Tuesday, November 24, 1998
BVSCA MEMBERSHIP MEETING 7:15 P.M.
Meeting at the National Rural Electric Association (NRECA), 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, 22203-1860, Ellipse Conference Center (Room CC1), Free Parking for Membership Meeting, Garage Entry Up to 8:00 P.M. (See Details Below)Membership Meeting (7:15 - 10:00 p.m.).
1. Arlington Police District II. On June 21, 1998, the Arlington County Police Department re-organized to enhance their Community Policing efforts and provide geographic accountability for commanders, supervisors and officers of this Department. Arlington County was divided into four (4) Police Districts, each under the command of a Police Captain. The Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association residential area is in Police District II. This district also encompasses the Rosslyn - Ballston commercial corridor and its surrounding residential areas. The Commander for Police District II is Captain Thomas Hoffmann, who may be reached at (703) 228-4327 or e-mail: email@example.com.
The Association has invited Police District II's Representatives to the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association to be introduced to our membership. Cpl. Tea Chong is Police District II's Representative Leader to our Association ((703)228-3600, Voice Mail #9743). Officer Marc Dellasala is Police District II's Representative Alternate Leader to our Association (Voice Mail 9859). Other officers from Police District II, responsible for covering the Ballston-Virginia Square community, include: Cpl. Thomas Dolinger (Voice Mail 9662) and Officer Leonardo Garcia (Voice Mail 9733). Cpl. Susan Noack is the School Resource Officer for Washington Lee High School (Voice Mail 4334, Pager (703) 215-2989). The 2nd District phone number is (703) 228-4150 . The Arlington Police (Non-Emergency) phone number is (703) 558-2222. The Police Emergency Phone Number is "911."
Because the Agenda for the upcoming Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 1998, is very full, we will have very limited time for public comment after introductions. The Association plans to invite the 2nd District Officers to return for a future meeting for discussion on public safety. Also, at our last Membership Meeting on October 27, 1998, BVSCA President Ragland announced the Association's appointed representatives to the Police District II Ad Hoc Advisory Committee that meets every other month to discuss public safety issues. Our Association's representative is Ben Axleroad, and alternate representative is Laura Keegan.
Also, at our next Membership Meeting, plan to meet the Bike Patrol Officers, who are responsible for covering all of Police District II. Currently, the 2nd District is the only District with full time, all year long Bike Patrols. The officers are: (1)Officer Henry Buchhofer (Voice Mail 9741), (2) Officer Larry Goven (Voice Mail 9695), (3) Officer Christopher Ohr(Voice Mail 9800), and Officer Adrienne Pheil (Voice Mail 9808). To reach voice mail, please call (703) 228-3600, then enter voice mail number at prompt. (7:15 to 7:30 p.m.).
2. Proposed Access Improvements to the Ballston-MU Metrorail Station. The Association will hear a presentation by James Hamre, Transit Program Coordinator, Arlington County Department of Public Works Planning, on a series of proposed access improvements to the Metrorail station in Ballston. To permit a comprehensive assessment of the Metrorail-related needs of the Ballston area, now almost 20 years after the station opened, the primary architectural firm for the Metrorail system, Harry Weese and Associates (HWA), was commissioned by the County to conduct a Ballston Station Access Study. This Study included: (1) a comprehensive survey of the patterns of station access and usage; (2) meetings with citizens to gather input; (3) a design solution process; and (4) a series of coordinating meetings with various commissions and interested groups. The Study identifies five potential improvements and recommends an order of priority for funding and implementing those improvements. The Arlington County Pedestrian Transportation Plan has been recommended for revision to document this series of planned improvements, which include specific potential access improvements to the Ballston-MU Station. The proposed specific improvements, are as follows: (1) adding a second elevator and making improvements to the site of the existing elevator at the northwest corner of the intersection of Fairfax Drive and North Stuart Street; (2) constructing a pair of new elevators at the southwest corner of that intersection; (3) constructing a new entrance at the western end of the station on the south side of Fairfax Drive and west of North Vermont Street (inclusive of a new elevator near that site; (4) construction of a new escalator entrance at the east end of the station in conjunction with the redevelopment of the site on the northeast corner of North Stuart Street and Fairfax Drive; and (5) construction of a new elevator at the site of the Arlington Square building to provide a western entrance on the north side of Fairfax Drive.
