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City exodus

rocotten

Member
Messages
9
Points
0
jresta said:
I doubt the federal government is going anywhere in a hurry, nor are the legions of bottomfeeding lobbyists that took up shop down the street so that might be one reason DC will survive.

Aside from that, $million condos don't bloom like cherry blossoms in cities that have nothing to offer or are on the decline. I had a friend who lived in Arlington and my dad recently moved to the Maryland suburbs from NYC. I know how far out both of them had to move to find rents they could afford.

They glory days of the suburbs have come and gone. A lot of people on here tend to think that mobility will be the thorn in the side of the suburbs from the traffic perspective. I think it's going to come from the cost of fuel. Time will tell.


Wow, if Arlington is far out, I wonder what you think of all the people who live out in Leesburg, Stafford, Frederick, Fredericksburg, or even West Virginia who commute inside the beltway every day. It ain't New York.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
rocotten said:
Wow, if Arlington is far out, I wonder what you think of all the people who live out in Leesburg, Stafford, Frederick, Fredericksburg, or even West Virginia who commute inside the beltway every day. It ain't New York.


I didn't say Arlington was far out i said "i know how far out both of them had to move to find rents they could afford." My friend who lived in Arlington was priced out of the rental market in Clarendon and moved to Shirlington before being priced out again and moved to Vienna then, when it came time to buy wound up in Sterling in Loudon County. My dad is out just past Greenbelt, MD.

Either way both of them live outside the beltway and in both cases it's not by choice.
 
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jresta said:
I didn't say Arlington was far out i said "i know how far out both of them had to move to find rents they could afford." My friend who lived in Arlington was priced out of the rental market in Clarendon and moved to Shirlington before being priced out again and moved to Vienna then, when it came time to buy wound up in Sterling in Loudon County. My dad is out just past Greenbelt, MD.

Either way both of them live outside the beltway and in both cases it's not by choice.

There really is not much difference between prices inside and outside the beltway (in Virginia at least). Non-ghetto two bedroom apartments run no less than $1300/mo in Leesburg, while similar units can be found in Arlington and Vienna for the same. If your friend was priced out more than a few years ago, they could easily sell their "far out" home for an incredible amount higher than they bought and find a place closer in. It's definitely far more expensive to buy in Loudoun than Arlington or DC. That may seem counter-intuitive, but it's true.

Futhermore, saying someone is far out really depends on what the "center" is for them. Where does your friend work? DC proper is hardly the job-center of this area and Sterling is placed nicely among hundreds of thousands of jobs along the Dulles Corridor and even county government positions in Fairfax and Leesburg. Right now, I'd be willing to bet the Herndon-Reston-Tysons area is the "center" for just as many people as DC is.
 

rocotten

Member
Messages
9
Points
0
valhallan said:
There really is not much difference between prices inside and outside the beltway (in Virginia at least). Non-ghetto two bedroom apartments run no less than $1300/mo in Leesburg, while similar units can be found in Arlington and Vienna for the same. If your friend was priced out more than a few years ago, they could easily sell their "far out" home for an incredible amount higher than they bought and find a place closer in. It's definitely far more expensive to buy in Loudoun than Arlington or DC. That may seem counter-intuitive, but it's true.

Futhermore, saying someone is far out really depends on what the "center" is for them. Where does your friend work? DC proper is hardly the job-center of this area and Sterling is placed nicely among hundreds of thousands of jobs along the Dulles Corridor and even county government positions in Fairfax and Leesburg. Right now, I'd be willing to bet the Herndon-Reston-Tysons area is the "center" for just as many people as DC is.

Agreed. Although I currently work in DC, I would way rather be working in the Dulles Corridor and will someday be looking to work nearer to there. I have lived in Vienna my whole life (I'm 23) and just graduated from Virginia Tech. I'll be living in my parents basement until I can afford to live on my own. All these yuppies who have moved in over the last few decades have brought up the price of living in this area to the point where you can't even afford to live in or near your hometown. I'm young, but No. Va. hasn't been this awful for a very long time. Everywhere I look, small houses are torn down, and two mansions with no yards fill its place and look horrible in the neighborhood. My parents are at the point where they don't want their property values to go up anymore because of the taxes. The traffic gets worse every day, but I have hope for the future of the area (obviously it's gotta grow). My dad's only 52 but he remembers when Tyson's Corner was an intersection with a gas station nearby (currently the Exxon station next to the Container store.). I wonder what it will be like when I'm old. Alright, I really could rant for the whole day on things that annoy me about suburban sprawl in the DC area (I really like what Arlington is doing by the way). I also agree with the person who said trees make the DC suburbs nice. I agree. I have been to other places where it seems like you can see townhouse and apartment developments for miles with few trees. It does make it seem like less congested.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
valhallan said:
There really is not much difference between prices inside and outside the beltway (in Virginia at least). Non-ghetto two bedroom apartments run no less than $1300/mo in Leesburg, while similar units can be found in Arlington and Vienna for the same. If your friend was priced out more than a few years ago, they could easily sell their "far out" home for an incredible amount higher than they bought and find a place closer in. It's definitely far more expensive to buy in Loudoun than Arlington or DC. That may seem counter-intuitive, but it's true.

