Arlington County Civic Federation

The president of the Arlington County Civic Federation on June 13 delivered his message quietly but bluntly: The county government needs to put much more emphasis on acquiring land for parks and open space before the window of opportunity closes.

Allan Gajadhar handed County Board members a Civic Federation resolution calling on the county government to better balance open-space and passive-recreation needs with facilities for sports and active recreation, noting a significant dropoff since 2008 in acquisition of land.

Since 2012, county voters have approved more than $125 million in park bonds. But according to a Civic Federation analysis, more than 86 percent of that funding has been used for what could be described as active recreation, with less than 10 percent for land acquisition and open space.

Gajadhar noted that the county government’s own resident surveys show wide support for open space. “These preferences and needs have gone unmet,” he said, quoting from the resolution.

(5) comments


Again, the Ballston / Vermont St. neighborhood has been very unhappy with the County Board's infill gentrification deal with a developer for more density in a neighborhood that has little open space, but that didn't stop the CB from increasing the infill density in the neighborhood last Saturday. BTW, the Owners and Publishers of local media outlets live nowhere near the mixed use infill redevelopment they profit from. The County Board has also resisted repeated citizen requests to acquire the Rouse Estate on Wilson Blvd. for open space, but spends hundreds of millions on dedicated recreation infrastructure.


Same thing in South Arlington. Columbia Pike, under the outdated form based code, the community is becoming a concrete jungle--- adding hundreds of new apartments with no park space - open or recreational. Then we see what's happening down in the Green Valley and Shirlington where the build up is out to the road. This piece from "The Arlington Way" points out the crazy way that Arlington defines parks.

It's no joke. Between the Arlington County Board and the Arlington County Staff under the leadership of Mark Schwartz has decimated what remaining open space there is.

And spaces that make sense to turn into parks, ie the Rouse estate, they just close their eyes to or in the case at the end of 6th street S, they let people build a brand new house.

Wake up elected officials. We don't want to be Manhattan. And, this crazy building approach any guise of equity.


How do the "Owners and Publishers of local profit from infill redevelopment? And hundreds of millions for recreation infrastructure? In the 2020 budget, the entire Parks and Recreation budget was only $43 million (page 50 of link below). Of that only a small percentage is allocated toward infrastructure. If you're referring to the $125 million figure from bonds, those are capital expenditures and are not spent in one year. People actually use the recreation facilities in Arlington, that's why the county allocates funds toward facilities. Also, the Rouse estate, as this publication noted a few weeks ago, is not actually for sale, so I'm not sure what you're complaining about. On top of that, we already have a large regional park across the street (Upton Hills).


[tongue]Real estate ads, infomercials, and special advertising supplements bring local media owners and publishers many millions. Most New Urbanist VIPs live nowhere near the so-called "Smart Growth" they inflict on neighborhood after neighborhood. Many won't and don't live in Arlington. Two recreation infrastructure projects under construction in Arlington will have a total cost of about $130 million when completed. Then there are numerous neighborhood sports, recreation, park facilities that are expensively constructed at $1 million and up for an architect-designed tot lot on an existing playground and $5 million for an upgraded regional skateboard park. No new open space, just jamming more people, vehicles, events, activities into existing spaces.


Almost forgot - What happens to the County's extravagant spending on Sports, Recreation, Arts if CV19 becomes CV21 and we go through all this again in a year or two?

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