Saturday, June 20, 2015

Clement Opposes Secret County Board Deals, Will Make C.B. Appointments Calendar Public

On June 15th, Independent Candidate for County Board, Audrey Clement, e-mailed a press release to the local media regarding the secret deal the Zimmerman County Board made with developer Penzance to demolish Wilson School and trade County-owned parkland in Rosslyn for a fire station. Because the local media in Arlington have chosen to ignore Dr. Clement's campaign, we print her press release verbatim, in the interest of better government in Arlington. Cindy.

Audrey Clement Will Make Her County Board Appointments Calendar Public

It was recently revealed that Arlington County Board signed a secret deal with Washington-DC developer Penzance in 2013 to trade County owned parkland for a fire station to be financed by Penzance as part of a mixed-use and office development at the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) site.

The deal was outlined in a Letter of Intent in January 2013, the existence of which WRAPS itself had been ignorant until three months ago. By sacrificing parkland to private development, it also violates the County's Natural Resources Management Plan, which mandates "zero-loss of County-owned natural lands".

The Washington Business Journal reports a Rosslyn vacancy rate of 30.8 percent. "Keeping a deal secret that would add to Rosslyn's commercial vacancy rate is irrational and irresponsible," Dr. Clement stated.

"Consequently, when elected to County Board, I will make my appointments calendar public, with no redactions. Arlington residents deserve to know with whom the County Board meets in the County Board offices and the substance of their conversations. If confidential matters need to be discussed, that's what closed meetings are for."

The advertisement for WRAPS hearings concerning Rosslyn redevelopment was approved by County Board on June 16th.

Monday, June 15, 2015

County Staff Operates in 'Free Range' Mode With REITS, Developers, Corporations, Non Profits

Hey, Yupette,

Ever wonder why so many bad mixed-use redevelopment projects reach the County Board and are approved? Like the Rosslyn WRAPS project going to the County Board for advertisement tomorrow night? No brainer. Deals are made, site-plans pre-approved, REITS, developers, and non-profits are given the go-ahead to proceed with whatever site plan conditions they want to implement based on facilitation meetings with planning staff members who don't bother informing anyone but applicants and fellow planning staff members what changes and additions in site plan conditions are being made until site plans are filed. Did I mention the basic outlines of redevelopment deals are approved by the County Board before they are passed along to County Staff? Since everyone appointed to the Planning, Housing, and Transportation Commissions are adherents of the New Urbanist religion, (cult, belief system, whatever you want to call it), site plans are essentially rubber stamped all the way up to the County Board. Oh, also forgot to mention that almost no one on planning staff lives in Arlington, so they never suffer the bad consequences of their "planning". Stay tuned for tomorrow's planning charade, starts about 7 PM.

Wendy, 22201