The issue of the Lamar narrowing went viral about the middle of last week when I was in Baltimore discussing a sizable investment in our city. My email started to blow up and the accusations started flowing in to a website called Next Door. I was called names and threaten with being voted out of office, etc., the usual. So I thought the best plan of action was education. I thought that even the most fanatical citizen would at least listen to reason, if reason was presented in a logical manner. So I called Bob Kembel the developer of the project and asked if he would consent to an impromptu meeting with the citizens of North Arlington on Monday evening. Now at this time I really was undecided as to how I was going to vote. Jamie Sullens was called and found a space at 6:00 on Monday at Shackelford Jr. High.
The meeting was very well attended and the estimate was about 150 people. We are blessed with citizens that want to know the facts about issues and want to be well informed about what is happening in their community. Mr. Kembel made a small presentation and then took questions for 1:45. I read an excerpt from the ordinance stating that if the level of service(LOS) dropped below a certain category, that is nationally determined, then the issue must be remedied. He can do this either by mitigation or reinstallation of the lane, at the developer expense. Mr. Kembel asked, how many were willing to give his plan a chance? I was standing in the back of the room so I could get a good view. An estimated 75% of the people raised their hand.
Tonight at the Council meeting about 40 supporters were in attendance and 6 citizens were against the issue. Ms. Canon was in attendance but left early, and did not voice her views. I did make a statement saying that this was a very difficult decision, but my personal views were not in consideration. My vote represented my constituents. One speaker against stated that there were many Viridian people in attendance, but he failed to mention that he resided in south Arlington himself.
I am certain that this issue will be watched closely in the future. Although Mr. Kembel has done everything he has promised in the past, we will see how it affects the quality of life of the Parkway Central residents.