Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:31 pm. asking for reports from our committees.
Jack Spilsbury of our Development Committee mentioned that he and Dave Phillips attended the latest LRPC Clarendon Sector Plan Update Meeting, where they shared concerns compiled by our civic association. Obviously what they talked about did not square with what the developers were proposing, but it still was a good meeting. They will attend the next meeting scheduled for April 14. They referenced the AHCA consensus letter released to Arlington County Board and staff a week earlier.
They also attended a Lyon Village monthly meeting with the County Planner Brett Wallace presenting the Clarendon Sector Plan Update. Lyon Village Residents had similar concerns we did primarily along the Washington Blvd side to all this redevelopment.
They are continuing to reach out to other neighborhood civic associations about this.
Gregory Morse and Caroline Rogus of our Schools Committee were not on-line.
Brent Burris our Neighborhood Conservation Rep was not on-line.
Patrick Lueb of our Transportation Committee was not on-line.
Scott mentioned that break-ins into cars are on the rise. Please lock your car. There is alot of road work happening on Pershing Drive and Washington Blvd. Any concerns contact Patrick Lueb at firstname.lastname@example.org. He mentioned that there has been concerns that the reconstruction of Clay Park is taking too long, can someone look into this? Scott also thanked Martha Casey for posting the latest information about COVID vaccines in Arlington. If you are unable to schedule an appointment, please contact her at email@example.com .
Brooke Alexander of our Tree Canopy Committee reported that trees will be planted at Maury and Gumball Parks this Spring. Our latest batch of tree canopy funded trees are coming in two weeks
Christina Schultz of our Safety and Security Committee introduced Officer Harley Guenther from the Arlington County Police. She presented some options to find crime information and stats for Arlington County. She is suggestion going to the Arlington County Police Website at police.ArlingtonVA.us. Once you log in, there are links to the right side of the screen for Police Newsroom, Daily Crime Report and an on-line crime map, where you can see the latest criminal activity in the county.
The Missing Middle Housing Initiative – Three Presentations:
1)Presentation by Hon. Libby Garvey about the Arlington County Missing Middle Study
2) Presentation by Peter Rousselot with Arlingtonians for a Sustainable Future
3) Third Presentation by Alice Hogan with the Alliance for Housing Solutions
The GMU study – The economic and fiscal impact of locating Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington VA: https://sfullerinstitute.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/SFI_-Economic_-Fiscal_Impacts_of_Amazon-HQ2_110818.pdf
The final presentation for the meeting is part of a multi-series of AHCA meeting presentations on ACHA History by Jim Terpstra, AHCA’s Historian, as a precursor to our 100th anniversary celebration.
Ashton Heights Origin and History Book by Peter Dickson in 2007 is being updated to include more recent developments. Hopefully will be printed and available in the Fall.
Ashton Heights Style Guide – three volunteers have identified newer housing styles in our neighborhood will be identifying what they are and will be updating the housing style guide. They hope to do a walking tour of these homes in the Fall.
Jim also plans on adding for historical information not our website soon.
The meeting adjourned around 8:39 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Jodie Flakowicz, March 20, 2021.
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:34 pm.
Scott thanked Jim Richardson, for enlisting AHCA meeting speakers and Emmi Lou Olson and Chris Armstrong for setting up the meeting ZOOM meetings, and specifically to Chris Armstrong for taking over Carmen’s position covering ads for our newsletter. Martha Casey has stepped up to provide the latest vaccine and pandemic information on our list serve and the newsletter. He also thanked our newsletter editor Amy Miller and the newsletter distribution team.
Doug Williams and Patrick Lueb have been focused on the county review of our residential parking situation. Doug has attended and testified, on our behalf, at county meetings about this issue and want to ensure our current parking parameters and permit requirements remain the same on our streets. Six civic associations in our area are focused on this issue and maintaining the current requirements. We want to keep our finger on the pulse of how this dialogue is going.
Christina Schultz and Matt Hall of our Housing Committee are focused on the county dialogue on the loss of middle housing in our area. At our next meeting in March, they will have three speakers for us on this issue.
Dave Phillips and Jack Spilsbury of our Development Committee just posted on our list serve a first draft response for Ashton Heights on the current update of the 2006 Clarendon Sector Plan presented in February. They would like input from everyone by Feb 22 to meet the deadline for county input. Submit your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Also if you would like to review the presentations about the Clarendon Sector Plan yourself, below is the link to the Arlington LRPC/Planning Commission website, as well as a direct link to the survey they have posted for input on the Clarendon Sector Plan with a deadline of February 22 for input. Included at this site are links to two Planning Staff presentations (on Youtube) regarding key issues for the Clarendon Sector Plan review that was launched last November and will continue through fall 2021. One presentation focus on building design and zoning requirements, while the second discusses public/green space issue in the study area (Clarendon West End including 10th St/Wilson Blvd triangle as well as the segment of Fairfax drive between Clarendon Circle and Kirkland).
