BVSCA Newsletter July 2005
Place: BVSCA's community room located on N. Utah Street between Gaffney's Restaurant and the Windsor Plaza condominiums
Inside this newsletter
The slate for election consists of all current office holders remaining in place for another year. Appointed slots will be revised as we move forward during the coming year.
All Signs Point To BVSCA
After several years of anticipation and planning, Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood signs were erected at the following four locations:
- N. Quincy at I-66 in the median
- N. Fairfax Dr. at N. Utah in the median
- N. Fairfax Dr. at Kirkwood in the median
- N. Kirkwood Dr. in the grass strip near I-66 near Eckerds
Paid for with funding from Arlington County's Neighborhood Conservation program, these signs were developed in a cooperative effort between Arlington County staff, namely Jill Yutan, and members of the BVSCA community. The logo was designed to portray the diverse character of our neighborhood: high rise commercial and residential, public sector institutions, historic structures, townhouses, and single family homes. Additionally, emphasis was given to the neighborhood's efforts to apply a "step down" approach to development, as well as the importance of maintaining tree cover and green space. The signs will be a welcome addition to our neighborhood.
- by DeAndra Beck
Ballston - Virginia Square Walking Town Meeting (7/27)
Starting Point: W-L High School Parking Lot on the west side of the school on North Stafford Street
Residents are concerned about the impacts that the Washington-Lee High School construction project and a variety of scheduled activities will have on their neighborhood. They believe that the coming construction project will only exacerbate problems with zoned parking near the school site and commuter parking at the I-66 deck.
From Washington-Lee High School, travel SE through the stadium area to the intersection of North Quincy Street and Washington Boulevard. Cross over into the gravel parking lot at the NW corner of Quincy Park. Walk into the park and stop in a shaded area
Quincy Park - Washington Boulevard and Nelson Street
Residents believe that the county needs to take a comprehensive look at park facilities to enhance and improve where needed. They would like to see improvements made to Quincy Park to increase its use by the larger community.
Continue through the park to the corner of North Nelson Street and 10th Street. Continue south on Nelson to 9th Street North and Oakland Park, where a watering point will be set up
Oakland Park - 9th Street Greenway - Intersection of Nelson Street and 9th Street North
Residents would like to know when the planned improvements at Oakland Park will be done. They also want to know the status of plans for the Ninth Street Greenway which was proposed but never completed.
Continue traveling west on 9th Street and at North Pollard Street travel north to the intersection of North Pollard Street and 10th Street
Funeral Home site
In the Spring of 2004, the County Board approved the Virginia Square Park Condos on the Arlington Funeral Home site. Since then the developer, Trammell Crow Residential, sold the site to Renaissance Centro. That company has since been bought by WCI Communities, a Florida upscale residential builder, seeking to expand into the area. The community is concerned about where this project may be headed and what the County position is on the status of the project.
Continue north through the East Side parking lot of the Central Library, and gather in the Library Auditorium
A group that includes representatives of the more than 1,000 residents of the Continental Condominium and the Jefferson retirement community, as well as the NRECA and the Ellipse office building (located in the area bounded by Fairfax Drive on the north, North Taylor Street on the east, Wilson on the south and North Glebe Road on the west) wants to express concerns regarding imminent impacts on the tiny alleyway that runs north and south between the Continental and the Jefferson. Developers of adjacent properties were granted use of this tiny alley for hotel delivery and tour bus parking through site plan approval. Residents are concerned that these uses will cause bottlenecking, congestion and resident inconvenience in this area. They are also concerned about pending County reviews of zoning, site plan amendments to SP #331, and the site plan itself. Some of the representatives are part of an organized group called the "Ballston Smart Growth Alliance." They seek to modify substantially, but not block, development at the old INS site.
June 09, 2005The NCAC with representatives from Arlington's neighborhood associations met for the first 2005 Funding Session where proposed projects were considered for recommendation to the County Board. The Points Committee reviewed all projects in advance and awarded credits to each based on factors established as important in judging the merit of work proposed. A worksheet is used that lists the projects, points given for factors, project costs, etc. Nearly all neighborhood projects focus on 1. sidewalk, curb, gutter, and beautification, 2. pedestrian safety, 3. street lighting, 4. parks, and 5. neighborhood signs. Detailed definitions are available for each of these categories. A project status chart covering all projects in Arlington County in their various stages is also available.