Futhermore, saying someone is far out really depends on what the "center" is for them. Where does your friend work? DC proper is hardly the job-center of this area and Sterling is placed nicely among hundreds of thousands of jobs along the Dulles Corridor and even county government positions in Fairfax and Leesburg. Right now, I'd be willing to bet the Herndon-Reston-Tysons area is the "center" for just as many people as DC is.

I'm not trying to say that the NoVa suburbs are inexpensive by any means. This thread is entitled "city exodus" and is about how people are fleeing central cities, DC in particular. I'm saying this isn't the case in terms of population or private investment.

My friend works for AOL and his wife works for Fairfax Co. His commute is 15-20 minutes. Hers is more like 45 minutes. You're right that their "center" isn't the district. Their center is their home because their jobs and daily routines take them all over the area - but their home, like their jobs are temporary because they have no attachment to either.

As for rents, Rents along the orange line (and any other line i'd imagine) are directly proportionate to your distance from the station. When they moved from Clarendon to Shirlington (which is what, 2 miles away?) their rent went down by $500 a month and their place grew by 300 sq. ft. When they moved out to Vienna they were renting a sizable townhouse about a mile from the station for just slightly less than their place in Shirlington. I know how much they bought their townhouse in Sterling for and i know they've made a lot of money on it so far - i also know that a similar place in Arlington would go for 25% more. Sure, they could now sell their place in Sterling and move to Arlington with all of the equity they've picked up but they could've never afforded a townhouse or detached house in Arlington as first-time buyers.

I'm sure they were priced out of lots of places in the VA suburbs as well but again, the point is that DC and those counties and cities inside the beltway are not suffering from lack of investment.
 
Messages
124
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6
rocotten said:
Agreed. Although I currently work in DC, I would way rather be working in the Dulles Corridor and will someday be looking to work nearer to there. I have lived in Vienna my whole life (I'm 23) and just graduated from Virginia Tech. I'll be living in my parents basement until I can afford to live on my own. All these yuppies who have moved in over the last few decades have brought up the price of living in this area to the point where you can't even afford to live in or near your hometown. I'm young, but No. Va. hasn't been this awful for a very long time. Everywhere I look, small houses are torn down, and two mansions with no yards fill its place and look horrible in the neighborhood. My parents are at the point where they don't want their property values to go up anymore because of the taxes. The traffic gets worse every day, but I have hope for the future of the area (obviously it's gotta grow). My dad's only 52 but he remembers when Tyson's Corner was an intersection with a gas station nearby (currently the Exxon station next to the Container store.). I wonder what it will be like when I'm old. Alright, I really could rant for the whole day on things that annoy me about suburban sprawl in the DC area (I really like what Arlington is doing by the way). I also agree with the person who said trees make the DC suburbs nice. I agree. I have been to other places where it seems like you can see townhouse and apartment developments for miles with few trees. It does make it seem like less congested.

Wow, you're actually quite lucky to have your parents in Vienna. Sounds like we're in the same boat (I'm 23 and just moved back here too), but after my lease in Reston I need to move in with my parents in Leesburg, which is going to make for a helluva commute.

We lived in Springfield for a while and I agree, NOVA was not this bad before. The influx of yuppies has gotten out of hand. Even my folks' place in Leesburg was in a nice leafy neighborhood backing to a forest, but the developers chopped down those trees and stuck a house right in their backyard. You can actually watch the neighbors' TV from the back deck. And of course they have 2 SUVs and two perfect little kids.. and the loser husband mows his quarter-acre lawn with a riding mower.

Anyway, I could go all day too. I have hope for this area also. It'd be very easy for Fairfax and Loudoun to ignore their problems and just collect commercial tax dollars, but public discussion over sprawl has taken center stage as of late and I believe some progress will be made.
 

iamme

Cyburbian
Messages
484
Points
14
valhallan said:
We lived in Springfield for a while and I agree, NOVA was not this bad before. The influx of yuppies has gotten out of hand. Even my folks' place in Leesburg was in a nice leafy neighborhood backing to a forest, but the developers chopped down those trees and stuck a house right in their backyard. You can actually watch the neighbors' TV from the back deck. And of course they have 2 SUVs and two perfect little kids.. and the loser husband mows his quarter-acre lawn with a riding mower.

What do you think the residents of that area thought when it was mostly rural and your parent's subdivision was just going up?
 
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124
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6
iamme said:
What do you think the residents of that area thought when it was mostly rural and your parent's subdivision was just going up?

Probably the same thing, genius.

Milwaukee? Do you have knowledge of the area we're discussing? The county I call home has been the fastest growing in the country for at least the last 5 years and shows little sign of slowing. My parents measly subdivision consisted of 30 homes on 100 acres for 10 years, so I don't think that in any way compares to the over 500 crammed on the same amount of land now.

