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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | November 29, 2012 at 9:05 am | 6,703 views | 152 Comments

Commission Says No to Lee Hwy Project — The Arlington Planning Commission has voted against a developer’s plan to build a 10-story apartment building and a MOM’s Organic Market grocery store on the current Bergmann’s Dry Cleaner site on Lee Highway. The commission expressed reservations about approving the project when there’s no overarching county development plan for Lee Highway. Some neighborhood residents who supported the development said they were disappointed with the commission’s vote. The County Board will have the final say when they consider the matter on Dec. 8. [Arlington Mercury]

Arlington GOP Still Trying to Stop Streetcar — The Arlington County Republican Committee is trying a new tactic to halt the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. The GOP is asking state lawmakers to pass a measure that would require Arlington County to have a voter referendum before selling bonds to fund the streetcar. [Sun Gazette]

Ballston Bar Crawl to Benefit Sandy — Eight Ballston-area bars are hosting a bar crawl to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. The bar crawl will start at noon on Saturday at Front Page (4201 Wilson Blvd). The event also includes a poker competition for prizes, like Redskins and Capitals gear. [Clarendon Nights]

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  • Dylan

    If the planning commission and their staff would stop wasting so much time arguing on ARLnow.com, maybe they could get a plan figured out for Lee Highway and not be blocking progress.

    • Fed up

      The issue is about building an 11 story apartment building, not Mom’s mini grocery boutique. I live near this site and I can walk to Whole Foods and Giant. I’d still need to shop at a bigger store for staples. Arlington should make Bergmann’s clean up the boarded up houses, not reward $$$ them with a huge new building.

  • NIMBY The Chicken

    RE: Grocery store – I don’t know why any business would want to come to Arlington given all the dumb hurdles.

    • CW
      • NIMBY The Chicken

        Thanks for the median income reminder, I totally forgot about that.

        Seriously though, I remember hearing redevelopment plans for Lee Highway as a whole for over a year, and found a Cherrydale plan from 94 on the county website. Reference this story http://www.arlnow.com/2012/04/19/moms-organic-market-coming-to-bergmanns-development/ and it’s PDF. The county is deciding we have enough specialty grocers so it’s skeptical? Really? When did Arlington get in the retail landlord game (don’t answer that, don’t want to make this a shelter thing)?

        • Clarendon

          I totally agree that staff expressing the idea that we have enough grocery stores – specialty or otherwise is unfortunate. IMO, there should be one or more grocery stores within an easy walk of everyone.

          I don’t agree that the lack of a plan is in itself a reason to deny any proposal that is asking for a special exception, but the developer should realize that the bar might be higher and somewhat uncertain (ie lots of disagreement on specifics) if there is no current plan which will lead to a more arduous approval process.

          • NIMBY The Chicken

            The proposal is for a glass-enclosed LEED-gold apartment complex with pared-down retail (so less parking). Seems to fit the bill for everything else approved here. Lee Highway is 7 lanes in front of Bergmann’s as it is, and that number will only go down with the way things go in the board room and DES chambers, so easement shouldn’t be an issue. I can’t imagine why they’d say no. To leave a dilapidated parcel of land for two more years while the Lee Highway plan is finalized would be silly, not unbelievable, but silly. Hopefully the board ignores the planning commission. To create precedent for future Lee Highway development is pretty silly too, given the amount of 10ish story buildings on Lee between Lorcom Lane and the project site, anyway.

          • Sparky

            Approving this 11 + story tower would definitely set a precedent along Lee Hwy. to Falls Church without a Lee Hwy. Master Plan. Those 2-3 “10 ish story” buildings were built in the 1960′s and could not be built today. Zoning ordinances have been changed to prevent it; the Metro corridor was designated for tall buildings, tapering down further away.

            Plus, those older bldgs. sit way back from the hwy. on properties that include a lot of green space. For example, Potomac Towers has 1 1/2 acres of landscaped green space and had nearly twice that much before I-66 took it by eminent domain. The proposed 11 1/2 story tower would be right on Lee Hwy and have ZERO green space which would also be a precedent.

