They want to make my condo illegal

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rezoning targets rowhouses in Columbia Heights

Looks like the Advisory Neighborhood Commission for where I’m going to be living is trying to block the condo-fication of row houses, which of course is exactly what we just bought. The claim is that taking one single-family row house and turning it into multiple condos will increase traffic, limit parking, and diminish “the architectural integrity of the rowhouse blocks”.

They probably have a point, but trying to revitalize the neighborhood, and then insisting that everything stay the same, is kind of counterproductive. I’d like the neighborhood to keep some of its history, its personality, etc. If we wanted cookie-cutter suburbs, there are plenty of places in Fairfax County.

There’s going to be more traffic. It’s just a fact. As the area becomes a bigger draw, more people will come there. Parking will get worse. Traffic will get worse. Re-zoning will perhaps slow the tide, but it won’t turn it back.

And if your goal really is to keep the architechture, then make sure the outside of the houses stays more or less the same. Personally, I love the look of the old row houses. I wish our developer hadn’t made our building look like an office building. But these are separate issues.

I don’t really know what the solution here is. I agree with the intent of the ANC, but I’m not sure I agree with the execution. I guess I’m going to have to start going to these meetings when I move down there.

Posted in: Harvard Street