Civic Association Newsletter

August/September 1995 - Volume 19, No. 1

London And Leeds Site Plan Amendment

At the carry-over meeting of the Arlington County Board, on Tuesday, August 8, 1995, Agenda Item 15, the Board approved the applicant's, London and Leeds Development Corporation's, site plan amendment request ("SP #212") for a special exception to permit conversion of 13,644 square feet of space from day care and meeting room space to storage for office and residential buildings; premises known as 4301 North Fairfax Drive. At this meeting, five members of the Windsor Plaza Condominium Association and four members of the Executive Committee testified in support of the applicant developing a meeting room space for use by the Ballston community and the condominium association.

In approving the site plan amendment, the Board established no specificity in terms of time for the applicant to complete the build out of the community facility, but established specificity requirements in terms of the sequence of events. The Board specified no economic use of the storage space until the community meeting room is completed and its Certificate of Occupancy is issued. The applicant's representative estimated that it will probably take a year to complete the build out.

This approved site plan amendment, includes amended condition #36 and new conditions #41 through #43. The County Staff recommended amended condition #36 to require the applicant to develop a meeting room space to consist of 3,270 square feet of space, a pantry/kitchenette, and only one bath. This proposed condition was further amended by the Board to require the applicant to develop a meeting room space of 3,588 square feet, including a pantry/kitchenette, and two bath rooms.

Under new condition #41, the applicant is required to share the final construction plans of the meeting room space with representatives of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association and the Windsor Plaza Condominium prior to submission to the County for appropriate permits. Under new condition #42, the applicant agrees to contribute $10,000 to the Trust and Agency account in the Department of Human Services to support child care services in Arlington County. This contribution shall be made prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy following build out of the meeting room space referenced in condition #36. Under new condition #43, the applicant agrees to allow the Windsor Plaza Condominium residents preference for the storage bins located in the western portion of the site. (This would be the areas nearest the newly developed meeting room space). The use of the storage space shall be available on a first call basis for Windsor Plaza Condominium residents and for tenants in the adjoining office building, then to the Ballston community, and then to the adjoining area.

The Association expresses its appreciation to Michael Bosely, the On-Site Manager for the Windsor Plaza Condominium for his promptness and professional courtesy in coordinating communications between the Windsor Plaza Condominium, BVSCA, County Staff, and the applicant's representative. Mr. Bosely was especially helpful in his liaison role for all entities involved in the negotiations between our community and the applicant.

As a result of these negotiations, London & Leeds Development Corporation agreed to commit to: a community room of 3,588 square feet on the mezzanine under the residential building at the office plaza level; two bathrooms associated with the meeting room space; add a coat room; an outside appearance for the meeting room space which is similar to the day care glass facade; and a condition which would require London & Leeds to make arrangements with the neighborhood relative to restrictions on the use of the meeting room and scheduling of the use of the meeting room.

Neighborhood Service Area Team Two (NSAT-2)

At the June 1995 Arlington County Civic Federation meeting, County Manager Anton Gardner announced a new initiative to improve service delivery in Arlington by the creation of Neighborhood Service Area Teams (NSAT). These service teams are teams of county employees assigned from different departments to focus on specific neighborhoods. Team members identify "lingering, chronic problems" and service needs by working with various individuals, businesses, and organizations within the neighborhood. Mr. Gardner indicated that the first team ("NSAT-1") was previously established in January 1995 to cover one of the neighborhoods bounded by Arlington Boulevard in South Arlington.

Mr. Gardner commented that the next team to be formed, NSAT-2, would cover the Buckingham area and the Ballston-Virginia Square community. Mr. Gardner described the objectives of these teams are to not only improve service delivery but to improve problem resolution. Mr. Gardner discussed how some citizen complaints cross more than one County government functional area and at times the initial complaint is not fully resolved. By establishing these cross-functional teams, Mr. Gardner indicated that the County will "focus on customer service in a real nitty-gritty way and have bureaucracy interact at a local level.

NSAT-2 was established in June 1995 to cover the geographical area comprising Ashton Heights (including the Buckingham area), Ballston-Virginia Square, and Lyon Park. According to County Manager Gardner, this team will build on lessons learned in the Neighborhood Services Task Force pilot project as well as from the work of NSAT-1. NSAT-2 will focus on how better to coordinate and improve service delivery and tailor it to the specific needs of those who live and work in the neighborhood.

Ultimately, it is anticipated that there will be a total of eight areas which will have neighborhood service teams and encompass the entire County. Creation of the second team will be followed in December by formation of a third team located in the Columbia Pike West area. These three teams together will provide a fairly comprehensive assessment of the work ahead for teams 4-8. Teams are made up of a member from each County service department; and a representative from one of the schools in the specific area. The mission of the County's area teams are to: 1) proactively plan and coordinate activities in given geographical areas of the County; 2) empower residents in the decision making process about service delivery in their neighborhood; 3) challenge staff and residents for new ways of delivering services and solving area problems; 4) manage the interface between departments in the delivery of services in the neighborhood; and 5) provide a continuing interface between the County and the residents of the neighborhood.

The Civic Association has invited representatives of NSAT-2 to discuss their team's goals and objectives and how the process will work. If you have any questions or comments about the County's neighborhood service area teams, we invite you to bring them to our Membership Meeting on Wednesday, August 23, 1995, at the Arlington Renaissance Hotel, 2nd floor conference room. This item is scheduled for presentation from 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

New Townhouse Construction

A site plan has recently been filed for a new set of townhouses in our neighborhood. The proposed development, Ballston Village L.C. (company owned by Scott Harlan and Rick Lewis, both Arlington residents), would be located in the 1100 block of North Stafford and North Stuart Streets. (It would span the block.) The site is currently occupied by a small, low rise apartment building on the Stafford Street side, and two, turn-of-the-century single family homes on the Stuart Street side. The property is bounded on the east by the driveways and parking area for the condominium that faces North 11th Street.

The proposed site plan currently shows 18 townhouses divided into two mews areas of nine units each oriented toward North Stafford and North Stuart streets respectively. Each unit would have a garage--the interior units will have one-car garages and the end units two-car garages. Currently, there are plans for 16 surface parking spaces. The ratio of spaces to units is 2.2. This is higher than the two spaces per unit currently required under the R15-30T zoning category. The development, as it stands, would have a site coverage of 65%. The standard for R15-30T calls for only 56% coverage. Also, the side yard set-backs are proposed for 5 feet rather than the usual 8 feet. This site plan is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission on October 2nd, and then be heard by the County Board at their October 14th meeting.

Representatives of the developer will make a presentation at our August 23rd membership meeting, at the Arlington Renaissance Hotel, 2nd Floor Conference Room, above the Ballston Metro Station. It is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. If you are interested in learning more about this proposal, or have any questions, please plan to attend.