            Another would be the massive up zoning of single family home lots (5) this tower would sit on. If this was approved, the county could not legally prevent other 11 1/2+ story developments which would become the norm. Build townhouses where the single family lots are or at most, make it a 6 story bldg. as are the condos being built in Cherrydale near Safeway. The 2nd building with MOM’s and the 2 story row flats is fine but not the 11 1/2 story tower.

        • CW

          I understand and appreciate your sarcasm, but I didn’t understand why you would make a blanket statement saying you don’t know why any business would want to come to a place that has tons of potential customers with lots of money to spend.

          • NIMBY The Chicken

            Mostly because of the dumb hoops.

          • South Awwlington

            Arlington is only 26 sq miles. You could locate said business all along its borders in Alexandria and Fairfax, still be in affluent markets and be within earshot of Arlington. I do admit, I do like some of the public perks we do get from the developers but I also wonder hoe many businesses are chased away or a discouraged from coming before our almighty board of five (elected at large, beholden to none).

          • NIMBY The Chicken

            ^^^ Mom’s should put that crappy Safeway in Chesterbrook out of it’s misery and offer to move in. Underperforming niche stores seem to be attracted to that strip.

          • drax

            “elected at large, beholden to none”

            Um, you realize those two contradict each other, right?

          • South Awwlington

            No, they don’t. It’s complicated.

    • WeiQiang

      *oy*

  • Josh

    Just another great reason to avoid the Ballston area this Saturday.

    • Captain_Obvious

      right, instead you can go to Alexandria, which has a higher population density than Arlington, and enjoy “urban” old town.

      • WeiQiang

        accepting the population density trump card, i can’t totally get on board with a city that had such a lame holiday tree lighting. a bunch of lights and no decor. i have standards.

      • Veryconfused

        I grew up in Brooklyn, and find Old Town quite urban. Perhaps you are confusing “urban” and “downtown of a major metro area”?

        • drax

          Exactly.

          • Captain_Obvious

            not exactly.

        • Captain_Obvious

          Old town is not urban, its a suburb of DC.

          • drax

            So Brooklyn isn’t urban because it’s a suburb of NYC?

          • Josh S

            ^^ Brick wall ^^

          • Captain_Obvious

            you mean like the brick wall you ran into when putting up phony stats to support your weak-a$$ argument ?

          • DCBuff

            No. I think he means like the brick walls in Old Town, which existed decades before WDC. The Old Town that, therefore, could not be a suburban outgrowth of an urban core.

          • Captain_Obvious

            oh got it, DC is a suburb of Arlington and Alexandria, right ?

          • drax

            Once again, “suburb” and “suburban” (and “urban”) are different words. One is a noun and the other is an adjective. A suburb can be urban, or parts of it can be urban. It’s basic English.

          • Captain_Obvious

            suburban areas “can be” urban, yes. Would you consider old town urban ? And Arlington has a few high density areas, not sure I’d call it urban.

          • Clarendon

            To coin a phrase – Old Town is severely urban. It’s a great example of the urban form with zero lot line development, active frontages, mixed uses, formal landscape and public spaces. Almost perfect.

          • Captain_Obvious
          • drax

            Great article you posted, Capt. You should read it too.

          • Clarendon

            I don’t think the definition given at the link above is very comprehensive, especially regarding urban form but in any case by it’s definition Old Town is urban as it is the core downtown of Alexandria City.

          • Captain_Obvious

            but I wouldn’t call old town congested of people and establishments like a typical urban center would.

          • drax

            Clarendon:

            It may not be a great definition, but it sure beats “it’s not urban if its in a suburb.”

          • Captain_Obvious

            @d-rax, I did, did you ? I found this line quite clear: “Lastly, other population and statistics experts commonly agree that suburban areas are places outside the inner, or main, city.”

          • drax

            Enough with the abuse of language.

            “Suburban area ” is still a noun. It’s a convoluted way of saying “suburb.”

