March 2022 Newsletter

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The March 2022 newsletter is linked below. If you have any comments or questions, email editor@ashtonheights.org.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

By Scott Sklar, President, AHCA

As we focus as a community on the daily challenges of development, traffic, noise, open space, schools, tree canopy, housing, and safety & security – we need to focus on the bigger picture and some of the larger driving issues in our county and community.

This March we have two key players in that bigger picture. Our Congressman Don Beyer who sits on the Joint Economic Committee and the House of Representatives House Ways & Means Committee (tax-writing committee) and the House Science, Space & Technology Committee. His legislation was adopted to fund a study on aircraft and helicopter flights over Northern Virginia. He is a senior player in Congress and this gives us a chance to discuss not only the low-flight noise over our neighborhoods but also the timing and focus of federal infrastructure funds coming into Northern Virginia.

We also have our newly-appointed Arlington County Chief of Police Andy Penn, who attended our 100th anniversary celebration and spoke at our February AHCA meeting. Car thefts and break-ins, catalytic converter thefts, as well as intermittent acts of violence are increasing. With that in mind, I have met with him and we need to/will jointly work together to drive our destiny.

I am personally convinced that the AHCA needs to raise the stakes on how Arlington County carries out development and transportation planning. These two issues significantly impact our quality of life. Our AHCA Development Committee Chair Jack Spilsbury, backed up by a great team, has begun a process on working and driving our sister civic associations on the ongoing development issues in-and-around our neighborhood. Joan Fitzgerald, who is active on the Development Committee, has raised several times that the weight of the neighborhoods near specific projects have been watered-down in how the County polls community input. And we need to re-assert those most effected in a parallel input process. I am personally convinced that is an essential component to re-assert our interests into these more complicated, intense, and significant project planning and adoption.

I plan to begin an Association dialogue and implementation process that will start at the upcoming March meeting, but also discussed on the AHCA listserv and in future AHCA newsletters. Again, our quality of life, health, comfort, and livability are impacted by these decisions. And Ashton Heights, along with our sister civic associations, need to seize the initiative to assert more influence over these County actions.

As always, it is a pleasure and honor to serve as your AHCA President. Enjoy the last few weeks of winter.

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