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Condo Owners, Homeless Advocates Face Off Over Shelter Plan

by ARLnow.com — December 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm 8,149 343 Comments

(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Arlington County’s plan to buy a Courthouse office building and place a year-round homeless shelter on two of the floors is drawing intense opposition from residents of a nearby condominium building.

Residents of the Woodbury Heights building (1301 N. Courthouse Road) have been distributing flyers (pictured), emailing officials and calling media outlets with a litany of concerns over the plan. Chief among them: worries about safety, property values and neighborhood “charm.”

“I work long hours, which often means I am in this area when it is dark,” said one female resident, in a letter to County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman. “I would feel considerably less safe with the shelter’s entrance so close to what is in essence the front door of my home.”

“The shelter will drive down property values in the area, especially the values of the homes in Woodbury Heights,” the resident continued. “Considering the weak housing market, my home will be even less attractive and competitive to prospective buyers.”

Residents brought their concerns to a Tuesday night meeting with Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier and Kathy Sibert of the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, which runs the current emergency winter shelter and would run the new shelter.

Sibert said the meeting was “very emotional” for residents but added that she can understand the worries.

“Anytime there’s a change in your neighborhood, you’re very, very concerned, and I understand that,” said Sibert, A-SPAN’s Executive Director. “What I can assure them is that we will have staff there 24/7, and they will have our number, and we will be their neighbor, and we will address any concern they have.”

Sibert pointed out that the office building, at 2020 14th Street N., is directly across the street from the entrance to Arlington County Police headquarters, and only two blocks from the emergency winter shelter. By being open year-round, she continued, the shelter will actually keep homeless individuals off the streets of Courthouse.

“The design… is such that there will be less loitering, less homeless living on the street,” Sibert said. “The police are literally across the street. That can’t get any safer. And we have a really good working relationship with the police.”

Some opponents of the county’s plan say they aren’t opposed to the idea of housing the homeless, they don’t want a shelter located next to theirs and other residential buildings.

“It is my understanding that Arlington has articulated a plan to end homelessness in Arlington through long-term permanent housing,” said the woman who wrote the letter to Zimmerman. “This is a goal I share and support. Respectfully, this proposal seems haphazard and a questionable use of scarce resources since, by definition, this shelter will not be permanent housing. The building is an office building, and an old one at that. I question whether this is actually the best solution for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable citizens.”

“Currently, some of the condo association owners actually volunteer at the emergency winter shelter,” said Sibert. “So they’re not opposed to the creation of a year-round shelter. But it’s always… ‘not in my backyard.’”

Sibert said smaller A-SPAN shelters are located in residential neighborhoods, and have not presented any of the problems that Woodbury Heights residents are worried about.

“It hasn’t impacted the safety of the neighborhood or the property values,” she said.

In addition to the homeless shelter, the 2020 14th Street N. building would also be used to house various Arlington County government offices. Current business tenants in the building have also come out against the proposed purchase, which would eventually force them to move. Those business owners plan to meet with Woodbury Heights residents tonight to discuss a joint response to the county’s plan.

  • NoVapologist

    NIMBY!!

  • John Fontain

    “Considering the weak housing market, my home will be even less attractive and competitive to prospective buyers.”

    You’re selling your place and won’t live there when and if this ever happens, but the county should give your view weight?

    • Burger

      Did that person say he was selling. But, if they want to sell after the homeless shelter opens…property values are not going to drop? If you don’t think so then you are not thinking objhectively.

      • John Fontain

        The writer is speaking about his house being less attractive to prospective buyers than it currently is. How would your house be attractive or unattractive to buyers if it wasn’t on the market?

        • KalashniKEV

          My house isn’t on the market. I am not unconcerned about it’s value.

          Are you a homeowner?

          (Seriously, quit playing games)

          • John Fontain

            How is one’s house “competitive” against other house for sale if it isn’t for sale?

          • KalashniKEV

            Unless you are:
            1) A homeowner in Arlington
            2) Unconcerned about the value of your home

            I ask you again to quit playing games and get serious.

          • CourthouseChris

            So if he is either a homeowner in Arlington or unconcerned about the value of his home you do not ask that he quit playing games and get serious?

            Your logic is… well, absent. Then again, I don’t see anyone playing games.

          • KalashniKEV

            No, not OR, Chris… AND…

            My guess is you don’t follow any logic too well, LOL.

            What about your home, don’t care at all what the property value is?
            (What kind of cars do you people drive???)

          • CourthouseChris

            You failed to specify the AND operator in your list. It still doesn’t make any sense; suppose the person satisfies both conditions, now that you’ve clarified your original ambiguity, do you then not ask them to quit playing games?

          • KalashniKEV

            Simple, no sensible person qualifies using the AND operator.

  • dezlboy

    Just love the non-emotional, non-underlined, non-all capitals, non-bolded nature of the announcement. I had wackos like that in my condo. They love to stir the pot and not listen to reason.

    • Jpoole

      Yes! You’ve summed up Woodbury Heights well. Can’t wait for the homeless to show! Or, show again as they’ve been here for years but not heaven forbid, close to a condo’s back door!

  • MaintainPropertyValue

    As long as Shelter residents use the freight elevator and tradesmen’s entrance, I don’t see a problem.

    • 2020business

      As someone who works in the 2020 building, the “freight elevator” is the same one we all use every day. There are two elevators – both quite slow – and the freight one is the one that you take if you want to get down to the parking garage. I just don’t see how they will separate the businesses from the homeless shelter without massive construction.

    • KalashniKEV

      As a toilet?

      • novasteve

        LOL

  • novasteve

    NIMBY liberals at it again.

  • Terry

    Why are they asking attendees to wear black? LOL

    • John Fontain

      They must think that having homeless people live near them is equivalent to death.

    • Swag

      Because black is slimming?

  • drax

    A-SPAN does have a point that it will get them off the street.

  • JohnB

    To be fair, if I was buying a condo in Arlington, I would think twice about purchasing one so close to a homeless shelter. There are so many other buildings along the Orange line that you can just write it off list without thinking.

  • Febreze

    Can each of them be frebrezed upon entry and exit into the shelter?

    • KalashniKEV

      +1000

  • Courthouse Resident

    Isn’t there something avaliable in South Arlington!

    • FedUp

      How about in North Arlington? Lyon Village sounds like a good place for the homeless shelter.

    • NPGMBR

      Oh, Courthosue is too good to house our County’s most needy?

  • novasteve

    I still don’t see why they don’t use the artisphere. It’s already theirs, you could avoid the entire eiminent domain thing, plus fewer people to complain about it in Rosslyn as it is less residential.

    • speonjosh

      No, dude. It’s NOT theirs. Do you not pay attention? Arlington County does. not. own. the. Artisphere. They rent the space.

      • R. Griffon

        A technicality. To novasteve’s credit, they ARE already paying for the space, and it’s already empty (as nobody goes there).

        I think he’s on to something. One point for Slytherin.

        • oh come on

          I was at Artisphere tonight with 100+ other people. People are going there, just not you. Give it a rest.

      • novasteve

        Well they have a lease, and it’ snot being used and is thus available for them to use. What would be more productive and beneficial for taxpayers? Using an unused spot they are already paying for? Or buying very expensive real estate?

        • John Fontain

          Agreed.

        • NPGMBR

          If the space is leased there’s a pretty good chance the owner has restrictions on how the space can be used. I’m sure the County would have to re-nogotiate the lease to use the space as a shelter.

          • novasteve

            If the county can force eminent domain, then they could force changes to the lease.

      • Facts&ResearchPlease

        Actually, the property owner has donated the Artisphere space lease-free for quite a few years. And Choogirl is right, there are many residences in Rosslyn, including multi-million dollar condos at both Turnberry Tower and Waterview. Plus, there are plans to redevelop the block adjacent to Artipshere that would include additional residential towers, creating a similar problem as in Courthouse.

    • Choogirl

      Actually, there are many residents in Rosslyn. It’s also some of the most expensive real estate in Arlington. I don’t think you will find a $6 million condo in Courthouse.

      • South Awwwlington

        Which begs the question: is that meant to be a bragging right? Is this elementary school now? Gimme an effing brake.

        • Choogirl

          No but novasteve is always quick to trash Rosslyn as if it is a neighborhood beneath him. He often needs a reminder that it is a place where grown ups in Arlington like to move. Just because it isn’t popular with the party crowd, doesn’t mean we are there for the Arlington youngsters to send whatever they don’t want.

          • South Awwwlington

            And I would bet there are many other Arlington neighborhoods that feel the same way…no one wants another’s perceived “trash.”

  • CourthouseChris

    ****ing disgusting. I sincerely hope one day that the creators of this flier find themselves having to use the services of a homeless shelter. Small-minded, overprivileged NIMBYs.

    • Vox Populi

      It’s possible to have genuine sympathy for homeless people and to want them to have some type of shelter–and at the same time to not want that shelter near you. Nimby, whatever–it’s not hypocrisy. People pay a premium to be on the RB corridor. There’s no reason the shelter can’t be down near the water treatment plant or somewhere else not as close to homes.

      The woman who noted she’d feel uncomfortable has a point. A lot of women can tell you about being verbally harassed by homeless men in downtown DC, with sexual comments. Sure, there are upstanding homeless people, families and women. But let’s be honest: there are also skeezy men who are addicted to drugs or booze. If it was your wife, daughter, sister, mother, would you want her living next door to a shelter?

      • CourthouseChris

        I would hope my wife, daughter, sister, and mother would live in a community that takes care of all residents, yes. Relegating these people to second-class citizen status to be housed next to “the water treatment plant” is pretty despicable. Housing them near transporation centers and county services is best for the community.

        • Vox Populi

          I have news for you, Chris: For all intents and purposes, they’re already second-class citizens. I’m not worried about hurting their feelings.