            A “suburban area” that is “outside the inner, or main, city” can also have urban areas within it, or be entirely urban in quality.

            Brooklyn is a suburb, but it is urban. And Arlington is a suburb, but it has urban parts. Disputing this is silly.

          • Captain_Obvious

            It is silly, but why are people so averse to saying they live in a suburb ?

          • drax

            Who has said they don’t?

            To say Arlington is urban is not to say it’s not a suburb.

          • Captain_Obvious

            Shocker, d-rax twists words and can’t read between the lines.

          • drax

            “Old town is not urban, its a suburb of DC.”

          • Captain_Obvious

            right, is there a massive congestion of people trying to get to old town every morning for work? No, because old town is a mix of bars, restaurants, and retail. There is no central business district in old town. That would be 1 aspect of an urban area.

          • drax

            I never said Old Town was urban.

          • VeryConfused

            “It is silly, but why are people so averse to saying they live in a suburb ?”

            because once you say “x is a suburb” some people are going to say “X should not have bike lanes” or “X should prioritize auto movement” or “X should have free parking” or “X should not have tall buildings” or whatever, whether that makes sense or not.

            “right, is there a massive congestion of people trying to get to old town every morning for work? ” Lots of people work in office jobs in Oldtown – in the office complex by the Metro station, in the office buildings in north old town etc. that there is not much congestion (I think there IS congestion up Rte 1, and on some other routes leading in, but some of that is people going in to ArlCo and DC) is due to good layout and planning – adequate roads balanced by Metrorail, VRE, buses, and good walking/biking, and a grid layout.

          • Captain_Obvious

            good layout and planning and adequate roads are not something I equate to the DC metro area.

          • Deadite

            Captain Obvious is obviously wrong. An urban area can exist anywhere, it doesn’t have to be a major city itself. By his reckoning there would only be about 50 urban areas in the country which is clearly absurd.

          • Captain_Obvious

            prove me wrong, cause you didn’t say anything in your post.

          • Deadite

            If Arlington is suburban, then what does that make bedroom communities like Vienna and McClain? Rural?

          • Captain_Obvious

            suburban too, its not that complicated…

          • Deadite

            If you think the physical landscape of Arlington more closely resembles that of McLean than DC, then I have to assume you don’t live around here and just like to troll random community blogs.

          • VeryConfused

            “good layout and planning and adequate roads are not something I equate to the DC metro area.”

            I was not speaking of the entire DC metro area, but only of Old Town Alexandria.

          • Captain_Obvious

            McLean has a metro, bus lines, jobs, retail, etc., so yea, it kinda is like Arlington, but a little quieter. I’ve lived in Arlington, DC, and McLean so I think I know what I’m talking about.
            Funny, you call me a troll when your comments have been copy and pasted from wikipedia.
            And boom, now you’re done.

          • Deadite

            Dude, you lost the argument. You wanted quantitative reasoning and I gave it to you. You wanted qualitative reasoning and I gave it to you. Just admit that you’re too stubborn to admit you’re wrong and GTFO.

          • Captain_Obvious

            No I didn’t, you haven’t proven anyone wrong. In fact, you have done nothing to support your own case. Get over it already and just accept that you live in a suburban area.

    • JamesE

      cool story bro, stay at home

      • CW

        No 3-beer limits in Ballston, that’s for sure.

  • drax

    So the Republicans think Arlington voters might reject a bond referendum? Are they paying attention?

    • Captain_Obvious

      should they not try ?

      • drax

        If I were them, I wouldn’t. Chances are the referendum would win – and that would only strengthen the pro-trolley side, greatly.

        • Wayne Kubicki

          If there is no referendum, with the current make-up of the County Board, the trolley seemingly moves forward.

          Might a referendum win? Of course it might – but, then again, it might not. It would generate a full public debate on the Pike trolley.

          All Arlington Republicans are saying here is that before the Arlington County Board goes ahead with this and issues a projected $121M in bonds to partially pay for it, the bonds ought to be subject to a referendum vote.

