Civic Associations Weigh in on ‘Big Box’ Development Potential

by ARLnow.com July 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm 4,275 82 Comments

Two area civic associations are weighing in on the potential for ‘big box’ retail development on the industrial areas near Shirlington.

Last week the County Board voted to advertise a change in its zoning rules that would require planned commercial buildings over a certain size to seek a ‘Special Exception Use Permit’ from the Board. As we exclusively reported, the move was in response to interest in the industrial sites along Four Mile Run — near Shirlington — by large-format retailers like Walmart.

After our article ran, we asked the leaders of two nearby civic associations what they thought of the Board’s action and the potential for large-format retail development in the area.

Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, Jr., president of the Nauck Civic Association, said he was happy that the Board took the first step to ensuring that large-scale development in the area is given due consideration by the community.

The Nauck Civic Association participated in the decision to seek a Special General Land Use Permit for the Rosenthal [car lot] site and two additional sites in the designated Shirlington Crescent/Four Mile Run Drive area. The community had undertaken years of study of the area, but the study was curtailed a couple of years ago due to budgetary restraints and never adopted. The Association supports the action of the County Board in that it will bring back a continuation of the study previously worked on for a number of years and especially the results of a traffic study that is not binding if the by-right option is exercised under the present zoning. A change in the GLUP will allow the residents of Nauck have a say in the future development of the area.

John Breyault, president of the Long Branch Creek Civic Association, echoed Dr. Taylor’s support of the Board’s action.

Given that property’s proximity to the Long Branch Creek Civic Association, I am very glad to see that the County short-circuited any attempt by Wal-Mart to develop the property “by right” without Board approval (and, presumably, community input).

A big-box retailer like Wal-Mart has a big impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.  We are glad that the County Board has ensured that there is an opportunity for robust community input into the planning process for this property.  We look forward to participating in that process.

We reached out to two entities that represent business and developer interests in Northern Virginia, but both declined to comment on the record.

  • Does this mean Babs won’t be allowed to hang out in Shrlington anymore?

    • Lou

      I replied to this!

    • madisonmanor

      Or does this mean that Babs votes in favor of Wal-Mart after they kick in $2,500?

      • Bluemontsince1961


  • yrb

    Screw Wal-mart!

  • Matt

    Awesome! The county board wants to control development of commercial development, but will build thousands of condos to increase tax revenue on young working people. The hypocrisy never stops with the oligarchy in Arlington. The board allows multiple McMansions to be built on a 3/4 of an acre of land and that is better than walmart bring in jobs and consumer relief for the average Arlington tax payer. Glad that the board acted much the way a typical oligarchy does, looking out for themselves only. But they took measures that are looking out for us. What a joke!
    The civic leaders are either supporters of these clowns or are lemmings. You ever notice the below middle class in Arlington? Yeah they are getting more scarce because who can afford to live here?. . . The developers and the people who work for them.
    If the county board were looking out for us, they might have put this issue on the ballot, as a “democratically” elected body would purport to do. Thanks Arlington for making this county miss out on a good opportunity that would benefit others than yourself.

    • Bluemontsince1961


    • Society


    • Josh S

      About as confused and misguided a post as could be.

      The county doesn’t build anything.
      This announcement has nothing to do with stopping any development. It’s an announcement to talk about the possibility of requiring further talks to discuss theoretical possible developments of a particular nature.
      The middle and lower classes are hurting nationwide, not just in Arlington. It’s not the county board’s fault.
      You put “democratically” in quotes. Are you implying there was fraud involved in any of the recent elections? Do you have any proof of any fraud?
      What opportunity has been lost, exactly?
      I live in Arlington, I am not a developer, nor do I work for one. I have many friends who live in Arlington and, with one exception, none of them are developers or work for them. (In fact, I used to be one of those supposedly rare birds – the public school teacher who lived in Arlington. I am no longer a teacher, but I still live in the same place.)

      • Stepper

        He obviously followed the steps:

        Step 1 – Procure 6-pack
        Step 2 – Drink 6-pack
        Step 3 – Ball hands into fists
        Step 4 – Use fists to randomly bash keyboard
        Step 5 – hit “submit”

      • FedUp


      • AllenB

        Completely agree with Josh S.

