NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION PLAN
(Note: The contents of this web page may contain typos as a result of scanning.
We invite an AHCA member to offer to proofread this page and correct any typos.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Neighborhood Goals
2. Neighborhood Profile
3. Zoning and Land Use
8. Commercial Establishments
14. Storm and Sanitary Sewers
16. Street Lighting
16. Curbs, Cutters and Sidewalks
17. Community Services
23. Parks and Recreation
- General Land Use Plan
- General Land Use Plan/Zoning
- Street Lighting Plan
- Existing Street Projects
- Recommended Street Projects
Citizens are becoming increasingly involved in the planning programs, which affect the future of their communities. The objective of this plan is to facilitate the interaction of neighborhood participation and the Arlington County Government in planning for our community.
We hope the discussions in this plan, along with our goals, will provide useful information for future decisions and plans affecting our area.
A knowledge of our community and our values is available in this booklet. This knowledge should enhance mutual understanding to reduce conflicts and facilitate problem solving in our neighborhood.
This booklet and plan have developed over a period of five years of public involvement, including a survey, vocal comments to the Arlington Heights Civic Association officers and the Neighborhood Conservation Committee.
In an effort to keep the neighborhood informed, the draft plan and preliminary findings were made available for review and inspection at the reference section of the Columbia Pike branch library on South Walter Reed Drive. In addition, all residents were invited to participate through their section chiefs and Civic Association officers in the formulation of this plan. The Neighborhood Committee has considered all comments received in the development of this booklet and plan.
In regard to our commercial areas, our neighborhood should assist in the development of projects that address a specific problem or opportunities presented to our community by the County.
This list of goals is not intended to be complete. Other goals are found throughout the text. This section only attempts to summarize the top ten neighborhood goals in the order of their priority. They are as follows:
- Road and street maintenance; curb and gutter repairs.
- Police protection and emergency services. We would like to see our crime rate continue to decline.
- Maintenance of school grounds and improvement in the quality of education.
- Keeping through-traffic out of our neighborhood.
- A decline in the number of activities offered in our community. We are not happy with the concentration of these services in this neighborhood. We are concerned with over-use of these facilities and the undesirable elements they draw.
- Enforcement of the abandoned vehicle and animal ordinances.
- Public transportation and pedestrian traffic. Encourage better services.
- Improvement of the appearance of the entire neighborhood by encouraging residents and owners to improve their homes.
- Support of our Westmont Shopping Center and commercial areas in our neighborhood. Assist in any clean-up and beautification projects to visually enhance the area. Support all plans to keep these areas attractive for people to shop.
- Encouragement of such amenities as day care for working mothers/fathers, or the establishment of cooperatives in public buildings for Friday/Saturday nights along with a specific neighborhood recreation program.
Arlington Heights is a quiet, residential community of 994 households located in 484 single-family detached homes, 210 semidetached homes, 122 garden apartments and one high-rise apartment building of 178 units. It is bounded by Arlington Boulevard on the north, Fillmore Street and Walter Reed Drive on the east, Columbia Pike on the south and Glebe Road on the west. Single-family homes predominate, with garden and high-rise apartments and mixed commercial establishments occupying the perimeters.
The special attraction of Arlington Heights is the quiet, residential community character with particularly attractive homes on large tree-lined streets. Because our neighborhood is centrally situated in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, we have excellent transportation and access to colleges and universities, plays and cultural activities. Some of the best restaurants and the best selection of movies as well as shopping can be found in our neighborhood. With the good employment opportunities available in the metropolitan area, our good public schools, fair taxes and moderate crime rates, our neighborhood is a most desirable place to live and raise children.
The last few years have seen an upturn in the quality of Arlington Heights' housing stock. Owner-occupancy has increased. Some families, weary of commuting long distances, have chosen to remodel and restore our older houses. An awareness of the potentially severe energy crisis, the impact of pollution due to auto exhausts, and the need for conservation prevails among the residents.
The Arlington Heights Civic Association committed itself to participation in the Neighborhood Conservation Program for Arlington in May of 1976.
Although the program was largely dormant due to lack of funds to complete approved Neighborhood Conservation Plans, Arlington Heights persisted in advocating the program and taking the initial steps toward development of a plan. A questionnaire was developed and circulated to 696 homes in September 1976. We received an 80% return (including 670 vacant and 970 negative) on this survey, or actual responses from 65% of the households.
