Saturday, December 31, 2016
This month AY informally polled our contributors and about a hundred Arlington residents who don't relate to the agendas of either the Republican or Democratic Parties. From a list of ten Arlingtonians who do not adhere to the agendas of the political machine that's controlled Arlington for more than 35 years they chose Audrey Clement and Peter Rousselot as Arlingtonians of the Year for 2016.
Last month Independent Audrey Clement received 27% of the vote for County Board against an opponent who uses huge amounts of political patronage to buy votes from special interest groups. Audrey's campaign platform stressed fiscal and environmental responsibility and government accountability.
Peter Rousselot is a former Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (i.e., the Arlington Democratic Party). Peter's columns in the news blog ArlNow also stress fiscal and environmental responsibility and government accountability.
AY looks forward to Audrey's and Peter's continued activism for better government in 2017.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Good news for Westover and the region's cat lovers. Stray Cat Cafe' will re-open this week. Owners foiled New Urbanist/Smart Growth anti-small business County Government by doing a basic makeover that did not require permits from DES for heavy excavation, plumbing, electrical and other upgrades. New Urbanist Cult members who control County Government deliberately delay and deny permit applications so small businesses are discouraged from making upgrades, in County Government's quest to completely "Clarendon" Arlington County.
So look for a new bar and renovated tables and a new kitchen at the Stray Cat.
Also a revamped menu.
See you there later this week.
Friday, December 23, 2016
I attended the Four Mile Run Planning Charette (pronounced 'Charade') on December 21st. Surprise. Surprise. Four Mile Run Valley will become a team sports and performing arts district, with a new team sports field house no less.
The result of more than a year of patronage promises made by County Board members (e.g., Libby Garvey) in return for special interest votes.
Little concern expressed about the loss of small businesses along FMRV and tax revenue produced by the small businesses. This was a done-deal before Dover-Kohl was invited to facilitate the charade. Which has cost taxpayers at least $500,000 (so far) for staff time and Dover-Kohl's services.
BTW, if you want to know how County Government actually operates a good place to visit is Peter Rousselot's weekly column on the ArlNow blog.
Update - Peter Rousselot's weekly column for December 22nd can be found at:
Sunday, December 18, 2016
So the County Board approved a resolution calling for I-395 Express Lanes, although there is major unhappiness by the Arlington neighborhoods that would be affected. What else is new in the ongoing More Car Diet saga? County Board needs good will of Governor McAuliffe and the General Assembly to pay for a WMATA bailout due to WMATA's incompetence. And for a laundry list of vanity projects.
Can't slow down Prince William, Stafford, and Prince William residents who drive from the affordable outer suburbs through un-affordable Arlington to their places of employment where they can earn enough to afford a 4-bedroom home in a sprawl neighborhood bulldozed out of farms, forests, and along streams. The General Assembly won't allow it.
I-395 Express Lanes approval was the last in a series of actions the County Board took during 2016 to increase the number of vehicles, and vehicle trips, in Arlington, ranging from approving huge new parking garages a couple blocks from Metro stations to more parking and larger drop offs for SUV parents at Stratford Elementary School.
If you don't want to drive you can always take an ART bus, soon to be stuck in traffic at 6 mph.
Thanks for this blog.
Monday, December 5, 2016
I live in the Four Mile Run Valley and dropped in the FMRV planning charettes several times over the past few days.
Anyone who calls what's been happening regarding FMRV planning "planning charades" has got it right. Any suggestion I made about preserving open space as open space was immediately disparaged by both so-called "community leaders" and Arlington's so-called "planning staff". Any suggestion I made about mitigating traffic and parking resulting from new parks and rec amenities was also dissed.
Appears to me FMRV parks and recreation spaces will be packed with as many people, activities, and vehicles as possible. And, based on County Government's patronage, aka vote-buying with tax dollars, multi-neighborhood canine care centers will be juxtaposed with performing arts centers and a big new WETA production facility.
So, we have to ignore these "planning charades" and determine what the County Board actually promised the performing arts groups, among others, a year or more ago.
No Way, BTW, will I ever vote for Jay Fisette who got all this started, 20 years ago.
Monday, November 28, 2016
AY wanted to know why Four Mile Run Valley is such a deteriorated mess in advance of the Planning Commission meeting on November 29th which will vote on recommending moving the Columbia Pike recycling drop-off to the Trades Center and the Four Mike Run Valley redevelopment charades that will commence on December 2nd.
Short answer is the County's Democratic Regime allows neighborhoods to become deteriorated so corporate and non-profit cronies - in partnership with the County's bloated planning, housing, and transportation bureaucracies - can impose mixed-use redevelopment (e.g., Clarendon) on neighborhood after neighborhood.
Regarding the Columbia Pike recycling drop-off, County Staff stated that it's the de facto 'neighborhood dump'. Moreover, home renovation contractors are also allowed to dump construction debris in and around recycling bins. And park their vehicles overnight near the recycling bins. Planning Commission and County Board are going to have to decide what deal the County will make with the renovation contractors and neighborhood businesses if household recycling is moved to the Trades Center.
Regarding the Four Miles Run Valley, a deal was reached years ago to allow Shirlington-Nauck to deteriorate to the point where the only option is a complete tear-down and "Clarendonization". Signature has been promised a new 500-seat theater. Rosslyn Spectrum has been promised a new theater. WETA has been promised new production studios. A dozen performing arts groups have been promised as much space as they need in at least 6 new buildings dedicated to the performing arts. All to be heavily taxpayer subsidized.
