Quarterly Membership Meeting (7:00 pm)
Patrick Henry Elementary School
Attendees: Bob Dannemiller, Adam Croswell, Betty Siegel, Joan Gill, Phyllis Regan, Ella Nargele, Martin Chadzynski, Kimberly Sumner, Catherine Camp, Jen Miller, Elaine Ott, Chris Hesse, Maureen Sullivan, Jay Wind
Guests: Amy Vennett, Tom Cox, Evelyn Poppell
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm.
No Presidents Report. But there was a presentation by some of the staff with the Public Health Service regarding their eminent move-in to the Fenwick Center. Amy Vennett (who lives in AHCA), Tom Cox, and Evelyn Poppell all expressed how excited they were to move into the newly renovated building and that they want to be good neighbors. The projected move in will be sometime around June 9th. They will have a much smaller staff in the building then they had before, around 75 people. They will have an open house and want to be active participants in the community. They will also have small community rooms that will be available for neighborhood meetings, etc.
Betty Siegel presented the draft minutes from the February 2005 meeting.
Motion: To approve the February 22, 2005 minutes. Seconded, and passed unanimously.
Bob Dannemiller reports that AHCA has a bank balance of $3029.00. There are currently 31 family members and 2 business members.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT:
Kimberly mentioned that as membership chairperson she encourages everyone in the neighborhood to join and pay their dues. It is easy and simple to join, simply fill out the form found in all AHCA newsletter.
Cathy Camp reported on her first civic federation meeting. She said the biggest issue was a push to reduce county taxes by 11 cents. What was actually approved was a reduction of 8 cents.
County Parks and Recreation is interested in having a rowing facility in Arlington. There are 4 or 5 proposed sites one of which is down by Roosevelt Island, one is over by the 14th Street bridge. Cathy wanted to know if there was any strong feeling from AHCA for or against a rowing facilities and/or for or against one or the proposed sites or another. There didn't seem to be strong feelings on this issue from the membership of AHCA at this meeting.
Arlington County Civic Federation is going to have a WALKArlington Challenge. The walk will follow Columbia Pike from the Navy Annex to Carlin Springs Road, approximately 3.5 miles. For more information contact Burt Bostwick (703.527.5415) or Bostwick@emerecon.com
Arlington County Civic Federation will hold a two-part meeting on Saturday, April 23, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm to address changes to the zoning ordinance advertised by the County Board. The meeting will be held at the DHS Building located at 3033 Wilson Blvd. The meeting will be broken into two parts — the first will present the pros and cons of the proposed changes to lot coverage, and the second part will be a meeting of the Federation with discussion and a vote on the lot coverage proposal. For more information contact: Martha Moore at703-527-3782 or Bill Gearhardt at 703-522-2276.
For more details on these issues the Civic Federation minutes can be found at: http://www.civfed.org/
Neighborhood Conservation (NC) Report
Betty Siegel asked that there be a motion to prioritize AHCA NC projects as listed below.
Motion: To approve the AHCA priority list for NC projects as listed below.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Fenwick Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Irving Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Ivy Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street, on South Highland Street between South 9th Street and Columbia Pike, and on South 9th Street between South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Highland Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street
- Installation of Carlyle type streetlights on South 5th Street between South Glebe Road and South Jackson Street.
Seconded, passed unanimously.
South Garfield: County Staff, Robert Collins and another representative, met with the neighbors on South Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and South 2nd Street at the beginning of April to see if there was agreement on adding sidewalk(s) to the NC project, and to walk the neighbors thru what the project will be and how it will impact the street. There were about 25 to 30 people in attendance, almost every home on the block had someone there. There appeared to be consensus that the neighbors approved adding sidewalks on one side of the street to the project. They talked about adding it to the west side, and then proceeded to look house- by-house at where sidewalks would go, whether or not trees and retaining walls would be impacted, where drainage would have to be addressed, how street parking would be effected, etc.
The question was raised as to when progress on this project would be seen. AHCA probably won't have enough points to have this project funded in the Spring but should have enough points to be funded in the Fall. It then takes approximately 18 months to work on design before any ground is broken. The good news is that several other NC projects have moved forward — the lights along 2nd Street and there was just a meeting to go over with neighbors the placement of street lights along 6th Street, which was a project that got funded about two years ago, so they should see ground broken soon.
Missing Link Program: Another really important program to be aware of is the Missing Links program. This is a program that tries to fill in small gaps in sidewalks along routes that serve schools, bus stops, etc. Betty asks that anyone who knows of a place where there is a section of sidewalk missing — this could be a small gap to a section along a number of houses but probably not a complete block — should let her know the locations (be precise) so that AHCA can submit these for possible funding. The question was raised about replacing sidewalks along areas where trees have torn them up. The missing links program is really looking at section of sidewalk that won't involve intense engineering, that are simple to fill in, so probably sections that involve trees, retaining walls, etc. won't qualify. The importance of the Missing Links program is that AHCA could get sidewalks filled in without effecting the projects already in queue.