As of November 2, 1998, the County Manager had not made a decision on the proposal. Citizens may call (703) 228-3681 or visit (Suite 717), the Public Works Planning Division, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, VA 222201, to get information on the study. Currently, the Ballston-MU Station serves approximately 20,000 riders per day, with approximately one-half of the Metro patrons entering the station and one-half exiting the station.
At the BVSCA Executive Committee Meeting on November 17, 1998, members reviewed the proposed comprehensive package of improvements in detail with the County's Transit Program Coordinator, James Hamre, and recommended the first option as the highest priority to improve pedestrian access and public safety. This option is to add a second elevator and make improvements to the site of the existing elevator at the northwest corner of the intersection of Fairfax Drive and North Stuart Street. This option is estimated to cost approximately $800,000, or less than $.04 cost per weekday passenger.
The proposed comprehensive package of improvements would cost approximately $29.3 million in total to implement and would serve an estimated 36,000 riders per day when Ballston is fully developed. Implementation of selected improvements would occur on a project-by-project basis with funding provided from a combination of grants, developer contributions, and other sources as adopted in the County Capital Improvement Program. The proposed amendment to the Arlington County Pedestrian Transportation Plan, which are elements of the Comprehensive Plan, and proposed package of improvements are to be heard by the Planning Commission at its meeting on December 7, 1998, and the County Board on December 12, 1998. The Association strongly encourages interested members and residents to attend this meeting and express your views on the proposed improvements. Also, we encourage you to express your views at the above public meetings. (7:30 to 8:15 p.m.).
3. Arlington Neighborhood Initiative. Neighborhood Initiative Teams have been working in several County neighborhoods to help improve communications between the County government and neighborhoods, to identify issues of concern and help expedite their resolution; and to increase neighborhoods' capacity to deal successfully with problems and opportunities. The Association has invited representatives of the Neighborhood Initiative Team D to be introduced to our membership. Because the Agenda for the upcoming Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 1998, is very full, we will have very limited time for public comment after introductions. The Association plans to invite Team D to return for a future meeting for discussion on potential issues, problems, and opportunities in our neighborhood. (8:15 to 8:30 p.m.).
4. Proposed Ballston Commons Point Project. The Association will hear a presentation on the proposed major site plan amendment for SP #193, which would modify the approved office/retail building approved for the Ballston Common site. The applicant for this proposed project is Lincoln Property Company, 1530 Wilson Boulevard, Ste. 209, Arlington, VA, 22209. The applicant's architect is HKS, Inc., 1919 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, Texas, 75201-1753. The architect's attorney is Walsh, Colucci, Stackhouse, 2200 Clarendon Boulevard, 13th Floor, Arlington, VA 22201.
This Ballston Common site is zoned "C-0-2.5" and is designated as "Medium" Office-Apartment-Hotel on the General Land Use Plan (GLUP). The site is currently approved for 379,000 square foot office/retail use, which designed, resembled the 1.7-acre triangle shaped parcel. A smaller building comprising 245,000 square foot of office/retail gross floor area is proposed, including 11,552 square feet of retail g.f.a. The total floor area ratio proposed is 3.29. The 12-story building would include three levels of parking below grade and at grade parking adjacent to the Hecht Company department store.
The existing (approved) site plan placed all parking in the Ballston Common parking garage and required the last phase of development on the site to complete an 8th level to the parking garage. Under the site plan amendment request, a total of 403 parking spaces are proposed, including 42 surface parking spaces dedicated to Hecht's, located between the proposed new building and the existing Hecht Company department store. The proposed office-parking ratio would be one space per 742 square feet of office gross floor area if the spaces in the Ballston Common garage are not used. The proposed building height is 187 feet. Modification of use regulations is requested to allow the proposed building height and parking.
