I and other Fairlington residents were dismayed by County Board Chairman Zimmerman's mis-characterization of Shirlington redevelopment at the County Board's ceremony yesterday honoring Fairlington resident Nancy Hunt on her retirement from the Planning Commission. Ms. Hunt is also retiring from FDIC and moving from the cul de sac where she lives in Fairlington "to the country" near Charlottesville. Another prime mover in Shirlington redevelopment was former County Member Paul Ferguson, who moved on to become Clerk of the Arlington County Circuit Court. According to several Fairlington residents Mr. Ferguson "avoids visiting Shirlington".
Shirlington is a prime "dumb growth" example of how commercial areas should NOT be re-developed, according to many in the planning community, including several planning consultants who are responsible for "smarter growth" revitalization planning. There is no affordable housing in redeveloped Shirlington, there is massive parking, massive commuting by drivers of single-occupant vehicles (SOVs), no public sports, recreation, or community infrastructure, and "public space" consists of a public plaza next to restaurants and retail. The only "traffic mitigation" concomitant with Shirlington re-development was the installation of asphalt speed tables on South 31st Street between Shirlington and Fairlington, which are crumbling because of increased SOV traffic.
As has been mentioned before, in this blog and elsewhere, Chris Zimmerman is all for massive "dumb growth" redevelopment, as long as that doesn't include the wilderness area across the street from his home in Douglas Park.