YOUR VIEWS | Remember Who Came First


To the editor:

Residents of Cameron Station may be unhappy with their industrial neighbors (West End Residents at Odds With Four Industries, 5/28/09), but the important thing to remember is that so many of the businesses were there long before the Cameron Station Civic Association had members. Virginia Paving opened in 1960. Covanta began operating their waste-to-energy plant in 1988. Up until 1995, the Cameron Station real estate was a functioning military installation.

Most of these businesses appear to want to get along with their new neighbors but their attempt at goodwill is not being reciprocated. It seems the civic association would rather see these industries relocated possibly to Springfield. This NIMBY-ism could cost Alexandria in relocation and clean-up costs, tax revenue, consumer spending and jobs. Civic Association president Ingrid Sandlin implies Alexandria owes these businesses nothing because all of the jobs they create may not belong to Alexandrians, but she cannot claim all Cameron Station residents work, shop, recreate and eat exclusively within city limits either.

The rail line and Covanta plant have never been cleverly hidden from prospective homebuyers anywhere in the West End. Before exercising eminent domain, the Alexandria government should bone up on the maxim of the doctrine of caveat emptor let the buyer beware.

David W. Almas