Closed Door Deals by Non-Residents to Facilitate Big Box Retail in South Arlington
The Planning Commission deferred and County Board on September 17th will defer amendments to Zoning Ordinance Sections 19, 26, and 27A regarding limits put on developers who want to build big box retail stores in Arlington. Like a proposed 120,000 square foot WalMart store proposed for the Rosenthal vehicle storage lot at I-395 and Four Mile Run.
Original intent was to limit additional retail development to a maximum of 50,000 square feet and 200 parking spaces. This made the County Board's developer friends and campaign contributors very unhappy.
Consequently, the County Board instructed the County Manager (a Fairfax County resident), Economic Development Director (also a Fairfax County resident), Planning Director (also a Fairfax County resident) and County Planning Staff (almost all live outside Arlington) to come up with revised zoning to enable out-of-state big box retail to build stores in Arlington. Did we mention that attorneys and consultants who aren't Arlington residents are also involved in the closed door negotiations?
So where does that leave Shirlington, Fairlington, Nauck, etc., residents? Totally ignorant of whatever deals are being concocted to benefit everyone but them. Stuck with another mess, on top of previous development messes. When will it end? When there's total gridlock in South Arlington, in about 5 years. At which point the persons responsible will be retired and living on a rancho deluxe in Montana.