Needless to say, County Staff is very unhappy about the commercial businesses in the Four Mile Run corridor that have spent a considerable amount of money modernizing their buildings. If there's one thing County Staff doesn't want it's more upscale renovations like The Italian Store in Westover. As usual, the people on County Staff who are facilitating Four Mile Run Valley redevelopment don't live anywhere near Arlington.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
I attended thd Four Mile Run Valley Working Group meeting last night at the County's Trades Center. Surprise. Surprise. The done-deal is for Shirlington-Nauck to be redeveloped into an performing arts corridor, with a 500-seat theater and many other types of spaces for the performing arts (e.g. dance) and affordable live-work housing for performing artists.
Making the pitch for a performing arts corridor was the cultural affairs division of Arlington Economic Development, which has done little or nothing over the years for the commercial and industrial owners of older buildings in the corridor. Not only will Shirlington-Nauck be completely de-industrialized but there are no plans to construct long-needed community amenities for Nauck-Shirlington and South Arlington (e.g., a hardware store, a consumer electronics store, a shoe and leather repair shop, and so on). So future residents will not only have to drive miles for auto maintenance but for basic needs like cordless phone replacement batteries. And providers of essential services, like HVAC maintenance, will be forced to drive to Arlington from places like Stafford County.
County Board brought in Dover-Kohl for the usual design charettes (pronounced "charades"). Same Dover-Kohl responsible for gentrification planning for Columbia Pike and Lee Highway. As usual, the working group is packed with "community leaders" who go along with the program, yellow dog Democrat "facilitators", and performing arts group lobbyists.
Another older neighborhood, another Smart Growth redevelopment opportunity.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Public Not Sufficiently Informed About Tonight's Alexandria-Arlington-Falls Church Joint Work Session
Turns out three imporatant topics will be discussed at tonight's Alexandria - Arlington - Falls Church joint work session, to convene at the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street in Alexandria, at 7 PM.
(But first there will be a closed dress rehearsal meeting by the County Board at 3 PM).
So, the topics to be discussed tonight are all important:
Staff presentation about multi-modal transportation and land use across jurisdictions, focusing on the Route 7 corridor;
Planning for a future multi-jurisdiction 9-1-1 connunications system; and,
Short term residential use (e.g., accessory dwellings, bed-and-breakfasts, and so on).
The staff reports for the meeting only appeared this morning on the County Board's Web site at arlingtonva.us
Nothing seen on the local media.
Media may report tomorrow what decisions were made without public input or a public hearing
Thanks for your blog.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
After months of searching the County Board finally hired another County Auditor, Dr. Chris Horton, from the Fairfax County Public School System. Concomitantly, the County Board is energizing a citizen fraud, waste, and abuse hotline.
But does it matter? Dr. Horton will be constrained as to what he can investigate and audit by the County Board's Democratic Majority. Complaints made to the citizen fraud, waste, and abuse hotline will be passed on to a committee composed of Old Guard Democrats for 'evaluation'.
Will the massive long-time fraud on taxpayers - hundreds of students attending Arlington public schools when neither parent lives in the County - be investigated? Will the County Board's pet car tax decal program - a complete waste of tax dollars - finally be ended? It's possible, but not likely.
After all, the way Libby Garvey and the rest of the Democrats on County Board get elected, and re-elected, is by buying votes with tax dollars, no matter how illegal or wasteful the program.
Thanks for your blog.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Wonder why the County Board's closed meeting was so long Tuesday afternoon? Because the County Board made another deal for another new live theater. This one on the former Arlington Funeral Home site, at 3901 Fairfax Drive. This was a mixed use redevelopment deal that fell through ten years ago, then the funeral home was demolished, and the site's been used as a vehicle storage lot by Mercedes Benz of Arlington. County Board's deal on Tuesday revived a subsequent 2012 deal for a mixed use redevelopment of the site, including a live theater.
County Board plans to build at least two more live theaters, one in Courthouse and another in Four Mile Run / Nauck as part of a new performing arts zone to replace the present industrial uses.
As for which live theater group or groups would benefit, there is little doubt that the County Board's pet theater groups, Signature and Synetic will have major roles in the new theater's organization, management, and productions.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
AY learned early this week that the ArlNow news blog, owned and published by Scott Brodbeck, planned to humiliate County Board Independent candidate Audrey Clement during the Arlington Democratic Party's victory celebration at Sehkraft last night. Based upon e-mail provided to AY by a Clement campaign insider, Brodbeck invited Clement, who has been demonized for years by Arlington's Democrats, to an ArlNow interview at Sehkraft last night without telling Clement that Arlington Democrats would be holding their victory party at SehKraft.
Clement initially agreed to the interview, but sensibly asked Brodbeck to be interviewed in a neutral setting when she learned that she was being set up for humiliation or worse. Members of the family that owns and operates SehKraft were unaware that Brodbeck had invited Clement and other non-Democrat candidates to be interviewed at Sehkraft until told by a Clement campaign worker. The Arlington police were also informed about Broadbeck's antics.
Another episode in the ongoing saga of the media elite who profit from Smart Growth gentrification vs. Arlington residents like Audrey Clement whose moderate income apartments are slated to be bulldozed for luxury townhomes.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
AY polled our contributors and it's no contest - Audrey Clement has our endorsement to replace Libby Garvey on the County Board.
After 35 years of one-party government in Arlington time is long overdue for another Independent on County Board. Since Libby Garvey joined the County Board in 2013 the pace of New Urbanism in-fill has accelerated. The Penzance mega-development in Rosslyn, approved in secret just after Libby joined the County Board, was finlly officially approved yesterday and sets the standard of how not to plan redevelopment. It will get worse in Rosslyn, and elsewhere in the County if Libby and the County Board pack the County as much density as possible while demanding few or no proffers from developers. Any developer proffers that are offered are almost always offset by massive amounts of so-called bonus density.
Libby Garvey is great at making secret corporate welfare deals with developers. She's terrible at planning for the County's population growth, and maintaining basic public infrastructure. She's done nothing about helicopter noise in her own neighborhood. Same for crumbling streets and third world street lighting in Fairlington. She allowed school population growth to reach crisis levels when on the School Board and County Board, while marketing the County as 'Portland on the Potomac'.
