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Old 05-15-2012, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,395 posts, read 1,570,085 times
Reputation: 1061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
That was positively restrained for you, TE!

No, I get that. And I'm all for it. Push the bubble down here--and let it rise up in another US city, rather than just elswhere in DC. Let it be known from coast to coast: We have enough people here. Go somewhere else. Employers, bring your jobs somewhere else. The whole country can't just move here.
Well thats a magical world in which your livelyhood would not be affected by the fact that you tell everyone not from here to go buzz off. In reality an area must encourage business to recycle. Why? Because eventually corporations like people die. And if you have been telling people for decades to go away... well one day when the existing companies have all died off, we will have nothing because we have been telling them to go else where. See Detroit. The reason why people want to live here is because we have jobs. That is a lottery of riches for us, the reason why your house is worth so much here, and so little in Detroit is because of that fact. You are excluding this basic principal of what makes one area wealthy and another area not. If you want to live some where that no one else wants to come, I suggest you check out Oklahoma, or Nebraska, you can find real estate of mansions for less than 150k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Glad to hear you say that--but the density ends up creeping outward. If you look at historic aerial photos, the officey part of Ballston used to end well east of Glebe. There were houses on Glebe. Now they're gone. They tore down those houses and the ones that used to be behind Wakefield, near the dry cleaner's. (There was still one bungalow left as of a few months ago.) Now the west side of Glebe has some really tall buildings, and I don't believe for a second that developers aren't looking at that area between Glebe and George Mason Drive with dollar signs in their eyes.
Yes lets review Arlington. The reason why what happened to Arlington happened is BECAUSE DC did exactly what you are proposing. Go build elsewhere. So they did, and Arlington said, come here build here. BTW this is the reason why crime has also improved from where it was in your utopian pre-construction era to basically be a 0-homicide crime free and educated zone. Also the schools districts in Alrington use to be pure crap, and to even deny that is ridiculous. Were they better in the 90s? YES but thats not densities fault, its the school board for not investing the money that was coming in towards schools. They didnt because they never thought that families would want to live in cities. They were wrong.

If you want to say, NO MORE BUILDING! thats fine, good Tysons will take it from you, but in 50 years when Arlington has not recycled itself, and it is dying into a slum because no outside investment is going into the system you will see that "preserving" a way of life is exactly what got DC into the financial mess it is in now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
I'd like to restrict them from building anything else in Arlington at all. Tysons can have it! What I would really like is if the entire MWCOG told developers "Go elsewhere," and we put a moratorium on all new construction. Again--we have enough people here! Meanwhile, the cities of the Rust Belt are dying. This country is going to look like Russia in 50 years--two or three major cities with all the wealth and all the jobs, and whole bunch of dead, impoverished hellholes in between.
Yes because all those impoverished hellholes keep telling businesses to go build elsewhere. You are just creating the cycle of slum all over again, I wish you could see the city process on a grander scale, but what you are promoting WILL KILL Arlington, or atleast cripple it. In past eras the exact same thing happened in parts of this region. Annandale used to be a vibrant commercial area with good housing prices, same as Falls Church. Then they said WE DONT WANT GROWTH HERE!!! What happened? Growth moved else where in this region because people kept being born, people saw good jobs and moved here, etc. Well while other areas enjoyed better jobs, better living, the areas of Annandale and falls Church began to decline, crime rose, school districts became under performing, and jobs started funnelling out to other towns forcing residents that could walk and bike to work to now have to take 30 minute+ commutes.


I created a quick image.