          It makes a lot more sense to put the shelter somewhere farther from residences than where they’re proposing. They can still be on the bus line. Plenty of us use the bus instead of the train. They can too.

          The place where it would make the MOST sense is Manasses or Fairfax along Route 1–bus service, plenty of low-wage jobs, and property values that are already low.

          • CourthouseChris

            yeah, carting them out to Manassas is the solution… That way, we can have our own little paradise here.

            Doesn’t work that way, despite your small-minded wishful thinking.

            Also: “they’re already second-class citizens”? really? you can type that with a (whatever it is someone keeps straight when typing)? Novasteve and kkkev say a lot of despicable things, but this may be the most disgusted I’ve gotten from arlnow commenters.

            You are no voice of the people.

          • Zoning Victim

            He’s probably a lot closer to a “voice of the people” than you are since an overwhelming majority of people would not want a homeless shelter in their building or next door to their house. Right, wrong or indifferent in your mind, that’s the way it is, and choosing a location that everybody is comfortable with is not a community refusing to take care of it’s residents. That would be a community who takes care of its residents and the people who are paying the bills.

          • CourthouseChris

            A few vocal misanthropes does not make for an “overwhelming majority”, neither does declaring “that’s the way it is” amount to a valid argument. Try harder.

          • Badexperiences

            Unfortunately, as a woman who has been attacked by more than one homeless man, I can say the reasons I understand the sentiment is based on bad experiences. Unfair or not, we are humans and our experiences obviously influence our judgement. In this case, I feel less safe because of my own very bad past experiences if a permanent shelter is opened in my neighborhood. It’s easy to make moral judgements about the “NIMBY” crowd here if you’ve never been in such a horrible situation (and I hope no one else has to be). But, I can say this will make living in Courthouse a bit less desirable, given my experiences with homeless men in my 5 years living in DC/Arlington.

          • South Awwwlington

            ZV, I agree. As far as a “few” vocal misanthropes…really now Chris…where’s your army? This whole notion of my side is more right than your side or there’s more of us (ie more people sitting at their jobs, not working and agreeing with me than you) is so childish.

            Know this…and do with it what you will, if AC continues to at will ignore the voices of it’s residents, the board will be replaced and if I were betting on it…it would be a little less blue.

          • South Awwwlington

            Amen.

          • Good Grief

            “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” That quote is why we need to do more in the community.

            Thanks Vox Populi for giving me the fire to get more involved to ensure that people like you do not represent the majority.

        • ArlingtonWay

          You sure find a lot despicable there, Chris.

        • Courthouse resident

          I fully agree re housing them near county services. Social services are no longer on the R-B corridor. They were relocated away from Clarendon to save money and are now across from Ft. Myer. Use eminent domain and put the year round shelter on Ft. Myer.

          • bugg

            Correct. HHS was relocated WITHOUT asking the community in which it now resides. A residential community with HOMEOWNERS who are upset that our traffic has increased dramatically in the area with walkers and bus riders walking all over the area of the traffic circle in front of the building, causing the cars coming off of what is already one of the most dangerous intersections in the northern area.

            So relocating the homeless shelter into that area is NOT and answer… we already got what Mary Hynes did not want in her neighborhood. There is an idea…. put it on Wilson Blvd again so Mary can respect the homeless people up close instead of from the distance of her very nice, large home in Clarendon. Betting her property value continues to go up.

          • South Arlington

            Yes, great idea. Put it next to a bunch of actual house owners with homes that are worth multiples of what the mediocre condos are worth next to the proposed site. Leave it where they are planning where it will do the least damage. The values of the Woodbury Heights building and the terrible garden apartment next door won’t be decreasing because of this, they’ll be decreasing due to decaying buildings and sketchy tenants.

        • sue

          Thank you

      • Thes

        Closest distance between an Arlington water treatment sifting tank and a residence? About 110 feet. And according to more careful measuring on google maps, the distance from the current emergency winter shelter to the nearest residence is about 450 feet, not 300 feet as I suggested earlier.

        Proposed distance of new shelter to nearest residence? About 65 feet.

        In sum, no matter where you put it, it will be close to someone. Better to focus on how it will be managed.

      • AsherYuki

        Let’s be real people, it’s not about being against those less fortunate. The truth is, many homeless folk are mentally ill and not accountable for their actions.

        It is not like we are speaking of people who are all of sound mind. The sad reality (I used to feed the homeless and have experienced this firsthand) is that you cannot account for what those mentally handicapped folks might do at any given time. This is not a sweeping generalization. Many folks are in a tight spot for the moment and would be fine neighbors.

        I think they should move the shelter to the police hq where there is a service entrance (away from residential).

        • anonynouse

          +100,000,000

    • Jpoole

      Me too.

    • Jpoole

      That was “me too” as in I hope one day that the creators of this flier find themselves having to use the services of a homeless shelter. Small-minded, overprivileged NIMBYs.

      In agreement.

  • AllenB

    Woodbury Heights is a dump anyway, as evidenced by their sales prices being much lower than the surrounding buildings.

    • Courthouse resident

      Well the sales price is about to get even lower. I don’t understand how anyone can claim that opening a year round no-questions-asked homeless shelter will not depress property values in the immediate vicinity. They are either incredibly stupid or lying.

      • AllenB

        It’s open four months a year just one block away. I hardly think there will be much change in values because of it.

      • KalashniKEV

        I am personally more concerned about the Health and Safety issues than my property value. Key elementary is a few blocks away and a lot of the ASPAN customers are registered sex offenders.

        • NoVapologist

          Source?

          • KalashniKEV

            Ummmm… duh, go to the VA Sex Offender Registry. There are always at least two and sometime as many as 5 or more entries. This does not count non compliant offenders since they are drifters.

            The current count is 2 and the entry reads: 2049 NORTH 15TH STREET
            EMERGENCY WINTER SHELTER
            ARLINGTON, VA 22201

          • NoVapologist

            2/73 = 2.7%

            Not sure that qualifies as “a lot.”

          • Zoning Victim

            If I was living in that building, one would qualify as “a lot.”

    • CoreGalore

      As an owner in Woodbury Heights I would argue that there is very little about the building that would qualify it as a dump other than perhaps its age. If property values in WH are lower than in the surrounding buildings that’s attributable to it being almost 30 years old whereas the condos surrounding it are much newer. I bought the property in 2006 for $305K and could sell it tomorrow for $330K (supposing the buyer is unaware of the bands of vagrants that will soon share the block). Very few communities in this entire nation can boast property value growth over that period of time. I’ll take an 8% increase over the double digit losses that most other homeowners in this nation face.

    • Jpoole

      Exactly; this cheap place is one small step up from a middling apartment building with an ineffective condominium board that has only cared about the homeless shelter. Nothing will change about their sales and eventually the uptight residents blood pressures will return to semi-normal.

  • hoooos

    more importantly, we need to protect Ragtime.

    • novasteve

      Isn’t it going to stay? I’m sure it will be fun in the outdoor areas having all them panhandling on their way out. Will make for a great outdoor dining experience.

  • Febreze

    Why are they so hell bent on helping the homeless, this is just going to breed the notion that if you don’t want to contribute to society and be a lazy bum then the government will take care of you. Those of us who do work will pay for you through our tax dollars.

    Helping homeless people with a mental disorder is one thing, but helping those who don’t try to contribute to society and just want to live off others is just wrong. Those people should fend for themselves and let nature take its course.

    • John Fontain

      I used to foolishly assume that most homeless people were just lazy bums. Then over time I wisened up and learned that the vast majority do have mental health problems.

      • Febreze

        Well just like I said. If they have a mental health problem then it’s a different story and they should be helped.

        • John Fontain

          And for the sake of clarity, I in no way intended to infer you were foolish. I was refering solely to my own evolution of thought on the matter.

    • KalashniKEV

      It has to do with white guilt. They don’t feel that they’ve earned what they have, so this helps them cope.

  • Swag

    I like how everyone assumes homeless people are rapists, murderers, thieves, etc.

    I’d be surprised if one of their proposed alternatives isn’t to just put them in the jail across the street.

    • Rory

      If they were rapists, murderers, or thieves they would probably bein jail.

      They are either down on their luck workers, people with mental health problems, or lazy drunks.

      • dk

        “Drunks” are often mentally ill as well.

  • Joey

    couldn’t agree more with the neighbors. Look at all the homeless shelters in DC .. the homeless loiter outside the during the day on the sidewalk. It;s an eyesore and I know I avoid some specific areas of DC due to this/.

  • ArlingtonWay

    Shout Nimby all you want, I’d be pissed if it was my condo. Arlington should focus on cracking down on the numerous panhandlers in the Ballston / East Falls Church area, many of which are clearly not homeless and some of which actually appear to be part of organized bands of grifters. Or maybe do something about the countless day laborers loitering at various points around the county.

    • JamesE

      Agreed about the panhandlers in Ballston, it is getting out of hand and the county needs to do something about it.

      • novasteve

        I think they’re too busy making sure you have your tax sticker on your car.

      • Joey

        As a Ballston resident, I third this. They are becoming even more aggressive and annoying. I left NY to get away from this, yet it’s followed me here. I implore the ACPD to do something.

        • novasteve

          Can anyone describe what they do? I’m not in Ballston much. Is this by the mall or the metro stop?

          • porkchop_milkshake

            By the metro stop and 7/11. They ask you if you have any change. I’ve never had any problem just walking past or walking past and saying “Sorry, not today.” Anyone who thinks the panhandlers in Ballston are aggressive has either lived a very sheltered life or encountered different ones than I have. I live there and walk past them every day, so you can guess which option my money’s on.

          • novasteve

            Oh, i experienced that several years ago by the 7-11. Someone was panhandling between the 7-11 and First Downs telling people he welfare check was late or something like that.

