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Old 05-21-2009, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,753,422 times
Reputation: 316

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I honestly see no architectural difference at all between the homes in the small Midwestern city I lived in, and the homes in NoVA. Or the large Southern city I lived in, for that matter. The core area closest to the city had mid-century ramblers in various stages of "upgrade," and the far-flung burbs had vinyl-sided beige boxes. This look is uninsipiring for sure, but its hardly unique to NoVA, whatever one thinks of it.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:18 AM
 
55 posts, read 166,949 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
1.) My intention is not to "stir the pot." Time after time I've posted my OPINIONS on this forum, and time after time I've been attacked personally with people going off-topic to question my motives instead of being debated, as would be preferable. It's not my fault some on here can't properly debate without resorting to nastiness.

2.) By "long-timers" let me clarify that I meant the NoVA residents of, perhaps, the year 1965---BEFORE the massive transplant influx got fully underway. Planners at that time and in each successive generation SHOULD have planned better so that TODAY we would NOT have such terrible traffic congestion, Metrorail lines being built long after they SHOULD have been built to accommodate shifting population centers, a lack of sidewalks and bicyclist- and pedestrian-friendliness in many areas, a car-centric lifestyle, etc. What efforts were made by people in the 1960s and 1970s to plan ahead for the growth of the 1990s and 2000s? What efforts were made by long-time residents to question and needle their elected officials for how they would account for anticipated growth projections with PROPER infrastructural improvements (i.e. road-widening), new mass transit routes, locating new aquifers, planning out proper zoning charts to best utilize limited space, etc. A lot of you slammed me when I criticized the lack of affordable housing in the area, saying that sprawl was necessary to increase the housing supply to, in turn, lower housing prices. What if instead of building so many low-density sprawling neighborhoods in every corner of NoVA people had decided to better plan with more mixed-use and higher-density neighborhoods from the get-go? Then Fairfax County wouldn't have such a land crunch, and people who earn a high salary, even by national standards, wouldn't be confined to living in exurban areas because they couldn't afford to live anywhere closer to the city.

3.) I was using an example. One person called me a "jerk," so in my humble opinion that's on par with "you suck." I'll be in NoVA much longer than "just a year," much to my chagrin. I'm going to try to make the best of it, and you can bet your derriere I'm going to be rallying troops not unlike myself, Quiet Walker, Fern435, Alanboy, Alicia, etc., etc. to vote for change. Loudoun and Fairfax Counties are projected to continue be two of the nation's fastest-growing counties, and yet I now see Loudoun County making the SAME stupid low-density zoning mistakes that Fairfax County did when IT was growing rapidly from the 1980s to present. The answer, folks, isn't to "keep on building out." Do you really want to pave over all of the wine country and all of the exurban frontier on out to Winchester or Front Royal with low-density housing subdivisions and strip malls, or do you want some people to rock the "comfort zone" NOW to prevent that from happening? People just sat back for years while Fairfax County was paved over into the generic suburbia it is today. Do you want to see that happen to all of Loudoun County as well?

I agree with you as well. The land is gone, higher density, pedestrian friendly mixed-use development, with adequate public transit and plenty of public park space is what is needed.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,793,312 times
Reputation: 18991
Well, Scran, I wish you well with you political aspirations. But don't just rant about it on the internet, if you stay inside and do nothing but post on the internet you'll end up feeling lonely. If you really feel so strongly that change is needed, get out there. Getting out to rally like-minded people for your cause is a good way for a person who's just moved here to meet some friends. I don't think you will have much success with your urban planning causes--but so what? The experience is valuable, you may find other causes that appeal to you, and my hat is off to young people who get active in local politics.

May I suggest you start with the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce (you'll probably have better luck with them than with the Fairfax Chamber). Start by becoming a regular attendee at the After Hour Mixer or at the Breakfast meeting. Once people have seen you at a few events they will be more receptive to what you have to say. If I see you, I'll say hello.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,638,169 times
Reputation: 1292
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Well, Scran, I wish you well with you political aspirations. But don't just rant about it on the internet, if you stay inside and do nothing but post on the internet you'll end up feeling lonely. If you really feel so strongly that change is needed, get out there. Getting out to rally like-minded people for your cause is a good way for a person who's just moved here to meet some friends. I don't think you will have much success with your urban planning causes--but so what? The experience is valuable, you may find other causes that appeal to you, and my hat is off to young people who get active in local politics.

