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How Many Pockets did the Arlington County Board Pick as a Result of their Lot Coverage Decision?

On Tuesday evening, the Arlington County Board voted to restrict the property rights of Arlington property owners, effectively reducing the value of many Arlington properties. (See previous post for background.) In response to hundreds of phone calls and e-mails to the Board office on Monday and Tuesday urging the Board to follow the advice of the Arlington County Civic Federation, which "called for no change to existing rules," as reported by the Arlington Sun-Gazette in a special midweek article, the Board's chairman said "doing nothing was not an option." There was no other explanation to justify what amounts to the downzoning of your property. Will the Board's decision to restrict property rights, although dressed-up as lot coverage, reduce property value? We believe that owners of older homes will find the value of their land (vs. the value of the 'improvements') reduced because builders will be constricted in the size of home that can be constructed. Over time, those decisions will spread throughout county. The Washington Post and NewsChannel8 also covered the Board's decision. The county issued a press release late Wednesday afternoon.

Expect more growling on this theft of property rights in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, homeowners may want to ask a realtor whether the Board's decision has made their property nonconforming.