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