Monday, January 25, 2016
Arlington Planning Commission: Rubber Stamp for County Board-County Staff Redevelopment Deals
In the event you missed the announcement, Arlington Planning Commission meetings are now being recorded - audio only - and are available for review on the arlingtonva.us Web site. So I listened to the Planning Commission's January 11th organizational meeting and January 13th business meeting.
What's clear from both meetings is that the Planning Commission is no longer free to show independence, or even question Smart Growth redevelopment deals reached by the County Board and County Staff with developers.
It gets worse. Civic associations, like the four in and around Crystal City, were characterized by the Commission as constantly reacting to infill urbanization rather than appreciating the benefits of redevelopment like Pentagon Row.
Although the County has collected comprehensive transportation, traffic, transit, and multi-modal data for more than a decade the data are yet to be used in a comprehensive manner, in 22202 and elsewhere in the County. During the January 13th business meeting Planning Commissioners expressed their dismay at having to approve a GLUP change and site plan for the Washington Vista condo development before the plans were heard by the Housing Commission.
Everyone can draw his or her own conclusions from the last Planning Commission meetings. But it's obvious to me that the Planning Commission has become a rubber stamp for whatever plans County Staff and the County Board approve.