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Work Underway on Apartment Building, But What About the Trees?

by ARLnow.com January 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm 2,269 52 Comments

Construction is underway on the Garfield Park at Clarendon Village luxury apartment complex, at the corner of 10th Street and Washington Boulevard in Lyon Park.

Workers in heavy equipment have been busy laying large metal beams while clearing debris from the site, which used to house a CVS Pharmacy. But at least one neighbor is upset about one type of “debris” that’s awaiting removal.

Here’s an email we received this afternoon:

bozutto construction just bulldozed out trees on the property. how green is arlington, this is happening everywhere there is development and re-development. got news for arlington, you CAN’T be green without trees. you watch and see how many dead squirrels, raccoons and possums will be on the nearby streets today and tomorrow because of removing the trees.

  • TheHater

    This is a stupid post, and reads very much like you’re just inviting people to make fun of whiny hippies etc when there really is an argument to be made about having more greenery in urban spaces.

    But no, let’s just post this grammatically incorrect email verbatim and give it a snarky title. How newsworthy.

    • Lou

      The dude is forecasting a plague of roadkill in the coming days because of this. I can’t imagine it is intended to be entirely serious.

    • If you think you have a stronger case to make, by all means send it this way. Greenery preservation is clearly an issue worthy of discussion — so when we received this timely email on the topic, we went with it.

      • Those squirells would eat you if they could. Feel no guilt.

  • Rick

    how are they supposed to move equipment, steel, cement trucks… without getting rid of some trees? and whos to say they wont plant more when they’re done? This guy must know carole down on columbia

  • wat

    I’m just waiting for the SoCo guy to show up and go, “bawhaaaaaa” at you calling this Lyon Park. That guy thinks it’s called SoCo.

    • ClarendonKing

      I call it South Central.

    • SoCo Resident

      This is not within the boundaries of the South of Courthouse (SoCo) area.

  • GeorgeOrwell

    This developer has achieved LEED rating on this project but it is fraudulent. It needs to be investigated.
    The County is also Green when it wants to be. Don’t look behind the curtain.

    • AJKS

      LEED ratings are not awarded until after the project is built, so saying that they have acheived LEED rating on this project is false. They may strive for a certain LEED rating, but it is not awarded until completion+.

      • GeorgeOrwell

        Well the County gave them bonus density for being LEED. They have to achieve it.

  • Arlwhenever

    For a short time the County required tree donations of developers who lopped off trees on properties — we got some really nice plantings on the TJ grounds out of that deal. I’ve not heard about that happening anymore, which given the County’s penchant for publicity, probably means the County’s giving free reign to develop without honest-to-god green compensation.

    • Thes

      Generally speaking, developers are still required to replace each and every caliper inch of removed trees with replacement trees either on the site or somewhere else in the County. This project is not a site plan and was approved quite a number of years ago, however, so your mileage may vary.

      • GeorgeOrwell

        The project is NOT a siteplan but rather a complicated negotiated agreement where the Coutny is in control and should do what the citizens want.

      • Arlingtonthen

        Since the County is requiring replacement trees or money for trees from developers, then the replacement trees should be put in the same neighborhood they were removed. Difficult to do in redeveloped condo/apt. areas covered in concrete paving or where houses are built so close together that you can shake hands with your neighbor window to window. Maybe we will have to rent zipcars to go Haymarket to see nature or stare from our bicycles/busses/trolleys at the Country Clubs’ trees.

  • K

    How many trees were knocked down here? It looks like there are at least 16 trees to be planted in the rendering of the new building (if you count the ones in the buildings upper courtyard area). Knock down some trees to build and plant some news ones when it’s done, badda bing badda boom.

    • Clarendome

      There will be more ‘green’ here when it’s done there there was when it started.

      • alebt

        That remains to be seen if it will be greener in 5 years. I realize you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet, but what gets lost sometimes is that good trees are really, really hard to grow. Crap trees are another story. So while a developer may or may not have good intentions to over plant a site with appropriate choices, consistent watering and maintenance to grow said trees are something no one can or will guarantee. (I refer to a 5 to 10 year guarantee not a one year “nursery’ replant guarantee.)

