Friday, April 01, 2011

Out Like a Lion

Here are a few news items that may be of interest to readers as we start a new month.

Recognize This Snapshot?

The neighborhood's anger over the City's support for ARHA's acquisition of Pendleton Park has not receded by any means and perhaps it will move up a notch if readers know how our neighborhood has been characterized by the City Manager. In ARHA's application for VHDA Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, the City Manager provided on p. 52 a certification about our neighborhood that is a doozy.
I certify that the above-referenced development is located in a Revitalization Area in my jurisdiction. A "revitalization area" is any area that is (1) either (1) blighted, deteriorated, deteriorating or, if not rehabilitated, likely to deteriorate by reason that the buildings, improvements or other facilities in such area are subject to one or more of the following conditions - dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, light or sanitation, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use, or faulty otherwise [sic] inadequate design, quality or condition, or (2) the industrial, commercial or other economic development of such area will benefit the city or county but such area lacks the housing needed to induce development, industrial, commercial, governmental, educational, entertainment, community development, healthcare or nonprofit enterprises or undertakings to locate or remain in such area, and (ii) private enterprise and investment are not reasonably expected, without assistance, to produce the construction or rehabilitation of decent, safe and sanitary housing, and supporting facilities that will meet the needs of low and moderate income persons and families in such area and will induce other persons and families to live within such area and thereby create a desirable economic mix of residents in such area.

I understand that this Certification will be used by the Virginia Housing Development Authority to determine whether the development qualifies for points available under VHDA's Qualified Allocation Plan.

Yours truly,
James K. Hartmann
City Manager
The Growler doesn't even know where to begin when analyzing this description of our neighborhood, but if readers find this characterization unbelievable they may want to E-mail Council with their objections (see the link on the right column). Perhaps with this document in hand, all of us need to appeal our real estate tax assessments.

Crime Beat

The Alexandria Police Department has announced -- with justifiable pride -- that in 2010 the City experienced the lowest number of total annual crimes since 1966. Homicide, robbery, burglary and auto theft all experienced decreases in 2010. Rape and aggravated assault were up, but overall crime decreased 0.9% from 2009. Kudos to Police Chief Earl Cook and his force, especially the community police officers and their captains who play a key role in making our neighborhood a safer place to live.

BIAG Critique

For those interested in the recent Braddock Implementation Advisory Group (BIAG) meeting, Collin Lee's letter to the editor in the current edition of the Alexandria Times is required meeting. He succinctly dissects the problems with the implementation of the controversial Braddock Metro Small Area Plan and notes the City's inconsistency in observing its own principles. Frankly, given the Council's recent actions, is this plan worth the paper it's written on?