BVSCA Newsletter January 2006
Place: BVSCA's community room located on N. Utah Street between Gaffney's Restaurant and the Windsor Plaza condominiums
Inside this newsletter
Thu Jan 12, 2006After roll call and brief neighborhood reports, minutes for the November and December meetings were approved by vote. The December meeting had covered funding of seven of the 22 neighborhood projects presented or offered for approval during the December 2005 Funding Session.
New officers for 2006 were elected by the membership: Rob Swennes, Chairman; David Haring, Vice Chairman; and Chris Alvord, Deputy Vice Chairman. The outgoing Chairman, Inta Malis, will join the Site Plan Review Committee. Her services as Chairman were acknowledged and greatly appreciated by all representatives and staff members.
Committee reports were presented either orally or electronically. Committees are Urban Forestry, Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation. Historic Preservation, Site Plan Review, School Board Facilities, Neighborhood Traffic Calming, Storm Water Management, Master Transportation Plan, Points Committee, Policy Committee, and Resources Committee. The Resources Committee discussed the competition for funds. Christine Nixon, Planning Supervisor, Neighborhood Conservation, will meet with the County Manager to resolve some funding, paving, transportation, etc., issues on our behalf.
A report was given by Tim McIntosh, Arlington County, covering the status of Missing Links projects proposed by some neighborhoods. Funds were available ($200K bond) for curbs, gutters, sidewalks fronting three or fewer contiguous homes having no utility or tree issues. Of 12 sidewalk projects proposed (including one from BVSCA that was adjacent to the homes), three will be recommended for approval, one has tentative recommendation, and eight projects will not be recommended. Proposals were disallowed for reasons such as requiring easement, lack of necessary homeowner signatures, etc. Issues calling for easement include utility pole problems, guy wires, commercial lot use, etc. Our BVSCA proposal for the 1100 block of N. Vernon St. would have required a commercial establishment and/or owner agreement (easement) to remove pavement used by an automobile dealership. Permanent easements require considerable staff resources, thus elevating costs. Additional information will be forthcoming from the County concerning these Missing Links proposals.
Thu Dec 08, 2005 This was the second of two annual Funding Sessions to determine which of the NCAC Qualified 1st Priority Capitol Projects could be financed in light of the money remaining from the 2004 Bond's four to five million dollars.
The NCAC Fall Funding Session Booklet of Proposed Projects is available in case anyone cares to see the data and the process. Twenty-two neighborhood projects were addressed (three-minute limit) by either the Block or the NC Representative. The street, park, beautification, or neighborhood feature (creek banks, etc.) photograph or diagram was projected on a screen for all to see, and work needed was pointed out and discussed. Questions and discussions were allowed at the conclusion of all presentations. (Fifty-two Arlington neighborhoods are recognized; some are inactive.)
Projects had been evaluated previously by the Points Committee and ranked according to established criteria. The Point System Worksheet contains detailed information on how points are awarded to projects. Five or six Neighborhoods received funding totaling $2,509,000. Some sacrificed new streetlights to remain viable in the process. Considerable discussion was devoted to bypassing projects in favor of less expensive initiatives but this was argued down as setting a bad precedent. Neighborhoods winning funding were Dominion Hills, Arlington Ridge, Old Dominion, Yorktown, Lyon Park, Lyon Village, and Ashton Heights. Cost overruns and inflation of costs were again discussed in detail. Project delays have the effect of increasing the costs once the project is finally approved for recommendation to the Arlington County Board (Some of this information may change once the minutes of this funding session are published and approved).
BVSCA did not have a presentation for this meeting. Our first-priority projects are already approved and in process. Block Representatives for these projects are shown in parentheses. They are the curb, gutter, sidewalk, and grass area projects about to begun on N. 13th St. (DeAndra Beck) and the 1200 block of N. Vernon St. (Dan Corts). Two other BVSCA projects have been initiated: one on Kirkwood Road and a Missing Links sidewalk project for the 1100 block of N. Vernon St.
Nominations were presented by that committee for officers to serve NCAC next year as Chair, Vice Chair, and Deputy Vice Chair. Elections are to be held in January at the regular meeting.
- by Dan Corts
2006 Real Estate Assessments up by 19.4%
Arlington's real estate market, along with the entire Washington metropolitan area, experienced another year of strong growth. Assessments for 2006, which the County is mailing to property owners today, show that overall real estate values in Arlington are up 19.4 percent.
