2024 Meeting Schedule

Normally meetings alternate between
Alice West Fleet Elementary Library
and the
Public Montessori School of Arlington Library.
Meetings start at 7:00 PM.

Please check the newsletter for details.

Save the date: AHCA year-end meeting and voting November 8th -- IN PERSON 7 to 8:30 pm

Oct 25th, 2022

Hello neighbors,

Please save the date for our year-end meeting and annual voting for officers. We are in the process of securing MPSA (Patrick Henry Building) for an in-person meeting. Please let me or Nick know if you are interested in an officer position. AHCA NEEDS A TREASURER!.

We plan to have a representative from the county to speak about traffic changes to Columbia Pike and a representative from EcoAction to speak about how you can get a free tree planted on your property. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

AHCA Meeting Agenda for May 10, 2022

May 6th, 2022


This is a reminder to mark your calendars for our next meeting on Tuesday, May 10, from 7 to 9 pm. Unfortunately, I was not able to secure a physical location for a meeting (long story that I will share at the meeting) so we will be holding this meeting online. PLEASE RSVP BY SENDING EMAIL TO ahca@groups.io, and we will send you a meeting link.

Our tentative agenda is:

Please attend! And encourage any new neighbors not on this listserv to attend!

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

Important neighborhood announcements: Career Center update (please read if you live close), AHCA quarterly meeting dates for 2022, and more!

January 16th, 2022


Happy 2022! Here are important updates for our neighborhood. Please read—especially if you live close to the Career Center—as construction on that parcel will start soon.


The final meetings for the Career Center will begin this week. The meetings will be virtual and take place on Teams. If you live close to the Career Center, I highly encourage you to join the meetings. There will be only three meetings, and this is most likely the final time our neighborhood will have input on the Career Center site, at least for the mid-future. Nick Carrasco is our BLPC (Building Level Planning Committee) representative, and I will be our PFRC (Public Facilities Review Committee) representative. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2023 and last until at least April 2027.

The meeting schedule is:

Please follow these links for materials and meeting link for this Wednesday:

If you are unable to access the meeting on your computer, you can call in using the following number: 571-451-2488 Conference ID 232 159 30#. The meeting will be recorded and available to view on the Arlington Career Center Project engage website.

Please contact Nick and me if you have any specific questions or concerns.


Please save the dates for our quarterly meetings this year:

For our first meeting this year, we will have an update from the County on the South Irving Street "Complete Streets" Project. Please see info on the County site here.


Please join me in welcoming our newest 2nd Vice President, Scott Stewart. Scott lives close to the Westmont Shopping Center and has a background in urban planning. You can contact Scott at scottarlingtonheights@gmail.com And a big thank you to former 2nd VP, Jay Vennett, for his many years of service to the Arlington Heights Civic Association.


If you haven't already, please join our mailing list for important neighborhood updates and announcements. If you have any trouble, please contact Nick at nickc321@gmail.com. Please also encourage any new residents to join as well.


Finally, please consider supporting the AHCA to help support our efforts this year to improve our website, publish a neighborhood newsletter, and (fingers-crossed) host a family-friendly neighborhood block party. Family/individual dues are $20 and business dues are $25. Pay by Venmo to @arlingtonheightscivicassoc, or checks made out to Arlington Heights Civic Association (AHCA) may be mailed or dropped off to:

c/o Matthew Ambrose
218 S Jackson St
Arlington, VA 22204

In the memo line, please write "2022 membership." Please contact Matt at ambrose.matt@gmail.com if you have any questions.

That's all for now! Please let me and/or Nick know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

Columbia Pike Library Renovations Meeting - 11/18/2019

November 8th, 2019


Please read the following announcement about proposed changes to the Columbia Pike library that I just received. If this announcement concerns you, it will be very important that you try to attend the meeting scheduled for Monday, 11/18. I recommend that we also discuss this development at our Civic Association meeting this upcoming Tuesday, 11/12.