          • porkchop_milkshake

            Pretty scary, wasn’t it? Imagine, some man asking you for money, then telling his sob story to someone else when you say “not today” or just don’t respond. How can we keep pedestrians safe from such terrible aggression? :rolleyes:

        • JamesE

          I enjoy watching them urinate in public

        • ArlingtonWay

          I recognize that people have a right to panhandle. What the board refuses to admit is that they DO NOT have the right to panhandle by walking in and disrupting traffic or to be aggressive or threatening in their panhandling. The bottom line is that the Board is scared some ACLU type group will sue them For free speech violation if they crack down on panhandlers who violate the law in this way. Get used to it. I have a permanent band of panhandlers in my neighborhood near the east falls church metro who I regularly see get picked up and dropped off in the area to beg.

          • Brian

            Steve– A little bit of everywhere. They often hang out by the mall, and pee at night near the CVS. There’s this woman who sits in the courtyard near 9th and Stafford, and some who stand in Gelbe by the traffic lights for the Glebe/Fairfax/66 intersection.

          • novasteve

            There are always bumbs panhandling outside of the CVS at courthouse. That doesn’t sound that bad what you describe. I only to to ballston mall maybe once every 2 months so I don’t get to see what’s going on, but I’m sure with the new shelter, courthouse will become a lot worse.

          • Thes

            ArlingtonWay, you say “the board refuses to admit” what the rules are and “the Board is scared” of a lawsuit.

            What is your basis for saying this? Have you written to the Board with your concerns? Is that the response you got? In my neighborhood, when we have gone to the County Board to identify issues of concerns, we have sometimes found that staff had not informed them about the full extent of the problem, and when they hear from concerned neighbors they are able to intervene to help make things better.

          • ArlingtonWay

            Yes. Repeatedly. December is the nine year anniversary of the panhandling crew which works my neighborhood around the east falls church metro and which the police do nothing about.

          • Zoning Victim

            Well, sort of; panhandling is a business and as such, they should be required to have the same licenses as any other legitimate business. I’m sure at least the overwhelming majority of them don’t have business licenses (if any of them have one I’d be surprised), so they should be cited for doing business without a license if that is the case.

      • Courthouse resident

        The County is doing something about it. Apparently they want more of it. They are building a year round shelter that will serve as a magnet for DC Metro area panhandlers. I don’t mind the annual tax hikes. Full disclosure: I am the 1%. I can even handle the Artisphere boondoggle. Lord knows I have made art purchases that I later regretted. But bringing a no-questions-asked shelter to a neighborhood with some of the highest priced real estate in the nation is a bit much. The anti-NIMBY folks on this blog should open up their living room couches to the homeless population if they want to welcome them to Arlington.

        • Southeast Jerome

          You got a good point. I think thats a fair assessment and by all means, the people that dont want this shelter near their homes have a legitimate argument. And I am in the 99%.

          • Northeast Shiniquewa

            Yet the current shelter is already near the same homes, so actually it’s not a legitimate argument.

          • Courthouse resident

            Not true. The current emergency winter shelter is a couple blocks away from residences in any given direction. The proposed year round shelter — which will presumably attract the same types who loiter outside the current shelter five months of the year — only more of them — the proposed shelter is immediately adjacent to residences.

          • Thes

            Several blocks away is a bit of an exaggeration, Courthouse Resident.

            The current shelter is exactly ONE block from the proposed location. It’s right next to the Jerry’s Subs and Pizza on this map.

            However, it is true that the current winter shelter location is about 300 feet from the nearest residential building, and that the proposed location would share a property line with a condo building.

          • Southeast Jer hirome

            Right- but having a PERMANANT shelter will PERMANANTLY attract homeless people to an area where people pay large quantities on rents, mortgages and leases.

            I cant wait for the Farmers Market to open and see how that goes.

            The main issue here is there are plenty of better alternatives available than cramming this down the throats of Arlington residents that pay a premium to live where they live. Eventually, things like this will cause property values to fall, rents to drop, crime to increase and make the area less desirable to live.

            A perfect example is Franklin Square in DC (14th and K Street). Used to be terribly dangerous for women to walk around there at night because they had that homeless shelter on 13th street. Get down from you highhorses and invite these homeless to come sleep on your deck or in your basement.

          • ArlRes

            Isn’t that what the county is doing Southeast Jer hirome? I mean, they’re pretty much putting their money where their mouth is on this one. They all work right there, park right there, and metro right there every day, and are choosing to house homeless right next to them, and eventually in the same building it says. I’d say that’s literally allowing them to sleep in their basement, once they buy that building.

          • geez

            Dude, if you are going to type in all caps, at least spell your words right.

          • Done and Done

            @ArlRes:

            Not quite. It’s more like my wife inviting my good-for-nothing in-laws in for a week and bailing on me to go on vacation, leaving me stuck. They don’t live with them – just spend part of the day and then let someone else deal with it while they go home to their high-priced neighborhoods.

      • KalashniKEV

        IT’S TIME FOR A BUM ROUND-UP!!!

        • CourthouseChris

          See, as I believe drax said before, each time you say bum, I hear “juden”

          • KalashniKEV

            It sounds like you might have a problem…

          • CourthouseChris

            Lol, first comment didn’t work out for you did it?

            Everyone else: His first attempt at a response was moderated out. This is the racheted down version.

          • Done and Done

            And his first response was actually funny and completely non-offensive when you consider how many screen names drax has posted under.

          • KalashniKEV

            It’s just handicapping. The same thing happens at Huff Post… I’m cool with it.

          • CourthouseChris

            Yeah, I have to say I wasn’t at all offended by it. Funny that one, out of all the others ones you post, got moderated.

  • YTK

    ““I work long hours, which often means I am in this area when it is dark,” said one female resident……“I would feel considerably less safe with the shelter’s entrance so close to what is in essence the front door of my home.”

    Lady– all you have to do is subscribe to the weekly Arlington Crime Report to see that your “front door” is not any safer right now.

  • Bob

    As someone whose work involved frequent interaction with the homeless, I can assure you that a significant portion of them suffer from an assortment of mental illnesses… with schizophrenia being among the most common. While there are also frequently substance abuse issues as well, we are usually not talking about the proverbial “lazy bum.”

    • arglebargle

      Oh well thanks for clearing that up, then its just fine to have them living next door!

      • Zoning Victim

        I love how some people say that it’s not less safe to have a homeless shelter near you, and then some others come say that we shouldn’t feel bad about helping the homeless because most of them have mental disorders, half with schizophrenia. Wouldn’t living near a high concentration of people who suffer from untreated schizophrenia be far more dangerous than living near mentally healthy people?

        The fact that someone has schizophrenia does not preclude them from being a drug addict, by the way. From Wikipedia: “A number of drugs have been associated with the development of schizophrenia, including cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamines.[3] About half of those with schizophrenia use drugs and/or alcohol excessively.”

    • KalashniKEV

      LOL… OK, thanks. Want to have one napping on your stoop all day?

  • R. Griffon

    I think it’s really worth noting that the A-SPAN winter shelter is only about a block away from the proposed site. Is there any noticeable uptick in crime when that shelter’s open? If crime is your concern, then putting it right across the street (literally) from the police station is about as good a countermeasure as you’re going to get.

    My objection, as with The Views, is using taxpayer dollars to buy some of the most absolutely expensive real estate available. Couldn’t they save money (or help more people, or BOTH) by moving a few miles away from the Metro along a bus route somewhere? I just don’t get the rationale for being w/in a block of a Metro and would like someone from the County to justify the added expense.

    • Swag

      It’s not just a homeless shelter. It’d also be used for county offices and it makes sense to pay a little more to keep them grouped together.

      • Thes

        I agree with R. Griffon that it made no sense to build subsidized low income housing *with parking* one block from the metro station. Taxpayers should not have to pay to build parking garages in what is supposed to be a transit-oriented, walkable community.

        However, Swag is right that this is really just an expansion of the County government “campus”, and it makes sense (i.e. costs taxpayers less) to put it next to the other government offices those county workers will be interacting with.

    • Burger

      How many times do people wonder around outside during the winter v. any other time of the year?

    • Ren

      Call me an Imby-er but at the very least, this shelter should not be constructed in an area with such high real estates costs. How about somewhere not on the Orange Line? I pay a lot less by not living on the Orange Line and I don’t have a car.

      • CourthouseChris

        Metro access is key for the homeless to look for employment. You see, contrary to the conservatives logic, there is not a subspecies of human known as “homeless” that are and always will be homeless. For most this is an unfortunate temporary state – rehabilitation and reintegration into the workforce is key to ending the cycle. Therefore, the location of this shelter with proximity to public transportation lines and country services is quite ideal.

        • Zoning Victim

          Right, and all of Arlington qualifies as close to county services and public transportation. Nobody is worried about what is actually the normal, temporary homeless person. What people worry about are the chronically homeless, and those people flock to these emergency shelters, which is why most people think they’re the typical homeless person.

          I don’t blame anyone for not wanting an emergency shelter in their building, and I certainly question the decision to purchase some of the most expensive real estate in the area to turn it into a homeless shelter when there are less expensive alternatives. I realize that they are using part of the building for offices as well, but one needs to question that decision in the electronic age, as well.

    • KalashniKEV

      The bus is not as glamorous as the Metro.
      (the streetcar trumps both!)

      This is about keeping humans as pets to feel good about yourself.