NCAC meetings: Betty encouraged everyone who is interested to attend the NCAC meetings. NCAC meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm off Wilson Blvd in the Rural Electric building. It is an excellent way to find out how neighborhoods get infrastructure, how the system works for funding projects and also what topical issues are being addressed around the county.
ZORC and Allowable Lot Coverage: Adam Croswell sent a letter to the Washington Post, the Sun Gazette and to the County Board per the motion made at the February 2005 meeting stating that AHCA opposes any reductions to the current allowable lot coverage.
He also got maps showing which homes in AHCA would have non-conforming main buildings under the proposed changes - these homeowners, if their homes were destroyed by a natural disaster or fire would not be able to rebuild to the homes current size. He also got maps that showed which homes would be non-conforming based on main building and other features — these homeowners would have trouble with any renovations or expansions. And, he had a map that showed which lots in AHCA were oversized, undersized or right at the standard size for an R-6 lot — a substantial number of lots in AHCA are undersized and the impact on these homeowners would be even more significant if they ever chose to expand or renovate their homes. Adams is happy to share this information with anyone who is interested.
Joan Gill said that she and Jim went to the County to see exactly how these proposals would effect their home. And, that the negative impact is significant. They are very distressed because the supposed purpose to the changes is to prevent "McMansions" it would have a frightening impact on AHCA in terms of little things like being able to add on a deck, have small storage unit for gardening and lawn maintenance supplies, or larger things like being able to have an attached garage or swimming pool.
Public hearings in front of the County Board on this issue will be May 7th and in front of the Planning Commission on April 25th. To see the advertisement go to: http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/CountyBoard/meetings/2005/feb/0212/27.pdf
It is really important to act now, write letters, send emails or call the County Board and let them know whether or not you, as an individual home owner support these changes. It is also important to come on May 7th to give public comment at the Board meeting.
Newsletter: Adam thanked Cathy Camp for distributing almost two thirds of the most recent newsletters door-to-door. There was a round of applause.
Social Activities: Joan Gill won't be able to do a garden tour this year. Does any one else want to step up and organize the garden tour? There will be a community yard sale at Patrick Henery Elementary School on Satruday May 21 from 8 am to noon. Contact Amy Vennett at 703/920-1832 to sign up. And, also contact Amy if you are interested in joining the group that meeting once or twice a month to knit and chat.
Historic District: Cathy Camp is interested in having AHCA declared a Virginia State Historic District. The big advantage is that for homes in this district that qualify there is a significant tax break when renovating. There was a lot of discussion. The initial reaction from many members present was that this was not something they were interested in because it might limit or restrict what they could or could not do to their homes, that we didn't have enough information and that we didn't really understand how it worked. There was a recommendation to proceed with some caution and first do more homework and research the pros and cons. Maureen Sullivan agreed to help Cathy with the research. Adam asked that Cathy and Maureen form a small committee on this issue.
Trees: There will be an opportunity for homeowners to get free trees from the County as a part of Neighborhood Day in May. Adam will get more information about this and distribute it.
School Board Candidates: Douglas Park Civic Association has a school board candidates forum on Monday, April 25, at 7:30 PM at the Randolph Elementary School Library. Everyone is welcome.
Lights on the TJ track: There was concern expressed over the lack of appropriate lighting on the track that goes around the athletic fields at TJ. There are sections which are quite dark and don't feel safe. Jay Wind suggested that calls be made to Steve Temmermand (sp?) 703/228-3320 who is with Parks and Recreation since this probably falls under their jurisdiction.
Bluestone Field at TJ: Another issue that was brought up was the dirt generated by the bluestone field at TJ. Jay explained that because of AHCA's opposition several years ago to the plan to install synthetic turf and turn the fields over to Marymount College for use TJ's fields got bumped to the bottom of the list for consideration for installation of synthetic turf. It is Betty's impression that County has made a commitment to having synthetic turf on most playing fields and that they won't put any money into maintaining the bluestone field. However there is still a serious problem with the current field because of excessive particular matter, dirt and dust that is being thrown or blown into the air.
Motion: That AHCA ask the County to take action on the lights on the track at the north side of TJ's athletic field and to examine the particulate matter of the Bluestone soccer field.
The motion was tabled for the next meeting as there was not a quorum by this time to vote. Betty said that she would also make a motion at the next meeting to support the installation of synthetic turf at TJ but only if the County would guarantee that the hours of operation on the fields would be restricted to no later than 10:00 pm. Martin said that he would also, at the next meeting, make a friendly amendment to the previous motion that would extend adding lights on the foot bridge that goes from TJ across Arlington Blvd.
AHCA Next Quarterly Meeting
The next meeting will be held on July 19th, 2005.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:20 pm
Betty Siegel, Secretary