Anyway, don't drop your passive-aggressive judgment on me or my parents for the greediness of developers and the career-obsessed yuppies who support them.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,225
Points
25
The point is that your parents were bedroom commuters. The people moving in are bedroom commuters, not "yuppies" as you derisively call them. I can understand that you can be upset that the bucolic rural area surrounding your parents’ housing development is gone. But surely you can be objective enough to recognize that those people are moving to your area for the exact same reason as your parents.

If your parents wanted to keep the wood behind their house, then perhaps they should have bought it.
 
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6
Are you kidding me, jordan?

Let's see, my father retired from the military and doesn't work, my mother went to nursing school and works at the local hospital. Don't assume things about people you don't know.

The people moving there are indeed "yuppies" - young urban professionals.

Young - the average age in their town is 31.5, well below the national average.
Urban - a concept that doesn't quite exist in an area like this where employment centers are built in fields just the same way houses are.
Professionals - median household income of $71k, 26% college grad, 14.3% with graduate degrees
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
valhallan said:
Young - the average age in their town is 31.5, well below the national average.
Urban - a concept that doesn't quite exist in an area like this where employment centers are built in fields just the same way houses are.
Professionals - median household income of $71k, 26% college grad, 14.3% with graduate degrees

And, the problem with this class of people is what, exactly....?

Are only the aged working class allowed to live in your neighborhood? Given rapid population growth in the United States and in particular your area, how can you expect anything but greater density? Virginia is already a poster child for sprawl (and I DO know the area-my degree is from UVA, which convinced me that working under Virginia Dillon Rule planning laws was not a good idea.)

As for the "yuppies" destroying everything-well, tastes in every class except the poor have changed in the United States. Few people live like 1950s war veterans. Heck, the working class may not drive SUVs, but they drive gigantic Dodge Rams instead. Why is the latter less offensive?
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,225
Points
25
Yeah and how is a nurse not a "professional"? They need university degrees and licenses and have professional organizations, and some of them make bank.

The point is that your family exploited the fact that that land was open to urban development, but then didn't like the fact that the land around it was also open to urban development. They wanted to have their cake and eat it too, and were just lucky they got to have it that way for ten years before the rest got developed.

There are "conservation developments" that your family could have moved into, in which residents not only buy thier plots of land, but also the development rights to all the land around them. This guarentees that the area will stay rural. Of course, they gotta pay for it..
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,463
Points
25
The point of the decline

Cities CBD's will either continue to prosper, or the ones that are suffering will return to their intention, although maybe not fully. The point of the decline can be attributed to the auto (not always the case), or in a lessor form of earlier NE cities, the suburb street car. People wanted to live further from work, but in the end are living closer. To put it simplier, decentralization. But to what extent? What sububs are going to want to pony up and add density once the land is gone? Where's the infrastructure for it? Tax hikes? Thats the reason (well among others) that many left cities to begin with.

All and all, there is a point to where the asphalt grinder cannot continue to develop land.

Where do you stop though? Well there is one reason that many farmers and owners of forests held onto their land outside the metro before it expanded. Not for farming to take a turn for the better, but subdivisions. So I cannot have any remorse for valhallan parents, because it was bound to happen sooner or later. The only reason they are mad now is because people with money are probally driving up property costs, as well as eating up land as valhallan said.

The funny thing is, lots in most inner citys are becoming wild again, as well as brownfield sites in older cities such as Buffalo. Crippps, if I wanted to go turkey or deer hunting, I cound go to the 1st ward and shoot them. Or I could go to Swampherst were sprawl (in a declining metro) is forcing them out into the paths of cars. Hell, even the rats are leaving.

Frustrated by the city's new garbage containers, rats have fled outside the city limits, and suburban residents aren't happy about it
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20040823/1031592.asp
 
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BKM.. none of it is less offensive. Do you like any of it?

jordan.. you're way out of line. Are you really trying to prove your point by insinuating my mother is a professional? In case you've been under a rock (which most academic know-it-alls like yourself are), the health-care industry enjoying ridiculous growth, which means four-year degrees are completely unnecessary.. rather, two-year associates are just as useful, as my baby-boomer mother has earned.

By the way, my parents, which everyone seems so inclined to downplay (you should be ashamed..), chose to live within the limits of a 300 year-old town ten years before it became the hotbed of sprawl it is now. So basically, they didn't contribute to sprawl (you pretentious louts), they just chose to live in a friendly town with a decent school system for myself.

Get off your damn high horses and stop arguing with someone stuck in the middle of this epidemic you far-off voices call "sprawl." Some of us actually have to live with planners' failings..

*mod note Your out of line, do not call other users names*
 
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biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,899
Points
25
valhallan said:
Get off your damn high horses and stop arguing with someone stuck in the middle of this epidemic you far-off voices call "sprawl." Some of us actually have to live with planners' failings..
I’m not discounting what and your parents are going though because my family is having to deal with the same thing, to a much lesser extent mind you. But, I’ve had job interviews, and offers, with both Loudoun County and the Town of Leesburg and from what I’ve noticed the place is either in dire shortage of planners or they can’t keep them there, because there always seems to be more than a few job postings.
 