Like other Arlington Democrats, Libby only gets re-elected by buying votes from special interests with tax dollars, by the County's bloated public informtion - aka New Urbanism propaganda - machine, and by revenue-hungry local media. Also by condoning behavior that's illegal, like surrogate voting and letting non-resident Democrats who vote in Arlington send their children to Arlington public schools.
We agree with Audrey Clement that the County's quality-of-life is deteriorating in Arlington's suburban neighborhoods and things will get worse. We are appalled that Libby Garvey and the County Board would even consider dis-interring the remains of one of Arlington's pioneer families so a church can proceed with so-called PTL redevelopment. That and many more secret mixed-use redevelopment 'done deals' are in our future if Libby Garvey is re-elected.
Friday, November 4, 2016
I'm a former Civic Federation delegate and dropped by the hospital Tuesday to hear the County's done-deal accessory dwelling unit presentation and consternation from residents of neighborhoods like mine who will suffer the consequences. Also attended the County Planners' presentation at Key School Wednesday night. Met and conversed with Audrey Clement but did not see Libby Garvey. Done deal? No fooling. Obviously worked out between the County Board and County Planning Staff. No data whatsoever presented about positive and negative consequences. Another fire-aim-ready program. Consequences? What are consequences? It's obvious to me that Libby Garvey and the County Board run the County like Bill and Hillary run the Clinton Foundation. Audrey Clement has my vote. Libby's salary should be cut to zero. She's worthless.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Another week, another done deal made at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard. This time it's the cross-Potomac gondola, projected cost has increased from $40 million to $90 million in only a few short months. Promoted by DC Government Lobbyist Carol Mitten and DC Guru for Economic Development Victor Hoskins (who began planning a cross-Potomac gondola years ago when he was officially employed by DC). To benefit the stagnant Georgetown Business District.
Meanwhile, back in Arlington, more than 3,000 public school students attend class in trailers and the number is steadily increasing. Hoskings and Mitten (who are long-time DC residents) are largely responsible for inflating Arlington's economic bubble, based on low wage service jobs and tech companies that will move away when their corporate welfare stipend from the County expires, or fail during the next economic recession.
Same Victor Hoskins who made extravagant promises about significantly reducing the County's office vacancy rate, which is going to increase according to his latest projections.
Needs, not wants, should drive Arlington County Government. We don't need to be paying $450,000 to a couple of DC residents who are unofficially working for DC.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Your suburban neighborhood is not the only target of Libby Garvey and the County Board looking to make urbanization deals with Smart Growth developers. At least a dozen older church congregations with buildings in need of significant upgrades have been approached by developers. In addition to the Arlington Presbyterian Church's PTL (Pass The Loot) deal another deal is in the works for Central United Methodist Church. Other churches and religious organizations with buildings on large parcels are also being approached - Westover Baptist Church and the Knights of Columbus on Little Falls Road are two.
Talk about mixed-use urbanizing the suburbs. Your great-looking church gets torn down and the land Clarendoned along with the rest of the neighborhood.
Thanks for your blog.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Fibbin' Libby Garvey is talking about how VDOT's and TransUrban's $15 million yearly contribution for multi-modal transportation in the I-395 corridor between DC and Seminary Road in Alexandria is insufficient. Well, she and the County Board approved the deal a year ago in meetings with VDOT, TransUrban, and the McAuliffe administration.
Lyin' Libby can talk about preserving the environment along I-395 all she wants. The deal she and the County Board made last year will have I-395 North of Seminary Road to the 14th Street Bridge looking like this photo of I-395 South of Seminary Road.
TransUrban removed at least 10,000 mature trees from the median and shoulders of I-95 to build Express Lanes and sound walls. Several hundred mature trees would likely be removed from the I-395 right of way in Lyin' Libby's own Fairlington neighborhood to make way for sound wall construction. Oh, BTW, not only would homeowners at ground level have to look at ugly sound walls but residents of homes, townhouses, and apartmetns on hillsides above I-395 would not be protected from traffic noise.
As part of the done deal, then-County Board Chair Mary Hynes was promised an appointment to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Same Mary Hynes who served on WMATA's Board of Directors while Metrorail literally crashed and burned.
Oh, at a number of recent public hearings VDOT representatives stated that "One percent of the vehicles on I-395 are responsible for transporting 12 percent of commuters". Last public meeting VDOT held at Wakefield High School was packed with highway construction workers.
We need Fibbin' Libby re-elected to the County Board like we need DC City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson's $40 million per mile Gondola across the Potomac.
Thanks for your blog.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
I wondered why Libby Garvey's corporate cronies (e.g. media corporations) are so hostile to Audrey Clement that they're going around stealing Audrey's campaign signs.
But you have to put into the context of where Libby's corporate cronies are deriving their wealth -- both from Smart Growth mega infill in Arlington and mega sprawl in outer suburbs like Stafford County. No wonder the Sun Gazette won't endorse Audrey. She's an Environmentalist. Sun Gazette's staff are chamber of commerce boosters who are selling lots of ads in fast-growing sprawl outer suburbs. And ads for Smart Growth mega-infill here in Arlington. Same for developers. NVR is selling luxury townhouses in gentrified Westover and affordable townhouses in Stafford County, built by NVR's subsidiary, Ryan Homes.
Connected by -- I-95 / I-395 Express Lanes which Libby Garvey and the County Board secretly approved a year ago. Now Libby is sending e-mail to her angry Fairlington neighbors telling them not to worry, VDOT will fix any problems that may arise from 395 Express Lanes. Speaking of transportation to and from Stafford County, let's not forget Congressman Beyer's auto empire.
