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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