The survey showed that Arlington Heights residents have positive reasons for choosing to live here: "well-built homes", "big trees", "good neighbors", "good location", "comfortable atmosphere". Virtually 100% of the respondents expressed a desire to maintain the community's quiet, small-town character. Major concerns include use of neighborhoods streets for through commuter traffic and the resultant noise, air pollution, and danger to pedestrians, as well as lack of park space.
Analysis of responses to the Neighborhood Conservation Survey revealed the following facts about Arlington Heights:
Age Group Number of Years in the Community
1-17 years 18.2% less than 10 55%
18-40 years 38.3% more than 10 45%
41-60 years 24.5% more than 20, but less than 30 13%
over 60 years 19.0% more than 30 15%
The average household size is 2.66 persons, with 45% of all households having two persons.
Neighborhood Conservation Survey results have been used extensively in composing this profile of our community and in developing the recommendations for land use, transportation, parks and recreation, public utilities and housing contained in this Neighborhood Conservation Plan.
ZONING AND LAND USE
Except for its western and southern edges, the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Conservation area is zoned for low-density, single-family residential uses (R-6). Portions of Highland Street, Irving Street, Ivy Street and Glebe Road, south of 7th Street, contain semi-detached houses (R-5 and R2-7), as does the area between Glebe Road and Old Glebe Road North of 2nd Street. The western edge along Glebe Road between 2nd and 5th Streets contains high-rise apartments and general commercial areas (C-3 and C2). The southern edge along Columbia Pike and the southeast corner (bounded by 9th Street, South and Highland Street and Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive) are zoned for general commercial (C-0 and C-2). Residents wish to maintain the zoning of the areas as it is with a few minor changes.
Neighborhood goals for zoning/land use proposals are:
- to maintain and enhance the single-family residential character of Arlington Heights
- to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment and
- to upgrade the quality of commercial establishments to blend with the residential community and provide an attractive commercial area.
Arlington Heights' housing stock is varied and for the most part structurally sound and in good repair. The housing pattern contributes to community integrity with all commercial development, large apartment complexes and schools located at the periphery of the area with single-family zoning exclusively within those boundaries.
Available housing within Arlington Heights falls into three broad categories:
- Apartment complexes (Highland Hall- a garden-type apartment and Dominion Arms- a high-rise apartment);
- Semi-detached homes located in the Westmont area of Arlington Heights on the southern boundary of the area with a smaller grouping at the northwest corner; and
- Single-family residences. Within these categories exists a broad range of housing styles, sizes (number of bedrooms) and costs.
Arlington Heights has a large proportion of its housing suitable for families with children. In fact, the average household size for Arlington Heights is approximately 2.7 persons, a figure slightly higher than the overall County average. Patrick Henry Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Junior High School and Community Center and the new Career Center within our boundaries make the family housing orientation practicable, both for families and in terms of County services available. In the apartment complexes, 79 units or 26% of the total units have two bedrooms (none have more than 2 bedrooms) and would be suitable for small families with children.
The average home in Arlington Heights is over thirty years old, with few homes less than ten years old and little land available for building any new single-family homes. Rehabilitation and replacement of aging housing stock are, and will continue to be, the chief means of meeting housing needs. Significant remodeling and repair work is being done by many individual homeowners. Despite their age, houses in Arlington Heights have continued to appreciate in value.
Approximately 20% of the non-apartment homes in Arlington Heights are rental. The rental average for the Westmont area of semidetached homes is closer to 33%.
Some rehabilitation help is available in Arlington. The Arlington Housing Corporation has made several grants to homeowners in our area and the Senior Citizens' home repair program has helped others. Both programs could be expanded to reach more people, but those programs now available are narrow and not inclusive. Arlington Housing Corporation grantees must own their homes to receive aid well as be in financial need. Senior citizens must meet the age requirements to get help. Significant rehabilitation is needed for some rental units when neither tenant nor landlord can or will maintain them adequately.
Arlington Heights citizens wish to have their community remain a community characterized by family-type (single-family) housing.
- Any necessary replacement of single-family housing in areas with existing single-family zoning, should be with either single-family housing or identified for consideration by the County as potential parkland acquisition. (Currently, Arlington Heights has no wooded parkland within its boundaries.)
- No habitable housing should be lost from family-type housing stock for reasons of commercial development, upzoning or apartments or to create or widen roadways.
- Arlington County should encourage programs to promote home ownership, rehabilitation of all homes in disrepair and the preservation of existing single-family housing stock.