Joint GMU/Arlington County Advisory Board-Update

The Joint George Mason University/Arlington Advisory Committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, June 27. The creation of the Committee was called for in the Memorandum of Understanding executed in August 1994 between Arlington County and GMU. The MOU outlines the conditions that must be met, by both parties, for the release of bond funds to aid GMU in their expansion of the Virginia Square campus. In January 1995, the County Board outlined the charge of the Committee.

The Joint GMU/Arlington County Advisory Board will advise George Mason University and Arlington County on issues addressed in the Memorandum of Understanding, together with any issues that may be proposed by either the University or the County.

Although the Advisory Board will be an ongoing body, one-half of the initial appointments will be made for one-year terms, while the other half will be made for two-year terms. Thereafter, all appointments will be made for two-year terms. Board members may serve for two consecutive full two-year terms. Appointments will be made in consideration of the emergent issues before the Board with regard to campus facility development and community benefit initiatives.

After the introduction of the members of the Advisory Board, representatives of GMU were called upon to discuss their plans for the expanded Virginia Square Campus. GMU stated that they do not view their various sites as "branch campuses," but rather as a self-contained whole. All sites, including Virginia Square, will offer graduate and undergraduate courses. It is planned that this campus will be home to the law school (currently housed at the site), a program in global issues (currently housed in the Quincy Station building), the M.P.A. in Policy Studies, and Telecommunications. Currently, the campus offers a J.D. in Law, an MAIT in International Studies and an MSA in Accounting. In the 1995 academic year they hope to offer an MAIS in Regional Economics, an MPA in non-profits, and an MPA in Local Government. In 1996, they will add an MA in Telecommunications.

Another large component of the Virginia Square site, which will be housed in the Phase II building, will be a metacomputing center (Northern Virginia Metacomputing Center). This center is being developed in response to a federal government Request for Proposal (RFP), and GMU is being joined in the venture by Marymount and Johns Hopkins University. They hope to have the initial installation of the center completed by July 1996 and have it operational by September 1996. As the GMU building that would house this facility will not yet be built, GMU has entered into an agreement with Marymount University to temporarily house the computer facility at their Glebe Road campus (the Blue Goose building). The computer center will occupy the eighth floor of the building. Currently, Marymount only utilizes the first four floors of the building under a use permit that restricts further occupation of the building until adequate parking arrangements are made. It was unclear how the location of the computer center in the building affected this use permit condition.

GMU representatives continued their presentation and discussed a new "community benefit" venture with Arlington County. This venture is a joint application to HUD for monies under the COPC grant program to develop an Urban Alternative in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. HUD has awarded the grant, and the joint venture will receive $500,000 over the next two years to implement the program.

University solutions to the anticipated parking problems were discussed briefly. A GMU representative said that an information kiosk will be established at the Virginia Square campus in Fall 1995. This kiosk will be staffed with a commuter coordinator and offer parking alternatives to the campus's users. No details were given as to what these alternatives will be or how they will be enforced. (It is known that GMU has been able to lease parking spaces in the garage of Stafford Place I, the NSF building. However, no details of this arrangement were presented.)

Lastly, the time table for construction was discussed. The plans originally presented to the community last summer called for the Virginia Square campus to be developed in three phases. Phase I was to begin in 1995, and would be a building of 141,000 sq. ft., situated at the corner of North Fairfax Drive and Kirkwood. It would house the law school, its library, and the International Institute. Phase II would see a 240,000 sq. ft. building in the middle of the site with a plaza. (This would house the metacomputer center along with other programs.) Phase III would see the last building on the site (350,000 sq. ft.) built nearest the FDIC complex. Due to budgetary constraints, many aspects of the Phase I building have had to be changed. In light of this, the University does not anticipate groundbreaking until February or March of 1996. New drawings and plans will be shared with the Advisory Board at the next meeting.

The Advisory Board's next meeting will be TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1995, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 301 of the Virginia Square campus.

At that time, the University will present their Alternative Parking Plan as well as updated drawings for Phase I. The meetings are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. There will always be an agenda item for public comment, so, if you have any questions or wish to raise any issues connected with the expansion of the campus, please come and share your views. If you would like any further information, please contact Nancy Iacomini, 703-525-0788.

BVSCA Goes On Information Highway

The Executive Committee is proud to announce the launching of BVSCA's initial home page document on the Internet World Wide Web (WWW). The Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association Home Page is located at


and the Association's e-mail address is President Ernie Ragland and Alternate NCAC Representative David Ryan developed the home page and related files. After converting the home page to normal ASCII format and adding some basic Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) commands, the President launched the Association's home page on the Web on July 14, 1995.

The Association expresses its appreciation to its internet service provider, Digital Gateway Systems, 8230 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 415, Vienna, Virginia 22182 for its excellent technical support. Also, the Association expresses its appreciation to Scott Allard, President, Barcroft School and Civic League, for tips on how to use HTML language. The Barcroft Neighborhood Home Page was Arlington County's first civic association home page to run on the Web, which was implemented in February 1995; and the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association Home Page was the second. The Barcroft Home Page can be located at (, or found on the BVSCA home page under the link to other neighborhoods on the Web. The Executive Committee encourages our members to visit the BVSCA Home Page and Barcroft's Home Page for information about these Arlington neighborhoods and email your comments to Ernie Ragland at and Scott Allard at The following illustrates the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association Home Page without graphics for our members, who have yet to get on the Information superhighway.


The Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association (BVSCA) community is located in the heart of Arlington County, Virginia. The boundaries of the BVSCA community are Glebe Road on the west, Kirkwood Road on the east, Route I-66 on the north, and Wilson Boulevard on the south. The BVSCA community is predominately a residential neighborhood with older single-family homes and small low-rise apartments and newer condominiums and townhouses. In 1979, the Orange Line of the Metrorail system brought two Metro subway stations to our area. This has resulted in high-rise development of office and condominiums along the Metro Corridor, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Training Center and the Tower Villas Condominium within a couple of blocks of the Virginia Square Metro stop; and the National Science Foundation, the Alta Vista Condominium, and The Jefferson -- a senior living condominium community near the Ballston Metro stop. Several new townhouse projects have been developed in recent years between Washington Boulevard, North 11th Street, and North Fairfax Drive. Over the next five years, a major expansion of the George Mason University Arlington Campus is planned near the Virginia Square Metro stop. To see on "index.html".

And Some More Things To Check Out

Pizza Hut Food Delivery Services-Update

At its meeting of May 20, 1995, the Board approved an application from Pizza Hut, located at 3811 Wilson Boulevard, to be granted a special exemption for a use permit which would authorize food delivery service from that location. The Board action authorizes Pizza Hut to provide delivery service between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. seven days a week.