ControlledUrbanism by nroshana, on Flickr

Its really hard to describe what urbanism is on a forum, but the point ISNT to expand into single family regions. But it also isnt to cause a collapse in the economic system that provides us all in this region the cushy life we enjoy. To deny the fact that this region is desirable BECAUSE of these characteristics is just false logic, otherwise in this scenario all lands of the US would be worth the same. You say lets send stuff somewhere else. ok Thats fine, as long you are also willing to lose out on 75% of the worth of your house because I assure you if that happens all the housing market in this region would crumble to be the same as non-employed regions of the country. Sticks and bricks of a house are cheap, barely even 100k sometimes. What makes a home worth something is what its near. Always remember that. And its not just the price of your house. All lands would be devalued 75%. Tax revenue would literally plummet. What would we be left with? 1.5 million people needing schools, hospitals, FDPD, with only 25% of what they have as a budget now. That is how you create slums.

Last edited by tysonsengineer; 05-15-2012 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
426 posts, read 369,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
But I think density is like a cancer; it inexorably creeps outward. At least, that's what it has done everywhere in the DC region so far where it hasn't been banned--Arlington, Silver Spring, etc.
I do not want to see NoVa become like Southern California where there is endless sprawl because the City of Los Angeles has such little density for a city of its size. The thing that strikes me when I land in LA is how few really tall buildings you see there ... and how the small buildings stretch out as far as the eye can see. People there are used to driving an 1.5 hours or more to work and the mass transit rail was very little help because you still need a car when you exit on the other side. So the people still drive their cars.

As much as I hate it, this is the pattern that NoVa seems to be following. If we don't have more density in the areas closer to DC, (and better planning in general) the sprawl will continue to creep all the way out possibly as far as Winchester.

Imagine a Loudoun County with a glut of half finished housing developments and nearly empty commercial buildings rather the idyllic country-side we know and all (urban, suburban and rural alike) love now.

With Arlington, Beauregard, Tysons and other areas planning and/or currently working on more density, I hope the trend of becoming like Southern California will reverse itself
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,395 posts, read 1,570,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseid View Post
I do not want to see NoVa become like Southern California where there is endless sprawl because the City of Los Angeles has such little density for a city of its size. The thing that strikes me when I land in LA is how few really tall buildings you see there ... and how the small buildings stretch out as far as the eye can see. People there are used to driving an 1.5 hours or more to work and the mass transit rail was very little help because you still need a car when you exit on the other side. So the people still drive their cars.

As much as I hate it, this is the pattern that NoVa seems to be following. If we don't have more density in the areas closer to DC, (and better planning in general) the sprawl will continue to creep all the way out possibly as far as Winchester.

Imagine a Loudoun County with a glut of half finished housing developments and nearly empty commercial buildings rather the idyllic country-side we know and all (urban, suburban and rural alike) love now.

With Arlington, Beauregard, Tysons and other areas planning and/or currently working on more density, I hope the trend of becoming like Southern California will reverse itself
Sadly even Southern California is begin to buck the trend of being more Southern California. LA has been promoting no growth outside of downtown for 4 years now. We are so far behind in this area, and the reason is because we don't know what we are fighting.

We have too many people after their own interests instead of viewing the region as a whole. The very things that most people are fighting against are becoming the things that are becoming uncontrollable. We need to take a lesson from history and simply say, if you wanna build a subdivision somewhere, that is fine, we will not build a single mile of road or utility to you. And you are going to not only have to pay the capital cost but the maintenance and operation cost of living further out.

When you do that, people will say... oh crap... I can't live that far away from the city then. Its costs way to much to maintain and build an entire road system, and the sprawl goes away. On the other side of the spectrum, you negotiate using density as an attractant. Hey you with the money who wants to build as if you have endless space, come here a minute.

1) You cant build on the cheap spots, those are houses and we want to keep them so just go ahead and remove that little pipe dream

2) You can build over here, in the not so cheap spot... no hold on, I know its expensive but just listen. You can build there as tall as you want, therefore making the land being expensive much less of a deterant.

Response: aaaawwwww geeeee I still wanna build on top of that there house right there.

NO!!! BAD MONKEY! If you want to do that then move to Texas, here in NOVA we allow you to build away from the houses as tall as you want, but no where near the houses.

