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Our Arlington. Our Future.

I take my role as a public servant very seriously. I believe that the best decisions are made when we work together, and that a strong community is one where everyone’s voice is heard. That's why I take the input of those who live and work here seriously, realizing that it is invaluable in understanding the needs and concerns of our community. Whatever the issue, my decisions will be informed by what our residents and workers believe is best for our community.

Julie Farnam surrounded by four people with the Arlington skyline in the background.

Affordability and Equity without Blanket Land Zoning Policies: Affordability.  That is how rezoning of single-family home areas was sold to the people of Arlington and that is what many still believe will be achieved by this initiative.  The market forces dictate the types of housing built and the prices that are changed for rent or for sale. While I agree that we need to build more of the right kind of housing in the right locations, before we push through blanket land use policy changes, we ought to have a vision and plan for what we want the county to look like in the long-term.  Otherwise, unfettered, unguided development will lead us to falling into looking like downtown Manhattan, something that most in Arlington do not want.  Equity.  That is the other word used to sell rezoning to the people of Arlington.  Removing the barriers to homeownership that existed in the early 1900s is not going to undo the injustice because the barriers today are not the same as they were then. Thus, despite the county’s rezoning, the barriers to equity are still very much in existence, and rezoning has the potential to cause gentrification displacement, further exacerbating inequity. 

Parking: Did you know that the county has mandated that only 50% of new housing units built within 3/4 of a mile of a metro station are required to have parking spaces? That simply isn’t enough. Multiple independent sources show that between 60-65% of people living near public transportation still have cars. We can’t ignore these facts. This impacts renters the most and will drive the cost of parking even higher. This, in combination with already high rent prices, makes it even less afordable to live in Arlington. In areas outside the metro corridor, increasing the number of housing units without at least a 1:1 on-property unit to parking ratio will force cars to park on the street, creating crowding and impeding traffic.  The only ones benefiting from the county's parking policies are developers and this hurts the community.  As a County Board member, I am committed to fighting for solutions that work for everyone. 


Lot Coverage: Arlington residents are facing a critical juncture as our population grows and we strive to remain a vibrant and desirable place to live. As your representative on the County Board, it will be my priority to thoughtfully address issues related to land use and development. I believe that the county must take a systematic approach to reviewing previously implemented changes to lot coverage requirements in order to determine the true impact they’ve had on our community. We must also consider the long-term impact of development on the tree canopy, green space, the climate, and stormwater runoff to ensure that we maintain a healthy and vibrant environment for generations to come.

Holistic Approach: Arlington is a wonderful place to call home, but we face challenges as our community continues to grow and change. As a member of the County Board, I am committed to ensuring that any development takes into consideration its impact on our critical infrastructure, including our schools, emergency services, flooding, sewage, and the power grid. These cannot be an afterthought and that is how they have been treated.  We can’t ignore these important issues, especially as we plan for a better future. 

Family-Sized Housing: I rented in Arlington for several years before buying a townhome.  I moved because an apartment no longer provided the space I needed as my family grew.  One of the biggest challenges facing our community is the lack of family-sized housing. Over 70% of Arlington's housing is apartments and condos, leaving little space for families that need more room or privacy. I believe that we need to focus on developing more family-sized housing options to ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable housing. Join me in my efforts to create a better future for everyone in Arlington.

Commercial Real Estate Vacancies: I am passionate about finding solutions to the commercial real estate vacancy rate that benefit the economy, businesses, and residents alike.  I am committed to finding ways to convert empty commercial properties into housing or other uses, attracting new businesses to the area, and reviewing the budget to minimize the impact the vacancy rate has on residents' taxes. I believe that a thriving local economy benefits us all, and I will work diligently to make Arlington a more vibrant and prosperous community.

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