At the Site Plan Review Subcommittee meeting on November 5, 1998, concern was expressed by officers of the Association and others regarding the proposed 42 surface parking spaces dedicated to Hecht's behind the proposed new building. This project could potentially adversely affect the traffic flow on Glebe Road due to the location of the proposed egress and ramp to the garage adjacent to the surface parking spaces. The Association's officers were apprised by the site plan applicant's legal representative that a traffic study will soon be completed concerning the impact of the proposed new building on traffic. The applicant's traffic consultant is Wells & Associates, 1420 Springhill Road, Suite 600, McLean, VA, 22120.
The site plan applicant is scheduled to make a presentation on this proposed project at our next Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 1998. This project is to be reheard by the Site Plan Review Subcommittee at its meeting on December 2, 1998, in Conference Room C, Courts Square West, 1400 N. Uhle Street, Arlington, VA 22201. The proposed site plan amendment is to be heard by the Planning Commission at its meeting on January 11, 1999, and the County Board on January 23, 1999. The Association strongly encourages interested members and residents to attend this meeting and express your views on the proposed project. Also, we encourage you to express your views at the above public meetings. (8:30 to 9:15 p.m.).
5. Proposed Vermont Court Townhouses Project. The Association will hear a site plan proposal for an eight (8)-unit townhouse development by representatives of the applicant, Potomac Custom Builders, L.C., P.O. Box 7336, Arlington, VA 22207. The applicant's architect is Frederick E. Sheridan, AIA, Sheridan, Behm, Eustice & Assoc., 3440 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201. This proposed townhouse development is located on the east side of North Vermont Street, approximately 70 feet north of the 11th Street intersection. The site, which is zoned "15-30T," includes two (2) existing single family dwellings, each with a backyard garage. The proposed density for this 16,875 square-foot site is 20.67 units per acre. A total of 18 parking spaces are proposed. The two-car townhouse garages would accommodate 16 spaces, while the remaining two (2) spaces would be surface spaces, for a total of 2.2 spaces per unit. Under the "15-30T" District, modifications of use regulations would be required for front setback, side and rear yard dimensions, site area, site coverage.
At the Site Plan Review Subcommittee meeting on November 5, 1998, officers of the Association (president Ragland, vice-president Hughes, and at-large-Executive-Committee-Member Chircop) inquired about the details of the proposed project. The officers learned that the site area for the proposed townhouse project is approximately 550 square feet smaller than the minimum permitted townhouse area for the proposed density in the "R15-30T" Zoning District. Also, they learned that the proposed 2-space garages for each townhouse consisted of one-standard-sized-space and one-compact-sized-space, not the normal two-full-space garages. On the other hand, the officers learned that the proposed townhouses would be of high-quality design with all brick exteriors, two bedrooms and a loft, gas heated, 21/2 baths, and would range in cost from $270,000 to $290,000.
Staff was asked by the Association's officers whether the site plan applicant had sufficient authority to build eight (8) units, given the shortage of land area for the proposed density? Also, the officers inquired whether the site plan applicant could reduce his proposal from eight (8) to seven (7) units, given the shortage of land area for the proposed project? In response, staff said that the builder could only build six (6)-units given the existing coverage of the proposed development; the applicant's representatives indicated that 6-units were not economically feasible. For Arlington County to authorize eight (8)-units at this site, some modification of use would need to be approved by the County Board. Before the Board's action, however, the County Attorney would have to make a legal determination concerning whether or not this proposed project could be authorized by the County Board. The Association inquired when this determination is to be made? Staff did not have a specific date.
The Site Plan Review Subcommittee suggested that this determination, including a full explanation in the staff report, be completed prior to the scheduled date the proposed townhouse project goes before the Planning Commission. The proposed project is to be heard by the Planning Commission at its meeting on January 11, 1999, and by the County Board at its meeting on January 23, 1999. The Association strongly encourages interested members and residents to attend this meeting and express your views on the proposed project. Also, we encourage you to express your views at the above public meetings. (9:15 to 9:45 p.m.).
