where land and housing costs tend to be lower. Telework will almost certainly continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Most Metrorail lines are still operating well below capacity — even during rush hour. It’s doubtful that Metro itself can sustain current operations after congressional subsidies run out. Having relied on transit-oriented development to attract new residents, Arlington real estate developers and county government must adapt.

Under these conditions, more intense infill development fueled by the so-called Missing Middle upzoning proposal seems risky. Arlington County should acknowledge the speculative nature of the Missing Middle initiative, its inflationary impact on land values and assessments, its questionable benefits for the middle class, and the danger of displacing existing lower and fixed-income households — especially the nearly 17% of homeowners who spend less than $1,000 per month for housing.

Instead, Arlington should incentivize preservation of its existing low-density residential neighborhoods and older (a/k/a more affordable) homes as a hedge against an exodus to the far suburbs by middle-income families seeking better value for their hard-earned dollars and a place to work more safely from home.

Question 3 (one part):
ASF KEY ISSUE: ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Trees – Residential and commercial development are putting major stress on Arlington’s tree canopy, now hovering near 40%. What specific steps would you take to stabilize and expand Arlington’s tree canopy

Answers for Question #3: Tree Canopy

First, based on expert advice, I would be skeptical of claims that Arlington’s mature tree canopy is increasing. County Board members and staff argue just the opposite. Yet the County’s own numbers indicate that the amount of impervious surface has increased from 40% to 45% since 2001. The additional hardscape came from somewhere, and it’s likely from clearcutting and excavating residential lots. It is also estimated that the County itself permitted the removal of at least 1,000 trees in conjunction with construction on a handful of public sites between 2014 and 2020.

Next, I would acknowledge that the loss of tree canopy and related pervious green space amounts to a crisis, because the county is suffering increasingly frequent and severe floods. And its mature tree canopy is the first line of defense against flooding. The County’s latest 10-year CIP allocates $200 million for storm water mitigation (p.11), of which I estimate that $26 million is needed to mitigate runoff due to tree removal from public property. It is estimated that every 1% increase in impervious surfaces accounts for a 3.3% increase in annual flood magnitude.

To discourage the loss of mature trees on public and private land, I would advocate for stronger stormwater management regulations, as permitted by the State Water Control Board; close loopholes in the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act that permit the removal of large numbers of trees in riparian areas; and work to adopt stricter zoning and other regulations to reduce the growth of impervious surfaces.

Question 4 (two parts):
ASF KEY ISSUE: INFRASTRUCTURE

Stormwater Management – Severe flooding of July 2018 and July 2019 caused massive property and environmental damage; climate change will trigger more such events. What should we be doing to factor in the adverse consequences of climate change in Arlington’s stormwater management policies and capital projects, as well in private sector developments?

Schools and Transportation Needs – Planning and growth must also account for infrastructure needs of growing populations, whether schools, water, wastewater, fire/police systems, or transportation systems. Pre-Covid-19, schools and traffic had become major stressors for residents, yet the county takes ad hoc approaches, with school reshufflings and traffic jams increasing without meaningful steps to increase public transport use. Do you believe these are problems and what changes would you endorse?

Answers for Key Issue #4: Stormwater, Schools, Transportation Needs

It’s imperative that public officials acknowledge the connection between mature tree removal and flooding. Arlington Public Schools demolished a grove of mature trees near the new Reed school addition, a few feet from the epicenter of 2019 100-year flood — despite wide publicity. Because of school officials’ ignorance of basic hydrology and the willful ignorance of other officials, Arlington taxpayers will be paying $200 million over the next 10 years for stormwater mitigation. That high cost wasn’t inevitable.

Nor was permitting the demolition of a 100-foot state champion Dawn Redwood in North Arlington in 2018 located in a resource protection area defined by Little Pimmit Run. The County’s approval of the related subdivision not only violated the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA), it also compromised stormwater management for the entire neighborhood. If elected, I plan to enforce CBPA, not look for loopholes to circumvent it.