          • drax

            And all I’m saying is they’d probably lose the referendum. And this would weaken their position even more.

          • Bob

            I thought we always voted on bonds.

          • Josh S

            We do. Don’t succumb to the mock-innocent “all we want to do is put it to a vote” crap. Besides, it would establish a major precedent that would slow down infrastructure development in the state to a snail’s pace – not that it’s exactly zooming along now. This is slicing off your nose to spite your face. (Or however that goes….)

          • Bob

            I would rather vote on this than succumb to the governments “we do what we want” crap.

          • JohnB

            No, what you are saying is that all revenue bonds should be subjected to a referendum vote. Will this be in a special election? How much will it cost Arlington to put on that special election? Or will you wait for the general election next November at which time it will be too late? Or would you like to force the board to wait until next November so that the grant application scores too low for Federal funding because we don’t have our local cost share lined up?

          • Bob

            Sell bonds to pay for the special election.

          • Josh S

            Bob, it’s not 100% clear what you want. Do you want direct democracy? You want to vote on everything? Otherwise, saying you want to vote on just the streetcar but it’s usually OK to let representative democracy work just doesn’t make much sense from a process standpoint.
            And if you are accusing the local government of violating any laws, you should make that clear. Because local government cannot simply “do what it wants.” Especially in a state like Virginia, where local governments are given very little power. If you don’t have any specific accusations, along with supporting evidence, then you just sound like someone who has sour grapes.

          • Bob

            It makes complete sense. That’s the Arlington Way.

          • drax

            “I would rather vote on this than succumb to the governments “we do what we want” crap.”

            So we should vote on everything, huh?

          • Marie Antoinette

            Probably LOSE the referendum, Drax? That’s comedy. Brilliant tactical move to get Richmond involved. After Fisettes antics last year, this Trolly Folly is dead in the water.

      • Dezlboy

        Hey Republicans, just because you can’t get elected doesn’t mean that issues should be put to referendum. Let our elected officials do their jobs that they were elected to do. Why not abolish county government and referendum Arlington to a standstill.

      • BlueLoom

        No, they shouldn’t try. I’m a Dem, but am against the trolley (and voted against the bond issue that included the trolley), but I don’t like the idea of the state stepping in and telling us what to do after the bond issue has already won. It seems like a very un-Republican thing to do–ask a higher level of govt to squash the decision of a local govt and its population.

        • Wayne Kubicki

          “…after the bond issue has already won…”???

          There never has been a bond issue that included the trolley.

          • Keith

            Truth bomb.

    • WeiQiang

      … and Arlingtonians are going to take REAL kindly to being told how to run their county by Richmond, at the behest of the Arlington Republicans. This is a PROPER sh*t sandwich … with garlic.

      • nom de guerre

        Speaking of sandwiches, today’s revised Sam’s Food Truck special features features brined goat shoulder slowly smoked over derecho harvested applewood, hand pulled and piled high on a lightly toasted artisan ciabatta, topped with a red cabbage and broccoli slaw and fresh goat cheese with a creme fraîche sauce infused with freshly grated organic horseradish, lemon and capers on the side for dipping.

        • Brown Flip Flops

          Sounds tasty. Let me grab the brahs and head over to the truck!

        • SteamboatWillie

          ^^Your tired meme is still not funny.

          • drax

            meme de guerre, you mean.

          • JohnB

            I find it amusing.

        • trev, brah

          derecho harvested is a good one

        • BlueLoom

          Welcome back, Nom! I’ve missed your menu listings. I assume the goat meat came from the goat found tethered in a road median in [somewhere in S. Arlington--I forget where]. Not quite road kill, since the goat seems to have survived. But I’m happy to hear that Sam’s Food Truck has made good use of the meat.

  • Drunk_IrishChick

    Bar Crawl looks fun!

    • Brown Flip Flop

      Has anyone heard from my bro Trev lately?

  • Clarendon Nights

    Thanks for the link!

    • MC 703

      Keep up the good work!