Each community association's NCAC representative and/or the Block Captain had three minutes to present their project, discussion followed, and discussions and questions were allowed once all projects had been considered. Discussion of NCAC procedures occurs when warranted. This meeting, decisions were made about projects partially funded to reduce costs and increasing their chances of funding. Although projects have been split in the past, it was deemed an unsound procedure as program tracking is too complicated as it is.
Ten of 25 projects were recommended for funding by the County Board. Two were entryways to neighborhood (signs), six had 30 or more points credit, and two at 25 points had no alternate source of funding. Neighborhoods funded were Dominion Hills, Old Glebe, Bellevue Forest, Arlington Forest, Ashton Heights, Penrose, Clarendon-Courthouse, Columbia Heights-West, Arlington Ridge, and Glencarlyn. A roll-call, one vote per neighborhood, signaled approval of the funding session. Currently, Ballston Virginia Square Civic Association has a funded project with work now beginning for curb, gutter, sidewalk, and grass in the 1200 block of N. Vernon St. Our project for improvements for parts of N. 13th St. is still being discussed in that community. We have recently enjoyed the completion of Clarenford Station Park (13th St. and N. Vermont St.) and the reopening of Hayes Park in our civic association locality.
Any new projects initiated by BVSCA will enjoy a much better chance of funding (additional points) when our group completes an updated BVSCA neighborhood plan. Such a plan includes neighborhood data and the identification of necessary work to be proposed to the NCAC.
Thursday, July 14, 2005 Routine reports were given by many of the representatives and committee leaders. For BVSCA, I mentioned our upcoming Walking Town Meeting scheduled for 27 July, an approximate route, and some of the topics likely to be discussed.
The major presentation at the meeting by David Haring (Yorktown) covered the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Cost Overruns. The co-chair was Rob Swennes (Leeway), and the group consisted of seven other NC representatives and included Inta Malis, NCAC Chairperson (Columbia Forest). Lengthily discussions were held with Arlington County staff members. Many community projects have incurred cost overruns so this committee was established to investigate possible procedures for reducing or eliminating this problem. They are recommending that five changes be made in the budget and approval process for NC projects and that two changes be made in financial management and review processes. If approved by the County Board, a number of the recommended procedures will be triggered for any community project where the costs begin to exceed money allocated to accomplish the work.
Details of this new process involve review of plans, updates at points along the way, statements, cost separations, cost review teams, and detailed procedures to be used. Five recommendations are available to the review teams: 1. additional funding, 2. modification of project design, 3. split project into phases, 4. NC Chairperson work with County Manager to resolve funding problem, and 5. no additional funding for project. If this process is approved, changes to the above information might be expected. Projects currently in process are not affected unless requested by their NC representative or by the Executive Committee.
More information on this will be forthcoming, and is now available from me, BVSCA officers, and on the County's website.
- by Dan Corts
Help Solve the California Bungalow Mystery
I'm doing some research on a unique style of house found in the Clarenford section of the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood. Known as California bungalows, these homes are characterized by square-shaped building "footprints," pyramid roofs, and corner or wrap-around windows. Most were built between 1938 and 1940 and are located on the blocks between Vernon Street on the west and Stafford Street on the east, Washington Boulevard on the south and 18th Street on the north. There are about 25 of these homes within the boundaries of our Civic Association (the one at 1212 North Stuart was damaged by Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and recently lost to developers) and a few more scattered around Arlington (Hall's Hill, Alcova Heights, etc.). Despite the relative ubiquity of these bungalows in our neighborhood, no blueprints or design history for them can be found. That's where the mystery comes in...
If you live in one of these mystery bungalows (as I do) and know any specifics about its history, design, builders, or construction, please contact Lauren Hassel at email@example.com or (703) 522-4089. If you're just interested in knowing more about these unique homes, send me your e-mail address and I'll keep you in the loop on any information I uncover. Thank you!