What have we become? Neverland-on-the-Potomac where the ruling elite govern under a system of social and economic apartheid -- drive from your $50,000 per year job to your affordable home in the outer outer suburbs, and pay $15 one-way for the convenience.
New Urbanism, Smart Growth, Urban Village, Affordable Housing, Car Free Diet. All charades. Libby Garvey and the rest of the County Board are really Chamber of Commerce Republicans who are benefiting from both infill destruction of our neighborhoods and sprawl destruction of agricultural land, forests, and wetlands. Talk about the Clinton Foundation, that's how the County Board operates.
No way do I want to see my quiet Westover neighborhood bulldozed and Clarendoned. No more charades from fast-talking politricksters like Libby Garvey.
Thanks for your blog.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Thank You, Audrey Clement, for proposing that Congressman Beyer immediately act to eliminate noise from the Vietnam-era helicopters that continuously fly over our Arlington neighborhoods, including my Fairlington neighborhood where Libby Garvey, and local Media VIPs Scott McCaffrey, and Scott Brodbeck live.
From Audrey's press release today:
"While campaigning around Arlington I've heard many complaints from residents about noisy helicopters. My opponent has been talking about trying to mitigate helicopter noise for years. But residents in her Fairlington neighborhood tell me helicopter noise is worse than ever.
Many of the helicopter flights are so-called VIP flights, transporting flag officers and senior-level Pentagon employees between the Pentagon and close-by military installations.
Turns out that many of the helicopters are Vietnam-era. The UH1N helicopters (photo attached) responsible for much of the noise in my opponent's Fairlington neighborhood were first deployed in 1970.
Therefore, I am asking Congressman Beyer to accelerate retirement of UH1N and other older helicoptere and work with NASA to make development of quiet helicopters a priority. Congressman Beyer sits on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives, which includes NASA. Congressman Beyer and his family have owned a Land Rover / Range Rover deslership for decades. Land Rover not only manufactures Range Rover SUVs but armored Range Rover SUVs (photo attached) used throughout the world for secure VIP transportation.
Consequently, when elected to County Board, I will work with Congressman Beyer to retire obsolete noisy helicopters and replace then with high-security SUVs. Given that VDOT will soon have a network of Express Lanes in Northern Virginia, it makes no sense for Arlington residents to suffer from noise and air pollution caused by VIP helicopter flights."
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Another week begins, another inaccurate media report about another local VIP. In this case a Post feature about Libby Garvey, who is running for re-election to the Arlington County Board. Libby wants the salary of County Board members doubled, from about $55,000 to about $110,000.
AY heard years ago that Libby Garvey spends as much time socializing as she spends on matters related to the County Board and County Governemt, but we didn't have proof.
However, one of Arlington's independent activists recently shared a trove of records obtained from the County via FOIA requests, including recent desk calendars of County Board Members.
From perusal of these records, and the way the County Board operates, it's obvious that Libby Garvey was being disingenuous when she told the Post "this is more than a full time job". The County Board has been packing as much into the Consent Agenda as it can get away with. Often the County Board members are unaware of what they are voting for on the Consent Agenda. The County Board doesn't meet in August, which gives Libby Garvey and the other County Board Members a two month vacation - from mid-July to mid-September.
The way the County Board operates since Chris Zimmerman retired is for County Board members to pre-approve so-called done-deals - like the I-395 Express Lanes deal the County Board will approve today - in 1 hour meetings with developers. Jay Fisette serves as the County Board's de facto Chief of Staff. After County Staff provide preliminary plans for a program or project the plans are sent around the County to be rubber-stamped by the County Board's hand-picked advisory commissions and civic association facilitators.
The plans come back to the County Board for a final discussion and vote, a legal requirement. Since three County Board members have day jobs their incentive is to make County Board meetings as short as possible. After all, these are done deals.
As for Libby Garvey, yes she spends a few long days every month attending to County Board matters. But most days she has a meeting or two with some pet developer or pet non-profit and then socializes with political cronies and personal friends, often at a vibrant local restaurant.
BTW, Libby's opponent, Audrey Clement, has a full-time job and bicycles to work.
As for the Post, what can one say about a Post reporter who takes voluminous notes at every meeting she attends and publishes so little of substance?
Monday, October 3, 2016
So what has the County Board been all excited about the past few County Board meetings? Imposing massive urbanization on what remains of a suburban county and spending massive amounts for vanity public infrastructure projects. Same Libby Garvey who was dead against a streetcar system on Columbia Pike and million dollar transit shelters on the Pike just voted for a $4 million Taj Mahal pedestrian bridge across Wilson Boulevard while hundreds of acres of brick sidewalks on Wilson Boulevard, Fairfax Drive, and elsewhere in the B-R Corridor badly need replacing. Then there's the deteriorated street lighting and street paving all across the County.
Looks like we're going to be short a few hundred classrooms in ten years but the County Board's focus is going to be on a $40 million cross-Potomac gondola, a $60 million aquatic center, a $250 million convention center, and spending $100 million repurposing neighborhood parks, and even residential streets, into multi-purpose activity centers while the County is being completely urbanized. Oh, insofar as their "Car Free Diet" is concerned it's another Smart Growth charade, the County is on course to be not only saturated with vehicles of all types, but grilocked at rush hours. We can also ride bicycles everywhere 24/7/365, something they're going to spend another $50 million on because Jay Fisette and Libby Garvey like bicycles.
What else can we expect from one-party government for the past 35 years that's been in the pockets of New Urbanist developers for the past 25 years? Time for a change. Keep our suburban county suburban. Elect Audrey Clement to the County Board.
PR, MK, CJ, and other Democrats for Intelligent Growth
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
It's nice that County Board Chair Libby Garvey is so infatuated with bicycles, to he extent she wants County residents to bicycle 24/7/365. But she could at least show some concern for her bicycle buddy neighbors in South Fairlington. A few months ago my and Libby's neighborhood only had serious cracks in the pavement. Now we're being invaded by bicycle eating potholes. You would think that Libby could take some time off from fast-tracking the Rosslyn-Georgetown Gondola to at least survey which streets need immediate repaving, but I guess not.
