From Matt de Ferranti <[email protected]>
Subject Reflections on 2022, First Meeting of 2023, & Preview of Missing Middle Debate
Date January 3, 2023 4:00 PM
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Dear Friends,

As we start 2023, housing remains central to the work we will do over the coming month and the work I have been focused on since I last wrote you. I'll summarize that work below and give you a sense of what I see ahead for 2023, but first, I recommend this three minute video that summarizes the major actions your County Government took this past year.
[link removed]
This 3 minute Year in Review Video gives a sense of your County Government's Work This Year.
At the December County Board meetings, we approved a site plan for the Macy's Building in Ballston and a plan for affordable housing in Crystal City. Over the coming weeks we will hold public hearings and advertise a draft version of the missing middle proposals that have captured Arlington's attention this past year. The Board also took action on next year's budget and approved funding for historic preservation.
At the ribbon cutting for the Cadence, an affordable housing development in the Buckingham Neighborhood that will provide homes to more than 200 low and moderate income households.
On housing, the Board approved the redevelopment of the Macy's site in Ballston with a 553 unit apartment building, along with the preservation of 118 units at the Haven Apartments. The action takes an older set of units that are dilapidated and market rate and requires that the 118 units be renovated and affordable for the next 30 years.

The action on the 118 units, along with with the additional housing supply of 553 units that is within two blocks of the Ballston Metro, moves our community forward in a manor that is fully consistent with the significant majority of conversations on affordable housing that have come with the discussions related to missing middle last year. This project was a step I believe all or almost all of us agree on.

[link removed]

Video of the Swearing in Ceremony.
For Brooke's remarks and mine, go to 21:50 in the above video.

The Budget
The Board worked on budget direction, which included my language on economic development, a critical issue at this moment that I will be focusing on this year. The Budget will be tight this year due to our 21% plus office vacancy rate. That level is not out of proportion with the rest of the region, but we do need to work on it, and I will.
To provide input, go here: [link removed]
We want to hear from you on your priorities in the Budget over the coming months before we adopt a budget in late April. To provide input, go to the link here: [link removed]
My parents and I found a day to go to Philadelphia to visit Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed 11 years apart.
I want to share two links on 2023 and a way to watch the County Board's first meeting of 2023, tonight at 6, where I will share my priorities for this year.

First, 22 Good things that happened in 2022. [link removed] Second, reasons for optimism in 2023. [link removed]

[link removed]
Tune in tonight at 6 pm for the Arlington County Board's Organizational meeting where I'll share priorities for the Year to Come

Finally, the process to come on missing middle. The Board will take up a rough draft of the proposal or, more accurately, set of policies, on January 21st and the week that follows. There will be advocacy before then and I anticipate that the coming weeks will include a contentious debate. To be clear, we will then take an additional two months to consider the details, with March as the planned date for final adoption. This first step will be one to begin debate in earnest, not an end point. We must remember that.

On missing middle, I plan on being true to the approach I took in campaigning last year, which is outlined at the bottom of this page: [link removed] We must move forward, listening to all residents and working to build consensus. The status quo won't work, but we must be thoughtful and develop a policy that works best for Arlington as a whole.

Looking forward to the year and work to come.

With you,


Authorized by Matt for Arlington

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