Monday, September 10, 2007

Affordable housing a subject of civic associations in Arlington VA



Early this evening, I joined about forty other people for an "Adventuring hike" -- walk , about one mile, but up and down the Fall Line running through Arlington -- of the old neighborhood tucked away, almost hidden, between US 50 (Arlington Boulevard) and Fort Myer, VA (where I was stationed a few months on my first Army permanent party assignment in the summer of 1968). The civic association's territory crossed over Route 50 onto the shelf of the Court House / Rosslyn area.

For a number of years, land developers have been buying apartment buildings and converting them into condos for people with more money. Sometimes, they raze the buildings and play Monopoly with the land. County board members said, Virginia is a conservative state with little home rule on concepts like land use and landlord-tenant relations. (Insurance companies generally like Virginia, and auto insurance is lower than in many other states.) The pace may have slowed during the mortgage crisis, but probably not for as long in the doorstep of Washington DC as anywhere else. The neighorbood shown is as close as a neighborhood in VA gets to DC.

I checked on the commercial tax increase issue (my Aug 6 entry on this blog) and the general answer was, no, it should not effect residential use or taxes in any way; the issues I raise in that blog entry are ideological issues that occur in other parts of the country, especially those with high property taxes.

There was another article on the commercial property tax increase in the DC Examiner for Fairfax County by William C. Flook, "Fairfax C. supervisors might pave the way for tax increase," p. 4. Bill Turque has a similar story in the Sept. 11, 2001 Washington Post, p B01, on Fairfax County, "Board Takes Steps to Raise Commercial Tax," here.

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