Letter to the editor, the Washington Post from AGP chair John Reeder
Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette boasts (Aug. 24, “Why Arlington joined the battle against climate change”) about Arlington’s record on climate change.
But in truth, Arlington’s environmental record is pretty shabby. Board members favor high-intensity, high-rise buildings despite their increased demand for electricity and water, while allowing developers to expand building footprints and increase paved surfaces. Some recently built county buildings are energy hogs, having failed to include state-of-the-art solar and geothermal systems (examples can be found on the Washington-Lee and Yorktown High School campuses). Arlington’s heat sink has increased rapidly as the mature tree canopy and green space have disappeared.
LEED certification, for which developers receive “bonus” density, is oftentimes mostly cosmetic and lacking in solid environmental benefits. The Arlington County Board’s “smart growth” policy has triggered overdevelopment and the conversion of Arlington’s lower cost residential areas into neighborhoods only the wealthy can afford. This policy has forced thousands of moderate-income residents to flee to Woodbridge and beyond, exacerbating the very sprawl smart growth was supposed to halt and increasing traffic congestion and greehouse gas emissions.
Democrats like Fisette play environmental politics while excluding independent and third-party voters from meaningful participation that might result in actual improvements to Arlington’s environment. We need leaders in Arlington who support genuine green principals, not ones who just pretend.
the Arlington Green Party