Opinion: Arlandria redevelopment represents progress

Opinion: Arlandria redevelopment represents progress
(CORE Architecture and Design)

To the editor:

For years now I have been a proponent of two things: the addition of affordable housing and urban revitalization through the use of approved zoning ordinances and special use permits.

Sometimes, one is impossible when the other exists but, not here, not in Arlandria.

Arlandria represents a culturally diverse community consisting of small businesses supported by subsidized, low- and middle-income housing that plays a key role in the economic viability of it’s surrounding communities and of the city itself.

I recently reviewed the proposal and, based on that scope of knowledge, I wish to express my deepest support for the proposed commercial evelopment in the Arlandria neighborhood.

Many of those who oppose the plan protest the issue on the basis that they believe as lower-income residents they’ll be displaced by the construction and that “gentrification” will do the rest. On the contrary, the current proposal which suggests the developer increase the amount of affordable housing in the area, thereby spurring economic growth through personal financial freedom, the jobs that come with the addition of small business and the construction of these facilities.

Alexandria is quickly becoming a progressive city and in order to play that role effectively, progress must be made in areas deemed otherwise lacking fiscal stability, such as Arlandria. I am hard pressed to oppose any development that will strengthen the commercial and residential stability of a struggling economic region.

The addition of modern, mixed-use, diverse businesses and the increase in affordable and subsidized housing represents a massive win for the city.

While not the case here, it’s long been my opinion that our current city council has alienated themselves from the general public and our citizens have become disenfranchised by the city government.

Perhaps the Arlandria community is so outraged because they feel there has been a lack of communication in the subject?

Either way, progress can almost never be a bad thing but progress without support is counter-productive.

– Scott Gordon
2012 Republican candidate for the Alexandria City Council