The average single-family dwelling increased in value by 18.25 percent to $541,800, compared with the 24 percent increase in 2005. Residential condominiums, which are a subset of single-family dwellings, increased in value by 19 percent to $367,000, compared with the 32 percent increase last year. Existing multi-family residential properties (rental apartment buildings) increased in value by 16 percent, compared with the 12 percent increase in 2005. A significant number of rental apartments, assessed in 2005 in excess of $270 million, were converted to condominiums for 2006.
Commercial property -- including hotels, retail and office buildings - experienced its largest growth in 16 years. The increase in assessed value is 14.8 percent for 2006, compared with 7 percent for 2005.
As set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value. The County's Department of Real Estate Assessments calculates property value annually using mass appraisal techniques that are standard in the real estate assessment industry. By law, neither the County Board nor the County Manager can change property assessments. Please visit www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/RealE state/reassessments/scripts/DREADefault.asp to check your assessment online.
Homeowners wondering if their assessment is correct should ask the question, "Would my home sell for the assessed value if I put it on the market?" If the answer is "yes," the assessment is probably accurate. If the answer is "no," contact the Department of Real Estate Assessments.
Deadlines for assessment appeals are March 1 for a Department of Real Estate Assessments review and April 15 for a Board of Equalization review. More information about the assessment review process is available online at www.arlingtonva.us. Click on "Real Estate Assessments" under "Services."
The County Board approved a site plan to build a high-rise residential building with ground floor retail on the Arlington Gateway site in Ballston. As part of the project, the developer will construct a substantial part of the new western entrance to the Ballston Metro station.
The mixed-use building, known as the Fairmont, will be a 23-story condominium building with 237 units with ground-floor retail. It is scheduled to open in January 2009 and will complete the Arlington Gateway site, development of which was begun in 2000. The condominium building will be an all-glass tower, the first all-glass residential building in the Ballston area.
Located above the Ballston Metro station, the condominium project is constructing a major part of the new Metro entrance as a community benefit. The new Metro entrance will be the westernmost entrance in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, making Metro more accessible to neighborhoods to the west of Ballston, particularly Bluemont.
The total contribution by the developer to the Metro entrance project is estimated at $11 million.
Recently, the Arlington Gateway was recognized by the Community Appearance Alliance of Northern Virginia, which gave the site a Community Appearance Award, recognizing the "modern, tasteful group of buildings that enhance the entire community."
Redevelopment of Block 12 in Clarendon
Silverwood Homes would like to build a new mixed-use project at the current location of the Dominion Virginia's substation (bounded by 10th St, Wilson Blvd. & Fairfax Drive). They plan to build a 12-storey mixed use building providing 10,000 sq. ft. of retail and 200 residential units. The current transmission station will be replaced with a large substation and will be hidden from public view in an intelligent way. Silverwood will exchange the PETCO building with the county to facilitate the possibility of expanding Washington Blvd and providing a new park at the intersection of Washington & Wilson Blvd.
Townhouses on N. Stuart St
For those of you somewhat familiar with the area, these five properties are on the west side of the 1100 block of North Stuart Street, starting with the first property just south of the market. The intent is to build townhouses.
The property includes 5 parcels on Stuart Street: 1402201, 14022011, 14022013, 14022014, and 14022015 (25,000 sq. ft.). The property is zoned R15-30T, and the developer is contemplating a 4.1 site plan application (no rezoning or GLUP change).
Some of the types of benefits they believe they could offer to the neighborhood are things like consolidation of curb cuts, underground parking, quality architecture, affordable housing, to name a few.
Ballston Metro Project Reaches Milestone
Fairfax Drive in Ballston is back in form after a year of renovations. The construction project is part of a major station enhancement at the Ballston-MU Metro station to install new elevators on both the north and south side of Fairfax Drive just west of Stuart Street. Work on the project continues underground, but the bumpy, rerouted road surface is now straight, smooth and re-striped. The project schedule calls for completion of the north elevator in March 2006 and of the south elevators in May 2006. Landscaping of the median will be completed this month.
The total project features the installation of three new elevators designed to enhance station access and to meet growing ridership demands. On the north side of Fairfax Drive, an additional elevator will provide access between the mezzanine and street level of the station to reduce the number of pedestrians crossing Fairfax Drive to enter the station. On the south side of Fairfax Drive, two new elevators and an underground passageway will connect from the street level in front of the Quest Building to the mezzanine to improve access from the south and better serve the bus station. At the street level the project also includes new pedestrian nubs, enhanced crosswalks, and landscaping.
Arlington County is sponsoring this $10 million construction project to fulfill a plan adopted by the Arlington County Board to improve access to the Ballston-MU Metrorail station. WMATA is managing the project on behalf of the County and Clark Design Build is WMATA’s contractor responsible for the design and construction of the improvements. Completion of the project is anticipated in Spring 2006. This is the first of several access enhancements planned for the station.