    • bert

      It’s great you guys are raising money and all, but this is a pretty weak bar crawl. $2 bud lights? that’s pretty weak. I think there are hundreds of people in the area that would participate in this crawl if the bars participating really wanted to raise funds and did $3 all draft beers or something along those lines.

      even if i didn’t know about the crawl and went to a bar to watch a football game, i’d pitch in $15 to get draft beers at $3 and contribute to a cause.

      either way, kudos for setting up a fundraiser.

      • drax

        I’d pay $2 to not drink a bud light.

      • littlebritches

        The registration an event t-shirt as well as $2 Bud Lights and $3 Fireballs…and you get to play poker for awesome prizes. Pretty fair deal if you ask me. https://www.facebook.com/events/515938061758016/

  • Stoneridge

    A better picture from the same location would have been of the house on the corner of Stafford that remained decorated for Christmas for more than half of the year.

  • Patrick

    The entire planning commission must use Bergmann’s as their dry cleaners. Either that or the commission believes abandoned, boarded up houses is more of a community than a residential tower and grocery store.

    • MrMeow

      The developers obviously didn’t offer a big enough bribe.

    • Sparky

      Patrick, apparently, you support Bergmann’s eyesore strategy which was to evict rent paying tenants from the 5 houses, board them up, and let them decay for the sole purpose of creating an eyesore to generate neighbors’ support for development to replace it. In this case it’s the massive up zoning that would increase the value of his property many times over if he can build an 11+ story tower. It’s an old scam that smart neighbors and planners should not fall for. The right thing to do would be to reduce the number of stories can be built on those lots by one story for each boarded up house. That would give a 6 story building which is the maximum that should be built anyway on what is now 5 single family lots, OR, reduce the number of apartments in the tower by 5 for each letter the county receives from neighbors mentioning the eyesore of the boarded up houses, whichever achieves the lowest number of stories. The other building with MOMs and the 2-3 story stack of row apartment is OK. Eyesore strategies should not be encouraged by rewarding them with massive up zoning.

  • ABC123

    What is wrong with the planning commission. Arlington County has not developed a plan for redevlopment so we should stop all redevelopment until there is a plan to redevelop… Calling Captain John Yossarian, anyone, anyone Captain John Yossarian? Whay to go planning commission.

    • Josh S

      It’s actually more complicated than that.

  • Rule of Law can work here

    Does the planning commission have guidelines or is each project judged ad-hoc? It seems odd that projects appear to be evaluated without any criteria. Maybe the planning commission should adopt objective standards and then judge projects against those standards.

    • drax

      “The commission expressed reservations about approving the project when there’s no overarching county development plan for Lee Highway. “

      • Hollywood

        The same could be said of the streetcar. We should probably not go forward with that either, right Drax?

    • Josh S

      Yeah, what drax said. A desire for guidelines is exactly what the commission is expressing. Development of a neighborhood plan allows for all those interested to have a say in how the neighborhood grows/changes in coming years. The commission is hesitant to approve a major change without knowing whether this major change fits in with an approved plan.

  • JimPB

    Beautiful pix of fall in suburban-urban ARLCo.

    Another category in which ARLNow.Com would win easily is in pixs. I usually look first for the Daily Notes pix, and am rarely disappointed.
    Maybe there’s a business possibility in packaging these pixs (with some supplementation) as “ARLCo in Pictures, 2012.” (Note: The pixs should expand in range to include such significant realities of ARLCo life in 2012 as homes darkened when the electric power goes out (? — will there by peaks in births 9 mos. after the two big outages?), parking lot thru ways, overturned and off the road SUVs and — what else to capture ARLCo life in 2012?

  • drax

    Great pic today, especially that suburban area in the background.

    • Captain_Obvious

      I actually would call Rosslyn the one urban area in Arlington. Everything else is suburban or high-density.

      • drax

        No, it can’t be urban, it’s a suburb of DC!

        • Captain_Obvious

          again, you generalize comments.

