Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 10/21/2020

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Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:32 pm.  

Scott gave a shout out to Emmilou Olsen for her efforts to pull together a Halloween Celebration for Ashton Heights residents, following the Virginia Health Department guidelines, and Celia Slater for putting out the press release to Arlington Now.

Regarding the recent Arlington County Board focus on changing parking issues,  Scott voiced appreciation about the tenor of the discussion about this on our Ashton Heights list serve.  He thanked everyone for blending interests, concerns and respect around this issue.

Arlington Police Department Representatives Tom Rokowski with Officers Wallace and Gunther, reported out recent crime statistics for our area.  Overall crime statistics are down, however the car larcenies have increased 50% this past year and 19 people have been arrested.  Unlocked cars are still getting broken into, please lock your cars.  Do the 9:00 pm routine to lock all your house doors, as well as your cars. Please call in any suspicious activities, which is helpful to better zero in on specific problem areas.

The latest identity theft strategies are phone calls from the IRS or Social Security Offices – please just hang up on these callers.  Normally if they need to contact you, they use “snail mail” – and

  • If you are called to pay any sort of debt using an iTunes or Apple card is a scam.
  • If you get a call that a grandchild is in jail and needs bail to be paid over the phone, this is most likely a scam.
  • If you need to pay a fine for not showing up for Jury Duty, this is most likely a scam.

Jim Terpstra, the AHCA Historian and a team of residents are planning the AHCA 100th Anniversary Celebration for next year. Next year they have scheduled presentations for this celebration, over a number of monthly meetings, they want them to be live presentations.

If you have any Ashton Heights memorabilia to contribute to this effort, please let him know.

On the Ashton Heights Website there is a house style guide that was made 20 years ago.  He would like to update this to reflect newer homes that have since been built.  He estimates there might be 40-50 new buildings in our neighborhood, the styles of which he would like to be included. If anyone is interested in this newer architecture and would like to lend their expertise, please contact him at terpstrajames2@gmail.com.

Jim Feaster, AHCA Member-at-Large is serving as Arlington County committee member for a General Land Use Plan (GLUP) study.  This is for the area where Pershing Drive and Route 50 intersect for the land on which the Days Inn is located.  This study is for a proposed change to the GLUP for either an 8 story office building or a 10 story building for residences.

Development/Zoning Committee members Jack Spilsbury and David Phillips have been having an ongoing dialogue with county planning staff and appreciate the support of a half dozen community members helping them out with this effort. 

The west side of Clarendon is being totally transformed with redevelopment of the areas of the Silver Diner, Joyce Motors, Wells Fargo, St. Charles Church and the Beer Lot.  They county planning division is keeping their eyes on all of this as well as our own committee members.

At our Nov 18th meeting there will be an overview of the county planning process with Bob Duffy and there will be a presentation about the Silver Diner Site.

The CVS being proposed at North Kenmore St. should be going ahead next year.  We got the proposed plans and landscaping.  Brooke has proposed revisions to the landscaping plan with more appropriate trees.

Jack and Dave are reviewing the historical buildings in our area. The Gold’s Gym (which use to be Al’s Motors) and &Pizza are designated historical, which could impact on further development of these areas.  They may confer with Peter Baird ? (Peter Dickson?) about this.

Brooke Alexander of the AHCA Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee reported that the county has 15 new trees for Ashton Heights in December and will have more for us in the Spring.  If you would like a tree please let her know at brooke.alexander52@gmail.com.

in the 1980s Brooke mentioned that she was part of the effort of 5 civic associations involved with the development of the Rosslyn to Ballston Sector Plan.  She is now working with the county to get trees planted in Maury and Gumball Parks.

Brent Burris our Neighborhood Conservation Rep reported that renaming of Henry Clay Park was approved.

As to the recent discussion of riding bikes on the mounds in Mosaic Park, the county rep has responded that the use of wheeled vehicles (bikes/ skateboards) is not allowed and could cause damage to the surface on the mounds.  They will be posting signs about this soon.

Also do not park in the Gold’s Gym lot if you are visiting Mosaic Park.  They do tow.

Christina Schultz of our Housing Committee attended a county meeting about the missing middle priced housing.  Apparently the focus was more on the supply side and not the demand side.