Fairlington's First Hipster, Scott Brodbeck, is staking out a raccoon den off South 31st Street and Nanny Newsie Scott McCaffrey is out covering affordable housing galas. So they're no help.
Since Libby went head over handlebars after hitting a pothole on South Buchanan Street several years ago, we decided to warn her of potholes ahead in her neighborhood.
Libby's opponent, Audrey Clement, has been riding a bicycle for decades and Audrey HAS promised to make street repaving a priority when she's on the County Board.
Thanks for your blog.
Larry, S 36th St.
Monday, September 12, 2016
I live on North 10th Road in Westover and have become quite familiar with the affordable workforce apartments gentrification saga. Latest news is that two more apartment buildings in my neighborhood will be torn down for luxury townhomes.
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is no longer interested in buying older apartment buildings like those in my neighborhood. APAH is very interested in expensive and complex mixed-use redevelopment deals, like the Arlington Prysbeterian Church redevelopment. APAH's President and CEO is Nina Janopaul and the Chair of APAH's Board of Directors is John Milliken. Look them up on the Web. Majority of APAH's Board of Directors (working and retired) have major-league experience with expensive mixed-use redevelopment.
APAH has announced that APAH will purchase 8 apartment buildings in Westover for renovation. Deal is going to the Housing Commission this week. That ONLY occurred because of the anger over the apartment teardowns in my neighborhood several months ago.
It gets worse. The owner of the Westover apartment buildings that were torn down and the apartment buildings that will be torn down for luxury townhohouses offered to sell all his Westover real estate holdings to APAH in early Spring. APAH refused his offer. Moreover, APAH never bothered to approach other Westover apartment building owners with so-called "first refusal offers" so APAH has the right of first refusal when owners want to sell.
It gets evern worse. When APAH buys and expensively renovates older apartment buildings not only do rents typically increase by $200 per month but only people with a narrow range of incomes (typically $50,000 to $65,000) are allowed to live in APAH's renovated apartments
I looked at the historic designation proposal and that's another part of this big charade. County Government (i.e., the Arlington Democratic Party) wants to see our neighborhood gentrified and historic designation is how they divide the community between homeowners and renters. That's what we get from having one-party government for 35 years.
So I attended the Westover Community Meeting in Westover Park yesterday. Needless to say, no County Board member bothered attending, but I left before the event ended. Green Party was there. So I and other Westover tenants absolutely want to form a Westover Tenenat's Organization, for people who rent apartments, condos, and single family homes. That's something like 60% of Westover's population.
I also want the County's Independent Auditor to audit the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF) to see where the money is going that's supposed to build affordable housing. I also want the HUD Inspector General to audit APAH. It's also time for Ms. Janopaul, Mr. Milliken and others who want to make APAH into a REIT to be replaced by people who want to build affordable workforce housing, not gentrification housing and millennial housing.
Thanks for your blog.
N. 10th Road Resident
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Two AY contributors attended last night's Arlington Civic Federation Candidate Forum. They both took good notes and both stated that Independent Audrey Clement clearly won her debate with Born Again Democrat Libby Garvey.
Although Libby Garvey was glib and rattled off both accomplishments and future possibilities if she is re-elected, it's clear that those accomplishments and possibilities depended and will depend on John Vihstadt (who Libby was instrumental in electing) continuing to serve on County Board. In the year before Chris Zimmerman resigned and John Vihstadt was elected Libby said little during County Board meetings. And things like a 72 Hour Transparency Rule, which both Libby and Audrey say they want implemented, could be postponed indefinitely if Libby is reelected, in deference to the Democratic Old Guard. Much of Libby's agenda appears to be based on being able to finesse reforms past Old Guard Democrats over a number of years. And Libby has to be held partly responsible for significant problems with school and public infrastructure that have occurred over the past decade. After reviewing Libby's presentation we had to ask "What would she be saying if Chris Zimmerman were still on the County Board"?
Audrey Clement is committed to changing County Government for the better - and soon. Her message is succinct. Needs first. No more back room deals. Hands off scarce park land. Put renewable energy on all public buildings. Require a financial impact statement for all major site plans. Reduce taxes for residents and businesses. No more expensive vanity projects - build schools first.
So we have a clear choice for County Board, someone who will spend years finessing projects and programs through the County Board so as not to offend VIP Democrats, or someone who will help us obtain what we need when we need it from County Government.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
County Board Democrats to 'Repurpose' Residential Streets Into Parks to Benefit VIP Dems and Developers
Thanks for your blog. The Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola wasn't the only "done deal" presented to the Transportation Commission on September 1st. The Commission also heard a presentation by County Staff about amemdments to the County's Master Transportation Plan (Streets Element) to go to the County Board on September 24th.
The amendmants would create two new types of streets - "Pedestrian and Bicycle Priority or Shared Streets" where motor vehicle operation would be severely restricted, and "Pedestrian Streets" where motor vehicles would be banned.
The proposed new street types would help alleviate the demand for open space by repurposing streets into parks, would allow developers to forego dedicating land for open space on redeveloped sites, using neighborhood streets instead, and would allow VIP Democrats like those who live in Jay Fisette's and Libby Garvey's neighborhoods to opt out of through traffic. There was no discussion about what would occur across an entire neighborhood, like Ashton Heights, if traffic were blocked, where residents would park their cars, and who would use the new parks. Arlington Democrats have been discussing whose upscale neighborhoods will get the "Pedestrian Streets" for several months.
So check the County Board's Consent Agenda for Septmber 24th in 10 days, when it's posted on-line.