          • drax

            Nope. You spent a whole lot of energy insisting just that.

        • DCBuff

          N. 21st in Cherrydale is a suburb of Rossyn.

          • Captain_Obvious

            why is it not a suburb of clarendon, which is closer ?

          • drax

            Because Clarendon is a suburb of Courthouse.

            N. 21st St. is therefore a subsuburb.

          • Captain_Obvious

            wtf? in your terms, what makes courthouse any more urban than clarendon? the court buildings ?

          • drax

            Capt.,. we’re at the joking stage now. Note my use of the term “subsuburban.”

  • Captain_Obvious

    I’m sorry you skipped your basic geography class growing up.

    • Bob

      He’s not a grownup.

    • drax

      I’m sorry you flunked English.

      Urban and suburban are adjectives, not nouns. As you have finally admitted yourself, a suburb can be urban.

      • Captain_Obvious

        Flunk English ? How bout this gem: “To say Arlington is urban is not to say it’s not a suburb.”
        At 10:19 am, I already said that.
        If you can illustrate to me where in Arlington and Alexandria there are central business districts, I’ll listen…

        • VeryConfused

          Where in Hoboken,NJ is there a central business district?

          Are you saying Hoboken is suburban?

          • Captain_Obvious

            I’ve been there once, 12 years ago. Isn’t Hoboken mostly residential ?

          • VeryConfused

            yes Hoboken is mostly residential.

            So is greenwich village. And the upper east side of manhattan. and Chicagos gold coast.

            Since when does residential mean “not urban”?

          • Captain_Obvious

            That’s another facet of an urban area, residential areas.

        • drax

          To say Arlington and Alexandria have no central business districts is not to say they aren’t urban.

          • Captain_Obvious

            wow, triple negative in 1 sentence. But isn’t a central business district a characteristic of an urban area ?

          • drax

            No, I wouldn’t say a place must have a central business district to be urban. And you didn’t until just now.

          • Captain_Obvious

            really? Then how do places become urban? Because there must be some sort of attraction to the place. Its usually jobs, jobs that tend to congregate in the same area and become a central business district…like Wall Street or K St.

        • Deadite

          Captain Obvious – you’re wrong so just let it go. Arlington (esp along the R-B corridor) is urban and if you think otherwise you are a damn fool.

          • Bob

            No, if you think anything in Arlington is urban you have never lived in a real city.

          • Deadite

            OK, Bob and C.O. clearly think urban = crime ridden ghetto. And you are wrong.

          • Captain_Obvious

            that’s it, I’m wrong ? That’s all you got ? Great argument.

            You realize the R-B corridor is 1 street, that happens to split in 2 for maybe a mile or so. A few high rises (which are not even that high) and a metro line hardly qualify as urban.

          • Bob

            Where did I say anything about crime?

          • drax

            Yes, the R-B corridor is urban.

            It sure as hell isn’t suburban. Nobody would stand in the middle of it and say that.

            This is a view of what you’re calling not urban:

            http://goo.gl/maps/bzxHM

            Get real.

          • Captain_Obvious

            yea, WTF? No one said anything about crime.

            You just don’t have a competent counter-argument.

          • Deadite

            “The U.S. Census Bureau defines an urban area as: “Core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile (386 per square kilometer) and surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per square mile (193 per square kilometer).”

            Boom, you’re done.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_area#United_States

          • Deadite

            And Bob – if you think the R-B corridor is suburban you’ve never lived in the burbs.

          • Bob

            So you go with a quantitative definition and not qualitative. I guess that’s the easy way if you don’t have a lot of experience with real cities.

          • Captain_Obvious

            haha, that’s funny. You realize the Census does that for counting purposes. Now tell us YOUR argument, I’ve yet to hear an original idea come from you on this.

          • Bob

            Wait Captain. Are you saying the census structure might be politicized and have a reason to call lot of things “urban” that really are not? I am shocked. Just shocked.

          • drax

            Interesting fact – the census uses only “urban” and “rural.” No suburban middle ground.

