February has arrived, and the CSG team is continuing to incorporate equity into our work. We spent the past week tuning in to Smart Growth America’s Equity Summit, which featured great speakers and leaders from across the smart growth and urbanism community, and we’re excited to continue building a more equitable smart growth movement for a more equitable and inclusive DC region. Be sure to check out the videos and recommended reading from the Summit when available!
Transit Equity Day
Transit Equity Day is this Thursday, February 4, celebrated on Rosa Parks’ birthday! We’re joining advocates across the U.S. and DC region to highlight both the progress and challenges in achieving equity through better, more accessible transit.
We’re co-sponsoring the national Labor Network for Sustainability’s Transit Equity Day with virtual public hearings on February 3 and 4.
In VA, we’re co-hosting with the Sierra Club – Virginia Chapter a lunch and learn panel on February 4 at 12pm, featuring transit champions from NoVA, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Hampton Roads.
In DC, we’re cosponsoring #TranspoBINGO! The bingo card will be revealed at a virtual happy hour (RSVP here) on Feb 3rd at 8pm and the game will run Feb 4 to 11, with another virtual happy hour on Feb 11 at 6pm to announce winners. It’s a great chance to connect with fellow transit advocates! Tweet your progress using #TranspoBINGO. Learn more here.
Speaking of transit, Fairfax County continues public outreach for their Transit Strategic Plan, which is a county-wide review of bus service and a plan for future service. You can provide input here until February 19.
Meanwhile, Sonya is working across NoVA organizing and speaking up in support of inclusive and sustainable housing policies. Thanks to Alexandria residents and CSG supporters, the city passed a strong new accessory dwelling unit policy by a 6-1 vote last week! In Fairfax, Stewart and Sonya provided testimony to the Planning Commission in support of the county’s Workforce Dwelling Unit policy update and their zoning modernization (zMOD) updates to accessory living units. Both will go before the Board of Supervisors and needs your support. Arlington County extended the survey deadline to provide input on their Missing Middle Housing study to Feb 8, so there’s still time to support missing middle housing by filling out the survey!
Missing middle housing is also up for consideration in Montgomery County! The county is discussing missing middle as part of their Thrive2050 General Plan update, as well as Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 20-07. The ZTA would allow missing middle housing on lots zoned for single family houses within a mile of Metro stations. To learn more, check out last week’s Montgomery for All meeting, hosted by Jane, with experts Lisa Govoni and Eli Spevak. The Council will hold a public hearing on the ZTA on Feb 11, so join the waitlist to testify or submit written testimony here.
If you live in downtown Silver Spring, RSVP to a virtual meeting on Feb 9 at 7pm to learn more about the drafting of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan, which will guide the area’s growth for the next 20 years.
The fight continues for passage of the Comprehensive Plan! Cheryl is working with the Housing Priorities Coalition to organize support from DC residents, including submitting a sign-on letter from residents to urge passage. The updated plan removes exclusionary language, requires the use of a racial-equity lens when making decisions, increases affordable housing supply and sets goals for equitable distribution of housing opportunities. It would also allow construction of over 1,000 affordable homes stalled by the Comp Plan’s delay. Click here to send an email to Council!
Cheryl is also continuing to work on expanding DC’s inclusionary zoning (IZ) regulations, or IZ+, which would require additional affordable homes in developments resulting from upzoning. Stay tuned for our event on IZ+ later in February. And ICYMI, we released the long-awaited ADU DC Homeowner’s Manual: How to Build an Accessory Apartment or Second Dwelling in the District of Columbia with United Planning Organization and Citi.
Transportation is our #1 source of emissions, but officials aren’t doing enough to reduce the amount we have to drive. Thanks to Bill, we won a vote at the Transportation Planning Board to require projects to be prioritized to reduce vehicles miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. But we’re seeing delays by staff and aren’t convinced some jurisdictions will do their part to select transportation projects that reduce emissions, so we sent a joint sign-on letter to every local government. Multiple CSG staff are also providing input to local government climate action plans under development in Virginia and Maryland.
Want to volunteer for CSG?
We’ve recently received several inquiries from supporters who are interested in volunteering their time to support CSG’s advocacy. If that describes you, please fill out this form to let us know how you’d like to help. Two key projects — local photography and monitoring local government meetings.
Thanks for all you do,
Stewart, Cheryl, Jane, Sonya, Emily, and Bill