For more information and pictures of the renovated Fairfax Drive, visit www.commu terpage.com/ballstonelevator.htm.
Two Liberty Center
Liberty Center promises to be a defining neighborhood center of shops, restaurants, offices and residences. Two Liberty Center is an 180,000 square foot office building situated on Wilson Boulevard, across from Ballston Common Mall and just two blocks from Ballston Metro with views into public parks and a residential garden.
The construction began in the Summer of 2005 with completion anticipated for Spring 2007. Two ground floor retail spaces are planned, including provision for a restaurant with frontage on Wilson Boulevard. It will include 175,000 square feet of office space and 8,600 square feet of retail space. The building will stand 135 feet tall, at 9 stories. 300 parking spots will be available in a separate below-grade garage.
Visit the Liberty Center Web site for more information on the Liberty Center project, including office and residential.
Storage at Kirkwood Lift Station
The County maintains a wastewater lift station at 1616 Kirkwood Road along the boundary between BVSCA & Lyon Village Citizens Association. They plan to use approximately two-thirds of the available open space at the site to store some filter media for an extended period, perhaps two years. The filter media is specially processed silica sand that is required for the new de-nitrifying filters being constructed at the water pollution control plant. There are only two companies in the US that produce the required media during periods at their convenience, not county's. The County can realize a potential savings of $1M by procuring and storing the media early rather than relying on the construction contractor to store it or possibly delay the construction.
For more info, please contract Phil Loar email@example.com, 703 228-6867.)
Updated Schedule of Master Transportation Plan
Feb 24-50% Draft of 30-40 pp overview document and revised map to County for review. Modal plan summaries to Plenary Group for review.
Feb 27-Plenary Group mtng to discuss modal plan summaries.
Mar 3-County comments on 50% draft back to team. Consultant/Staff mtng to review comments.
Mar 17-50% draft of 30-40 pp overview document and revised map to Plenary Group
Mar 20-Plenary Group mtng to discuss 50% draft and revised map
Mar 24-Plenary Group Comments on 50% draft and revised map due to team
Apr 17-MTP First Draft with completed supporting modal plans and map to County
May 1-County comments on First Draft due to team. Consultant/Staff mtng to review comments.
May 15–Plenary Group mtng to review First Draft
Jun 6-Second Draft due to County.
W-L Crew Team Annual Mulch Sale
Members of the Washington-Lee Crew Team will personally deliver bags of quality hardwood mulch directly to your driveway. You don't even need to be home! Mulch will be delivered to your Arlington address on Saturday, March 4 or Sunday, March 5, 2006.
Orders must be received by February 18, 2006. (A limited supply will be available for sale at Arlington Traditional School on March 4th & 5th). All orders must be paid in advance. Call Neal Payne at 703-524-7769.
1 to 15 bags...............$5.25 per bag
16 to 30 bags.............$4.75 per bag
31 to 49 bags.............$4.25 per bag
50 or more bags ........$4.00 per bag
Please make checks payable to: W-L Crew Boosters. All orders must be paid in advance. Order form is available on-line at www.w-lcrew.org.
Hendry House Tea
Please invite your favorite aunt, your mother, grandmother, or that special friend for an early Valentine's Day celebration at the beautiful and the historic Hendry House for afternoon tea.
Tea will be served from 2:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday, February 12th. RSVP at 703-243-7329. $18/person. Reservations are recommended. Drop-ins will be accommodated on a space-available basis.
Fort C.F. Smith and the Hendry House are located at 2411 North 24th Street, in Arlington. For further info, contact: Sharon Casey (703-243-7329, Scasey@arlingtonva.us.
Financial Courses for Women
Women have unique financial needs. Most will at some time be on their own financially. Some will never marry, some will see their marriages end in divorce, and others will outlive their husbands. This course will provide them with information that they need to take charge of their financial future. The course includes five classes:
Jan 25 Financial Basics
Feb 1 Insurance Basics
Feb 8 Investing Basics
Feb 15 Investing for Retirement
Feb 22 Planning for Future Life Events
All classes will be held 7:00-9:00PM in room 10 at Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S Stafford Street in Arlington. Cost: $20 (for the accompanying textbook). Call 703-228-6417.
Arlington Arts Center
EXHIBITIONS: Déjà Vu: A New View: January 24-March 18. A robust exhibition of artworks created in the last three years by 81 artists who exhibited at the Arlington Arts Center before its expansion and renovation. This large and wide-ranging invitational show brings together works in sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, fine craft, photographs, prints, installation and video, offering a unique overview of the new works of many artists who are now familiar to the public.
