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Letter: Planned Or Inadvertent?

To the Editor:

My opposition to the Beauregard rezoning’s height, density, and Arlington-style out-of-character land use is almost beside the point. Instead, consider what city hall would like folks to believe versus what went into this rezoning catastrophe:

  • The Mark Center fiasco happened accidentally or inadvertently: The Beauregard rezoning shows city hall’s support for Mark Center was but the first installment in upscaling the neighborhood’s density and was likely purposefully undertaken, albeit cleverly disguised to appear “accidental.”

  • The previous city council’s lame-duck decision to move the election to November was to increase turnout: Even opponents who believed the motivation was to benefit the majority party smarting over losing two seats missed how moving the election to November bought the extra 6 months needed to put this rezoning over. Had the old May election schedule remained, or had the November election been set in 2011, there would not have been time to arrange this vast rezoning.

  • City hall cares about preserving affordable housing: This rezoning will destroy more affordable housing than anything the city has ever done to preserve or create it — more than the fire station development, more than Hunting Towers — because the current Beauregard rent increases only became feasible because the city’s offer of additional density created ex nihilo the additional market value driving the recent rent increases, had the city refused to consider changing the zoning, as city council’s May 22 resolution on Hunting Towers made clear, and had the city refused to make infrastructure investments, the traffic gridlock would have been undesirable enough to hold down rents.

  • City leaders care about hard-working people, many illegally present in our land: City leaders really care about developers and businesses having an ample supply of willing low-wage workers because this rezoning’s single stroke displaces more of them than Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio or Prince William county board member Corey Stewart could dream of doing. Backed to the wall over failing schools, city hall found a wholesale way to winnow out families with children perceived as more likely to lower academic performance.

Dino Drudi

Alexandria