May I suggest you start with the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce (you'll probably have better luck with them than with the Fairfax Chamber). Start by becoming a regular attendee at the After Hour Mixer or at the Breakfast meeting. Once people have seen you at a few events they will be more receptive to what you have to say. If I see you, I'll say hello.
ScranBarre, you may also be interested in volunteering with the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,143 posts, read 67,240,082 times
Reputation: 15769
Quote:
Originally Posted by neighborhoodfind View Post
I agree with you as well. The land is gone, higher density, pedestrian friendly mixed-use development, with adequate public transit and plenty of public park space is what is needed.
Thanks for not flying off the handle at me! That is exactly my sentiment wrapped up in one neat, concise little package! I hate hearing that the only "solution" to the area's housing affordability crisis is to "build out more." Then when every inch of Loudoun County is paved over in 20-25 years for low-density tract-housing, as much of Fairfax County now is, housing values will go up there as well as land becomes scarce, creating a new "bubble," and people will say that the "answer" will be to colonize Charles Town, WV, areas NW of Frederick, MD, Front Royal and Winchester, etc., expecting people to commute well over an hour each way to work. When will it end? To quote one of my favorite songs "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot." NoVA is too beautiful to let it be destroyed by stupid people who think that "more sprawl" is the only way to accommodate more people. A large number of us, especially middle-class younger people and empty-nesters, would most certainly consider living in a reasonably-priced denser neighborhood, but instead of encouraging that style of "Smart Growth" (i.e. Reston Town Center or the future of Tyson's Corner) all I'm finding are advertisements for more and more and more newer single-family-home subdivisions. Why are so few developers bringing us more mixed-use high-density neighborhoods? Ultimately that is the ONLY solution to balance preserving the region's natural beauty AND accommodating the huge transplant influx that is anticipated in the near-future.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Springfield VA
4,037 posts, read 8,066,657 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Why are so few developers bringing us more mixed-use high-density neighborhoods? Ultimately that is the ONLY solution to balance preserving the region's natural beauty AND accommodating the huge transplant influx that is anticipated in the near-future.
Well I think the reason for more advertisements for single family subdivisions is because there's more demand for it. The developers could be blamed sure. Very easy but if there wasn't a demand for single family homes there wouldn't be any new ones being built. Most people want their own yard and space for their families. Also these mixed use places are expensive. The money saved by not driving everywhere is eaten up and then some for the luxury of walking.

For example I work in Shirlington very cute mixed use type area. There are office buildings, shops and restaurants people constantly walking their dog, a grocery store and movie theater. Boy oh boy would I like to live there. I'd walk to work, grocery store, library etc. Oh wait an apartment would eat up my whole paycheck. (none of my coworkers live in Shirlington) Wait there's a place that's just as nice but half the price? Oh but it'll be a 40 minute commute? Ok sounds good to me. Well a million other people had that same idea and thus the traffic problems we have now.

The solution might not just be mixed use places but mixed income as well but that has its own set of conumdrums.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:31 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,346,980 times
Reputation: 4002
Well, a lot of people actually like and want sprawl. Nice comfy place with a few shady trees around. A spot for a garden. Space to cook out or just sit out and enjoy the birds. Room for the kids to run and throw or kick a ball around out back. Maybe some nearby woods or creeks for them to explore. A lot of people still see that as a place they'd like to end up in one day...
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:12 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,403,779 times
Reputation: 734
Ok, I've been examining the businesses in Vienna's strip malls along Maple Ave. (and in its few cute older commercial uildings on Church St.), and, while there are some interesting ones, there's a lot of "meh," too.

What do all of you think of Occoquan? Tourist trap?
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:42 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,122,839 times
Reputation: 1264
Yes, suburbs exist because that's what families wanted and what they still want. Suburbs are the best place to raise kids, imo.

Scran, do I have this right? You are going to live in Fairfax and then go to Loudoun to tell land owners, often farmers, that you intend to cut the value of their land by not permitting them to sell it developers who you don't approve of because their plans for development don't fit with your ideas? Really? How do you think they might react to this loss of income, income for their retirement and for their children? Will Loudoun county taxpayers have to make up these losses that you hope to impose on these farmers?

Then you want to impose mix density housing on Loudoun county? I don't think that's going to work out in the country. Hillsboro, Waterford, Lovettsville, Philomont, and Bluemont don't need no stinkin' high density. Nor do they need some comehere telling them how to live, who to sell their property to, or what to build in their towns.

Normie's right, you are going to have to get off the computer, and actually talk with people face to face, if you are going to make it in politics. Or anything else.

Let us know how it all works out for you.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:48 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,122,839 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
...and yet you see no problem with the long-range urban planning of the past or present generations in NoVA, when EVERY area SHOULD have AMPLE opportunities for environments like that? Interesting indeed. See my point. Not everyone wants to live on a sidewalk-less cul-de-sac and sit in traffic for 15 minutes just to get to a store. Some of us want to be able to grab our bikes or use our own God-given two legs to WALK or BIKE to amenities. Why is everyone in NoVA so NIMBY about mixed-use zoning? Someone opening a bank, book store, or coffeehouse near your tract homes is NOT going to devalue your properties. On the contrary I know of MANY people, including myself, willing to pay a PREMIUM for a subdivision with very easy walkability to businesses.
Sounds like you should have moved to Vienna. Lots of sidewalks, lots of banks, lots of grocery stores, several coffee shops, and lots of people walking and an on bikes.

Oh wait, not much urban density, not many commercial business among the suburban housing. Nevermind. It won't work for you afterall.
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