Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2010 at 8:04 am 1,074 29 Comments

Views at Clarendon Could Be Model for Other Churches — Could more cash-strapped urban churches follow the Views at Clarendon model, selling land rights and allowing mixed-use development on church grounds? One of the architects of the affordable housing project says he’s getting calls from interested parishes around the country. A neighbor’s lawsuit challenging the project is currently on appeal. More from the Washington Examiner.

Marine Rape Trial Goes to Jury — The jury in the rape and abduction trial of 21-year-old Henderson Hall Marine Jorge “George” Torrez will resume deliberations at 9:00 this morning. Torrez faces 17 charges stemming from two separate attacks in Arlington in February. More from ABC7.

Metro Board to Vote on Blue and Orange Line Rehabilitation — Later this month, the Metro board will consider a $272 million plan to “rebuild major portions of the Blue and Orange lines to improve customer service.” If approved as expected, the work could begin in late 2011. More from the Washington Post.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

  • el fat kid

    the Views [over single family homes] at Clarendon kind of signifies everything that is wrong with the county board… inefficient, corrupt, irrational and f’n stupid. It is not an urban setting where they’re building this monstrosity – it’s across the street from SFHs. Additionally, it’s heavily subsidized to the tune of $13 million dollars in tax money going to a church group…. hardly a good business model to replicate unless you can find another town run by people as stupid as our county board (i’m sure there’s a town in Mississippi somewhere).

    • tuesdayschild

      Agreed. The CB is making a decision out of pure (left wing) politics. This project is irrational from a financial perspective, and overrides prior zoning srrangements as to height and density.

    • Burger

      Yeah…those tall 10 story buildings and metro stop 100 feet away are certainly not an urban setting. Forehead meet keyboard.

      • el fat kid

        have you been to the location?

        North – Single family homes
        South – Dog Park
        East – front of church leading to the metro (several hundred feet to the stop from the doors of the apartment building)
        West – Single family homes.

        additionally, it’s not just affordable housing going in there… a significant number of units will be market rate (read: expensive)

      • tuesdayschild

        Burger, you do not know what you are talking about. Years ago, the county determined how the SFH neighborhoods would meet the urban core. There was an agreed zoning ring, that included phased in density and height so that it would be a gradual height and density transition from urban to SFH. The county tossed that zoning plan out to ram through this Views project.

  • charlie

    actual problem is that there are single family homes within two blocks of a heavily subsidized public transit station. It should be townhouses or boutique apartment buildings all the way back to Key Boulevard.

    • SFHOwner

      I think that is correct, the planning mistake was made back in the 1980′s by not replanning the metro SFH’s as higher density. I live in such a SFH now though, and I plan on hanging on to it ! It’s great living so close to everything yet still having my own house and yard.

      • Lou

        You’re saying that they should have made tearing down houses part of the planning?

        • SFHOwner

          Replanning doesn’t mean tearing down houses. My house is actually GLUP’d for slightly higher density and has been since a long time ago. My neighbors house is actually ZONED RA8-18 since the 70′s yet it is still SFH. The county to my knowledge has never used imminent domain to obtain and tear down houses. Do you have an example of that ?

          • Lou

            Well, a lot of homes got ED’d to build 66, but who you blame for that varies.

            I guess I didn’t really mean tearing down houses as in immediate act, but I don’t think there was ever any political will to densify the detached home neighborhoods around the Metro. That would pretty much be political suicide.

          • SFHOwner

            Yes, you are right about it not being popular. Probably why I am not a politician.

        • charlie

          Ballston used to be single family homes and even some farms up to Washington Blvd. most of Courthouse Hill (over priced yuppy townhouses and condos behind the Court House) was all single family homes in 1980.
          In fact most metro stations in arlington have fairly equal distribution of density around them — except Clarendon. Very little density to the north. Tons to the east and west. decent to the south.

          • Lou

            Sure, not every single home near Metro has been preserved. But the balance between commercial and residential parcels has not changed very much from before the Metro was constructed. That was conscious planning to not disrupt the detached home neighborhoods just because Metro was near.

          • longtime resident

            I don’t remember very many single family homes in Ballston pre 1990. Perhaps you mean the reestaurant “Speedy Gonzalez?” I think there were two houses in that block before development. Maybe you are referring to the 1920s or 1930s?

