In December 2013, a total of 11 demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Nine of them were for single-family homes, and one was for a commercial building (see images below).
The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy, and materials. Some of these houses are in National Register neighborhoods. Many had the potential for renovation and additions, or, at a bare minimum, reclamation/reuse of building materials. Furthermore, these buildings are often replaced with new construction that is out of scale and proportion to the community. Preservation Arlington urges citizens to adopt Local Historic District designations for their communities, with standards for design, height, and placement that could be customized to reflect community needs while still allowing reinvestment to occur.
Similarly, if you are a property owner and are contemplating a change to your property, Preservation Arlington encourages you to work with your architect or builder to consider how some or all of your house or building could be incorporated into a renovation, or the materials reused. In 2012, over 2.8 million tons of construction and demolition debris were landfilled in Virginia (70% of the total amount of construction/demolition debris generated and disposed of in the state), according to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
In calendar year 2013, a total of 196 demolition permits were applied for in Arlington County. Of these, 179 (91%) were for the demolition of single-family homes. Five additional permits were for multi-family residential buildings. In previous years, the number of demolition permit applications for single-family homes were: 124 (2012), 127 (2011), 93 (2010), and 86 (2009). In the past five years, a total of 609 demolition permits for single-family homes were applied for in Arlington County.