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Saturday, August 13, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionLetter: Missing Middle proposal is too extreme

Letter: Missing Middle proposal is too extreme

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Editor: Imagine your single-family home next to a hulking eightplex on a 30-to-60 foot-wide lot.

Some houses would be in permanent shade. Few if any trees would be left on the lot. With lowered tree canopy, already growing heat levels would increase further; stormwater runoff would increase, with resultant flooding.

There is no proof that affordable housing would increase. And in any event, Arlington is across the river from the District of Columbia; land costs are very high, and it is simply not possible that everyone will be able to afford to live in Arlington. Not more than a few miles from Arlington, just outside the Beltway, land costs are much lower and housing far less costly. The additional commute is minor, and is a small cost to pay for more affordable housing, if that is what one needs.

Developers are the primary beneficiaries of the Arlington County government’s Missing Middle proposal. Existing homeowners do not benefit from the proposal, at least if they continue to want to live here. (Personally, I plan to put some of my large lot under the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust to protect it from development.)

Arlington County Board members should remember that single-family homeowners disproportionately vote, and most oppose this proposal, and could vote you out. I will not vote for anyone who votes for this proposal; I encourage other single-family homeowners to do the same.

The Missing Middle proposal could be moderated to be more acceptable; more duplexes in the county would not be a bad thing, but six- or eightplexes are gross overkill.

John Wingard, Arlington

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