    • Courthouse resident

      The current winter shelter is a couple of blocks away from residences in any given direction. It’s a small unassuming building. You wouldn’t know it was a winter shelter if not for the fact that homeless people loiter outside of it five months of the year. The proposed year round shelter is directly adjacent to residences. It’s two stories of commercial space poised to serve a much bigger homeless population. And it will attract a much bigger homeless population. For a variety of reasons, Arlington is not well-suited for a significant year round homeless population. Parks are small, prone to flooding, and every square of inch of land that can be developed has been developed and occupied by elitists who would not hesitate to call 911 if someone passed out on their sidewalk. So if and when Arlington gets a significant year round homeless population, it will be entirely due to this misguided decision to ramp up a locally funded welfare state. I am the 1% and I will vote with my feet.

  • Bystander

    I rent an apartment one of the Archstone buildings just a block away from the planned site. As soon as I heard this news, I knew I would no longer stay at this location–or in the area as a matter of fact. I pay incredibly high rents to live in Courthouse. I will be damned if I continue to pay those rents while living next to a homeless shelter. The demand for this land is obviously high and for Arlington to spend it on a shelter is an insult to all the residents who pay high rents and property taxes that contribute to the tax base. SCREW YOU ARLINGTON.

    • CourthouseChris

      Frankly, we are better off without you small-minded types. I’ll help you pack!

      • Arlington Lifer

        It is reasonable, not “small-minded”, to want to avoid living next to homeless shelter.

        Courthouse is part of the corridor that is the heart of Arlington, and people who can’t support themselves shouldn’t get subsidies to live in such a prime location.

        • Paul Saul

          Ballston, Clarendon and Rosslyn have subsidized housing, why not Courthouse too.

          • Zoning Victim

            Why are we putting subsidized housing in the most expensive areas of Arlington at all? I hate the idea of permanently subsidized housing, anyway, but it’s really hard to swallow paying for people to live in areas that are so expensive that I won’t live there.

        • KalashniKEV

          “small-minded??”

          Isn’t it logical to want to be as far away from crime and poverty as possible?

          (does-not-compute in my small mind, I guess)

      • Whatevs

        you are full of s–it if you are saying you would live next to a homeless shelter if you could afford not to.

    • Swag

      I hope that your property values plummet…

      …so I can save some money.

    • Homeless

      Good riddance Bystander. You sound like a real winner.

      • Zoning Victim

        Yes, good riddance to all of the successful people who have money and pay the taxes that support your beloved nanny/welfare state; really smart.

  • SuzieB

    Using the Artisphere is a great idea – that place is such a waste of the County’s money anyway, so put it to good use. I have a real problem with eminent domain being used in this case when there’s a viable alternative!

    • KalashniKEV

      I wonder if the Bums can even do Art there???

      • Whatevs

        ” Gather ’round, folks. I call this one here ‘ Still Life in Feces.’ “

        • KalashniKEV

          Eeewww… I was thinking something we could all actually go to and appreciate… like BumFights!

  • jim

    Good for them. Problem is that these same people that are complaining will rotely pull the lever year after year for these dirtbags that serve on the county board. Sooner or later, Arlington County residents are going to have to grow a pair and take their county back………….

    • KalashniKEV

      That’s what makes no sense!

    • Courthouse resident

      Affluent residents will vote with their feet after the County Board boosts the year round homeless population. Unfortunately for the people living near the year round shelter, their property values will plummet and they may find themselves trapped in upside down mortgages. I hope they really like Arlington!

  • AppleSmith

    I never registered to vote in Arlington (flame me all you want.) But with this debacle, the Artisphere, I-66 and County Fair .. I am going to register. And it will be to vote this entire board out, they are G-d awful.

    • MaintainPropertyValue

      Welcome, fellow Republican!

      • KalashniKEV

        +1

      • novasteve

        Voting republican in arlington is a pointless endeavor.

        • Zoning Victim

          Though I share your frustration with a lack of any conservative representation in our government, posts like this don’t really help to get conservative people to come to the polls.

  • Bystander

    One more thing. I notice a number of commenters making the argument that NIMBYs aren’t being compassionate enough because the homeless aren’t “lazy” but are mentally unstable. That is exactly what makes them dangerous to be around. I’m a young women and have no desire to take chances with a schizo stumbling in or out of the shelter on my block. If I wanted to do that, I’d live in DC.

    • AllenB

      Riiight… because the shelter moving one block down the street is going to make you’re building so unsafe… wahhhhh.

      • Virginia^2

        *your*

        I obviously don’t live in Courthouse so I’ve got no dog in this fight. That said, the shelter will have larger capacity and will be year-round, so it isn’t the same as moving the current shelter one block over. I assume that “Allen” isn’t a woman’s name, so you’re probably not in a position to say whether or not Bystander is justified in her concern.

        • AllenB

          That’s right, because men can’t comment on what a woman says. Thanks for bringing sexism into the mix. Ugh.

    • 2020business

      Agreed. Also, “The police are literally across the street. That can’t get any safer.” Pretty funny statement considering our office has been broken into twice in the last few years while being “literally across the street from the police”.

      • JamesE

        It’ll be as safe as a bank!!!

        • Burger

          Now, that wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t true.

    • Airbalac

      I find myself losing more and more brain cells as I read more and more of your comments.

    • novasteve

      Difference between here and DC is that the state government respects our second amendment rights here in VA despite what the county board might think.

      • Swag

        That’s right. If the homeless people creep you out, just shoot ‘em.

    • Hmm could be

      You fears are unfounded and show a lack of education about the majority of the mentally ill population. I’m sorry you are so afraid of people you don’t understand.

    • GreaterClarendon

      +100 – I was going to make that same point if nobody else did. Lazy is one thing and not really a risk issue – but mentally ill / substance abuse people loitering around is not something I want to live near.

      • Courthouse resident

        Agreed. I can handle lazy people. Bring ‘em on. Chronic alcoholics suffering from schizophrenia do not make good neighbors.

    • KalashniKEV

      …and when you are victimized by a schizo-bum and show up in the crime beat here, these same posters will call you “Small-minded.”

  • TuesdaysChild

    This shelter does not get homeless “off the street” as the ASPAN person suggests.

    As with the DC shelters, the homeless head out each day to hang out or panhandle or what ever it is they do. then they go back to shelter at night. This shleter will encourage more homeless to hangout in courthouse area during the day and go to a bed if they need one at night. This shelter will also result in more homeless coming over to Arlington from DC.

    These are just facts. ASPAN supporters do not care about these facts, and want the homeless shelter regardless. Which is fine. That is their mission. But they should be honest about the shelters impact on the area.

    Another point to consider is that once this shelter is opened, Arlington will never get out of the homeless shelter business. The politics of entitlements make it impossible to close shelters without relocating them to another location. DC has seen this
    .

    • Febreze

      Agreed

    • Swag

      Can you tell me what the lottery numbers are gonna be next week? You must be able to considering you can predict the future.

      • Brian

        Well said TUesdaysChild .. keep them out of Courthouse and Arlington for that matter.
        ASPAN bends the truth to get their bottom line, they do not care about Arlington’s taxpaying-residents.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I pay taxes to live in Arlington? The homeless will pay zero taxes, bother taxpaying residents and get a place to stay? No thanks.

        • KalashniKLOWN

          The homeless will pay zero taxes, bother taxpaying residents and get a place to stay?

          Kinda like the federal government.

          • KalashniKEV

            +10000000000000000000000000!!! :)

      • KalashniKEV

        LOL… more “streetcar logic.”

        If we don’t build an enormous bum resort, we don’t know if we’ll invite crime and poverty into our community…

        • Zoning Victim

          Haha, why not; it’s the method the feds use: “We’ll have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” -Nancy Pelosi

    • PredictionsAreNotFacts

      The facts are that this is ONE block away from a current homeless shelter.

      Also, the facts are that that a majority of shelters actually have a points system where things like staying clean, looking for jobs, holding a job, sending your kids to more school will get you privileges for better housing or other areas. The idea that being in a shelter incentivizes laziness is the opposite of ‘facts’.

      Another fact is the sheer ugliness and lack of connection to the street of that condo building has done more to depress real estate prices on that block than anything else.

      • Courthouse resident

        I call bs. The current winter shelter is only open five months out of the year and is a couple of blocks away from residences in all directions. It’s a small building. The only way you would know it’s a shelter is because of all the homeless people loitering around when it’s open for business. We will get them and more with a two story commercial year round shelter, only this one will be directly adjacent to residences.

    • Greg

      Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

  • NoVapologist

    So I googled “Arlington Shelter” Facebook and got no relevant results. Does anybody have a link to their facebook page?

    • Thes
      • NoVapologist

        In the anti-shelter flyer pictured in the article, they ask people to friend them on Facebook “Arlington shelter”. That’s the Facebook page I can’t locate.

  • Courthouse resident

    If you build it they will come. I am all for helping Arlington residents who face homelessness. I am adamantly opposed to building a year round shelter on a metro line that will attract homeless from throughout the DC Metro area. Note that the emergency winter shelter crowd moves along when the shelter shuts down. This bigger and better year round shelter will bring a year round homeless population to my neighborhood. You better bet I’ve got a NIMBY reaction. There are semi-industrial stretches of Four Mile Run that have no neighbors and would cost a fraction of the price. Believe it or not, there is a large homeless population living in the woods off of Four Mile Run. We seem to neglecting the Arlington-based homeless population in favor of DC transients.

    • Q

      I’m so sick of people recommending Four Mile Run as a location for the homeless. If you hadn’t noticed, Four Mile Run is surrounded by high density condos (around georg mason dr and between g mason and walter reed), town homes and single family homes. It’s relatively unsafe to walk at night for residents as it is. Many would like to be able to walk to or from Shirlington Village along four mile run at night. We already have the food pantry, employment center, and day laborer sites here and people like you have the nerve to recommend we take on the shelter as well?

      • ArlingtonWay

        I sympathize. Would have greatly preferred Arlington enforce the laws against loitering and public intoxication, urinating, littering in and around four mile run instead of building a site for day laborers which welcomes and makes the problem permanent. Same mentality going on with the boards refusal to deal with a panhandlers.

