BVSCA Newsletter September 2004
Place: BVSCA's community room located on N. Utah Street between Gaffney's Restaurant and the Windsor Plaza condominiums
Inside this Newsletter
Arlington County Civic Federation Delegates: Ben
Axleroad, David Perlmutter, David Ryan, and Rohan
Arlington County Civic Federation Alternate Delegates Dennis Burr, Linda Kyles, and Ed Parks
As the 2004-2005 Association year began in June, the elected officers and other representatives assumed their responsibilities beginning June 1, 2004. The elected ARLINGTON County Civic Federation Delegates and Alternate Delegates assume their responsibilities at the beginning of the Civic Federation's new membership year, which commences in September 2004.
The increase in the number of children using this park, and the need for equipment for the many school-aged children in the area, prompted a request by BVSCA to Arlington County in June of 2001 to add additional playground pieces geared towards older children while maintaining both the equipment for younger children and as much of the grassy area around the playground as possible. BVSCA approved sending this project to NCAC for funding as a first priority project. Neighborhood Conservation (NC) funds were unsuccessfully applied for in December 2001. The project went before the NCAC again in June 2002, at which time funding was available and the project was approved. On September 24, 2003, County Staff and BVSCA held a kick-off meeting to start the design process for the new playground. Construction of the new playground began on July 28, 2004 and finished on September 21, 2004. Although the process was long, this unique playground will be enjoyed for years to come by children of Ballston Virginia Square, as well as by the children living nearby in Cherrydale and Waverly Hills.
BVSCA would like to express their thanks and gratitude to all those who assisted in this project. In particular, Lewis Bromberg, President of the Waverly Hills Civic Association, who guided us through the NCAC process, County Staff: Robert Capper, Tom Hutchings, Chris Nixon, Matt Latham, Jill Yutan and Jim Sherman who worked closely with BVSCA in initiating the process, creating the design and supervising the construction of the playground, Joseph Cox of Cunningham Associates, Inc. who not only supplied the playground equipment, but who also over the course of three years patiently and cheerfully shared his playground expertise, Rebecca Feldberg, Natural Resources Program Coordinator, for replacing all the dead Leyland Cypress' in the park along I-66, Erik Beach who managed BVSCA's request for a park name (hopefully we will get a sign installed with the park's name in the near future) and finally a big thank you to all the BVSCA residents, including the children, who participated in the design process, attended meetings, did historical research of the area and suggested names for the park. If you haven't already, come on by and see our neighborhood's newest jewel.
-- by Denise Parks
This spring, BVSCA led the way in persuading the County to fund a 25% increase in the size of the lap pool that was proposed by the School District. The additional monies are included in the capital improvement bond that voters will be asked to approve November 7. As part of this effort, BVSCA member DeAndra Beck requested that citizen representatives be permitted to join in the County and School District's discussions concerning the future of the W-L pool, but so far that hasn't happened.
To make matters worse, the School District recently has made decisions without notice to the public that severely limit the public's access to the County's indoor pools. At present, the public is permitted to swim at the three indoor pools during the early morning, 90 minutes starting at noon, during the evening, and after 8:30 p.m. for one hour one night each week at W-L and Yorktown. However, the School District recently decided, with no notice to the public or to the County's citizen committee on aquatics, to cancel the mid-day swim for months at each of the pools. This action follows dozens of citizen committee meetings with the School District at which county residents routinely plead for additional information concerning the administration of our pools. Many of us believe that with an $80+ million request for a new high school, the School District should show better consideration for the needs of the taxpayers and should expressly commit to allow the public consistent co-use of any new W-L pool.