Because of concern expressed by some of the BVSCA members who reside at the Tower Villas Condominium, the Association registered its concern with the County Board about Pizza Hut's application and asked that, for safety reasons, a limiting condition be placed on the use permit requiring that the delivery service's vehicles be prohibited from entry or egress from the Pizza Hut driveway entrance on N. 9th Street. Such a condition was, at first, included in the text of the use permit drafted by the County staff but, during Board discussions, it was eliminated. Instead, the final text states that "The County Board has found that the exception for this use is justified only because the applicant has represented that the use will make deliveries only by vehicles using the commercial frontages and streets to the maximum extent possible." The Board did, however, stipulate that the grant of the permit would be reviewed in four months' time.

The Association understands that Pizza Hut does not plan to initiate its new food delivery service until some time in mid-October. In the meantime, we have invited the applicant and the applicant's representative, William C. Thomas, Attorney, to discuss the applicants plans for the delivery service.

If you have any questions or comments about the applicant's planned food delivery service from Pizza Hut, at 3811 Wilson Boulevard, we invite you to bring them to the next Membership Meeting on Wednesday, August 23, 1995, at the Arlington Renaissance Hotel, 2nd floor conference room. This item is scheduled from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Agenda Item 11b.

The dialogue between the Board members, the applicant's representative, and the Association's representative on this matter (Agenda Item 11b) follows for interested members, who did not attend the meeting or did not see the discussion on Cable TV Arlington.

Clerk: Eleven (11)b is a use permit request as required by Section 26.B.7. to permit operation of a food delivery service; on premises known as 3811 Wilson Boulevard.

County Staff: The applicant requests a use permit to add a food delivery service to an existing restaurant (Pizza Hut). The site consists of a one-story building and 26 parking spaces which are accessible from Wilson Boulevard and 9th Street North. The current seating capacity of 88 seats would be reduced to 42 seats to make necessary interior improvements. The applicant has agreed per condition #1 to maintain a delivery and driver safety training plan. And the condition also asks that the delivery drivers not access or depart from the site using 9th Street North which is a residential street. The applicant does not agree with that condition. Condition #2 requires that delivery vehicles carry clearly visible identification as delivery vehicles when making deliveries; and Condition #3 limits the times for delivery. Staff believes this is an appropriate use in this location and subject to the conditions, staff recommends approval with a review in one year.

Planning Commission: Two main issues that we identified were the 9th Street access and also the hours of operation. It wasn't clear what the hours for the restaurant itself was going to be. Its not going to be a restaurant now. Its something you have to order at the window. One of the Commissioners has asked for the difference in hours between the restaurant and the delivery be stated clearly. And I don't think that its really an issue, but it was brought up....Under the other is 9th Street access [which] is a major pedestrian connector and we really wanted to make sure that delivery cars were not in and out of 9th Street....And what we had recommended was that delivery drivers shall use Wilson Blvd. to the maximum extent feasible.

William Thomas: "Mr. Chairman, members of the Board, I'll make my comments brief. We did have a problem with that, I'd like to cut to the chase, not present a whole lot here. I'd like to ask the Board to consider giving us a shorter review. I don't often come in and say that. We have an interesting issue. It's an existing site, it's been used for a long time. We are sensitive to the 9th Street issue but we do have circumstances under which we believe that the 9th Street entrance and exit needs to be used to service the residential community that is adjacent to it. I have been in contact with Mr. Ragland from the Civic Association over the last week and what I've asked them to do is to see us twice. I would like the Civic Association to see us at their earliest convenience to give us the opportunity to show them what survey material we can, and what our actual mode of operation would be. We have never had any problem with utilizing commercial frontages to the maximum extent possible language and that has sufficed in all past projects. We were comfortable with the original staff report that used that. We are uncomfortable with the 9th Street exclusion simply because it's none and we do believe that at least some level there should be some access to that. Again, we're fine with the commercial frontage, the maximum extent possible. So I would ask that the Board to consider eliminating that language while we go through a preliminary use at the site in the presence, and under the scrutiny of the civic association. You have my commitment based on my conversation with the civic association so far we will meet them in a before and after. At the beginning before we start doing any deliveries and as soon as possible at their convenience and at the end after the review period that you all would adopt.

The civic association had asked for 6 months. We would be willing to go 6 months or 3 months and I would like to start that clock under Pizza Hut's responsibility to simply let the Board know or let the County know that they're beginning to start the delivery operations. That's one issue and I'll respond to questions on that but I have one other issue, I hope that's very brief. The second issue has to do with car toppers."
Eisenberg: "With what?" Thomas: "What we call car toppers so that the signs that are on top of the cars." Eisenberg: "Right."

Thomas: "Unknown to me at the time a new policy on behalf of Pizza Hut that has basically been eliminating these signs in areas where there is a concern about crime.

This turns out to be one of those areas where there is a concern about the drivers of delivery vehicles being targets for muggings and robberies and I guess I'll just refer to the Civic Association's own Newsletter for April/May, that says neighborhood crime becomes increasingly violent.
As urban areas go, I don't consider the Ballston area myself a high crime area but the car standards under which the, I may have some argument with the civic association and I don't live there. But the standards under which the analysis is done, the security analysis is done by Pizza Hut in determining their market and determining their standards for using these signs.
This came in at several times the national average under which they would normally pull those signs off the vehicles."

Eisenberg: "Make your last statement. Say the last thing you said because I didn't hear you." Thomas:

"The security analysis has shown that this area is higher in crime by several times the national average under which they would normally pull the signs off the vehicles to protect the drivers."

Eisenberg: "What are the crimes that we are talking about?" Whipple:

"I really think that this is the 14th safest community in the United States with population over 100,000."

Ellen Bozman: "I think we should defer this until get a report from our police department. I would ask that you have your Pizza Hut people work with our police department to

provide them information and the criteria on which you have judged this because we can not have a community which is not a safe community.
We have felt we have a safe community and you are telling us that we do not have. And I think it is very important for us to act immediately with the police department to make your data so after he's made his presentation and we've heard the speakers, I will make a motion for referral pending information on this item."

Eisenberg: "Thank you. Call the speakers please."

Deem Gillmore: "Good afternoon, we've put in a long afternoon. I'm Vice President of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association and a number of our people in the Tower Villas, I was hoping some of them would be here. They have expressed a concern about the delivery drivers from the Pizza Hut coming out on the 9th Street side. As you know, this area has been approved for the office component of the Pollard Garden site plan and also for the Pollard Garden residential component. This area of 9th Street is heavily traveled by pedestrians going to the [Virginia Square] Subway stop.

We ask that you put a limiting condition on the use permit that the delivery vehicles use only Wilson Boulevard for whatever deliveries they need to do.
They can go around the corner, it seems to me and I don't believe it would be any great inconvenience if they were not permitted to use the 9th Street side and, therefore, we're asking that you put that restriction on them. Also, we have a relatively short review period such as 6 months to reconsider the situation and see how bad or how much the traffic had been. And thank you. That's our view." Whipple: "Mr. Chairman, could I ask the applicant about the 9th Street issue? Why is it that you want to use 9th Street?"

