Posts about Affordable Housing
When the District government bids out city-owned property for development, it asks for affordable housing to be part of the deal, but how much is enough? Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie is proposing that 20-30% of the housing in any such deal be affordable for low-income households.
On properties that DC has offered for development, like Parcel 42 in Shaw or the Hine School on Capitol Hill, the city has a great opportunity to not only create and enrich walkable neighborhoods, but receive additional benefits for residents as part of the deal between the city and the developer.
One of the greatest needs we have right now is to increase the supply of affordable housing. But how do we best maximize affordable housing in public land deals and do so in a way that's the best deal for the city and residents?
One in five DC households spends more than half of their income on housing, a severe housing burden, according to the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. Nearly all renters with this severe housing cost burden earn less than half of the area median income (AMI), or less than $48,300 a year for a family of three.
The purpose of McDuffie's bill is to ensure that DC fully leverages the deals involving city-owned land to address the continuing challenge of housing affordability for low- and moderate-income households. Under the bill, when DC sells or leases public land for private multifamily residential development, at least 30% of the units would be affordable if the project is close to a Metro station or major transit line. Developments elsewhere in the city must include 20% affordable units.
Affordable rental units would be available to households earning between 30% and 50% of AMI, or just under $30,000 and $50,000 per year for a family of 3. Owner-occupied affordable units would be priced for households earning between 50% and 80% AMI, or just under $50,000 and $78,000 per year for a family of 3.
McDuffie's bill would allow the city to subsidize the cost of the affordable units by selling or leasing the land at a discount, allowing the developer to pass on the savings to buyers or renters. If the land value is not sufficient to subsidize the required units, the bill provides for the District's Chief Financial Officer to certify that the alternative proposal nonetheless maximizes affordability, taking into account all available subsidies.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth highlighted the unpredictability of the city's commitment to affordable housing in public land deals last year in a report called Public Land for Public Good: Making the Most of City Land to Meet Affordable Housing Needs. It's encouraging that DC leaders are using another tool to create affordable housing, ensuring that households of all means can have a place in the city as it grows.
DC's Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) policy requires developers to set aside units in new construction for low- and moderate-income households. But zoning commissioners say the units may be priced too high for those families who truly need affordable housing.
During a discussion Wednesday night on the zoning code rewrite, DC Zoning Commissioners said that they are ready to revisit the income requirements for IZ units, which are priced for households making 50% or 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For a family of 3, that equals about $50,000 and $78,000, respectively.
If $78,000 for a family of 3 sounds high to you, that's because it is. The DC Fiscal Policy Institute has often pointed out that the biggest need for affordable housing is at the 50% AMI level and below. And commissioners agree that an 80% AMI target is too high to address the needs of most families who find themselves priced out of DC's rising market.
IZ units begin to enter the market
After adopting the policy in 2006, the Fenty administration delayed its implementation until 2009, following the housing market crash. By then, many already-approved projects had stalled. As the housing market recovered, these grandfathered projects, which didn't have inclusionary zoning units, moved through the construction pipeline.
One of those projects is The Louis at 14th and U streets NW, where a new Trader Joe's is slated to open soon. The original design for the project included IZ units, but they were eliminated due to the delay in implementation. Meanwhile, across the street is another sizable residential project that will also be completed soon, but since it was approved later, it has IZ units.
Only now are significant numbers of IZ units entering the market. According to the DC Office of Planning, as of July there were 265 IZ units on the market or about to be. That's about 11% of a total 2,404 units subject to the IZ law. Over the next several years, the pipeline is likely to contain about 1,000 IZ units.
Of the 265 IZ units the DC Office of Planning (OP) is tracking, 85% will be affordable for households making 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), while the remaining 15% will be affordable for households making 50% AMI.
Housing market has changed since IZ began
At Wednesday's hearing, Zoning Commissioner Michael Turnbull asked OP if it would be feasible to require a larger set aside than the current 8-10%. Planning Director Harriet Tregoning indicated that they could look at it, and that the policy might be able to offer additional bonus density. And Office of Planning Deputy Director Jennifer Steingasser said that her agency is planning to introduce a separate discussion on revisions to IZ regulations in January to address concerns about income targeting and other issues.
DC's real estate values are higher than they were before the housing bust, when the Zoning Commission adopted the IZ policy. This means there's more value in the bonus density that IZ gives a development as compensation for the cost of units rented or sold below market rate.