The County's policy with respect to swim clubs also has been a sore spot. For example, in response to citizen requests the County agreed two years ago to allow the public at-large to swim at the W-L pool after 8:30 p.m. for one night a week. This project later was expanded to include the Yorktown pool. Due to the success of the late evening swim at W-L, requests have been made to allow the public at-large to have an additional late evening swim. This makes sense because, as any visit to the Ballston or Virginia Square metro stops will show, many people who live near the W-L pool don't get home from work until after 8:00. But these requests have been soundly rebuffed. The reason: a competitive swim club holds sway with County decision-makers with the result that this club has exclusive access to the W-L pool after 8:30 p.m. 4 out of 5 evenings between Sunday and Thursday. Although the County has acknowledged that the public's use of the Yorktown pool after 8:30 p.m. is significantly less than the W-L pool, the swim club apparently will not entertain swimming at Yorktown more than one night a week. A solution to this problem would be to require the competitive swim clubs to swim at the North-Tract pool once it is built, leaving our neighborhood pools available to neighborhood residents. In the meantime, allowing the public access to the W-L pool at least one more night a week after 8:30 p.m. seems fair.
These and other issues will be addressed at our September meeting. Specifically, members will be asked to endorse proposals calling on the County and School District to allow a BVSCA member to participate in meetings where the design of the new W-L pool and public access issues are discussed; requesting the County to allow the public to swim at W-L on Monday evenings from 8:30-9:30; and requesting the County to clarify that part of the deal with voter approval of the North-Tract will be that neighborhoods will have greater access to their neighborhood indoor pools.
-- by Randall Humm
At the September 28 meeting, BVSCA members will be asked to select a sign color based on samples provide by Cylex, approve the N. Kirkwood sign location (other three locations were approved in May), and select a font for the signs. Jill Yutan from the county's Neighborhood Conservation Program will attend the meeting.
-- by DeAndra Beck
Sponsored by Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), in conjunction with the Arlington County Recycling Office's Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Pedals for Progress (PfP). PfP is a 501c3 charity that collects repairable bicycles in the United States for donation to charities overseas, for productive use by those in need of affordable transport. Note: $10 per bike donation suggested to defray shipping to overseas charity partners. Receipt provided for all bike and cash donations. For further info or additional collections, visit www.p4p.org or call 703-525-0931. This event will take place rain or shine. For info, call ACE at 703-228-6427.
May 13, 2004. BVSCA leadership recommended that Dan Corts attend this meeting since our association had not been represented at NCAC meetings for the previous four months and was facing inactive status as an Arlington civic association. When called upon, Dan told a few of the things he knew regarding the Washington Lee High School plan and parking, the 13th Street project, the naming and improvements in Clarenford Station Park, our project to improve the 1200 block of N. Vernon St., etc. It turned out that Al Lewis, the official NCAC representative, did attend this meeting. When the roll was called, they both talked at once revealing that they didn't know that they were on the same team - good for a wee laugh by many, and a case for BVSCA armbands! The important thing was that BVSCA answered up and remained alive in the Arlington Neighborhood Conservation system.
A report was made by the points committee who set the standards for rating and assigns points to community projects based on their merit and worthiness for funding. The point-awarding process is complicated, with many judgments involved in the evaluation of community projects. The street, curb, sidewalk, gutter, streetlight, etc. improvement process was discussed. Committee reports were given: historic preservation, traffic, storm water, etc. Washington Lee High School project features were discussed. Yorktown High School reconstruction costs were pegged at approximately $62-63M dollars. The renovation of Thomas Jefferson Middle School and the future of Wakefield High School were additional discussion topics. Dominion Hills made an excellent presentation of their community association plan.
June 10, 2004. This meeting was Spring 2004 Funding Session covering proposed projects from the civic associations. Through our recent neighborhood initiative, and the endorsement of the BVSCA, the 1200 Block of North Vernon Street has a project on Arlington County's books to install curbs, gutters, grassy areas, and sidewalks on the east side of this street. We are BVSCA's Project 2004-01. As Block/Project Representative, Dan was asked to address some details of, and the need for, this project. The NCAC then chooses the neighborhood projects that they want to recommend for funding to the Arlington County Board. Twenty-four projects recommended by different neighborhood associations were considered at this meeting. Each "block captain" had three minutes to discuss their project while a photograph of the street and its condition was projected on a screen for everyone to see.