Brooke Alexander expressed concerns that we need to stick to what we agreed to in the 2006 Sector Plan. There was talk that the fire station would be going away and replaced with a green space. Why not keep the fire station to better support our neighborhood? Dave Phillips mentioned that he is under the impression that the plan with the county is for the fire station to remain. He went on to mention how there is a proposal by the county to create green space near St. Charles Catholic Church turning a parking area between the church and Northside Social Club into a park. On one hand it is a good thing to create more green space, however, why give up this very active parking area that is needed which will not doubt contribute to our current parking problem.
Brooke also mentioned that she attending the LRPC Meeting regarding the development between Clarendon and Courthouse areas where some hight density is being proposed. She was concerned that the area of density seems to be expanding, which could create a precedent, which will encourage high-density to continue.
Julie Mangis agreed that this is something that we need to keep an eye on. These county proposals could allow the “urban village” idea to slowly disappear.
Cole Deines has noticed that so much time and effort has been done by our community members to provide input on what our vision is to be, but over time instead of these plans being allowed to remain adhered to, he is finding that they are challenged more and more.
Jack Spilsbury mentioned the idea of Sector Plans for areas of the county not being budgeted for more recently. Maybe this is another thing to keep an eye on.
Corporal Wallace with Arlington County Police went over recent crime statistics for Arlington County. Nothing out of the ordinary.
2 stolen vehicles – keys left in the cars while engines still running
1 peeping tom at Life Fitness – suspect hiding above the ceiling tiles attempting to get over to the women’s locker room – he fell through to the floor.
2 car jackings in Crystal City and Pentagon City
1 rape in our area – can not share any info yet.
There have also been a series or burglaries of small businesses around the county.
Presentation by Officer Harley Guenther with the Arlington County Police
Preventing Fraud and Identity Theft – Downloaded from the Arlington County Police Website
CYBERSAFETY TIPS – INTERNET SAFETY
PASSWORDS & PRIVACY Use complex passwords (upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols) that are difficult to guess and avoid sharing your password.
DOWNLOADS Never download files from unverified sources or senders. Verify the sources of files and third-party applications before downloading.
OPERATING SYSTEMS Run updates regularly to keep operating systems and installed software current and protect your devices from viruses.
COMMUNICATION Always have open dialogue with family members about computer use and internet safety. Ensure children recognize risky situations online and know to alert an adult.
PROTECTING YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Limit the amount of personal information you post. Do not post information that makes you vulnerable, such as your address, or information about your daily routine or schedule.
The Internet is a public resource. Only post what you are comfortable with anyone seeing.
Be wary of strangers. It is easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives on the internet. Avoid interacting with people you don’t know.
Be skeptical. Don’t believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information, and not always with malicious intent.
Evaluate your privacy settings. A site’s default settings may not offer the level of protection you desire and may change, so review your privacy settings regularly. Use third-party applications cautiously. Third-party applications may provide entertainment or functionality, but avoid enabling suspicious applications and limit the amount of personal information the application can access.
Use strong passwords. Protect your account with passwords that cannot be easily guessed. If your account is compromised, someone else may be able to access your information.
Read privacy policies. Some sites may share your information with other companies, which may lead to an increase in spam. Always read and understand referral policies.
Keep software up to date. Install software updates regularly, including updates to your web browser. This prevents attackers from taking advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. When possible, enable automatic updates.
Use anti-virus software. When kept up-to-date, anti-virus software protects your computer against known viruses, and can detect and remove viruses before they do damage.
PROTECTING YOUR CHILD ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Be involved. Consider activities you and your child can work on together. This allows you to monitor your child’s computer habits while teaching safety skills. Set rules and warn about dangers. Set boundaries for internet usage. Make sure your child understands and recognizes suspicious activity and content, including cyber bullying.
Keep you computer in an open area. Keeping the computer in a high traffic area allows for easy monitoring of computer activity and acts as a deterrent to children who engage in risky activities on the computer.
Monitor computer activity. Know what your child is doing on the computer, including what websites they visit and have a sense of who they contact and interact with online.
Consider partitioning your computer into separate accounts. Most operating systems give you the option to create different accounts for each user. Create a separate account with controlled access and privileges for your child to use. Consider implementing parental controls. Some browsers and internet service providers allow you to block certain websites on your computer, or allow you to restrict access to those with a password.
More information about cyber safety is available on the Arlington County Police Department’s website on the Crime Prevention & Safety page (police.arlingtonva.us/prevention-safety).
Be suspicious of:
Strangers who are overly friendly or who offer to share “just-found money”
Someone claiming to be a “bank examiner” who requests your help in catching a thief — a real bank official won’t ask you to take money out of your account for any reason
The well-dressed “bank official” or uniformed “guard” who offers to make your bank transactions for you
Phony debts after the death of a loved one — check it out before paying
Getting something for nothing and deals that sound too good to be true
“Free home inspection” offers or door-to-door solicitations for home improvements
Stop and think before you hand anybody any cash.
Read and understand anything you sign, especially the fine print.
Report to the police any crime, attempted crime or suspicious person or activity. If you have any doubts about something, report it — you may prevent a crime.
