Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Marymount-Ballston Redevelopment: No Affordable Housing for Poor Baby Humans, $1.15 Million for Baby Beavers

Hey Yupette,

I attended last night's Planning Commission meeting. Heard Jay Fisette tell the Commissioners he wants more of the same from them.

Stayed around to see what the redevelopment of the so-called "Blue Goose" building (corner of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road) owned by Marymount University (a Catholic institution of higher learning) is going to look like.

According to the site plan this is going to be a massive office, educational and residential redevelopment with 835 parking spaces. Only 11 of the 267 apartments will be "affordable" at the usual 60% of area median income. So the working class people who clean the classrooms and office space will have to live elsewhere.

Marymount, as the owner of the present building and owner of the redeveloped site, will apparently pay no real estate taxes on any of the redeveloped site. Among the 'community benefits' offered by Marymount is a contribution of $1,150,000 to protect the beaver habitat near the site.

How did we get to the point that with all the fuss being made about affordable housing in Arlington a huge amount is being spent by Pro-Life Catholics to save the baby beavers? Sheesh.

Peter, 22201

33 Comments:

At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Catholic Charity'. Another oxymoron.

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I know what VOICE members are doing when they're not lobbying Congress to exclude birth control from Obamacare - watching Animal Planet.

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Marymount doesn't pay real estate taxes and will also be receiving bonus density for affordable housing that isn't affordable?

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how much will Marymount receive annaully from education + leasing office space + apartment rentals, tax free?

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will also receive bonus density for energy in-efficient LEED Gold certification. Another Dominion-friendly site plan with no on-site renewable energy.

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything in Arlington is corrupted by money and wealth....everything.

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous 2100 too said...

Not true...Arlington law enforcement is corrupted by gratuities gratefully given by pimps, hoes, and upscale drug dealers.

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous 2100 said...

Love those Christmas gift cards.

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the Green Party?

 
At 14 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a cute critter. VOICE and the other Limo Liberal do-gooders should save the wildlife in their own North Arlington back yards before running around circulating petitions that get tossed into the County Board's recycle bin.

 
At 15 January, 2014 , Anonymous 2100 said...

1000 N. Glebe Road

RPC-14013024

Tax exempt.

 
At 15 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Bob Atkins isn't around - he'd have a great 3-minute speech about this at the next C.B. meeting.

 
At 15 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Frank O'Leary will include a photo of the current building in his 2015 car tax decal competition.

 
At 15 January, 2014 , Anonymous Jefff said...

I called Arlington's Tax Assessor about this. He was f'ing clueless. Had no information whatsoever and it's going to the County Board next week for approval.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention parking spaces for 835 vehicles.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's $1.15 million when the property is producing $20 million or more every year from luxury rental apartment and luxury offices, tax free?

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the so-called Arlington County Taxpayer's Association?

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 835 parking spaces will generate at least 2,000 additional vehicle trips per day in a neighborhood that already has too many vehicles of all types.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

VOICE is already organizing field trips to the beaver pond for members of their upscale church congregations.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seen anything in the local media about this planning disaster? You won't. They're all boosters of massive urbanization re-development.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starting with that pig wearing human clothing, $cott McCaffrey.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Green Party? Leadership has good-paying jobs with the feds in return for providing information to the feds about activities of the local lefties.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the result of VOICE's 10,000 signature petition - 11 units of 'affordable' housing that's affordable if you earn $50,000 to $60,000 per year in a corridor where hundreds of jobs are being created every year that pay $20,000 per year.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, there are no beavers living in the beaver pond. Young beavers looking for their own place sometimes stay there temporarily, but there is insufficient forage to sustain a beaver colony at the Ballston pond.

Although the pond has provided a unique, green oasis in the otherwise concrete/asphalt jungle that is Ballston, and it has attracted all manor of wildlife, its true purpose is for stormwater management. It collects runoff from all the nearby impervious surfaces (of which there is a lot), allowing sediment and pollutants to settle out before the water is dumped into Lubber Run.

The pond's draining and retrofit is required under the terms of the county's stormwater discharge permit, and it helps to push the county closer to meeting its Clean Water Act obligations, including improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

So this isn't a question of affordable housing versus beavers, although I do not dispute the criticism of the puny affordable housing component of this project. But Arlington's "affordable" units aren't typically affordable to those who need housing the most. And roughly 80% of Arlington's housing-grant funds are given to those living in committed affordable units (CAFs). It seems that using an increasing amount of county tax revenue for subsidies is the only way to make these "affordable" units affordable.

The Ballston pond retrofit project supports the Clean Water Act, and the side benefit (when the pond is operating as it should), is that it also provides a home for birds, amphibians, plants, and other animals that otherwise wouldn't have a home.

Suzanne Smith Sundburg

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Collecting hydrocarbons and inorganics from parking lots and storing them in a pond isn't environmentally friendly.

For what the non-functional rooftop ironwork proposed for this building will cost Marymount could install state of the art solar photovoltaic and thermal panels instead.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earth to Catholics - It's a child, not a choice. Build affordable housing for the baby humans.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All VOICE cares about is entry level upscale housing for the limo liberals' children and grandchildren who recently graduated from college.

 
At 16 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

County Board's Planning Commission flunkies voted unanimously for this middle class taxpayer rip off.

 
At 17 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Housing Commission was given a 1 page synopsis of the Planning Commission's staff report at last night's meeting.

 
At 17 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appears that whatever real estate taxes would be paid would be passed on to residential, office, and retail tenants.

 
At 19 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will be item 41 on the County Board's January 25th meeting agenda.

 
At 25 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently there will be no net gain in affordable housing for people who work for $10 an hour on Glebe Road and in Ballston from Marymount or The Springs (new offices for APAH). The 22 'affordable' units at the Springs will go to house seriously disabled people or people transitioning from homelessness. Rest of the 'affordable' units will go to provide housing for the recent college grads from the 'creative class'. Scorecard: 371 apartments, zero workforce apartments, 940 parking spaces approved concomitant with site plan approval for Marymount redevelopmnt and The Springs redevelopment.

 
At 25 January, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where were VOICE and the Green Party when these agenda items came before the County Board? Having brunch at the Westin?

 

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