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Katie Cristol <kcristol@arlingtonva.us>
Date: Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 10:46 AM
Subject: Invitation to a 11/18 Meeting on Columbia Pike Library Renovations <br/> To: ahca.mail@gmail.com <ahca.mail@gmail.com>, ahca.ksawert@gmail.com <ahca.ksawert@gmail.com>, president@arlingtonmill.org <president@arlingtonmill.org>, itakig@gmail.com <itakig@gmail.com>, president@douglasparkca.org <president@douglasparkca.org>, penrosepres@yahoo.com <penrosepres@yahoo.com>, presidentcfca@gmail.com <presidentcfca@gmail.com>
Cc: Kanninen, Barbara (Arlington County Public Schools) <barbara.kanninen@apsva.us>, Shannon Flanagan-Watson <Sflanagan-watson@arlingtonva.us>

Hi, Lander, Kristi, Kay, Diana, Takis, Adam and Pete,

I hope this message finds everyone well and looking forward to the weekend.

I’m emailing you all in your role as Pike civic association leaders with an invitation to a meeting about some near-term improvements to, and shared uses with Arlington Public Schools at, the Columbia Pike Library.

The meeting, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at Columbia Pike Library on November 18th, will be hosted by County leadership (from Libraries and the County Manager’s Office), Schools Facilities leadership, and School Board member Barbara Kanninen and me.

I also wanted to share some information to preview the meeting conversation. I’ve included more details below, but the headline is that this meeting really is to share good news and a design we’re excited about. My colleagues and I see these short-term renovation plans as a “win” for both County and Schools: a joint effort to solve a need (more capacity on the Career Center campus) that will result in more learning spaces for students while also improving the much-loved library branch for Columbia Pike residents in the near term.

We hope to see you on Monday the 18th, and would be grateful if you’d help us in getting the word out to your neighbors and civic association members.

Very best,

What’s Happening with the Columbia Pike Library in 2020?

The Columbia Pike library will be consolidating to the first floor by the end of 2020, offering significantly improved library space for patrons on the first floor.

The library will offer the same quantity and quality of library services on the first floor, including the same programming (story hours), number of public PCs, and access to collections. The library will have expanded small meeting room options following the renovation.

The second floor vacated by the library will up to 6 classrooms, plus a large, flexible common area space. Some classrooms and the common area space will be shared with the library during non-school hours. These classrooms will be available for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Why the Change?

Schools has committed to growing Arlington Tech to 600 seats by September 2021. This project will help Schools achieve this milestone.

The County remains committed to finding a new permanent location for the Columbia Pike library on Columbia Pike, as recommended by the Career Center Working Group. The timeframe for this is likely 5 to 10 years out (or more). The library will remain on the first floor as long as needed. When a suitable permanent location for the library is located, the renovated library space in the Career Center will revert back to Schools.

How Will Renovation of the Library Impact the Community?

The library will temporarily close while this renovation is completed. Although the specific timeline will be determined by the final designs for the renovations, the library is likely to close in Fall 2020 and will likely be closed between 6 weeks to 3 months.

A temporary location will not be opened during the renovation due to the short length of the planned closure, the cost of opening a temporary location, and the challenge of finding a suitable location for such a short time period.

But, we know that the library is well-used and is often a safety net in the community. The County will provide ample information and signage for patrons during the renovation regarding where and how to access other nearby full-service libraries as well as other nearby County resources, such as community centers and the Department of Human Services.

County staff will regularly communicate with the community leading up to and during the renovation as we are able to share more specific timelines and details.

BLPC - Career Center expansion

September 19th, 2019

The first meeting for the Career Center Expansion was held on Tuesday. It was a joint kick-off meeting between the BLPC and the PFRC.. There were introductions from Katie Cristol, Barbara Kanninen (both are Liaisons for their respective Boards), to APS Staff, Stantec (Consulting Company), Principal of the Career Center, to all of the members that are in both committees. All in all there were about 40-45 people who made introductions. We were given a summary of history behind how we got to this point, reviewed the Charge for the Career Center, and discussed the rules by which the PFRC and the BLPC are governed.

Here is the link to follow which encompasses everything from the project:


The presentation from Tuesday is at the bottom of the webpage. The right side of the page has the upcoming meeting times/dates.

Tuesday was a refresher and a meet and greet. We will get into the substantive topics during the Oct 2 meeting. Please let me know if you have any questions - feel free to email me directly.

Dave Priddy
Fenwick St

Quarterly meeting Recap for August 14, 2019

September 3rd, 2019


Many thanks to everyone who turned out for our quarterly meeting on August 14, 2019. Please save the date for our final meeting of 2019, to be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 7 pm (location TBD).

