David Morton is as socially misguided as the athletic fundamentalists about whom he writes in “Virginia Is for Sluggers” (5/2). He suggests that nothing is more important to him and other District baseball fans than having a short Metro ride to the stadium and a pleasant view when he gets there. He is enthusiastic about the “$610 million luxury option” for a stadium in Rosslyn, which would involve the purchase of “the apartment complex that is on the site.” The complex to which he refers is River Place, where I own an apartment. Morton fails to mention that this option would involve the displacement of thousands of people from four high-rise buildings.
I wonder how Morton, Gabe Paul, Rick Kowalchik, Tom Brooke, and any of the other athletic fundamentalists would feel if a group of homeowners from River Place threatened to knock down their homes? Do they think we should be allowed to do so as long as we give them a short time to relocate and offer them what we think is fair market value?
Had Morton done his homework, he would have learned that Arlington does not want him or any other sports-crazed people to come into the county 80 times a year to watch baseball games. The Arlington County Board issued a statement in February that the stadium proposals are inconsistent with the county’s land-use plan and that the county will offer no assistance for funding, tax relief, infrastructure, or anything else connected with the projects.
Arlington is the only jurisdiction in the D.C. metro area that has carefully planned the use of its land and has done development properly. The county has concentrated its high-density development along the Metro corridor and has retained an urban-village concept for the remaining land. One of the reasons Arlington is a pleasant place to live is precisely because the county has not permitted the type of monstrous development projects that Morton and the other athletic fundamentalists are proposing.
Major-league baseball will not be played in Arlington during Morton’s lifetime or anyone else’s. Morton should focus his sports fantasies on some other location.