Response: Ughhhhh, I guess I was gonna spend 300 million dollars one way or another, instead of building 5 ten story buildings on cheap land on the fringe of the city, I guess I'll build 1 60 story building in the middle of the city requiring less land but providing the exact same number of spaces I need to make back the 300 million.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,869,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
No, I get that. And I'm all for it. Push the bubble down here--and let it rise up in another US city, rather than just elswhere in DC. Let it be known from coast to coast: We have enough people here. Go somewhere else. Employers, bring your jobs somewhere else. The whole country can't just move here. .

To some extent thats likely to happen anyway, per the projections of Steve Fuller (which is one reason I think some of the concern about height limits in Arlington is silly - I don't think the market will be pushing in that direction anytime in the next 20 years anyway). But doing so for NoVa by govt fiat would be difficult - for one the Dillon rule makes it difficult for local jurisdictions to do that, second even if they could, many of the outer jurisdictions would want more development for financial reasons - whether that would create a better region or not is a matter of debate.

as for doing it for the whole region, thats a dream. MWCOG has no authority over zoning, and the jurisdictions won't even cooperate in foregoing competitive inducements to firms to relocate in one jurisdiction or another. If you want to lobby the Commonwealth to stop offering tax incentives to firms to locate here, and to attempt to cooperate with Md and DC for mutual forebearance, you will find me an ally.

Quote:
Glad to hear you say that--but the density ends up creeping outward. If you look at historic aerial photos, the officey part of Ballston used to end well east of Glebe. There were houses on Glebe. Now they're gone. They tore down those houses and the ones that used to be behind Wakefield, near the dry cleaner's. (There was still one bungalow left as of a few months ago.) Now the west side of Glebe has some really tall buildings, and I don't believe for a second that developers aren't looking at that area between Glebe and George Mason Drive with dollar signs in their eyes..
Im pretty sure that area was already zoned commercial - sometimes what happens, IIUC, is an owner complains about the hardship created by traffic on a major road, they get it rezoned for commercial for a small business.

The best way to avoid that sort of thing is precisely what has been done in parts of the RBC corridor - step down the density from the hirises to relatively dense THs which buffer the SFH's. I showed some pics of precisely that sort of buffer in my Clarendon photo tour.

another way might be to fight the widening of roads through historically residential areas, or, where a road is already widened, consider a "road diet" to reduce number of lanes, and add a bike lane instead. That would counter the tendency to rezone SFHs stranded on high traffic roads.


Quote:
Meanwhile, the remaining houses (north of Wash Blvd) have been increasingly replaced with McMansions. So despite the claim of a boundary for density, it has consistently spread out into suburban areas..
McMansions on teardown lots do NOT increase density in terms of units per acre. As a resident of Annandale I can assure you that avoiding metrorail, or urbanist development, does NOT prevent McMansions. They are really a totally different phenomenon.

Quote:

Absolutely. And guess what: Suburban areas have those things too. Even Arlington was basically suburban till the '60s, and from what I hear, the basic services were BETTER then. From what I can tell, Fairfax County has better quality-of-life law enforcement than does Arlington. I'd bet that Loudoun County does too.
The major expenditure item for Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, etc, are public schools. Loudoun can afford to spend on its public schools cause its got A. Lots of office development (mostly on campuses, not hirises, cause of the abundant land there) and B. mostly newer housing stock, cause there wasnt much there before 1980. Fairfax similarly has lots of offices (including lots of hirises) Fairfax, facing buildout (wrt vacant land), has chosen to densify rather than face decline. PWC even WITH remaining vacant land and new housing, faces significant restraints on school funding, but with BRAC moving employment in their direction, seems to be holding out. Prince Georges County in Maryland, with too few jobs, and housing unable to pay for good schools, faces the possibility of a spiral of decline.


