Editor: Allowing more housing to be built is the only solution to our region’s affordability crisis. Fortunately, we have a model for compromise that leaves everyone satisfied (or simply oblivious).
“Gentle density” surrounds us in pockets of townhouses and low-rise apartments that blend right in. They should be permitted everywhere.
I speak from experience. When my wife and I met nearly six years ago, we both lived in fourplexes. My apartment was near Colonial Village in Arlington, hers in Del Ray, Alexandria. These structures were, I cannot stress enough, remarkably unremarkable, with zero negative impact on nearby livability and character. Duplexes and low-rises simply will not destroy the suburbs.
Defenders of single-family zoning have valid but misplaced concerns. As a leader of Northern Virginia YIMBYs, let me be perfectly clear: No one is taking away your detached single-family home. When we reform land-use rules, land will change hands voluntarily, more housing will be built, prices will fall to a reasonable level, and no one will force you to change how you live.
I respect that some folks want to have a big house with a big yard. But people have limited alternative options.
No one is taking away your house. But we will not take no for an answer from those who would deny others the opportunity to afford a home.
Luca Gattoni-Celli, Alexandria