- Work with County staff to examine the enforcement aspects of the current ordinances affecting housing. For those owners who cannot comply for physical or financial reasons, work to develop programs that will make it possible to bring their property into compliance with community standards.
- County ordinances relating to maintenance of property should be strictly enforced. This is particularly important in cases of absentee landlords/owners.
- No new apartment complexes should be built on vacant land, except when permitted by existing zoning. This is due to the current overcrowding of public facilities, local traffic pressures and lack of green space available for current population.
We encourage the funding of existing programs and the development of new programs providing low interest loans to residents so that they can freshen up the outside appearance as well as do necessary repairs to bring their houses up to code.
The Westmont Shopping Center is located on the corner of Glebe Road and Columbia Pike and contains the following stores:
- Dart Drug
- Self-Service Laundry
- Furniture Store
- Mom's Pizza (New York Style Restaurant)
- Gary's Beauty Salon
- Champion Billiards
- Coronet Cleaners (Dry Cleaning and Shoe Repair)
- Brenner's Bakery
- Westmont Auto Parts
- Georgetown Carpet
- Barber Shop
- Westmont Professional Building
- Medical Building
- The Hair Cuttery
- A Nail Affair
- Gunter's House of Quality
- Gunter's German Delicatessen
- German Tailor
- Lee's Chinese Laundry and Dry Cleaning
- Coco's Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge
- Mrs. Chen's Kitchen (Chinese Style Food and English Fish and Chips)
The commercial area bounded by Columbia Pike, Walter Reed Drive, 9th Road and South Garfield Street, contains the following:
- The Highland Building (this office complex also fronts Highland Street between Columbia Pikes and 9th Street)
- McDonald's (fast food)
- 7-Eleven Convenience Store
- Oriental Restaurant (Chinese Cuisine and Cocktails)
- Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Store #224
- Matuba Japanese Restaurant
- Kang's Karate
- Arlington Movie Theatre
- Orville B. Lynn Studio of Photography
- Serendipity Antiques
- Wall Street Clothes
- Al's Barber Shop
- Elvia's Beauty Salon
- European Woodwork and Contractor
The Westmont Shopping Area and commercial areas along Columbia Pike, Walter Reed Drive and Glebe Road are essential to our community's well being. These businesses are convenient to our neighborhood; however, the strip-commercial quality of these areas is visually unorganized and unattractive. We would like to see these commercial areas become cleaner and healthier places to shop. We would like to have a shopping area where we can walk to relax and soak up the sun, or visit a newsstand or telephone kiosk, with architectural features we can be proud of. We would also like to encourage these businesses to set aside after-school and summer jobs for kids in the neighborhood.
We recognize the high quality of goods and services that these areas are now providing and wish to give our support to the existing businessmen and merchants so that they can preserve and protect their investment and maintain the availability of these retail goods and services. At the same time we recognize the County's efforts to encourage the updating of areas such as these through the Business Conservation Program. We wish to give our support to County efforts to assist in the revitalization of this area through the use of available technical and planning assistance and grants for the development or rehabilitation of these commercial areas and establishments.
Neighborhood goals as they relate to the business and commercial areas in our community:
- Support our Westmont Shopping Center and other commercial areas in our neighborhood in maintaining the availability of high quality goods and services at moderate cost.
- Assist in any clean-up and beautification projects to visually enhance the area and improve the transition between commercial areas and residential areas.
- Improve the aesthetic appearance and create an atmosphere harmonious with pedestrian traffic to attract more customers from adjacent neighborhoods.
- Improve parking and loading areas for commercial establishments to attract more customers traveling the roadways on which they are located and to improve the image of both our neighborhood and the County.
- Work with these merchants, businessmen and the County by providing recommendations concerning the future of these areas.
- Encourage the establishment in vacant commercial buildings of businesses which fulfill the needs of the community.
- Support projects and activities aimed at eliminating traffic congestion in these areas.
- Expand transportation options- a transit mall.
- Reduce environmental and safety problems.
- Act to increase neighborhood youth employment and training.
- Create the plaza effect in our area by removing some of the front stores and increasing the openness.
- Bury utility lines and improve road surfaces, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
- Create new parking facilities to improve access to our shopping areas.
- Renovate old buildings and eliminate vacancies.
- Re-orient adjacent businesses so that they can take direct advantage of their proximity to newly created parking areas.
