September 27, 2021.
I’m Audrey Clement, Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 2, and I’m writing to you about the County’s lack of cultural awareness.
For the second time in six months the County has approved the demolition of an historic mansion. In March it was the Febrey-Lothrop-Rouse Estate, home to a succession of Arlington notables and site of a major Civil War encampment.
Now it is the Fellows-McGrath “Memory” house at 6404 Washington Blvd., a former B&B that was purchased in February, 2021 evidently for the purpose of flipping the property and replacing the existing elegant Victorian structure on it with one or more McMansions.
Instead of declaring these properties historic and utilizing provisions of Virginia’s tax code to preserve them, Arlington has literally doubled down on erasing the last vestiges of its architectural heritage.
Permitting the demolition of the Rouse estate and the Memory house reflects the County’s cultural backwardness. It’s also fiscally irresponsible, since the owner of a building designated as an historic landmark could reap lucrative tax credits for rehabilitating the property. Any appreciation of the property’s assessed value would then accrue to the County.
I’m running for County Board, because I reject the cultural wasteland that much of Arlington has become.
If elected I will promote the use of state and federal rehabilitation tax credit programs to preserve what’s left of Arlington’s architectural heritage. I will also:
- Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
- Say YES to affordable housing and NO to “Missing Middle” up-zoning.
- Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clearcutting wooded areas on public property.
- Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.
As a 17-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and former member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience andindependence to promote these reforms.
If you share my agenda, then:
- Spread the word about my candidacy.
- Donate to my campaign.
- Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.