Friday, July 10, 2015

County Board to Double Down on 'Smart Growth'

Hi, Yupette,

I checked out the recent work sessions for the Second Generation "Smart Growth" redevelopment of Rosslyn and Courthouse. Rosslyn Sector Plan is going to the County Board for approval on July 22nd. Rosslyn and Courthouse will be luxury enclaves and affordable housing that's affordable for the people who will clean office buildings and wait tables in upscale restaurants will be miles away from Rosslyn, if any is available at all in Arlington.

New Urbanists have set a population goal of 283,000 Arlington residents by 2040, up from 217,000 today, which means Arlington's population would increase by about 2,600 per year, Building heights for most new office buildings will be at least 300 feet (or more if the FAA will go along with the developers' demands) and the buildings, with the usual ground floor mixed-use restaurants and retail will surround larger plazas which will be as densely populated as the small first generation mixed use so-called "open space" plazas because the surrounding buildings will be much taller. As for sports and outdoor recreation, Rosslyn and Courthouse are about built-out. Existing neighborhood parks will increasingly be repurposed into dedicated upscale playgrounds. The next generation of "complete streets" will use residential and commercial streets as "open space" for various events, and for activity and recreation space.

As for the "car free diet," redeveloped Courthouse and Rosslyn will see more parking for more motor vehicles and  bicycles. Bicycles will actively compete with motor vehicles for street space and with pedestrians for sidewalk space.

Bottom line - Arlington in 2040 is going to be an expensive urban mess.