Arlington Heights is aware of how transportation proposals can directly affect the quality of life and the character of the community. This awareness has been acquired from the community's participation in the formulation of transportation proposals contained in the Master Thoroughfare Plan. Heavy traffic on our local streets with the resultant air and noise pollution and speeding are of major concern to our residents. Residents are aware of the fine quality of streets, curbs, gutters and sidewalks in our area and wish to ensure that they are maintained at their present level.
Residents would like to see a decrease in traffic through our neighborhood along Fillmore Street, 2nd Street, 7th Street, Irving Street and Highland Street. These five residential streets carry heavy traffic volumes through our neighborhood. These high traffic volumes combined with excessive speed are of major concern not only to the residents of the streets but to the whole neighborhood. This traffic represents a constant danger to children playing and walking to school, as well as to pedestrians. Of significance here is that all of this traffic is within three blocks of one or both of our schools and play areas- Patrick Henry Elementary School and Thomas Jefferson Junior High School and Community Center. Second Street, South and 7th Street, South, Walter Reed Drive and portions of streets between 2nd Street, South and Arlington Boulevard are all adversely impacted by traffic going to or from Arlington Boulevard. This traffic brings noise, pollution and safety hazards to local residents. A large percentage of this traffic is generated either outside of Arlington Heights or outside of Arlington County. Automobile traffic entering Arlington approximately doubled between 1960 and 1975 and is projected to increase by another 80% by 1992 unless the population growth is less than predicted, or public transportation and carpools carry a larger share of travelers than now predicted. (Ref. Planning for Arlington's Future, page 17.)
As indicated above, Arlington County and Arlington Heights in particular are facing a serious problem: how to move this large volume of externally-generated traffic through the County and residential communities without its destroying the quality of life of its residents. The recommendations made within this section of our plan are aimed at helping to alleviate this problem. Of course, they are biased toward preserving the quality of life for Arlington Heights' residents; however, they should not hinder the flow of traffic or adversely affect other communities. Our neighborhood survey showed that the majority of respondents consider walking as their secondary or tertiary mode of transportation. The automobile was primary, of course, but fully 6.5% of households reported owning no car at all. In assessing the condition of our neighborhood streets, respondents were most negative regarding excessive speed and volume of traffic, due to inadequate controls, and the resultant noise, pollution and danger to pedestrians (particularly the school children).
The following amendment was adopted April 1999:
Traffic and pedestrian safety, particularly the safety of the children attending our two neighborhood schools, continues to be a high priority issue. Speeding and increased traffic volume associated with cut-through and commercial traffic repeatedly threaten the safety of our neighborhood. Therefore, we support appropriate traffic-calming measures within Arlington Heights that will effectively reduce the hazards associated with these behaviors.
- Route commuter traffic not having an origin or destination in Arlington Heights around the community via Arlington Boulevard, Glebe Road, Columbia Pike and Washington Boulevard.
- Discourage/minimize the use of neighborhood streets and secondary arterials as major thoroughfares.
- Eliminate existing safety hazards, such as speeding traffic on 2nd and 7th Streets, South which endanger residents, pedestrians and school children.
- Eliminate street safety hazards which impact homes and traffic.
- Promote the use of alternative transportation modes as substitutes for the private automobile.
- Speed Limits
- Flashing School Zone Signs
- Corner of South Irving and 7th Street, South eastbound
- Corner of Walter Reed Drive and 9th Street, South northbound
- Corner of South Garfield and 7th Street, South westbound
- Corner of Walter Reed Drive and 6th Street, South southbound
- Across 6th Street, South at South Irving and Highland Streets
- Across 2nd Street, South at South Highland Street (west intersection)
- Across South Highland Street at 9th Street, South
- Across 7th Street, South at South Irving Street
- Fenwick Street (between 2nd Street South and Fillmore Street)
- 2nd Street (between South Glebe Road and Fillmore Street)
- Ivy Street (between 7th and 9th Streets)
- Irving Street (between 7th and 9th Streets)
The Neighborhood Conservation Committee endorses the County's recommendation of the proposed channelization of 9th Street rather than vacation of 9th Street at South Highland Street, as chosen for implementation by South Irving and 9th Streets' residents. Our reason for endorsement is that we agree with the County that the closing of 9th Street would make access for residents quite circuitous.
The Committee also endorses the County's proposed redesign/beautification of the traffic island at 9th and South Irving Streets and the installation of a "No Right Turn" sign on westbound 9th and a "No Left Turn" sign on southbound Irving. With respect to the turn restrictions, the County will survey the area to determine appropriate hours.
