Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 01/16/2019


Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes 01/16/2019
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought meeting to order a bit earlier at 7:23 pm, since we had a full schedule.  Various AHCA Committee reports:
Membership Committee: Jim O’Brien – The PayPal aspect of our website is back up, so members can now pay for their memberships on-line.
Transportation Committee, Patrick Lueb was not here, but Scott mentioned that Patrick mentioned that the County Board changed some parking rules in another jurisdiction, without proper protocol.  Sklar has been dialoguing with other civic associations on this issue.  Patrick will be looking into this.
Schools Committee, Gregory Morse reported that Thomas Jefferson Middle School will be taking Patrick Henry kids starting in September 2019.  The renaming of Washington Lee High School did not have input from all Arlington County Civic Associations.  Volunteers were solicited from each Civic Association, but none came forward from Ashton Heights.
Development Committee: David Phillips mentioned that an AHCA Development Principles Working Group has been formed with four volunteers.  Does anyone else want to join?
Brandon Watts mentioned that the County Budget for neighborhood projects has shrunk from $12 million to $5 million this year, so not sure how many of these projects will get done.
Ken Matzkin mentioned that NCAC (Neighborhood Conservation Program for Arlington County) has been stalled/delayed until June.  The Project Manager has been pulled to work on Amazon’s relocation to our county.
Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee: Brooke Alexander presented the Ashton Heights Tree Canopy and Native Plants Principles for review, discussion and approval. .  It was voted on and approved.
Next month Patrick Lueb will present a draft of the Ashton Heights Principles and Guidelines for Traffic and Development for review and discussion.
Denny Edelbrock, the Race Director for the Arlington Bunny Hop – They are looking for runners and volunteers to help with this effort, which will be held this year on April 27, 2019. 
Christian Dorsey Arlington County Board Chairman who is now serving as the Chair as of January 2016.  Here are some of his talking points.
Main issue – Budget.  We have slow revenue growth, how to fix?
Amazon – The total impact will be spread over the next dozen years, so he’s not expecting any serious detrimental impacts.  Amazon coming is a good thing.  Years ago Arlington put all its eggs in the Federal Government basket, which was a mistake.  Better to have a balance of both private and federal activity in the county.
Housing – He envisions the need for selective up-zoning for certain properties, especially along transit corridors.  How to do this fairly?
“Arlington Way” – On the one hand, the traditional openness of the county decision-making has declined.  On the other hand, more vigilance is needed to survive certain people “fighting dirty.”  County Staff needs to better learn how to engage while avoiding the dirty fights.
Arlington County vs. Arlington City?  Arlington County will be celebrating our 100th Anniversary this year.  Pros and cons to being a County vs. City.  Virginia General Assembly would have to grant home rule authority and more responsibility to change our status from a county to a city.
Watersheds Project Manager – Anne Guillette with Arlington County
Presented plans for a watershed garden at the corner of North Pershing Drive and North Oakland St, and discussed their program to catch rainwater from flowing into Chesapeake Bay.
Chief Of Animal Control, Arlington County – Jennifer Toussaint
Presentation about what happens in the animal welfare program in Arlington County, with a staff of five dealing with over 1000 calls on wild animals and lost pets.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 pm and AHCA members mingled, finished up the food and put away chairs. 
Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, January 23, 2019

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