A detailed point-ranking process is used to place the projects to facilitate this choice by the NCAC. The projects chosen for funding depends on money currently available for improvements of this kind. During this session, all projects were street/median, beautification, lighting, traffic management, and park projects. Eleven factors are rated and numerical credits assigned to each that are totaled for a score for each proposed project. The total points assigned to the projects ranged from 55 to 20. BVSCA's project had been assigned 30 points by a point committee. Twenty of these points were credited because the project was BVSCA's "First Priority" project, thanks to the leaders and members of the neighborhood group. Ten more points were given because the project was $250-500K. As an aside, twenty-five to ten points more are available if the community association has a new or an updated plan. One could argue that, since this curb, gutter, sidewalk, etc. improvements were shown in the 1984 BVSCA plan for the 1200 block of N. Vernon St., but not accomplished by the county during the twenty year period, this should have been awarded those points because the plan actually is current in that sense!
Of the 24 projects discussed at this funding session, all seven projects with point values of 35 and higher were selected for funding recommendation. Two 30-point and one 25-point projects were selected to recommend because they will be inexpensive, 60, 23.1, and 40 thousand dollars respectively. The thirty-point 1200 Block of N. Vernon St. project is estimated at $129,900. The project has 92 percent approval of the neighborhood property owners for street improvement, and BVSCA was able to get the surveys and the meetings accomplished quickly between January and March 2004. Some of the projects on the list from neighborhood associations have been in process for a number of years. Jennifer Fioretti, NCAC planner, believes this BVSCA project's chances for approval are very good for the next funding session in December 2004. This has been reported in a letter to the property owners on the street.
July 08, 2004. The minutes of the May and June meetings were up for approval. Liaison and Committee reports were given, and most of the discussion centered on activities. These are urban forestry, site plans, storm water, historic preservation, traffic calming. etc. The main presentation was by Randy Bartlett, Head of the Department of Environmental Services, who discussed the new reorganization, and introduced the new division heads: General Services Division (Carl Newdy), Utility and Environmental Policy Division (John Mastrumente), Division of Transportation (chief has been picked), and Engineering and Capital Projects Division (Michelle Ferguson, Acting). New organizational terms have been chosen for subordinate units, and a study group has been formed relative to the functioning of this group. A major presentation covering parking was given by Sarah Stott, Parking Manager.
Volunteers are welcome to work the Arlington County Fair. There is a NC Bond for $10M, and another is being developed. Discussions centered on pedestrian lighting options and parking programs. The Points Committee wants volunteers presumably for awarding points to proposals, but maybe for tweaking the points process.
-- by Dan Corts
-- by Rich Layman
"...gather community input and investigate the options for providing adequate and cost-effective parking for the new Washington-Lee High School project. ...Recommend a parking plan to the Superintendent ... that provides the best long-term solution for the parking needs of the students and staff of Washington-Lee High School, the Education Center and the larger community."
The Washington-Lee Parking Study Committee met four times in July and August. Rich Layman and Dennis Burr, representing the BVSCA, along with W-L neighbors Linda Kyles and Jennifer Mulchandani, participated.
Working with a little bit of questionable data, and a very short time frame, the committee came up with a list of recommendations. The recommendations centered primarily on appropriating the existing parking structure over Route 66, and explicitly rejected the construction of any parking structure on school property. In contrast, the architects and the W-L Building Level Planning Committee had recommended adding a two to four storey-parking garage on the site. On street, school side parking along Quincy and Stafford also was part of the committee's recommendation.
Several weeks ago, school Superintendent Robert Smith endorsed the main thrust of the Committee report - using the 66 deck - while lowering yet again the estimate of required spaces needed on the site. His recommendation to the School Board is expected to be voted on by the Board at their next meeting.
