I haven’t always been popular with developers. Most of the residential growth–apartments, strip malls,
fast–food drive–ins–that you do see along Route 1 is the result of what is known as “stale zoning.” Zoning that was approved, in some cases, decades ago (and didn’t require approval from the current Board of County Supervisors). As for many other development applications, I am known for just saying “no.” I’ve said no to residential, strip mall, and fast food drive-throughs because they don’t pay for themselves, don’t have the supporting infrastructure, or they don’t meet our design guidelines. Basically, I’ve said “no” to anything that doesn’t contribute to a compact, walkable, bicycle-friendly, mixed use, and more connected community. (Read more about smart development.)

Still, in a growing area like metropolitan D.C., development is inevitable. To me, it’s always been
about deferring that growth until we catch up and address the infrastructure deficit. Infrastructure
comes first to better accommodate and manage that growth. Additionally, we needed a welldefined
vision about how to manage that growth in a way that enhances everyone’s quality of
life and provides economic opportunity for all who live here.

I’m pleased to say that we have more than $1 billion and growing in new infrastructure in New Woodbridge. Infrastructure includes new and widened roads and bridges; new and expanded
schools; new gas, water, and electric lines; more and better sidewalks and trails, additional
commuter parking lots, and a nascent 50–mile Woodbridge Loop. As a result of this on–going
investment, the development community is now knocking at our door. Builders specializing
in mixed-use, smart growth, live/work/play centers and that have agreed to comply with our
design guidelines, are now considering expanding existing centers and building new ones.
The litmus test I apply to all new development includes the 10-Smart Growth Principles below:

• Creates a mix of land uses (residential, office, retail)
• Takes advantage of compact building designs
• Creates a range of housing opportunities, choices, and price points
• Creates walkable, bicycle-friendly, neighborhoods
• Fosters distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
• Preserves open/green space, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas
• Strengthens and directs development in existing communities
• Provides a variety of transportation/transit choices
• Makes development decisions predictable, fair, and cost-effective
• Encourages community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions

As these development discussions progress, please plan to participate in my town halls, tele townhalls,
civic association meetings, and other forums to help shape your community. While New Woodbridge will not happen overnight (and is in fact years in the making), this is the type of development that could earn my “yes” vote on the Board of Supervisors when the time comes.

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