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Virginia Election Fallout: Democrats Want To Undermine Local Zoning, Urbanize the Suburbs

Virginia Election Fallout: Democrats Want To Undermine Local Zoning, Urbanize the Suburbs

“Under current zoning, new low-income housing is relegated to underinvested neighborhoods, concentrating poverty more. Ending exclusionary zoning has to be part of broader housing reform”

Virginia’s election fallout continues, moving from gun confiscation plans to “upzoning.”  Upzoning entails overriding local housing zoning at the state level to allow denser housing in the suburbs, including low-income and public housing.

It’s described as Democrats at the state level saying to “not in my backyard” suburbanites, “yes, in your backyard.”  The idea is to urbanize the suburbs by packing in as many people as possible while citing the white elitism of suburbs and the need to protect the environment.

The Daily Caller reports:

Democrats in Virginia may override local zoning to bring high-density housing, including public housing, to every neighborhood statewide — whether residents want it or not.

The measure could quickly transform the suburban lifestyle enjoyed by millions, permitting duplexes to be built on suburban lots in neighborhoods previously consisting of quiet streets and open green spaces. Proponents of “upzoning” say the changes are necessary because suburbs are bastions of segregation and elitism, as well as bad for the environment.

The move, which aims to provide “affordable housing,” might be fiercely opposed by local officials throughout the state, who have deliberately created and preserved neighborhoods with particular character — some dense and walkable, others semi-rural and private — to accommodate people’s various preferences.

But Democrats tout a state-level law’s ability to replace “not in my backyard” with “yes, in your backyard.”

Needless to say, they are not in the least concerned with what the people who live in the suburbs think or want.  The state knows best, after all.

The Daily Caller continues:

House Delegate Ibraheem Samirah, a Democrat, introduced six housing measures Dec. 19, coinciding with Democrats’ takeover of the state legislature in November.

“Single-family housing zones would become two-zoned,” Samirah told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Areas that would be impacted most would be the suburbs that have not done their part in helping out.”

“The real issues are the areas in between very dense areas which are single-family zoned. Those are the areas that the state is having significant trouble dealing with. They’re living in a bubble,” he said.

He said suburbs were “mostly white and wealthy” and that their local officials — who have historically been in charge of zoning — were ignoring the desires of poor people, who did not have time to lobby them to increase suburban density.

In response to a question about whether people who bought homes in spacious suburbs have valid reasons, not based on discrimination, for preferring to live that way — including a love for nature and desire to preserve woods and streams — he said: “Caring about nature is very important, but the more dense a neighborhood is, the more energy efficient it is.”

. . . . He tweeted Sunday that that would include public housing. “Important Q about new social/public housing programs: where are we going to put the units? Under current zoning, new low-income housing is relegated to underinvested neighborhoods, concentrating poverty more. Ending exclusionary zoning has to be part of broader housing reform,” he said.

Here’s the tweet:

Virginia Republicans are less than enthusiastic.

Tim Hannigan, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee — in one of the areas Samirah represents — said that urban Democrats were waging war on the suburbs.

“This could completely change the character of suburban residential life, because of the urbanization that would develop,” he told the DCNF. “So much of the American dream is built upon this idea of finding a nice quiet place to raise your family, and that is under assault.”

“This is a power-grab to take away the ability of local communities to establish their own zoning practices … literally trying to change the character of our communities,” he said.

He said suburbs were not equipped to handle the increased traffic, and “inevitably it will just push people to places where they feel they’ll get away from that, they may move to West Virginia to get their little plot of land.”


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“Luke, I am your father”. Embrace the blackface.

Democratic gerrymandering. The Empire strikes back.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to n.n. | December 26, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    “Samirah was a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine.[6]”

    “second-generation Palestinian American[2] whose parents were refugees.[3] His father was separated from the family while Samirah attended middle school when he was barred reentry into the United States.”

    Was da associate with terrorism?

    Palestinians routinely receive justice from Israel, just not enough so far.

Antifundamentalist | December 25, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Okay. Start with the neighborhoods where the Governor and the state legislators live. Put a low-income apartment complex on the grounds of the Governors mansion. Then build a duplex or quad in every neighborhood where a Virginia State Senator resides, preferably on the same block. If this is what they think the state needs, they can lead by example.

“Proponents of “upzoning” say the changes are necessary because suburbs are bastions of segregation and elitism,…”

Uh, no; bastions of hard work and good life choices.