- by Lauren Hassel
Hayes Park Follow-up
If you haven't been to Hayes Park across from Science Focus School, you should rush on over. The newly developed park is a really big hit. The efforts of BVSCA member Ms. Teresa Smith and friends deserve a huge round of applause for their continuous efforts to present the park for redevelopment and to help secure the funding.
This park has reinvigorated community spirit and fun. It is becoming a favorite picnic, recreational and social gathering park.
A tour of the park reveals a galaxy water spray area for kids of all ages to cool off and have fun. Tot area and big kid area, newly renovated bathrooms, very clean with modern fixtures, tennis and basketball courts.
The park is a must see for Ballston VA Square residents and all citizens of Arlington.
Thanks to Teresa and friends for all of their efforts.
- by Mike Chircop
Ballston Happenings ...
New, enlarged facilities for The Comedy Spot
Classic mini-putter in Ellipse Arts Center (7/1-8/13)
Summer Outdoor Entertainment
Rosslyn Metro Park (Thu 11:45am-1:30pm)
Aug 4 October Skies
Aug 11 Carl Filipiak Group
Aug 18 Rhodes Tavern Troubadours
Aug 25 Washington Saxophone Quartet
Please check out www.arlingtonarts.org
Spice of Life Plaza (Tue 11:45am-1:30pm)
Aug 2 The Bruce Middle Group
Aug 9 Cartoon Johnny
Aug 16 Candlewyck
Aug 23 Steve Wolf & Swingspeak
Rosslyn Jazz Festival on Sep 10 (1-7pm)
Lubber Run Amphitheatre (8pm)
Aug 6 The Ron Holloway Group
Aug 12 Hexagon
Aug 13 Magpie
Also, Movies Under the Stars at Village at Shirlington
Free Outdoor Movie Series on 28th Street
Wednesdays in July
July 6 Spiderman 2
July 13 13 Going on 30
July 20 Sharktale
July 27 Hitch
Come early, grab a bite to eat. Call 703.413.6692.
Fall Lawn Care
Lawns: Clean and Green?, a two-part course on the basics of fall lawn care sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, is designed to help Northern Virginia residents save time and money while protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The course will be conducted by members of Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, Inc., an affiliate of Virginia Cooperative Extension, at three locations in August. One course will meet Monday, August 8, and Monday, August 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the auditorium at Lubber Run Community Center, 300 North Park Drive, Arlington. The second course will meet Wednesday, August 17 and Wednesday, August 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Charles Beatley Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria. The third course will meet Thursday, August 18 and Thursday, August 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Drew Community Center, 3500 South 24th Street, Arlington.
The course will focus on both new and established lawns and cover such issues as when and how to water and apply fertilizer, lime, and weed killer; how to choose the best turfgrass for specific conditions and performance; how to avoid mower damage to the turf; the use of overseeding, dethatching, and aeration to improve the health and appearance of the lawn; and how to ensure pet safety. A free soil test will be given to each participant.
The cost of the course is $10 for both sessions. To register, send a check made payable to Arlington Extension Fund to the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, 3308 South Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22206; 703-228-6414.
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 2, 2005 is National Night Out. We hope you will turn on your porch lights and look out for your neighbors and neighborhood.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
National Night Out has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in our fight for a safer nation.
NoVA Senior Olympics
Seniors 50 years of age and over are eligible to enter the 2005 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics to be held Sept. 17-29. Registration information is available at local senior centers, by calling 703-228-3600, ext. 9996 or at www.novaseniorolympics.com. Registration deadline is Sept. 2.
Over 25 indoor and outdoor events are offered and seniors may compete in more than one sport. Each event is divided into age categories. Registration fee is $10 , which includes one event; additional events are $1. There are additional charges for golf and bowling.
Winners will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals after each event.
Ballston Virginia Square Partnership
Upcoming events/meetings include Board of Directors meeting (8/4) and 20th anniversary of the partnership (10/26). Please contact the Partnership at 703-528-3527.
Arlington Crime Solvers
The Arlington Crime Solvers Board is re-organizing and looking for new members.
