Thursday, July 14, 2016

County Board to Celebrate Three Days of 'Christmas in July'


A.Y. contributors just completed reviewing the County Board's agenda for it's annual "Christmas in July" Meeting. (AHIF Christmas gifts are still being wrapped). This year the County Board is making it a three day celebration - July 16th, 19th, and 20th.

Again this year there's a gift for everyone, County's bureaucracy, APS, for-profits, and non-profits both on the Regular Agenda and the Consent Agenda stocking stuffers.

Going down the Consent Agenda it's interesting to note the various memoranda of agreement between the County and various entities where no cost estimates are provided (e.g., MOA between the County and Bishop O'Connell High School).

As usual, the big expensive gifts are going to the developers via the Regular Agenda. This year the New Urbanist County Board is outdoing itself trying to pack as many people, vehicles, and human activities into as little space as possible (e.g., Christmas gift to Penzance for massive redevelopment of one block in Rosslyn).

As usual, no proffers from developers, or if there are you can be certain the proffer is a money-maker for the developer. And wealthy non-profits are again receiving hand outs via the Consent Agenda.

Entire meeting agenda should be on-line by tomorrow, including AHIF gifts.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Libby's Neighbors: 'Never Mind the Gondola, Pave Our Streets First'

Hi Yupette,

I live in Libby Garvey's neighborhood of Fairlington (the kind of Urban Village the County is always talking about but actually wanting to bulldoze for "smart growth") on both the Arlington and Alexandria sides of Quaker Lane.

What is it with the County wanting to spend millions on a Gondola to Georgetown? Our streets in Fairlington badly need repaving, including those in Libby's neighborhood (photo attached).

I am not going to ride a bicycle in our neighborhood until the streets are repaved. Libby was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Fairlington when she hit a pothole on South Buchanan street. The pothole's been filled but S. Buchanan Street still needs repaving.

I met Libby's opponent, Audrey Clement, who has ridden a bicycle around Arlington for years. Audrey wants the basics, like street paving, funded first. So do I.

Shame on Libby. She opposed Pike streetcar, apparently because she doesn't like streetcars. Now she and the County Board are wanting to waste money on a tourist gondola they do like. How about running rubber-tired tourist trolleys (like those on King Street in Alexandria) across Key Bridge instead?

Thanks for this blog.

Kathy, S. 35th Street

Friday, July 1, 2016

Garvey at County Board Transportation CIP Work Session: Silent About BRT on the Pike


AY sent a correspondent to cover the County Board's Transportation CIP Work Session this week. The topic of transit service on Columbia Pike came up repeatedly. County Board Member Christian Dorsey dememaded higher capacity rush-hour transit service on the Pike. County Trasnportation Staff responded: 'Don't worry, be happy, plenty of excess capacity if everyone moves to the center of the bus'.

Insofar as bus rapid transit and double deck buses on the Pike, the County Board went along with County Transportation Staff's disapproval. County Board Chair Libby Garvey didn't mention bus rapid transit, articlulated buses, double deck buses, anything besides County Transportation Staff's recommendation that the County purchase new 40-foot buses, paint them blue, and designate them 'premium service' on various routes. Oh, same old lies from County Transportation Staff that a double deck bus won't fit under the new Washington Boulevard - Columbia Pike bridge which has over 17 feet of clearance over the Pike. Same old lies from County Transportation Staff that BRT 'won't work' on the Pike. Same old County Transportation Staff that throws cold water over traffic mitigation (except for bicycles) after including thousands of new vehicle parking spaces concomitant with new office and residential mixed-use site plans every year

So, after months of lobbying for bus rapid transit on the Pike two years ago, Libby Garvey is settling for premium Metrobus service by 2019. That's what we get for re-electing Democrats to the County Board -- more of the same-old, same-old.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Libby Garvey Votes for Massive Urbanization, Lives in an Urban Village

Hey Yupette,

Thanks for your blog. Yes, County Government and especially the County Board are core members of the New Urbanist Cult. They and their corporate cronies from the out-of-state real estate trusts are out to completely urbanize Arlington. "Car Free Diet", "Urban Village", and "Walkable Communities" are huge charades. Whatever Lyin' Libby may say she votes for massive urbanization, neighborhood after neighborhood, no matter how unhappy that makes residents of suburban neighborhoods in Bluemont, Lee Highway, Ballston, Clarendon.