Credit Card Skimmers
Skimming devices have become more sophisticated. In most cases, the skimmers are being placed inside machines, such as gas pumps and ATMs, and are undetectable without opening the machine. Citizens can take the following crime prevention steps to avoid skimmers at gas stations:
Pay inside at the gas station, rather than at the pump.
Always pay using a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of putting a PIN number in. That way, the PIN number is safe.
Consider purchasing a refillable prepaid card to purchase gas at the pumps.
If you have not already switched to a chip reader on your credit card, do so.
Regularly check your bank statements and if you notice fraudulent activity, notify the bank so they can begin an investigation.
Credit card skimming cases are typically reported to police as credit card fraud. Since credit and debit cards are accepted at most locations, the challenge is identifying the point of compromise. Turnaround time from point of compromise to first fraudulent use varies depending on how the suspects intend to use the stolen data. Police work closely with banking institutes who notify us when there is a trend with customers cards being compromised and they identify the location all the cards have in common. Citizens are encouraged to regularly review their bank statements and report fraudulent activity.
When approached by a charitable solicitor, follow these practices:
Demand to see the solicitor’s proper identification.
Donate only to familiar causes and organizations.
Check an organization’s reliability by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline – Handled by the Office of the Attorney General, VA toll free at 800-552-9963 or at 804-786-2042.
To find out more about the charitable organization and how much your contribution will be used for charitable purposes, call the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP) within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 804-786-1343. All charitable organizations must be registered with OCRP.
Beware of the smooth-talking salesman who comes to your home unannounced. Also, be weary of any phone call requesting a home appointment to give you something or asking you to participate in a survey.
Be on the alert for the operator who poses as an inspector. If you’re approached in this way, ask for the person’s credentials and call the agency represented or the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) at 703-558-2222.
Watch out for bait-and-switch sales tactics. This is when a merchant advertises a product at a certain price or as possessing certain qualities, but when you attempt to buy it, you’re switched to a higher-priced or off-brand product.
Fight the temptation of referral selling. This scheme offers you the chance to make quick money by supplying your friends and relatives’ names as prospective customers.
Carefully investigate “free” or “bargain” offers. There is often a hidden trick or condition attached to the offer, which may result in you paying much more.
Don’t be rushed into signing any papers. Carefully read, examine and understand all conditions of any contract or agreements. Never sign a blank contract or a contract with blank spaces.
Don’t rely on verbal representations. Be sure that such promises can be found in the terms and conditions.
Ask questions. Know exactly what you’re buying and find out what the product or service will cost.
Know with whom you are dealing. Beware of the fly-by-night operator or the company without a local address. It’s safer to deal with a local merchant you know.
Don’t hesitate to shop around. You may find a better price for the same product elsewhere.
When signing a contract, agree to the printed terms in the contract, not to verbal representations.
Always keep a copy of what you sign.
Have all the blanks in the contract filled in before you sign it.
Understand the contract before you sign it. Generally, there is no “buyer’s right to cancel” clause in contracts signed at a company’s place of business.
Be suspicious of anyone who won’t let you take a copy of a proposed contract or agreement to someone you trust before you sign. Call the Consumer Protection Hotline – Handled by the Office of the Attorney General, VA toll free at 800-552-9963 or at 804-786-2042 for suggestions.
Don’t accept the seller’s word that any part of a contract doesn’t apply to you (unless that part is crossed out on all copies and initials) or that something not listed will be done unless it is written in before you sign.
Never give your credit card number over the telephone to unsolicited callers.
Don’t put your account number on the outside of envelopes when making monthly payments.
Keep your credit card number confidential—it represents your money.
Report a lost or stolen credit card by calling the card issuer’s toll-free phone number. To limit your liability from unauthorized charges, follow the card issuer’s instructions explicitly.
Be suspicious of a solicitor who says, “You’ve been selected …” or “I’m taking a survey.”
Ask to see the solicitor’s identification and company credentials, including a County Solicitor’s License. The County requires all door-to-door salespersons to be licensed and to show prospective customers a County-issued identification card on request.
Buy only if you need the item, not because you may feel sorry for the solicitor.
Insist on a written guarantee.
Take ample time to consider the purchase. Avoid any high-pressure tactics.
Never sign a contract unless you completely understand it and know the total cost.
Note: Virginia state law provides a buyer of most consumer goods and services with three days to cancel a home solicitation sale after a purchase. If a “Buyer’s Right to Cancel” clause is not included in the contract and the company won’t accept a written cancellation, call the Consumer Protection Hotline – Handled by the Office of the Attorney General, VA toll free at 800-552-9963 or at 804-786-2042.
Shop around— get estimates from at least three contractors and check with people who had work performed by them. Call the Consumer Protection Hotline – Handled by the Office of the Attorney General, VA toll free at 800-552-9963 or at 804-786-2042 to determine if there are any complaints against the contractors.
Before you sign the contract, make sure you understand the contract and that it includes the following information:
A description and total cost of the services to be performed
Types of materials to be used
Start and completion dates
Warranty information, if applicable
Be cautious of companies that require advanced payments.
Remember that the cheapest bid may not always be the best.
