Quarterly Membership Meeting (7:00 pm)
Patrick Henry Elementary School
Attendees: Bob Dannemiller, Carole Lieber, Adam Croswell, Betty Siegel, Joan Gill, Jim Gill, Ethan Taylor, Mike Cavey, Patricia Bullington-McGuire, Richard Bullington-McGuire, Paul Hashemi, Sally Ferrett, Jay Jacob Wind, Ted Black, Lisa Forrest, Jim Scott Polsinelte, Lala-Rukh Matties, Josie Schwalm, Seemeen Doran, Montha Yeats, Karen A. Laake, David Hensy, Ken Nagle, Kim-Van Tran, Huy Ngoc Tran, Bud Doran, Phil Hipley, Mary Smith, Larry Woodall, Ed D'Arey.
Guests: Barbara Favola, Andy Rosenberg, the Third District Police Team led by Capt. David Herbstreit, Debbie DeFranco, Greg Walker.
The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.
Carole started the meeting by introducing guest, Barbara Favola, Chair, Arlington County Board.
Ms. Favola gave a brief run down on the state of the county. And then she addressed questions.
- Q. Bike transportation on the Pike?
- A. The Board did adopt a plan for bike lanes on parts of the Pike, and where it wasn't possible to get bike lanes on the Pike they have identified alternate routs. They are trying hard to allocate space for bicyclists.
- Q. Utility under-grounding? There was a bond issue some time ago and is there any information about plans to continue under-grounding utilities.
- A. Under-grounding in the County tends to be a joint financial effort on the part of the County and Developers. After Hurricane Isabel there was the hope that VA Power would be open to a discussion about under-grounding but so far this hasn't gone very far. The County will be working on this.
- Q. What about the proposed changes to the allowable lot coverage? We know about the "monster houses", but even the one house that keeps getting in the news is not of compliance, and how will changes specifically effect residents in AHCA. Many of us are choosing to stay in Arlington and add on to our homes.
- A. A committee was set up and has come up with a proposal that deals with limiting the impervious cover allowed on lots, the allowable amount currently is 56%. Then there is some debate over what counts as impervious. As of now, the proposal hasn't come to the Board, it is being reviewed by the Managers office.
- Q. What is happening with Fenwick Center?
- A. The delay was caused because the project was over budget. But it should be contracted out soon. The building will be a green building.
- Q. A little bit more about affordable housing policies?
- A. The county has passed guidelines for developers. One of the expectations is that developers under specific circumstances would set aside about 10% of the space in new buildings for affordable housing.
- Q. Derelict properties? What is the status on these? And, possibly get the same kind of list for restaurants? Could the county post status reports?
- A. Will look into it.
- Q. Property at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike? Concerned that the number of stories was supposed to be limited to 6 and this one is 8 stories. Also 240 condos seems like a lot for an already busy corridor.
- A. Understand concern.
Carole introduced Andy Rosenberg. Andy just briefly announced that he is running for Congress against Congressman Moran, and left some information.
Carole introduced Capt. David Herbstreit. He introduced his new team of officers who specialize in community based policing. This team are problem solvers and come in to work on specific community issues. The 3rd District covers 18 civic associations, has the larges calls for service, but has the same number of officers as the other districts. Capt. Herbstreit hope his team will grow. He encourages community members to call when they have any issues or concerns –
- Emergencies – 911
- Non-emergencies – 703-228-3556
- Direct to Capt. Herbstreit – 703-228-4097
- Voice Mail – 703-228-3600 #9766
Capt Herbstreit introduced the other members of the team, including Corporal Thomas Binckley who is supposed to keep an eye on AHCA.
- Q. Are there any significant trends that the neighborhood should be aware of?
- A. During the summer and in nice weather activity tends to pick up in parks and common ways so officers will check parks and common ways more routinely. There actually isn't a lot of crime in this neighborhood. From Dec 1 to May 1 there were only 16 incidences which is not much compared to other areas. Seven of these were for drunk in public. Most of these happen actually on Columbia Pike.
Carole then introduced Debbie DeFranco who is Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. Ms. DeFranco talked about a new physical education initiative which involves some new equipment being placed at TJ. The location of the equipment will be back of the trailers behind or near the theater. It will be equipment that is put-up and taken down after each use, the only equipment that will stay in place will be some tall poles. This new equipment is being put up at each middle school. Ms. DeFranco passed around a handout that showed the equipment.