      • Jackflops

        It’s a rant, but he has some good points–even though I disagree with him that Arlington needs a WalMart.

        It does seem to me that the Board is very gung ho on any type of large development–despite the fact that many (if not most) Arlingtonians don’t want more development.

        And there is definitely a trend–enabled by the Board–of having more McMansions, more frou-frou overpriced restaurants, more $800,000 condos, at the expense of housing and businesses that are truly affordable to the average person.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Jackflops, you wrote: “And there is definitely a trend–enabled by the Board–of having more McMansions, more frou-frou overpriced restaurants, more $800,000 condos, at the expense of housing and businesses that are truly affordable to the average person.”

          I totally agree. I understand that progress and development are a part of life, but it seems to have been out of control in Arlington for many years. Somewhere in the past 15 years or so, balance has been lost. You’re right about the McMansions, there are so many lots in a 2 mile radius of my house where perfectly good older houses could have been renovated (a neighbor down the street from me actually did that), but in most cases, they’re torn down and something twice the size goes up. My agreement with Matt was based on his stance on McMansions.

          • ZoningVictim

            I know it doesn’t seem like it, but new is the way to go. Having just made the mistake of renovating an older home, I can tell you for a fact that it is much more difficult and expensive to renovate than it is to just knock down and rebuild. When you build new, you also have a clean slate with which to work and can use modern building materials instead of having to work around 60+ year old building styles. There are beams all over my house now so we could have an open floor plan, which would be totally unnecessary with modern engineered I-joists.

            Old homes are so inefficiently built it’s hard to believe. There was absolutely no insulation anywhere in my house, except for what they had blown into the attic. Everything has to come out if you want to renovate a house and have it be energy efficient. All the walls, all the exterior sheathing, all the windows, all of the doors; pretty much everything has to go except the exterior walls if they’re masonry. If it’s a stick built house or has a stick built upstairs like my house does, it most likely has no actual sheathing other than the wood siding. In the upstairs of my house, which we have yet to do, there is knotty pine paneling made of individual boards. If you turn the lights out in the room and look through the seams, you can see light coming in from the outside, and that’s through the paneling, the exterior wood siding and the vinyl siding that’s over the wood siding. In other words, my upstairs has direct air exchange with the outside and it’s usually 80 degrees up there no matter what temperature we set on the thermostat downstairs.

            Whether or not you hate McMansions is a matter of personal taste, but they just took 11% of our buildable land away. How much more of our land are we supposed to give up?

          • Jackflops

            Blumenton1961: Thanks!

            ZV wrote: “I can tell you for a fact that it is much more difficult and expensive to renovate than it is to just knock down and rebuild.”

            I don’t dispute this at all. And it’s true that older houses were built with less energy efficiency. But they were also built with better structural quality. And if someone in a small, old house wants a larger house, they do have the option of buying a large older house. (Not criticizing your decision at all–just pointing out this choice exists.)

            That said, yes, some newer houses are going to be built. That’s life. I get it. But there is no reason they need to be five feet from the street or loom 20 feet over the neighbors’ houses. Or look the same as every other new house ever built.

            There are a *few* new houses I’ve seen that actually don’t look so bad. There’s one on N. Harrison, north of Wash. Blvd., (east side), that actually looks decent to me. Kind of tall, but not so bad.

          • ZoningVictim

            We didn’t actually enlarge the house, although we certainly considered it; it’s the only way to really add value to the house. We finally decided that we have plenty of room and just redid everything inside of it. You’re absolutely correct about the fact that structurally, they don’t build them like they used to.

            I agree that some folks go overboard with their houses and they all look the same somehow. Americans live in so much square footage per person these days; I always wonder how a family takes care of those truly massive homes you see in some places.

          • doodly

            You didn’t renovate, you completely rebuilt. An open floor plan for a 60-year-old house?