        • Lou

          Also as we’ve seen in the past, developers are sometimes quick to forget “minor” promises like that once construction is done and the rents start flowing.

        • jan

          Yes, we see that all over Arlington.

        • Westover

          Those were crappy little trees that were planted with in the last two decades as light/sight barriers at the old CVS/Resturant/Arcade that was on that lot before. not big deal, they will probably be replaced with much better hard wood trees.

  • Bob

    The bigger issue here is that trees are being knocked down to build ANOTHER luxury apartment building that no one wants to live in.

    • cj

      You really think they’d get financing to build it (after years of delay) if there was no indication anyone wanted to live there?

    • Voice of Reason

      If you build it. They will come.

    • GeorgeOrwell

      Bob is right, no one will WANT to live there but they will be FORCED to live there because we have a housing shortage.

      • AllenB

        Riiiiight… because no one wants to live 2-3 blocks from metro surrounded by many shopping and dining establishments.

  • Runaway Train

    Do they really need to use the word “luxury” anymore? all apartments buildings built now are “luxury”. They put granite counters in a complete dump and they get away with using the term luxury.
    The squirrels can live in the new luxury cherry trees planted in front after construction.

    • K

      Agreed. I especially like the paper thin walls and floors in these “luxury” apartments that allow you to hear your neighbor watching tv, talking on the phone or even using the bathroom. I suppose they’d call that the intimate appeal of the luxury apartments though.

      • coco

        Are you willing to pay the price that it would cost to built “real” luxury.

      • coco

        Are you willing to pay the price that it would cost to built “real” luxury?

        • mehoo

          You can say that again.

  • Bender

    **That remains to be seen if it will be greener in 5 years.**

    Replacing 100-year-old trees with pencil thin three-year-old trees does not make a place greener. And there is no way that they will allow any newly planted tree in a dense urban area to grow up to 50, 100, 150 feet, as they would if allowed to grow naturally.

    In Arlington, concrete gray is the new green.

    • Arlingtonthen

      Bender – agree 100% about the new green being concrete gray.

    • mehoo

      Well, if a 100-year-old tree is about to die, you get some new trees for free. If you get several, that’s good – it’s looking toward the future. To stay green requires planting new trees as much as preserving old ones.

      While its a shame to lose big trees before their time, if you replace them with enough small or medium-size trees of the right species they can have the same amount of cover. And by having lots of little ones, you don’t lose as much when one comes down in a storm or whatever.

  • you dont have all the facts

    This project is not LEED certified and it is not required to reach certification. The developer generally does the absolute minimum when it comes to doing green stuff, this is widely known. It will be faux opulance for the young masses. In addition, the county requirement makes them have a waste hauling plan/report that address land clearing (trees). There will be more trees on this site than were previously, many more. your post implies this is some sort of nature preserve. The trees removed were unremarkable and not that old. This was more of a natural habitat for homeless people than wildlife. This is not a news story – it must be a slow news day at ARLnow.

    • It’s a federal holiday in Washington. Of course it’s a slow news day.

  • wat

    They should build a CVS there

  • Voice of Reason

    This is a ridiculous post and a ridiculous discussion. You must do some grubbing in order to build ANYthing. The opposing argument can be dissolved down to an attack at development in general. Logically, you must clear things to build thing – even ‘green’ things! Who’s to say these sadly depicted trees were even healthy trees? The only truly green solution is to turn the vacant lot into a completely pervious natural meadow and let nature take its course. But that wont happen. And nor should it. We all know that population density is an important combat against suburban sprawl right? So, let’s thank God for the fact that new trees are able to be planted. And don’t fret, they will. Modern architects aren’t stupid about greenscaping. And, if you’re getting really worked up about this.. maybe you’ve spent too much time inside the beltway. Take a drive out on 66 past Haymarket and you won’t be as worried about the plight of trees in VA.

  • not joking

    correction from the original email, me. ironwood development took down the trees, not bozzuto construction. the trees were offered to be taken out so they could be replanted but arlington county did not want them. now some of you are so cynical and selfish. no, i am not joking about the animals losing their lives due to construction projects like this. look at the roads occassionally, instead of your cell phones and you will see lots of dead animals that were run over. how about slowing down and giving these critters a chance to cross the road in search of food. stop being so cynical and selfish, the earth is not just for us. and no i’m not a whiney hippy.

