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ArlingtonCivic leader: Missing Middle proposal is about 20 years too late

Civic leader: Missing Middle proposal is about 20 years too late

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The former president of the John M. Langston Civic Association supports Missing Middle housing policies, but contends Arlington leaders are about a quarter-century too late for them to have a tangible impact.

Speaking at a Juneteenth program June 23 at Central Library, Wilma Jones said any changes to housing policies, to allow a diversity of housing types in single-family neighborhoods, will have only limited impacts in communities such as hers, which already have seen major gentrification.

Jones, who grew up and still lives in the Halls Hill/High View Park community, told audience members that the Missing Middle proposal would be beneficial, but that she also could understand concerns of critics.

“It has the potential to be good, but it also has the potential for developers to go crazy,” said Jones, who served multiple terms as civic-association president.

The Halls Hill neighborhood dates to the post-Civil War era, and during the era of segregation as an exclusively African-American enclave along Lee Highway (now Langston Boulevard).

In her remarks, Jones said the community benefited from a wide economic diversity of residents when she was growing up. From lawyers and architects, maids and chauffeurs, “I saw a spectrum of life that many children don’t see, especially around here,” she said. “I felt loved and I felt safe.”

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