Below is the link to the February 2019 newsletter. Send any comments to the Editor.
Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes 01/16/2019
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought meeting to order a bit earlier at 7:23 pm, since we had a full schedule. Various AHCA Committee reports:
Membership Committee: Jim O’Brien – The PayPal aspect of our website is back up, so members can now pay for their memberships on-line.
Transportation Committee, Patrick Lueb was not here, but Scott mentioned that Patrick mentioned that the County Board changed some parking rules in another jurisdiction, without proper protocol. Sklar has been dialoguing with other civic associations on this issue. Patrick will be looking into this.
Schools Committee, Gregory Morse reported that Thomas Jefferson Middle School will be taking Patrick Henry kids starting in September 2019. The renaming of Washington Lee High School did not have input from all Arlington County Civic Associations. Volunteers were solicited from each Civic Association, but none came forward from Ashton Heights.
Development Committee: David Phillips mentioned that an AHCA Development Principles Working Group has been formed with four volunteers. Does anyone else want to join?
Brandon Watts mentioned that the County Budget for neighborhood projects has shrunk from $12 million to $5 million this year, so not sure how many of these projects will get done.
Ken Matzkin mentioned that NCAC (Neighborhood Conservation Program for Arlington County) has been stalled/delayed until June. The Project Manager has been pulled to work on Amazon’s relocation to our county.
Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee: Brooke Alexander presented the Ashton Heights Tree Canopy and Native Plants Principles for review, discussion and approval. . It was voted on and approved.
Next month Patrick Lueb will present a draft of the Ashton Heights Principles and Guidelines for Traffic and Development for review and discussion.
Denny Edelbrock, the Race Director for the Arlington Bunny Hop – They are looking for runners and volunteers to help with this effort, which will be held this year on April 27, 2019.
Christian Dorsey Arlington County Board Chairman who is now serving as the Chair as of January 2016. Here are some of his talking points.
Main issue – Budget. We have slow revenue growth, how to fix?
Amazon – The total impact will be spread over the next dozen years, so he’s not expecting any serious detrimental impacts. Amazon coming is a good thing. Years ago Arlington put all its eggs in the Federal Government basket, which was a mistake. Better to have a balance of both private and federal activity in the county.
Housing – He envisions the need for selective up-zoning for certain properties, especially along transit corridors. How to do this fairly?
“Arlington Way” – On the one hand, the traditional openness of the county decision-making has declined. On the other hand, more vigilance is needed to survive certain people “fighting dirty.” County Staff needs to better learn how to engage while avoiding the dirty fights.
Arlington County vs. Arlington City? Arlington County will be celebrating our 100th Anniversary this year. Pros and cons to being a County vs. City. Virginia General Assembly would have to grant home rule authority and more responsibility to change our status from a county to a city.
Watersheds Project Manager – Anne Guillette with Arlington County
Presented plans for a watershed garden at the corner of North Pershing Drive and North Oakland St, and discussed their program to catch rainwater from flowing into Chesapeake Bay.
Chief Of Animal Control, Arlington County – Jennifer Toussaint
Presentation about what happens in the animal welfare program in Arlington County, with a staff of five dealing with over 1000 calls on wild animals and lost pets.
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, January 23, 2019
Ashton Heights Civic Association Meeting Minutes 11/29/2018 as relayed to Jodie Flakowicz by Scott Sklar
Erik Grabowsky, who heads Arlington County’s Recycling efforts, went through the entire portfolio of Arlington recycling programs. Answer’s questions for 20 minutes.
Brooke Alexander, who heads our Tree Canopy and Native Plants Subcommittee, went methodically through the set of AHCA principles for tree canopy, native trees, and open spaces. We discussed all the issues and they will be made more concise for a final vote at the AHCA January 2019 meeting.
Brooke Alexander covers the CSA program of fresh farm vegetables and eggs which will be starting again shortly.
Scott Sklar, AHCA President, reviewed Committee reports:
Development Committee – David Phillips and Jack Spilsbury reviewed AHCA Development Principles at the last AHCA meeting and had a subsequent committee meeting with about 15 AHCA members. Dave, Jack, and Scott are working this Sunday to refine them into a concise updated AHCA Development Principles, and a more detailed list of AHCA Development Operating Guidelines, for a vote at our January 2019 meeting.
Transportation Committee – Patrick Lueb is tracking the Wilson Blvd from North Monroe St through 10th Street North, and Clarendon Circle (which is in progress). We are following these and activities carefully. Also raised that 10th Street North has now been under the authority of Arlington County transferred from State of Virginia, and the County is looking for ideas.
Crime and Safety Committee, Christina Schultz (list prepared beforehand by Christina Schultz) which Scott Sklar read.
– For the previous quarter (July-September), most crime rates decreased from the quarter prior (April-June) with the exception of larceny and stolen vehicles.
– The majority of larceny cases come from unlocked vehicles.
– The incidence of stolen vehicles has increased because people are stepping away from running vehicles. This is particularly the case for Uber Eats drivers. With the approach of winter, the ACPD recommends resisting the temptation of going back in your house while your car is heating up. It is harder to steal running cars if you have the key fob since the car must be a certain distance from the fob.
– While there has been no change in robberies, this crime has mainly been occurring after dark. There is a concern that robberies will increase when the Ballston mall reopens.
– Holiday shopping tips at stores and on-line were provided. I can post these on the listserv if anyone is interested.
– Another issue that came up was electric scooters (e.g., Bird, Lime). Several concerns were noted during the meeting. The County is still grappling on a regulatory framework for this new form of transportation. In the meantime, the County has approved a nine-month demonstration program to evaluate dockless bikeshare bikes and electric stand-up scooters, referred to as shared mobility devices. Thanks for your support. Christina Schultz
Submitted by Jodie Flakowicz, Ashton Heights Secretary
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