On transportation needs, educating public officials is also central. County officials argue that traffic congestion isn’t an issue because VDOT traffic data indicate that annual average daily traffic (AADT) has decreased on Arlington’s arterials. This may be true, but VDOT traffic counts don’t measure congestion on neighborhood streets. And levels of service at key intersections has worsened.

As a Transportation Commission member, I can attest to the fact that staff routinely present Transportation Impact Analyses (TIAs) that deny or discount impacts from major developments — even to the point of justifying more traffic, because existing congestion is already so bad more traffic won’t hurt. The County also refuses to factor in the traffic impacts of projects in the development pipeline that have not yet been approved.

Arlington County did well to reduce the minimum parking requirements for developments along the R-B corridor. It must also produce TIAs that factor in the likely traffic impacts of pipeline developments.

Question 5 (one part):
ASF Key Issue: DIVERSITY

Housing Affordability – The county is losing demographic and economic diversity as a consequence of economic and development trends of the past two decades. ASF believes that key zoning decisions of past boards, and plans for denser zoning known as Missing Middle Housing, will only exacerbate these trends. How would you propose to address this challenge during your term in office?

Answers for Question #4: Housing Affordability and Diversity

The County acknowledges that its housing policy has gentrified low-income people out of the County. Yet they disclaim responsibility for the elimination of two thirds of the County’s market-rate affordable rental units over the past 20 years, since it was done by right. Yet on April 30, 2020, the County Board adopted a budget that includes elimination of a tax incentive for landlords who renovate their properties. Instead, Arlington County under the rubric of “Missing Middle” is promoting the myth that densifying Arlington’s residential neighborhoods through upzoning will provide more affordable housing.

The Myth of Missing Middle was challenged by a July, 2020 analysis of the consequences of duplex development on single-family home sites by Wharton professor Jon Huntley, who demonstrated that Arlington property values are already so high that duplex ownership will remain beyond the reach of a household earning 100% of area median income (AMI) in most neighborhoods. This is because new duplexes, which are central to Missing Middle, will compete on price with new single-family homes, which typically start at $1 million and above. Thus, they will be unaffordable to median income earners, who can afford to pay no more than $525,000 for housing.

Instead of Missing Middle densification, I propose to restore and promote the tax incentive for the renovation of privately owned apartment buildings. Not only will this bring a lot of dilapidated buildings up to code, it will do so at a price that is affordable to both landlords and moderate-income tenants.

Shirlington Village Slated for Densification

Comments at Arlington County Board Meeting, July 18, 2020.

I am the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board. I also am a member of the Transportation Commission speaking on my own behalf only. On July 2 the Commission voted unanimously to recommend deferral of a vote on the Shirlington General Land Use Plan (GLUP) study until outstanding transportation issues can be addressed.

While I agree with most of the Transportation Commission report, I disassociate myself from the following:

“While the commission feels confident and satisfied that the automotive trips generated by the additional homes, businesses and offices proposed in the GLUP Study Plus can be readily handled by the existing street network, the comission is concerned that the recommendations and planning for transit, walking and biking are insufficient and will leave Shirlington ill-equipped to support non-automotive modes as it grows under this study.”

Actually I am concerned about inadequate attention given to all modes of transportation in the area, particularly the study’s claim that “even a level of density greater than what would be approved for the Village at Shirlington could be accommodated without a noticeable diminution of service at the key intersections in and around the study area.” 

On July 2, I asked staff how it is so sure of this, given that no Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) had been done. Staff advised that GLUP studies don’t require TIAs. The TIA will be produced at site plan review. This reasoning is circular, since we all know that the adopted GLUP study will provide the rationale for approving several site plans in Shirlington irrespective of the TIA. Circular reasoning also explains why there is no discussion in the GLUP study of impacts on schools, green space, historic structures and public safety—in other words, all the things that matter.

My concerns are heightened by the applicant’s objection to the height limits imposed by the study and the fact that under the GLUP amendments soon to be adopted, the applicant could in fact double the density of the entire neighborhood.