- 7th Street (between South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive)
Install curb extending "nubs" at the Highland Street and 7th Street intersection to discourage speeding and make Highland Street safer for children going to and from Patrick Henry Elementary School.
Install "No Right Turn on Red" sign for westbound 7th Street, South traffic at Glebe Road, in order to improve the ease and safety of entering and leaving driveways on Glebe Road north of the intersection.
- South Irving Street (between 6th and 7th Streets)
- Pedestrian and Cycle Crossings
- Alternative Transportation Modes
Support the further development of Columbia Pike as a mass transit corridor (with a Walter Reed Drive spur) by considering the building of a Metrorail route there, or establishing by lanes/rights-of-way, or other means of improving the speed of transit trips.
Promote and educate our community in the use of shared-ride taxi systems, airport limousine services, etc. Develop local programs to enhance the quality of transportation services (public and private) within the County/community.
STORM AND SANITARY SEWERS
A large number of residents experience flooding during heavy rainstorms, especially along 5th and 6th Streets, South and the blocks on either side of these streets on Garfield, Highland, Irving and Jackson Streets. During heavy rainstorms 6th Street, South takes on the appearance of a river.
Other problem areas are:
- South Garfield Street and Irving Street between 2nd Street, South and Arlington Boulevard.
- Walter Reed Drive at Fenwick Center and the Columbia Pike Library ("8th Street, South").
- The east sidewalk of Highland Street, especially beside the Career Center.
We assume the storm water drainage problem will be corrected by the County-proposed construction and improvement project for storm water drainage. We direct attention to the aforementioned problem areas for appraisal in this regard.
The results of our survey showed that a majority of our residents listed walking as their secondary or tertiary mode of transportation. (The automobile was primary, of course.) So it is not surprising that many complaints related to pedestrian safety. Many mentions were also made about safety of property and adequacy of police patrols. Adequate street lighting is an important factor in pedestrian safety as well as a proven deterrent to burglary and vandalism. For these reasons we consider street lighting a very important part of our neighborhood plan.
Town and Country street lights have been installed on 1st Road, South, 6th Street, South between Glebe Road and Irving Street and on 9th Street, South between Glebe Road and Highland Street. Installation has also been completed on South Irving Street south of 7th Street.
The Neighborhood Conservation Committee has identified several other areas which need additional lighting:
- 3rd Street, South between South Irving and Ivy Streets.
- South Fenwick Street between 2nd and 5th Streets, South.
- South Jackson Street between 5th and 6th Streets, South.
- 5th Street, South between South Jackson Street and Glebe Road.
- 6th Street, South between South Irving Street and Walter Reed Drive.
- South Garfield, Highland and Irving Streets between 6th and 7th Streets, South.
- South Garfield Street between 9th Road, South and Columbia Pike.
- 9th Road, South between South Garfield Street and Walter Reed Drive.
- South Ivy Street between 7th Street and 9th Street.
- 9th Street/lrving Street Island.
Because of the large trees which line our streets, we think it is advisable to have Town and Country (coach style) lights.
Because of the large trees which line our streets, we think it is advisable to have Town and Country or other coach style pedestrian lights throughout Arlington Heights. In addition to using this style lighting for all areas which need additional lighting, we believe that it should be used to replace or augment the other less pedestrian friendly lights previously installed throughout the neighborhood.
In most instances, these will provide maximum illumination for the sidewalks and streets. It is our understanding that implementation of a lighting program will be subject to working with the County Staff over a block-by-block analysis and petition basis.
CURBS, GUTTERS AND SIDEWALKS
We have mapped the location of existing curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Several of the homeowners have indicated an interest in having sidewalks installed. There are several blocks which have no curbs and gutters which need them. These areas are as follows:
- Irving Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street, South on both sides. The western side of the street runs along the property on which Thomas Jefferson Junior High School and Community Center are located. The eastern side of the street runs along private property.
- Jackson Street between 5th and 6th Streets, South. Both sides run along private property.
- Highland Street between 6th and 7th Streets, South. Both sides run along private property.
- Major portions of Fenwick Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street, South. Both sides run along private property.
- Major portions of Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street, South. Both sides run along private property.
- Irving Street border of the property at 3116 6th Street, South. This runs along private property. Between 6th Street and 7th Street, it is recommended that sidewalk be built only on the east side. Nubs at the intersection of 6th and 7th Streets would incorporate the sidewalk.
