Photo by Mr. T in DC on Flickr.

Change can be frightening, especially when it affects our own neighbor­hoods. That’s why it’s no surprise that the planners who are rewriting the District’s and Montgomery County’s zoning codes are running into trepidation, misinformation, anger and even conspiracy theories at community meetings.

The District and Montgomery, like most of our region, are indeed changing. But this change is happening on its own, unbidden by any planning official. The walkable neighborhoods of the DC region are growing more popular with residents of all ages, and many people want amenities such as restaurants and shops within walking distance and a convenient transit line to work.

In response, planners are trying to thread a difficult needle. They want to remove barriers to better, more inclusive walkable neighborhoods, but they also are trying to preserve single-family neighborhoods that remain popular with many others.

Continue reading in my latest op-ed in the Washington Post.

Plus, this week’s other opinion pieces talk about how the height limit hurts housing affordability, injustice in DC’s budget, and, for those who live in the single-family homes that aren’t facing imminent doom from the zoning update no matter what some people fear, what critters you might see out your window.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.