      • Chuck

        Now you must understand the “Arlington Way”. Arlington sees itself as an upscale urban village. A Wal-Mart does not “fit” with this concept. When Shirlington was redeveloped, it was to include a mix of stores and shops. The County Board at the time was not pleased with another “shopping” area, and pushed for a destination restaurant area that would cater to the dining needs of Arlington.

        Another example of the “Arlington Way” was the rejection of Home Depot in Clarendon. It was opposed by a hand full of residents, that did not even live in the immediate area. Fairfax County was more then happy to have the store at 7 Corners…and get the sales tax from Arlington residents that only had ONE place to buy building supplies in the County.

        Here is another one: CostCo – pushed the issue, because of the zoning and right to build. Again, the Board was not happy (well, they will accept their portion of the sales tax and property taxes). They openly stated they did not want “warehouse” or discount stores in Arlington that would bring a “lower” class of shopper. Especially next to the upscale Pentagon City Mall. How tacky, loading a “warehouse” store purchases in your Lexus. Note: last year I spoke to a store rep there that stated that the Crystal City CostCo has had the largest average sale/per square foot of all CostCo stores nationwide.

        Now if Wal-Mart would only build a Super Store with apartments above, add some “green” features, maybe a sushi bar, and no parking (so Arlington residents could only walk there)… OH HERE IS AN IDEA – run a spur off the Columbia Pike Trolley line..then the County Board would be jumping up and down to accept the millions of dollars in tax revenue that would be generated.

        • doodly

          I don’t live in the immediate area of Clarendon, but I’m pretty glad they didn’t put a Home Depot there. That would have ruined the whole place.

          • CW

            Hmm, I’m torn. Might have kept property values a little more reasonable. Nah, that’s crazy talk.

    • JBreyault

      @Matt – Taking a break from following my civic association colleagues off a cliff and/or performing in the big top to respond here.

      First, any suggestion that I “work” for developers totally and completely false. Seriously, where do you come up with this stuff?

      Second, have you even been to the neighborhoods surrounding the proposed development? Nauck and Long Branch Creek are as working class as neighborhoods in Arlington come. The 22206 area code is the most affordable area in the county: http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Virginia/Arlington-heat_map/

      Third, if you drive past the property in question, you’ll see that the road access is woefully insufficient for a big-box retailer. By-right development without community input and proper County review is a recipe for a traffic disaster (which I’m sure you would later find a way to pin on the County Board/elitist Arlingtonians).

      Fourth, why on earth would the County put something as routine as a zoning issue on the ballot? If you don’t like the fact that the County has zoning authority, that’s your own issue to fight. To suggest, however, that any zoning change has to go to the voters seems pretty silly to me, particularly given the MANY opportunities that the County gives to the community to weigh in on zoning issues.

      • Webster

        So if you get a nice wide road and enough curb cuts to handle all the traffic, you’re OK with it?

        • JBreyault

          Not at all. Traffic is just one of many glaring issues the County needs to consider as it seeks to redevelop that site.

          • Webster

            But we’ve just had this lesson taught earlier in the thread: The county does not develop/build anything. Developers do, by following zoning, building codes, etc.

            Let’s face it, the county is going to move the goal posts so that Walmart never builds on that site. It might take some bizarre zoning tricks or special district designations, but they will find a way.

    • Arlwhenever


    • The next tool I see/hear/read mis-state our form of government may be the death of me. Listen up folks, we are not a democracy. The United States is a constitutional republic. So when someone makes a statement like, oh, say this one: “If the county board were looking out for us, they might have put this issue on the ballot, as a “democratically” elected body would purport to do,” my head starts spinning.

      You already had a chance to vote on this issue and every other one, it was called the election. You know, that day when you’re supposed to vote, hopefully, thoughtful representatives onto the county board.

      What do you get when you allow ballot initiatives like the one described above? You get California, where voters continually lower their taxes, yet demand greater services from the state government and pretty much bankrupt their state.

      • doodly

        Stop being silly.

        We’re a small-d democracy. It’s a general term that refers to the fact that a constitutional republic is a democratic form of government. It’s no big deal, get over it.

        And “democratically-elected” is not a statement about our form of government, it’s a reference to free and fair elections. You want someone to say “constitutionally-republican-elected” instead?