Resident Studio Artist Exhibitions: Edith Heins: Family Moments, Taek Lee: center 4 corners. Reception for all exhibitions: Friday, January 27, 6-9 pm. Free and open to the public.
BRIDGES TO CONTEMPORARY ART: ARTISTS’ ROUNDTABLE: Keeping with It/Success as an Artist. As part of their ongoing lecture and performance series, join Rebecca Kamen, Marc Robarge, Julie Schneider, and Foon Sham as they discuss the challenges and rewards of maintaining a career as an artist. Thursday, February 2, 7-9 pm. Free and open to the public.
CLASSES: It’s not too late! Classes start the week of February 13 for adults and children. AAC member discounts apply and scholarships are available. Check out their full listing on the website at www.arlingtonartscenter .org, including their partnership classes with the Washington Glass School and the Writer’s Center.
Relay for Life
Relay for Life is an American Cancer Society event and is the culmination of months of fund raising efforts done by numerous teams throughout a community. Teams form in many different ways, and as this is a community-wide event, there will be groups covering all ages and types of organizations. The 12-hour event (ex. 7 pm-7am) is traditionally held on a track, hence the "Relay" title, while tents are set up on the inner field for participants to rest in. During the event itself, there are games, bands, contests, and many other forms of entertainment. Don't let the name fool you, as it is not actually a race, but simply team members walking/running the track in the spirit of the traditional relay. For further detail about the event, including the history of Relay, different ceremonies involved, etc., please visit http://americancancersociety.org/docroot/PAR/ Content/PAR_1_Relay_For_Life.asp.
This year's Relay for Life will be held in mid-June, 2006. It would be wonderful to have more teams from the communities. They will also be throwing their annual Kickoff event in late February.
Ballston Scavenger Hunt
The Northern Virginia Council of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a 100 year old mentoring program for at-risk kids. Their local council (Novabigs) is planning activities for the kids such as an annual fishing trip, an outing to King’s Dominion and so forth. Each year, they also hold a large fundraiser to support these activities as well as a scholarship fund. They would like to plan a fundraising event this (much like last year's Scavenger Hunt). If any of the residents or businesses is interested in participating, they should contact Nick Freshman (703.470.4101, www.novabigs.com.
They are looking for everything from team members (sign up and play against the neighbors!) to business willing to donate prizes or logistical fund support. They are currently planning on Saturday, June 24th for the event.
Looking for College Money?
High school seniors may now apply for the Arlington Community Foundation's 70 scholarships totaling more than $110,000 with one application. With most of these scholarships being renewable, the four-year value of some scholarships is $20,000!
Students may apply online at: http://www.applyweb .com/apply/arlingtn. Online form and attachments will collect all necessary information to match students to the many scholarships based on involvement, interests, personal information, and essays where appropriate. The online application must be submitted along with supplemental information by March 10, 2006. Students can apply today - it's worth their time! For more information about the Arlington Community Foundation call 703-243-4785.
Full Circle Montessori School
Full Circle is a brand new Montessori school in the heart of Ballston (1031 N. Vermont) serving children 21/2 to 5 years of age. They opened their doors on Monday, January 9th and are currently accepting applications for immediate and fall enrollment.
Full Circle's mission is to foster a Montessori learning community that supports the development of the whole child - emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically - through a dynamic partnership among staff, families, and the greater community.
For more information, please contact Tatjana Vichnevsky (202.207.4965, tvichnevsky@fu llcirclemontessori.com.
2006 Person of Vision Award
The Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women seeks nominations for the 2006 Person of Vision award, The nominees will be evaluated based on the attached criteria, established by the Commission. Letters of support will be considered, but are not required. Awardees will be honored at the Commission's annual Women's History Month Dinner on March 15, 2006. Selection will be based on the information presented here, so please be as complete as possible. Feel free to use extra pages as necessary. Additional nomination forms and information are available on the Commission website and in the County office. Please return completed form by Wednesday, February 1, 2006 to CSW Awards Committee, c/o Jennifer Fioretti, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22201, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ballston Virginia Square Partnership
Upcoming events/meetings include Board of Directors (2/2), Public Safety Academy (2/9), Real Estate marketing Group (2/8) and Urban Environment Committee (2/10). Please contact the Partnership at 703.528.3527.
The editor is maintaining a list of businesses that have been recommended by our neighbors. Please send your recommendations directly to email@example.com. 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, Jan 31
Tuesday, Mar 28
Tuesday, May 30
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, Sep 26
Tuesday, Nov 28
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1050 N. Stuart Street #314
Arlington, VA 22201
Ed Parks (email@example.com)
At Large Executive Committee
Dawn M. Cooper
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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