John at 2100
Saturday, September 3, 2016
I wondered what's going on behind the scenes with the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola. Is it another 'done deal' or what? Whose idea was it and who's promoting the Gondola?
Insofar as I can determine from Web searches, speaking with County Staff, and reviewing the presentation made at the last Arlington Transportation Commission meeting, the idea for the Georgetown-Rosslyn Gondola came from DC City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson working with the Georgetown business community. In Arlington, the Gondola is being promoted by Deputy Arlington County Manager Carol Mitten and Arlington Economic Development Director Victor Hoskins. Victor Hoskins lives in Georgetown. Carol Mitten also lives in DC, with Phil Mendelson.
So how did Carol Mitten get to be Arlington's Deputy County Manager, with DES (e.g., Planning Division) and Economic Development reporting to her? She was hired by Barbara Donnellan (another non-resident) shortly before Barbara retired as County Manager. You can do a search on 'Carol Mitten Phil Mendelson' and you will find that there was a huge conflict-of-interest scandal two years ago involving Carol facilitating the construction of a $300 million soccer stadium for DC United for Phil. Then Carol was hired by the Department of Homeland Security for a short time before being hired by Barbara. BTW, Carol was a long-time DC Government executive, with an expertise in real estate appraisal, who worked closely with Phil politically for many years.
So what occurred at the Arlington Transportation Commission meeting on September 1st? A Georgetown business development group made a short presentation together with its team of gondola consultants. No information about safety, costs, alternatives, anything. What the presenters did disclose was that they are obtaining approvals from 22 state, federal, and local agencies needed to start construction of the Gondola. And the Gondola would likely cost $40 million. They will return to the Transportation Commission late this month after the County Board meeting.
Fire-Aim-Ready Done Deal or what? Another expensive vanity project the County Board has pre-approved, or what? It will get worse. Stay tuned for the announcement of the $250 million Potomac Yards Convention Center sometime after Election Day.
Monday, August 29, 2016
I and my neighbors have nothing against Abingdon School being renovated and expanded. That should have happened 15 years ago. We do have major league issues with our neighborhoods being gridlocked so parents, teachers, staff, and construction workers can access Abingdon School while the school is under construction.
Last September 21st Libby Garvey and the County Board debated Abingdon School's use permit conditions at length. Whatever Libby Garvey may have promised a year ago insofar as APS listening to community concerns, fact is that APS's construction contractors almost immediately gridlocked South 29th Street with traffic and on-street parking at the commencement of construction.
Abingdon's School's immediate neighbors aren't only concerned that we will be gridlocked from our getting to work. We and Abingdon School students will likely be completely gridlocked in once school starts on September 6th.
So far all APS seems to care about is how many parent SUVs can be squeezed into our neighborhood once school starts. I wondered why our neighborhood hired its own land use, planning, and zoning attorney, why our neighborhood invited John Vihstadt to attend neighborhood meetings, why our neighborhood is so hostile to Fairlington's civic association 'facilitating' anything and everything APS does or plans to do. So now I know.
BTW, Nanny Newsies Scott McCaffrey and Scott Brodbeck live in our neighborhood but are never seen here. Neither is Libby Garvey except when there's an election.
So, I guess like the Ashlawn School neighbors we have to look forward to 18 months or more of having to go to the County Board to make APS adhere to the use permit condidtions APS agreed to last year.
Thanks for this blog.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
I'm a Rosslyn resident and I've had it with Rosslyn's deteriorated brick sidewalks and streetlights. Also with Wilson Blvd, which needed repaving years ago. I'm walking with a LED flashlight at night so I don't trip and fall. Some of my neighbors also walk at night with LED flashlights. You would think that the people who produce the ArlNow blog and the people who work at WJLA would say something about the state Rosslyn' sidewalks are in, since they are tripping too. But no, they're too busy with homeless guy steals food from convenience store, scaring mommies, and producing more vibrant smart growth stories.
I have to agree with both former Arlington Republican Committee Chair Mark Kelly and former Democratic Committee Chair Peter Rousselot that it's time to end Arlington's Neighborhood Conservation Program, which funds whatever pet projects the little groups that control civic associations want. If you don't have a civic association your neighborhood doesn't get NC funds. Is that legal?
My civic association is feuding over where a temporary fire station will be located so it's no good talking with them.
The Neighborhood Conservation Program has to be replaced with a 'needs first' agenda for public infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. Apparently the only people who are standing in the way of that are the Democrat ward heeler civic association presidents.
Thanks for your blog.
Dan in Rosslyn
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
In fairness to Independent Candidate for County Board Audrey Clement, who is again being ignored and disparaged by the Arlington Democratic Machine-controlled local media, AY is posting a recent Clement campaign press release verbatim.
Clement to Hold Westover Meet and Greet Fundraiser on August 18th
I'm Dr. Audrey Clement, Independent candidate or Arlington County Board.
On Thursday, August 18th I'll be hosting a Meet and Greet fundraiser at Westover Market's indoor restaurant between 6:30 and 8:00 PM. Suggested contribution to my campaign is $20.
As a long time Westover resident I'm acutely aware of the needs of residents and businesses in Westover and the Lee Highway corridor.
When elected to County Board I will work to preserve housing and small business diversity in Arlington. County Government can do much more to make housing truly affordable and help small businesses grow and prosper.
I look forward to meeting Westover area residents on Thursday and talking about our common issues, needs, and opportunities.
Please feel free to contact me at www.audreyclement.com for more details about this event or about my campaign.
Audrey Clement, Ph.D.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Thanks for this blog.
FYI, as the result of an investigation by the County Manager's Office into the long-time illegal dumping at the Columbia Pike - South Four Mile Run recycling drop off point, the County Board and County Manager have decided to move the recycling drop off to another location at a cost of several million dollars. Space now taken by recycling bins will be available for contractors who are loyal Democrats to park their trucks overnight and on weekends.
