Editor: As a long-time resident of the 22202 ZIP code, quite newly involved in civic engagement, I am shocked that after hearing seven hours of residents simply asking for a pause over consideration of development in Crystal City, the County Board unanimously approved it.
More than 100 people attended the meeting and 1,900 signed a petition asking for the same.
Many of these people were my neighbors. We reside in condominium homes in very dense areas of Arlington by choice; these homes are priced at anywhere between $250,000 and $550,000. Our ask is to be heard and to be treated equally compared to higher-income parts of the county.
Not only were residents ignored; input by the two impacted area local civic associations carried no weight with the County Board’s decision – nor did board members even seem to acknowledged their existence.
The county press release stated that “stakeholders and community members continued to provide input about the plan,” but what actually took place was very different. Residents, and even a few commissions, documented critical failures in planning, Livability 22202’s stated goals to conduct outreach to high rises, and the county government’s own information-sharing mechanisms.
Renters and owners – including the disabled, a former Arlington police officer and immigrants – asked for answers on the following that the county was not able to provide. I would like to give them a chance to do so now:
• How will a JBG Smith monopoly in the vicinity help with market-rate affordability?
• What is the formula for “community benefit”?
• What prompted the “yes” vote when speakers said JBG smith censored Riverhouse renters’ ability to share information? (Also, how does that support Arlington Democrats’ 2022 8th Congressional District resolution on “Housing for All,” in stating that tenants must be given INCREASED protections and organizing opportunities?)
Alyssa Marlow, Arlington