Friday, May 30, 2014

D.C. City Council Dems Vote to Throw Streetcars Under the Bus

Hi Yupette,

Biggest news in yesterday's Post Metro Section? D.C. City Council Democrats voted to sharply cut funding for the proposed streetcar system approved by outgoing Mayor Vince Gray. Seems that mismanagement by the District's Department of Transportation, escalating costs, and the huge projected cost of Vince Gray's proposed 37-mile streetcar system, make constructing a large system fiscally impractical. The H. Street streetcar line currently under construction will cost at least $487 million.

So where are the savings from not building Vince Gray's expansive and expensive streetcar system going? For tax relief to D.C.'s middle class which has long suffered from the New Urbanists' gentrification agenda. The City Council also raised both income taxes and taxes on services, targeted at the New Urbanists. Appears the Democratic City Council majority is much more attuned to the needs of the middle class than their Democratic counterparts in Northern Virginia.

Real Democrat 22201

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 31st Site Plan Forum to Fast-Track 'Development for the Sake of Development'

Hi, Yupette,

As promised, Barbara's Donnellan's and Jay Fisette's plans to fast-track New Urbanist 'Development for the Sake of Development' to benefit out-of-state REITs and local developers are entering the charade public meeting phase. Planning Commission and County Staff will hold the meeting at Virgnia Hospital Center's Hazel Auditorium on Saturday, May 31st, at 9AM. The important decisions were made months ago at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.

As described  by several news blogs in March, Donnellan and Fisette are acquiescing to demands from developers who complain that the site plan review process is too cumbersome and is used as a way to pick their pockets for community benefits in exchange for site plan approvals.

The Planning Commission has already been told to approve whatever the County Board pre-approves behind closed doors in the County Board Offices. 'Coordinators' who report to Barbara Donnellan have been assigned to monitor the Planning, Housing, Transportation, and other advisory commissions to ensure their members don't stray from what was agreed-to by the County Board.

Few County Staff (including Donnellan) who are implementing the changes live in Arlington County. It's obvious that the County's bloated CPHD and DES staffs will be among the primary beneficiaries of the changes.

Michelle, 22207