So where does Lyin' Libby live? In an Urban Village that includes once-affordable Fairlington and the restaurants, retail, and essential services providers across Quaker Lane in the City of Alexandria. No resemblance to vibrant Shirlington Village, by the way.

Not only is Libby's neighborhood a walkable urban village but more real community amenities, like an immediate care facility and speciality supermarket, are moving to Libby's neighborhood. Unlike Arlington, older buildings in Libby's neighborhood are being substantially renovated. So are the shopping plazas.

What I see in Libby's neighborhood is what's typical of Arlington's other New Urbanist VIPs...they don't want Smart Growth anywhere near where they live, while 80% of Arlington neighborhoods are on their Smart Growth redevelopment opportunity to-do list.

I'm voting to put Audrey Clement on the County Board before Arlington is overwhelmed. Only a matter of a few years. I live in Claremont and no one in Arlington Government cares about massive new urbanization near us on Route 7.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fairfax County Planning Commission Approves Big Redevelopment Density Increases for Bailey's, 7 Corners, Annandale


One of AY's contributors who's familiar with planning and zoning issues attended the Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting last night. What was up for discussion and a vote, as it affects Arlington, was a significant increase in density in Planned Residential Mexed Use and Planned Develpment Commercial sectors of Bailey's Crossroads, Seven Corners and Annandale. In other words, Smart Growth redevelopment.

A description of this proposal appeared in the Metro Section of last Sunday's Washington Post.

Fairfax County Planning Commission decided to approve a FAR 5.0 maximum on new redevelopment rather than a lower density. FAR is an acronym for floor area ratio, the ratio of the total floor area of the building to the area of the lot on which the building is constructed (e.g., 250,000 square foot building on a 50,000 square foot lot).

The FC Planning Commission voiced little concern about traffic and parking. The impact of traffic on Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church wasn't on the FC Planning Commission's radar. If they weren't concerned about the impacts on Lake Barcroft, Sleepy Hollow, and Linconia, why should they be concerned about the impacts on adjacent neighborhoods in Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church? Multi-modal-multi-jurisdiction gridlock? What's that?

This up-zoning is on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor's agenda for its meeting the afternoon of June 21st. You can check out the staff reports on the FC Planning Commission's and FC Board of Supervisor's Web sites.


Friday, June 10, 2016

UPDATE: Arlington County Planning Commissioner Erik Gutshall Absent from Important PC Meetings


Others have noted on this blog that the Vice-Chair of the Arlington Planning Commission, Erik Gutshall, has been absent this entire week while the Planning Commission considered important sector plan changes, site plan changes, transportation changes, neighborhood conservation changes, and zoning changes. Mr.Gutshall's absence from the Planning Commission's deliberations regarding the Rosenthal Mazda site mixed-use redevelopment at Wilson and Glebe was especially troubling.

Vice-Chair Gutshall was also absent from the June 13th Planning Commission meeting when neighbors of the proposed 5.8 FAR (floor area ratio) building at 2000 Clarendon Boulevard voiced their opposition to the site plan.

Consequently, Arlington Yupette endorses Mr. Gutshall's opponent, County Board Chair Libby Garvey, for County Board in the June 14th Democratic Primary.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

All Candidates May Place Campaign Signs on Medians Before Primary Elections


We watched Monday's Planning Commission meeting and saw Independent candidate for County Board Audrey Clement make a case for all candidates being allowed to place campaign signs on County street medians before elections and party caucuses. Dr. Clement argued that both Section 13 of the Counnty's Zoning Ordinance and a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision (Reed vs. City of Gilbert, Arizona) allow all candidates equal opportunity to place campaign signs on medians.

Yesterday the County's Zoning Administrator, Arlova Vonhm, confirmed that all candidates may place campaign signs on street medians before primary elections and party caucuses. So we're going to see Audrey Clement's campaign signs before Tuesday's Democratic Primary.