Presentation about White-Tailed Deer and Forest Health in Northern Virginia – Bill Browning of the Arlington Regional Master Naturalists presented a slide show (link is available to AHCA members) on how they are destroying habitat for other animals, flora. 

Presentation about the Redistricting Reform Amendment – Daela T. Tipton Deputy Executive Director of FairMapsVA on Provision One on the ballot on a bi-partisan commission on gerrymandering.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm. 

Respectfully submitted by Jodie Flakowicz, October 21, 2020 

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Ashton Heights Socially-Distanced Yard Sale – Map & Listings

Saturday, October 17th – 8am to 2pm (or Sunday, October 18th if due to rain-out)

Click here to download the map + guide to the Ashton Heights Yard Sale

House #

Items

Address

1

Artwork, antiques, vacuums, inflatable mattresses, kid stuff, quilts, ladder, misc.

3219 1st ROAD N

2

Children’s toys/games, girls’ clothing, winter items, shoes, girls’ sports items, books (child and adult)

3311 1st STREET N

3

children’s furniture, storage, toys

3120 2nd Road N

4

Clothing, bunk bed, hover board, children’s toys, kitchen items, small appliances, sewing machine, clothes, Legos, gaming chair, jewelry, shoes, games

3025 4th Street N

5

Hand thrown high fire porcelain pots, vases, cups, plates, and bowls

3812 6th Road N, corner of N. Oxford

6

Toys

3510 8th Street N

7

Puzzles, artwork, home wares, men’s clothing, toys

3118 8th Street N

8

Kitchen and home wares, clothing, decorations and glass ware

3110 8th Street N

9

Sporting equipment, clothing, games, puzzles and toys

3113 8th Street N

10

Housewares, Decorative Items, Glassware, Tools

322 N Garfield Street

11

Kids’ toys, clothes, books, bookcase, misc. household items

919 N Highland Street

12

house plants, wall art, books, CDs, furniture

34 N Irving Street

13

adult/kids clothes, suitcase, furniture, frames, steamer, DVD’s, craft paper, great bicycle

120 N. Irving Street

14

Women’s and men’s clothing, housewares, rugs, some furniture

711 N Irving Street

15

100+ mismatched China and colored goblets, baby items, clothes, misc.

920 N Irving Street

16

Housewares; Craft Supplies; Handbags/Luggage; Men’s Shoes (10.5); Neckties; Men’s Hats; Toys/Collectibles; Watches/Jewelry; etc.

713 N Ivy Street

17

Books/DVDs/CDs, household items, select clothing, games, jewelry. Venmo/paypal accepted

107 N Jackson Street

18

Gear, books, toys, clothes for young children

130 N. Jackson Street

19

Various household items, kids’ stuff, small furniture pieces

310 N Jackson Street

20

Men’s clothing, kitchen items, luggage, pictures, pet carrier, golf bag

311 N Jackson Street

21

Jewelry, china, cooper plates, cooper bowls and household items

515 N Jackson Street

22

in door house plants – make a donation for AFAC if you take a potted plant

617 N Kenmore Street

23

32″ TV, small chandelier, boys hockey gear, clothes, girl clothing, coats assorted kids toys.

302 N Lincoln Street

24

Treadmill Washer and electric Dryer

600 N Lincoln Street

25

Girls and boys clothing (ages 10-12), toys and gadgets, and games.

605 N. Lincoln Street

26

books (music/computer/other), clothes, equipment (kitchen/medical/other)

511 N. Monroe Street

27

Christmas decor, home improvement supplies, kids & women’s apparel, toys.

512 N Norwood Street

28

Household & wares; Glass/China ware; “Antiques”; Christmas; some Furniture

33 N Oakland Street (dead end of N Oakland!!)

29

Furniture, housewares, clothing.

138 N Oakland Street

30

antique/modern furniture, kitchen, pet supplies, decorative household items

321 N Oakland Street

31

Miscellaneous clothes, books, tchotchkes

423 N. Oakland Street

32

Household goods, toys, books

3300 N Pershing Drive

33

men’s and women’s clothing, home decor, kitchenware

3715 N. Pershing Drive

34

Girls’ clothes, Infant-5T

3730 N Pershing Drive

35

Tableware, glassware, tools, painting supplies, Legos and more

3735 N Pershing Drive (Driveway on Oakland)

October 2020 Newsletter

Uncategorized

Our October newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, send them to editor@ashtonheights.org.