‘Upzoning.’ These condescending authoritarian dip sticks never learn. Ever hear of California? People vote with their wallet & feet. I hear Texas has no state income tax and lots of room…

    Please, no more blue state missionaries trying to convert us Texans to the Gospel of This-Time-For-Sure-It-Will-Work Communism! I live in a college town in Texas, and know a few refugees from the People’s Democratic Republic of California. This is not a scientific sample by any means, but every single one of the refugees I know (a) fled the PDRC because of high taxes, lousy schools, crappy civil services, and rising crime rates, and (2) once here they vote for the same communist policies and politicians that wrecked the PDRC.

    Many of the transplanted Californians here consider it their sacred moral duty to uplift and enlighten the ignorant backwards racist sexist transphobic homophobic anti-science native Texans, even at the cost of turning Texas into another run-of-the-mill failed commie state like the PDRC. They sometimes mutter how “right-wing” the PDRC has become (!) and do not realize they are helping to spread the cancer that wrecked their home state.

      My apologies. I figured there would be some wash-over of sanctimonious leftists and their insanity of expecting different results, but I thought it would be a small minority immigrating to Texas since Kalifornication is prog nirvana.

      Apparently, I’m misinformed.

      Our old office manager moved from Massachusetts to Indiana after both her and her husband’s employers (different companies) left Mass within 6 months of each other because of the business climate there. Despite this, her and her husband’s fervor for collectivism and big government never missed a beat. It’s stunning how those morons either can’t connect the dots, or simply don’t want to. They are perfectly willing to sh*t in your nest after filling their own.

Now week or so the WSJ had an article about food deserts and illustrated with a guy from Oklahoma City (large land mass. These two concepts go together in that the people they seek to benefit by putting more low income in neighbors is that those folks tend to have transportation problems and the distance to the local food source (grocery store/Walmart) tends to be greater thus putting more premium on reliable transportation. Also the jobs (outside of fast food)tend to be farther away. As usual they have not thought out all the pieces.

    MajorWood in reply to freddy33. | December 25, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    In PDX they think sustainable is when the grocery store shoplifting is kept in the single digits. Our new black city council person wants to ban facial recognition cameras on private property (read, entrances to grocery stores) which will likely result in stores in “underserved areas” closing. At least they are consistent in not thinking ahead.

    artichoke in reply to freddy33. | December 25, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I am afraid they’ll plan for that and put in public transportation to support that low income housing they’re building. Apparently Virginia doesn’t have home rule and the state can just do this stuff.

I thank God I moved from VA. I lived in a very nice suburban neighborhood with a university on the main road. We had a couple of apartment duplexes that were rented out to the welfare crowd, and brother did they cause problems. The broke down fences to get to the school bus rather than walk around the block. They and some of the local thugs contributed to crime. They were loud, messy, and we who tried to keep our lawns and the streets in front of our houses clean, we often had to pick up after people who passed and casually littered.

I’m not white, and I’m not rich. All I wanted was this: to live in a neighborhood that I’d earned the right to live in by dint of working hard. I wanted a clean neighborhood in which I could walk without fear. During my time in Brooklyn, NY, I learnt that when you put project rats amongst working people, the latter lose because the project rats break in.

Governor Hoody Blackface would make this a racial issue. It is not racial. It is a working class issue. It is a hard work and the ability to enjoy the benefits thereof issue. It is about striving to earn better than what you have. When you give better to people who haven’t earned it, they don’t care for it, and they ruin it. That’s all.

    With the emphasis on the being-left-alone part.

    The descriptor I give myself is that of a common sense constitutionalist fearing government yet recognizing that some government is necessary, who basically wants the happiness that comes with freedom FROM government, and who subscribes to the leave-me-alone wisdom of Brandeis as expressed in Olmstead v. US (1928),

    “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred against the government, the right to be let alone—the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”

I think they vastly underestimate the ability of the locals to block projects they don’t like.

Putting a Section 8 housing block in the middle of a suburb with no bus service, no local services that don’t require a car to reach, and stuffing it full of people who rely on public transportation, is only the *first* part of many blinking red lights of failure on their legislative dashboard. Water, sewer, power, and other permits will be tied up in the city bureaucracy for years, banks will yank funding at the worst possible time, endangered species will be ‘spotted’ in the vicinity, soil tests will return with high levels of PCB, etc…

    freddy33 in reply to georgfelis. | December 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Now places like Kansas City are wanting to ban “discrimination” on source of income which is read as the landlord has to accept section 8. So remove the choice of whether or not the landlord has to participate in a overnment program and be subject to additional regulations.

    artichoke in reply to georgfelis. | December 25, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    I hope you’re right.