Please let me know if you have any questions about the following updates discussed during our meeting:

Construction at Westmont Shopping Center

2nd VP Jay Vennett presented on the proposed construction at the Westmont Shopping Center. The developer's final application is currently under final review with county staff. More information about this project (including architectural plans) can be found here.

Fleet dedication and civic pride day

October 9th, 2019


Here is the invitation for the Fleet dedication and civic pride day, co-sponsored by Arlington Heights Civic Association. EVERYONE is invited, so please RSVP so that the planners know how much food to buy. Please forward to any neighbors not on this list. AHCA will have a table set up so please stop by. I hope to see everyone there!

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

Quarterly meeting Recap for August 14, 2019

September 3rd, 2019


Many thanks to everyone who turned out for our quarterly meeting on August 14, 2019. Please save the date for our final meeting of 2019, to be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 7 pm (location TBD).

Please let me know if you have any questions about the following updates discussed during our meeting:

Construction at Westmont Shopping Center

2nd VP Jay Vennett presented on the proposed construction at the Westmont Shopping Center. The developer's final application is currently under final review with county staff. More information about this project (including architectural plans) can be found here.

Second Annual Fall Festival

A 2nd annual fall festival is a go! Please let me know if you'd like to volunteer to help organize the event, which will be scheduled for late October.

Career Center Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC)

Many thanks to Arlington Heights resident Ted Black who gave a presentation on the BLPC for the Career Center redevelopment. The BLPC will help plan for the expansion of the Career Center site to accommodate 800 new seats in the near term and a possible 2500+ seats in the long term. This is a major project that will affect our neighborhood for years to come, so please consider attending the BPLC meetings and getting involved!

Please note that David Priddy is serving on the BLPC as AHCA's representative. Dave will be sending out emails and speaking at our meetings over the course of the BLPC. More information can be found here.

Location of future AHCA meetings

At our meeting, we decided to try to switch off AHCA meeting locations between Fleet and the Montessori school (formerly Patrick Henry).

Fleet Open House

Speaking of Fleet, please save the date for the public Open House and Dedication ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019. More information will be forthcoming.

AHCA Officers Elections

Elections for AHCA officers will occur at our November meeting. Please let me know if you are interested and/or would like further information.

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

Letter to Arlington County regarding Streetlight Color Temperature

May 19th, 2019

Santosh Neupane
Project Manager
Streetlights Management Plan
Arlington County

Dear Mr. Neupane,

Letter to Arlington County regarding Streetlight Color Temperature

May 19th, 2019

Santosh Neupane
Project Manager
Streetlights Management Plan
Arlington County

Dear Mr. Neupane,

Thank you for managing Arlington's streetlight project, in particular its efforts to convert the higher 4000 Kelvin blue bulbs into a more aesthetic and safe 3000 Kelvin bulb. Various members of the Arlington Heights Civic Association have expressed their serious concerns about the blue 4000K lights that are currently in our lampposts. Residents have noticed that the lights contribute to migraine headaches and loss of sleep, and that they prevent people from sitting on their porches or enjoying evening and early morning exercise outside. Our residents are also alarmed by the American Medical Association (AMA) warnings about the blue LED streetlights.

In response to these concerns, the Arlington Heights Civic Association voted unanimously on May 14, 2019, to pass the following resolution, requesting Arlington County to update the bulbs in all the lampposts in Arlington Heights to a safer, AMA-approved bulb:

Arlington Heights Civic Association
Adopted at its quarterly open meeting on May 14, 2019

"In consideration the 2016 American Medical Association report that warns of the health hazards of the high Kelvin 'first generation' LED street lighting—both to the human population and to the nocturnal animal population—the residents of Arlington Heights hereby request that Arlington County replace the outdated 'first generation' LED street light bulbs in lampposts throughout Arlington Heights with the newer, safer 3000 Kelvin LED bulbs—the highest Kelvin approved by the AMA."

In consideration of the health of its residents, Arlington Heights is grateful to the Arlington County government for accomplishing this project as soon as possible. Please let me know how soon we can expect the new bulbs in Arlington Heights.

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this important health issue and for your service to the county.

Dr. Kristi Rupert Sawert
Arlington Heights Civic Association

AHCA Quarterly Meeting Recap - May 14, 2019

May 19th, 2019


Many thanks to everyone who attended our quarterly meeting on May 14, 2019. We had a great turnout of neighbors to hear presentations from Washington Gas, Code Enforcement, and the Arlington Count Fair.