CS is a community-based program that works to solve crimes by combining the efforts of the business and civic communities, law enforcement (ACPD) and news media. The key to the program is tipster anonymity - callers are not subject to Caller ID and line traces, callers aren't required to give their names and a code is given to each caller so they can track case progress. Citizens are encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, and tips that lead to prosecution are rewarded up to $1000. Rewarding tipsters works, but not everyone can afford to put up a reward. That's why Crime Solvers is reaching out to the businesses.
Some of the qualifications for being on the board as follows:
Attend Crime Solvers meeting
Promote Crime Solvers
Be able to keep confidential information confidential.
Interest in fund raising for the group
Work well with others
Anyone interested should contact Mr. Gregg Kurasz, interim President. He may be reached one of two ways: 703-534-5220 or email: Kurasz@erols.com.
The editor is maintaining a list of businesses that have been recommended by our neighbors. Please send your recommendations directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Inclusion in this list does not imply an endorsement by BVSCA. The opinions expressed here represent those of the individual BVSCA residents.
Beverage: International Wine and Beverage at 4040 Lee Hwy
Food: Mom's Pizza Restaurant at the corner of Glebe and Columbia Pike; Food Factory on Fairfax; Castro's Bakery on Wilson; Heidelberg Bakery on Lee Hwy
Dry cleaners: Hurt Cleaners on Wilson Blvd; Old Dominion Cleaners on Lee Hwy
Towing: Cherrydale Towing
Electrician: Eastern Electric Service on Trapp Rd in Fairfax
Home Improvement: H.L. Short on Grove Rd in Alexandria
Hardware Store: Cherrydale Hardware on Lee Hwy; Virginia hardware on Clarendon Blvd
Join BVSCA Today - Stronger Homeowners' Association Guarantees Better Neighborhood!
One BVSCA goal for this year is to increase membership and encourage BVSCA residents to participate in their Civic Association. This includes new members just learning about BVSCA and all previous members who have lost touch. There are several of you - you know who you are. BVSCA needs you. Your experience, knowledge and voice are invaluable to the Association.
The purpose of BVSCA is "to take action to protect and promote the welfare and livability of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association's neighborhoods in particular, and in Arlington, in general" (By-laws of BVSCA). Only with a large, active and vocal membership can BVSCA be effective in its dealings with the County officials.
Residents can join by filling out the membership application and paying membership dues. You can do this either by 1) coming to a BVSCA meeting, or 2) by mail. The membership application is on BVSCA's web page and on the front of this newsletter.
Dues are $10 per person. Dues are payable when first joining and are renewable each year on or before the anniversary of that date. New members and members who have not paid their dues in the last three years must wait 30 days after paying their dues before receiving voting privileges. Dues are used to help fund the Association's activities and sponsored events. Join the BVSCA today!
BVSCA 2005 Calendar of Meetings
Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at the BVSCA's community room located on N. Utah Street between Gaffney's Restaurant and the Windsor Plaza condominiums on the last Tuesday of alternate months. BVSCA Executive meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Full Membership meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. Meetings adjourn at 9:00pm.
Tuesday, May 31
Tuesday, July 26
Tuesday, Sep 27
Tuesday, Nov 29
Date: ________________________Dues: $10 per year
City: _______________________ Zip:_____________
Send my newsletter via: _____ email or _____ mail.
I'm interested in volunteering to help: ____ yes ____ no
Mail to: DeAndra Beck
1301 North Taylor Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Please make checks payable to BVSCA.
Dennis Burr (email@example.com)
1050 N. Stuart Street #314
Arlington, VA 22201
Ed Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At Large Executive Committee
Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee
Representative Dan Corts
Arlington County Civic Federation
Delegates Ben Axleroad, David Ryan, Lew Gulick, Rohan
Alternates Linda Kyles, Edward Parks, Dennis Burr
Representative Jim Webster
The following positions are not appointed positions but rather volunteer positions. They are listed here so that BVSCA members know who they can go to for information on a specific issue. Please inform Sujit Ray (email@example.com) of any changes or additions to this list.
Cherrydale Relocation Task Force:
District 2 Police Committee:
Clarendon Task Force & Virginia Square East End:
Virginia Square Sector Plan Oversight Group
Condominium Project 10th & Monroe St.
13th Street Park:
Building Level Planning Committee:
(Washington-Lee School Project)
NCAC Sign Committee
YMCA Strategic Planning Committee