So I could do a duplex so I could live in one and rent out the second, maybe AirBNB or use it as a granny house?

    artichoke in reply to tz. | December 25, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    AirBNB has a lot of anti-discrimination regs, check with current owners to see if that’s really a good idea still.

As stated earlier, gerrymandering by zoning. If the red areas won’t walk onto the plantation willingly then by Greta (or God) they’ll force slavery on them.
Below is the liberal response to making their neighborhood integrated.

In my own ultra-liberal Berkeley neighborhood high in the hills, a plot of city-owned land was to be sold off, and “activists” demanded that public housing be constructed so that poor people could enjoy Bay views, too. You’ve never seen liberals turn on a dime faster than that. Locals came up with all sorts of objections, mostly couched in compassion — you see, without a car there is no shopping available.

In the end, the land was sold to a developer who put luxury houses on the plot.

HUD required county community development agencies to invest in low income housing within areas of “underinvested neighborhoods”. After doing so state funded nonprofits will sue the county agencies for discrimination in that they did not invest in “high priority” (rich) areas.

HUD under Obama had every intention to break local zoning. Not under Trump. But local areas now usually require any new apartment building to provide a small percentage of its apartments to rent to low income (50 or 60% if area medium income) or workforce housing. By doing so they hope to avoid the discrimination lawsuits.

But yes, the left has every intention of breaking local zoning and cause the densification of suburbia even if actually will hurt the people they hope to help. If local village or town governments think ahead they can probably avoid a lot of problems.

    artichoke in reply to Gersh204. | December 25, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Yes that was Obama’s plan. Here in Westchester County NY we were intended to be Ground Zero for his plans. We stood up to it by fighting back hard in court (by a miracle we were able to have a great Republican County Exec just for the years it mattered, now we’re back to a Dem prog) and in the suburbs, it was very important that we TAKE NO HUD MONEY.

    HUD can’t touch you if you aren’t in any of their programs.

    But that’s federal. We are mostly protected from the sort of meddling planned for Virginia because in NY we have local home rule. They can’t change our zoning. Seems Virginia doesn’t have that in their state constitution.

      don’t bet the farm and any of that, think ’eminent domain’, they can use that to acquire the land and build the new generation of low income housing. if you say they can’t look at what they use ’eminent domain’ for now with the KELO decision

One of the basic principals our country was founded on was our property rights. Especially the 4th Amendment enshrined these but little by little the government has worked to take these away. Yes, the guidelines for building a residence in my community may prevent duplexes, but they are there to maintain the value of our property. Any action that diminishes this value is a taking by the government.

    Milhouse in reply to 94Corvette. | December 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    You contradict yourself. Zoning laws like this violate those very property rights that you properly hail in the first part of your comment. They are among the most intrusive government actions, and the fact that they take place at the local level doesn’t make them any less tyrannical. Conservatives should be against big government at all levels, not just the federal or state level.

An obvious attempt to push illegals and Democrat leaning voters into the suburbs to turn local councils left. The police chief will follow as well as all zoning boards, education and commissions. Neighborhoods will be targeted based upon white/Jewish residency and a Republican council.

    alaskabob in reply to puhiawa. | December 26, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    But it allows new opportunities for new suburban crime. It isn’t fair that crime be concentrated when it can be shared and relocate wealth.

Democrats exploit problems. All of these bad consequences “caused by the racist Republicans (or white supremacists or Trump or…)” benefit the Democrats. And, why not spread the Utopian bliss of Baltimore?

The resulting problems are features not bugs. This is warfare not ignorance.

This reeks of UN Agenda 21 and UN Agenda 2030.

Don’t come to West Virginia. We have our own problems, like a church building an opioid addict rehabilitation center and housing next door to their Christian daycare center. I wonder how that will work out?

The article notes that the person they are quoting is the son of a Jordanian that was kept out of the United States for 10 years after 9/11.

It is very clear that immigration is allowing our governing bodies to be infiltrated by anti-Americans who have no interest nor familiar rarity with American law and culture

Get the Muslims out of our elected positions. They hate us and it shows.