COVID, Halloween, and Aircraft Noise by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

As we limp along through this pandemic, except for a few issues, we seem to be in good shape. Arlington County tried to institute some sidewalk behavior modifications in the evening on the area bar/restaurant strips in Clarendon & Pentagon City, but withdrew them. And the Beer Lot at the corner of 10th Street North and Wilson Blvd is packed at half strength (350 people) — many without masks or social distancing. I have talked with the Arlington County Board members and County staff on this issue – it is well known. Our only goal here is not to become a “hot spot” in the future.

A related issue was brought up on how we handle Halloween, raised by AHCA member Emmilu Olson – and we both have contacted the County who is also seeking guidance from the CDC and the State of Virginia. That said, Ashton Heights and some of our high volume streets such as North Jackson St, should not wait. We obviously want to celebrate safely without putting our children, their grandparents, and all of us in the community at risk. I am sure we can come up with some viable approaches. See more on page 10 to get involved in the planning.

Arlington County has initiated, due in part, to our urging, legislative language through the efforts of Representative Don Beyer, to get the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to look at flight patterns to ease noise over our communities. It sadly does not cover government airplanes or any helicopters. We experienced a recent ceremonial very low flyover of a fighter plane tied to the Eisenhower Memorial ceremony on the Mall. We may need to apply some other tactics to ensure low flying, except for public safety, is the last resort and flight patterns be routed over The Potomac River or major highways including Route 66 and 395.

I have no doubt we can come together on these issues and influence outcomes – that is what any good civic association should do. And that leads me to the final point of AHCA celebrating our 100th birthday next year (2021). Jim Terpstra (terpstrajames2@gmail.com), our AHCA Historian is the lead for this effort. We need to collect older documents – AHCA newsletters, flyers, pictures that we can digitize and create a compendium to memorabilia tied to our AHCA history – so any of you that have been in Ashton Heights awhile, please search your files and send on to Jim. Also the newer pictures of AHCA under COVID, with ride by parties, street dancing etc., should be sent along to Jim as well.

AHCA has a great legacy and I am excited about how we can come together on our challenges and our celebrations – which makes this community so vital. In January 2021, I will have lived in Ashton Heights for 36 years and served as your AHCA president for the 10th year. It has been an honor and a wonderful experience being part of this amazing community. Be well, be safe.

Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 09/16/2020 via Zoom

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Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:35 pm.  

Scott thanked our AHCA Zoom Team, Emmi Olsen and Chris Armstrong, for organizing this, our first Zoom Meeting.  

Emmilou Olsen also has become our Point of Contact (POC) re Halloween planning for our neighborhood.  She has heard from neighbors who are planning on celebrating Halloween as usual and others who have expressed concern about having Halloween this year, while we are still dealing with this pandemic.  Arlington County would like to wait to get Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines and directions from Richmond, and AHCA would like to come up with a consensus safe solution for the kids.  Jackson St. is a major draw for Halloween, but this year the police have no interest in shutting it down for trick or treaters.  A number of neighbors on Jackson St. have mentioned that they do not plan to decorate, as usual, due to the pandemic concerns.

If anyone has questions or ideas to help celebrate safely, please contact Emmilou Olsen at (briggsphotography@gmail.com).

Jim Terpstra, the AHCA Historian is organizing the AHCA 100th Anniversary Celebration for next year.  We have a great team of neighbors helping to plan this event, who will be meeting next week.  They are planning to have presentations celebrating this event at our March, April, May, Sept, Oct and November meetings next year.  Please check the historical part of our AHCA Website.  If you have any documentation to contribute please let him know.  We do plan on paying to have some documentation digitized so it can be posted to our website.  Also, if you have any questions/ideas with what we should do with all our historical documentation, please contact Jim at (terpstrajames2@gmail.com).  

Brooke Alexander of the AHCA Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee reported that the county still has tree whips available.  Let her know if you would like one at (brooke.alexander52@gmail.com).  She is working with the Arlington Arts Center to get more trees planted on their lot.