      • Ren

        I’m a woman who jogs and bicycles 4-Mile Run regularly after dark while paying attention. I’ve done this for year and have never seen anything remotely disturbing. What happened to you? (BTW, hired a day laborer from there during my last move and he was fabulous.) I suspect nothing happened to you or to anyone you know.

        • ArlingtonWay

          Well awesome! As long as you had a good move! ren, I’m happy to have paid the increased taxes to build a shelter to stop people from loitering, pissing on the ground and littering. Nice property values near that day labor center, btw. I grew up I south Arlington and that used to be a nice neighborhood. Now, of course, not so much. But it’s worth it because you had a great move! You paid the SS taxes I hope for the laborer?

      • KalashniKEV

        “It’s relatively unsafe to walk at night for residents as it is.”

        So why infest a new area? Put them all there and change the name to “Crimeville.”

        Or better yet Roosevelt Island with a big wall. Or barges on the Potomac…

    • CourthouseChris

      Even homeless people need access to the county facilities and transportation opportunities to help them find work. Putting them in some remote location doesn’t help anyone.

      • Courthouse resident

        There is no such thing as a “remote” location in Arlington. Metro is not the only form of public transit, just the costliest to live along.

  • Quinn

    I am confused over hearing that Arlington needs tax funds yet wants to buy a $25m property for the homeless and staff. If they need funds scrap the idea of the $25m property and either cut staff or suck it up in the space they have now. Stop asking the Arlington residences and citzens to fund things we just do not need, or at least do not need right now.

    • KalashniKEV

      First we have to stop voting for these psychopaths. I already did.

  • South Awwwlington

    “Just go ahead and move it to Columbia Pike” will be the next argument…I don’t think so.

    • JamesE

      homeless trolly from DC to the Pike

    • Swag

      Yeah, you can put it right next to the one that’s already there.

      • South Awwwlington

        On which block? With our without parking for lawn equipment trailers? These are the important questions.

        • Swag

          The County’s primary emergency shelter for single adults is at the County-owned Residential Program Center (RPC), which contains 44 beds. The program helps individuals address personal problems through required participation in case management. It also helps them locate permanent housing and find jobs through assistance of the Arlington Employment Center . Persons with disabilities are assisted to achieve income and housing through existing mainstream resources.
          1554 Columbia Pike
          Arlington, Virginia 22204
          703 228-0022

  • Hmm could be

    Perhaps they realize that people who are homeless most likely don’t have cars.

    25% of homeless people have a mental illness.

    So, let me see now… I am thinking that the people who are saying the homeless are lazy bums and/or criminals do not even know a homeless person. Seeing someone you assume is homeless is not the same as saying hello, introducing yourself, sharing a cup of coffee. C’mon, you can do it. Homelessness isn’t contagious.

    I think it’s a great location. Like it’s already been said, what better place for it, if you really are worried about crime.

    As for the person who said to let nature take its course, that’s such a bizarre thing to say. So I guess they think they are God and get to decide who should live and who should die. Interesting.

    NIMBY behavior is a form of prejudice in my opinion, and prejudice comes from ignorance. Way behind the times. Evolve, please. This is 2011.

    • ArlingtonWay

      God? Someone who believes in an invisible being who lives in the sky and sees and controls everything should probably dial down the lectures about how others are ignorant and how they need to evolve. Hey, sorry. I don’t mean to be harsh. The devil made me say it I’m sure.

    • KalashniKEV

      “Way behind the times. Evolve, please. This is 2011.”

      This made me LOL! :)

  • Hmm could be

    Oh. My. Word.

    Now we have ignorance about mental illness! Good grief. Some schizo??? Really?

    • novasteve

      You are offended by an abbreviated name, but not by the fact that some of these people are dangerous?

      • Swag

        Plenty of dangerous people out there who aren’t homeless. Why aren’t we getting all worked up about them?

        • ArlingtonWay

          Uh, because no one had proposed building them a shelter next to a high priced condos?

          • South Arlington

            We’re talking about Woodbury Heights? It’s not a gilded palace, it’s one of the cheapest condos in North Arlington with already high turnover in ownership. Let’s not go exaggerating – they’re putting a homeless shelter next to a middling condo building, a police station, a run down WWII era garden apartment building and a mid to low level hotel.

          • ArlingtonWay

            I don’t think I was exaggerating. He asked why no one was talking about other dangerous people and I simply pointed out the obvious answer that it was because this thread is about the proposed shelter. As far as being a guilded palace, I certainly agree. Maybe we are in different economic brackets, but I still think people who work hard and buy a condo there for between $350,000 and $450,000 aren’t being unreasonable when they express concern about having homeless people pissing on their front stoop. In most places in America $350,000 is a lot of money. Maybe if the Arlington county Board has an appreciation for that, they would be more careful and prudent in their spending and their planning.

          • CourthouseChris

            What really is your argument here, that the rich should be protected by the government from the poor? That’s kinda despicable.

          • ArlingtonWay

            Thanks for asking! The exact opposite, actually, My argument, Chris, is that hard working middle class people who bust their ass, some working more than one job, to be able to afford a condo in a county with good schools for their kids and a good quality of life for their family shouldn’t be derided because they express concern about a county social engineer building a homeless shelter thirty feet from their door. I find that “kinda despicable.”

          • CourthouseChris

            You said yourself property values should be taken into account when placing homeless shelters – not the proximity of the shelter to the homeless problem, not the proximity of the shelter to valuable county services and transportation options for the residents use – but the property values of the surrounding neighborhood. I find that pretty self-centered and despicable.

          • OWS

            If you’re a Republican, the 1%.

          • OX4

            ArlingtonWay, you’re assuming people are homeless because they are lazy. Your “hard-working middle class” bias is showing pretty clearly.

          • KalashniKEV

            LOL… yeah, if your rich father was bankrolling you like half of these snotty kids, you might be able to “open your mind” and realize how much you share in common with these Bums.

            “They’re just like us, maaaaaaan!”

          • ArlingtonWay

            Oh I am biased toward hard working middle class people. How about you? Who do you think policymakers ought to be focused on?

          • CourthouseChris

            The most vulnerable among us.

          • KalashniKEV

            “The most vulnerable among us.”

            aka

            “non-working vagrant class”

          • nicole

            Okay, kind of off-topic, but the “rundown WWII era apartments” are not so rundown– I’ve lived there for more than three years, paying a fraction of what my neighbors pay in their cookie-cutter “luxury” high-rises. My place is pretty freaking nice, too– old, yeah, but super-well-maintained, large and has lots of character. Not being managed by Archstone and not being built in the past 15 years doesn’t make the complex worthless or disposable.

            Oh, and put the shelter there. I don’t mind.

          • KalashniKEV

            “There” in those semi-rundown apartments?

          • nicole

            @KKKev: Yes. In my dump of an apartment. You got it.

  • Swag

    *looks at map*

    The current winter shelter (open 4 months out of the year) is what, 100 yards? from the proposed shelter.

    Your argument is invalid.

    • Courthouse resident

      Right look at the map. How close is the nearest residence to the current shelter? At least two blocks depending on how you count them.

      I live in Courthouse and though I don’t live in one of the residences it’s next to, I am not thrilled about a two story shelter moving closer to my front door.

      Why not make the current winter shelter a year round shelter? If a bigger one is truly needed, why not look at Rosslyn? It needs to be in a commercial area.

      • CourthouseChris

        This argument that homeless shelters need to be in commercial areas is laughable. You are offended by poor people doing what in a residential area – taking up residence?

        • Courthouse resident

          Have you ever lived in a city with a sizeable homeless population? You don’t have a problem with stepping over someone passed out on your doorstep when you leave your house? I have and I do.

          • CourthouseChris

            Multiple cities, both coasts.

            And, you seem to fail to understand that a homeless shelter would provide them a place to sleep rather than your doorstep.

        • ArlingtonWay

          You forget to say how despicable you find it all.

          • CourthouseChris

            Actually, I find it abhorrent.

          • ArlingtonWay

            Breathe into your perfumed hanky, Chris. I’m sure this case of the vapors will pass. People don’t want a homeless shelter next door to their condo!!! OH THE HUMANITY!!!!

          • CourthouseChris

            Not sure how you got that from “abhorrent”. You seem to be getting a bit nonsensical – perhaps it is yourself that is suffering from “the vapors”?

  • Roycroft

    The jail is just down the block as is the courthouse with criminals being tried almost on a daily basis. Are they any safer than the homeless?

  • Crystal Dykie
    • GC

      No, that is my back yard! Good thing the proposed homeless shelter is next to the police station, so when you get stabbed or tackled by a mentally ill person for no reason, the police will be able to catch them quicker.

      • NoVapologist

        Any real statistics on the number of stabbings and tackles by homeless?

        • GC

          Yes, 7.5 per 100 homeless police incidents, the other 90+ are substance abuse, possession and urination in public – I read it on the Internets.

  • Not Lyin’ Steve

    Woodbury Heights is an ugly-ass building as it is. This will make it even more unattractive.

  • novasteve

    Why don’t the supporters of this vet the safety of these people by letting them spend some time in your own homes first before subjecting the rest of the area to them? I mean, they are your darlings, you take the first risk, rather than subjecting everyone else. And if they don’t kill you, well then they can stay.

    • Second Amendment Sara

      The same reason you don’t invite gun-owners into your home to practice their aim.

    • Swag

      Ultimate strawman argument. There’s quite a difference between having homeless people live near your home and having people you don’t know (homeless or not) live in your home.

      Continuing the stereotype: Why don’t you vet the safety of murderers up for parole by letting them spend some time in your home? You know, to make sure it’s safe to release them.