Not only does the current policy require builders to set aside IZ units based on income level, but it also distinguishes between high-rise and low-rise development. For high-rise buildings, which are more costly to construct and are generally 6 stories or higher, developers only have to set aside 8% of their units, and price them for households at the 80% AMI level.
But for low-rise construction with typically 5 or fewer stories, the set aside requirement is 10%, and the income targets are split between 50% and 80% AMI. Commissioner Peter May asked OP if this distinction gives developers an incentive to seek high-rise designation for projects that could also qualify as low-rise construction, and Steingasser said it does.
Housing prices in DC continue to rise. Despite a number of administrative problems that the city is still working to manage, IZ can offer an important source of new affordable homes and help preserve mixed-income neighborhoods.
Hearings on DC's zoning update continue this week with sessions today and Thursday on parking minimums. I'm testifying about the need to reduce or eliminate parking requirements downtown and in transit-accessible areas.
Differences in parking requirements across the US. Image from Graphing Parking.
Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to present my testimony. My name is Matt Malinowski and I live in the Truxton Circle neighborhood in Northwest DC. I would like to speak in favor of the proposed revisions to the zoning regulations, and in particular in favor of eliminating parking minimums downtown and minimizing parking requirements elsewhere, especially near frequent transit.
The current off-street parking requirements for general office uses most of downtown, including the C-2-B, C-2-C, C-3-B, C-3-C, and C-4 zones for buildings on lots greater than 10,000 square feet, is 1 parking space for every 1,800 square feet of floor space in excess of 2,000 square feet. This rule seems very precise, and I am sure that there are parties here tonight who would like to maintain it. But is it right?
Many cities across the United States either have or have had parking minimums, so there seems to be a precedent for maintaining them. But what is interesting is that each city has a different minimum, with Baltimore requiring more and Philadelphia less.
How can each city be right? Or are all the cities, and the idea of parking minimums with it, wrong?
One explanation for the variation is that each city is built differently, and the urban form of each city demands different amounts of parking. Sure enough, even within DC, the minimum parking requirements vary by zone, with less-dense commercial zones like C-1, C-2-A, and C-3-A requiring 1 parking space for every 600 square feet of floor space in excess of 2,000 square feet.
In effect, crossing the street from one zone to the other has tripled the parking requirement. But has the urban fabric changed so much that three times as many people will now drive to work?
M Street NW forms the boundary between C-2-A and C-2-C zones, drastically altering the parking requirements. Image from the DC Zoning Map.
The current system breaks down not just at the boundaries, but also within zones. In Truxton Circle, there are three schools within a block of each other: the newly rebuilt Dunbar High School, one charter school, and another charter school in planning. According to neighbors, cars are overflowing the parking lot at Dunbar, while the existing Community Academy Public Charter School (CAPCS) has recently built a parking lot for 140 cars overnight, and apparently without any permits.
Meanwhile, the forthcoming Mundo Verde Public Charter School is seeking a variance to give up 36 of its 53 required parking spaces and build gardens in their place. Staff are expected to ride bikes, so there are 20 bike parking spots instead, and the Metro is a 10-minute walk away.
Mundo Verde conceptual site plan showing proposed gardens. Currently, the entire lot is covered by parking.
So even for the same uses in the same location, one-size-fits-all parking requirements do not apply. Rather than develop even finer zone boundaries or zone definitions (an overlay specific to green charter schools?), how about a simpler solution: eliminate or minimize parking requirements wherever possible. That means downtown, in other higher-density zones, and near high-frequency transit.
Rather than perpetuating the current set of arbitrary requirements based on unknowable ratios of drivers to occupants, please focus on what we do know: land in DC is expensive and driving is unsustainable and causes congestion. Eliminating or minimizing parking requirements allows for the market to provide parking to those who truly need it, while making it clear that free parking is not a right, and that DC values its residents and natural environment over its cars.
Next Tuesday, there will be another hearing about parking minimums. Each hearing starts at 6pm at 441 4th Street NW, near Judiciary Square. To sign up to testify or show your support for the zoning update, visit the Coalition for Smarter Growth's website.
What do you think about my testimony? Please let me know in the comments. I hope to see you at one of the hearings!
Talk about upcoming elections in DC and Maryland, planning in Arlington, and find out how Vienna, Austria got its affordable housing at events around the region this week.
Transit reporters talk politics: How will Smart Growth issues affect the 2014 elections in DC and Maryland? Tonight (Tuesday), the Action Committee for Transit will host a panel discussion on transit and the election with the Washington Post's Robert Thomson, also known as "Dr. Gridlock," Ari Ashe from WTOP, and Josh Kurtz from the blog Center Maryland. Kyjta Weir, former Washington Examiner reporter and currently at the Center for Public Integrity, will moderate.