        • Josh S


  • Louise

    I like what Dr. Taylor and Mr. Breyault had to say. I agree with them that any type of decision on this type of scale would require serious community input.

    • Society


      • Webster

        I’m sure they will heed the objections of the Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge civic associations over the new Pentagon City project with the same zeal and self-righteousness.

        • Chuck

          The County Board ONLY listens to civic associations when it fits their needs. They also, do not heed their own appointed citizen advisory boards. Case in point, the new Cherrydale fire station. Which was built on the most undesirable location, at an extreme cost to the County taxpayers. The site selected was not even on the list of sites to be considered.

  • Thes

    Wow, ArlNow couldn’t get any developers on the record to say WalMart should be be allowed to build a huge store without any regulation or vote? Why don’t they want to talk?

    • charlie

      it is pretty common for developers to not comment on other projects. unlike citizen activists, they can show some restraint even if they are being greatly maligned. i don’t know of a single project where developers not involved spoke publicly. do you?

  • Aaron

    AP Style Guide: Use Dr. only for physicians, dentists, members of the paramedical professions (osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists etc.) and clergymen who hold earned or honorary doctorates.


    • Why clergy?

      • Aaron

        I’ve wondered that before too. I think it’s because no one is going to say Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and no editor wants to have to explain why he gets to be identified as Dr. and no others do.

        • PikerShorts

          King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Doctor of Philosophy on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.” A 1980s inquiry concluded portions of his dissertation had been plagiarized and he had acted improperly but that his dissertation still “makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship.”

  • Charlie

    While the immediate community should have input one would expect the board to make a decision that is for ALL of arlington.
    Btw, dr. Taylor should be asked if he supports creation of 300-400 jobs in his community

    • JammingEcono

      Which is why the County’s meetings on this issue will be open to the public, not just the locals.

      I can’t speak for Dr. Taylor, but I’ll bet he’d love more jobs in the community. Whether the best way to create those jobs is to drop a Walmart into the neighborhood without an opportunity for community input is another question entirely.

      • Webster

        Did you watch the board meeting where they authorized the change of Howard Manor to committed affordable? The low-income residents who would be forced out because of the new income restrictions testified about how the board’s action would directly force them to move from their homes. It didn’t matter. The board will look at any opposition and tell them that they know what’s best for the people.

        • Josh S

          Well, without making any commentary about that particular example, it IS the job of the board to make decisions.That’s why they are there. So to complain about them acting like they know what’s best for the people doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      • BoredHouseWife

        Walmart never creates jobs.

        • John Fontain

          Sure it does.

        • FedUp

          And whatever jobs they do “create”, they offer at extremely low wages. So low, that they (Walmart) create dependents. Their employees don’t make enough money to afford Walmart’s health insurance, so they become dependent on Medicaid, which the rest of us taxpayers pay for.

          • Reality

            Then those people should not work there. They should work somewhere else if it’s so bad to be a Walmart employee. I suspect that if employees thought they could do better on some sort of public assistance, then they would just quit and not work. There must be some part of a Walmart employee that believes working there is better than another alternative, be it other employment or unemployment – I don’t think (even in Virginia!) that an employer can force someone to stay in their employ.

          • ZoningVictim

            70% of their hires quit within the first year, and Walmart is well known to be a terrible employer. They are also one of the many companies that build factories in foreign countries and hire slave labor there.


            Read that and you’ll probably be pretty surprised at what a horrible company Walmart is. I’ve boycotted them since the late 90’s when they sued some developers that left the company and tried to stop them from working as software developers anywhere else.

            Here are some notable statements in that article:

            As of October 2005, Wal-Mart’s health insurance covered 44% or approximately 572,000 of its 1.6 million U.S. workers.[55] In comparison, Wal-Mart rival and wholesaler Costco insures approximately 96% of its eligible workers, although Costco has been criticized by investors for its high labor costs.

            According to a September 2002 survey by the state of Georgia, one in four children of Wal-Mart employees were enrolled in PeachCare for Kids, the state’s health-insurance program for uninsured children, compared to the state’s second-biggest employer, Publix, which had one child in the program for every 22 employees.

