This fall is ramping up to be very busy. From affordable housing to use of public land to transportation and area plans, the Board is seeking – through commissions, working groups and study groups – to understand better what matters to our residents and workers and how we can best work together to ensure Arlington continues to be a vibrant place for many years to come.
This edition marks the migration of the PLACE newsletter to a broader function as an on-going newsletter devoted to sharing civic engagement opportunities. Feel free to share it. Links in each item will take you to dedicated County webpages with additional information.
On behalf of the County Board, thank you for considering how YOU can help us in this important work.
- Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study (WRAPS) – the study area includes the Wilson School, Fire Station #10, a park, a convenience store, an office building and multi-family apartments. The Western Rosslyn Area Planning Study is an opportunity for Arlington County staff, Arlington Public Schools, property owners and community members to work together. The joint effort will balance considerations for this essential site and result in a thoughtful Area Plan to guide future development. WRAPS is about collaborating to create our vision. County Board consideration is expected in spring 2015.
- Courthouse Square – study focused on the large parking lot and surrounding buildings at Courthouse Metro stop. The Board’s charge calls for a state-of-the-art government center and signature public space as critical to the area’s development. Envision Courthouse Square will create a vision, strategies, standards, and implementation steps that will serve as a guide for the area’s future. The plan is expected to come before the County Board for consideration by the end of 2014.
Use of County-held Land
Public Land for Public Good (PL4PG) – The County is currently developing Public Land Site Evaluation Guidelines, which will set goals, evaluation criteria and a process for determining how to balance public priorities (schools, parks, open space, facilities and affordable housing) as the County considers proposed facility construction projects on County-held land. We are actively seeking comments on the Guidelines through September 30.
- Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Site Evaluation – a five-month study led collaboratively by the County’s Planning Division and a citizen working group, Thomas Jefferson Working Group (TJWG), to consider the feasibility of the School Board’s request to building a new elementary school at the TJ Site. An Interim update is scheduled for December 2, 2014, with a final report to the County Board by January 2015.
County Facility Replacements or Relocations
- Timelines, including a robust community process, for the replacement of Lubber Run Community Center and siting of a North Arlington fire station, will be developed in the next few months. Whatever steps are determined to be the part of the process, it is likely that none would begin before the first of the 2015 calendar year.
- · Affordable Housing Study – The County is midway through a three-year study to create a shared community vision for affordable housing that ensures Arlington remains a diverse, inclusive and sustainable community for people at all income levels and stages of life. The community is invited to a Forum to discuss findings and gather feedback on Monday, September 22, 6:30-9:00 pm, at W-L High School.
- Join fellow civic leaders as Arlington's Transportation Director Dennis Leach presents an overview of the County’s latest transportation projects and planned investments for the future. On the tour you will travel via bus to see transportation sites around the County, including the Rosslyn Metrorail Station second entrance and the Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Potomac Yard streetcar route. The next tour for community members will be held Wednesday, September 24, 2014, from 6-8 pm. This event is free, but registration is required and seating is limited. We will hold another tour in October – date to be announced soon
Streetcar on-line discussion - Learn more about the streetcar during a free online meeting.You’ll find out why Arlington is making this investment for the next generation, how streetcar moves more people, and details about the construction funding plan. County Board Chair Jay Fisette will share information and take questions. Thursday, September 18, 2014, 12-1 pm.
Advisory Commission Openings
- The County Board has established about 35 standing advisory groups to increase community input and focus on specific community needs and problems. It also creates ad hoc committees and task forces for limited terms to focus on projects of immediate concern. If you’re interested in participating, visit our commission webpage to fill out a simple on-line application. You can also access the Advisory Group Handbook finalized by the County Board in July 2014.
Open Door Monday
- Most Monday evenings from 7-9 pm one County Board member holds open office hours in the community at a library or recreation center. Feel free to stop by with questions, concerns or ideas!