Thomas: "Several routings, I guess common sense perspectives that say that throwing all of the traffic including the traffic that would be going directly behind this site to this existing residential neighborhood out onto Wilson Boulevard simply throws all of the traffic onto Wilson Boulevard and we're talking about less than 10% going into, probably well below 10% but that percentage should service that community without going which is essentially a circle to get there, coming out, around and back and through to get to those residential streets."

Whipple: "That could be a few seconds faster." Thomas: "We think it could possibly be more than just a few, if you're talking about the left turn movements onto Wilson Blvd." Whipple: "Why do you think it would be very hard to go around the block?" Thomas: "It is a short block, I will say this. That's why I've asked for the Board to consider a shorter review so we can show the community both in speaking with them and through the actions in the first 3 months how it works, if I could."

Whipple: "I don't want to argue the point. I just wanted to find out what your objection was to coming in off Wilson which obviously is the front of the place. It's a major street and the only thing I could think of was the time and are you confirming that's the question? Whatever time it would take to go from 9th to Wilson, turn right and pull into the thing. That opposed to going into right and ...."

Thomas: "Time is probably not how I would characterize it. It's probably the convenience of going or the sense of going directly to the community that's being served and not routing around it." Whipple: "You mean, if you were delivering, they would drive to deliver to Tower Villas?"

Thomas: "Not necessarily, that came up during the Planning Commission." I don't know if they would drive to deliver to Tower Villas, but they may need to drive to get to the next street over. I guess what I'm saying is that if we are afforded the opportunity to show them we may have a tempest in a teapot. We may simply not have an issue. We have been functioning in this delivery area already from other locations. But we are compressing the delivery area here and expanding the use here and pulling out the stance of delivery in other areas. As you know, Pizza Hut doesn't do it, time guarantee. What they do is tell you is what time you order about what time to expect the pizza."

Whipple: "Thank you." Thomas: "If I could respond to Mrs. Bozman on her question earlier, it's very simple.

I think with a review, we'll simply eliminate our concern about the car toppers, the signs and condition number #2 at this point with the request that the Board consider it if it turns out to be.
I don't like to put it in that context. But the manager said of the location, that they do have adequate signage to maintain but they would like the flexibility to have this considered at a later time."

Eisenberg: "Here's your problem.

What you got is a statement whereby you want to enter and egress the property in a way that we have to examine to see how things would work, see what the situation is. At the same time, you're saying that you want to eliminate the car toppers which provide the most visible means of identification."

Thomas: "No, I've withdrawn that request."

Eisenberg: "Well, alright. But the thing is you've left hanging a statement that we need to deal with and I've seen the figures for Ballston because I asked for them.

Having seen the Civic Association's Newsletter and I know what's going on there and what isn't going on there.
Your statement leaves us hanging here. Let's make it very clear that the figures over the last several years even as the population has grown are basically static. And in the areas of those kind of crimes that people are really afraid of,
the numbers are really again compared to the population are very small.
Now your point goes to what your client says about the safety of their drivers. This is not somebody being accosted at an ATM machine. This is not somebody being assaulted in their home. Most of our assaults are domestic violent situations. You're talking about somebody singled out for a robbery or an assault of some kind, among people that don't know one another, and they are directed particularly to the business operations. Such that there is a concern about identifying the business. I think if you're got figures, we need to see them and Mrs. Bozman's point is absolutely correct. You've left hanging here a question that will scare people and our concern is that it does so unnecessarily."

Hunter: "Mr. Chairman." Eisenberg: "Seeing the figures that we have." Hunter: "Mr. Chairman." Eisenberg: "Let me conclude Mr. Hunter and I'll be delighted to recognize you. I think we probably need to put this aside and get some figures, and then come back and look at this at our next meeting, unless Mrs. Bozman has a different suggestion."

Hunter. "We get regular reports from the police chief on every major crime that occurs in Arlington County. We get monthly statistics. I think each Board member has a very good feel for the safety of the community.

As you pointed out, we were by Money Magazine, we're shown to be the 14th safest community in communities with over 100,000 population. I regret that the applicant has made the statement that he did in public. Since it's been my view, it's absolutely incorrect. I don't need to have it studied, I don't ever need to have responded to it other than what's been said now. If the applicant would like to have the statistics on crime in Arlington County, I would be glad to provide it. But I don't need to put this off a decision on this matter to have that question answered, because I already know what the answer is going to be. If Mrs. Bozman, I'll refer to her if she wants to make a motion but I'm prepared to make a motion on the application." Eisenberg: "I'm going to recognize Mrs. Bozman who had some concerns and stated them."

Bozman: "The applicant quoted his client as saying that Arlington was several times more unsafe than other communities in which they operate and that therefore they did not want their drivers identified. I believe, this is incorrect information. It certainly does not jive with the information we have that Arlington is a safe community.

In particularly, in the Ballston area, most of the crimes is credit card fraud at the Ballston Common Shopping Mall. But any business who wants to operate in Arlington County needs to know what we believe and tell us what they believe and that's why I would insist upon a meeting between the police department and this applicant with the applicant having the ability to withdraw. I mean, if they honestly believe after meeting with our police and talking about crime and seeing the statistics that we are really are an unsafe community, then you know."

Winslow: "Maybe there's a way around this because I think there's two things. One is, I think the entry onto 9th Street is not a good idea. Yet, I also understand that the tendency of drivers is to pull up to the door as close to the kitchen as possible. Get their stuff and go out the shortest way possible. They don't want to turn around, they're not going to want to do a lot of things that are going to interfere with their deliveries because to them time is money. The other thing is as far as the car topper is concerned maybe we could move ahead with this application but at the same time have the applicant meet with the police department and see what the police department has to say. And let the police department report back to us on that issue so that way everything can move and we're not deferring. I'm beginning to dislike deferrals."

Hunter: "Mr. Chairman, are you ready for a motion?" Winslow: " I understand why you would like to do that, that would at least give the applicant the opportunity to meet with our police department and find out what the nature of crime is in that area and talk to the police department. Then we can all abide by what the police department recommends to you." Hunter: "Mr. Chairman, are you ready for a motion?" Eisenberg: "Yes."

Hunter: "Mr. Chairman,

I move that this use permit request be approved subject to the conditions of the staff report with a change which I'll mention in a second with a review in 4 months and a change that I propose is eliminating the last sentence in condition 1, leaving condition 2 and 3 as they are and asking that the applicant which has been suggested meet with the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association and the immediate neighbors."

Whipple: "Mr. Hunter, why is it you think they should go in off 9th Street?" Hunter: "Perhaps, I should disclose this is my Pizza Hut. I'm very familiar with the entry and egress from it and I don't think they should go in off 9th Street. I think they, as the applicant has suggested,

should work with the civic association on that particular point and on any other points that may come up and that's why I'm suggesting a 4 month review. If it turns out that they can't work out this 9th Street issue after 4 months then I'm happy to put that condition back in when it comes back."