Learn more about the home repair/improvement permit process in Arlington by visiting the Building Arlington Website or call the Arlington County Building Inspection Division at 703-228-3800.
The County requires all home improvement contractors to be licensed and to show prospective customers a County-issued identification card on request. This includes installers of:
Aluminum or other siding
Fire damage repairs
Kitchen and bathroom remodeling
Note: This licensing requirement doesn’t apply to landscapers or painters (except when the paint is to be applied to a roof or asphalt paving), or to licensed electricians, gas fitters or plumbers (who are licensed under a different provision of the Code). For more information, call the Arlington County Building Inspection Division at 703-228-3800, or the Office of the Attorney General, VA Consumer Protection Hotline toll free at 800-552-9963 or at 804-786-2042.
To avoid a telemarketing scheme, tell the caller you’re not interested and/or just hang up the phone.
Never give a telemarketer your credit card number, bank account number or Social Security Number, or authorize bank drafts.
When listening to a sales pitch, remember the federal government’s Telemarketing Sales Rules:
You must be told the name of the company, the fact that it’s a sales call and what’s being sold.
If there’s a prize offering, you must be told immediately that there’s no purchase necessary to win, and you can’t be asked to pay anything for it. You can’t even be required to pay shipping charges. If it’s a sweepstakes, the caller must tell you how to enter without making a purchase.
You can’t be asked to pay in advance for services such as cleansing your credit record, finding you a loan or acquiring a prize you’ve supposedly won. You pay for services only if they’ve been delivered.
You shouldn’t be called before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. If you tell telemarketers not to call again, they can’t. If they do, they’ve broken the law.
If you’re guaranteed a refund, the caller has to tell you all the limitations.
If you suspect fraud, call the National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060.
Outstanding Warrant and Jury Duty Scams
Periodically, residents have reported receiving unsolicited phone calls claiming they have failed to appear for jury duty and/or have an outstanding warrant for their arrest. The resident is provided with a phone number and instructed to call an individual the scammer claims to be a Lieutenant with the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office or other local law enforcement agencies. The scammer then demands immediate payment for an alleged fine. Through threats and intimidation, they attempt to convince residents to purchase prepaid credit cards and provide the identification numbers which allows the scammers to obtain the money from the cards.
If you receive a call of this nature, immediately hang up with the caller and verify the claim by calling the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office at 703.228.4460. Never use a phone number provided to you from the caller to verify their credibility.
As a reminder, the Arlington County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office will not call and ask for money over the phone.
Our second Presentation about the Virginia Hospital Center Rebuilding and Reorganization with Adrian Stanton VP/Business Development for VHC was a no show.
The meeting adjourned around 8:58 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Jodie Flakowicz, February 18, 2021.
Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 01/20/2021 via Zoom
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
Sklar advised AHCA that all the Committees are working at full swing. He quickly outlined AHCA Committee activities by Committee Chairs not on the ZOOM meeting. Development Committee dealing primarily with development projects and County planning issues in the Clarendon area. Transportation Committee covering Pershing Drive plan and other traffic and vehicle/pedestrian safety issues. He then called on the present Committee Chairs for short reports.
Christina Schultz of our Safety and Security Committee mentioned that the Arlington County kick-off meeting for an affordable housing plan will be held tomorrow evening, January 21, 2021 from 6-8 pm. There also will be a meeting about the missing middle housing problem on February 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm. Both will be available via Zoom. Go to the Arlington County Website to get details to join either one.
Scott Sklar mentioned that both Jim Richardson, our Vice President for Programs and Jodie Flakowicz our Secretary will, no longer be available to serve in these roles after our May meeting. Our Advertising position for our newsletter remains open as well. If anyone has any questions about or has any interest in volunteering to serve inn any of these positions, please contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooke Alexander of our Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee mentioned that 14 trees were provided for our tree canopy by the county in December. We have 10 more to plant, if you would like one please contact Brooke at email@example.com. She is also “collecting” the whereabouts of old trees that reside in our neighborhood, as part of the coming 100 Year Celebration for our community this year. Please let her know if you have such a tree on your property, that you think should be included. She is hoping to have a tour of these trees for our community members in the Fall.
1. COVID and Other topics – Mark Schwartz, Arlington County Manager
Scott mentioned our appreciation for the work Mark is doing on our behalf, while Mark responded that he feels we are well represented by Scott Sklar in his role as our President.
What we need to know about COVID – A lot of our county service employees are working at home, while approx 1500 are on the job in the offices and streets including our police, fire, environmental, park and library employees. There is intense frustration regarding the availability of the vaccine. He advised the State has contracts with CVS & Walgreens on vaccinations at nursing and old-age homes, and the County is not privvy to the number treated. He also mentioned VHC is dealing now primarily with healthcare works, first responders, and has not vaccinated a third of the teachers with their first doses. Originally the county was asked to order amounts of vaccine for our 1a needs – Medical Professional and Long-term Care residents & staff. 12 hours after that, the Governor announced that we should also start vaccinating the 1b needs as well. This includes people aged 65+, people 16-64 with underlying medical conditions, people in correctional facilities and homeless shelters plus frontline essential workers. For the first week we had requested 2000 doses and were given only 1400. Mark Schwartz advised there is shortage of vaccine supply and notification of Arlington which makes it very hard for planning & distribution.
