Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Urbanist Agenda - Communities Into Canyons by 2040

Hey Yupette,

I watched several hours of the latest County Board meetings.

There's no doubt that the County Board (including incoming members) will adhere to to the New Urbanist Agenda - Neighborhood-by-Neighborhood  Redevelopment - until the County is completely urbanized by 2040. Yes, New Urbanism is an ideology. They all belong to the same congregation. They don't even want to talk to anyone who has the slightest misgivings about New Urbanism.

Our communities will become canyons. If you want to see what Arlington will look like in 25 years just visit the neighborhood around Nationals Stadium in DC.

It's been the same old same old with the County Board for at least the past two decades. Neighborhoods are allowed to deteriorate while the New Urbanists -- non-resident property owners, non-resident County Staff, non-resident developers, non-resident architects, non-resident consultants, and so on -- make the "planning" decisions. Latest were Florida consultants Dover-Kohl facilitating the "vibrant" mixed-use redevelopment of Lee Highway.

Their non-resident New Urbanist Guru, Victor Hoskins, completely controls the New Urbanism 2.0 agenda -- total urbanization of everything via mixed-use redevelopment.. It's disconcerting to watch so many otherwise-sane community leaders (Planning Commission, Housing Commission, and so on) mindlessly mouthing the same old same old New Urbanist platitudes while they rubber stamp anything Arlington Economic Development sends them.

It was really appalling to watch the County Board bail out Ballston Common Mall's owner and operator -- Forest City. Forest City should have been treated like the Mall's shoplifters and banned from the Mall. Instead Forest City was given an open checkbook on the County's revenue.

County Government hasn't thought about what's going to happen during the next economic recession, when the Millennials decide to take themselves and their businesses to less expensive venues.

Person who posted that Arlington's going to become an "expensive mess" on AY is exactly right.

Tom from Barcroft

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Urbanism 2.0 'Community Facilities Study' Released

Hey Yupette,

County Board met with Parks and Rec Tuesday afternoon and discussed Parks and Rec's 'vision' for the next few years, essentially new 'pocket parks' across the county that would serve new residents of massive new mixed-use redevelopment.

County Board and School Board also met Tuesday night and discussed APS's latest demands for more classrooms and more tax dollars. Also, a new Lubber Run mixed-use facility, which would include office space for Parks and Rec, Pre-K classrooms for APS, and a small amount of indoor recreation and meeting space for community needs. Oh, and a much larger parking lot.

But the main event was the release and discussion of  the County's New Urbanism 2.0 'Community Facilities Study' by the County Board and School Board.

Chair of the Community Facilities Study Committee which produced the report is New Urbanist John Milliken who served on the Arlington Planning Commission during the 1970's, served on the County Board from 1981 to 1990, and served as Vornado's outside legal counsel from 1993 until he retired last year. So he spent the past 10 years helping Vornado figure out what to do about all those vacant buildings Vornado owns that he planned and voted to construct while he was on the County Board. LOL.

Vice-Chair of the Community Facilities Study Committee is New Urbanist Ginger Brown, the Planning Commission member who is tasked with imposing New Urbanism 2.0 on the Lee Highway corridor.

Usual group of non-resident New Urbanist County Staff who will not move to Arlington no matter how much they are paid and, therefore, suffer no consequences of New Urbanism, facilitated the Committee.

The Committee's Final Report is another New Urbanist charade. Reality was, is, and always will be that a small group of New Urbanists makes all the 'planning' decisions for the County in secret, together with New Urbanist developers, REITs, consultants, law firms, etc.

Arlington Community Facilities Study Final Report is on-line, just do a Web search.

Susan, 22201

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time for Victor Hoskins to Move On

Hello, Yupette,

I manage a restaurant in Rosslyn and we're going out of business in a month or two. We can't compete with the food trucks. Whose bright idea was it to allow food trucks into Arlington to compete with restaurants? No matter. They're here now.

Current Economic Development Director is Victor Hoskins. What's he done for restaurants like mine? Nothing. I can't afford to give our restaurant workers raises. None of them can afford to live here. If my wife weren't teaching we couldn't afford to live here either.

From my understanding of what's occurring here economically, Arlington Economic Development is actually a bloated arts organization. Duh.

It gets worse. Victor Hoskins is all out for "Growth for the Sake of Growth". What kind of "Growth"? One of Arlington's "Growth" industries is used car lots. Arlington supermarkets recently converted as many full-time jobs into part-time as possible, with few or no benefits. County is going on another development spree, this time it's expensive apartments and condos. With ground floor bars, restaurants, and retail. Which will be surrounded by food trucks.

Meanwhile, I have to drive to Alexandria to buy a new battery for my cell phone, paint for my home, and flowering plants for our restaurant's patio.

I voted for Audrey Clement and Mike McMenamin because they have some sympathy for small business. All the Democrats will do is what they've always done - tax us to death to pay for their extravagances.

Thanks for your blog.


Monday, November 2, 2015

My Choice for County Board - Elect an Eagle

Dear Yupette,

We have a choice tomorrow. Elect an Eagle, or elect more Turkeys.