Winslow: "I will second that, I guess." Eisenberg: "No, you can't guess. You will make a second or not." Winslow: "I would like to make an amendment. I would like to propose an amendment at the same time." Eisenberg: "You're seconding and then you would like to make an amendment, okay." Winslow: "I would like to add to this and the review in, you said 90 days?" Eisenberg: "He said 4 months, 120 days."

Winslow: "Add to the review in 4 months and then in the meantime the applicant meet with our police department, discuss the situation relative to crime in that area and make a determination based on the police department's recommendation as to whether they should or should not use the car toppers and in the meantime they'd be required to use the car toppers."

Bozman: "Actually, I think we ought to word it that this meeting will be arranged through the manager's office." Hunter: "My motion actually already reads that way, at least finishing 2 says they will use the car toppers and I am happy to add if you want to put it into writing we can but I think we can just say that the applicant should meet with the county manager and the chief of police." Eisenberg: "We will probably just direct that the meeting take place and I'm sure that the applicant would agree." Bozman: "The purpose of that is to discuss the statistics you have and the statistics we have and find out where we are."


"And while it's hard to pull the horse back in after you've closed the gate, I have to say I'm very sensitive to what I'm hearing in response to what I thought was a statement based on some statistics that my client provided me and it seemed to be substantiated by the civic association's own reports. I would be perfectly happy and would welcome the opportunity to come back here and say I'm wrong."

Hunter: "You need to segregate out credit card fraud from those figures and you'll find it a lot better." Whipple: "Shoplifting. Ballston Common Mall was in the census tract." Thomas: "Let me say that this includes the entire delivery area, the statistics were based on. And I don't know that has any impact. Again, I would be very happy to talk about it."

Eisenberg: "Let's not beat the dead one any more. Let us go ahead, set Mr. Winslow's corollary here as direction to the applicant. The only piece I would add to this is that we would have a report from the police so that we can see what the issues are that have been discussed between the applicant and the police department and what area we're actually talking about." Whipple: "Mr. Chairman, I guess that I will support this.

I'm very reluctant and I only do so because of the 4 month provision because with all we know in every delivery case, we have said that they should not deliver and use entrances and exits on residential streets and I really don't see any reason why this one should, when we haven't allowed that in any other place in the County and have no desire to encourage commercial traffic on residential streets."

Eisenberg: "Make a motion or suggestion. You may find yourself with a majority." Whipple: "Well, then I would move to retain the language that requires entrances and exits off Wilson for the delivery vehicles. Eisenberg: "Do we have any support for this?" Bozman: "The Planning Commission preferred the wording." Whipple: "They worded it instead of saying, shall not use 9th Street, they wanted it to say shall use Wilson Blvd." Planning Commissioner: "And entering and exiting from Wilson Blvd."

Eisenberg: "I'm comfortable with that, a lot of deliveries goes in and out of there. Let's see what the situation is.

I'm a little sensitive to the point about going out onto Wilson Blvd. and making a left turn across Wilson Blvd., only to end up going to Oakland or having to go down to Monroe and make another left to go west and then north. Let us take this suggestion, is that okay with everybody?
That's not okay with" (Mr. Eisenberg is looking at Mrs. Whipple).

Whipple: "I don't have a second for my motion yet." Eisenberg: "Will you make a motion?" Whipple: "Yes, I did." Eisenberg: "I will second. Mr Hunter, do you want to accept the motion or do we want to vote?" Hunter: "I guess we're going to have to vote and I need to, I suppose need to say why I feel the way I do." Eisenberg: "That's fine."

Hunter: "Again, to me the sentence says I found the applicant's suggestion to take 4 months to evaluate this together with the neighborhood perhaps a way to work out these situations. I am concerned about the left turn traffic off of Wilson Blvd. I'm not convinced that it's a major problem with the applicant and the civic association can talk through particular situations where drivers find it safer to turn left on 9th Street, or to go out where Frank's Towing is, or to turn right and there's a short block and the only residences in that block is a multi-story condo building Tower Villas. I think this is quite different than a sleepy Country Club Hills or Arlington Ridge Road type of residential neighborhood."

Eisenberg: "Mrs. Whipple probably pointed out if you go to west, you go west. You don't go east, north and west, you go west. It's late and my direction may be off." Winslow: I'm going to continue to support Mr. Hunter's motion for a couple of reasons. I seconded his original motion and I'm going to continue to support it because I think it makes sense.

The 4 month review along with working with the neighborhood association, I think is fairly compelling.
I think we can make it work and it will give us a chance to make some adjustments if we need to, the going around on 9th Street. I don't like that idea particularly which is why I was a little bit reluctant. But, I understand that desire to do that if you're going to make a delivery to Tower Villas. Who's going to want to go onto Wilson Blvd. and go around 4 blocks?"

Eisenberg: "Or walk across the street." Winslow: "Yeah, so." Bozman: "I think that I will not support the motion. Mr. Hunter persuaded me that we can try for 4 months and see what happens. I think at the end of 4 months the question will be whether the condition that goes in the site plan condition is a straight prohibitive thou shall not use anything other than Wilson Blvd., or rather it's a condition that says neighborhood streets must not be used except in conditions where there this is a delivery being made under reasonable circumstances. I think that's an area of where our disagreements are at." Winslow: "No trespassing, except for local deliveries." Ms. Whipple: She withdrew her amendment. Eisenberg: "The amendment is withdrawn. Any further discussion on the main motion. Hearing none, all in favor of the main motion please signify by saying aye. Aye. Motion carries unanimously. Whipple:

"I'd also like in the intervening 4 month period for staff to bring back when they do come, information about the number of deliveries per hour, per peak hour, traffic on 9th Street and Wilson. We just don't have any numerical quantification here at all."
Eisenberg: "Especially, since they are consolidating operations. Thank you."

FBI Answers Inquiry About Arlington's Status As A City And Will Revise Status In The Future

On June 21, 1995, the President sent a letter of inquiry to the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning the 1994 FBI Uniform Crime Report data and the listing of Arlington as one of 201 cities with populations of more than 100,000, as reported by Barbara Hansen in the USA Today ("The Nation's Newspaper") on May 22, 1995, page 8A. The President indicated that he had received a number of inquiries from our Association members concerning the ranking of Arlington on violent crime with major cities and the source for Arlington's classification as a city in the 1994 FBI Uniform Crime Report data.

Based on comparing Arlington County's rate of violent crime with cities with populations more than 100,000, the USA Today newspaper reported that the violent crime rate for "Arlington" was 4 per 1,000 residents; and Arlington was ranked 182 out of 201 cities on violent crime. Also, the President noted that Money Magazine reported last year that Arlington was the 14th safest city with a population of over 100,000.

For your information, Arlington is defined by the Code of Virginia as a county with the "County Manager Plan of Government." Likewise, Fairfax County is defined by the Code as a county with the "Urban Form of Government." There are significant differences, however, in population between these neighboring counties. For example, Arlington has a population of approximately 180,000 and is known as the second smallest county in land area in the nation with approximately 25 square miles. In contrast, Fairfax County, has a population of over 880,000 and is a much larger county in size.