I'm pleased to announce that the membership unanimously passed the proposed resolution requesting that Arlington County upgrade our current 4000 Kelvin LED lights to the newer, safer 3000 Kelvin lights.

The representatives from Washington Gas have pledged to work with us to resolve the persistent gas smell at the intersections of Irving and 6th & 5th. If you smell gas, please call Washington Gas and 911. The representatives from Washington Gas were very clear that we should call every time.

Please also e-mail Mr. Jayben Castro, who has pledged to follow any call to resolution. Jayben's contact information is as follows:

Sr. Community Engagement Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility
Washington Gas
P 202.624.6150 | C 571.623.0567
1000 Maine Ave., SW, Washington DC 20024

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA President

Letter from Arlington Heights Civic Association regarding Fleet/Henry school boundaries

November 28th, 2018

Dear Board members and Superintendent Murphy, Please see the attached letter from the Arlington Heights Civic Association.

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

AHCA Q3 2018 Quarterly Meeting Minutes

August 14th, 2018

Dear neighbors:

Many thanks to everyone who turned out for our quarterly meeting on August 14, 2018.

Please see the draft minutes of the meeting (Thanks, Eileen Janas!)

Thanks also to Nick Carrasco, who was unanimously voted in as our new AHCA First Vice-President, and Matt Ambrose, who was unanimously voted in as our new Treasurer. Welcome aboard, Nick and Matt!

Nick is heading up a subcommittee along with Jay Wind to improve our website and investigate delays in sending out Yahoo! mail.

If you have technical expertise and would like to help Nick and Jay, please email Nick at nickc321@gmail.com.

We discussed whether it will be possible to continue to print out our newsletter given our low funds.

We determined that it may be possible to shorten the newsletter but still deliver the newsletter door to door, depending on funds. If you have not paid this year's dues, consider doing so today!

I gave an update on the Career Center redevelopment.

The Career Center Working Group excepts to have a report published at the end of the month.

A representative from Arlington DES also spoke at our meeting.

DES will begin bike lane improvements on South 9th St. this fall.

Note that the improvements will result in the net loss of 2 parking spaces on South 9th.

Our neighborhood has two use permits pending: one for an in-home day care on South Fillmore St. (Penrose), and one for transitional housing on South Glebe Rd. (Alcova Heights).

Please let me know ASAP if you have any further questions or comments on these use permits.

We are planning a social event (BBQ/picnic) for this early fall. Stay tuned for announcements!

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, 2018, 7 to 9 pm.

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA, President

Fleet Elementary School construction update

August 15, 2018

Please see the Fleet Elementary School construction update presented by Steve Stricker at our meeting on August 15

Mr. Stricker reported that the construction schedule is recovering, and APS is confident that the school will be completed for occupancy for the fall 2019 school year.

In addition, I invite you to view Career Center Working Group public information presentations, updated as needed.

Career Center Working Group's final meeting is Monday, August 20, 8:00-10:00 AM, at County Building, Bozman Government Center in Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Lobby Level Cherry/Dogwood Conference Room, located near the elevators.

We will discuss the report that will be delivered to Arlington Public Schools and Arlington County Board at the end of the month.

Public comment will occur at the end of the meeting. THIS IS YOUR FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON THE REPORT.

Please join us at our next AHCA meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2018, 7 to 8:30 pm, at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Library.

If you have not yet renewed / joined AHCA for 2018, please see our membership page at ahca.info/about/join

We need your ongoing support for our quarterly newsletter Over The Fence

See you at the County Fair!

Thank you,
Kristi Rupert Sawert, President
Arlington Heights Civic Association

Passed April 10, 2018

WHEREAS, Arlington Public Schools (APS) is planning for the expected growth in high school enrollment and approved the planning for 700-800+ additional high school seats to be added at the Career Center, and the Arlington Tech program is expected to grow to 800 students by 2022;

WHEREAS, the Career Center Working Group (CCWG) is charged with developing a plan that defines how APS can open 700-800+ additional seats to the Career Center site by 2022, within funding already approved by the School Board, and the CCWG will provide options for optimizing future development of public facilities within the study area through a phased development plan;

WHEREAS, Arlington's three existing comprehensive high schools have already been internally maximized, and their academic and extracurricular programs cannot support significant additional growth;

