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Editor: Before we started talking about “missing middle” housing, Arlington already was expected to add more than 66,0000 residents between 2015 and 2040, in effect cramming the combined populations of Charlottesville and Culpeper into our tiny county.
Charlottesville alone has nine public schools. Where, exactly, will we put the new schools? In our parks?
The Arlington government’s projected budget deficits are rising faster than the rate of inflation, soon to reach $100+ million per year by some county estimates. Since the county government must balance its budget each year, this would increase taxes and/or cause drastic reductions in services, impacting the most vulnerable Arlingtonians.
Arlington’s aging infrastructure is already producing floods and water/sewer system failures (including spewing sewage into Four Mile Run on at least two occasions in 2020 and a water-main break in November 2019 that triggered boil-water advisories and closure of Arlington’s school system).
Arlington is not adequately serving its current population, much less is it ready for the expected additional tens of thousands.
The county manager tells us we are in the midst of “a generational transformation” and he does not have the resources to do long-term planning. Is this really the time to embark on an untested experiment that could add thousands of residents to our small county?
Finally, the pandemic is causing many to search for less expensive, more livable communities throughout the country, which is good for those communities and for our democracy generally.
For those who want to live in Northern Virginia, there are other attractive communities nearby that are more affordable. There’s no reason for people to stuff themselves into Arlington when we are ill prepared to serve them properly.
Bill Roos, Arlington