The President inquired about the FBI's source for defining Arlington County as a city and the rationale why Arlington was the only county listed in the 1994 FBI Uniform Crime Report data for cities with populations of more than 100,000?

FBI Responds to President.

On July 26, 1995, the President received a letter of response to his inquiry from the FBI's Chief, Programs Support Section, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Bennie F. Brewer, who responded that the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has listed Arlington County in its periodic crime releases because Arlington does not operate as most other county governments throughout the Nation. For example, there are no existing towns or incorporated communities with defined boundaries or municipal corporations providing local government for a specific population. Similar to your situation is Honolulu in the state of Hawaii. Honolulu is considered a city and county and the area is designated as city-county and operates primarily as a city. In addition, as in Arlington County, there is only one government entity and one police force which has jurisdiction for the entire county.

However, upon receiving information from the Bureau of the Census and following discussions with the chief of Police in Arlington and Ms. Norma Poole at the Virginia Department of State Police,

it was decided Arlington County, Virginia, will be removed from the UCR Semiannual and Preliminary Annual Releases. In the future, Arlington will be listed as a suburban county and crime figures will only be published annually in "Crime in the United States."

Additionally, because of the many factors that can cause the amount and type of crime to vary from place to place, the UCR Program does not rank cities based on their crime experiences. [The FBI enclosed] a copy of "Crime Factors" from the 1993 edition of Crime in the United States for a discussion of this issue.

Crime Factors.

The FBI's Crime Factors states that each year when Crime in the United States is published, many entities--news media, tourism agencies, and others with an interest in crime in our Nation--compile rankings of cities and counties based on their Crime Index figures.

These simplistic and/or incomplete analyses often create misleading perceptions which adversely affect cities and counties, along with their residents. Assessing criminality and law enforcement's response from jurisdiction to jurisdiction must encompass many elements, some of which, while having significant impact, are not readily measurable nor applicable pervasively among all locales.

Geographic and demographic factors specific to each jurisdiction must be considered and applied if crime assessment is to approach completeness and accuracy. There are several sources of information which may assist the responsible researcher. The U.S. Bureau of the Census data, for example, can be utilized to better understand the makeup of a locale's population. The transience of the population, its racial and ethnic makeup, its composition by age and gender, education levels, and prevalent family structures are all key factors in assessing and better understanding the crime issue.

Local chambers of commerce, planning offices, or similar entities provide information regarding the economic and cultural makeup of cities and counties. Understanding a jurisdiction's industrial/economic base, its dependence upon neighboring jurisdictions, its transportation system, its economic dependence on nonresidents (such as tourists and convention attendees), its proximity to military reservations, etc., all help in better gauging and interpreting the crime known to and reported by law enforcement.

The strength (personnel and other resources) and the aggressiveness of a jurisdiction's law enforcement agency are also key factors. While information pertaining to the number of sworn and civilian law enforcement employees can be found in this publication, assessment of the law enforcement emphases is, of course, much more difficult. For example, one city may report more crime than a comparable one, not because there is more crime, but rather because its law enforcement agency through proactive efforts identifies more offenses. Attitudes of the citizens toward crime and their crime reporting practices, especially concerning more minor offenses, have an impact on the volume of crimes known to police.

It is incumbent upon all data users to become as well educated as possible about how to categorize and quantify the nature and extent of crime in the United States and in any of the over 16,000 jurisdictions represented by law enforcement contributors to this Program. Valid assessments are only possible with careful study and analysis of the various unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.

Historically, the causes and origins of crime have been the subjects of investigation by varied disciplines. Some factors which are known to affect the volume and type of crime occurring from place to place are: (1) population density and degree of urbanization with size of locality and its surrounding area; (2) variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration; (3) stability of population with respect to residents' mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors; (4) economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability; (5) cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics; (6) crime reporting practices of the citizenry; and (7) others.

The Uniform Crime Reports give a nationwide view of crime based on statistics contributed by state and local law enforcement agencies. Population size is the only correlate of crime utilized in this publication. While the other factors listed above are of equal concern, no attempt is made to relate them to the data presented. The reader is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, counties, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges and universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

Arlington's Proposed Expansion Of The Sewage Treatment Plant Incinerator

On July 27, 1995, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) conducted a public hearing at the Aurora Hills Community Center on the County's permit application to DEQ to expand the sludge incineration capacity at its Water Pollution Control Plant located at 3401 South Glebe Road. Over 200 citizens from Arlington and Alexandria attended the hearing and most expressed opposition to the 400 page permit application, because of potential health risks and adverse effects on the environment with the proposed increase in sludge incinerator capacity from 45 tons to 60 tons per day, a 33% increase.

Preceding the testimony of concerned citizens, DEQ officials provided a presentation and answered questions about the current facility and the permit application. The DEQ officials indicated that the current incinerator complies with all required state and federal reporting and operating standards. The DEQ officials noted they had received a letter that day from the Arlington County Board requesting a deferral on the permit application until sometime after the completion of a County "Sludge Management Alternatives Study" that the Board had just authorized and until County officials have discussed all aspects of the matter. Also,

the DEQ officials announced that they would grant citizens an additional 30 days to respond to DEQ about Arlington's permit application, extending the response due date to August 27, 1995.

The President attended the hearing and expressed support on behalf of our Association for our neighbors in the Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) and the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, who will be most affected by this project. At the hearing, the President recommended that the County's future alternative analysis consider at least three to five additional alternatives to sludge incineration and that the recommended alternative be the most advantageous to the community, all factors considered. Also, the President recommended consideration of the 1994 Supreme Court case involving the Environmental Trust Fund vs. the City of Chicago and (1) the determination by the Court that the residue ash resulting from the incineration of solid waste becomes hazardous waste in most instances; and (2) the effects of that decision on increasing the demand for hazardous waste storage and the expected increased costs of hazardous waste disposal over the long run.

To help provide additional perspective about the County's permit application to increase sludge incinerator capacity, the Association has included statements from citizens who attended this public hearing and the Arlington Ridge Civic Association.