- Old Glebe Road along Arlington Boulevard. This side runs along State right-of-way.
- Ivy Street between 7th and 9th Streets. It is recommended that sidewalk be constructed on the west side only. A green strip should not be included between the roadway. Utility poles should be contained in the cross-section of the sidewalk.
- Arlington County should install curb and gutter and resurface the sidewalk along the public property on Irving Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street, South.
- All curbs, gutters and sidewalks should be installed subject to individual block/owner initiative, with the exception of South
- Highland Street and Irving Street between 2nd and 7th Streets. These two streets provide a vital link in the sidewalk system between our schools and community services. It is recommended that the sidewalk system be made continuous along at least one side of the two streets. The Arlington Heights Civic Association will work to coordinate and facilitate citizens' efforts in this regard.
People in our area are concerned about personal safety, and maintaining a good environment for raising children and a good place for grandchildren to visit and play. Most complaints voiced by our residents are about crime and/or fear of crime as it relates to vandalism and pedestrian safety. Traffic control, speeding and parking problems are discussed in the Transportation Section of this plan. Trash and litter problems are discussed in the Beautification Section.
According to the crime statistics compiled by the Arlington County Data Analysis Section and the Police Department during Fiscal Years 76 through 79, Arlington Heights has been experiencing substantial decreases in the various crime categories. This is in part due to programs and organizational changes made within the Police Department to provide Arlington Heights better protection. Our neighborhood supports the police in their efforts to solve public safety problems in our community. We all hope our crime rate continues to decrease.
Residents wish to endorse the Police Department's policy of permitting off-duty use of police cars by officers residing in our neighborhood. Seeing these bright, clean vehicles parked along the streets of our neighborhood gives us an additional sense of security. However, residents do feel that additional night patrols along with better lighting appears desirable in certain areas of our neighborhood.
Many complaints have been voiced by citizens living adjacent to the paths located between 7th and 9th Streets (pedestrian rights-of-way between South Glebe Road and South Highland Street), and the path behind the Westmont Shopping Center along 9th Street. Windows, shrubbery, fences, cars, etc. have been vandalized near the path areas. There have been reports of smashed car windows, twisted auto antennas, slashed tires and other things. Lights along these areas have helped but have not solved the problem. Increased police protection would help a great deal. Property owners and residents should not be subjected to this kind of harassment.
Our sidewalk system provides excellent access through our community. The paths located between 7th and 9th Streets do not fill any existing deficiencies as to gaps or links in the sidewalk system. They do, however, provide an excellent cover for the criminal element. Longtime residents say that the paths were once open drainage ditches for the Cook Farm that the County piped and then covered. At the time the right-of-way was deeded to the County, it was for Thomas Jefferson Junior High School which no longer exists at this location. In addition, the farmland has been subdivided and sidewalk and homes now exist where there once was open fields. Patrick Henry Elementary School is located on the corner of 7th and Highland Streets and its officials discourage the use of this dangerous crossing by students.
The 9th Street path does not provide a more direct route to the shopping center, as it leads into the alley behind and one must walk the alley to the sidewalks located on either side of the shopping center. This area is especially bad as there are no windows in the stores and most backyards contain privacy fences along the path and the alley. We strongly urge that this path be closed.
Residents along these paths would like to see increased police protection, especially at night and on weekends when activities at the T.J. Recreation Center close.
These paths are also used during the day as a hangout for Career Development Center students who either don't wish to attend classes or are just waiting around for another class or ride home. Students from our local schools also loiter on these path areas during regular school hours. School truancy and the resultant mischief are problems the whole neighborhood faces. Youths have been observed drinking beer and smoking during the day and at night along these paths. This is a problem that is particularly bad during the summer months and on weekend nights when the recreation center at T.J. closes.
The path between 7th and 9th Streets is also a danger to neighborhood children, aside from the more obvious dangers. Older children riding their bicycles at a high rate of speed can negotiate a turn onto the sidewalk at the end of the path; however, some of the younger children cannot. The younger children in their efforts to keep up with the older ones often overshoot the sidewalk and go speeding into the street. This also happens when children are chasing one another and forget about how dangerous the streets are. Drivers expect pedestrians and bicycles to cross at intersections; however one normally doesn't expect these activities in the middle of the block. This problem is especially acute on Highland Street.