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Messages
124
Points
6
biscuit said:
I’m not discounting what and your parents are going though because my family is having to deal with the same thing, to a much extent mind you. But, I’ve had job interviews, and offers, with both Loudoun County and the Town of Leesburg and from what I’ve noticed the place is either in dire shortage of plannerer's or they can’t keep them there because there always sees to be more than a few job postings.

Thanks for empathizing.

What do you mean by more than a few job postings?

As far as I can tell, the main problem with old counties like Loudoun and towns like Leesburg is their unwillingness to question change. They seem to roll with the punches, voting haphazardly on planning policies. The mantra here seems to be "build the eastern half, protect the western."

Oh well, they created the problem back in the 60s when they approved the construction of Dulles Airport.. growth was inevitable.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
valhallan said:
By the way, my parents, which everyone seems so inclined to downplay (you should be ashamed..), chose to live within the limits of a 300 year-old town ten years before it became the hotbed of sprawl it is now. So basically, they didn't contribute to sprawl (you pretentious louts), they just chose to live in a friendly town with a decent school system for myself.

Get off your damn high horses and stop arguing with someone stuck in the middle of this epidemic you far-off voices call "sprawl." Some of us actually have to live with planners' failings..

I hate to beat a dead horse, but this kind of NIMBYism-which is what it indeed is-is very disturbing (if understandable),

You are still missing the point-and getting rather nasty about it. Your parents chose to move out in "the country." They were commuters themselves, unless they somehow rode horses to work and for daily needs? Unless they are rural farmers or back to the land hippies, they were suburbanites. Their very actions helped create the sprawl that they are now complaining about. Sure, change is often not fun or pleasant. In an ideal world, land and resources and environmental impacts would be absolutely unlimited and unharmful, and everybody could live in an ultra-low density environment and never see any change at all.

They themselves chose the suburban lifestyle dependent on the car. They themselves, and millions like them along with decades of federal, state, and financial industry policy, created the "hell" as much as "planners."

Again, how are the newcomers any more greedy than your parents escaping the evil city for a semi-rural suburban idyll? Some farmer, a greedy, evil one, of course, sold the benighted developer the land your parent's suburban house is built upon.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,370
Points
29
*Mod hat on*

valhallan your out of line, chill out or face the consequences :-{

Now folks lets play nice or the thread is closed

*mod hat off*
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
10,140
Points
45
Yellow Card: valhallan

PlannerGirl said:
*Mod hat on*

valhallan your out of line, chill out or face the consequences :-{

Now folks lets play nice or the thread is closed

*mod hat off*

Further Mod Action:

For valhallan:

_39307590_savage_pa300x200.jpg


You're close to getting a bit of cyburbia vacation time....please keep on topic and off personal attacks and name calling.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,282
Points
30
Local workers....

BKM said:
I hate to beat a dead horse, but this kind of NIMBYism-which is what it indeed is-is very disturbing (if understandable),

You are still missing the point-and getting rather nasty about it. Your parents chose to move out in "the country." They were commuters themselves, unless they somehow rode horses to work and for daily needs? Unless they are rural farmers or back to the land hippies, they were suburbanites. Their very actions helped create the sprawl that they are now complaining about. Sure, change is often not fun or pleasant. In an ideal world, land and resources and environmental impacts would be absolutely unlimited and unharmful, and everybody could live in an ultra-low density environment and never see any change at all.

They themselves chose the suburban lifestyle dependent on the car. They themselves, and millions like them along with decades of federal, state, and financial industry policy, created the "hell" as much as "planners."

Again, how are the newcomers any more greedy than your parents escaping the evil city for a semi-rural suburban idyll? Some farmer, a greedy, evil one, of course, sold the benighted developer the land your parent's suburban house is built upon.

Ding Ding Ding...end of round 15.....Its a Draw....(Trying to be diplomatic, some would say wishy washy... ;) )
Valhallan's mother was said to have worked in the local hospital, how does that make her a commuter? I agree that living and working in the city limits of Leesburg nearly 20 years ago does little to contribute to sprawl and that the fast growing popularity of the rural subdivision in NOVA and the rest of the country is the primary problem. I was doing soil tests for new subdivisions (some of them were 700+ units) on septic systems/wells from 1989-90. We're talking about the wholesale change of the landscape through rural subdivision's all the way out to Berryville, Warrenton and beyond. Things really took off in that area after 1993 and just haven't slowed much since. After 1993, developers couldn't build them fast enough and looked to the path of least resistance, which often meant the "boy developer" land in rural areas platted years before for septic and wells. Not to mention that many of these properties had significant vested rights well beyond the raw land available after 1993.

Anyway, I think a bunch of those new people are Federal Government employees, two income types that are trying to get their piece of the pie. A kind of second exodus of retired govt. types, the other having happend in the early 70's...
 
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6
The One said:
Valhallan's mother was said to have worked in the local hospital, how does that make her a commuter?