Carol then introduced Greg Walker with WMATA who gave a brief presentation on the Metro Initiative along Columbia Pike. WMATA is studying transit along Columbia Pike to determine what the best options are to serve the area. They are looking at Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit with a curb running system. If this project requires federal funds and has to follow federal criteria then ground breaking may not happen until at least five years down the road. If the county can do the work without federal support then it may be able to cut the time down significantly. Greg invites everyone to attend the public design dialogue next week – Tuesday May 18 from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm at the Career Center.
Motion: To approve the minutes of the February 2004 meeting. Seconded, and passed.
Bob Dannemiller reports that AHCA has a bank balance of $2771.02.
No report. Still no action on South Highland. Many attendees expressed concern about traffic volume, speed and cut thru on their streets. These three issues – cut-thru, volume and speed appear to be a neighborhood-wide concern.
Motion: That we as a civic association request traffic calming studies on the five streets that run into Route 50 and on South 2nd Street. Seconded, passed unanimously.
Jay suggests that this request be sent in writing to the County.
Adam and Jay gave a brief report.
Neighborhood Conservation (NCAC)
There were numerous neighbors from South Garfield which is now the AHCA first priority NCAC project. This project is the installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South. The full list of current qualified AHCA NCAC projects in priority order is:
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Fenwick Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Irving Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Ivy Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street, on South Highland Street between South 9th Street and Columbia Pike, and on South 9th Street between South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Highland Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street
- Installation of Carlyle type streetlights on South 5th Street between South Glebe Road and South Jackson Street.
The Garfield neighbors are quite frustrated that their project, which became a qualified project in 1999 has yet to get funded. Jim Gill explained the NCAC process. Betty reported that the County NCAC staff had made a mistake when it told neighbors on South Garfield that the neighbors would have to be petitioned again or get signatures from neighbors and it was also a mistake if the County NCAC staff implied that the project might be funded soon. The project is a qualified project, is AHCA's first priority project, and it will be considered but probably will not get funding in June 2004 because AHCA doesn't have enough points to be funded in this funding round. Betty will send Seemeen Hashem information about the NCAC process, and about how the points system currently works.
Someone else on Garfield mentioned that they were told by the County that sidewalks had to be included in the South Garfield NCAC project. To the best of her knowledge this is not a requirement for NCAC projects but Betty will look into it.
A new neighborhood resident asked how we might, as a civic association, help South Garfield get their project funded. One way is to submit the neighborhood plan update, and the other might be for AHCA residents to call the County on behalf of the Garfield Project.
To date there has not been any movement to break ground on the two NCAC projects that have been approved by the County Board for funding. These are: 1) Installation of Carlyle type street lights on 2nd Street South between South Glebe Road and South Fillmore Street; on 1st Road South between South Glebe Road and Old Glebe Road; and on Old Glebe Road between 1st Road South and 2nd Street South, and 2) Completion of installation of Carlyle type street lights on 6th Street South between South Glebe Road and South Walter Reed Drive, and installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Garfield Street between 6th Street South and 7th Street South.
Blues Festival – Paul Hashemi reported that the things went well and the booth was staffed by volunteers.
Tee-shirts are still available and on sale.
The ACHA banner got lost and needs to be replaced. Jay thinks there is someone who will donate the funds to replace it.
Activities Coming Up
May 15, 2004 – Neighborhood Yard Sale. Amy Vennet is coordinating this with Penrose to be held on the parking lot at Patrick Henry Elementary School.
June 26, 2004 – Summer Garden Tour. Joan Gill be hosting and coordinating the Garden Tour again this year.
Bahar Hess can no longer distribute the newsletters so Carole is looking for a new volunteer.
Richard Bullington-McGuire has been working on the AHCA website and has a few recommendations. Right now it is on a free Geocities account but it makes it very difficult for him to add things or change the look of the site. He proposed getting AHCA its own domain name and finding some other server as a host. He volunteers PKR Internet (which he owns) to host the site.
Motion: To authorize AHCA to purchase its own domain name for an amount of not more than $40 a year. Seconded, passed.
Motion: To allow PKR Internet to host the website. Seconded, passed.
It was recommended that the neighborhood identify and articulate two or three key issues that can be the focus of the communities efforts to get action from the County. If the communities efforts are to diffuse nothing will be accomplished but with a strong push on a couple of key items the community might be able to get action. AHCA will try to set some finite goals for this year.
AHCA Next Quarterly Meeting
Date was not set.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:30 pm
Betty Siegel, Secretary