America was built for real freedom, not the fake freedom that they prefer.

Ol’ swamp Ralph here is going to be surprised when the first shots of the new civil war are in his backyard.

He might be VERY surprised when law enforcement sides with the people of Virginia, not the swamp/left/islamic bastards trying to enslave them.

My father’s first suggestion would be to afix a stick of dynamite to each surveyor stake, and detonate. He thinks that might send a message. Or, wait for building to start. There is an optimal arson point where things are open and arson is most effective. That choice causes greatest financial burden.

Is it any wonder they want to disarm the dumb hicks?

HUD is like Education, a racket.
The Federales collect taxes and then dole the back to us, but only if we do things their way. I say roll back the Federales. Drop those departments and lower taxes.

Like this, maybe. If a state has a Department of Education, they get a block grant appropriate for U.S. taxes paid.

Governor Perry messed up a debate when he couldn’t remember the cabinet departments he wanted to eliminate. He should have said something like ‘I mentioned 3 by name but we could pull 3 department names out of a hat, eliminate those the Rinse and repeat.’

JackinSilverSpring | December 26, 2019 at 8:12 am

The people of Virginia voted these bozos into power. They deserve everything these bozos do to them. Maybe next time there is an election, the voters will vote these bozos out of power, but I’m not holding my breath on that.

This is about over-riding the sheriffs of the majority republican counties. They are trying anything to get your guns, even if it means ruining the rest of a beautiful state. Just look who is pushing this democrat voting block out to you. These roaches will vote to take your guns, schools, and lifestyles…

Whatever happened to the simple idea of living where you can afford to live and not living where you can’t? As a lifelong New Yorker, I always wanted to live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but with an average two-bedroom apartment costing $1.5 million and rent on a similar apartment at a minimum $4,000 per month, I cannot afford it, so I don’t live there. End of story.

    Kepha H in reply to chocopot. | December 26, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I get it, but in a lot of affordable areas, you spend oodles getting yourself to work to maintain a modest lifestyle because the affordable towns and communities have seen their economic bases gutted.

      chocopot in reply to Kepha H. | December 26, 2019 at 10:11 am

      Understood, but it is not up to the government to go into what is supposed to be the free market to upset the apple cart and screw up everything, which is, in fact, what they do in New York (rent control and rent stabilization) as one example, which only makes the problem worse. Government at any level has no authority to stick itself into these things, although the stupid Courts have allowed them to do so and in fact always make the problem worse.

Mixed feelings. I’ve been poor, and would’ve liked affordable housing near where I worked (Greater DC area). I’ve run into people on two-hour commutes to jobs that don’t really pay too much (but better than anything in their gutted small towns in WV and PA). But I don’t begrudge people who have it better than I; and I’m aware of what a welfare population can do to an area, especially when governments no longer uphold moral law in their positive laws, and even encourage the clients of liberal politicians to make trouble.

We alo have a crisis of affordable housing in this country. When I read of IT engineers who live out of cars in CA, I wince. I now live in a townhouse in a nice area, but both my wife and I are working well into our senior years (not complaining: Gen. 3:19), and we are a multigenerational home because our sons (one of whom is married and has kids) can’t afford the local housing.

The tepid response from the Fx County RP Chair illustrates the problem we have in VA with the party leadership – gutless.

This article from the American Thinker just scratches the surface of the problem. Since the election I have received 3 pieces of mail from RPVA – all solicitations stressing how we need to fight. I stuck a note in the reply envelope asking where was the fight when you couldn’t field candidates in 1/4 of the races, when you lost a 2 to 1 majority in 2 election cycles? House cleaning doesn’t begin to describe what is needed.

Perhaps most startling, the Virginia Republican Party failed to run candidates in ten out of forty (the 1st, 2nd, 18th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 34th, 35th, 36th, and 37th), fully one-quarter of Virginia senatorial races. In contrast, the Democrats contested all races but one, the 23rd district. A party cannot win elections without candidates.

The Republican Party also failed to contest twenty-three out of one hundred delegate races (the 11th, 32nd, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 53rd, 57th, 67th, 69th, 70th, 74th, 77th, 79th, 86th, 89th, 90th, 92nd, and 95th districts), again about one-fourth. While the Republican Party lost nearly a quarter of the House of Delegates seats by default, the Democrats contested all but seven races (the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 17th, 19th, and 78th districts).