There WAS an investigation as to who were and are illegally dumping household items and home renovation debris and the Democratic Regime decided that if the police started arresting people for illegally dumping that would prove to be too embarrassing to the Democratic leadership, since a number of Democrats were and are doing the dumping while DES looked the other way, for more than a decade.
After 30 years of one-party rule, it's become politically impossible for DES to install video cameras and for the police (who are already on the WOandD bike trail arresting Latinos for drinking beer) to apprehend people who are dumping illegally.
The relocation of the recycling drop off is supposed to occur before the next County Board meeting, so it will be interesting to see in whose back yard it ends up and where the Pike neighbors and contractors will dump their junk after September.
Monday, August 1, 2016
AY received a press release from Independent Audrey Clement's campaign for Arlington County Board. In the interest of fairness, AY is printing the press release in its entirety, since Dr. Clement has been ignored by the local Media to the extent they barely acknowledge her campaign's existence.
For Immediate Release: August 1, 2016
Clement for County Board,
Audrey Clement, Candidate, Arlington County Board, 571-830-8889
Emily Pfister, Media Advisor, 703-307-5668, firstname.lastname@example.org
ARLINGTON, VA -- County Board Candidate Audrey Clement Calls for Sanders Supporters to Join Her Campaign
I'm Dr. Audrey Clement, Independent candidate for Arlington County Board.
I applaud the efforts of all those Arlington voters who worked hard to make Bernie Sanders the Democratic Nominee for President, and I share your disappointment that Senator Sanders did not succeed,
I happen to share a lot of Bernie's values, among them a sincere interest in good government. As an Independent, I will place meeting the needs of all Arlington residents first and the wants of wealthy special interests last on my agenda when elected to County Board.
So I'm asking you to join my campaign, to make progressive changes locally that you tried to make nationally.
I live in affordable housing that's in danger of being bulldozed for million dollar townhomes, displacing seniors, students, the disabled, and the working poor. I want affordable housing preserved and new affordable housing built that's actually affordable for everyone in Arlington.
I've ridden a bicycle everywhere for decades. But bicycles shouldn't be Arlington's only transportation altrnative to more parking for thousands more single-occupant vehicles.
And it's time for on-site renewable energy installed throughout the County.
It's time for electric vehicles throughout our County, charged by renewable energy sources.
It's time to put a moratorium on Smart Growth -- which is just an euphemism for gentrification -- until there's a comprehensive evaluation of where Smart Growth is taking our County.
Who wants to live in a County that is unaffordable to anyone who earns less than 100% of area median income, or $110,000 per year?
My opponent says she's "progressive". She initially voted against the Pike Streetcar and the most extravagant excesses of the Democratic Old Guard. But, having been challenged in a primary election by an Old Guard Democrat, she's gone back to rubber stamping the Arlington Democratic Party's agenda.
With your help we can have better, more diverse, County Government at less cost.
I urge you to visit my website -- http://www.audreyclement.com -- to volunteer, donate, or read and comment on my blog.
Audrey Clement, Ph.D.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
I let the newspapers I read accumulate for a couple weeks and thought I would toss them in the paper recycling bin located on the Pike at South Four Mile Drive. Surprise. There wasn't just the usual amount of construction debris, and household junk the Goodwill store across the street won't accept, there was so much junk dumped around the recycling bins that there was no way I could toss in my newspapers. The little parking lot was packed with home improvement contractors' trucks, so that's a likely source of the construction debris. Who in DES gave the contractors permission to park in this lot and dump debris on this site?
Meanwhile, County Board spends its time making mega deals for Pike redevelopment. Latest was Wellington Apartments, where the "affordable housing" will be for Millennials who work at the Pentagon.
Oh, BTW, this is Katie Cristol's and Christian Dorsey's neighborhood.
Thanks for your blog.
Pike Rider, 22204
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016
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
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
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
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
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.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Last night a standing room audience of more than 100 Westover residents slammed Arlington County Government for recent demolitions of affordable market rate apartments off North Kensington Street. The event was hosted by the Arlington Green Party and held at the Westover Public Library.
Angry Westover residents repeatedly denounced the demolitions. One stated that there are only three affordable places in Arlington: the streets, the homeless shelter, and the County jail.
Among the Arlington VIPs who spoke were John Reeder Chair of the Arlington Green Party, Joan Lawrence of the Arlington Historic Landmarks and Review Board, David Cristeal from CPHD, and Jennifer Winters, from Arlintonians for Housing Solutions. Independent candidate for County Board Audrey Clement also attended and passed out her campaign literature.
Unfortunately, the only remedy anyone could come up with would be for Westover to go for local historic designation, to forestall more demolitions.
The County Board, Planning Commission, Housing Commission, and reporters from the Post, ArlNow, and Inside Nova Arlington-Sun Gazette did not apparently attend.
Consequently, it's obvious that all of Westover will become a future target for mixed-use redevelopment, not just Westover's older garden apartments.
Friday, May 27, 2016
Thanks for supporting Arlington's middle class in your blog. The demolition of affordable older rental apartments off N. Kensington was the last straw. We are all going to be gentrified out of Westover by a bunch of Democratic Machine fat cats who are getting super rich by kicking anyone who doesn't earn at least $85,000 out of Westover and out of Arlington. All the current County Board and the various so-called "planning" bureaucrats do is make secret give-away deals with their corporate cronies. APAH, AHC and the so-called "housing non-profits" are a bunch of poverty pimps who are getting rich off poor people. Former County Board member Chris Zimmerman and his Smart Growth America gang want to totally urbanize Arlington and they're in an all-out effort to have Zimmerman's puppet, Erik Gutshall, elected to the County Board.
If you care about Westover's future, please attend the "Save Westover" meeting next Tuesday. And vote for our neighbor, Westover resident Audrey Clement, for County Board on November 8th.