  • South Arlington

    Can we take the money we’d spend on this and gift it to Fairfax County with the stipulation that they need to use it to build the best homeless shelter money can buy? Then, problem solved!

    • KalashniKEV

      They will take it and just laugh at us like they always do.

  • Febreze

    How about instead of building a homeless shelter we give all the homeless people a free bus voucher for a one-way trip to Florida where they’ll be warm year round.

    • novasteve

      They can’t vote for arlington county democrats from florida. That would defeat the point the board has for attracting homeless to arlington.

  • FedUp
    • novasteve

      If it wer en’t for the Dillon rule Arlington would have made “The Internationale” the county Anthem

  • DoYourHomework

    I normally do not bother with these kind of posts but must say that property values in Arlington and this neighborhood will not be depressed by the shelter. Do some research, please. For those who are worried, you should BE worried by the impact of massive federal cuts and spend some time ensuring that deficit hawks don’t go crazy.

    • Febreze

      Where is this “research” you speak of?

      • KalashniKEV

        If you did your homework you would know that property values increase with an invasion of mentally-ill, substance-abusing, sex offender vagrants.

        Oops… my bad, that’s not Property Value, I meant Taxes!

    • Courthouse resident

      Are you serious? This post has to be from a County PR hack! If you were looking to buy a new home in the DC Metro area and had hundreds to choose form, would you buy the one right next to the homeless shelter? Maybe you would, but only because it would be hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper than all the rest! It wouldn’t even be an option for single females and families.

      • Virginia^2

        Yeah, I don’t know what’s so difficult to understand about this. Sure, there’s nothing the shelter will do to the intrinsic nature of the property but what matters is whether people want to buy there. And when people have other choices, maybe the shelter isn’t going to be a deal breaker but it certainly will affect a buyer’s choice. That keeps units on the market longer, which forces owners to reduce the price, which affects the real property assessments, and so on.

        Obviously it isn’t going to affect values county-wide but if the shelter attracts a large enough population, nearby buildings will feel the effects.

  • novasteve

    Just a reminder to the supporters, this isn’t going to be a shelter for families or battered women, as someone pointed out on the wapo. It’s going to be the people with mental problems and drug problems. Great addition to the neighborhood!

    • CourthouseChris

      No, I don’t think mental or drug problems will be a criteria for entrance. Your conclusion here is erroneous.

      • novasteve

        Have you EVER seen the homeless people in this area? Are you going to tell me the person who smells worse than a porta potty at a rock concert isn’t mentally ill? This shelter isn’t for people who are out of work, not for families, not for battered women. It’s for the mentally ill ones.

        • Swag

          Yeah, wtf is up with the smell? Why can’t they just go home and take a shower?

          Oh wait.

      • Courthouse resident

        It’s a low barrier shelter. You can show up high, drunk or speaking in tongues and they will let you in. If you build it they will come.

        • CourthouseChris

          ^^didn’t get the point^^

    • ArlRes

      So, what I’m thinking I’m hearing from the people against this shelter is that, they simply don’t want it in their back yard. However, these people are already in your backyard, and without shelter, are in extreme need of food, shelter and sustenance. Without assistance, they’re likely to resort to petty crimes and the likes since they have no other alternative.

      So, instead of providing a place for them to get assistance, lowering any motivation to commit crimes based out of desperation for survival, and removing them from the streets, you would rather leave them out there on the streets to fend for themselves, spending more time late at night out on the desolate streets, and potentially breaking into your beamer to sell that nice shiny ipod in order to make $10 to pay for their next meal?

      I dunno, I would consider the risk-return payoff, and offering someone the basics in life in order to reduce their incentives to go out there and beg or steal, and give them just a tiny bit of hope, seems to be a reasonable use of taxpayer dollars. In the long run it will likely reduce crime, while also housing those most in need, regardless of a mental or drug related issue. If they have those issues, better to make the police and county staff aware of it rather than ignore it and leave them to wander the streets, right?

      • CourthouseChris

        Well said.

      • Done and Done

        Okay we have ArlRes volunteering to host 4 homeless in their home and Courthouse Chris will host another 4 in his home.

        I’m sure PredictionsAreNotFacts and Bob won’t want to be overshadowed, so there’s another 8. Then there’s Hmm could be and OX4 – another 8. We’re up to 24 already. Thanks guys – why do we need to waste taxpayer money on this?

  • CourthouseChris

    I’d rather have a homeless shelter as a neighbor than Novasteve… but you don’t see me objecting to his continued presence somewhere in 22201.

  • KalashniKEV

    New name for Courthouse – ZOMBIE LAND!

    • novasteve

      Actually they’ll rename it to “Outhouse” because that’s what it will smell like.

      • KalashniKEV

        LOL!

        *hi five*

        (please don’t smoke in here)

  • Gayle Fleming

    I admit to not having read all these comments but at a glance I am disgusted by the NIMBY sentiments. I’m a real estate agent in Arlington and I totally support the proposed location for the shelter. I can’t stand it when people will go and volunteer in a shelter as long as it isn’t in a neighborhood where they live or where they perceive their homes are way to valuable to have the shelter there. Woodbury Heights is a block from the jail for goodness sake. Does that reduce their values? Give me a break.

    • novasteve

      See, the thing with a jail, is that they are locked in, unlike with a homeless shelter full of drug addicts and mentally ill people.

      • Swag

        Yeah, because when people get released from jail they get driven to Anacostia first, right?

        • Virginia^2

          You’re really making that analogy? I highly doubt anyone released from jail is going to celebrate their freedom by hanging around the courthouse.

    • Courthouse resident

      No, but that’s because they are behind bars in the jail. While it may appear to be a minor move, moving the current winter shelter out of the commercial center and right next to residences will have a very big quality of life impact for those who live there. And not just those who live there will be impacted as the bigger year round presence will surely attract a bigger homeless population to Arlington.

      • Swag

        I agree. Since homeless people are incapable of crossing streets, north courthouse road is an incredibly effective barrier against *those* people. If the shelter were to move across the street, nobody would be safe!

    • OX4

      Excellent comment, Gayle.

    • Whatevs

      Gayle, how about we put it next to YOUR house. Sound good?

    • Virginia^2

      I think that the occupation-dropping is an underhanded way to advance your viewpoint. It also isn’t very effective. As others have pointed out, the nature of access to/from a shelter is fundamentally different than that of a jail – even if you looked extensively at patterns in property values, it isn’t going to tell you anything about the effect that a larger, permanent homeless shelter will have.

      You also state you’re a real estate agent without saying where you live – which is really what matters here. It’s easy to condemn NIMBYism when you’re not affected by the issue. I’m not saying that this is the case but, as far as I can read, I have no way of knowing.

  • CW

    I can honestly very easily see both sides of the discussion, so I am torn as to taking a stance.

    However, one thing that I must wonder is if these homeowners are creating a bit of a Streisand Effect here. That is, when (not if) the County gets its way, would they have been better off letting it quietly happen?

    Most Arlingtonians are oblivious enough that I bet most buyers would never even be aware of the presence of a shelter nearby if they were looking to buy in the area. Are you aware of all the businesses on your block? All rhetorical questions; again, I’m personally divided on the issue.

    • Virginia^2

      That’s a fantastic point – someone has certainly made enough of a fuss that whatever effects do result from the shelter (if any) will be more thoroughly publicized.

  • OX4

    Can someone please establish for me, using actual data, the correlation between homelessness and crime? Because what you’ll find are data that show if you’re homeless, you’re much more likely to be beaten, robbed, and murdered. Not the other way around.

    • bob32

      I’m sure that is true, but I’m also sure that there is loitering and panhandling near homeless shelters. And the occasional fistfight. I want them to get treatment and employment too, but I support the idea of putting the shelter near a bus line in an industrial area. We have a responsibility to help them, but that doesn’t mean we throw away common sense.

      • OX4

        I want data. And what do you mean, you want them to get “treatment”? I didn’t realize you could catch homelessness.

        • bob32

          treatment for their addictions and/or mental health issues. but you knew that, I suspect.

          • OX4

            Are you serious? You’re serious. Really?

      • CourthouseChris

        Great idea bob32; let’s establish a segregated compound to put all the undesirables in. We can even have a Special Services (we can call it SS for short) division to round them up and sequester them away so as to not offend you.

        It’s been done. Didn’t work out so well.

        • bob32

          wow. did you really just compare putting a homeless shelter somewhere more remote to the HOLOCAUST?

          • CourthouseChris

            I dont’ think anyone suggested we kill them, but I see where you are going with that.

            I was drawing parallels to historical attempts to round up and sequester undesirables, which is exactly what you proposed.

          • novasteve

            Chris, you insult millions of murdered Jews with your foolish comparison. perhaps if you were Jewish you might understand a little better than to compare homeless shelter locations with the extermination of 50% of the world’s jewish population in a few years.

          • OX4

            ……and suddenly novasteve is compassionate.

    • Swag

      Homeless people live in cities. There is crime in cities. Therefore, homeless people are criminals.

      • OX4

        Hehe….NIMBY cause and effect! I want to play too. Hmm, in the summer, ice cream sales go up. therefore, ice cream causes hot weather!

      • Badexperiences

        Clearly you have never been a target of crime by a homeless person… I can say that it’s scary and I’d wish it on nobody.

  • Tom Smart

    The county always does what it wants to do. Why? Because the population continues to vote these dumbfxxks into office year after year. They talk out of both sides of their mouth. At one time I wanted to buy a small office building and turn it in to an SRO (Single Residence Occupancy) just like they have in California. And guess what the zoning commission said, “we don’t have any guidelines in place that would allow it.” But guess what, by the same token, they don’t have anything that would have prevented it either. Does anyone have a brain cell in those buildings? They’ve never seen a tax that they didn’t like or invent to extract more blood from the stone. Keep voting them in and you get what you don’t want.