Thanks, the One. This is why I've been defensive.

A recurring theme I see on Cyburbia is this understandable disdain for sprawl and NIMBYs. So it's kind of hard not to get a bit flustered when members of a concensus community brand you as the the object of their scorn, especially when they presume to know exactly what you and your family are like.

My parents have retired and they did what most old people do: find a small town to spend the rest of their days in comfort. They're not economists or planners and had no idea of the incredible growth the area they chose would soon be experiencing. Having a house behind them instead of a forest is not the issue. It's the fact that you can touch the house behind them with a ten-foot pole. Growth is not the problem, it's the way it has been done.

Our capitalist system breeds career-oriented drones and it drives me crazy, as I'm sure it probably does some of you. Northern Virginia's proximity to DC means jobs galore for money-seekers from afar, and that's fine, but the last ten years have been utterly ridiculous. If Leesburg were to grow at 25% a year, then that's liveable, but 65%?!? It's completely out of hand and as a victim of unbridled sprawl, I'm sorry, but it just sucks.

I originally posted this thread to seek your opinions about what cities might not be slaves to such ruthless sprawl in the next 20 years so that I might be able to find a place to live and work in comfortably.. a place where I can walk out of my building and down the street to the local diner or market.. and a place where that walk won't go from taking two minutes to taking 15 in the blink of an eye because the sidewalk got denser by 65%. Don't we all want that?

Anyway sorry for being rude. It felt like you all were ganging up on me.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
valhallan said:
Thanks, the One. This is why I've been defensive.

A recurring theme I see on Cyburbia is this understandable disdain for sprawl and NIMBYs. So it's kind of hard not to get a bit flustered when members of a concensus community brand you as the the object of their scorn, especially when they presume to know exactly what you and your family are like.

My parents have retired and they did what most old people do: find a small town to spend the rest of their days in comfort. They're not economists or planners and had no idea of the incredible growth the area they chose would soon be experiencing. Having a house behind them instead of a forest is not the issue. It's the fact that you can touch the house behind them with a ten-foot pole. Growth is not the problem, it's the way it has been done.

Our capitalist system breeds career-oriented drones and it drives me crazy, as I'm sure it probably does some of you. Northern Virginia's proximity to DC means jobs galore for money-seekers from afar, and that's fine, but the last ten years have been utterly ridiculous. If Leesburg were to grow at 25% a year, then that's liveable, but 65%?!? It's completely out of hand and as a victim of unbridled sprawl, I'm sorry, but it just sucks.

I originally posted this thread to seek your opinions about what cities might not be slaves to such ruthless sprawl in the next 20 years so that I might be able to find a place to live and work in comfortably.. a place where I can walk out of my building and down the street to the local diner or market.. and a place where that walk won't go from taking two minutes to taking 15 in the blink of an eye because the sidewalk got denser by 65%. Don't we all want that?

Anyway sorry for being rude. It felt like you all were ganging up on me.

Not meaning to gang up on you (and I certainly acknowldge that fast growth is painful).

I have a reflexive, somewhat visceral reaction-largely based on what I hear in a a rapidly growing suburban community-from people who move to a place and then immediately complain when other people do the same thing.

I don't know what the "answer" is. I guess my main point is that many of the yuppies want the same thing your parents did-a quiet, semi-rural lifestyle (even with an excessive home and too many SUVs :-C ). Of course, when everyone wants this, nobody can have it within a reasonable driving range of "the big city."

Until this country seriously begins to think about the P word. (Population Control), these issues will continue (as your other thread points out). Why are we still giving major tax breaks for multiple children? Should we be encouraging mass immigration, legal and illegal? This is a conversation we all need to have. Luckily, I have no children, so I don't have to worry about their future from a personal basis. But....
 
Messages
124
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6
BKM said:
Not meaning to gang up on you (and I certainly acknowldge that fast growth is painful).

I have a reflexive, somewhat visceral reaction-largely based on what I hear in a a rapidly growing suburban community-from people who move to a place and then immediately complain when other people do the same thing.

I don't know what the "answer" is. I guess my main point is that many of the yuppies want the same thing your parents did-a quiet, semi-rural lifestyle (even with an excessive home and too many SUVs :-C ). Of course, when everyone wants this, nobody can have it within a reasonable driving range of "the big city."

Until this country seriously begins to think about the P word. (Population Control), these issues will continue (as your other thread points out). Why are we still giving major tax breaks for multiple children? Should we be encouraging mass immigration, legal and illegal? This is a conversation we all need to have. Luckily, I have no children, so I don't have to worry about their future from a personal basis. But....

I see your point now that you put it that way. It is definitely hypocritcal to complain about people moving to a place right after you just got there yourself. I just think my parents' case is a little different because they chose a town seemingly too far from the "big city" to boom the way it has (and they pretty much never venture out of the town-limits). Perhaps a community in Maine or Delaware would have been a better choice?

