An advocacy group appears convinced the fix is in and single-family zoning is likely to soon be a relic of the past in Arlington.
The county government “is declaring war on single-family areas of Arlington,” Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future said in a press release last week, predicting that County Board members could green-light free-range zoning before the year is out.
“Developers, who have essentially run out of room among our 26 square miles, have pushed for [upzoning] that will be politically and legally impossible to unwind, even if it falls short of stated goals or produces negative results,” said the organization.
The group has seconded a request from the Arlington County Civic Federation that the county government continue to accept feedback on the proposal through September, rather than close it off by the end of May.
County Board members on May 19 indicated that they weren’t interested in holding the public-comment period open, and suggested that a vote on policy changes could come by the end of the year.
Supporters of so-called “Missing Middle” housing strategies say that creating a broader mix of housing options in current single-family areas is a way to lower costs and diversify the communities. Opponents like Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future say the move will actually increase housing costs while putting an additional burden on Arlington’s already stretched governmental infrastructure, from water-and-sewer facilities to roads to schools.