  1. Dr. Gail Charnley, Executive Director of the President's Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management, stated at the hearing that she has served as consultant in toxicology and risk assessment to both the public and private sectors, and that she has performed human health risk assessments of potential health effects from environmental exposures to toxicants throughout her professional career. Before beginning her testimony, Dr. Charnley indicated that she was not an opponent of incineration and stated that incineration is often a logical and relatively risk-free solution to waste disposal. However, she indicated there is nothing logical and risk-free about the proposed expansion of the sewage sludge incineration facility in Arlington. Dr. Charnley stated that she is opposed to expansion of the sewage sludge treatment plant incinerator for several reasons. Dr. Charnley indicated there are reasonable and less costly alternatives to incinerator expansion, such as land application. Also, she indicated that she did not believe that the information contained within the permit application supports the conclusion that expanding the incinerator capacity would have no adverse impact on the community. Moreover, Dr. Charnley expressed concerns about the permit application process and the lack of opportunity for the community to participate in the decision-making process.
  2. Rebecca R. Gray, Chair, Incinerator Effects Assessment Committee, Arlington Ridge Civic Association, stated at the hearing that after review of the permit application and accompanying documentation, the Arlington Ridge Civic Association is unequivocally opposed to the granting of the permit to modify and operate the Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant...Ms. Gray indicated that the information contained in the permit application documents has at no time been previously discussed or shared with the community or in any other public forum. Review of the DEQ provided permit application documents the FIRST that our community and the public has been informed of the "existing" levels of emissions from the incinerator, let alone the "modeled" emission projections for the expanded plant...When inquiry has been made as to the impact of the incinerator expansion on levels of emissions, Ms. Gray stated that they have been told repeatedly by WPCP and Arlington County that even though the amount of sludge to be incinerated was being increased the emissions would actually be reduced through the installation of state-of-the-art scrubber technology. Review of the DEQ provided documents for this hearing reveals that this is NOT the case and, in fact, emissions will be increased. Ms. Gray indicated that the community has had "effectively" less than thirty (30) days to review the over 400 pages of permit application documents. They find this particularly disturbing as the date of original application submission by Arlington County was December 20, 1993. One and one-half years were available to DEQ for assessment. The public was given a scant 30 days for review. Of particular concern is the critical data which has been generated by computer modeling. Not only was the public given only 30 days to review, but NO information was provided in the documentation on the computer models to be able to effectively evaluate the data so produced. If true public comment is desired, more information needs to be provided on these models before a fully informed assessment by the public can be made. Ms. Gray questioned why the DEQ is granting a permit to allow a 32% increase in Total Suspended Particulates, a 125% increase in Carbon Monoxide, a 153% increase in Nitrogen Oxides, and a 43% increase in Volatile Organic Compounds from to a facility that is to increase the amount of sludge burned BY ONLY 7.5%! If the DEQ issues a permit to this facility, any increase in emissions should be limited to 7.5%! To do otherwise, is to invite poor operating practices! Particularly, disconcerting is the 153% increase to be allowed in Nitrogen Oxides in an OZONE NONATTAINMENT AREA. This represents a permit to emit 72.5 tons per year in a NONATTAINMENT AREA with a threshold limit of 50 TONS PER YEAR in Nitrogen Oxides.
  3. The Arlington Ridge Civic Association Newsletter, Vol 94-95, No 08, states among its key points to remember, that the [permit] report, its data, and analyses are riddled with inaccuracies, omissions, and bad science.
    (The computer modeling was run under the RURAL condition variable--instead of URBAN!)
    The permit conclusion that the expanded incinerator will operate within EPA restrictions is suspect at this point, based on shaky projections. Also, there is a real question as to the economic sensibility of the incinerator expansion as planned. Allegedly, the 20-year old incinerator technology is being upgraded. The permit is to expand the incinerator capacity from the current 45 tons per day to 60 tons per day, a 33% increase. However, to stay within EPA requirements, the sewage treatment plant proposes to "self-limit" the amount of sludge processed to 17,677 tons per year. The current yearly rate is roughly 16,436 tons per year. This amounts to an actual 3.4 tons per day increase or 1,241 tons per year. We are making this massive capital investment in incinerator expansion for a less than 8% increase in capacity!
Furthermore, the "latest and greatest technology will result in increases in toxic emissions of anywhere from 31% to 168% [based on the permit application documents]."

Also, the Arlington Ridge Civic Association Newsletter states other sewage treatment plant facilities in the DC metropolitan area are using land application and composting methods for sludge disposal--Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Blue Plains, and Alexandria. These treatment facilities contract with private companies to have the sludge hauled away and pay the companies a per ton hauling fee to do so. These companies, in turn, further process the sludge for farm land application or compost it into products sold in nurseries and garden stores. In conversations with sanitary engineers on this topic, they stated that Arlington County's sludge is ideal for land application and composting, as we have no heavy industry (or even light industry) that dumps high concentrations of toxic substances into the sewage stream. Further, in conversations with the EPA, the Arlington Ridge Civic Association has learned that on a national basis the cost of the hauling approach to sewage disposal is roughly half the cost of incineration--not including the cost of storage and hauling of the toxic ash. EPA considers land application and composting to be a preferred alternative for sewage sludge disposal.

If you have any questions about this subject, we invite you to call Rebecca Gray at 271-4288, or David Jones 549-3277 of the Arlington Ridge Civic Association. If you have any comments, we invite you to call the Member Information Line 528-1887, select menu option one, and record your survey response. Also, you may provide comments at the Member Comment Period at the beginning of the next Membership Meeting on August 23, 1995, at the Arlington Renaissance Hotel, 2nd floor conference room.

Results Of Elections For 1995-'96

At our May 24th Annual Membership Meeting, the 16 BVSCA members present elected by unanimous vote the Association's 1995-'96 officerships and other representative positions, as follows: As the 1995-'96 Association year begins in June, the elected officers and other representatives will assume their responsibilities beginning after the conclusion of the May 24, 1995 Annual Membership Meeting. The elected Arlington County Civic Federation Delegates and Alternate Delegates will assume their responsibilities at the beginning of the Civic Federation's new membership year which commences in September 1995.

Circus To Return In September

Once again, the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus has, through its Arlington sponsor, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing ("APAH") applied to hold the circus in our neighborhood at Quincy Park next to the Central Library. Performances have been scheduled for Saturday, September 2 to begin at 4:30 p.m., and at 7:30 pm.; on Sunday, September 3 to begin at 1:30 p.m. and at 4:30 p.m.; and on Monday, September 4 to begin at 1:30 p.m. and at 4:30 p.m. For information about tickets for this event, call the APAH Circus Hotline--276-7444.

Human Services Commission Report Hearing

On June 28, 1995, the President represented the Association at the Arlington County Human Services Commission public hearing on the Human Services Commission Draft Report dated June 8, 1995. On behalf of the Executive Committee, the President complimented the County's Human Services Commission for its comprehensive and thought-provoking review of the County's system of human services delivery. The "Draft Report for Public Comment of the Arlington County Human Services Commission" dated June 8, 1995 (The "Draft Report") describes meaningful guiding principles and a framework to help establish a more effective, more focused, more realistic, more efficient, and a more fiscally responsible approach for providing human services for the future.

The BVSCA's Executive Committee reviewed the Draft Report at its meeting of June 14, 1995. To help shape a more effective and efficient human services system for the future, our

Executive Committee recommended that Arlington's Government Facility Siting Principles be included in the draft report's proposed framework.
Also, the Association recommended (1) the creation of a "committee" for the audit and review of the DHS function in order to strengthen oversight and the system of accountability; and (2) increased emphasis on affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income households in order to help bring the percentage of owner-occupancy in Arlington in line with other jurisdictions.