No one is quite sure what the Republican Party stands for in Virginia, nor does a visit to the Virginia Republican website remove any ambiguity. A voter visiting the website and trying to find the Virginia GOP’s positions on important issues to the party, issues which are supposed to be helping voters with their problems, finds merely the Virginia Republican creed and a petition to stop the impeachment silliness targeting President Trump.

“Democrats in Virginia may override local zoning to bring high-density housing, including public housing, to every neighborhood statewide — whether residents want it or not.”cre

Nothing focuses a well-to-do prog’s mind as declining property values and rising crime in his neighborhood. My money says a lot of those VA suburbanites who voted Donk this year will flip to Trump next year.

    chocopot in reply to MarkJ. | December 26, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    My money says a lot of those VA suburbanites who voted Donk this year will flip to Trump next year.”

    Perhaps so, but they can do a lot of damage in the interim.

This article doesn’t make a lot of sense. To remove some zoning regulations that micro-manage what people can build on their own land is a step toward freedom, not a government imposition, and it doesn’t make sense to treat it as a conventional left-right issue.

It’s disappointing to see generally intelligent people speak of duplexes with horror as though they were high-rise “project” housing. Resistance to allow anything but single-family housing is part of why California has a distorted housing market.

    artichoke in reply to Norris. | December 27, 2019 at 2:20 am

    Distorted is in the eye of the beholder. Many people surely enjoy their California neighborhoods just as they are, and when they sell they make a big profit from a buyer who wants to enjoy the same thing.

    Despite the complaints, clearly people are able to live close enough affordably enough and get to work. Otherwise the companies would be empty.

In other VA news, things are heating up on the gun control front. This link is to a joint statement by VCDL (Virginia Citizens Defense League)and GOA (Gun Owners of America) on the 2A sanctuary movement and the AG’s opinion.

Currently, 87 counties, 10 cities and 17 towns have signed on to the sanctuary movement. The map here:

shows the breakdown. Note: the few localities who have voted against the and those who have not voted are both in black.

GOA and VCDL have led the movement.

And all because no one wants to admit that the crime and social problems that exist in some of America’s worst neighborhoods are there not because the housing is bad (although it often is), but because of the lack of social capital?

Although it surely would help if police could at least reduce the level of crime in such places without provoking bellows that disproportionate arrest numbers in one zipcode as compared with another could not possibly have a cause other than racism.

Remember what the 2nd was for?? Not just so we could have guns. Is was so we could PROTECT ourselves from GOVERNMENT!!

Look at the citizens of Hong Kong, Iran, and Venezuela. I’ll bet they wish they had something to protect themselves with!!!

I might feel a little differently about this if the Dems not only won almost every single legislative seat in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudon, and Prince William Counties and the City of Alexandria, but also that the GOP didn’t even show up to contest many seats across the state. Whatever happened to the awesome Virginia Republican machine of Dick Obenshain and John Dalton?

Virginia was once solidly red, but as the banner hung from the 14th Street Bridge to DC said “Mass Immigration Turned Virginia Blue”. True, but also the stupidity of all too many suburban women who think life must be all bliss, all the time, and “fear” guns, but not MS-13 in their neighborhoods.

Mykee the Patriot | December 27, 2019 at 12:58 am

Keep voting these idiots in and keep getting the same results y’all are getting now. It’s not rocket science people. Northam legalized murder in Virginia. I’m from Virginia so I know what that possible has done in my state. Killing a baby that’s already out of the mother is MURDER! That child is an American and has the same rights as you and me. It’s murder plain and simple and he has signed it into law. He should be tried and locked up for this. He ought to be hung for it but demonrats never have to pay for breaking laws. No politicians do for that matter. Just my opinion.

Mykee the Patriot | December 27, 2019 at 12:58 am

Keep voting these idiots in and keep getting the same results y’all are getting now. It’s not rocket science people. Northam legalized murder in Virginia. I’m from Virginia so I know what that possible has done in my state. Killing a baby that’s already out of the mother is MURDER! That child is an American and has the same rights as you and me. It’s murder plain and simple and he has signed it into law. He should be tried and locked up for this. He ought to be hung for it but demonrats never have to pay for breaking laws. No politicians do for that matter. Just my opinion.

Mykee the Patriot | December 27, 2019 at 12:59 am

Not possible. POS!

Coming soon to Virginia….their version of California.