ASF QUESTIONS FOR ARLINGTON COUNTY BOARD JULY 7 SPECIAL ELECTION CANDIDATES

MAY 28, 2020

KEY ISSUE #1:  PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Question 1 (two parts):

 

Cost-Benefit Analysis for New Development - Reflecting a key recommendation of the 2015 Community Facilities Study, our County Board in 2017 directed the Manager to study options for county performance of cost-benefit analyses for new site plan projects.  Such analyses, done by many jurisdictions, quantify likely tax and revenue income generation per site plan, as well as potential incremental costs on nearby schools, parks, water/sewer and other community infrastructure.  So far, the Arlington County Board appears to have done little or nothing to implement this recommendation.  What would you do, if anything, to move forward on this directive?

 

Population Density - Our county board currently supports very high growth/density rates.  (Estimated U.S.  census growth from April 2010 to July 2019 was 14.0%.  U.S.  census density in 2010 was 8,309 people per square mile, the highest of any county in Virginia.) If you are elected, would you support growth/densification at the same, a greater, or lesser pace and why?

I am a strong supporter of the work done by the 2015 Community Facilities Study group. I have been frustrated by a seeming lack of support among School and County Board members for the thoughtful recommendations in that study. I believe in using balanced data to guide decision making - the planning and zoning decisions that underpin our Metro corridors were informed by data developed by Price Waterhouse AND by robust civic engagement in the 1970s. I support bringing regular, deeper economic analyses to ALL that the County does - not just to site plan projects - and would advocate for adding this to appropriate Board reports. I will also promote transparency to the community and will work hard to elevate the voices of those who have not been participating or have found it difficult to participate in our civic processes.


I do not see high growth as a policy of the County Board. In fact, growth and change are inevitable and can best be managed with thoughtful long-range and short-range planning.

 

For decades, planning has been our forward-thinking community’s best tool for managing growth while creating great places for residents. As a Board member I would strive to use our economic development and physical development actions to help Arlington return to the 50/50 balance between residential and commercial tax revenue that we enjoyed for decades.


As Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization for more than 6 years, the corridor community I led worked hard to ensure that plans for the Pike and its neighborhoods provided ample space for parks (significantly improving the status quo ante), access to good transit, a variety of housing options and access to jobs. Given Arlington’s position in the region and Amazon’s arrival in our community, Arlington will need more housing for workers and eventually more commercial square footage. If we are clear about our community values and our community needs as we work with landowners and tenants to plan for the next generation of growth and change, I believe additional density will not harm, but enhance, our quality of life.

Taki Karantonis Response:

_____________________________________

I am a strong supporter of the work done by the 2015 Community Facilities Study group. I have been frustrated by a seeming lack of support among School and County Board members for the thoughtful recommendations in that study. I believe in using balanced data to guide decision making - the planning and zoning decisions that underpin our Metro corridors were informed by data developed by Price Waterhouse AND by robust civic engagement in the 1970s. I support bringing regular, deeper economic analyses to ALL that the County does - not just to site plan projects - and would advocate for adding this to appropriate Board reports. I will also promote transparency to the community and will work hard to elevate the voices of those who have not been participating or have found it difficult to participate in our civic processes.


I do not see high growth as a policy of the County Board. In fact, growth and change are inevitable and can best be managed with thoughtful long-range and short-range planning.

 

For decades, planning has been our forward-thinking community’s best tool for managing growth while creating great places for residents. As a Board member I would strive to use our economic development and physical development actions to help Arlington return to the 50/50 balance between residential and commercial tax revenue that we enjoyed for decades.


As Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization for more than 6 years, the corridor community I led worked hard to ensure that plans for the Pike and its neighborhoods provided ample space for parks (significantly improving the status quo ante), access to good transit, a variety of housing options and access to jobs. Given Arlington’s position in the region and Amazon’s arrival in our community, Arlington will need more housing for workers and eventually more commercial square footage. If we are clear about our community values and our community needs as we work with landowners and tenants to plan for the next generation of growth and change, I believe additional density will not harm, but enhance, our quality of life.

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