            Other critics have noted that in 2001, the average wage for a Wal-Mart Sales Clerk was $8.23 per hour, or $13,861 a year, while the federal poverty line for a family of three was $14,630.[32] Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton once said, “I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We’re going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment.”[33]

            Because Wal-Mart employs part-time and relatively low paid workers, some workers may partially qualify for state welfare programs. This has led critics to claim that Wal-Mart increases the burden on taxpayer-funded services.[35][36] A 2002 survey by the state of Georgia’s subsidized healthcare system, PeachCare, found that Wal-Mart was the largest private employer of parents of children enrolled in its program; one quarter of the employees of Georgia Wal-Marts qualified to enroll their children in the federal subsidized healthcare system Medicaid.[37] A 2004 study at the University of California, Berkeley charges that Wal-Mart’s low wages and benefits are insufficient, and although decreasing the burden on the social safety net to some extent, California taxpayers still pay $86 million a year to Walmart employees.[38][39]

          • madisonmanor

            ZV – Not a fan of Wal-Mart and nearly always agree with your content here, but where is the division of responsibility between federal, state/local and the corporation?
            I readily admit that I know nothing about state or federal statutes in terms of what employers are required to pay (you cite both PeachCare and infer California health care costs) – but if the states cited (Georgia and California) are paying that much in costs – shouldn’t the state or localities (given that the Georgia study was in 2002 and the California Berkeley study wasn’t until 2004 and we are now in 2011) figure out how to tax Wal-Mart more (e.g., lower corporate breaks) to mitigate the impact. Arlington should be able to do something similar – raise the assessed value (as they do on my property every year) – and if it is too horrendous then Wal-Mart won’t want to come here, and if they do then they are paying more of what they should.

          • John Fontain

            Looks like you don’t believe free markets can work things out for themselves.

          • ZoningVictim

            I’m not sure what would make you think that, John (unless you weren’t talking to me). I refuse to shop at Walmart even though I know it would save me money; that’s free market at its best.

            madisonmanor, I’m completely against Arlington making a special rule that businesses go through them for approval to purchase property and build a store just to stop Walmart. I think it’s a system that will lead to corruption (or at the very least the perception of corruption), and I think it will lead to special rules to keep certain companies out of Arlington based on whether or not the ACB likes the company. Popularity contests have no place in government at any level. If the ACB is worried about the effect big-box businesses will have on traffic in Arlington, let them work on rules to mitigate that risk and add them to the zoning ordinances.

            I do support Walmart’s right to buy that property and build on it if they meet all of the zoning rules, even though I think they suck. I just believe that they’re a horrible company, in a moral sense, and I will not shop there. I don’t care what it saves me, I won’t buy anything from them. In posting what I posted about their past indiscretions, I was trying to provide information to the people on here in hopes that they will make the same choice. Ultimately, that’s the only thing that will change the course of their actions in the global sense, whether they are allowed to build a store in Arlington or not.

          • doodly

            They can’t work somewhere else – because Walmart put the businesses they might work for out of business. See how that works?

            Look, you can claim that Walmart is great for any number of reasons, but “it will create jobs” is not one of them.

  • jess

    I may be wrong, and may be thinking of another site. But I think I have seen polls on this website before. Arlnow, can you make a poll for this subject??

  • Chris Scheer

    Whatever Arlington “needs”, it’s not a Walmart!

  • JammingEcono

    To be clear, there isn’t perfect clarity from the two ArlNow articles on this development that we’re definitely talking about Walmart being interested in the property.

    The first article seems to state pretty definitively that Walmart is the store looking at the Rosenthal Mazda/former Washington Gas property.

    Today’s article however, seems to walk that certainty back a bit, stating “the move was in response to interest in the industrial sites along Four Mile Run — near Shirlington — by large-format retailers like Walmart.”

    The “large-format retailers like Walmart” in that sentence is key. Large-format retailers like Walmart could be anything from Best Buy to Target to BJ’s or whatever.

