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:
- 267 units at the Rixey at Marymount University
- 119 units at Central United Methodist Church
- 330 units at 4000 Fairfax Dr., the former Carpool site
- 244 units at 4040 Wilson, Liberty South
- 405 units at Ballston Quarter
- 491 units at 750 N. Glebe Road
- 173 units at 672 Flats on N. Glebe Road
- 163 units at The Maxwell, 4200 N. Carlin Springs Rd.
- 104 units at The Springs, 555 N. Thomas Street
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.