Quote:
At least, that's what it has done everywhere in the DC region so far where it hasn't been banned--Arlington, Silver Spring, etc.
Silver Spring is considered a success in MoCo. In both cases thats not creeping out, its planned. A better example of creep happening over the desires of the local jurisdiction would be the Mark Center BRAC building, but thats DOD. I would share the hope we don't get more of that.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Taxmanistan
4,126 posts, read 3,752,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Well thats a magical world in which your livelyhood would not be affected by the fact that you tell everyone not from here to go buzz off. In reality an area must encourage business to recycle. Why? Because eventually corporations like people die. And if you have been telling people for decades to go away... well one day when the existing companies have all died off, we will have nothing because we have been telling them to go else where. See Detroit.
My livelihood would not be affected one iota. This is the DC area. We have the federal government. That's who I and many others work for. Governmental employees don't need growth to stay employed. But with the number of people already here, I don't think private-sector employees do, either. (Except for developers and construction workers.)

BBD: I did not say McMansions increase density. I said they're a byproduct of density in nearby areas. I was in Annandale this weekend and didn't see many McMansions at all, if any. Whereas the closer you get to the Metro (any Metro--at least in Virginia), the more there are. There are tons in Vienna, for instance.

As far as the schools, I disagree that the decline of those in Annandale and others in FFX County is due to the failure to acquire dense development but rather the influx of undocumented immigrants. I'm often empathizing with them on this forum, but no one can argue that an influx of impoverished kids who don't speak the local language and are not from an education-worshipping culture (like China's) doesn't drive down test scores. (I'd be surprised if the teachers at JEB Stuart are really "worse" than those at Yorktown.) The same would happen to the mean standardized-test scores at a wealthy Mexico City high school if we sent our poorest rural Appalachian kids there. The argument that the disparity between the test scores of Stuart and Yorktown is due to the failure to turn Annandale into Clarendon is silly. If funding of schools determined their mean SAT, then DC would have the highest scores in the nation.

I recall from the annual posting of SAT scores here that the best-performing schools in FFX (other than TJ) are in Western Loudoun and I think Ashburn. Falls Church (denser than either of those) was near the bottom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
Silver Spring is considered a success in MoCo. In both cases thats not creeping out, its planned. A better example of creep happening over the desires of the local jurisdiction would be the Mark Center BRAC building, but thats DOD. I would share the hope we don't get more of that.
Whether it's a success is subjective; I think it looks positively uninviting, and I know I'm not the only one. I see the few little bungalows left there, and I think "What a shame that they tore down the others." Just because someone planned it doesn't mean it isn't creeping. All "planning" means is that a group of parties with a vested interest seized the power to do it.

I would be the last person to defend BRAC.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 05-15-2012 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,395 posts, read 1,570,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
My livelihood would not be affected one iota. This is the DC area. We have the federal government. That's who I and many others work for. Governmental employees don't need growth to stay employed. But with the number of people already here, I don't think private-sector employees do, either. (Except for developers and construction workers.)
Thats simply short sighted. Just see what ripples a 5% reduction in federal spending has already had on this area. When you are leveraged to only one industry, 5 to 10% swings mean 40 - 50% swings for the leveraged party. To rely on big daddy federal to always keep us buoyed is ridiculous. And while your salary might not be affected, to say that 50% of the industry in this area can go away will have a HUGE impact on your livelihood. No man is an island. If you knock away the ability for diversity in the economy you will lead this area down the same line that crashed Charlottes financials, Detroits autos, Hollywoods media, and in the future Texas' oil.

Direct government employment in virginia constitutes only 11% of the work force. Cumulative adding in secondary employment is 40% (direct consultants), and indirect employment (regions of service industry that directly are attributable to federal positions) gets that number to only 55%. 45% of the rest of northern virginia gets its work from non-government employment in almost all respects. Biotech industries, engineer, law, medical/doctors, computer engineering, software, marketing these are all things that is tertiary trickle at best of the government being here. You take this away, and trust me, you are now broke because your house just went from being worth something to being worthless.