Gumball Park has six dead trees that need to be removed and replaced.  The county began removing two of the trees without her knowledge.  She is working with the county reps to get better advanced warning on when they are focusing on any tree activity in the parks in our neighborhood.  

Scott Sklar reported since Patrick Lueb of our Transportation Committee was not on-line re the Kenmore Street traffic calming issue.  Apparently Arlington County was looking into traffic calming on Kenmore St., which we think is more of a safety issue, since both a kid and a bicyclist have been hit by cars recently on this street.  The County Board has been notified and Scott was hoping Patrick might give us the latest.  AHCA is also working with Lyon Park Citizens Association one blocking Route 50 east left turns onto North Irving Street.

David Philips and Jack Spilsbury of our Development and Zoning Committee reported on the following:

The Glebe Road Harris Teeter Project will begin construction by the end of the year.  The old Harris Teeter will remain open for the next three years, while the surrounding tear down (of the Mercedes Body Shop and house) and construction begins. Once the new Harris Teeter is built and opened, the old Harris Teeter will be removed.  The new site will also include 300 apartments.

The Joyce Motor Project timeline for all permits is over the next 24 months.  This will be in the Beer Lot and the Silver Diner spaces for the construction of a hotel, apartments, commercial space and a new street. The are aiming to break ground in 2022 and to finish up in 2024.  We will have a presentation about this at our November 18 meeting.

The CVS Project had a meeting with nearby neighbors.  There also was a landscaping meeting re landscaping to block the light and the noise to nearby houses.

Re the issue of zoning adjustments for non conforming lots that are allowed to add additions – AHCA has decided not to take a position on this.

Christina Schultz of our Safety and Security Committee has heard from Captain Linder of the Arlington County Police, who is our new Point of Contact.  The number of cases of crime has gone down.  Larceny of vehicles continues to happen and people need to remember to lock their cars.

The Census in Arlington is 75% done.  Areas in south Arlington still need to respond to this effort.

We have a new Committee of Housing overseen by Matthew Hall and Christina Schultz.  They are focused on the missing middle housing study by the Arlington Alliance for  Housing with a focus on how to increase the supply.  Builders are not building housing to meet this need.

Voting Safely in 2020 Presentation – Joan Porte, President; Lisa Koteen Gerchick, Election Integrity Chair and Donald Gurney, Voter Services Chair; Arlington League of Women Voters

Presentation on the Plans for the George Mason University Institute for Digital Innovations & Replacement for the Kann’s Department Store Building – Lisa Wilson Durant

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm. 

Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, September 20, 2020 

SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

Newsletter

Our September newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, send them to editor@ashtonheights.org.

Back on Track – Still by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

I wanted to send my warmest regards to everyone within Ashton Heights and our surrounding community, and hope you had a good summer and are safe and secure during this pandemic.

The Ashton Heights Civic Association (AHCA) has still been very active addressing a wide range of issues. I am happy to say that we will continue to email our AHCA Newsletter but we will also return to delivering it after we polling our coordinators Bea Camp and Julie Mangis as well as the volunteers that deliver the newsletters.

As you can see on the cover page, we will hold our first new AHCA Monthly Meeting (the third Wednesday of every month) using ZOOM coordinated by Emmilu Olson and Chris Armstrong. I hope you will participate and hear the short reports by our Chairs & Co Chairs of our eight AHCA Committees & Subcommittees and our two speakers.

AHCA is in the process of sending another letter to the County Board on “safety” approaches on North Kenmore Street since a child was hit a few months after a bicyclist was hit – emphasizing the need to speed up differentiate between ‘traffic calming’ and move to “pedestrian & property’ safety. We plan to keep up the pressure.

AHCA has been active on a range of COVID-19 issues, starting with the family help service established by AHCA Safety and Security Committee chair Christina Schultz, and interfacing with the County on crowding at the Beer Lot and other issues.

Development issues are always before us, as are tree canopy, affordable housing, schools, transportation & traffic, and open spaces/playgrounds. And I expect the challenges of COVID, smaller Arlington County budget resources — are all going to make our efforts harder. That said, why we have a civic association is to pool our human resources to track these issues, build community consensus, and interact effectively with the County, businesses, and community organizations.