Anyhow, the counter-intuitive jump in popularity of such an isolated town like Leesburg is probably just a product of the multi-nodal (buzzword!) nature of the DC metro. Growth was inevitable, but did anyone think it would happen this fast? Not likely, considering a $300k home today was going for $80k ten years ago.

It's just spilt milk now. My parents are probably going to sell their home and spend the ridiculous amount they'll get for it on a nice bit of land in Montana. ;-)

But wait.. will everyone else do that too??
 

rocotten

Member
Messages
9
Points
0
valhallan said:
Thanks, the One. This is why I've been defensive.

A recurring theme I see on Cyburbia is this understandable disdain for sprawl and NIMBYs. So it's kind of hard not to get a bit flustered when members of a concensus community brand you as the the object of their scorn, especially when they presume to know exactly what you and your family are like.

My parents have retired and they did what most old people do: find a small town to spend the rest of their days in comfort. They're not economists or planners and had no idea of the incredible growth the area they chose would soon be experiencing. Having a house behind them instead of a forest is not the issue. It's the fact that you can touch the house behind them with a ten-foot pole. Growth is not the problem, it's the way it has been done.

Our capitalist system breeds career-oriented drones and it drives me crazy, as I'm sure it probably does some of you. Northern Virginia's proximity to DC means jobs galore for money-seekers from afar, and that's fine, but the last ten years have been utterly ridiculous. If Leesburg were to grow at 25% a year, then that's liveable, but 65%?!? It's completely out of hand and as a victim of unbridled sprawl, I'm sorry, but it just sucks.

I originally posted this thread to seek your opinions about what cities might not be slaves to such ruthless sprawl in the next 20 years so that I might be able to find a place to live and work in comfortably.. a place where I can walk out of my building and down the street to the local diner or market.. and a place where that walk won't go from taking two minutes to taking 15 in the blink of an eye because the sidewalk got denser by 65%. Don't we all want that?

Anyway sorry for being rude. It felt like you all were ganging up on me.

Since I'm new to this forum, all the bicker that went on about yuppies and we suburbanites criticizing newer surbanites is a little over my head. I think with respect to the DC area, most people from outside the area don't realize that just because you live in the suburbs doesn't mean you work in the district (or even go into the district very often). A quarter of a century ago, Washington's suburbs were nothing but bedroom communities. Now, the population of the area has doubled and there are not many more jobs in the District than there were before. The suburbs have much more of their own "individuality", for lack of a better word. Only 10% of the regions population lives in the District. When I was complaining about yuppies, it wasn't merely the change in density and sprawl, its just that as someone who grew up in this area, it is very frustrating to see the cost of living increase the way it has. There are very few places in the country where you can't afford to live in your hometown when you get out of school, even with a well paying job. Maybe Vallahan agrees with me on this point. Clearly if we go back far enough, all of our ancestors were intruding on someone else, so we are all guilty in that respect.
 

The One

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valhallan said:
It's just spilt milk now. My parents are probably going to sell their home and spend the ridiculous amount they'll get for it on a nice bit of land in Montana. ;-)

But wait.. will everyone else do that too??

They already have:
Montana is not immune anymore..My co-worker just got back from Montana and had some sad stories about the growth and increased costs...California has discovered Montana and so has everyone else.... I would suggest North Dakota :cool: or Northern Mississippi :p or maybe north central Mexico. I hear Albania is a low cost alternative along with Mongolia :-C :-} :-D (I'll bet you could buy 10,000 acres and one hell of a Yurt for $150,000 :p in all five places...ha ha ha.....)
 

H

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valhallan said:
But wait.. will everyone else do that too??


My brother just got back from Montana a few weeks ago. As soon as he finishes law school in May he plans to move to Montana to "get away from people".

I also worked with a guy who's parents moved from Ohio this summer to Montana to "get away from people".

:-S
 
Messages
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6
The One said:
They already have:
Montana is not immune anymore..My co-worker just got back from Montana and had some sad stories about the growth and increased costs...California has discovered Montana and so has everyone else....

Yeah a lot of our extended family still lives in Montana and they have told us some interesting stories.. Most notably some rich Russian guy bought twenty acres across their dirt road and offered them three times what their house was worth because it was "spoiling his view." That man now owns 100 acres I believe. They're quite convinced he's in with the Russian mafia ;-)
 

Rumpy Tunanator

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4,463
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25
valhallan said:
We lived in Springfield for a while and I agree, NOVA was not this bad before. The influx of yuppies has gotten out of hand. Even my folks' place in Leesburg was in a nice leafy neighborhood backing to a forest, but the developers chopped down those trees and stuck a house right in their backyard. You can actually watch the neighbors' TV from the back deck. And of course they have 2 SUVs and two perfect little kids.. and the loser husband mows his quarter-acre lawn with a riding mower.

