14 votes

Arlington Virginia missing middle trial heralds legal fight over suburban zoning (gifted link)

11 comments

  1. [10]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    The potential harms listed seem so abstract. There might be more use of public utilities like sewers? Someone might build a building next door that meets all the existing standards for single...

    The potential harms listed seem so abstract. There might be more use of public utilities like sewers? Someone might build a building next door that meets all the existing standards for single family homes, but happens to house more people?

    Do these people not have anything else going on in their lives to worry about?

    10 votes
    1. [7]
      an_angry_tiger
      Link Parent
      They don't want new development happening and lowering the long-term value of their house. Or at least that's what I presume it is, not a rationale that's good for other human beings. It's always...

      They don't want new development happening and lowering the long-term value of their house.

      Or at least that's what I presume it is, not a rationale that's good for other human beings. It's always either land value or not wanting more people in their neighbourhood (especially those who can't afford houses, gasp, the indignity).

      16 votes
      1. Habituallytired
        Link Parent
        They also don't want the poors moving in and ruining their neighborhoods. It's been a huge issue in the Bay Area as long as I've been alive (which is not an insignificant amount of years, lol.

        They also don't want the poors moving in and ruining their neighborhoods. It's been a huge issue in the Bay Area as long as I've been alive (which is not an insignificant amount of years, lol.

        14 votes
      2. [5]
        bkimmel
        Link Parent
        This sounds pretty reasonable (duplexes and quads in place of single family homes) but in other parts of Northern Virginia, these "mega developers" are doing things like trying to put casinos next...

        This sounds pretty reasonable (duplexes and quads in place of single family homes) but in other parts of Northern Virginia, these "mega developers" are doing things like trying to put casinos next to homes and elementary schools - they are no angels either. Virginia has no concept of encouraging them to build walkable neighborhoods or contribute to developing healthy communities. They are given license to just create concrete carbon factories. It can have huge effects on local school districts, too - doubling already-crowded class sizes where those school districts might get a new building or budget adjustments in 12 years or something. If it were just a matter of creating more affordable housing, it would be fine but it's more like a huge corporation plundering a small neighborhood and creating tons of badly designed (from climate and aesthetics) buildings and moving on.

        I wish the government would make housing and consider all these things and sell the housing at fair/affordable prices.

        5 votes
        1. [4]
          tibpoe
          Link Parent
          Do you have any sources here? The only megaprojects I'm able to find (not being from the area) is "WestEnd Alexandria", replacing a dead mall with a mixed-used development, and a casino that may...

          but in other parts of Northern Virginia, these "mega developers" are doing things like trying to put casinos next to homes and elementary schools - they are no angels either

          Do you have any sources here? The only megaprojects I'm able to find (not being from the area) is "WestEnd Alexandria", replacing a dead mall with a mixed-used development, and a casino that may replace a defunct car dealership in this area (which is presently already a pedestrian hellscape).

          just create concrete carbon factories

          How exactly are new homes concrete carbon factories? Especially if they just involve using existing infrastructure closer to capacity rather than razing new lands?

          7 votes
          1. [3]
            bkimmel
            Link Parent
            For the Casino, their original plan was to build it in another part of Fairfax County around residential areas. They are only targeting the car dealership now because they got temporarily stymied...

            For the Casino, their original plan was to build it in another part of Fairfax County around residential areas. They are only targeting the car dealership now because they got temporarily stymied by residents of Fairfax in the state legislature.

            For "capacity" you have to understand this is not New York City. These neighborhoods, for the most part, have no walkable access to grocery stores, doctors, etc. tbh I'm not sure about this place in the article (maybe they do have that?) but there are many places where having 3-4x the households just means 3-4x the cars on the road. The decarbonization benefits you would get from NYC or other metro settings you just don't get here. Virginia just lets them plop enormous structures where everyone has to drive and pats themselves on the back.

            Ideally I'd like to see more sustainable affordable housing in the area - my point is that these megacorps aren't really interested in delivering that and Virginia doesn't provide any framework to encourage them to build walkable neighborhoods, just ICE factories with no planning for "capacity"

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Lamchop
              Link Parent
              For what it's worth, Arlington county (NOT Fairfax) is extremely walkable and has large areas of single family housing in areas of great public transit. Lots of North Arlington along the Orange...

              For what it's worth, Arlington county (NOT Fairfax) is extremely walkable and has large areas of single family housing in areas of great public transit. Lots of North Arlington along the Orange and silver line is prime for missing middle development.

              3 votes
              1. bkimmel
                Link Parent
                I would say that's true for a lot of Arlington (and Alexandria) but certainly not as a rule. Take this for example:...

                I would say that's true for a lot of Arlington (and Alexandria) but certainly not as a rule. Take this for example:
                https://www.tollbrothers.com/luxury-homes-for-sale/Virginia/The-Grove-at-Dominion-Hills (and I'm not cherry-picking here - this is literally the first thing I found and if you're from the area you know this is one of the more prominent builders and so generally "representative") it at least has a grocery store-ish thing (BJs Wholesale) within 10 minutes but for everything else: It's a 40-minute walk from the nearest Metro! And it's 1.8 Million dollars. Who do you think is paying 1.8 million dollars and walking 40 minutes to the metro? No one. Internal Combustion Engines all day... and that's my point. It gets even worse as you move out into Fairfax (and now Loudoun even, I guess): It's not New York City.

                I guess if we're talking smaller developers "flipping" SFH's into duplexes, etc. in areas that actually have capacity, I'm all for that (as I said earlier) 100%. But given the track record and poor planning (climate, design and otherwise) I can understand why people would be skeptical.

                1 vote
    2. [2]
      tibpoe
      Link Parent
      Seems like the courts are likely enough to find that the harms are too abstract as well.

      The Arlington bench trial, which is scheduled to take place over five days this month, is expected to test whether homeowners like Nordgren have proved that they have the legal standing to sue

      David Schell, a retired Fairfax judge overseeing the case, ruled in October that — assuming all the plaintiffs’ allegations are true — they had sufficient “legal standing” to sue. ... he has since acknowledged that his ruling was “probably a minority view”

      Seems like the courts are likely enough to find that the harms are too abstract as well.

      5 votes
      1. Promonk
        Link Parent
        Yeah, claiming "potential harm" is another way of saying "I have not actually been harmed by this." I can potentially be hit by a frozen chunk of airline garbage falling from the sky, but that...

        Yeah, claiming "potential harm" is another way of saying "I have not actually been harmed by this." I can potentially be hit by a frozen chunk of airline garbage falling from the sky, but that doesn't give me standing to sue Delta.

        NIMBYism is just the worst sort of "fuck you, I got mine."

        5 votes