Scott Sklar, AHCA President, called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
Scott thanked Dave Schultz, VP for Programs, for organizing the meeting and praised him for the conception and logistics for the successful joint meeting with the Lyon Park Civic Association for Candidates night on September 14th at the Lyon Park Community Center. Scott also introduced Alexander Tuneski as new CoChair with Jack Spilsbury of the AHCA Development Committee.
Kids, INC. – Ann Felker presented on Kids, INC., an Ashton Heights News listing of local youths who are ready to earn money by helping residents with tasks such as dog walking, plant watering, babysitting, leaf raking, and other activities. The September 22 newsletter lists available youths, contact information, and tasks for which they are available. Six neighborhood youths presented on the work they enjoy and experience with the program (and more came to present later in the meeting!) If you have updates for the listing, contact Ann at email@example.com.
Arlington Police Department – Officer Carly Mullinax presented on the latest incidents around Ashton Heights. He reported 368 cases year-to-date, including 150 in the summer months between May 1 and September 15. Most incidents have been concentrated near the Ballston quarter metro. Case volumes are in line with seasonal averages, and more recent cases include 6 larceny via automobile (reminder to lock your car!), as well as fraud and drunk in public incidents. He reported a number of recent attempted burglary incidents in the area, most all in vacant or under construction homes. He advised residents to choose lighted streets in the evening, walking with groups, and being aware of surroundings.
Zoning – AHCA Development/Zoning Chair Jack Spilsbury spoke on development updates and introduced hhe new AHCA Development Committee CoChair Alexander Tuneski. He noted that the Joyce Motors lot will be redeveloped into an 11-story residential high-rise building, while the Silver Diner lot will be redeveloped into a hotel and another residential high rise. The lot behind Whole Foods may be developed into a 14-story building, as well as civic association desire to limit building heights. He also noted that AHCA is working with 12 other civic associations on the Missing Middle initiative.
Tree Canopy – AHCA Native Plants & Tree Canopy Chair Brooke Alexander and David Summers.
David spoke about his work at the State Department, where he had the opportunity to work in numerous countries and see firsthand those that prioritized trees and those that did not, as well as the difference that prioritization made on quality of life. David also presented his personal scientific observations on one of the hottest days this summer in Ashton Heights: the sidewalk under the shade of his tree was 83 degrees; and the sidewalk across the street in the sun was 119 degrees.
Brooke spoke about the relationship between trees and high temperatures, noting that one benefit of trees is the reduction of heat island effects and lower average temperatures. Showing slides from 1973, she noted that Ashton Heights surveys show fewer trees over time due to increased development. She also noted that between 2008 and 2016, Ashton Heights’ tree coverage changed from 48 percent to 41 percent (the neighborhood has the capacity for 58%, while Lyon Park as capacity for 59%). Trees also soak up rainwater, preventing flooding, as well as add to our neighborhood’s biodiversity.
Brooke also outlined county requirements for tree coverage. Arlington tree replacement requirements apply if more than 2500 square feet of land is disturbed, and currently require 20% canopy cover. She noted that under the Missing Middle initiative, that requirement would generally be 10%. For more information, she recommended contacting the Arlington Tree Action Group.
The meeting adjourned promptly at 9:02 PM.