The budget for next year being proposed will be on 2/20/2021. Obviously with the pandemic our revenue of funds has declined. Hotel occupancy has been very low, except for the week of January 6th. This will impact on the funds we will be able to spend next year.
In July 2019, the Arlington County Board adopted Vision Zero: a strategy to eliminate all transportation fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all people.
Clarendon Sector Plan
Mark was asked about what role The Virginia Hospital Center will play with the vaccines. Mark understood they got vaccine doses to last one week. They are set up to deliver more, but they don’t have more vaccine to administer. The county is unaware of role of the Walgrens and CVS stores will be doing with distribution of the vaccine and how much they will distribute.
Brooke Alexander wondered about how much influence our community has over development of areas along our borders. Specifically finding out what the plans are for the CVS opening up on the sight of the Highland Hotel. We would like to provide input to the buffer they are proposing to protect the surrounding houses from lights and sounds from the new store. Julie Mangis mentioned that the Neighborhood Conservation Plan for the area has included a “greenway” in this same buffer zone for at least the last 40 years. Brooke wants to ensure we are able to provide input into the final plans. Mark is going to look into a Point of Contact for Brooke for this project.
Concerns voiced about getting teachers vaccinated before kids are required to return to school.
Christina Schulz asked about the end of December findings of the analysis of some areas of the services that the police currently provide, that could be farmed out. Four areas were determined that possibly could be done by someone else. They are:
mental health scenarios
alternate ways to work with some kinds of disputes
create a civilian review board
traffic problem solvers – traffic control officers
There was also discussion of why there is so much racial disparity in traffic stops. They hope to see this final report soon.
Mark was asked about what major areas of change does he think could happen in Arlington over the next 20 – 30 years. Mark thinks that office buildings will not be so prevalent, so our revenue sources from properties will have to change. He also wondered if we will be able to create the “missing middle” so not only rich people will be able to live in this area.
2) Sidewalk Inventory – Jeremy Hassan, P.E.; Chief Operating Engineer, Sewer & Streets; Arlington County Department of Environmental Services; Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau
Over the next six months, Arlington will be going under a sidewalk condition survey. The last time there was such an analysis was back in the 1980s and it is long overdue. This is to review all types of sidewalks – brick, asphalt and concrete to find any tripping hazards, obstructions and overgrowth of weeds. In addition they will also be checking out all the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) ramps to ensure they are compliant and if there is a need for new ones and also the status of all our cross walks.
Scott mentioned that about 50% of the time he gets notifications from the county reps regarding any county activity in the neighborhood. He’s appreciate that he be notified about the status of this project when it hits our neighborhood as well.
If anyone would like to report a problem with their sidewalks, pipes and snow removal one can contact his office on-line or via phone. There also is a “Report a Problem” aspect to the the My Arlington app, that can be downloaded to your phone. Once on your phone you can access the Report a Problem part of the My Arlington app and submitted anywhere and anytime that you have your phone.
Also on the My Arlington Website you can go to the Projects page where there is a map of Arlington with blue highlights reflecting the status of various projects going on in the county. This has been improved for context so it can be more easily read by residents.
Question about standards for sidewalks that cross driveways. Jeremy confirmed that when the contractor applies for a permit, the standards are shared with contractor at that time. If a resident would like, if they need their driveway/sidewalk repaired, the county can provide this service for them at a cost.
Question about the sidewalk survey impacting on taxes. Jeremy mentioned that his budget can run $300,000-$600,000 depending. The contract for the sidewalk survey is running the county approximately $150,000 and will benefit the county for the next twenty years. Once the assessment is done the county can strategize the priority areas that should get done first and over the next number of years spread out the cost and work of fixing the sidewalks throughout the county.
Scott mentioned that if there are issues that we are not addressing to please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He wants to ensure that we are being vital to our residents needs.
The meeting adjourned around 8:45 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Jodie Flakowicz, January 23, 2021
Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 11/18/2020 via Zoom
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought the meeting to order at 7:32 pm.
Scott gave a shout out of thanks to Emmilou Olsen and all who helped for the Halloween Celebration in Ashton Heights.
He called the Committee Chairs (below) to make reports other than the Development Committee who is hosting the speakers at today’s meeting.
Christina Schultz of our Safety and Security Committee pointed out two police-related engagement opportunities that they are hoping some of our residents might want to get involved with. One is the recruitment process for a new police chief, and the other is the use of cameras for collecting evidence. If you have any questions or concerns with these two items, please contact Christina at email@example.com.
Arlington Police Department Representatives Officers Harley Gunther and Corporal Wallace reported no huge change in our crime activity. Please do your part to prevent crime – if you see something strange, please contact the police to investigate. These tips have been helpful.
Since it is getting darker earlier please be vigilant maintaining awareness of your surroundings and who is around you. Carry your keys in your hand as a weapon.