          • charlie

            SW COrner of Stafford/11 was Single family homes until 1997;
            most of the area between Fairfax and Washington Blvd was single family homes gradually turning to townhouses in the 1980′s.
            here is a 1982 aerial of Ballston and 90% of it is SF Homes between Frfx & Washington.
            by 1989 that had changed but still many single family homes:

    • longtime resident

      YOu write like you are a County Board member charlie.

  • Parent

    Many of us were not happy with the Views project because our kids go to the daycare in that church (which has an extrememly good reputation and a wonderful program). We have been moved temporarily to another location which is fine, but when we return to the new Church/complex we are concerned about our kids’ safety from all of the foot traffic by the residents in the Views.

    • charlie

      go look at any similar building in the R-B Corridor and you will sit and wonder, gosh so many people live in that big building but I just don’t see anyone coming and going. It is amazing how FEW people actually come and go. Can’t explain it.

    • G. Clifford Prout

      Keeping children safe from exactly what?

  • Jack

    affordable housing efforts are misguided. while all these anti-View people are just being elitist or racist because they don’t want poor, ethnic minorities in their neighborhood – they are missing the larger point that affordable housing initiatives are harmful to any neighborhood. whether in Nauck or Clarendon – they drive down property values, increase crime and drive out current residents.

    • el fat kid

      as always… blanket accusations of racism have my support. indicative of an intelligent and classy perspective on life.

      also, your assumption that affordable housing = poor minorities is classy and shows a deeper understanding of the issues involved.

      • Jack

        Failing to read and reverting to personal attacks… not surprising. i said it was racism or elitism that are causing people to oppose The View. it is not my assumption that affordable housing = poor minorities, it is the assumption of those opposing The View. beyond that, how many affordable housing buildings do you live near? i know of three in my neighborhood… i think i understand the issue just fine. you just can’t handle people with opposing viewpoints.

        • el fat kid

          “while all these anti-View people are just being elitist or racist because they don’t want poor, ethnic minorities in their neighborhood – they are missing the larger point that affordable housing initiatives are harmful to any neighborhood.”

          how is that not a blanket accusation of racism?

          • el fat kid

            much less, accusing people of being elitist while saying affordable housing initiatives are harmful? your logic hops around like a bullfrog on LSD.

          • Jack

            cause i’m saying they are likely either elitist or racist. it’s a choice or both… but certainly not a blanket anything. and my point was that affordable housing programs are harmful to all neighborhoods – and has nothing to do with racism. you are so weird.

          • el fat kid

            you are saying people opposed are either elitists or racists or both….

            how is that not a blanket accusation?

            Is it not possible to be opposed to this project on the basis that the county is giving a church $13,000,000.00 at a cost of $600,000 per unit of affordable housing (while running a 35m deficit) or the rezoning of a lot adjacent to SFH in order to build a high rise?

            I didn’t say your opposition to affordable housing is racist – you are the one making the connection between subsidized housing and race (something which is not necessarily the case w/ this project or any others in arlington)….

            However, I did say that while you falsely accuse others of elitism, your views come off as pretty damn snooty – dismissing affordable housing initiatives b/c “they drive down property values, increase crime and drive out current residents.”

    • SFHOwner

      What’s wrong with the statement is the implication that the Views housing is going to be poor people (I’ll ignore the reference to ethnic minorities whatever that means). Maybe someone can help, but isn’t the median income around $90,000 ? And, isn’t the affordability requirement that you have to make 60% of median income ? That would be in the $50,000 range. That’s not poor in my book.

      • HousingFan

        That’s for a family of four — HUD’s annual income tables provide the scale for households between 1 – 8 people, but the numbers you’re referencing are based on 4-person households (traditionally 2 wage earners + 2 dependents.)

        $50,000 doesn’t go as far in those circumstances….

        • fatkidspecial

          so the county will help subsidize the poor kids from greenwich here on internships w/ only the stock broker parents to support them. Or maybe they’re here from NoCal after just graduating from stanford working for a wonderful non-profit but only making 28,000/yr… the rent is $1,000 a month for an ‘affordable’ 1br which doesn’t work for anyone actually living on that amount, unless… they have rich parents subsidizing them w/ off the books income.

          yes, this is how affordable housing in Arlington works a lot of the time….


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