Hey tell your parents that if they keep watching my t.v. from their back deck, I'm going to have to start charging them part of the satelite dish bill.;)
 

rocotten

Member
Messages
9
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0
valhallan said:
But wait.. will everyone else do that too??

haha, you mean move to Montana, or sell thier home for a rediculous amount of money? My parents house has doubled in price since they bought it 15 years ago. According to the Fairfax County website, its valued at 500k. Its a split foyer (2 level) with almost an acre of land. Its 40 years old, and the brick is crumbling in certain places and the roof needs to be replaced. I guess, just because of the land value, they could get at least 700k for it. Not bad considering they paid 250k for it. I on the other hand, couldn't imagine EVER paying that kind of money for my house, its very disturbing. If I were you I'd be thinking of trying to get your parents house if they move someday. If you are my age, by the time you are looking for a house, it might be your only option if things keep going in this direction. I'm keeping my parents right where they are for a long time, just in case. :-@

valhallan said:
I may have a slanted perspective. I live in the 'burbs and find them to be more than adequate. To me, the only thing DC offers that they don't are the historic monuments, but you see them once or twice and that's all you need. The city has high housing costs, high crime, and for me, too few attractions.

I see Northern Virginia being viable in the future simply because of Dulles International Airport and the technology corridor that's sprung up around it. Plus the Fairfax County school district is supposedly one of the best in the country.

But anyway, DC is a city built on government, and I guess it's good for that. I really just want some dang skyscrapers!!! :)

I had to respond to this one you posted way before I knew this site existed. Don't you wish Arlington County would raise their height restrictions in Rosslyn? They already have two large projects in the works and will be beginning them soon, but they arent going to be any taller than the old USA Today/Gannet towers. I really wish they would stop catering to the NIMBYs so much there and put up at least one signature skyscraper, like maybe 400-450 feet (not too much, but compared to DC would look like a lot). Maybe this is way off topic for this forum.
 
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rocotten said:
I had to respond to this one you posted way before I knew this site existed. Don't you wish Arlington County would raise their height restrictions in Rosslyn? They already have two large projects in the works and will be beginning them soon, but they arent going to be any taller than the old USA Today/Gannet towers. I really wish they would stop catering to the NIMBYs so much there and put up at least one signature skyscraper, like maybe 400-450 feet (not too much, but compared to DC would look like a lot). Maybe this is way off topic for this forum.

Yes it may be off-topic, but skyscrapers outside of DC is a form of city exodus I would think.

Anyway, yeah it would be aesthetically pleasing to see Arlington build a little taller and make Washington fit in better with other American cities. The Arlington NIMBY problem was also glaringly obvious last summer when they blocked plans for a major league baseball stadium near Crystal City. That was easily the best location for a Virginia team but now Loudoun is the target.. and no surprise there, right?
 

rocotten

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valhallan said:
Yes it may be off-topic, but skyscrapers outside of DC is a form of city exodus I would think.

Anyway, yeah it would be aesthetically pleasing to see Arlington build a little taller and make Washington fit in better with other American cities. The Arlington NIMBY problem was also glaringly obvious last summer when they blocked plans for a major league baseball stadium near Crystal City. That was easily the best location for a Virginia team but now Loudoun is the target.. and no surprise there, right?

I would like to see a team in VA, and Loudoun would be better for me, but I don't think we need another "town center" type development yet, especially in that corridor, and I think DC will end up getting the team anyway. But, yeah, Pentagon City was definately the best location and the best views, better than any they will ever get in the city.
 

BKM

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6,461
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rocotten said:
There are very few places in the country where you can't afford to live in your hometown when you get out of school, even with a well paying job. .

Unfortunately, this last fact is common in most "desirable" coastal metropolitan areas (California, anyone???) And, even some stronger inland metropoli like Chicago.

Of course, the inland and southern cities like Atlanta don't have the onerous environmental regs and land use controls and impact fees California and Mass., for example have. But, even Atlanta is/will eventually run out of cheap peripheral land-unless it eats the entire northern half of the State. The "free market" subsidized by the general taxpayers CAN provide enough affordable housing for everyone, but I'm not sure anyone would like the ultimate results of such a philosophy.
 

Crevano

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pete-rock said:
Most of the major East Coast/Midwest cities have already bottomed out and have been on a slow but steady incline for a few years. New York, Philly, Boston, Baltimore, DC; Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis -- all have had new commercial development in their downtowns that have brought tourism dollars, and new residential development that have brought many new residents. They may never be as big or as dominant politically or socially as they were 50 years ago, but more and more people will settle there, drawn by their uniquely urban amenities.


I don't think you can include New York in there with Philly, Baltimore, St. Louis or Detroit (Huge urban failures). It hasn't bottomed out and is more popular than ever.

In reply to the original post, I have been to DC several times. There are neighborhoods that I would like to live in and would frequent such as Adams-Morgan, Foggy Bottom, and Georgetown.
 

ablarc

Cyburbian Emeritus
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valhallan said:
Here in the DC metro, most people can work and live outside the city with ease. Other than sightseeing and some mild nightlife, there's no real reason to go downtown, and there is definitely not much incentive to live in the city. From reading these boards, it sounds like this situation is developing in many big cities across the U.S. So I'm curious - what cities do you think can survive the exodus? In 20 years, what big cities will still be charming and comfortable to live and work in? Why?