1998-'99 Membership Meeting Schedule. Monthly Membership Meetings of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association are scheduled at the National Rural Electric Association (NRECA), 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, Ellipse Conference Center (Room CC1 except as noted) for the following Tuesday evenings: 01/26/99, and 02/23/99. For your information, NRECA provides free garage access for one hour at NRECA's underground parking garage for participants attending the BVSCA Membership Meeting (30 minutes prior, to 30 minutes following, the starting time of our meeting). The garage's automatic exit device allows exit-only traffic after the garage is closed. BVSCA participants should be prepared to state they are attending the BVSCA Membership Meeting in order to receive free parking. Members should be advised that the garage will be accessible only up to 8:00 p.m., 30 minutes following the 7:30 p.m. starting time of our Membership Meeting, and that once the garage closes vehicles will still be able to exit the garage. Access to the Conference Room will be provided at 7:00 p.m.; the room must be completely vacated no later than 10:00 p.m. Also, general cleaning of the room is the responsibility of BVSCA.
BVSCA Announcements: Report by BVSCA Member Ben Axleroad. "On September 24, 1998, I had the privilege of representing the BVSCA on a panel charged with selecting and recommending for County approval a work of public art to be installed in the open space leading to the main entrance of the Central Library. Four artists were present with their graphic proposals. They were the finalists chosen from 24 who had made preliminary proposals. They came from three different states and the District of Columbia.
The design review criteria included artistic merit, appropriateness to the site and location, value to the community, technical feasibility, durability, and minimal maintenance requirements. The process was very thorough; the applicants had to respond to many questions and comments.
The design choice was for an applicant from eastern Pennsylvania whose public art work may be viewed in several states as well as some European sites. [Lisa Fedon] revealed considerable flexibility with a willingness to adapt to site requirements, as well as an enthusiasm for working personally with local public school children who would have an active input into the design. She also had a clear grasp of the need of facility in maintenance and durability.
Several panelists expressed concern that the design meet with community approval, mentioning as an example the perception of residents of the apartments across Quincy Street. Personally, I think the design should enhance the attractiveness of the site, with an improved visual focus for the library entrance."
The BVSCA thanks Mr. Axleroad for representing the Association on this panel and his report. Recently, the Association contacted the Arlington Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources for additional information about the start date of the proposed public art project. The start date should begin in late February 1999, or early Spring 1999. The Department provided additional information about the proposed project.
In her winning proposal, Lisa Fedon said "My work is about life, about spirit - spirit that connects all of us to each other. While visiting the library and the surrounding community in August, I was struck by Arlington's focus of paying tribute to the outstanding contributions of the common person - Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Iwo Jima, and Memorials for Women and Journalists. I was also impressed by the opportunities made available to the community such as the bike path, the bird sanctuary and of course the library. I drove to Marymount University, the Pentagon, and Crystal City to get a better idea of the variety of neighborhoods in Arlington. I kept thinking about this focus on the common person which seemed to imply, and then encourage the idea that all people have the potential and opportunity to do good for others, to exhibit selfless acts, and to contribute in a positive way to their community, country and the world.
These selfless acts are in essence eternal truths. It is these truths that are the soul of life, and therefore, the focus of the sculptural piece that I propose to create for the Arlington County Central Library.
The scope of the project consists of three areas of the building: (1) The North Wall, (2) The Plaza, and (3) The South and West Walls. These three highly visible areas will be the sites for the proposed bronze sculpture, entitled Eternal Truths. All of the sculptural elements will be mounted on the exterior walls of the Library except for the element placed on the plaza of the front entrance." At our next Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 24, 1998, the Association will coordinate the detailed winning proposal with interested members and residents.
