Excessive density makes housing unaffordable

A new multifamily residential building is set to go up on the site of the North Royal Street Bus Garage, or "bus barn." (Photo/City of Alexandria)

To the editor:

We’re already in a climate crisis. We are already too densely developed in our city. We are in the top 10 of our nation’s overdeveloped cities. It’s wrong to think of our dwindling open space as a blank slate, available for more dense development. We depend upon our environment to breathe, to have clean water, for mental health and to not have such deep stormwater damage, including tree loss and sediment that flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

Our housing affordability crisis is intractable unless we do a better job of resisting the market forces that make cities so unaffordable. Our leaders are trying to keep our city livable in every way. One certainty is that we should avoid making one crisis worse while trying to solve another.

-Kathleen Kust, Alexandria