Quarterly Membership Meeting (7:00 pm)
Patrick Henry Elementary School
Attendees: Bob Dannemiller, Adam Croswell, Betty Siegel, Jim Gill, Joan Gill, Phyllis Regan, Ella Nargele, Martin Chadzynski, Kimberly Sumner, Catherine Camp, Andrew Reed, Jonathan Reed, Matthew Morrissey, Norman Reich, Ethan Taylor
The meeting was called to order at 7:32 pm.
PRESIDENTS REPORT:Adam Croswell reported that Carole was unable to attend this evenings meeting due to a death in the family. Adam, as VP took responsibility for running the meeting.
Betty Siegel presented the draft minutes from the October 2004 meeting.
Motion: To approve the October 2005 minutes. Seconded, and passed unanimously.
Bob Dannemiller reports that AHCA has a bank balance of $3064.48. He feels that AHCA is in the rare position amongst civic associations of having a very healthy balance in the bank. This seems to happen because projected expenses aren't being tapped. Joan mentioned that AHCA used to do significantly more social activities around the neighborhood and since those aren't happening money budgeted isn't being spent. She really encourages someone to volunteer to coordinate social events that help bring the community together.
Motion: To keep Membership dues that the current rate of $12 for family members and $25 for business members. Seconded, and passed unanimously.
Membership dues for 2005 are now due. At the meeting Bob collected 12 checks which has AHCA starting the year with 12 family members.
Adam explained briefly what the Civic Federation does and that each civic association is entitled to have four voting members and four alternates. He explained that since only about 30 representatives from civic associations typically show up at meetings that if AHCA had all four voting delegates at a meeting then AHCA could have a significant impact on Federation policies and actions. The Civic Federation meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm and can go until 9:30 or 10:30 depending on the number of issues and resolutions to be addressed. Adam asked for volunteers to serve as delegates and alternates and got the following volunteers:
- Adam Croswell
- Carole Lieber
- Jan (Did not get a last name and was not on the sign in sheet)
- Cathy Camp
- Martin Chadzynski
- Ethan Taylor
- Bob Dannemiller
- Rich (Did not get the last name and was not on the sign in sheet)
Neighborhood Conservation (NC)
Betty Siegel reported that at the April AHCA meeting there would need to be a vote to prioritize AHCA project but that as of the October 2005 meeting AHCA voted to prioritize projects as follows:
- 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 project on South Garfield between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South is currently the AHCA first priority project and would probably get recommended for funding in either the spring or winter Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) funding round. Meanwhile, NC County Staff will be meeting with the residents and homeowners on that block on Thursday February 24 at 7:00 pm at Karen Laake's house to review the concept plan for the project for street improvements, to get feedback from property owners and answer questions. Karen has asked that those wishing to attend this meeting please RSVP with her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice of this meeting was sent to the AHCA list serve on Thursday Feb 17 and Robert Collins who is working with the NC on this project has had flyers made up which Karen said she would deliver to the homes on the block.
Jim Gill asked about the status of the updated neighborhood plan. Betty said that the plan is in its third draft, that it is being looked at by NC staff and that she is hopes it will be submitted in time to get enough points during the spring or winter round to get the first priority project funded. She also explained that she had seen no advantage to submitting it earlier and moving it through the process until the points it would give AHCA could be taken advantage of to get funding. AHCA two funded projects got funding without the need for additional points. But, now that the projects need the points to get funded she submitted the plan update. Jim pointed out that this would also probably give the next 2 or 3 projects enough points to get funded within the next two years. Betty mentioned that under the current points system generally neighborhoods get a project funded every two years.
Jim also recommends that AHCA ask for meetings like the one to be held on S. Garfield for all the projects AHCA has in queue. Cathy Camp mentioned that it might be nice on the South Irving project (#3 above) to get space enough on the street for parking on both sides. Jim gave some of the history and back ground on several of the AHCA NC projects including why the parking on South Irving wasn't addressed in the original project proposal. Jay explained that while he and Jim were presidents of AHCA they tried to get projects in queue that would put new streetlights on all the AHCA streets and that he thinks it would be a good idea for AHCA to extend this to the perimeter streets. Betty reminded everyone that until the 6 projects in queue have been funded that AHCA isn't eligible to submit any more projects.
Betty encouraged everyone who is interested to attend the NCAC meetings which are the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm off Wilson Blvd in the Rural Electric building. It is an excellent way to find out how neighborhoods get infrastructure, how the system works for funding projects and also what topical issues are being addressed around the county.