WHEREAS, schools are public facilities, jointly funded by all taxpayers, and therefore all of Arlingtons comprehensive high schools should offer equitable academic and extracurricular opportunities;

WHEREAS, the 22204 ZIP code (in which the Career Center is located) has a higher concentration of low-income residents and families than many other areas of Arlington, and these families already face many resource challenges, such as: (a) childcare affordability, (b) affordable enrichment/tutoring opportunities, (b) scheduling conflicts due to working multiple jobs, (c) dependence on public transportation, and reliance on public facilities, like libraries and community centers;

WHEREAS, studies have shown that low-income and/or minority children have higher instances of drowning, but busing to offsite pools would cut into required academic instructional time;

WHEREAS, the Career Center/Patrick Henry site offers the rare combination of: (a) a physically large parcel of land, (b) a central-Arlington location, and (c) high-accessibility to public transportation; joint-use amenities would provide much-needed recreation, meeting, and performance spaces for ALL of Arlington; and an improved connection to Columbia Pike would draw new and strengthen existing local businesses;

WHEREAS, inequality of funding and/or facilities by 2022 could ultimately result in substandard educational opportunities for 22204 students, which could, in turn, lead to a decline in business, community, and residential support for both this school and the 22204 ZIP code.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that:


Arlington Heights is home to a 12-acre plot of land known as the Career Center site. Arlington Public Schools (APS) and Arlington County (AC) have committed this site for redevelopment. They have divided the land into two "blocks": the "North Block," which is owned by APS, and the "South Block," which is owed by private property owners. The North Block is currently home to Patrick Henry Elementary School, Arlington Community High School, Career Center, and Arlington Tech High School, and serves approximately 2000 students.

Site Map

APS HAS DECIDED TO ADD 1300+ HIGH SCHOOL SEATS TO THE CAREER CENTER SITE. APS and AC formed the Career Center Working Group (CCWG) to evaluate the site, and to recommend how the site may be developed in phases to accommodate these additional high school seats and associated facilities and community amenities. This is NOT a debate about whether the site is getting high school seats and construction. The debate is what kind of seats (i.e., neighborhood or choice seats), the construction timeline, and what types of amenities will be placed on the site.

This is where you come in!

What would like to see happen at the Career Center site? What type of amenities (if any) would you like our neighborhood to have?

In my view, the Career Center site should be redeveloped into a NEIGHBORHOOD, WALKABLE HIGH SCHOOL that retains a maximum number of county-wide seats for Arlington Tech and Career Center training. The site must have fields, structured (underground) parking, a swimming pool, planned traffic ingress/egress, and the Columbia Pike Library. There is a possibility that the site could be extended through the South Block to Columbia Pike, and the Library relocated to face Columbia Pike.

Make no mistake: this is the time to get involved.

The Career Center Working Group has over 40 members, each bringing their own interests, which may or may not necessarily align with our neighborhood's interests. Personally, I do not want see this - which is what APS WAS PLANNING to do at the site.

Architect's Proposal

As shown here, APS's architects proposed building a third level onto the Career Center building and extending the building's footprint in almost all directions. For example, the Career Center building expansion would have added a 3-story building adjacent to Highland Street.As you can see, the plan simply crams another 1300+ students to the site, takes away what little green space remains, provides no additional parking, no plan for the additional traffic and buses, and no amenities for our neighborhood.

How can I get involved?

Attend meetings of the Career Center Working Group, which are conveniently held at the Career Center and open to the public. See here for meeting times and dates: www.apsva.us/career-center/ career-center-working-group/ career-center-working-group- meeting-dates/. Write to APS School Board (school.board@apsva.us) and Arlington County Board ( countyboard@arlingtonva.us). Contact me and give me your views.

Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA President

Arlingon Heights Little Free Library

May 29, 2015

Arlington Heights now has its own Little Free Library in front of the Dhavale family home at 3104 6th Street South, installed as part of an Eagle Scout project. Come by to donate or borrow a book!

Arlington Heights School Guide

See what public schools serve Arlington Heights, and learn about the many good choices available to Arlington Heights parents.

Columbia Pike celebrates its 200th anniversary

Read "Columbia Pike: The History of an Early Turnpike" by John Paul Liebertz, Arlington County Historic Preservation Office, April 1, 2010

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