Package larcenies from front porches are on the rise. Track your packages. Have someone you trust pick up your packages and hold them until you get home. Maybe use in-store pick up instead of delivery to your front porch if you are not home.
Lock your cars. If you have packages in your car, please keep them out of sight. The have been two arrests for larceny in autos. Do the 9:00 pm routine to lock all your cars and doors.
The was an attempted rape reported nearby. Since it is an ongoing investigation there were no specifics to report.
Brent Burris our Neighborhood Conservation Representative reported that Brooke Alexander is working with county reps making sure appropriate replacement trees are planted in Gumball Park.
1) Overview of the Arlington Neighborhood Planning and Redevelopment Process – Bob Duffy, Planning Director, Arlington Department of Community Planning and Development
Concerns raised about the impact on our area by traffic, pedestrian safety, light and noise from these new developments, as well as tall buildings creating a “canyon effect”. Hoping that setbacks and tapering will be incorporated in the planning to help diminish impact on our neighborhood. Bob Duffy responded that all these concerns will be addressed.
2) Redevelopment Plans for the Clarendon Wilson Blvd/10th Street Triangle (Silver Diner and Beer lot Sites) – P. David Tarter, Esquire, Tarter Nova Law, and Tom Shooltz, TCS Realty.
Christopher Gordon the Architect with KGD Architecture gave the presentation on the different aspects of the development and answered questions posed by AHCA members.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Jodie Flakowicz, November 19, 2020
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 (email@example.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
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
Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes for 01/15/2020
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
Scott thanked Amy Miller for stepping up as the new editor of the AHCA newsletter.
AHCA has a new committee, AHCA Committee on Housing Chair Matthew Hall and Vice Chair Christina Schulz.
Dave Phillips and Jack Spilsbury of the Development/Zoning Committee reported that they are reaching out to the Highland Hotel owner so they can stay abreast of issues that may arise from the new project, and following the three development projects between Wilson Blvd, Wash Blvd, & 10th St North. There will be a meeting of the County Board regarding density and heights. If anyone has any interest, please contact them. The West Clarendon project along Wilson Blvd and 10th St. involves the development of new apartments and hotels; they want to guard against glass, concrete and set back. The presentation we had scheduled today for part of this redevelopment was cancelled.
Greg Morse CoChair of our Schools Committee reported that there has been talk of swapping elementary schools and most recently have come to find that more seats are needed in the Rosslyn and Clarendon corridor.
Brent Burris Chair of the Playground & Parks Subcommittee reported that there has been a resolution between the Fire Department and the city planners regarding the North Oakland St. water gardens being proposed. This is being presented to the residents right now.
Brooke Alexander Chair of our Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee reported that we are still losing our tree canopy primarily because of builders knocking down small houses and building larger houses in their place. We have been able to take advantage of the Tree Canopy Fund and have applied for 31 trees to be planted in Spring of 2020. Applicants should hear if they have been accepted for the program soon. This past Fall we were about to get 13 trees planted from this fund. She also looked into if the three trees that were removed on the North Monroe St. side of the building will be replaced. They are slated to have trees planted here. If anyone has any interest, please let her know.
Betsey Lyon our Listserv Moderator has swapped our list serve to the Groups.io system. There have been a number of questions about how this works, and she has been sending out guidance.
Scott mentioned that a number of our residents have received very high water utility bills this past month—some 114% higher, or more. Betsy Taylor is leading the AHCA data effort and has collected info from 71 households so far. If your bill was unusually high, please let her know. Scott had suggested that residents should hire a plumber to check their meters, with the water turned off, to determine if there is a leak. So far 12 residents have done this and have reported no leak. Two other nearby civic associations have reported this problem as well. Some communities have put in Wifi meters at no cost to help monitor and track what they are being billed for.
Arlington County Police Officers Keen and Ryan and Corporal Lennon came by for a visit. 98% of auto break-ins are done to unlocked cars. Suspects walk by a car and just check the door handle of a car to see if it is open. If the car is unlocked, they take advantage. From Oct 1 thru Dec 31 only 7 car break-ins were reported in Ashton Heights and 4 in Lyon Park. There has only been one break-in reported where a window was broken to a locked car, where a purse was left in plain view on the seat. Rumors have been flying that equipment is being used to unlock cars, which is called “cloning”. This is not true. The equipment needed has never been found on any suspects and it would take too long for this process to work. The process can take 45 – 60 minutes. They are encouraging everyone to do the 9 PM Routine. Every night at 9 pm every evening, make sure your house, garage and car are secure. Take the time to do this every night.
If you find that someone has gone through your car and taken nothing or anything, please report it on-line. If you cannot figure out how to report it on-line, call the non emergency number and a police officer will come over to your home to show you how to do this. They want these reports submitted so they will really know the extent of the problem. For the 300,000 residents of Arlington County there are only 18 police officers on duty at a time. Currently there still is a shortage of police staff. Ideally we need 400 police officers to be fully staffed; right now we only have approximately 330 police officers working.
