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Waiting To Demo North Woodbridge

By Greg L | 19 May 2010 | Prince William County | 12 Comments

The Board of County Supervisors accepted a proposal to add between 2,500 and 3,500 high-density residential units as part of the master plan for North Woodbridge this week.  I’m sure on some level this makes sense, but I sure don’t get it.  The county really isn’t in much need of high density residential development, and we certainly aren’t in need of the political demographic that accepts commune-style, stacked-on-top-of-each-other housing as an acceptable way to live.  Above all, I can’t imagine North Woodbridge is all that attractive for folks to move to prior to leveling a vast majority of the area and turning it into a pasture.  But if Prince William County’s enclave of communists is going to survive, in the name of diversity of political thought, I guess this is the only bone the Board of Supervisors could possibly throw.

Only Republicans, or in this case a Republican-majority board, would ever lay the demographic groundwork for their political opposition.  I’ll bet Frank Principi is all excited about the future construction of “Arlington-lite” in his district, though.  He and Gerry Connolly positively salivate over such a thing.

Here’s what I see happening:  I don’t see the demographic explosion of the county continuing as it has over the next ten years.  Aside from fluctuating immigration, there simply hasn’t been the birthrate sufficient to justify massive high density residential development in the county, so any hopes of demanding sky-high rents and condo fees for this is utterly ludicrous.  Developers will have some pie-in-the-sky idea that an investment like this is going to make sense, they’ll build the darned thing, and then they’ll lose their shirts as they find they won’t be able to fill such a monstrosity.  It’ll become a terrible mess.

Then we’ll have two options.  Either this becomes affordable assisted living housing, or Section 8 housing.  After the baby boomer demographic moves through, those options will be narrowed to one.  Then North Arlington is going to be a really special place.  The communists will absolutely love it.  The rest of us?  Perhaps not so much.

I was under the impression the Board of Supervisors intended to get as much commercial development going in the county as possible in order to reduce the distance people have to travel to their jobs and improve the commercial-residential tax base balance.  Both conservatives and liberals like that idea, and not too rarely for largely the same reasons.  Instead, it looks like some folks insane enough to think they’re going to make money building a facsimile of Arlington in Woodbridge have convinced the Board to go a different route, and pretty much no one is likely to come out ahead in this deal in the long run.

Well on the other hand, watching high-rise public housing developments get blown up is amusing.  It just takes so darned long between the time a development sinks into the morass of crime and poverty and the time it’s amusingly blown to bits with a ton or two of trinitrotoluene.  People get impatient waiting so long.



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12 Comments

  1. Senator Scott Brown (RINO) said on 19 May 2010 at 8:02 pm:
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    You hit the nail on the head on that one Greg. My thoughts precisely! This is why I have grown to loathe republicans over the past 30 years. The old saying “there are two parties; the evil one and the stupid one” is perfectly evident in this case. All those high density developments are going to be 85% democrat lefties and no republican will ever represent Woodbridge again. There is a perfect case study of this scenario in new Belmont right now. A developer came in and built a huge high rise that was supposed to be upscale condos. Then they couldn’t sell them, went back to the county and rezoned it low rent apartments. This bait and switch game will play out exactly the same in the proposed site and this county will suffer a similar fate. In the early 90’s the county paid for a study on housing and its impact on the county budget. I believe it was conducted by GMU. The results were clear and dramatic. It said every single family unit built was a net plus in terms of social services used verses taxes collected and every town house and rental unit was a net loss. So what did the county do over the next 20 years? They zoned Zillions of ugly, cramped townhouses across the county and look what it got us. Shame on you BOCS!

  2. Disgusted said on 19 May 2010 at 8:27 pm:
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    Who is the big winner in this deal? The developers, of course. Which of the BOCS members voted for approval of the project? How many received campaign contributions from these same developers or their fronts?

  3. starryflights said on 19 May 2010 at 8:42 pm:
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    I am REALLY disappointed to hear this. I guess it is time to vote all of the BOCS out and start again.

  4. NoVA Scout said on 19 May 2010 at 9:49 pm:
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    Is it the point of the post that zoning decisions and housing density should be made based on a perception that one end of the political spectrum either “chooses” or “likes” high density living, and the other end does not? Is this like gerrymandering electoral districts?

  5. Cromagnum said on 19 May 2010 at 11:06 pm:
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    Didnt a developer try to build 3 large tower condo buildings on the Occoquan Waterfront, off of Annapolis Way? Dug a large pit, and even had a tower crane. Now there is chainlink fence aroundthe parcel to keep out motorbikes.

    If private enterprise cannot do this, then it is a bad idea for Prince William county.

  6. park'd said on 20 May 2010 at 6:37 am:
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    More section 8 blacks, white trash and illegal aliens. Sounds a lot like manassas park (not deserving of capitalization) these days. Enjoy, I know I sure do…

  7. Gurduloo said on 20 May 2010 at 8:20 am:
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    I say leave decisions like this up to the property owners and let the free market sort it all out.

  8. Robert L. Duecaster said on 20 May 2010 at 9:37 am:
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    Get ready to open your wallets to pay for the increased need for social services, schools, and police. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that these projects pay for themselves. They always have been, and always will be, a drain on the local economies that are stupid enough to allow them in their jursidictions.

    As is the case with the illegal invasion, one must ask why such nonsense is tolerated. Again, follow the $. As is the case with the illegal invasion, the benefactors of this plan are the businesses that prosper when slave labor is readily available. These 21st century slavemasters will eventually destroy this Nation, just as their 19th century predecessors almost did.

  9. Just the Facts said on 20 May 2010 at 10:52 am:
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    The value required of a residential unit to breakeven in terms of the taxes it generates (real estate, sales, personal property, etc.) and the public services it consumes is about one-half million dollars. These condos will assess at no where near that value.

    The proponents tell us that we will get businesses, offices, etc. but that never happens. Look at Southbridge, Belmont, etc., etc., etc. The developers promise the world, build what makes money for them, and then get out of Dodge.

    Expect nothing different here. Higher taxes and more non-Republican voters.

  10. Senator Scott Brown (RINO) said on 20 May 2010 at 2:18 pm:
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    To Nova,

    Yes!

  11. Right to Know said on 20 May 2010 at 10:51 pm:
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    This all started out years ago. There was a need and still is to clean up Rt. one.It’s been slated for widening and it never happens.Once it would be widen ,it would get rid of all the old junky buildings that absent owners rent out cheap.
    Get rid of the junk that lays around and hangs around,enforce the laws on the books and make the businesses follow their Rules of no banners,signs,and vehicles parked in the grass all in order to show their display.
    If this would happen we may see some life on Rt. One.
    We have not bought many cars on Rt. One. We go to Manassas and even Stafford.
    Many years ago Ms. Seefelt wanted to see the commercial base get to 25%, well guess what it didn’t get there and now I understand it is really low. We are not going up but we sure are coming down fast. Maybe her and her commrades should show some concern.But then why should they. They now have new Supervisors and a Mr. Connelly,who can take it down,down,down.

  12. Good Time Charlie said on 22 May 2010 at 12:29 am:
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    Right to Know……enforce the laws on the books. Unless the next Chief of Police is a hire from outside of PWC, I wish you luck with that observation.

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