St. George's Renovations

St. George's Episcopal Church, located on Fairfax Drive between Oakland and Nelson Streets, will soon begin some much-needed renovations. As you may know, St. George's parish has long been a part of the Ballston/Virginia Square neighborhood -- it started in a private home in Ballston in 1908, and in 1911 the first church building on the Oakland Street site was completed. The Parish Hall was added in 1933, and the current worship space in 1952. In the 1980s the congregation had hoped to be able to construct housing for low- to moderate-income elderly -- as well as new worship and parish space -- on the Fairfax Drive site. The church found that this plan, however, was not financially feasible to pursue. In the meantime, the facilities continued to age and need repair.

The congregation is now committed to a two-phase renovation and expansion of the existing facilities. Phase One is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 1996 and, it is hoped, be completed within 12 months. A capital campaign has just begun (donations always welcome...) to raise the $1.1 million dollars the church will need for the implementation of this phase. Timing for Phase Two has not been determined due to budgetary and fund raising constraints. Eventually, however, the two houses on the block will likely be demolished, and the existing physical facility expanded. Much of the existing trees and green space, particularly on the Nelson Street side, will be preserved. Phase One will be modest in scope and concentrate mostly on upgrading the existing structures. The Church's educational and administrative areas, as well as the kitchen and parish hall, will be renovated. Minor repairs will be made to the current sanctuary and to the old chapel, which is currently being used by the Hispanic congregation. There are also plans to construct a new narthex and entry to the sanctuary from the Nelson Street side. At this time it is unclear whether the Church will need to apply to the County for any variances. (It is currently a non- conforming structure due to the past widening of Fairfax Drive.)

During renovation some of the meeting areas and parking spaces will be unavailable. The church is working with its neighbors, including the owners of the public parking lots at Virginia Square Metro, to secure interim parking for Sundays and evenings, and will relocate and/or reschedule meetings and services as necessary. The congregation of St. George's is excited about and committed to this renovation. If you or your neighbors have any questions or need further information, please contact: Nancy Iacomini, 703-525-0788.

Aggressive Panhandling Ordinance-Update

The President received a letter of response dated July 31, 1995, from the Chairman, Arlington County Board, Albert C. Eisenberg, concerning the Association's interest in having the County adopt an aggressive panhandling ordinance. Chairman Eisenberg has initiated action to consider our proposed recommendations on this matter. Before discussing Chairman Eisenberg's letter,

the Association voted unanimously at our last Membership Meeting to adopt the Prince William County Ordinance on Aggressive Panhandling, as BVSCA's recommended ordinance for adoption by the Board. Also, the members approved a motion to strengthen the penalty provisions of our recommended ordinance, if feasible, to require a fine of up to $300 and no more than 30 days in jail for violations of the aggressive panhandling ordinance, which is comparable to the class B violation penalty of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Currently, violators of the Prince William County ordinance on aggressive panhandling are subject to a class 3 misdemeanor penalty, which provides only for a fine of up to $500 for violations of this ordinance. For additional details about these ordinances, see your May/June 1995 Newsletter or the electronic version of this Newsletter on the Internet (e.g., under the BVSCA home page located at "").

Further, the members instructed the President to ascertain whether it was feasible to recommend a stronger penalty than a class 3 misdemeanor penalty for violators of aggressive panhandling ordinances promulgated by local jurisdictions of the Commonwealth. To verify the feasibility of the Association's proposed ordinance on aggressive panhandling, President Ragland contacted Attorney General James S. Gilmore's new office in Northern Virginia, located at 1033-B Democracy Lane, Fairfax, Virginia and was instructed to put the Association's inquiry in writing. On June 19, 1995, the President sent a letter to Attorney General Gilmore's new office requesting information on this matter.

On June 24, 1995, the President received a response on behalf of the Attorney General from James W. Hopper, the Senior Assistant Attorney General, Chief, Opinions Section. In his response, Chief Hopper states that "Section 2.1-118 of the Code of Virginia authorizes the Attorney General of Virginia to render an opinion only to certain state and local officials specifically enumerated in that statue, [which excludes the President, BVSCA]. In addition, this Office has traditionally declined to render opinions on matters of purely local concern.

Next, the President contacted the office of the Arlington County Attorney, Barbara Drake, for information. The County Attorney's office advised the President that the BVSCA was not on the list of County Board appointed commissions or County organizations and, therefore, could not directly communicate with our Association. Instead, the County Attorney's office instructed the President to contact the staff of the Arlington County Board to discuss the Association's proposed recommendation on aggressive panhandling.

During the month of July 1995, the President coordinated the Association's recommended proposal on aggressive panhandling with County Board staff, who helped the Association coordinate our recommendations with the Board. In response, the President received a letter from Chairman Eisenberg dated July 31, 1995, indicating that he appreciates the President's sharing with [him] the Association's interest in having the County adopt an aggressive panhandling ordinance. Chairman Eisenberg indicated that he is currently looking into the issues that the Association has raised. Also, Chairman Eisenberg stated that

"The ambiguity of the law is something I felt needed to be addressed by the County Attorney. I have now been advised that in this instance the ambiguity about our authority to enact an ordinance on our own is sufficient to demand that any action in this regard begin with clarifying state legislation.
In the meantime, I have asked staff to examine the specific issues [the President] has raised. Based on that review, we will then consider the issue once again as part of the state legislative package discussion."

The President and other Executive Committee members appreciate Chairman Eisenberg's initiated action on this matter. Before completing the review of this matter, the Executive Committee encourages the Board to coordinate with officials from Prince William County to ascertain the authority used to adopt their ordinance and to consider its applicability for Arlington County. The Association will continue to follow-up on the status of this issue and important developments as they occur.

Neighborhood Crime Report

  1. 3600 block of Wilson Blvd. -- Burglary. Between 4:30 p.m. May 11, and 5:10 a.m. May 12, money and an antique rifle were stolen from a business entered by breaking a window.
  2. 627 N. Glebe Road -- Armed Robbery. On May 12, 8:15 p.m., a man approached a parking booth at the Ballston Common Mall, implied that he had a gun, reached in and took money from the cashier. The suspect is 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet and 6 inches tall, 130 pounds. He was wearing a black stocking cap and black pants.
  3. 1000 Block of North Monroe Street -- Burglary. On June 10, between 4:00 and 10:30 p.m., cash and a pistol were stolen from a residence. There were no signs of forced entry.
  4. 500 Block of North Pollard -- Burglary. On July 10, between 10:30 a.m. July 10 and 11 a.m. July 20, suspects entered through an unlocked door and took two black purses.
  5. 1500 Block N. Taylor Street -- Burglary. On July 12, a thief pried open a window to a house and stole a garage door opener, a house key, and a power screwdriver.

The BVSCA Home Page