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 

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