-- by Rich Layman
The Committee will now begin developing a recommendation (or recommendations) to give to the Superintendent in December. As with our boundary process for south Arlington schools, the committee members are expected to act as liaisons to their respective civic associations. Also, co-chairs and the board staff will talk to interested civic associations and groups about the process and their work. The Superintendent will make his recommendation to the School Board at the December 16 meeting. The Board's role in deciding boundaries begins at this point. After time for review, public comment and a public hearing, the Board will act on his recommendation(s) in late winter or early spring. By law, the Board must make any boundary changes by the first meeting in April in order for them to take effect in the fall of 2005.
Some of our schools in north Arlington are experiencing crowding while others have excess capacity. The board adopted the process to address this issue of crowding at the July 1 meeting this summer. The preliminary phase of the process began this summer with two identical meetings, for last year's and this year's PTA presidents and the principals from the listed schools, to present the key issues and elicit questions, concerns, thoughts, and interests. Later in the summer, staff took those comments and developed four possible scenarios towards the goal of better matching building capacity to enrollment. These scenarios were then presented to the same PTA and principal group in two identical meetings in late August. These scenarios were not staff proposals or recommendations, they were simply illustrative examples towards a possible solution that will provide the committee with a beginning point for its discussions and deliberations.
Information on the web site, www.arlington.k12.va.us/facilities/northboundary.html, will be updated throughout the process. Mark Macekura, Special Projects Coordinator (Mmacekur@arlington.k12 .va.us 703-228-8633)is the committee's staff contact.
1. U-2064-76-2 USE PERMIT AMENDMENT for Sunoco., Inc. to amend
comprehensive sign plan located at 4601 Washington Blvd. (RPC
#14-012-001). The applicant is proposing to reface the canopy and
the building's banner and sign. The color will be yellow.
2. SP #108 SITE PLAN AMENDMENT for Martial arts training and comprehensive sign plan amendment located at 3801 Wilson Blvd. (RPC #14-041-007). This is a martial arts training facility for adults and children above the United Bank. They propose to have 2 signs on the building's east and south elevation.
In years past, The Arlington Fire Department has hosted an Open House selectively at only one of its ten Fire Stations, However this year they will be opening all of their stations to the public as part of Fire Prevention Week.
As part of the Open House we will be providing fire safety information, tours of the station, and will have their apparatus on display.
Please call one of the on-duty Station Captains at 228-0104, or Kara VanGraafeiland, ACFD Public Education Specialist, at 228-4659 for more information.
New Horizons Band, is starting this Fall at the Levine School of Music, located at the Westover Baptist Church, 1125 N. Patrick Henry Dr., in collaboration with the Office of Senior Adult Programs.
Seniors will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a luncheon and entertainment at Culpepper Garden Senior Center, 4435 N. Patrick Dr. (lower level), Fri., Oct. 15, 11:00 a.m. Cost is $5. Register by Oct. 8 by calling 703-228-4403.
Oktoberfest celebrations will be held at three senior centers: Fri., Oct. 15, noon, $5, Aurora Hills Senior Center, 735 S. 18th St., reservations required by calling 703-228-5722; Tues., Oct. 19, noon, $5, Culpepper Garden Senior Center, 4435 N. Pershing Dr., register by calling 703-228-4403; Tues., Oct. 26, 12:30 p.m., $4, Madison Senior Center, 3829 N. Stafford St., register by Oct. 22 by calling, 703-228-5285.
The Golden Age of Pirates and the truth about privateers, pirates, corsairs and buccaneers will be a program conducted by historian Les Albers at Aurora Hills Senior Center, 735 S. 18th St., Fri., Oct. 29 at noon. Fee is $5 which includes lunch. Call to register by Oct. 27, 703-228-5722.
Financial management workshop for seniors, Mon., Oct. 25, 10:15 a.m., Madison Senior Center, 3829 N. Stafford Street. Topics include interest rates, protecting retirement assets, generating reliable income and what to expect in 2005. No fee. Call to register, 703-228-5285.
