Meeting Minutes - Tuesday, October 14, 2003

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.

7 pm at Patrick Henry Elementary School

Meeting called to order at 7:10 pm.

Guest Speakers

Carole Introduced the guest speakers.

Paul Ferguson, Chair, Arlington County Board - Paul jumped into Q&A's.

Q. Parking at Virginia Square Metro is very limited, only 2 hours.
A. County wants the meters to turn over quickly to keep the area vibrant. There are meters that allow longer parking in the area but it is a balancing act to accommodate everyone.
Q. The 16 Y bus goes into DC and they've added more busses in the morning but not at night.
A. May be able to address this in the budget next year. Chris Zimmerman has been working to increase bus service.
Q. Traffic calming hasn't been completed on S. Highland Street. Do we know when this might be done?
A. Will find out and correspond with Carole.
Q. How as the parking fine determined? Like the $40 fine?
A. That is for violating the two hour parking areas. There are a variety of fines for various violations.
Q. How was the 3 minutes rule arrived at for public comment at boards.
A. The Board felt it was really for the convenience of the community because long public comment could keep the public there for a really long time. It was a compromise to allow everyone the opportunity to speak.
Q. In the wake of Isabel is there more thought on under grounding utilities?
A. Yes! But it's very expensive. When business areas are renovated there is an effort to underground the wires. In neighborhoods it is cost prohibitive.
Q. The stretch of Columbia Pike is already funded for under grounding.
A. Yes. Carole has more information and the county will be addressing this.
Q. Kudos to the County on the ART bus. And kudos on the ice brigade during Isabel. That morning it was amazing to see the police out and things get cleaned up quickly.
Q. There are a couple of blighted houses in our neighborhood.
A. Blight ordnances were passed and staff is working with owners to get things cleaned up.
<>Lt Jim Daly, Arlington County Police Department –

He has been working on responsiveness to graffiti. If you see graffiti please call the police and report it. He explained that the police interceded at the County Fair when two gangs came together as the fair was winding down. There are many officers, plainclothes and uniformed at the Fair. Residents feel a more visible presence would reassure the community. Lt. Daly reported that most crimes occur on the West end of the Pike. Arlington has more officers on the street than other counties. He gave a break down on crimes compared 2002 to 2003. Over all Arlington County is a very safe community especially when compared to other local areas.

John Morrill, Energy Manager, Arlington County government Mr. Morrill led a discussion on energy efficiency and explained how the County is reducing its energy usage. The county has cut 20 to 30% in some buildings. He works specially to address energy efficiency in county facilities but ins personally interested in helping everyone be more efficient. He encourages the use of better light bulbs for energy efficient lighting – look for the Energy Star logo to determine quality - as well as other efficient appliances. He can be reached at 703/228-4426 or by email at

Presidents Report

Carole introduced Ingrid with the treasures office who just let us know that she was glad to stop by the meeting. Carole also passed around some follow-up materials from Paul Ferguson. She asked if there were any comments or concerns about the signage for the new Hollywood Video at Columbia Pike and Glebe. Someone had asked about the speed light at TJ and it was looked at. It is on a timer and is functioning properly.

Secretaries Report

Motion to approve the minutes of the July 29, 2003 meeting at the next AHCA meeting. Seconded, passed.

Treasurer's Report

There are 83 family members now and there is $3200.54 in the bank. Bob reminded us that there is money that was allocated to buy flowers and plants for the 4th of July Park.

Motion: Keep AHCA membership dues at the current rate of $12 per family, and $25 for businesses. Seconded, passed.

Civic Federation Report

The Federation had a presentation on emergency preparedness. The Arlington District Attorney talked about establishing a public defenders office. There was discussion on development of Washington Lee High School. Jay encouraged people to come to the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting as any member of the neighborhood association can be on a committee of the Civic Federation.

Neighborhood Conservation

Motion: The Arlington Heights Civic Association approves of the following

NCAC projects and prioritizes them in the following order:

Seconded and passed.

Joan Gill can't do the neighborhood signs any more but two neighbors have volunteered to keep up her good work. There was a question about the Carlyle lights being out on and off at odd times. Public Works has a form on the website that you can fill out to report a light that isn't working. Go to:

Newsletter distribution

Behar gets lots of thanks for getting the newsletter out.

Report on the Arlington Fair and First Annual Music and Arts festival

Carole encourage everyone to think about participating in these events. We need volunteers if we are going to continue to have an AHCA booth at these events. It is a great opportunity to recruit new association members.

New Business

Mega mansions

Does the neighborhood want to take a stand on this issue?

Proposal to build a tall building on Columbia Pike

The issue seems to be that it will be taller, have more stories than we thought was allowed under the Form Based Code. Apparently there is an exemption that allows extra stories if it is built over a building with historic designation. The question is how does a building get a historic designation and how many of them are on Columbia Pike? The question was raised as to whether or not there actually is a proposal or just an possibility on the table. We really need more information on this issue and get more information out to the community. Maybe an article in the newsletter on the form based code?

Motion: AHCA will withhold any comment on this issue until there is a specific proposal on the table. Seconded, and passed.

Left Turn at Columbia Pike and Glebe

After 8 years this still isn't completed. They are currently planning under grounding in 2004, widening the street in May 2004. They may have unanticipated problems but it is moving forward. One way to speed up the process would be to do a nightshift - 10 pm to 4:30 am. This might be of concern to the neighbors and also concern about cut-through traffic as work is being done.

Hurricane Isabel

If there are any suggestions for the County on how to handle this kind of event then send these to Carole. Don't forget about which sends out cell phone and email alerts in the case of an emergency.

Status of left turn

Would AHCA like to suggest a protected left turn at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike? Motion: To write a letter requesting a protected left turn at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike. Seconded, passed.

Route 244

Jay has requested that Route 244 signs be taken down that indicate that South 7th Street and South Highland are Route 244.

Nominating Committee

Carole asks that if anyone is interested in serving on the nominating committeeor running for a seat on the board to contact her.

Officers responsibilities

Carole is thinking that the 2nd VP could take responsibility for membership. Need to get packages to welcome new residents, get businesses to participate. Jay will ask for goodies for the welcome packages.

Adjourned 9:50 pm

Respectfully Submitted,
Betty Siegel, Secretary