    Perhaps the source(s) he was talking to for the first article went too far in suggesting that it was definitely Walmart that was eyeing the property?

    • Walmart is interested in a specific site, according to our sources, but county officials say they advertised the zoning ordinance amendment because of unspecified “large-format” retailers interested in industrial sites in that general vicinity.

      • JammingEcono

        Got it. Thanks for the clarification!

      • Charlie

        It also applies to a request to do a by-right building on the site of Bergman mms cleaners on lee why . In this case the floor size is over 50000 sf.

  • Lou

    Ok, here’s a question: what if Walmart comes in before the zoning can be modified with plans for construction? How quickly can the board craft a zoning amendment to stop them?

    • Charlie

      Litigation will answer that.

  • SouthArlingtonReady

    I’m about as thick skinned as they come, but some posts on this board get too personal…on both sides. You all need to lighten up and be glad you live in a place where the County cares about your opinions (sometimes…unless it’s related to Affordable Housing and Columbia Pike.

    One other thing, unless you hold a Public Planning and Policy degree or an AICP accreditation, your opinions are ONLY opinions. The “pile-on” affect by hyperactive neighbors is tired and akin to a temper tantrum.

    • Jackflops

      OK, I applaud your appeal for reasoned arguments that are not ad hominem. However, I take issue with your statement, “Unless you hold a Public Planning and Policy degree or an AICP accreditation, your opinions are ONLY opinions.”

      That’s like saying “Unless you have a degree in public administration, you have no right to express an opinion on politics.”

      I think these planner types who work for the county have all been drinking the same Kool-Aid and (to mix my metaphors) been in the same echo chamber. Think about it: In 1965, all the planner types would’ve been gung-ho for more freeways and more sprawl–and I assume from you post that you would be in vehement disagreement with them.

    • Arlwhenever

      Only the certificated experts understand and are worth anything? That is absurd, an elitist game to control the people.

    • ZoningVictim

      I suppose that’s a fair statement, but of course, the opinions of the people who have Public Planning and Policy degrees and AICP accreditation are “ONLY opinions,” too. I’d bet you could easily find two of them that disagree on whether or not this is a good idea.

      I wonder if all of the people on that ACB and the different civic associations have either of those credentials. At the end of this whole thing, their opinions are going to be the only ones that matter.

      • Jackflops

        Glad to hear you say that. Maybe I misinterpreted.

        • Stephen Finafrock

          I do apologize if I came off sounding “elitist.” I’d venture that not all county officials and staff have these credentials and at the end of that day, not all of them need to.

          My point was aimed at some of the rather nasty posters on this board, both right and left, that espouse their opinions as if they are the rule of law and no one else has a right to one.

          The belittling of people who don’t wish to live next door to whatever development or topic is being discussed is wrong. An example called to mind would be at the Columbia Pike charettes when one neighbor was verbally attacked by another group of neighbors.

          This is one County, one very small County. We have a lot to be grateful for here. It is not merely a Liberal or Conservative land block and we all have to live here. I am tired of the attitude of many people who post here and the unveiled attempt to make fellow residents look bad because they happen to disagree with a particular point of view. If I didn’t know better, I’d think many of the posts on here come from school kids.

          My .02.

        • SouthArlingtonNow

          I didn’t mean to squash anyone’s opinion. My goals was illustrate that everyone has an opinion and some posters on here would have you think that they have the ONLY point of view and if you disagree you are wrong and stupid.

          I swear, you’d think this board is run by school kids.

  • Stu Pendus

    I think what he is saying is the two association people quoted in this article don’t know what they’re talking about.

  • Amy

    For those welcoming Wal-Mart and other big box retailers: would you be so anxious if it was in your front, back or side yard? Aside from the issues relating to the Wal-Mart hiring practices and policy, which are well known and documented in a variety of published articles, allowing Wal-Mart or a similar retailer to develop in the area attracts other similar retailers. Does South Arlington need a strip mall or similar development in the area when these type of retailers are avaiallbe within a 2 mile radius on King Street. Allowing this type of retail development will increase the traffic flow through the S. Arlington streets, 4-Mile Run, Shirlington Rd and adjacent areas. Its a fairly decent area now for those who enjoy outdoor activities (run/bike/walk). The increase in traffic will eliminate the nice walk ways and increase pedestrain safety concerns will increase to the point where the jog/bike path will not be useable.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Already happened to us in EFC – Falls Church built a BJ’s just over the county line that backs up to our Arlington neighborhood.