Matt De Ferranti the newest County Board Member came to dialogue with our residents about county board issues. He pointed out that everyone should complete the census starting on April 1, 2020. He grew up in McLean, is a lawyer, practiced in TX, and was an advocate for Native American kids and supported Feed America.
The two issues he ran on were affordable housing and education. A lot of people who work in Arlington cannot afford to live here and feel more should be done to support affordable housing. Virginia law does not allow for rent control nor inclusionary zoning. Also 29% of the students in Arlington schools are not affluent and require food assistance.
He talked about a goal for the county of 100% renewable energy and getting our carbon footprint to 0. The fact we opened 5 new schools this year reflects a growth factor that we need to continue to deal with.
Since small houses in Arlington are being replaced by larger homes, not only does this drive the cost of housing up, it also is reducing the size of our county tree canopy. The Board needs to amp up the education of the county regarding the best management practices to better support our tree canopy and our environment. Having more trees will also help with storm water absorption, since we are now having more severe storms and flooding due to climate change.
This year the county will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of when Arlington split from the city of Alexandria.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 pm and AHCA members mingled, finished up the food and put away chairs.
Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, January 19, 2020
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought meeting to order at 7:32 pm.
Scott announced that this is the last Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting of 2019.
Christina Schultz of our Crime and Safety Committee reported that according to Arlington County Police the level of gang activity in Arlington has gone down. They feel the use of school resource officers has helped with this decline. She is going to look into if the Ring Doorbells may be a way of sharing information about suspicious activity in our neighborhood.
Jim O’Brien the Vice President for Membership is willing to take our membership dues! He will report on the status of our membership next month.
Jim Richardson the Vice President for Programs mentioned that in January our speaker will be Arlington County Board Member Matt de Ferranti. In February it will be the co-owner and Editor of Arlington Magazine Greg Hamilton.
Brent Burris of our Playground and Parks Subcommittee mentioned that the status of what is happening with the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee is about the same. With respect to the water garden being proposed at the North Oakland St. and Pershing Dr. intersection – apparently it has stalled over disagreements at the county level over the proper width for the street.
Scott thanked Carmen Kosik our Advertising Representative for her diligent work getting advertisements for our newsletter and made a plea for help in finding a new newsletter editor.
Brooke Alexander of our Tree Canopy and Native Plants Committee reported that 16 new trees were planted in Ashton Heights this past week funded by the Arlington County Tree Canopy Program and planted by the county. She is now looking for applications from anyone who would like to get a tree from this program this coming Spring. She will be happy to meet with you to discuss possible locations for this tree and to help with your application. She will be coordinating this process with the county. The deadline to submit your request to her is November 30, 2019. She handed out a list of available types of trees.
A question from the floor regarding the trees that were taken down next to the Art Center on Monroe Street. Are there plans to replace them? Brooke mentioned that in the Sector Plan includes plans to widen the sidewalk at that location, which will not leave room for trees at this same place. She will look into it further.
Another question from the floor about what is happening at Clay Park off of Highland St. The park had been fenced off and most of the trees and all of the equipment was pulled up. Why were we not notified of this? Brooke will look into this also.
Patrick Lueb of our Transportation Committee mentioned the residents on North Kenmore St. have put together a petition with 20 signatures requesting traffic calming measures be installed along their street. Apparently Kenmore is the latest cut thru to get to Wilson Blvd/Pershing Dr. Speed bumps may or may not still be used for traffic calming and stop signs are not being used for such efforts. A suggestion from the floor to have a traffic circle installed. They would like more police presence to study the situation. Our police, the last year or two, has had a major staff shortage, which has been helped lately with a number of new hires coming on board this past year.
During our discussion of this issue, it was mentioned that the Google App “Waze” apparently offers North Kenmore Street as a way to get through the neighborhood. Some thought to petition “Waze” and Google to stop this practice.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) owns Route 50 and has been focusing on traffic turning left into Ashton Heights. They are looking into input from residents for possible solutions in early 2020 on their website. Patrick will try to get representatives from the county and VDOT to come to one of our meetings before the deadline for our input for this problem.
Jack Spilsbury of our Development and Zoning Committee mentioned that there are a couple of developers working up possible projects in some of the Clarendon area that is to be redeveloped. One is a hotel proposal for the Silver Diner and Beer Lot along with a residential rental project in one of the nearby spaces. He hopes to get one of these developers to come to our January meeting to share what they are planning.
Jack and Ken Matzkin have been taking the initiative and reaching out to owners to some of these properties (Wells Fargo Bank, the Verizon site and Mr. Wash) being developed and keeping in touch, so we can stay on top of what may be happening to these properties.
The owner of The Highlander Hotel on Wilson has an agreement with CVS to allow a store to be built on this site. They are not entertaining options from anyone else right now. There will be a proposal from CVS to the county soon. Most likely the CVS currently on Wilson will be closed and will reopen on the Highlander Hotel site, which will allow more parking.
A question from the floor about cleaning up the Dominion Substation in Clarendon, which seemed unlikely.
Jim Feaster who is part of the Arlington Commission on Aging mentioned that their focus is on how Arlington can be more age friendly and able to provide more resources to residents aging in place.