This free meeting will be from 7:30-9 pm at the Silver Spring Civic Building, located at the corner of Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring. For more information, visit ACT's website.
After the jump: Events in Arlington, Fairfax, Hyattsville, and of course, our next happy hour in Penn Quarter.
Hear Leinberger talk about Arlington: Arlington County's planning department kicks off its new speaker series tomorrow (Wednesday) with author and researcher Christopher Leinberger, who will give a talk called "The Urbanization of the Suburbs: Why Arlington is the National Model and Where Do We Go Next." This free event will include a Q&A session with the speaker as well as a networking reception.
The talk is Wednesday, November 13 from 6-7 pm at the Artisphere, located at 1101 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn. To RSVP or for more information, visit the county's website.
Spend Virginia's transportation money: Virginia's newly-passed transportation funding bill means new money for projects in Fairfax County. How should the county spend it? Fairfax County is holding its final two meetings this week to learn what residents want and find the best ways to get them moving.
The first is tonight, November 12 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the County Government Center at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. The second is tomorrow, November 13 from 6:30-8:30pm at Forest Edge Elementary School, located at 1501 Becontree Lane in Reston. For more information, visit the Fairfax County website.
Learn about Bus Rapid Transit on Route 29: Communities for Transit and the Coalition for Smarter Growth are holding an open house to talk about one of Montgomery County's proposed Bus Rapid Transit lines, on Route 29 between Silver Spring and Burtonsville.
Speakers include Planning Board commissioner Casey Anderson, county planner Larry Cole, Chuck Lattuca from the Department of Transportation, and transit advocate Mark Winston. The meeting is from 6-9 pm at the White Oak Community Recreation Center, located at 1700 April Lane in Silver Spring.
Testify on DC's zoning rewrite: DC's Zoning Commission is considering the first update to the city's zoning code since 1958 in a series of public hearings over the next two weeks. There are three: hearings this week: Tuesday will cover car and bicycle parking, Wednesday mixed-use zones, and Thursday downtown, PDR (industrial), and special zones.
The hearings are at the Office of Zoning, 441 4th Street NW at Judiciary Square. Each hearing starts at 6 pm and continues until all the witnesses are heard or the Zoning Commission decides to recess.
Tuesday's parking and bike parking hearing is now full, but you can still sign up for the overflow hearing the next Tuesday, 11/19.
...and in Montgomery County: Montgomery planners have also rewritten their zoning code to modernize antiquated, redundant zoning regulations and create new tools to help achieve goals in community plans. The County Council will hold public hearings on its zoning code update tonight and Thursday at 7:30 pm at the Council Office Building, located at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. It's too late to sign up for tonight, but you can register to testify on Thursday by calling 240-777-7803 until 5 pm on Wednesday.
...and Prince George's County, too (sort of): The County Council is holding a public hearing tonight on Plan Prince George's 2035, a vision for how the county should grow in the future. The hearing starts at 7pm at the County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive in Upper Marlboro. To sign up to testify, you can register online.
Join us for happy hour: GGW's regular happy hour series rolls into Penn Quarter this month. Join contributors and readers for drinks and discussion next Thursday, November 21 from 6 to 9pm at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, located at 639 Indiana Avenue NW, across from the Archives Metro station.
Let's talk affordable housing: Join the Housing Opportunities Commission, Montgomery Housing Partnership, and Coalition for Smarter Growth for a talk about Vienna, Austria's city-run housing program. Wolfgang Förster, Vienna's Chief of Housing Research, will discuss how to create more affordable housing in the DC region. This talk is today from 2 to 3:30pm at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, located at 5701 Marinelli Road in White Flint.
Let's talk buses on Rhode Island Avenue: Do you ride the G8, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, or T18 on Rhode Island Avenue? If so, join Metro for one of two public meetings on proposed service changes to these routes. The first is tonight from 6 to 7:30pm at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library, located at Rhode Island Avenue & 7th Street NW in Shaw, followed by another one tomorrow from 6 to 7:30pm at Hyattsville City Hall, located at 4310 Gallatin Street in Hyattsville.
And even more: WMATA will hold a webinar on its Regional Transit System Plan tomorrow from 12 to 1pm; the University of the District of Columbia is hosting a conference on sustainability about Hamburg, Germany on Thursday and Friday.