Two issues we are preparing for, is how we interface and react to the Arlington County Water & Wastewater Utility Rate Study. We want to make sure rates are fair and that service and billing are also fair and responsive. The County has two proactive activities maximizing: 1) mail-in voting, and 2) insuring maximum participation in Census 2020. Right now we are just forwarding information, but we are very interested in ideas and approaches from anyone within the Ashton Heights community.

So welcome to Fall. Join us this month as we start-up our monthly meetings via ZOOM. And all, be safe!

May 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter

Our May newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, send them to editor@ashtonheights.org.

An Amazing Community – Great Spirit and Generosity by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

 I can’t express my appreciation for all the great work and camaraderie by our Ashton Heights community which is just overwhelming. Just too many to shout out, but I am listing the handful that comes to mind:

  • a group making masks for health workers
  • families giving out books for children and adults
  • on street dancing for children and us old folks
  • establishment of a buddy system for food and errands for those unable to leave their houses
  • listserv trading items that people in our community need
  • organizing a blood drive for COVID-19 patients

And it is wonderful seeing families walking, biking and playing together – chalk drawing on the street, skateboards and scooters and bouts of playfulness. This is our last newsletter before the summer, so I wanted to emphasize the breadth of commitment to our community.

The day-to-day actions we at AHCA are doing, all by volunteers, for AHCA Committees on traffic & street repairs, development & zoning issues, security and safety, schools, parks-playgrounds-open spaces, native plants & tree canopy preservation, affordable housing, water bills data collection, and those representing our community on the Arlington Commission on Aging, the Civic Federation, Neighborhood Conservation, Clarendon Alliance, etc. – are ongoing and also how we contribute to the well being of our community.

I want to thank all of you — everyone of you — for making Ashton Heights just a wonderful place to live.

I have no idea what will be the situation with this pandemic in September. We will begin again in September our AHCA newsletter for the Fall (thank you Amy Miller), but not sure whether it will be only electronic or handed out as in the past as a printed version too. I am also not sure whether we will be able to hold our monthly meetings (third Wednesday of every month) at the Clarendon Methodist Church social hall – if not we’ll explore a larger ZOOM meeting.

But all that aside – the generosity and initiative of all of you, are making a great difference. So I salute you and wish you a safe and healthy Spring & Summer.

April 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter

Our April newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments, send them to editor@ashtonheights.org.

COVID-19: Our AHCA Community by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

Well you can imagine we have lots of COVID-19 related challenges, but we are moving through them. As your AHCA President, I have had lots of communication with the County on issues, services, etc. As they are officially announced, I send them on the listserv. Some important info for you:

Arlington County Announces New COVID-19 Call Line – Community members who cannot find the information they need on the County’s website or through other resources, should call 703-228-7999 for assistance.

Arlington County & Virginia Hospital Center Open A New COVID-19 Drive Through Test Center – A temporary drive-through COVID-19 sample collection site at 1429 N. Quincy Street. Physicians with symptomatic patients can send orders to the Virginia Hospital Center outpatient lab electronically in EPIC or via fax to 703-558-2448. Once they have received a physician’s order, patients should call the VHC COVID-19 Scheduling Line at 703-558-5766 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Patients must schedule an appointment before visiting the collection site. Please keep your physician’s phone number on the wall near your telephone and in your pocket as well.

This brings me to REQUEST #1 – if you know a neighbor who is new to the area or not usually using the internet, please cajole them to join the AHCA listserv. Communications are extremely important at this time. Requests should be e-mailed to the AHCA listserv moderator, Betsey Lyon at etlyon410@gmail.com.

The AHCA April monthly meeting has been canceled (see box). We have to see how the coming months are as to whether we can reschedule future meetings.

Our AHCA Safety & Security Committee Chair Christina Schultz has an important column in this newsletter (page 3) on our AHCA Community Help and Service approach for helping those in Ashton Heights who are unable to leave and need food, medicines, and sustained periodic checking upon. We already have some volunteer names but more will be collected along with use of a formal request form (forms.gle/U8FjEmoDpWgD5ySo6). If you want to volunteer by being paired with a family/person, fill out the appropriate form: high risk (https://forms.gle/PbvhhiYUsT92xawv8) and low risk (https://forms.gle/Xpw2kR7wuAMWiDWp9).