My initial thought is Boston could survive mostly because how many universities it has and the youthful feel they give the city. Let me know what you think.

I'v wondered about this thread from the beginning; it seemed so wide of the mark it didn’t seem to merit comment. Here is an illustration that casts doubt on the whole premise:

Battle royale
Luxury condo projects preparing to face off amenity to amenity

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | September 24, 2004


The Residences at Battery Wharf have not yet been built.

But even though the formal sales campaign does not begin until next week, 14 of the 104 luxury condos on the former Bay State Lobster site in the North End are already sold.

What's more, the waterfront homes will be among the most expensive per square foot in the city, rivaling the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, the Boylston Street condo and hotel complex that is expected to be completed in 2007, the same year as the Battery Wharf project.

Battery Wharf developer Harold Theran confirmed this week that the condos -- complete with Regent hotel services and a boat dock -- will range from 900 to 2,500 square feet and cost $975,000 to $5.2 million, for an average price per square foot of $1,150, record territory for Boston real estate.

The details of the Battery Wharf project signal an escalation in the luxury condo marketing wars, and realtors and buyers aren't blinking, as empty-nesters continue to flee the suburbs for a pampered life in the city, in complexes offering everything from room service to valet parking.

''There still seems to be a large desire, considering that Atelier/505 sold out before the walls were even finished," said Beth Dickerson, owner of Dickerson Real Estate LLC, referring to the South End condos that sold for $600,000 to $3.3 million. ''I feel that the current market is alive and strong."

Meanwhile, the Residences at the Mandarin Oriental, conceived by former Four Seasons Hotel general manager Robin Brown, is expected to break ground near Lord & Taylor this year, offering 50 condos with prices starting at $2 million. Sizes range from 2,000 to 6,000 square feet. Price per square foot: Between $1,100 and $1,600.

Brown has pledged to pamper his purchasers in unheard of ways, and exceed the maximum five-star rating for the hotel component of the project.

At Battery Wharf, Theran is conceding nothing in the luxury competition, as he and Francois-Laurent Nivaud, ex-managing director of the Boston Harbor Hotel and project consultant, prepare for an early 2005 groundbreaking.

Brown and Nivaud are once and future rivals for some of the best places to reside in Boston. But they don't like comparisons. Brown would not even comment for this article.

''He was at the Four Seasons; I was at the Boston Harbor," Nivaud said, in his French accent. ''Really what counts is the people who are going to deliver the services, the lifestyle we have created."

For the price -- and don't forget condo fees of $10 to $12 per square foot -- you'll get separate entrances and elevators for hotel guests and residences, marble bathrooms with enclosed toilet spaces, in many cases private terraces and balconies, and roof gardens exclusive to penthouses at both Battery Wharf and Mandarin Oriental.

Both will have valet parking and other hotel services for residents, internationally renowned spas, and views -- of the Charles River or the harbor -- that push prices sky high.

Mandarin Oriental has 11-foot ceilings. Battery Wharf boasts a 300-foot boat dock, water taxi stop, and perimeter Harborwalk.

The Residences at Battery Wharf will equal the Mandarin Oriental in condo finishes, services, and in exclusivity, Theran said. But can you beat a location right on Boston Harbor within walking distance of the Financial District and the North End?

''Eighty percent of our rooms are either directly on the water or have water views," said Theran.

Dickerson said she doubts that anything can quite match what Brown has in mind for the Mandarin Oriental residences. ''I've gone to the see the finishes, and they're spectacular -- over the top," she said. ''Boston's never seen anything like it. Your jaw drops open."

Dickerson has also seen what Theran has in mind for Battery Wharf, and it's hard to complain about. ''It's a nice finish," she said. ''I think they've got a bit of a modern edge, which Boston seems to be more open to than they were a few years ago."

These two projects, having been marketed only in ''quiet" campaigns for months, are a few steps behind developer Brian Fallon's Residences at the InterContinental, 130 condos already being constructed around a large Big Dig ventilation structure at 500 Atlantic Ave.

The InterContinental Hotels & Resorts chain, well known around the world, is making a push into North America. Residences there -- opening in the spring of 2006 -- will have Boston Harbor views on one side, downtown's skyline on the other and full access to hotel services. Prices for a two-bedroom unit there: about $1.6 million.

''Being on a site with a hotel is indicative of the demographic profile," said Alan R. Rice, senior vice president of Hammond GMAC Real Estate.

''It's 50-, 55-, 60-year-old folks who want to be in a place where they have access to other services affiliated with a luxury hotel, whether it's dining or entertaining. That's a really smart move and meeting a definite need," he said.
 
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ablarc, it was just my perspective at the time. Since then, my mind has been open enough to see the renewed interest in the city and the benefits of living in it.

The real point of the post though was to illicit some discussion on a topic that intrigued me, city exodus. Good article, btw
 

PlannerGirl

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valhallan its good to see you coming around :)

DC is not the City of the 70's and 80's but is being reborn and has much offer both those that live there and those of us that like to spend our time there.
 
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