Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, Crystal City Residents Slam County Board, Vornado, 'Planners' Over 'Smart Growth' Mega-Infill
Maybe you saw and heard several unhappy Arlington residents at yesterday's County Board meeting express their displeasure with Vornado's mega-infill planning for the PenPlace redevelopment.
Well, that was nothing compared to what was said at the Arlington Ridge Civic Association meeting on January 23rd, which was held at the Aurora Hills Community Center.
About 150 Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands and Crystal City residents blasted Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada, Past Chair Mary Hynes, Vornado (including Vornado's CEO, who apparently owns a home on Arlington Ridge) and Arlington's Planning Staff. The neighborhood's consensus position is that the proposed PenPlace development isn't 'Smart Growth' and will result in negative consequences for nearby communities - traffic congestion, inadequate public services, and pollution. The development will require a massive change in zoning.
Civic association leaders stated that they are willing to make reasonable accommodations to Vornado's plans, but County Planning Staff will not discuss any changes when Vornado's site plans are discussed during site plan review committee meetings.
According to planning insiders at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, County Government (including the County Board) is totally controlled by real estate trusts to the point where elected and appointed decision makers can do little more than serve as facilitators for mega-development deals.