AHCA has a very high ratio of 65-and-older age group, and we have many with immune system deficiencies that make them more susceptible (such as diabetes, heart & lung disease, cancers, etc), handicapped/special needs, single parents, etc.

REQUEST #2 – if you have neighbors in these categories, call them or e-mail them – check how they are, let them know of this effort — as a community we do not want ANYONE left out of this safety net, not one.

And finally, REQUEST #3 – if you have any other ideas, concerns, etc, please email me directly at solarsklar@aol.com, or call me at home 703-522-3049. I have already received quite a number of emails/calls and I appreciate them. I have seen some wonderful suggestions on the listserv, but wanted to highlight three:

1. Order in from local vendors routinely – please lets keep our special businesses viable during this ordeal,

2. Short, socially distanced activities like dancing and bike riding for kids (and adults) is important .. safe social interaction is needed, and

3. Leaving books and other activities for pick up is wonderful to share – reduce clutter and provide an activity for another.

From what I see, most people are social distancing, friendly when walking by, my own neighbors are amazing (since I am way over 65) to make sure I am OK and have food – just the attributes that make this such a great community. The more we help each other, the better our community will make it through this unprecedented event.

I am certain we will as a community meet these new challenges. And again, I want to deeply thank so many of you that have already volunteered, offered to volunteer, keep our Civic Association functioning, and those for reaching our to your neighbors in your community.

Be well, Be safe. Many thanks.

March 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter, Uncategorized

Our March newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments, send them to editor@ashtonheights.org.

Five Trends in Arlington: Ashton Heights “Front & Center”

by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

As we move into Spring, I am feeling the need to encourage a creative dialogue. I am not advocating one way or the other on the points below, but using this column only to stir discussion.

Trend #1: Housing Density and Affordability. Discussions in Richmond and with the Arlington Board are not only addressing affordable housing, but the nature of residential neighborhoods. Many of us strongly want to keep the single home character of our community, yet others see multiplexes, townhouses and other approaches to offer a variety of living approaches to allow more flexibility, affordability, and livability.

Trend #2: Climate Change: Trees, Energy, and Buildings. The Arlington County Board voted unanimously in November 2019 on an updated Community Energy Plan (CEP) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Clean Air Act regulated emissions, and significantly increase energy efficiency and renewable energy. Aside from announcing a contract with Dominion for over 100 MW of solar, efforts to nudge builders and developers to incorporate these approaches significantly in their projects and buildings since residential (26%) and non-residential (53%) buildings use 79% of our energy. More pressure on how our buildings are built, renovated, and how we behave in them, are going to be ever increasing. Native trees are also in this game plan for soaking in carbon, providing food and shelter for wildlife, and softening the urban character of our community.

Trend #3: Convenience & Personalization of Transportation. We all know Uber/Lyft, scooters, well-marked roadways, bike lanes, and density around Metro stops, all address not only traffic, but convenience, and livability. We can have food delivered by any restaurant, Amazon and others drop off any goods, and more and more in-home and in-office services are at our fingertips. How that impacts personal time, comfort, and family is being studied by many.

Trend #4: Multi-use Spaces and Buildings. Our schools and government buildings are not only used for their prime use, but also for community meetings, the arts and education. And now we are seeing private buildings, have public meeting space in the lobby, the NRECA building used for public meetings, as does AHCA and Little Beginnings Day Care share the Clarendon United Methodist Church facilities.

Trend #5: Aging in Place. The older population in Arlington – those ≥65 years of age – grew more rapidly than the rest of the population in each of the last three decades. It will continue to grow rapidly and at a faster rate. Northern Virginia’s older old population, those ≥75 years of age, is the region’s most rapidly growing population group. Growth in this age group will exceed 50% in each of the next two decades. Yours truly, is planning to age-in-place in my home. This means more walkable community, in-house services, and more county and various association tailored programs to my demographic.

I hope, as a community, we can discuss how we fit best into these trends among others not mentioned, so as to be proactive on addressing our future. Only through shared vision, community dialogue, and volunteer time – can we create a joint vision to help drive our consensus visions to reality.

