In a statement, released after ARLnow.com first reported the resignation, Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development Director Robert Brosnan called Artman “a dedicated and talented public servant.”
“She brought a high level of professionalism and a strong sense of fairness to her work,” Brosnan said. “She arrived in Arlington at a time when the Zoning Office was beginning a transformation into a higher performing organization and she has helped shape the office and the work of the staff in a very positive way. We thank her for her service to Arlington County, and wish her the very best as she embarks on this new challenge.”
Artman plans to leave her position in August to join the Virginia Theological Seminary, where she will pursue her dreams of becoming an Episcopal minister.
Artman became Arlington’s zoning administrator in 2008, after 11 years with the Loudoun County government. She has 37 years of public service experience, including 25 in Northern Virginia. Her tenure in Arlington has been marked by a string of controversies tied to her by-the-books enforcement of the county’s stringent zoning code.
“By many accounts, Artman hasn’t been a favorite person among property and business owners,” TBD.com noted last year, in an article about Artman’s desire to help with the comprehensive rewrite of the county’s zoning ordinance.
Brosnan says he will name an acting Zoning Administrator “soon.”
Over the past several months, business owner have complained loudly about the county’s confusing and inconsistent zoning code. From stringent sign enforcement to outdoor seating debates to extended delays in getting permits, business owners — particularly new business owners — have expressed frustration with the level of expense and effort required to avoid running afoul of county regulators.
But that may be changing.
Tomorrow night, the county’s zoning committee will meet to plan a comprehensive rewrite of the zoning ordinance. The meeting, which will run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Room A of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, is open to the public, although the discussion will be confined to the committee.
In a draft proposal, county staff noted that the zoning ordinance was last rewritten in 1950. Because the ordinance has been amended many times on a piecemeal basis, it ”contains many inconsistencies” and ”includes many sections and regulations that are difficult to understand.”
“There are many administrative practices that are not codified within the Ordinance,” staff also concluded.
See the staff report here.
Neighbor will be pitted against neighbor at the Arlington Zoning Committee (“ZOCO”) hearing tomorrow night. The issue: parking recreational vehicles in the county.
Currently, the county’s RV parking policy is too stringent for some, who want to be able to legally park large RVs in their driveway, and doesn’t go far enough for others, who see RVs as an ugly, property-value-reducing blight on Arlington’s residential communities.
The two opposing arguments are laid out in excruciating detail in this county document.
The ZOCO hearing is scheduled from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) night at the Navy League Building (2300 Wilson Blvd).