Free line dancing classes for seniors at Carver Senior Center, 1415 S. Queen St., Wed., Oct. 6 and 20, 10:30 a.m. Partner not required. For details call 703-228-5700.
Senior strength training programs at Madison and Langston-Brown Senior Centers. Staffed by certified personal trainers. Fee is $45 for 15 session ticket. For days and times call 703-228-5285 (Madison) or 703-228-4839 (Langston). Five week low impact aerobic workout also at Langston-Brown beginning Mon., Sept. 27. Cost is $30 for 10 classes.
Genealogy group at Lee Senior Center, 5722 Lee Hwy., begins its 8th year anniversary. Senior group meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. No fee. Discussions on research strategies, websites, software and what to do when you "hit a brick wall." For details call 703-228-0555.
New sewing group for seniors on Thursdays, 10:00 a.m., Drew Community Center, 3500 S. 24th Street. No fee; machines provided. First project to make clothes for dolls and bears for charity. To sign up, call 703-228-5703.
Public Input: The public input sessions in Arlington and Falls Church will start in Oct (The sessions haven't been "named" yet). The "community involvement plan" is not finalized.
Web Site: There will be a web site by early Sept. This will be for providing info to the public and for allowing public input/questions. There will be a 1-800 phone no. for the public to call. Ms. Defore said public "interaction will be very open and inclusive". There is no foregone conclusion at all.
Study Co-Chairs: The up to $1 million study is co-chaired by Bill Cutler, VDOT and Vince Mammano, Federal Highway Division Administration. Of course this study doesn't include environmental impact--a lot more dollars needed for that.
Concept Alternatives: They will initially study 4 concept alternatives: No build, transit alternatives, HOV and High Occupancy Toll Lane (HOT) and widening I-66 west bound (in the existing footprint of the highway). Transit alternatives include bus rapid transit, add a rail line, etc. As to "no build" one of the alternatives for example is enhancing telecommuting.
Public Input on Concepts/Criteria: The initial 4 broad concepts will be presented along with criteria that can be measured--these concepts to be presented in the fall. The public will be able to suggest additional concepts and measurement criteria. The study should conclude in March.
Important: The study will not come out with recommendations. They will pass research results to the VA Commonwealth Transportation Board which may call for further studies such as in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).
All the stakeholders, not just politicians but communities, civic associations and businesses will make inputs. She emphasized the widening study is only westbound--not eastbound.
-- by Benjamin Bullock
Dry cleaners: Old Dominion Cleaners on Lee Highway
-- from Ballston-VA Square Partnership Buzz
The Fair brings together local agencies with expertise homeowners want and need. Between direct mail, the Internet, and television, there is an assortment of ways people can be misinformed. The Fair will give research-proven ways for people to handle the many issues or problems residents have to face.
The Fair is informal and will have table displays on a myriad of topics. The Fair is open to anyone who needs information about his or her home, yard, apartment or condo. Participating agencies include Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlington County Office of Support Services-Energy Program, Arlington Department of Human Services-Environmental Health Bureau, Arlington Department of Environmental Services, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, Master Gardeners and Tree Stewards, and R.i.P. (Remove Invasive Plants).Volunteers. Parking is available in the garage under the Library.
Gates 10 AM - 9 PM Daily
Midway Hours M-Th & Su 11 AM-11 PM, F/Sa 11 AM-Midnight
On Sept. 29, come to the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., at 7 p.m., and learn how to get involved. Representatives from local non-profits, service groups and youth-serving County programs will answer your questions and tell you more about their programs and services.
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 back 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!
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
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.
Ed Parks (email@example.com)
At Large Executive Committee
Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee
Representative Richard Layman
Alternate Dan Corts
Arlington County Civic Federation
Delegates Ben Axleroad, David Ryan, David Perlmutter,
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 of any changes or additions to this list.
Newsletter Editor Sujit Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cherrydale Relocation Task Force:
BVSCA Member Ed Parks
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)
BVSCA Representative Rich Layman
NCAC Sign Committee
YMCA Strategic Planning Committee