Details of Ashton Heights 100th Anniversary plans for next year are underway (see page 4). We have had some very prescient Arlington residents and leaders that helped fashion the community we have today. This perspective should help all of us and guide all of us on pathways to the future.

We have a great community and we have a long road to further many past and present great ideas to make it an even better community.

Happy Spring!

Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 02/19/2020

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Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 02/19/2020
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.  Scott was contacted by the county regarding the Clarendon Sector Plan inviting our community’s input.  Scott replied that representatives from our Development, Transportation, Housing Committees and , Playgrounds & Parks and our Tree Canopy subcommittees will be happy to provide input.  We will be impacted the most by this development by the potential congestion, density and the traffic. He also received an email from the county re our traffic concerns on Kenmore Street.  They will be putting a traffic study together about this which should take six months.

Patrick Lueb, Chairman of our Transportation Committee mentioned that there have been concerns about the traffic circle at Jackson St and 6th Street, because the signage is worn and is hard to see, especially at night.  He is looking into this. He also mentioned that there are concerns about the redevelopment on Pershing Dr., that ugly barrels, like the ones recently placed on Pershing on the other side of Washington Blvd, will be used.  He has found out that the type being planned for our site is different. 

Brooke Alexander of the AHCA Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee shared with us a copy of the Henry Clay Park construction plan.  Originally there was concern since we had no idea what was happening there.  The Arlington County Rep assured us that this plan was shared with the immediate neighborhood, and they did provide input to what was being proposed.  This project is on schedule and scheduled to be completed in 2020. She also updated us on the three trees that were removed on the site of the Arlington Art Center.  Come to find out that the county has approved 16 trees to be planted on this site, which should happen soon. She also shared an article called “How to Turn Your Yard into an Ecological Oasis” and took email addresses to send it to each of us.  

Brent Burris of the AHCA Playground & Parks Subcommittee reported on the NCAC Redevelopment Project at Pershing and Oakland, which includes a water garden and an adjustment to some side walks.  Come to find out that will also impact on some street parking spaces.  He will be attending a presentation about what is being proposed next week and will report back to us. He also gave us an update on what is happening with the construction at Mosaic Park.  Right now they working on the interactive water feature and are on schedule to be finished during second quarter of 2020.

Dave Phillips of the AHCA Development Committee reported that with the Clarendon Redevelopment there are three sites and three developers involved.  So far we have heard one preliminary site plan for the Joyce Motors site and hopefully we will hear from the other two soon.  For now it is looking like the Silver Diner will remain open until December 2021.
He attended a meeting with the county rep re the proposed plan for the The Highlander Motor Inn site, which will eventually be the location of a new CVS store.  The site for the new CVS includes the property the hotel is on, and the parking lot behind the hotel.  The lot of the house behind this location, not zoned for a commercial site, will be used as a green space and buffer, for the houses beyond, but not necessarily the “greenway”.  Neighbors Kristen Bass and Courtney and Nick Lewis, are the homeowners most impacted by this development and they attended this meeting as well.  Scott mentioned that he understands that neighbors around this store will be concerned about lighting and noise, but the civic association will support them in any way they might need.  Scott also gave a shout out of appreciation to Dave Phillips and Jack Spilsbury of the Development/Zoning Committee for all of their time, attention and interaction with the county and the property owner over this whole project.

Denny Edelbrach from the Clarendon United Methodist Church invited us to participate in the Arlington Bunny Hop scheduled for April 18, 2020 @ 8:00 am.  Funds made from this event will be donated to Bridges to Independence and Offender Aid and Restoration.