Mark Blacknell mentioned that he would like Arlington to find ways to attract younger Arlington County residents to AHCA meetings. He feels we need to work some strategies to attract younger residents.
Scott McPartlin with the Arlington County Parks and Recreation Office gave us a Mosaic Park Update. Mosaic Park started out as an idea back in the 1970s and in the 1990s the idea started to take shape. Now Phase One is under construction and will open in the 2nd quarter of 2020. The area for Phase Two remains, for now, a parking lot at Gold’s Gym. ACHA President Sklar asked everyone to give him a round of applause for his great work since the beginning of this project.
Brooke Alexander asked to see the list of trees and perennials being proposed for the Phase One site.
A question from the floor was asked about if members of the Parks and Recreation Office actively reach out to neighborhood civic associations, when any of their projects would impact some of these groups. Scott McPartlin himself tries to reach out to neighborhoods that would be impacted by his projects that he manages, and did not know why we were not contacted by the project manager for the Clay Park Project. He is happy to find out who the project manager is and will have them contact the members of our Playgrounds and Park Subcommittee.
Zack DesJardins a Bikeshare and Scootershare Planner for MetroBike is the Arlington County POC on Scooter Trial and Police on Enforcement. He gave a talk about the new county regulations for e-Scooters that the Arlington County Board just approved. The state law allows anyone 16 or older to use an e-Scooter; the user agreements for all the companies providing e-Scooters in Arlington requires users to be 18 years old. Parking corrals have been established on a number of county streets to encourage people to park e-Scooters at these locations, though e-Scooters can be parked all over. Concerns regarding no requirements for helmets to be worn and injuries, while operating these scooters were brought up from the floor. Supposedly approximately 78 crashes have been reported, but am unable to verify because most emergency rooms will not release injury reports to the public. DC e-scooter staff are trying to get injury information from emergency rooms.
The meeting was adjourned a bit after 9:00 pm and AHCA members mingled, finished up the food and put away chairs.
Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, November 23, 2019.
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
Scott mentioned that two potential newsletter editors have left, and the editor for the Lyon Park newsletter has stepped up to help us again. We need an editor for our newsletter! To be the editor one needs to have an IBM PC to work with the software, 85% of the format of the newsletter is set, with four articles left to be filled in. Once done the final newsletter will need to be emailed to the printer.
Brent Burris, our Open Spaces, Playgrounds and Parks Subcommittee Chair, was not here, but Scott mentioned there our concerns with outstanding temporary easements with county construction designs and what the latest is with Mosaic Park.
Jim Terpstra the AHCA Neighborhood Historian mentioned that our civic association will turn 100 years old in 2021. Now is a good time to start planning for this historical milestone. He is is gathering and reviewing the historical records of the Ashton Heights Civic Association and is putting them in order. Any neighbors who might have old AHCA newsletters/documents please share copies/originals with him. He will also be looking for someone to help scan his historical docs into electronic files. He will put a blurb in our newsletter.
Greg Morse the Schools Committee Co-chair mentioned that the County Board and School Board have created a joint working group to evaluate the Career Center site and to figure out how to accommodate an additional 700-800 seats at this location. Caroline Rogus and Polly Hall are AHCA reps on respective Arlington County Committees as AHCA will be keeping an eye on this. Also the revamping of the elementary school districts in Arlington County is seems to be heating up again with the School Board.
Brooke Alexander of our Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee brought two Red Bud whips to give away.
Scott mentioned that this year was going to be Scott’s 8th and final term as President, but since Julia Tanner has stepped down from as incoming shadowing President to assume the AHCA Presidency in May 2020, we now need another candidate to shadow for a year so as to step up to transition as President.
Gretchen Reinemeyer the Arlington Director of Elections and Registrar gave a talk about how Arlington is preparing for the 2019 Election. She showed a video about Election Security and took questions from the floor.
Presentation from P&H Investments re building design proposal for Joyce Motors Site at North 10th Street and North Irving Street location. This will include 240 rental apartments and 200 parking spaces in an underground garage, 3000 Sq ft Retail, with 7 – 10 street parking places, for what they call a “destination cafe” with outdoor seating. The facade of Joyce Motors will be included in the building facade including the white tiles and the pattern of the garage doors. The name of the building being proposed is The Joyce. At the south end of the building, along North 10th Street, the zoning allows for a height of 55 ft or 6 floors. The zoning allows at the north end of the building, closer to Wilson Blvd, a height of 110 ft or 11 floors. The alterations to the sector plan is the “taper line” of the building. Currently if the taper line is enforced, the building design would be too choppy along the roof line of the building. If the taper line were extended, the roof line of the building would be more gradual. This is the exception they are requesting to the Sector Plan. This proposal was being shared with us to get our input. We did not hear any major concerns from the floor, but there was a question about public accessibility to any green space on the site. This proposal will be shared with the county representatives in a few weeks. There is hope that construction can begin in about two years in 2022.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 pm and AHCA members mingled, finished up the food and put away chairs.
Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, October 20, 2019.