    • Westover

      Yeah, let’s wreck our cars and put other drivers and pedastrians at risk in order to save the squarrels. I am all for saving habitat for wildlife when reasonable, but this is an urban environment and you are talking about the redevelopment of a freaking parking lot. Building the offices and apartments planned for the site means that many fewer housing units built on virgin land. Sorry, but if I am headed down Washington Blvd or 10th St. doing 30-35mph, and a squarrel runs in my way, I am not slamming on the breaks or swearving into the other guys lane to save the “critter”. Cars flip at far slower speeds when you are not careful. Humans>Critters

      • not joking

        yeah you are exactly the type of person i was referring to in my other comment. there is no reason not to slow down and not brake for animals unless you just don’t care, which you obviously don’t. last year i found a dead raccoon in the middle of the road, someone had run over. i stopped to push it off the road and sadly discovered that the raccon had been pregnant with 7 unborn little ones strewn about the road. i slow down. they deserve a chance.

        • Westover

          You are a whiney hippy, if you are old enough to be a hippy. You really think that drivers should engage in dangerous driving just to save a rodent? Do you put rodent life above human life? You do realize the diseases that raccoons, opossums and squirrels carry are not too safe for human or our pets don’t you? While I don’t swerve to hit small animals in the road, I also maintain the speed limit and will try not to put my life, or the lives of others, in danger just to protect an animal.

          If you don’t believe Humans > Critters, than you are in the minority of those in Arlington, and those on Earth.

  • SoCo Resident

    Well, what kind of trees were they? They look like Bradford Pears which were overplanted and have been declared an invasive species and a nuisance. (Google it if you doubt me.) Also, it looks like Leyland Cypress, another problem tree with limited life. Hopefully, the site plan is requiring the builder to plant better trees with a longer life span than these. No matter what, the lot will not look like it did when it was a car dealership. I miss the miniture golf course that was there; still think it was a mistake to remove it.

    • Aaron

      You know what else should be declared an invasive species? HUMANS. That’s right, we’re so evil that Gaia the Earth Mother should have no mercy for us because we are so destructive and kill off every other living thing that actually has a right to live on this planet.

      So, anyone else want to bicycle over to [REDACTED] for a PBR and CJ later?

    • TheHater

      Main problem with Bradford Pears are the weak limbs. Are they really that ‘invasive?” They were overused and probably best not to plant any more. But you what I hate ? Ailanthus altissima ! Die Ailanthus altissima !

      • SoCo Resident

        The Bradford Pears and its cousins has been declared invasive and most nurseries no longer sell them. “Good tree gone bad” is what one article called them. Once again, you are invited to google for the evidence.

    • Arlingtonthen

      They were willow oaks not Bradford pears.

      • SoCo Resident

        Thanks for verifying the species as it makes some difference.

  • SoCo Resident

    Unlikely, there will be a peep from Lyon Park Citizens Association as the developer gave a lot of $$$ to expand the LPCA community house. Another developer in Lyon Park was also “very generous” according to the LPCA newsletter. Highly irregular of LPCA to be accepting $$$ from developers. What do you think a developer gives the money for?

  • Reserver

    My big problem is all the noise starting from 7 AM, I can’t believe how noisy this construction project is. It is really horrible and you can hear it for blocks.

  • The Real Deal

    I am so excited for this development. Unlike others here, I see the value in a developer utlizing a vacant parcel of land and creating something that has economic value. I believe teh addition of market rate apartments will ultimately lead to better overall pricing in teh multifamily market and help to stop the ver increasing living costs in Arlington. However, more than anything else, I love retail! New restaurants and shopping options will be a huge plus for this side of Clarendon. I am all for preserving nature but a vacanct lot that previously had a CVS and Thai restaurant as occupants that happens to house less than 10 trees is not my idea of nature. If this was in the middle of teh Blure Ridge Mountains or in a real nature preserve I could understand teh concern but this is a mud hole with some rodent squirrels that can easily be relocated. I’m for it!

  • Squirrels

    I drove by the site this weekend… brought back memories of being attacked by a squirrel


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