Election of Officers
Since neither Carole Lieber or Richard Bullington-McGuire from the nominating committee were able to attend the meeting Adam asked for nominations from the floor. Betty mentioned that at the last meeting Carole had said she would not run again for President but that she supported Adam for president. Both Bob and Betty said that they would run again for treasurer and secretary respectively. Paul Hashemi had emailed early that day to say that for personal reasons he would have to resign and could not run again for Vice President. Nominations came from the floor:
- Adam Croswell — President
- Martin Chadzynski — 1st Vice President
- Kimberly Sumner — 2nd Vice President
- Bob Dannemiller — Treasurer
- Betty Siegel — Secretary
Motion: To accept this slate as the new AHCA officers. Seconded, and passed unanimously.
ZORC and Allowable Lot Coverage:
Joan brought up that the County Manager and Board has now advertised and will address the ZORC recommendations for changes in the allowable lot coverage. Public hearings in front of the County Board on this issue will be May 7th and in front of the Planning Commission on April 25th.
To see the advertisement go to: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/CountyBoard/meetings/2005/feb/0212/27.pdf
Jim reiterated some of the history about the issues and his opinion (see the minutes of the 2004 October meeting) that the ZORC recommended changes will have a significant negative impact on those of us who are homeowners in South Arlington. The ZORC has recommended significant changes in allowable lot coverage which will decrease from 56% to something closer to 36% allowable lot coverage and will have a disproportionate effect on the smaller lots in South Arlington.
Jim strongly recommends that AHCA homeowners and concerned residents immediately email or write the county board about concerns, and to express whether or not they are or are not in favor of the proposed changes. And, that homeowners plan to go to the Board meeting on the 7th and give public testimony - the Board needs to hear now, and hear clearly how homeowners feel.
Betty pointed out that at the October 2004 meeting AHCA did make and support the motion that AHCA is opposed to the proposed ZORC changes to zoning which will limit the allowable lot coverage. But, that the position of AHCA was never sent to the Board in a letter.
Motion: That AHCA send a letter to the County Board stating that AHCA opposes any reductions to the current allowable lot coverage. Seconded, and passed unanimously.
Jim again recommended that each of us take the personal initiative to call the board and to the county board meeting. Jim also volunteered to draft a letter that AHCA could send to the local press and newspapers. Adam felt that such a letter if it was in the spirit of the October 2004 motion could be reviewed and sent by the AHCA president with out a motion and vote from the membership.
Newsletter: Although this email wasn't available for distribution at the meeting Paul Hashemi had wanted to thank the volunteers who delivered the newsletter over the weekend "Just wanted to mention that it would be nice to recognize the following volunteers for delivering the newsletter this weekend: Janet Shannon, Liz Fried, Matthew Morrissey, and Martin Chadzynski. Along with Adam and I, I think they covered the entire neighborhood."
The newsletter has been without leadership since Bahar had to resign. Several members at the meeting volunteered to take responsibility for soliciting advertising for the newsletter, getting it printed and recommending that it be mailed to each of the 875 households in AHCA instead of hand delivered. Jonathan Reed agreed to chair the Newsletter committee with Cathy Camp who also volunteered to help with the newsletter.
Tax Assessments: Kimberly asked if anyone was going to contest their tax assessment. Discussion ensued. Kimberly feels the tax assessment isn't fair and that she isn't getting better services in exchange. Other members at the meeting though that the best way to pursue the issue would be to ask the county board to lower the tax rate and that the raise in tax assessments was inevitable as property values soared. Jay and Joan recommended bringing this issue up on the AHCA list serve.
Traffic Calming: The traffic calming committee still doesn't have a chair person. Ethan Taylor mentioned that he was very concerned about South 7th Street and the speed and increase in traffic. He thought there were plans for a traffic calming circle at South 7th and Highland. Betty explained that there had never been plans for a traffic circle but as a part the S. Highland traffic calming measures there were to be embossed crosswalks at that intersection but that those had been postponed. Apparently there will be some cables run on the street and the county thought it would be better to wait to put in the new crosswalks until that work was finished so that they work wouldn't have to be done twice. They anticipate completing the South Highland Street traffic calming measures this spring or summer.
There is still concern about S.7th street and other streets. Jay mentioned that there is a process to initiative traffic calming studies and to get the County to consider a street for traffic calming measures. Information about traffic calming can be found at: http://www.co.arlington.va.us/Departments/EnvironmentalServices/dot/planning/ntc/EnvironmentalServicesTrafficCalming.aspx
AHCA Next Quarterly Meeting
The next meeting will be held on April 19th.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:15 pm
Betty Siegel, Secretary