Arlington County Police Officer Corporal Lennon and crew did an analysis of criminal activity in our area for the past year.  There have been burglaries at some used car lots where suspects have been arrested.  Larceny from unlocked cars continues and they are encouraging us to implement the daily 9:00 pm routine to making sure your car, garage, yard and house are all secure.  Ballston Mall has had some shoplifting issues and cars being stolen as well.  They are encouraging us to call them if we spot anything suspicious.  The Arlington Restaurant Initiative with bars taking a more proactive involvement with potential problems, has been working with curbing drunk and disorderly activity in and around the Clarendon restaurant and bar area.  There still are large crowds on the weekends, but there are fewer incidents.  5 – 10 police officers are usually assigned to this area during these busy times, which also helps.  
A concern was raised about traffic blowing through some intersections while people are attempting to cross streets in cross walks.  It was suggested that we report any of these incidents on-line.
Another concern was raised about electric scooters being parked on sidewalks and also rented cars being parked in residential areas after use.  Technically the companies who own these vehicles are supposed to pick up their vehicles within a day or two.  If they do not, feel free to call the company.
A food truck has been parked most evenings in a parking slot on Pershing Dr. running their business.  Concern was raised about the propane tanks on the back of the truck sticking out into traffic.  Technically the truck is parked legally and there really is nothing that can be done about the propane tanks sticking out into traffic.

Gary Hamilton, the Published of Arlington Magazine talked about some of the impacts of Amazon’s arrival and some observations about the July 2019 flooding. He advised that while housing will rise, not so much that residents should wait to bet on the value increases.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm and AHCA members mingled, finished up the food and put away chairs. 
Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, February 22, 2020

February 2020 Ashton Heights Newsletter

February 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter

Our February newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments, send them to editor@ashtonheights.org.

 

Getting into Full Swing – Making Ashton Heights Stay Great (As Always)
by Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

 As January dashed by, the biggest issues we are facing are development, crime, water rates, and roadways. Our intrepid AHCA Crime & Safety Chair Christina Shultz put out a detailed memo about the Arlington County police presentation at our January meeting. The recent rash of automobile incursions in Ashton Heights cars are almost all in unlocked vehicles. The only smashed windows were tied to two visible – computer and purse – on the car seat in commercial parking areas. No use of wireless fob number theft devices has been reported or believed to be in use. So two basic guides – check & lock your car every evening, and leave nothing of value visible.

We also advised on the listserv roadwork beginning on Pershing Drive and soon, some continued work on Wilson Blvd. approaching 10th Street North. AHCA also submitted a formal letter to Arl. Co. on traffic calming on N. Kenmore St. AHCA Transportation Committee Chair Patrick Lueb has been following, dialoguing with the County, and fact finding on planter design options.

Due to great work by Barbara Taylor (bet2713@gmail.com ), we have collected data from 71 residents whose water bills were over 100% higher. We have submitted the aggregated data to the Arlington County Board, and with other civic associations to show a statistical quantification of the problem. AHCA will be pursuing this issue, since it has been an ongoing problem that is not solely tied to water leaks, as County staff maintains.

AHCA has also been dialoging with the other Arlington civic associations who have contacted Arlington County Board members about the need to revisit the Zoning Ordinance provisions for lot coverage, height, and setback of single-family homes — and also to ensure compliance with these restrictions as homes are actually built.

We transferred to our new listserv platform seamlessly. Thank you for the hard work Betsey – please see the full article on page five of this month’s newsletter.

The AHCA Development Committee has been meeting with the county on these main in-process developments: 1. TCS project on Wilson (Beer Lot to Silver Diner). 2. Joyce Motors redevelopment on 10th street 3. Status of third development (Wells Fargo site) 4. CVS project – zoning/rezoning issue on three lots; environmental issue; arrangement for meeting with group of nearby residents on permitting (lighting, traffic, vegetation barriers etc). 5. Hotel (Randolph and 5th); Mr Wash: Status. AHCA Development Co-chairs David Phillips and Jack Spilsbury are always open to input and guidance.

MORE THANK YOU’s from all of us at AHCA — Debby Chin, owner of The Baking Q, has been donating food at our monthly as she tests the market place for its product line of desserts. If you like something and would like to place an order, please contact Debby (debbychin@me.com) for more information. Thanks to Greg Morse who has also been bringing in healthy snacks for the meetings.

Carmen Kosik (emailocity@gmail.com) has been successfully getting ads for the newsletter so we can expand it slightly, and deserves our kudos for this important task. And Ann Felker (gr8est9@gmail.com) has been coordinating the Kids Page in our newsletter that helps employ our youngest members in ways that help our community. Thanks so much!

Wishing you a happy Winter season, here in Ashton Heights!