The largest generation in American history, Millennials are having a big impact on both national and local housing trends. But does it make sense to build housing specifically for them, as one developer wants to do in Wheaton?
There's been no shortage of writing about Millennials, or the generation of young adults between 20 and 34. On the one hand, they're flocking to places like the DC area for its strong job market and opportunities for urban living. On the other hand, they're often burdened with student loans and strapped for cash.
Nonetheless, developers are responding by building housing designed especially for them. Last month, AvalonBay presented early designs for a new apartment building at Georgia and Blueridge avenues in downtown Wheaton under its "AVA" brand, geared towards young, hip renters who want to live in urban areas.
Developers chase Millennial renters
The 325-unit, four-story building would replace a mostly-vacant 1960's-era office building; if approved, it could open by 2016. AvalonBay originally planned to build a conventional luxury high-rise on the property before the Great Recession.
Like H&M but for apartments, AVA is designed to cut costs while remaining trendy. It's the result of a 2008 renter survey that identified a group of younger renters who want to live in urban areas, even if it means living in a converted sunroom.
Other developers are chasing Millennial renters as well. In White Flint, Foulger-Pratt is working on a mixed-use complex called East Village that will have "smaller, cheaper" living spaces and "authentic" retailers.
Developers can be conservative, but their decision to build apartments for the young and hip in traditionally suburban places like Wheaton or White Flint says they're confident about those area's future. These are already two areas in Montgomery County where where Millennials cluster, and hundreds of apartments are being built in both communities right now. But can Millennials actually afford these units?
More attitude, less rent
AVA buildings are usually in gentrifying neighborhoods next to more established ones, keeping land costs down, and use wood-frame construction instead of more expensive concrete. Inside, the apartments are about 20% smaller than traditional units and swap out pricey fixtures like granite countertops and hardwood floors for laminate and vinyl. There are only basic amenities, like a exercise room and a courtyard.
Instead, AVA makes up for it with low-cost but high-impact design choices: bright colors and corrugated metal accents, a wall in the lobby that displays tweets from the neighborhood, and aggressive, cheeky marketing and signage. I visited AVA H Street out of curiosity in May, and for weeks afterward I got automated emails saying "Don't forget about me . . . Seriously, don't."
Some of these design features are really smart, like a customizable "gear wall" in the closet. But most of them are pretty superficial and will seem really dated in a few years when tenants "age out" of the buildings. At least it'll be cheap to redecorate.
That's a relative steal. But even if two roommates split the apartment, paying $1190 each, they'd both need an annual income of $47,600 to meet affordability guidelines. That's out of reach for many Millennials, and even those who could afford it may not want to spend nearly $1200 a month on half an apartment.
Of course, AVA and other buildings aren't meant to provide housing for all Millennials, but only those who can personally justify the expense. But building new apartments will increase the supply of housing, gradually lowering prices via filtering for older housing in the area.
And that's a good thing for Wheaton or any other neighborhood where AVA arrives. Whether or not they attract and retain Millennial tenants, they'll make the area more affordable for everyone regardless of age.
After a rocky start, DC's new affordable housing program, Inclusionary Zoning (IZ), is getting on track. It's one of many policies needed to address DC's growing affordability gap. In many affluent parts of town, it may be the only new affordable housing available.
IZ requires developers to set aside 8 to 10% of new housing in projects with more than 10 units for households making between 50 and 80% of the area median income (AMI), or incomes of $42,778 and $69,530 for a household of two. One-bedroom apartments in the program rent for between $1,006 and $1,610 a month, while similar condos sell for between $116,600 and $220,100. It's similar to Montgomery County's Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit program, which began in 1974.
Of 28 available units, one for-sale unit had been sold and 14 rentals had leased by July. According to the Office of Planning, another 262 IZ units are in the pipeline as part of 24 different projects, and more than 1,000 IZ units may enter the market in coming years.
How it works
Inclusionary Zoning, a national best practice, uses a zoning bonus to pay for additional affordable units in new residential developments. The subsidy for the affordable units is created through a density bonus, allowing more units than could otherwise be built there. This compensates the developer while saving the city money.
IZ also integrates below-market-rate homes into a larger, market-rate development as a matter of course. Mixed-income housing has long been recognized as having many advantages over exclusively affordable developments. Mixed-income housing in high-demand areas offer lower-income residents access to a higher level of services and amenities than is usually available in areas where affordable housing is concentrated.