No choice for me. I'm voting to elect an Eagle  - Audrey Clement. Audrey has never been out for herself, she's always trying to make life better for the rest of us.

It's obvious from delving into the personal ambitions of Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, and Mike McMenamin that they will be all-out to enrich themselves if elected to County Board. Katie Cristol will enrich herself through education consulting. Christian Dorsey will enrich himself through affordable housing. Mike McMenamin will enrich himself through his wireless law firm.

All will say YES to any number of for-profits and non-profits looking for taxpayer-funded handouts from County Government. Same old. Same old.

I'm 60 years old, and will retire soon, and can't afford to elect any more of these selfish turkeys to the County Board.

Audrey Clement is an Eagle who has my vote. She should have yours also.

Peggy, Westover

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Parent: 'I Can't Afford Cri$tol and Dor$ey on the County Board'

Hello, Yupette.

I'm a parent of two children who attend Arlington Public Schools.

Yes, hundreds of APS students aren't legally Arlington residents. Neither parent lives here. The all-Democrat School Board, Arlington Education Association, and apparently the County Board, go along with this. We are afraid to say anything, though we see the parents driving kids to Campbell School from Fairfax County.

But what is really disconcerting is that virtually everyone who is in a decision-making position in this County is promoting "Growth for the Sake of Growth".

What does it matter if we have Taj Mahal schools if, a few years after they're constructed, my kids are placed in trailer classrooms? What does it matter if there are 23, rather than 22, students in a classroom?

The Democrats want to grow Arlington by 66,000 by 2040. They also want massive amounts  of expensive so-called "affordable housing" which typically costs $250,000 per unit to construct.

Looks as though we are going to face some steep tax increases to pay for "Growth for the Sake of Growth". Endorsed by Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey.

Well, I'm sorry, I need to save for my kids' college education. Looks to me Katie Cristol is out to make some money through her educational consulting and Christian Dorsey will be good chums with the "affordable housing" providers. Mike McMenamin says he won't cut anything.

Bottom line for my family - we can't afford to elect Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol to the County Board.

I'm voting for Audrey Clement.

Thanks for your blog.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board


Several of us who contribute to this blog attended most of this year's candidate forums. We also attend most County Board, Planning Commission, County Board and School Board work sessions, last year's County Board and School Board CIP work sessions and read County Board's consent agenda and peruse agenda items. We do Web searches, read other local blogs and local newspapers, and talk with Arlington residents, at meetings and events and in neighborhoods.

Consequently, Arlington Yupette endorses Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board.

In making this endorsement we evaluated first, what specifically candidates promise to do if elected to the County Board and, second, what they have done over past 10 years years to actually move Arlington forward.

We determined that Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, and Mike McMenamin support the status quo that resulted in a voter revolt and John Vihstadt's victory last year. All support New Urbanism 2.0, which doubles down on Smart Growth, despite the many problems New Urbanism 1.0 caused.

Katie Cristol is all about vague promises and feel-good rhetoric. Christian Dorsey is for "Growth" without many concerns about consequences. Mr. Dorsey was insensitive to the environmental concerns of Abingdon School neighbors as an appointee to the Abingdon Building Level Planning Committee. Despite repeatedly saying he isn't pandering to special interests, he supports removing 170 mature trees to create another bike trail to benefit BikeArlington. Mike McMeanmin proclaims himself "an experienced leader", but his service on the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and Civic Federation produced no significant results.

On the other hand, Audrey Clement sued VDOT to stop the widening of I-66, worked hard to make "affordable housing" affordable, and has attempted repeatedly to make APS more efficient, most recently by running for School Board last year and this year calling for APS to determine why Arlington's public education system costs so much compared to nearby school systems. Dr. Clement has also called for greater transparency in County Government, a reduction in business taxes to largely benefit small business, preservation of historic buildings like Wilson school, and acquiring open space outside Arlington for multi-jurisdiction field sports facilities.

Audrey Clement deserves our votes on November 3rd.

Cindy, 22206

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Parents Report Non-Residents Attending Arlington Public Schools 'Out of Control'

Hello, Yupette,

Worried about SUVs running Stop signs near Arlington's public schools? Ever wonder where the SUVs are coming from? Lots of them are driven by a parent who lives outside the County, typically a County employee whose family moved out of Arlington years ago and is keeping its kid(s) enrolled in one of Arlington's excellent schools until the kid or kids graduate.

It was one thing when 400 families were doing this. Number of families now using some address in Arlington to enroll their kids in our school system is at least 600 and increasing. These are not refugee families from Central America, they are families who are economic refugees from Arlington's Smart Growth gentrification. Do the math $20,000 x 600 = $12 million per year.

Oh, APS, Arlington Education Association, PTAs, Arlington Democratic Party, and parents know all about this illegal abuse but no parent will say anything for fear of reprisals. The Democratic Party that controls the Arlington Public Schools has been using this as patronage for decades.

You can be assured that I will not vote for any Democrat on November 3rd.

Thanks for your blog.