Equally alarming is the applicant’s objection to building preservation. Instead it proposes to preserve facades on a case by case basis. Shirlington Village’s selling point is its historic restaurant district. When those structures are reduced to rubble and replaced with mere facades, its attraction as a destination will disappear.

While full scale densification will surely ruin the Shirlington Village restaurant district, partial densification will also fail unless impacts are addressed.

Arlington Think Tank Says “Missing Middle” Housing Is Unaffordable

Comments at Arlington County Board Meeting, July 18, 2020.

The following are excerpts from a July 15 statement issued by Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF) on the cost of so-called missing middle housing.

Arlington County’s “Housing Arlington” Missing Middle initiative — launched in December 2019 — is premised on the assumption that increasing the supply of housing even in an elastic/high demand market will provide significantly more affordable housing.

In particular, proponents of this initiative have speculated that Missing Middle housing “types” would be affordable for those at or near Arlington’s Area Median Income (AMI) of about $120,000 a year. By rezoning districts that are now limited to detached single-family homes (SFHs) to allow for duplex, triplex or townhouse development, as the country is strongly hinting, more homes might indeed be built — but at great cost in new services, infrastructure, traffic/transportation, school seats, environmental impact and park demand.

This assumption is challenged by a July, 2020 analysis of the consequences of duplex development on SFH sites by Dr. Jon Huntley, a senior economist and Kody Carmody, a communications specialist, both employed at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Huntley and Carmody show that Arlington property and land values are so high that duplex ownership will remain beyond the means of a household earning 100% of area median income (AMI) in all but a few neighborhoods. In order to make them attractive for builders, new duplexes will need to compete on price with new SFHs, which typically start at $1 million and above in all areas of the county. Thus they will be unaffordable to median income earners, who can afford to pay no more than $525,000 for housing. So much for affordable Missing Middle housing.

What Goes Around Comes Around on North Vermont Street in Ballston

Comments at Arlington County Board Meeting, June 13, 2020.

Plans to redevelop the North Vermont and 11th Street site in Ballston have been on the drawing boards for more than four years. During this time Ballston has added 2,000 additional high-rise housing units with 1,000 more on the way.

Residents of the neighborhood protested the first site plan adopted by the Board in February, 2018 because of unmitigated impacts in the form of impaired views and increased traffic congestion. Now comes a new developer with a plan to increase density even more.

At an LRPC hearing in 2017, North Ballston neighbor Annette Lang, explained why the original site plan had little community support. She put it this way.

“Specifically, residents should not bear the burden of proving that exceptions to land use plans and modifications to zoning codes are appropriate. Rather, developers should bear the burden of establishing that unless an exception and/or modification to current plans and zoning codes is granted, development of a particular property will not occur. That is the core meaning of ‘exception’.”

County staff, were as unswayed by this argument then as they are today. The fact that the Vermont Street developer needed a GLUP amendment to rezone the site is irrelevant. All that matters is that the Ballston Sector Plan encourages high density development.

The fact that a sector plan trumps the zoning ordinance makes the zoning ordinance a dead letter. Any developer with sufficient financial resources can leverage any site plan he wants irrespective of its impacts on streets, schools, open space and/or public safety. In 2018 residents of North Ballston had reason to feel discouraged because they had lost a battle to preserve their neighborhood. Today they have reason to believe that what goes around comes around, because the pandemic thrives in densely packed neighborhoods, such as the future Vermont Street development

Marriott Hotel Redevelopment To Dump More Traffic at Key Bridge

Comments for Arlington County Board Meeting, March 24, 2020

I am speaking on my own behalf and not on behalf of the Transportation Commission of which I am a member.

Approval of the Master Transportation Plan for the Key Bridge Marriott site was heard by the Transportation Commission on March 5.

While I spoke in favor of the design, I abstained from the vote for want of an adequate traffic impact analysis (TIA).

Specifically I objected to the fact that traffic impact of three important pipeline developments was excluded from the TIA: Rosslyn Gateway, Rosslyn Plaza and the Ames Center at 1820 Fort Myer Drive.

