Saturday, July 25, 2015

Arlington Planners to Penny Gross - 'Don't Clarendon Our Exclusive Neighborhoods'

Hey, Yupette,

Your blog's commenters are 110% correct about Arlington County's 'Planning' being a huge charade run by New Urbanist Cult members who live in Fairfax County. But don't believe me, just drive 5 miles up Columbia Pike from the Arlington border and you will see the pleasant suburban lifestyle of the Super Nimbys who are inflicting Supersized Smart Growth on Arlington.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross was given a loud and clear message in the form of facing a challenger in a Democratic Primary this year, the first in many years - 'Don't you dare Clarendon our exclusive neighborhoods'.

So it's going to be years before Mason District catches up to the Pike in Arlington County. Arlington's Senior Planners and the Developers, Architects, Consultants, Lawyers, etc. who work with them want nothing to do with Smart Growth, apart from work and attending Cult functions.


Friday, July 10, 2015

County Board to Double Down on 'Smart Growth'

Hi, Yupette,

I checked out the recent work sessions for the Second Generation "Smart Growth" redevelopment of Rosslyn and Courthouse. Rosslyn Sector Plan is going to the County Board for approval on July 22nd. Rosslyn and Courthouse will be luxury enclaves and affordable housing that's affordable for the people who will clean office buildings and wait tables in upscale restaurants will be miles away from Rosslyn, if any is available at all in Arlington.

New Urbanists have set a population goal of 283,000 Arlington residents by 2040, up from 217,000 today, which means Arlington's population would increase by about 2,600 per year, Building heights for most new office buildings will be at least 300 feet (or more if the FAA will go along with the developers' demands) and the buildings, with the usual ground floor mixed-use restaurants and retail will surround larger plazas which will be as densely populated as the small first generation mixed use so-called "open space" plazas because the surrounding buildings will be much taller. As for sports and outdoor recreation, Rosslyn and Courthouse are about built-out. Existing neighborhood parks will increasingly be repurposed into dedicated upscale playgrounds. The next generation of "complete streets" will use residential and commercial streets as "open space" for various events, and for activity and recreation space.

As for the "car free diet," redeveloped Courthouse and Rosslyn will see more parking for more motor vehicles and  bicycles. Bicycles will actively compete with motor vehicles for street space and with pedestrians for sidewalk space.

Bottom line - Arlington in 2040 is going to be an expensive urban mess.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

World Police and Fire Games - Anti-Terrorist Training Exercise

Hey, Yupette,

My husband is employed as a civilian with the Fairfax County Police Department, but we live in Arlington. I work for a NGO that operates worldwide and frequently see and hear reports of police violence against civilians, often by dictatorships.  I love your blog. My husband is quite unhappy with the Department's emphasis on anti-terrorism. That's not why he started a career in law enforcement. So we are counting down the years until he is able to retire.

You should be aware that, yes, thousands of police officers from nations with horrible human rights records are participating and competing in the World Police and Fire Games. They include police from Russia, China, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Azerbijan, Turkey, Israel, and Kazakhstan.

And, yes, there is a big "anti-terrorist" shooting competition which is off-limits. Also lots of secret meetings where information about "anti-terrorism" is shared and "anti-terrorist" tactics are discussed among participants. And the CIA is involved in a major way. According to my husband, there is little doubt that some of what is shared in the way of "anti-terrorist" tactics will be used by American police officers against American citizens.

The Washington Post and other media absolutely know the World Police and Fire Games are all about. But they are censoring information in the interests of "national security". Same Post that went after fraternities at UVA based on fiction in "Rolling Stone". So much for 21st Century "Journalism".

M.B. 22207

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dorsey, Abingdon Parents Throw Renewable Energy Under SUVs, Call Police on Nearby Residents

Hey, Yupette,

I live in Fairlington Villages in a townhouse that's directly adjacent to Abingdon School. First of all, we are NOT low income housing, as Christian Dorsey's fellow Abingdon PTA parents would have everyone believe. Townhomes in our neighborhood are selling for $450,000 and up.

So, APS held  a so-called 'Gallery Walk' at Abingdon School last Wednesday to show off the plans for the school's renovation and expansion. This was also supposed to be a County Board Meeting. Nearby neighbors showed up with e-mails (obtained via FOIA requests, exchanged among County Planning Staff, APS Staff, Planners, Consultants, and 'Community Leaders') and the use permit conditions (including architectural drawings) and demanded to know why the promised on-site renewable energy and building and classroom upgrades were eliminated from the architectural plans in favor of large expenditures for landscaping, and parking lots for SUVs. And every TDM 'improvement' in the Smart Growth Dictionary is going to be imposed on the neighborhood adjacent to the school, whether it's needed or not.