It offers an important tool for creating and sustaining economically integrated neighborhoods. It helps ensure some level of diversity of housing choices in areas where demand is strong and growing, such as close to Metro stations, major bus or streetcar corridors, areas with good public schools, or close to downtown DC. The policy is designed to create below-market rate units wherever new housing is being built and keeps them affordable for the life of the building.
Unlike many other affordable housing programs, where low income housing tends to cluster in high poverty areas, IZ units around the country are predominately located in low-poverty neighborhoods. In DC's Ward 8, home to many low-income residents, as much as 90% of the housing in some census tracts is subsidized. But a 2012 study of Montgomery County demonstrates that IZ enables children from low-income families to live in more affluent neighborhoods and have access to high-performing schools.
Barriers to implementation
For all its benefits, DC has struggled to implement IZ since units began coming onto the market two years ago. The program's rigid implementation regulations made it cumbersome for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to administer, and the program was severely understaffed as well. In addition, more restrictive Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lending standards made it next to impossible for buyers to obtain mortgages for affordable housing. The first two units to come on the market didn't sell after sitting on the market, and the developer responded by suing the city.
But today, the city is making progress. DC has changed the standard covenant in mortgages for IZ units that release any price constraints in the event of a foreclosure, as required by the FHA. DHCD is considering measures to recoup the public subsidy in the unit that would be consistent with FHA rules.
The city is also making the process for marketing and awarding IZ units to buyers and renters more flexible. Today, DHCD awards units through a lottery, which the agency has struggled to implement, finding it to be a time-consuming process, and has failed to build a sufficient list of eligible and interested applicants. Under the new regulations, developers can use the lottery or create their own DHCD-approved marketing plan to find and select applicants for IZ units.
Finally, the city is moving to address the program's staffing issues by getting additional assistance from nonprofits. DHCD plans to add capacity from experienced nonprofits to give low-income home buyers more help during the buying or renting process as well as long-term stewardship of the units. DHCD hopes to have new nonprofit assistance in place by October 1.
The construction pipeline is swelling with residential projects subject to IZ requirements, and IZ units are starting to enter the market in large numbers. We have proof that private residential projects with IZ units can get financed, and that IZ units can be leased and sold. While the program still faces many challenges, we can learn how to make it perform better and deliver more mixed-income housing opportunities throughout the city.
Like other IZ programs across the country, DC's faces many challenges. Montgomery County's nearly 40 years of experience shows that programs need adjusting and refining over time. One of the key concerns for future action in DC is getting more deeply affordable housing.
In the current pipeline, just 15% of IZ units will be set aside for households making less than 50% of AMI, far short of the 50% housing advocates had originally hoped for. Once the program is running smoothly, the Zoning Commission should consider ways to create more "very affordable" units.
Some of the program's challenges don't have easy fixes, but DC can find reasonable solutions. Addressing these challenges will take the hard work and good will of activists, developers, and public officials. Given the benefits of mixed income housing in walkable, bikeable neighborhoods close to transit, and the growing need for more affordable housing choices, making IZ in DC work is worth the effort.
DC has a rich history of housing cooperatives, in which each resident owns a share of the entire property, not just their unit. While relatively unknown, there are at least 120 co-ops in DC, many of which are a great source of stable, affordable housing.
In a cooperative, each resident owns a share in the corporation that owns their property, entitling them to reside in a specific unit. The corporation has a board of directors and a management company, which maintains the property, screens new residents, and determines monthly fees or carrying charges.
Nationally, cooperative housing began in the late 1800s, but contemporary co-ops first appeared here in 1920. Banks would not finance the purchase of co-op units and condominiums did not yet exist, so early co-ops were a way for wealthy urban dwellers to own their homes and have control of their buildings. DC's earliest cooperatives were built along Connecticut Avenue, and the most famous example may be Watergate East, built in the 1960s.
Today, the creation of a co-op in DC usually takes a different path. Empowered by the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, many residents of low and moderate incomes consider cooperative ownership when their apartment building goes up for sale.
The DC government supports some tenants who choose this route by committing public funds for the purchase and rehabilitation of these buildings to make them affordable to the current tenants. Previously, federal Community Development Block Grants were a major source of funding for co-op development; now, the most likely source is DC's locally-funded Housing Production Trust Fund.
The cooperatives created with public funds are limited equity co-ops, meaning that there are restrictions on the price and resale value of a membership share. This ensures that cooperative units remain affordable in the long term.
Public investment in co-ops makes ownership available to low-income residents and helped maintain a much more diverse group of co-op residents. Today, there are co-ops in every ward of the city, with 3,000 residents living in 86 limited equity cooperative buildings.