Diversity of industry is the only way to ensure that we all dont end up broke and homeless.

And to simplify what happened in Annandale and Falls Church to simply "poor immigrants moved there" is really just, sigh, I just don't even wanna discuss that with you CLT but needless to say its Causality allllll over it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,395 posts, read 1,570,085 times
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If you don't like urban living, why do you even live in Arlington? You could cash out what your house is worth and live a great life out in rural america. You wouldn't need to work, you could have your utopian schools and police and hospitals.

Oh wait, non city areas are crumbling all around us because they cant afford all of these things
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Taxmanistan
4,126 posts, read 3,752,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
If you don't like urban living, why do you even live in Arlington? You could cash out what your house is worth and live a great life out in rural america. You wouldn't need to work, you could have your utopian schools and police and hospitals.

Oh wait, non city areas are crumbling all around us because they cant afford all of these things
I don't like urban living, and we don't live in an urban area. Our street is suburban and quiet, and we want to keep it that way. Yes, we could pay less in other areas, but our commutes would be longer. (My wife can drive from her job in DC to our house in 12 minutes.)

I don't see Annandale crumbling. Nor Mt. Vernon. Nor Loudoun County. Nor rural FFX County.

Re. jobs: You're misinterpreting what I said. I didn't say to get rid of jobs that are already here, just that we don't need to keep growing in the DC region.

Re. your "bad monkey" argument: All you're saying is that the lure of unlimited skyward construction in certain areas will mean those areas will contain the demand for ultra-dense commercial development. I don't really disagree with that; what I'm saying is that this is only true for large office buildings. When you have large office buildings, you invariably have large apartment buildings that go up near them. Not hard to see why: If I own a 3BR house near Metro, and an apartment developer offers me 30% more than the market value for my home, it'd be hard to say no. If they can buy enough such houses to build their apartmetn complex, they know that the proximity to that large employment center means they will definitely rent it out as long as they don't price the units too high. (I mentioned McMansions only as an additional effect of increased commercial density--the increase in taxable land value with development nearby means that a small house isn't financially advantageous, vs. a much larger house.)

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 05-15-2012 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:34 AM
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,869,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Whether it's a success is subjective; I think it looks positively uninviting. I see the few little bungalows left there, and I think "What a shame that they tore down the others." Just because someone planned it doesn't mean it isn't creeping. All "planning" means is that a group of parties with a vested interest seized the power to do it.

I would be the last person to defend BRAC.

I worked in downtown Silver Spring in the 1990s. THAT was uninviting. I am not aware of any organized group in MoCo that opposed the transformation of Downtown Silver Spring. It may not have had 100% support from all residents of MoCo, but it surely was not a "seizure of power by a group of parties" unless democratic elections, and the desire of the majority of MoCo residents to transform an area with loads of vacant lots (which is what most of DTSS was built on - the bungalows went decades before, AFAIK - certainly not many there in the mid 1990s), a decaying mall, crime problems, etc into an area that now draws people from a wide area of the county, and contributes significantly to the county coffers can be charecterized as such.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
426 posts, read 369,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
My livelihood would not be affected one iota. This is the DC area. We have the federal government. That's who I and many others work for. Governmental employees don't need growth to stay employed. But with the number of people already here, I don't think private-sector employees do, either. (Except for developers and construction workers.)
Regardless of which party wins the White House in November, the federal gov't will have pretty deep cuts in spending over the next decade. The only question is how much. That being the case, we can not continue to count on the federal gov't to feed our local economy - particularly in the way it has for the past 3-4 years.

Many defense consulting firms are already panicking over the pending defense spending cuts alone. Less fat consulting contracts -> less consulting firms -> less employees -> a less robust local economy. All of that gets back to my fear of half completed housing developments and empty commercial buildings in Loudoun. The planning done in this area seems to be based on the fact that gov't spending will be massive forever.
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