Hearing their country day school infrastructure being threatened, Christian Dorsey and his fellow PTA Parents called the Arlington Police to attempt to intimidate Abingdon's neighborhood residents from asking more embarrassing questions. Cops showed up and neighborhood residents were incensed and complained bitterly. Oh, turns out that APS can't afford to construct both state-of-the-art building infrastructure and upscale parking infrastructure for SUVs so new building infrastructure (including renewable energy) was thrown under the Parents' SUVs.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Clement Opposes Secret County Board Deals, Will Make C.B. Appointments Calendar Public

On June 15th, Independent Candidate for County Board, Audrey Clement, e-mailed a press release to the local media regarding the secret deal the Zimmerman County Board made with developer Penzance to demolish Wilson School and trade County-owned parkland in Rosslyn for a fire station. Because the local media in Arlington have chosen to ignore Dr. Clement's campaign, we print her press release verbatim, in the interest of better government in Arlington. Cindy.

Audrey Clement Will Make Her County Board Appointments Calendar Public

It was recently revealed that Arlington County Board signed a secret deal with Washington-DC developer Penzance in 2013 to trade County owned parkland for a fire station to be financed by Penzance as part of a mixed-use and office development at the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) site.

The deal was outlined in a Letter of Intent in January 2013, the existence of which WRAPS itself had been ignorant until three months ago. By sacrificing parkland to private development, it also violates the County's Natural Resources Management Plan, which mandates "zero-loss of County-owned natural lands".

The Washington Business Journal reports a Rosslyn vacancy rate of 30.8 percent. "Keeping a deal secret that would add to Rosslyn's commercial vacancy rate is irrational and irresponsible," Dr. Clement stated.

"Consequently, when elected to County Board, I will make my appointments calendar public, with no redactions. Arlington residents deserve to know with whom the County Board meets in the County Board offices and the substance of their conversations. If confidential matters need to be discussed, that's what closed meetings are for."

The advertisement for WRAPS hearings concerning Rosslyn redevelopment was approved by County Board on June 16th.

Monday, June 15, 2015

County Staff Operates in 'Free Range' Mode With REITS, Developers, Corporations, Non Profits

Hey, Yupette,

Ever wonder why so many bad mixed-use redevelopment projects reach the County Board and are approved? Like the Rosslyn WRAPS project going to the County Board for advertisement tomorrow night? No brainer. Deals are made, site-plans pre-approved, REITS, developers, and non-profits are given the go-ahead to proceed with whatever site plan conditions they want to implement based on facilitation meetings with planning staff members who don't bother informing anyone but applicants and fellow planning staff members what changes and additions in site plan conditions are being made until site plans are filed. Did I mention the basic outlines of redevelopment deals are approved by the County Board before they are passed along to County Staff? Since everyone appointed to the Planning, Housing, and Transportation Commissions are adherents of the New Urbanist religion, (cult, belief system, whatever you want to call it), site plans are essentially rubber stamped all the way up to the County Board. Oh, also forgot to mention that almost no one on planning staff lives in Arlington, so they never suffer the bad consequences of their "planning". Stay tuned for tomorrow's planning charade, starts about 7 PM.

Wendy, 22201

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christian Dorsey Wasted $2 Million, Killed On-Site Renewable Energy at Abingdon School

Hi Yupette,

I'm a nearby resident of Abingdon School (but I don't live in Fairlington) and am appalled by what's occurred during the so-called "planning" for Abingdon School's renovation and expansion. APS has out-and-out lied to us about how many more seats for students will be required at Abingdon and elsewhere, per the Civic Federation's Schools Committee report earlier this month.

Thanks to a few people who live close-by Abingdon School who are very concerned about the consequences of a vastly-expanded elementary school that would serve as another regional park, recreation, and activity center, like the South Fairlington Regional Center, we obtained documents from FOIA requests to the Arlington County Manager that indicate the intentions of both APS Staff and Arlington County Staff will be to focus on transportation, sports, recreation, and activities, rather than on education, at Abingdon.

To that end, Arlington Board of Education Chairman James Lander appointed Christian Dorsey to Abingdon's Building Level Advisory Committee. Mr. Dorsey is another SUV soccer parent who has, with APS Staff and County Staff, wasted at least $2 million facilitating state-of-the-art so-called "transportation planning" to benefit SUV soccer parents at the expense of educational and environmental infrastructure on the Abingdon campus.

Why did I laugh when I read the Washington Post report today which  mis-characterized Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol as "fiscal conservatives'? Because that's flat-out untrue. Only fiscal conservatives on the ballot who want to put an end to wasteful spending by APS and County Government are Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin.

Mary, 22206