Co-ops are tucked into neighborhoods around the city: garden apartments like Brightwood Gardens in Ward 7, an eight-story building in Logan Circle, a cluster of apartments in Columbia Heights named after civil rights worker Ella Jo Baker. These housing co-ops were created to preserve affordable housing and provide opportunity for residents of low and moderate income around the city.
Although many are skeptical that these tenants can own and maintain their own properties, 61% of DC's limited equity co-ops have been around since before 2000. This proves that co-op residents can own, maintain, and revitalize homes and communities.
On Saturday, organizations that support DC's co-ops will hold a DC Co-op Clinic to help strengthen the internal functions of DC's housing co-ops. Workshops will focus on how to be strong stewards of a collective property for this unique form of home ownership. For more information, check out this flyer.
Many DC renters can't access the tax benefits, stability and capital that a limited equity co-op provides, and traditional homeownership may not be possible either. Cooperative housing started as an option only for the wealthy, but today it's a gateway to homeownership and financial stability for those who need it most.
This week, learn about DC history and historical food, go for a walk around Tysons to learn about the Silver Line's impact, learn why power lines and parking spaces matter to affordable housing, and support Montgomery County's proposed BRT system.
Mayor Williams talks about gentrification: One of the most consequential figures in Washington's revitalization over the past dozen years has been former Mayor Anthony Williams, current Executive Director of the Federal City Council. Williams will "discuss changes in Washington's urban landscape and the history of gentrification in D.C. neighborhoods" at the Historical Society of Washington's annual meeting. That's tonight at the old Carnegie Library, 801 K Street NW at 6pm. For more information or to RSVP, visit the society's website.
After the jump, speak out at public hearings for Metrobus and learn about historic restaurants in DC.
Learn about DC history: In the early 1970s a collection of academics started a conference to share the latest research on Washington's national and local history, network with each other, and overall advocate for a greater appreciation of the city's history. This year marks the 40th Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies, with presentations on a diverse range of topics including alley life, Home Rule, the War of 1812, archaeology, and the latest in mapping technology.
The conference kicks off Thursday evening, November 14th with an opening lecture at George Washington University from Kate Masur, Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University, author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. Two dozen sessions then run Friday, November 15th and Saturday, November 16th at the Carnegie Library with a series of walking and bus tours offered Sunday, November 17th.
And edible history, too: John DeFerrari, GGW contributor and proprietor of the popular blog Streets of Washington, follows up his first book this fall with Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats. The book is the first of its kind, a comprehensive survey of the city's restaurants from the early days of its first taverns to the rich flowering of ethic restaurants that came in the late 20th century.
DeFerrari will talk about his new work at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library's Washingtoniana Division on Tuesday, September 24th at 7:00 pm. The event is free, but don't come hungry!
Improved Metrobus service? This week WMATA is holding public hearings to allow the community to weigh in on potential changes to several Metrobus routes. GGW contributor Matt Johnson's written about some of the proposed changes for buses serving Dulles and BWI and between National Harbor and Alexandria. All routes being reviewed are open for discussion at any of the public hearings.
The open houses will begin at 6pm, with the public hearings starting at 6:30pm at various locations throughout the region. Visit Metro's planning blog to find out which routes are being reviewed and the location closest to you.
View Tysons from the ground up: Join the Coalition for Smarter Growth for a walking tour of Tysons and learn more about the impact the Silver Line is already having on development and urban form. The tour will also include a discussion on how to preserve streams, manage stormwater, and explore the future of bicycling and walking in the areas.
The tour is Saturday, September 21 from 10am to 12pm and will start near the future Spring Hill Metro station, located near the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Spring Hill Road. Visit the Coalition for Smarter Growth for more information and to RSVP.
Better affordable housing: Join the Arlington County Housing Division (CPHD) and the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs for a discussion on Affordable Housing on September 19th from 6:45pm to 9pm at George Mason University. The discussion will feature a panel that discusses the impacts of various elements on affordable housing. The panelists include Dr. Michael Manville from Cornell University and local developer Mark Silverwood. To RSVP for the event click here.
Sit down for BRT: Next week on September 24th and 26th, there will be two public hearings on the County's 82-mile proposed Bus Rapid Transit system. Join the Coalition for Smarter Growth and other transit advocates to show your support for the plan by attending the public hearings before the County Council. For more details, visit the CSG webpage.
As always, if you have any events for future roundups, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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