Virginia House Del. Ibraheem Samirah introduced a bill that would override local zoning officials to permit multi-family housing in every neighborhood, changing the character of quiet suburbs.
by Luke Rosiak
Democrats in Virginia may override local zoning to bring high-density housing, including public housing, to every neighborhood statewide — whether residents want it or not.
The measure could quickly transform the suburban lifestyle enjoyed by millions, permitting duplexes to be built on suburban lots in neighborhoods previously consisting of quiet streets and open green spaces. Proponents of “upzoning” say the changes are necessary because suburbs are bastions of segregation and elitism, as well as bad for the environment.
The move, which aims to provide “affordable housing,” might be fiercely opposed by local officials throughout the state, who have deliberately created and preserved neighborhoods with particular character — some dense and walkable, others semi-rural and private — to accommodate people’s various preferences.