AGP Statement on development plans for Wilson School/Rosslyn Highlands Park
The Arlington Greens approved the following position on the development plans for the Wilson School and Rosslyn Highlands Park area at its October 1st meeting.
The Arlington Green Party condemns both the process and results of recent government decision-making concerning the public land around the Wilson School and Rosslyn Highlands Park
Process: Final decisions were made during secret negotiations* between government and developers long before the public process began. Because the outcome was predetermined, the public process disregarded longtime local community requests in framing a draft proposal**, and disregarded local community responses to the draft proposal. Secret agreements and ignored input; that’s not consistent with the way government should function in a democracy.
Outcome: The Wilson school area is the only substantial family recreation area within easy walking distance of the nearby neighborhoods***. No urban planner would recommend intense development of the site. And yet that is what will happen. The historic elementary school will be torn down and replaced by a much larger structure. Parking lots and small fields and one story buildings will be replaced with skyscrapers. Greenspace in the heart of a city will be paved over, parkland will be given over to development, and families will have reduced playspace – these are astonishingly bad outcomes.
*Secret negotiations and disregard for local community input
See letter from Friends of Rosslyn Highlands Park dated June 16, 2014.
also: Personal Communication with Katie Elmore and Stan Karson, local civic association designees to the Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) process.
**Long time Community desire to save green space and historic space
-Many presentations to the APS and County Boards by Mark Antell and Stan Karson, local civic association contacts for Wilson School for over a decade.
-Arlington County Civic Federation resolution recommending preservation of the Wilson School Playfields, endorsed 2007 and reaffirmed in 2014.
-Historic Architecture and Landmark Review Board recommendations in 2007 and 2014 that Wilson School be designated an historic site.
***Wilson School / Rosslyn Highlands Park the only substantial recreation area within easy walking distance of the surrounding neighborhoods. Look at the map.