Failing to report the impact of the latter site is egregious since the Transportation Commission heard that item on March 5 also, and a TIA for it has already been prepared.

The Ames Center alone will dump 630 vehicles from 788 new residential units on Rosslyn streets a block away from the Marriott. The redeveloped Marriott site will dump another 623 vehicles. The Holiday Inn site directly across the street from the Marriott will dump 818 vehicles housed in two garages.

These three developments could easily triple the amount of traffic at Lee Highway and Fort Myer Drive, an intersection that the TIA says is currently operating at LOS F.

According to the Marriott TIA, the combined impacts of the Holiday Inn and four other major developments in the immediate vicinity will generate 21,517 weekday trips exclusive of the Marriott (Table 5-1, p.44).

Rosslyn developers refuse to scale back the amount of built parking, even though Arlington County recommends doing just that. These developers evidently believe that they can’t market their luxury condos unless they provide at least 1 parking space per unit.

Will someone tell them that if buyers can’t get their car out of the garage, and can’t make headway on Lee Highway at rush hour, they will sell?Developers should focus on marketing spectacular views of the DC skyline, not the ability to park a car.

Misconceptions About “Missing Middle” Housing

Comments at Arlington County Board Meeting, February 22, 2020

On February 6, housing planner Russell Schroeder outlined the Housing Division’s “Missing Middle” housing study to the Transportation Commission. According to the study’s framework document, one of the goals is to arrive at “a shared definition for the term ‘missing middle housing’ for Arlington”.

The Transportation Commission, which embraced the plan, conceded that missing middle does not mean affordable housing. Indeed, ARLnow quoted Commissioner Kristin Calkins, who said: “The point of the Missing Middle Study is not to create affordable housing, but is to create housing for different needs.”

Commissioner James Lantelme said the purpose of Missing Middle is to further densify the County in order to reduce suburban sprawl and provide people who can afford to do so the opportunity to live here–in other words, to promote “Smart Growth”.

There was no concern expressed about the impacts of densification on County residents, including increased congestion, overcrowded schools, loss of green space and tree canopy and attendant runoff and flooding. To housing advocates like AHC who believe that Missing Middle will provide affordable housing, civic activist Suzanne Sundburg has this to say:

So all these folks who claim to support increasing the number of “people of color” and/or “affordability” are being intellectually dishonest. Increased density inflates land values. And inflated land values drive up assessments, which, in turn, drive up the tax burden. That increased tax burden falls heaviest on fixed- and low-income households . . . which often comprise people of color, seniors and the disabled. These developer welfare upzoning/densification programs increase the cost of housing for all Arlingtonians, and result in the displacement of the very people that they and the county claim they want to “help.”

Suzanne Sundburg

Upzoning the Arlington Way

Comments at Arlington County Board Meeting, December 14, 2019

The Arlington Connection recently ran a story on upzoning the Arlington way. It went like this. A large lot on North River Street in Chain Bridge Forest was recently sold by the estate of its former owner to a developer. He leveled the home and all 200 trees on it to make way for 4 new McMansions.

At a recent County Board meeting Christian Dorsey informed one of the impacted neighbors that the County Board couldn’t do anything about it. Appeals to the County Manager’s office, CPHD and the Zoning Administrator likewise fell on deaf ears. The reason is by right development according to Libby Garvey, who commented on “the need to examine regs that can discourage such projects.”

But that’s not likely to happen when the County Board votes to upzone residential neighborhoods. Then the plight of Chain Bridge Forest will play out across the County. Housing advocates like Affordable Housing Solutions are cheering the developers on, because they  naïvely believe that upzoning will produce affordable housing. That’s delusional. Upzoning will simply replace each million dollar tear down with 4 equally unaffordable pre-fabs.

A recent Sun Gazette editorial opined that upzoning will pit single family homeowners against recently “woke” voters who own no property and have no interest in preserving single family neighborhoods. Their votes will be bought by outside money from the likes of George Soros, who recently purchased the election of the County’s new Commonwealth Attorney.

