To the editor:
Running for City Council in 2021 was the experience of a lifetime – even if I did fall short. I knocked on 1,400 doors and talked to thousands more residents during the campaign.
I learned a lot. Including that there is no mandate for Council to eliminate single-family housing zoning – or to fundamentally transform our city through the zoning code. I do not recall any of my opponents now serving on Council campaigning on eliminating single-family zoning.
Look at the voter guides in the Times of May 20 and October 21, and in the Washington Post of May 23 and October 31 to see what candidates told voters they would do if elected. No mention of eliminating single-family zoning.
During the campaign, I found a common theme among voters whom I met. Alexandrians, whether they live in townhomes, condos, apartments or single-family homes, love our city because it is diverse and it is a community.
In my 24 years as an Alexandria resident, I do not recall a proposal that so threatens this sense of community as the one being rushed before Council this month. Despite Mayor Justin Wilson having campaigned on “Uniting Alexandria,” the proposal to eliminate single-family zoning is doing the opposite.
The primaries for Council are less than seven months away. Council should hit the pause button on the “Zoning for Housing” proposal so candidates can run on the issue, and let residents decide, through their votes, what path our city should take.
-Darryl Nirenberg, Alexandria