Final Report Ad Hoc Committee on Neighborhood Traffic Calming. The Final Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Neighborhood Traffic Calming was issued November 3, 1998. In June 1998, the Ad Hoc Committee issued its Interim Report that discussed the policies, processes, and measures that should be part of a new Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program for Arlington. At that time, over 800 copies of the Interim Report were sent out to interested residents, and written comments were invited. A month later on July 11, 1998, the County Board, during a regularly scheduled meeting, received public comment on the Interim Report, and directed the Ad Hoc Committee and staff to continue work and produce a final report by the Fall. On December 12, 1998, the County Board will consider the recommendations made in the Final Report by the Ad Hoc Committee together with a report from the County Manager. Send your written comments to the Board, or attend this meeting and share any comments you have on the report. If you have any questions concerning theFinal Report or the Ad Hoc Committee, please contact either Richard Best, Department of Public Works Planning, at (703) 228-3689, or Nancy Iacomini, at (703) 525-0788.
Virginia Square Plaza Office Proposals. On November 10, 1998, the Site Plan Review Subcommittee, met for the third time on the proposed major site plan amendment request for the Virginia Square Plaza Office projects. This site plan amendment request proposes to add 40,000 square feet of office g.f.a. ("gross floor area") to an existing five story office building on Fairfax Drive, premises known as 3801 and 3803 N. Fairfax Drive. The additional g.f.a. would result in the addition of a sixth floor to the building as well as extending the building to the north. Some underground parking would be added as well, resulting in a total of 126 parking spaces to support the proposed 73,605 square foot building (a proposed ratio of 1 space per 584 square feet for this building only). Access to the underground parking would be through the existing parking garage serving the "DARPA Building," which is located on the corner of N. Nelson Street and N. Fairfax Drive.
This site plan amendment request includes a special exception to permit a single office building of approximately 159,285 square foot office space and 4,400 square foot retail space. At the last BVSCA Membership Meeting on Oct. 27, 1998, members expressed concern about the proposed new building not providing more retail space. Members suggested that the first floor of the building be all retail space to help ensure more critical mass and successful retail at this location, especially given the loss of retail space at VA Square when the FDIC training center and hotel was built. Also, they suggested that the proposed site plan amendment to the existing five story building include -- a retail square foot condition on the first floor along Fairfax Drive. (Currently, no retail is provided at 3803 N. Fairfax Drive, which is the site of the former Galley's Prescription Center.) The major site plan amendment for the Virginia Square Plaza Office proposals have been rescheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission at its meeting on December 7, 1998, and the County Board at its meeting on December 12, 1998. [Note: These revised dates were made on November 25, 1998, subsequent to the issuance of this Agenda document on November 21, 1998.]
Proposed Revised Library Courts Project. The proposed revised Library Courts project is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission at its meeting on January 11, 1999, and the County Board at its meeting on January 23, 1999. Because of the high number of major site plan amendments and applications affecting the Ballston-VA Square community to be heard by the County in January 1999, please make plans to attend these public hearings today.
[Note: On November 25, 1998, the Association obtained information from County staff that the site plan applicant had recently submitted revised plans for the Proposed Revised Library Courts Project. The proposed revised project is scheduled to be heard by the Site Plan Review Subcommittee at its meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 1998, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Room C&D Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22201.]
January 26, 1999, Membership Meeting. Representatives from DEQ and Exxon have agreed to make a presentation on the status of remediation actions taken since 1994 to remedy reported contamination of the soil and groundwater near the vicinity of the former Exxon station at 3444 North Washington Boulevard. (This environmental issue was previously reported in BVSCA Newsletters dated April 1994, July 1994, and October 1994. For details, please visit http://www.bvsca.org/april94.html, http://www.bvsca.org/jul94.html,and http://www.bvsca.org/oct94.html.)
BVSCA Mailing List. For BVSCA members, who would like to subscribe to the BVSCA Mailing List and receive the bimonthly Arlington Police Second District Newsletter, send the command "subscribe" to BVSCA-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org. After subscribing, detailed instructions will be sent concerning how to unsubscribe, how to change to digest mode, how to change to no-mail mode, how to post a message so everyone on the mailing list receives it, and other information. The Association's web site is "http://www.bvsca.org" and e-mail address is "email@example.com."