Thanks again for this blog.
Larry, N. 10th Street
Sunday, May 22, 2016
I live in Ballston and I have to agree who the people who posted comments about Arlington's so-called "Car Free Diet". In fact, Arlington's been on a "More Cars for Millennials" pig-out for the past two years, since Victor Hoskins (aka Victor Ho$kin$) was hired as Arlington's Economic Development Director.
You can see the changes Victor made to the once-downscale used car lot on Glebe Road, directly across from AED's luxury office suite. No more 5 year old Nissan Sentras. Millennials want upscale vehicles for the underground garages below their newly-constructed in-fill upscale apartments and condos to impress other Millennials. Plus, County needs the sales tax, car tax, and other taxes on nearly-new luxury vehicles for it's $40 million swimming pool, $20 million gondola across the Potomac, the $200 million convention center, and to educate 1,200 more Gen Z brats every school year.
If you didn't believe "Car Free Diet" had been sent to the slogan junkyard before the last County Board meeting, consider the County Board just approved reconstruction of the Berkeley Apartments with 241 parking spaces for 257 apartments across from a big shopping plaza on South Glebe Road and better access at Stratford School for parents to drop off and pick up their kids.
AED is jamming our streets with vehicles from so-called 'Smart Growth' in-fill redevelopment and telling us to ride bicycles. Smart Growth decision makers (almost everyone in the County who gets to make a decision) finally had to stop telling us to take Metro everywhere all the time. Duh.
BTW, Victor lives in Georgetown and, like almost everyone else who works for AED, doesn't get to suffer the consequences of whatever he and they inflict on us.
Thanks for your blog.
Friday, May 20, 2016
Well, I'm sorry but I'm not going to drive to work or bike to work on Arlington's Bike to Work Day, May 20th.
Too many of Arlington's streets and roads need repaving and are too dangerous to ride bicycles on.
Too many of Arlington's bicyclists engage in various forms of reckless behavior.
Nothing said about bicycle safety by County Government, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington Police, CivFed, Local Media.
I'm staying home and doing Spring Housecleaning while the weather is still cool. Keeping in touch with my colleagues at work via e-mail. You should too.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
A.Y. contributors attended last evening's County Board Candidate Forum, sponsored by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Event was held at the Rosslyn Hyatt and moderated by Scott Brodbeck, who publishes the ArlNow blog.
The clear winner was Independent candidate Audrey Clement, the only candidate who articulated what she would specifically do when elected to County Board, attend to basic public infrastructure first, provide immediate tax relief, preserve existing affordable housing by having the County directly intervene to save affordable apartment buildings like those being demolished in Westover.
County Board Chair Libby Garvey essentially asked for another 4 years on the County Board to "get it right this time". Whatever problems occurred in the past were the fault of the previous County Board majority (Tejada, Hynes and Fisette). As an example of what the County Board is doing right, Libby pointed to last Saturday's County Board meeting when, after hours of discussion, the County Board approved a driveway rather than a grassy pervious surface for Stratford School. In fact, the County Board caved to pressure from upscale well-organized SUV soccer parents who want to drive their kids to and from Stratford.
The other Democratic candidate, Erik Gutshall, was positively scary with his prescriptions for fixing the "missing middle" between single family homes and high rise apartments and condos. These consist of tearing down existing single-family homes along arterials (including Westover Village) and replacing them with in-fill condominiums and apartment buildings on small parcels of land. He also encourages the "repurposing" of single family homes into boarding houses. Like his supporters, Chris Zimmerman, Paulie Ferguson, and others who live in exclusive neighborhoods, Erik's own Lyon Park neighborhood is off-limits to missing middle re-purposing.
We looked for a report about the forum in ArlNow this morning and were surprised when we didn't see one. Maybe it's just as well, because at least a hundred nasty comments would have also appeared about Audrey.
Monday, May 16, 2016
I live in the Westover area and sometimes help a mobility-disabled friend who lives in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor get around Arlington. Yesterday, for the first time in several years, we attended Taste of Arlington on Wilson Boulevard.
We arrived at 3 PM and to say the event was crowded would be an understatement. Wilson Boulevard was almost impassable. The event was overcrowded to the point where, if we stayed, we would have had to wait in line up an hour to purchase a small plate of what was essentially bar food. We weren't interested in drinking beer. My friend could hardly make progress down Wilson Boulevard on her mobility scooter. Families with small children and strollers had the same problem. Wilson Boulevard and Quincy Street need repaving. Sidewalks need to be repaired in many places. About 30 uniformed police and firefighters were standing around watching everyone. We gave $40 worth of food and drink tickets to a family with young kids that was standing in front of NSF deciding whether to stay or leave. Then we left.
Obviously, Taste of Arlington was meant for Millennials - thousands of young women dressed in tight clothing (many of them obese) and thousands of young men who looked like they slept in their clothing.
Please don't believe what you may read in the ArlNow blog and the PR from the Ballston BID about Taste of Arlington. The event was a mess, meant for Millennials, and I wonder how many of them had a good time, given the overcrowding.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
If you checked out the County Board's agenda for Saturday you'll note that the Smart Growth in-fill of the Rappahannock site and site plan for the pencil building at 2000 Clarendon Blvd. are being carried over to the June County Board meeting, because of CPHD "homework issues". Berkeley Apartments gentrification may or may not be deferred to the June CB meeting because of numerous quality of life issues that surfaced when the site plan and rezoning went to the Planning Commission last week.
Oh. Latest about Crystal City is Vornado is changing its business plan and may dump all the properties it owns in Crystal City. How much has the County already provided Vornado in corporate welfare?
We need Erik Zimmerman Gutshall on the County Board like we need Hillary as President. Time to dump Smart Growth and everyone connected with Smart Growth and move on into the 21st Century.
Thanks for this blog.