There are problems with animal care in our neighborhood. Some owners take care of their pets; others do not. Some owners allow their dogs and cats to run loose in the neighborhood rather than take them for a walk. Some of these animals do not even have collars. Some residents keep three or four large dogs in their home. The number and size of the animals can present a bother to neighbors, particularly in homes with small backyards.
Another problem is owners who walk their pets and either allow them to run free or do not clean up after them. This is generally left up to the homeowners whose lawn they use. It is very aggravating to have to clean a front (or back) yard as well as along the path areas every day. Children's shoes get ruined as well. Owners who walk their pets should be made to clean up after them and those pets running loose should be put in the pound.
Fire and Ambulance Service
We have excellent fire and rescue service in our neighborhood. The fire station with primary responsibility for the Arlington Heights area is Station No. 1 located on South Edgewood Street near 11th Street, South. It is manned by Engine Company No. 71 and Rescue No. 71.
Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles
The Arlington Branch of the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is located at 501 South Glebe Road. This facility provides only renewal transactions; other services are provided at nearby full service branches. Only license plate decal renewals are available at the drive-up windows; however, on the inside one can have drivers' licenses renewed.
Our citizens have expressed concern over the previous parking and landscaping around the old building, fearing that this facility and its operation might be detrimental to our neighborhood. The State has since replaced the old building with a newer, smaller building with additional parking space and landscaping. The neighborhood would not like to see the size of this building expanded. We would also like to see the asphalt curbing replaced with concrete and the landscaping maintained.
Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation
The synagogue of the Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation is located at 2920 Arlington Boulevard (979-4466). The congregation of approximately 300 Jewish (conservative) families began only 40 years ago and has met at its present location within our civic association boundaries for about 30 years. Religious services are conducted Friday evenings, Saturday mornings and holidays. Classes are held throughout the week. Various other activities, including a cooperative nursery school, are held in the building.
Police and citizens should work together to devise a more effective means of dealing with the enforcement of pet ordinances.
Additional recommendations contained in other parts of this plan should alleviate some of the above-mentioned problems and improve the safety of our residents.
PARKS AND RECREATION
The only parks or open space in Arlington Heights are located at the two schools within our borders. We have the playground and Log City areas at Patrick Henry with 3.5 acres and the recreation areas at Thomas Jefferson consisting of 20.57 acres. This means we have 8.6 acres of park space per thousand people as compared to the National Park and Recreation Association recommendation of ten acres per thousand persons and the Arlington County average of 5.4 acres per thousand persons (excluding regional parks). However, it must be remembered that all of this parkland and open space is adjacent to public school property and is therefore not available for use by residents at such times that it is being used by the schools. The recreation land at Thomas Jefferson is also used by the County-wide Community Center and is, consequently, taken up by organized activities most of the time. There is virtually no space for adults, senior citizens, very small children, or persons not engaged in organized activities. There is also no wooded recreation area within our community. In this sense, the neighborhood is very park deficient.
At times it has become necessary for the residents of our community to clean up and "police" the various recreation areas before they are safe for anyone to use. In addition, other of our "green" areas are not adequately maintained and could be better utilized. The area around the Fenwick Center and the parking lot along South Highland Street is infrequently mowed and cleared of litter. We feel that better maintenance of this area and perhaps the installation of some benches would make it usable park space for our neighborhood, especially in view of the popularity of walking in our neighborhood. This area is also the site of routine flagrant abuse of the dog ordinance. It should be patrolled from time to time in order to stop this pollution of the public space by an irresponsible few.
With regard to recreation in our neighborhood, we are fortunate in our proximity to extensive new County facilities. However, residents near or along pedestrian routes to these facilities are not happy with the concentration of these youth services in our neighborhood, especially at night and on weekends. We are concerned with the overuse of these facilities and the undesirable elements which are drawn to unsupervised outside activities, which occur before, during and after youth activities. We are also concerned with parking problems resulting from inadequate capacity for other school and community center activities. Improvement is desirable in a few areas:
Our neighborhood survey indicated a large number of people do not use the County facilities because of lack of information concerning programs and activities.
The reduced-hours library schedule has reduced its utility for residents who work all day, but have been using the library in the evenings and on weekends. Opening the library in the evenings is a move we support.
About 196 of Arlington Heights residents are over 60 years of age. We feel that there should be more programs/activities at the library, Fenwick Center and the Community Center aimed at this age group.
Work with Staff on the following:
- Install benches in the green areas along South Highland Street (between 7th and 9th Streets, South).
