In addition to water main upgrades, we need a holistic, countywide plan to mitigate avoidable catastrophic flooding like what occurred on July 8, 2019, that destroyed homes and local Westover shops. I applaud the county’s “Flood Resilient” stakeholder initiative and learned we have to attack this problem on multiple fronts. How about more carefully enforcing Arlington’s “by-rights” development zoning codes, for one? My neighbors and our civic association raised grave concerns about a proposed plan to develop five $1.7 million homes on two heavily treed lots uphill from the storm water system that serves Westover. We questioned lot frontage measurements, severely reduced permeable surface, jamming a cul-de-sac midblock, clear-cutting dozens of old-growth trees, viability of a complicated water-cistern system, and not bringing a county drain and easement up to code. We were told the project met code and we had no case for closer scrutiny by the zoning board.

Worse, Arlington officials knew the home builder failed to correct another homeowner’s drainage issues in dispute last year. Despite permit approval looming for the new five-home project, the county caved to the developer, letting it off the hook — another ripple effect in the larger county storm water problem.

Monique Hanis, Arlington