    • Good Grief

      Or because the County does what is right for Arlington. Complain all you will, but Arlington consistently is recognized as a “best place to live’ on cnn and usnews rankings. They are also working to alleviate homelessness. We are one of 107 communities involved with the 100,000 homes campaign. Learn all about – http://100khomes.org.

  • novembergirl

    i’d also like to see your data on the correlation between homelessness and mental illness.

    • CW

      Ok, I posted above that I’m not taking a side here (and I don’t think what I’m about to post is taking a side), but your implying that that data is hard to find or does not exist is just silly.

      Anyhow, here is your data:
      http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/Mental_Illness.pdf

      • OX4

        CW, my original question was this:

        “Can someone please establish for me, using actual data, the correlation between homelessness and crime?”

        I wasn’t implying that data are hard to find on causes of homelessness. A simple search on Wikipedia yields this:

        According to the United States Conference of Mayors,[5] the main cause [of homelessness] is the lack of affordable housing. The four next primary causes are: mental illness or the lack of needed services; substance abuse and lack of needed services; low-paying jobs; Government policy – Child support enforcement keeping drivers licenses from citizens and other civil rights violations.

        However, that still doesn’t establish the spurious link made by some thoughtless people on this board between homelessness and crime.

        • CW

          Oh, I didn’t see your original post on this issue. I was just responding to the somewhat silly comment/question from novembergirl.

          I wasn’t commenting on crime.

          • novembergirl

            you’re right CW. however the comments people are making about the shelter and crime, and other impacts on the neighborhood are really ridiculous

          • CW

            Yeah, idk, I feel like the crime thing is a red herring. If someone commits a crime, they should be arrested. If homeless people are committing crimes, they should be arrested (along with anyone else who is doing so, for that matter). If they’re not committing crimes then what’s the problem. So what people really seem to be implying when they talk about “crime” is that people are committing crimes and not being punished for it, or that crime is not being deterred. Shouldn’t we be looking the way of the police department and legal system then?

          • KalashniKEV

            Even if they’re not committing crimes themselves, it’s simple Broken Window theory- Criminals are more inclined to ply their trade in an area where say- a Bum is stumbling around in public than that is clean and safe.

            It’s more than just a theory though- watch the graffiti appear first. The crime will follow…

          • CW

            Right, but you just proved my own point. “Stumbling around” = drunk in public. Not “clean” = homeless person is littering. Not “safe” = homeless person is committing assault. Those are crimes. If a crime is committed, the perpetrator should be arrested and jailed.

          • KalashniKEV

            Then I agree with your point- the next time I see some dirty Bum stumbling around menacing people for money, I’m calling 911.

            (which will be about 6 minutes after I get home today)

          • OX4

            I don’t think her comment was that silly. Obviously it’s a serious enough question to warrant research, published reports, and your Internet search.

            But again, until anyone on this board, including our open-hearted NOVA liberal friends who posted said flyer, can provide data showing an increase in crime rates when a homeless shelter is constructed in a neighborhood, this is typical NIMBY fear-mongering.

          • KalashniKEV

            Why does it have to be an increase in crime, isn’t a decrease in property value enough reason to take issue? What about an increase in vagrancy? I assume they’re not going to keep them locked up.

            It’s OUR money. We have the right to at least speak against such foolishness.

        • Virginia^2

          Well, here are a couple of journal articles from a quick search:

          http://ps.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=99095

          http://www.springerlink.com/content/a277h1766333lnk5/fulltext.pdf

          What if most people aren’t fearing that they’ll get stabbed, but simply don’t want to get hassled by panhandling on the walk to the Metro every morning, and on the way back home every night? Owners spent hundreds of thousands on a unit with that NOT being the case. I’m not taking either side on this issue but it’s impossible not to see WHY some homeowners might be concerned.

          • OX4

            Thanks, very interesting.

            “Previous research has not provided a clear understanding
            of the relationship between homelessness and violent criminal
            activity. Several studies using mentally ill samples
            suggest that homelessness is significantly associated with
            violent crime (Martell 1991; Martell et al. 1995). Richman
            et al. (1992) found that among mentally ill offenders, those
            individuals who had been homeless at the time of their arrest
            were more likely to have committed previous violent crimes.
            Swanson et al. (2002) found that after controlling for selfrated
            mental health status and history of psychiatric hospitalization,
            homelessness was independently associated with
            violent criminal activity. However, other researchers have
            not been able to replicate this relationship. Snow et al. (1989)
            found that homeless men were generally no different than the
            overall male population in committing violent crimes.
            Arrests were either not statistically different or lower for
            homeless participants for murder, rape, and aggravated
            assault, though homeless participants had slightly higher
            arrest rates for robbery. McNiel et al. (2005) found that
            homeless inmates were significantly less likely to have been
            arrested for a violent crime than housed individuals.”

            But who cares about all that. Don’t put them next to my condo!

          • CourthouseChris

            That’s some nice research there OX4.

  • MC

    I question the rationale for the County buying this building to begin with. It makes no sense to spend limited County funds on high price real estate. The County wants to house a printing press in this building near the metro, instead of using an industrial zoned building in a less expensive area. There is no reason that a homeless shelter needs to be in such an expensive area either — the District has shifted its homeless shelters outside the City core in recognition of the absurd economics of using prime land to house homeless.

  • roquer

    2 thoughts about this:
    1) The county board figured the shelter ought to be close to the cops & the jail for ease of access
    2) Does anyone else ever wonder why none of these facilities are close to where the county board members live?

    • Bluemontsince1961

      “Does anyone else ever wonder why none of these facilities are close to where the county board members live?”

      1) The Board would never permit it. 2) If anyone tried to do so, you’d hear a loud chorus of five voices saying: NIMBY!

  • galloml@hotmail.com

    Why do the homeless get real estate I can’t afford – paid for by my tax dollars?

    • novasteve

      Because the people of Arlington keep on electing liberals to office. That’s why.

  • Charlie

    This condo has been screwed by Arlington three times.
    First, Zimmie approved that awful hotel
    Then Melissa Bondi and Zimmie tripled the zoning for the palatine to get built and blocked the view.
    Now this. I’m so sorry.

  • Village Genius

    Is buying very expensive real estate the best choice? Probably not.

    The County could likely have a larger/nicer shelter in an area that is not so expensive. Alternatively, the money saved could be plowed in to mental health services for users of the shelter.

    There are many areas in Arlington that are less expensive than the Courthouse area and yet more accessible than, for example, Long Bridge park.

    A win-win is possible if the County Board exercises its duty to manage OUR finances in a more responsible manner.

    • Done and Done

      Actually, this doesn’t have to be done right this minute. The county is inheriting the Navy Annex land and buildings near the cemetery, and the stipulation is that the land has to be for public (not private or commercial) use. The buildings could be used nearly as is (I worked there for a couple of years and they are no worse than other government buildings I’ve worked in). It is accessible to bus lines, the metro is within walking distance, and if they waste money on the trolley, it would go near there too. And they wouldn’t have to spend a dime (or any dimes they spend would be similar to how they would have to renovate the office building in question).

  • Truthi

    There mistake is to think that Zimmerman et al actually care what they think. Funny how these things come out right after the election. Enjoy your new neighbors. Courthouse elected Tejada et al by a wide margin. You reap what you sow.

  • geaux33

    Anyone concerned with the damage the county is doing to the 23 small businesses in the building? The lack of notice alone is going to cost several their ability to stay in business.

  • TGEoA

    Where is the nearest place to by beer? I bet their sales skyrocket. Air freshened products too.

    That place is going to smell like Amy Winehouse come August.

  • Sam

    This reminds me of the battle that Western Presbyterian had to endure when they moved their church to Foggy Bottom in the early 90′s. The neighbors in the condo next to the church as well as residents in the Watergate weren’t thrilled with having Miriams Kitchen feeding the homeless throughout the week. There were major zoning battles with the Council but eventually it got approved. They’ve had some issues with fights between the homeless and some other associated crime since they’ve moved in but it would be tough to determine if that is because of the program.

    • MikeT

      I used to walk by that very church every morning, recently. I recall there were always at least a couple of homeless guys sitting on the curb there. Once I observed a shouting match between a couple of them. Now did they ever assault ME? No. But then, if I were a woman or older person, and it were at night, I’d be a little worried.

  • JonDeo

    This was the church I was referncing in my above post. The homeless loiter outside this church.

    I worked at The Watergate for a bit and would avoid this path. It was better to go 3 blocks out of the way than pass by 30 homeless people begging. That’s what is next for Courthouse, a place I would next avoid.

  • 22a rider

    There are clearly a lot of strong opinions on many sides of this issue. If you want your voice heard beyond this posting board, I would recommend that you consider attending the County Board hearing on Tuesday evening at 6:30pm.

    http://arlington.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=469

    You can sign up in advance to speak.

  • Eric Cartman (Professional Homeless Jumper)

    Personally, I like to line up as many homeless people in a row as I can and see if I can jump over them with my skateboard.

    My town dealt with this problem a couple seasons ago, so what my friends and I did was modify an old city bus and lead all the homeless to California… everything is back to normal now.

    For the love of good, just don’t give them any change! They can survive off it.

    California! Super cool to the homeless!

  • Dan

    Wait…the County Manager says this consolidation move to 14th St. will enable them to redevelop Court Square West by creating an underground parking lot with ground level retail, offices, etc to be built where the county’s surface parking lot is currently located.

    What about the farmer’s market? Are we destroying all public space here?

    • CourthouseChris

      The farmer’s market is on 14th and Uhle streets around the parking lot. But I agree with your point, despite it being a asphalt slab, it’s a nice open space. We don’t need Courthouse becoming a built up urban canyon like Ballston.