- Rigorously enforce the dog ordinance, particularly in the area along South Highland Street between 7th and 9th Streets, South, and provide for more regular maintenance of this area.
- Expand the Columbia Pike branch library hours so that the library will be open both Saturdays and Sundays.
- Work with staff to examine the feasibility of developing a new supervisory system for the Thomas Jefferson tennis courts to ensure "equal opportunity playing time" for Arlington County residents, as well as providing priority for County citizens over non-Arlingtonians.
The Civic Association and the Arlington County Park and Recreation Commission should work together on a continuing basis to identify and develop further areas within our community for neighborhood park use.
The Civic Association should work with the staff of our local facilities on a continuing basis in order to develop programs to fulfill the needs of all age groups in our community.
The Arlington Heights Civic Association area has a generally beautiful setting. Most of our areas have tree-lined streets which enhance the surrounding properties. There are, however, some sections which could use improvement. The need for beautification of all areas cannot be over-estimated. A survey several years ago by the U.S. Department of Interior stated that proper landscaping increases property values on the average of fifteen percent.
The state-owned right-of-way along Arlington Boulevard is in dire need of beautification. The Westmont Shopping Center and the other commercial areas along Columbia Pike, Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive need cleaning up.
Our paths and the small traffic island at South Irving and 9th Streets are on the regular mowing schedule but frequency of mowing is variable. Presently, mowing along the paths an maintenance of the Irving Street traffic island are left up to the residents. Mowing on a regular, and frequent basis is needed.
Unsightly litter and trash along the sidewalks, paths and lawns near Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, Patrick Henry Elementary School Fenwick Center, Career Center and the Columbia Pike branch library is a problem.
Large trash items such as tubs, fences, tires, auto parts, building materials, etc. can be found in private yards, the alley behind Westmont Shopping Center and other commercial establishments in our area. Not only is this trash unsightly, but it creates an ideal condition for rats and may present hazards for children.
Drink containers and wrappers from fast-food places like McDonald's along with bottles and cans, are frequently deposited in our neighborhood. Trash receptacles placed in certain spots which could be emptied once a week might alleviate the problem.
- Request the commercial establishments to clean up and maintain their establishments and adjacent land to an eye-pleasing condition.
- The following amendment was adopted May 1984:
Authorize a beautification/landscaping project along the perimeter of the Career Center on S. Highland Street and 9th Street South
- The redesign for the 9th Street/lrving Street Intersection should include beautification as well as periodic maintenance.
- Request the citizens to continue their efforts at landscaping, beautifying and maintaining their property.
- A garden club made up of adjacent property owners may wish to do some planting to beautify the area along Arlington Boulevard. It would be most helpful if the County could provide some assistance, should this project be undertaken by residents of Arlington Heights.
- The following amendment was adopted October 1997:
Install neighborhood signs which identify the Arlington Heights neighborhood to recognize our beautiful neighborhood and to encourage pride in it. The number, design and placement of the signs should be determined through an open, consultative process between neighbors and County representatives.
Authorize a beautification/landscaping project along the perimeter of the Career Center on S. Highland Street and 9th Street, S. (adopted May 1984)
On Page 25, under the category of "Beautification," add the following as recommendation #4:
"Install neighborhood signs which identify the Arlington Heights neighborhood to recognize our beautiful neighborhood and to encourage pride in it. The number, design and placement of the signs should be determined through an open, consultative process between neighbors and County representatives." (adopted October 1997)
On Page 16, second column, line 7: delete the sentence that reads,
"Because of the large trees which line our streets, we think it is advisable to have Town and Country (coach style) lights."
Insert in its place,
"Because of the large trees which line our streets, we think it is advisable to have Town and Country or other coach style pedestrian lights throughout Arlington Heights. In addition to using this style lighting for all areas which need additional lighting, we believe that it should be used to replace or augment the other less pedestrian friendly lights previously installed throughout the neighborhood." (adopted January 1998)
Insert the following paragraph in the second column of Page 11 just ahead of the paragraph outlining the five transportation goals:
"Traffic and pedestrian safety, particularly the safety of the children attending our two neighborhood schools, continues to be a high priority issue. Speeding and increased traffic volume associated with cut-through and commercial traffic repeatedly threaten the safety of our neighborhood. Therefore, we support appropriate traffic-calming measures within Arlington
Heights that will effectively reduce the hazards associated with these behaviors." (adopted April 1999)