      • The Native

        Absolutely false. There is no truth to your statement.

    • John Fontain

      “For those welcoming Wal-Mart and other big box retailers: would you be so anxious if it was in your front, back or side yard?”

      Luckily, the proposed site isn’t adjacent to anyone’s front, back, or side yard. It’s perfect.

      “development will increase the traffic flow”

      True, but we’re talking a couple of hundred cars an hours. Hardly unmanagable.

  • Jane Hildt Wickens

    We fought Home Depot coming to Clarendon – where Market Commons is today. Try an 18-wheeler turning the corner from Highland to Clarendon Blvd. Envision having the back-up beepers at 2 and 3 am while trucks are unloading. You don’t want it or anything similar anywhere near a residential neighborhood!! Most of Arlington who didn’t live near Clarendon was supportive of having HD come – so much for their support of local hardware stores,etc , etc. I think most County residents are happy we fought so hard – if they don’t like the restaurants and other amenities, they should be thankful for the taxes collected.

    • ArlForester

      It was fought on the idea of the traffic it would cause. Of course that argument is a joke now that Wilson and Clarendon Blvds are virtual parking lots every night of the week now. Also, all those chain restaurants and stores get their deliveries via 18-wheeler. They get through there just fine even though the area is overbuilt. Congrats.

    • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

      yeah, nice work.
      there are NO tractor trailers coming in out of Clarendon these days.
      and the one blocking Clarendon Blvd for the Cheeseball Factory was just a figment of my imagination.
      and no car traffic either.
      huge success.
      and Virginia Hardware was saved.

  • John Andre

    Actually, “big box” development such as Wal-Mart represents a bit of an improvement for this “industrial” area over what’s currently there.

    The alternative would probably be high-rise condos like the Brittany and the Carlton rather than affordable housing. One disadvantage of my neighborhood is the lack of accessible large discount outlets such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Nothing of the sort has been accessible to me since the Baileys Crossroads Hechinger’s closed a few years ago. Now I know why none of these stores are close to me…the County has zoned them out! Putting them in a rather grungy area such as the Four Mile Run “industrial” corridor is fine with me and actually improves the neighborhood.

    • SouthArlingtonNow


      As it stands now, it is a disgusting eye sore!

    • ZoningVictim

      There is a Best Buy very close to where that Hechinger’s used to be; it’s probably within a mile of it. There are also several Targets very close to Arlington, and there is a Sears, who teamed up with K-Mart and sells a lot of the same stuff, right behind the Home Depot on Rt 50. Without regard to whether or not the ACB should be doing what they’re doing, I find the argument that we can’t get to stores to get the same things we could by from Walmart a little bit of a stretch.

  • Arlington needs to promote Arlington Independent Businesses NOT corporate giants. And as far as the traffic goes, the entire roadway infrastructure of Arlington and surrounding areas is already outdated in its capacity to meet the population. Shame, shame, shame!

    • I got that PMA

      Arlington needs to promote Arlington Independent Businesses NOT corporate giants.

      I would love to see that.

      But, too many people in Arlington, just get in line and become robots.

  • Jamie

    From someone who lives very close to this. I hope this does not happen. The traffic in this area is already bad enough, if they were to add a Wal-Mart it would be worse. Also it would decrease the value of the homes in the area, including the townhouses across the street that have already taken a hit. If the Board approves and the Wal-mart has to change the traffic pattern entering 395 or anywhere else the construction will cause mass back-ups that I’m sure commuters don’t want, I know I don’t and will make it a mess around Shirlington. There has to be other, smaller businesses, that want that space. I’d rather it be a holding ground for cars then to build an Urban Wal-mart, Target, etc. We also do not need the type of “trash” Wal-Marts tend to bring.


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