 “Woke” voters are no doubt easily led. But their votes won’t be needed once existing owners realize that they can make a killing by selling to a developer, who will then cannibalize their property and immiserate their neighbors.

County Board Doubles Down on Massive Parking Facility at HT Development Site

Comments at Arlington County Board Meeting: 11/16/19

I am speaking on my own behalf as a long-time bike commuter, not on behalf of the Arlington Transportation Commission, of which I am a member.

However, I voted with the majority of the commission on October 30, when it recommended that this item be deferred until the developer produces a more realistic parking plan. HT currently proposes 946 parking spaces or 812 more than the current HT parking lot. The Parking Guidelines for Multi-Family Residential Projects requires only 506 spaces for this site. So HT is effectively doubling what the County recommends.

The Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) produced by Gorove/Slave discounts the impact of the development at the intersection of Glebe Road and Randolph Street, trotting out its usual argument that since the intersection is already operating at an unacceptable level of service (LOS F), the predicted net increase of about 100 cars during peak hours isn’t going to make things worse.

According to neighbors at nearby Hyde Park Condominium the intersection at Glebe and Randolph is already dangerous, because due to the lack of a westbound left turn lane at Glebe and Henderson Road, residents of Hyde Park must use the Glebe and Randolph intersection to execute westbound turns into the condominium.

The staff report indicates that the project provides almost 300 bicycle parking spaces, with bike access afforded by bike lanes on adjoining streets. But there are no current or planned bike lanes along Glebe Road. 300 bikes competing with hundreds of cars and thousands of pedestrians to get into and out of 600 Glebe Road every day gives new meaning to the term “traffic hazard”.

To get an idea of just how dangerous the HT location already is, the other day I road my bike during rush hour on the sidewalk of Glebe Road from Fairfax Drive to Route 50 and back. En route I jockeyed for space with numerous pedestrians, other bikers and turning cars on uneven pavement. It was a hazardous trip that will become exponentially more dangerous with new HT development. Time to hit the reset button on 600 Glebe Road and come up with a new safety conscious parking plan.

PRESS RELEASE: More Densification Planned for Ballston

Most people view development as a good thing. But too much of a good thing is bad, and that’s what’s happening to Ballston, where densification has become the new mantra. According to community activist Suzanne Sundburg, who has tracked the greater Ballston planning pipeline from a variety of public sources, about 3,000 new residential rental units have been built or are under construction there.

Major projects underway include the redevelopment of the Harris Teeter / Mercedes site on N. Glebe Road (732 residential units, 965 parking spaces). Other Ballston housing projects completed, under construction or planned include:

The .6 acre park planned for the Harris Teeter / Mercedes site is woefully inadequate to meet the needs of the more than 1,000 residents who will live there. In fact .6 acres is the average size of just 3 single family home lots. Nearby Mosaic Park will have to serve the recreation needs of the thousands of others moving into the units listed above.

A New Planning Approach Needed

Considering the growing congestion at major intersections such as Wilson Blvd. and Glebe Road in Ballston; schoolyards overflowing with trailers; acres of new flood inducing surfaces from infill development; Arlington County Government’s planning paradigm falls well short of the kind of reality-driven planning that Arlingtonians deserve.

As an Independent candidate for County Board, I don’t think we need buzzwords that local officials bandy about like “Car-Free Diet,” “Affordable Housing,” “Smart Growth” and “Urban Village”. We need comprehensive studies that include the fiscal and practical costs of increasing Arlington’s population.

If elected, I will insist on a new approach to redevelopment. In addition, if elected, I will:

  • Say NO to more tax rate increases and a recently authorized County Board pay grab.
  • Preserve green space and emphasize basic services like: streets, schools, libraries and public safety.
  • Promote transparency by requiring publication of official documents at least 72 hours before board and commission meetings.
  • Provide a voice on County Board for all taxpayers.

As a 15-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and current member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.

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