Friday, July 1, 2011

Dover, Kohl Close to Final Plans for Douglas Park Renovation

Hello, Yupette,

I became friendly over the past week with several of Dover, Kohl's planning staff.

So they've let me take a look at the two final plans for the renovation of Douglas Park, opposite Chairman Zimmerman's home. Funding is buried in the 2012 Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources budget.

Let me know which you like. We are taking an informal poll of Chris's friends.

C U at the next Plenary meeting in September.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dover, Kohl's Prescription for the Pike: Urbanization + Gentrification

Hello Yupette,

No surprises from Dover, Kohl during the wrap-up session of the Pike Charades, there's going to be massive urbanization and gentrification of the Pike. If you want to live in affordable housing on the Pike you're going to have to earn 60% of area median income, which is $62,000 today. At least 10,000 new housing units will be constructed to ensure 5,000 are 'affordable'. Suburban character of the Pike will be ruined by massive infill. Stream beds, parking lots, suburban streets, hillsides, and sidewalks will be used for parks and recreation. No transit options have been considered except for Zimmerman's $160 million streetcar system. Schools and similar public infrastructure received no mention.

Oh, Dover, Kohl used a biased before-after architectural charade to get the a biased audience (no Latinos and Latinas attended) to agree that architectural renderings look better than photographs of old buildings. LOL.

For this we paid these Dover, Kohl turkeys $474,000 during FY 2011 and $182,000 over the past week to facilitate Zimmerman's Pike Charades? That sucks.

Maybe you want Arlington to be a redevelopment opportunity for every out-of-state planner, developer, lawyer, and REIT that throws big bucks at the County Board and gives County Planning Staff 'cash rewards' for, among other things, telling minorities they will be arrested for attending planning meetings. Not me.

Douglas Park

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Schools, Not Streetcars


With installation of classroom trailers at W-L High School (completed in 2008) realization is slowly dawning on the County Board and School Board that, in fact, 5,000 more students will be attending Arlington's public schools in 2016.

But what are they going to do about it, beyond ordering a couple hundred more classroom trailers? Nothing that I can discern. During FY 11 Arlington County spent $1.5 million for Columbia Pike streetcar planning and $474,000 for Dover, Kohl's Pike in-fill planning and facilitation services. Nothing mentioned about schools, although more schools and brick-and mortar classrooms are Arlington's critical needs right now. Especially if population density along the Pike corridor doubles or triples over the next five years.

Now there is consternation at the School Board offices because it appears that the new Wakefield High School will be short classrooms the day it opens in 2013, something School Board candidate Miriam Gennari predicted last year.

Who's being irrational here? The Greens, Independents, Republicans, and fiscally responsible Democrats who want an end to reckless and irrational spending for the County Board's pet transportation, entertainment, recreation, and sports vanity projects? Or Mr. Zimmerman and the County Board, and their pet political cronies, special interests, REITs, and developers?

No Contest. Enough is Enough. Our kids' needs come first. Scrap Chris Zimmerman's plans for a wasteful and unnecessary $160 million streetcar system and build real schools and classrooms for our children instead.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Pike Corridor Post-Redevelopment 'Open Space' : Your Front Lawn

Hi, Yupette,

Talk about a planning charade, tonight's open space planning meeting at the Career Center was a hoot. The County's open space planning consultants talked parks and playgrounds, but the reality is that there won't be much open space left after in-fill yuppification for anything but Pike Corridor residents to hie to existing parks and recreation centers (including the future aquatic center, indoor soccer arena, and boathouse) and use single family residential neighborhoods for their parks and recreation. Chris Zimmerman was there to ensure the consultants stayed on-track and there was a special guest appearance by Planning Commissioner Emeritus Carrie "Nana from Montana" Johnson.