          • Deadite

            Bob – I’ve lived in DC and Boston so you’re point is moot.

            C.O. — ok let’s see here, pal. Cityscape, high rise apartments, high rise office builsings, high population density, high business density, several subway stations, bus services, several cab companies (you know, to move all those people around), seat of the county government, and several highways nearby. Have I missed anything? Throw a major national airport in there too, for good measure.

            What is YOUR definition of urban? I’m dying to hear it.

          • Captain_Obvious

            MY definition of urban is everything you just mentioned but over a much larger area, not just Wilson Blvd.
            And if you think DC/Boston is synonymous in terms of urbanism with Arlington, you sir, are the fool.

          • drax

            Ah, Capt. so now it’s got to be BIG too. Small urban areas aren’t urban because they’re small. And don’t forget the central business district!

          • Bob

            Sorry Deadite, that’s just not credible without some evidence.

          • Deadite

            So then you agree that the R-B corridor is urban. OK glad it’s settled.

          • Josh S

            Bob -

            First of all, who made you declarer of what is a “real city” and what is not?
            Second, there may be a lot of overlap in “city” and “urban”, but they aren’t 100% identical.

          • Bob

            I made myself the declarer. What are you going to do about it?

          • Captain_Obvious

            @d-rax, wow, your map example is 1 block in Ballston. What small-mindedness.

          • Captain_Obvious

            @d-rax, yea…urban areas are typically big, why don’t you just look at the top population density figures…

  • karzai

    A very disappointing decision. Instead of a vibrant new development with a unique grocery store, we have to live with boarded up houses and an aging and oversized dry cleaner with no awning and stands as a stark eyesore. And just when we were getting optimistic about that strip with the very welcome redo of the store next to the Seven Eleven as a new burger place… I really hope the Country Board has the good sense to approve this proposal – maybe the Planning Commission was just covering its flank because it doesn’t have a Lee highway blueprint and therefore no mandate to give it their thumbs up. The Board is not bound by such a constraint.

    • drax

      Or you could live with a more modest proposal that will come after this one is rejected.

    • Josh S

      I wonder if you could round up some neighbors and go install an awning in the middle of the night?

    • Sparky

      The county should greatly up zone the property (5 small single family lots) to increase its value many times because the owner evicted the tenants and let the houses decay on purpose to make it an eyesore? No. Bad precedent unless you want to encourage boarded up buildings. Also bad precedent to approve an 11 1/2 story building where 6 is appropriate. The zoning on Lee Highway does permit more than this. Approving this building would in effect set 11 1/2 + stories as the norm for Lee Highway. The building with MOMs is OK–that’s where Bergmann’s is located.

  • Josh S

    It’s like a tag team match.
    I think C.O. may win, based purely on superior stamina.
    The frightening thing is, this is how politics works sometimes, too……

  • Mrmeow

    Since the streetcars won’t have stations in buildings, and therefore they won’t have bathrooms in those, will the streetcars themselves have bathrooms? And will they be unisex and without male or female symbols so that genderqueer people don’t get offended?

  • Bruce

    This isn’t about a niche grocery store, it’s about building a ten story building where everything else is four stories or less. It’s about developer greed, not some silly NIMBY. Stuff I live ‘way across town, so I would not be immediately affected, but I congratulate the planning staff for stopping this project. The county has an excellent plan that keeps high rise development along the metro corridor, and there is no reason to depart from that. And by the way, there is no need to “redevelop” cherrydale — it’s fine just the way it is; Columbia Pike, too, for that matter. And while I’m at it, we don’t need no stinkin’ street car in South Arlington; nobody wants that thing except the private partnership that will build it and get the profits which derive mainly from public spending!

  • Arlingtonian

    Arlington needs a Walmart, not a grocery store. A Walmart would create competition which would reduce the excessive prices that the County’s groceries and supermarkets now inflict on the County’s residents. However, the County government is doing nothing to encourage Walmart to come here. The government offers all sorts of benefits for affordable housing, but does nothing for affordable food.

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