  • Life-long Arlingtonian

    Arlington County Reps and Staff,

    I write to urge you to vote NO to the proposed purchase of the Thomas Building (in Courthouse) for use as a homeless shelter. If implemented, the proposed plan would comprimise residents’ safety and property values. Most importantly, though, the proposed plan would strip the neighborhood of it’s charm, which is it’s #1 economic asset.

    As a young professional and potential condo owner 18 months ago, I looked at over 30 properties in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. In the end, I chose to buy in the courthouse neighborhood because of it’s charm as well as the charm of the surrounding and easily-accessible areas, particularly Rosslyn and Clarendon. Should the Thomas building plan go through, not only will the charm of Courthouse be sacrificed, but also the charm and alluring aspects of the surrounding areas.

    If you would like to turn people away from the accessibility of Rosslyn (particularly the people that park their car in Rosslyn and take the metro into work) and the dining and shopping opportunities of Clarendon, vote yes. If you would like to continue attracting young professionals, increasing property values and supporting economic development of the courthouse and neighboring areas, vote no.

    Signed,

    A life-long Arlingtonian.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Dear Life-long Arlingtonian,

      Check out 22a Rider’s comment above, there is a meeting next Tuesday and you can say your exact words above to the Board.

      “…the County Board hearing on Tuesday evening at 6:30pm.

      http://arlington.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=469

      You can sign up in advance to speak.”

      • JS

        Great advice Bluemontsince1961…I’m guessing Life-Long isn’t concerned enough to actually expend that kind of effort though. But please, please, please, Life-long…prove me wrong. I’d rather be wrong than hear more people complain about problems they are too lazy to help fix.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Hey JS,

          Thanks. I quoted the information from 22a Rider’s comment for Life-long Arlingtonian in case he/she wants to attend the Board meeting and present his/her view. If I can pass on information to someone that might help them, I try to do so.

          • Life Long

            Thanks, all. See you there.

    • Good Grief

      I’m sorry, you lost me at “charm of courthouse.” As your neighbor, I would just like to ask what you, as a ‘young professional’ are providing to the community? If you’re just another snooty Arlingtonian that basks in entitlement, pass. I prefer the homeless as my neighbor.

      Signed,

      Get over yourself

  • Larry the Table Guy

    Build/buy it, and they will come.

  • novasteve

    Would the condo owners feel any better about it if all the advocates of the shelter and the board contractually personally make themselves liable for any criminality and harm that could arise from this shelter being so close to residences? If someone has $50,000 in medical bills due to being assaulted by a drunk schizo, then the money for the medical bills will come from the advocates? Will they agree to do this? If not, then they shouldn’t be putting the homeless shelter there.

  • Joanne

    I do not agree with the assertion that it is ideal to have the shelter located near a metro stop. It is my observation that most homeless people ride the metro infrequently. After all, it is more costly and most effective for commuting to work across state boundaries in the greater Washington DC metro area. Instead, I feel it is critical that the shelter be accessible via bus, but ideal that the shelter be in walkable distance to needed resources. I would settle for it to be bus accessible. Arlington is well served by buses and thus there are many options of locations. At the same time, many homeless struggle with bus fare. But, I know if they really want to ride the bus for a noble cause (to find a job, etc.), they can find the money (forgo the cigarettes, lottery tickets, alcohol, etc). Perhaps one of the more desirable locations for a shelter is already taken by RPC. It is located on Columbia Pike with no immediate housing complexes/condos. Furthermore, it is a short walking distance from a county library and close proximity to Sequoia/Employment Center. Another location that would of interest to the homeless is the Social Security Office in Rosslyn and perhaps the Drewry Mental Health and Substance Abuse Center near the Virginia Center. For those concerned about attracting homeless people from other jurisdictions, having the shelter by the metro would increase the likeliness of this concern being valid, but I personally do not feel such a concern is very valid. I see more people crossing the border into DC to find shelter than coming to VA for shelter. At the same time, there are many that apply for housing assistance in multiple jurisdictions at the same time.
    My questions are: why does ASPAN act like there is no year round shelter in Arlington if there is already RPC? Also, why does RPC not work? How would the ASPAN shelter be different from RPC? I am aware that there are two few beds for single females at RPC, 12.

    • Good Grief

      Considering RPC has roughly 30 beds, and Arlington has 150ish homeless – yea I’m gonna go with we need more beds. And I hate to break it to you, but yes, homeless take the metro. Not everyone on the streets is just a panhandler or substance abuser. Some have fallen on hard times and commute to and from job interviews just like the rest of us. If you want to make a difference, I recommend volunteering at A-SPAN, OAR, RPC, AMEN or other agencies to teach skills and assist with permanent solutions. Why don’t you go to their websites or call to see the difference. Ignorance is not providing any solutions.

      • JS

        Yes…try a little volunteerism for a change. I’d say a majority of the ppl commenting don’t know s**t about s**t and still wouldn’t know s**t or even give a s**t if it wasn’t going in their ‘hood. They don’t care about the actual problem and care even less about the homeless people involved. Proof of this is the fact that until it was proposed for their neighborhood…I’m guessing that none of them gave one iota of their time to help this particular cause or I’m guessing any other cause. Yes, that’s presumptuous, but I live in this city an know about 3 ppl that actually volunteer ANYWHERE. Why? Because like you said previously…they are a bunch of entitled snobs. They just don’t want it next to them. Take a little time to help out and NO ONE will have to lose their home value by having the homeless on their street.

        • KalashniKEV

          “Take a little time to help out and NO ONE will have to lose their home value by having the homeless on their street.”

          Are you saying we should randomly kidnap them and drop them off in the woods in Maryland???

    • bugg

      UMM…. that would put the homeless walking through Penrose to get to the Sequoia/Employment Center. The HHS offices were PUT in Penrose WITHOUT asking the community. Additional bus routes were added to Penrose to accommodate this facility WITHOUT asking the community if we wanted or needed additional bus routes.

      Penrose should not have the ADDITIONAL placement of a second shelter to our neighborhood, especially one that would encourage an increase of foot traffic through residential streets, past a park (a frequent nighttime resting place for homeless in better weather).

      Am sick of people suggesting Penrose as an option.

      Pick another neighborhood to share the experience.

  • James

    “The shelter will drive down property values in the area, especially the values of the homes in Woodbury Heights,” the resident continued. “Considering the weak housing market, my home will be even less attractive and competitive to prospective buyers.”

    Your home is already probably extremely over-valued. Whatever it was worth in 2000 or so it’s pretty close to it’s true value. There is no land shortage in Arlington like in NY or SFO.

    Just wait till the government salaries get reigned in.

  • JS

    Dear People’s Republic of Courthouse –

    The homeless ppl are already here…we a have metro…we have homeless. Perhaps you should move to Georgetown…oh wait…they have homeless too. Well darn…perhaps we should spend your time focusing on how to fix the root of the problem instead of complaining about where to put the “problem”. I’m guessing not a one of those ppl living in that condo has spent a day in their life doing something productive to change the situation. And I don’t mean handing a homeless man a buck so he can grab a bottle of Mad Dog for dinner.

    P.S….parking lots are terrible for the environment.

    • JS

      Joanne: You’re right…they don’t ride the metro…but the suckers coming off are easy prey…

  • JoshInBallston

    Do the people on here making the following arguments actually, truly believe it or are you just being argumentative?

    The benefits to the homeless that come from the proposed shelter location (metro access, etc.) should outweigh the costs to the taxpayers who are asked/forced to pay for said shelter.

    Taxpayers should be asked/forced to pay for a shelter in a desirable/costly location that many of themselves cannot afford to live in so that the homeless benefiting from the shelter have conveniences (metro) that the taxpayers themselves cannot afford to have.

  • Village Genius

    Better value for the buck: The lovely Highlander Motor Inn at 3330 Wilson (RPC 19014022) is a much better value with an assessment of $2 million. Very minimal renovation necessary for a homeless shelter.

    Rather than spend $25 million for a run-down building, the County can buy the lovely Motor Inn AND construct office space above the existing motel. Plenty of parking is included; Metro and bus access.

    If only we had Board members who understood simple math. Maybe the Board should ask the County Manager for a list of 5-10 options so that the properties can be fully evaluated.

    • Everyone is an expert
    • KalashniKEV

      “Maybe the Board should ask the County Manager for a list of 5-10 options so that the properties can be fully evaluated.”

      Due diligence, Cost/ Benefit Analysis, and COA Evaluation are obstacles to their personal boondoggles and scams. If we start to introduce even the most basic Business Practices to the County Board, the result will be anger.

  • Everyone is an expert

    WOW! Maybe you should get off your couch and go visit the neighborhood it will affect. This is not just about property values. It is about putting small businesses out of business, safety and abuse of power by the county on your dime. 25.5 millions PLUS the money to convert that space. If the county does not get their way, they will exercise eminent domain before the law is changed. Time to wake up and realize what is really going on. The only person that will benefit in the long run is the county and the developer, JBG, who wants to DEVELOP the space where the current shelter is. Look at the site plan on the county website.

    • Thes

      I thought the Manager said it was her intention to preserve the existing retail operations? Are you talking about other small businesses on the upper floors? If they have to move, does that put them out of business?

  • Everyone is an expert

    I have been in touch with the business owners. Many can not AFFORD to move. Do you really believe what Marcia Allegier has to say?!?!? They keep the street level retailers through the terms of the their leases. At the end of the leases they will be asked to leave OR they will increase the rent so much that they can not afford to stay. Many of the businesses just re-modeled and spent a lot of money. They are really upset, as they should be.

  • KalashniKEV

    I just watched UFC 140 @ Slummer’s Restaurant and got an idea… do you think we could turn Artisphere into a ThunderDome???

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