March 14, 2022 Meeting Minutes
Call to order. Cate Harrington, President called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM. There were attendees in person and on Zoom.
Announcements from the President
Next meeting May 17, 2022
Alfonso Lopez, our delegate in the VA House of Representatives
Ms. Harrington discussed:
a. The stormwater issue at Greenbrier and Columbia Pike and asked for volunteers for the committee that is writing a letter to Arlington.
b. Haven Apartments development project which would transfer 2x the 118 units development rights using TDR to the Ballston Macy’s project. Both are owned by Insight Properties. They would be designating the entire complex as Committed Affordable Housing for 30 years. Currently the complex is Market Rate Affordable Housing. They would also be designating the land containing Haven Apartments plus some additional land as a “Conservation Area.”
c. Undergrounding is mostly complete at the west end of the Pike and Arlington will be removing the telephone poles shortly. Still no word on what is being planned in May for the unveiling of the “Pike” sculpture.
Mr Lopez started the evening by introducing himself telling the audience he has over 30 years of legislative experience at the highest levels in Federal and State government and a record of achievement in our community. Mr. Lopez has dedicated his life to public service, and he is a passionate leader that has been advocating effectively for the 49th district in Richmond, VA.
Mr. Lopez has been working on bills addressing the following:
To replace the term “illegal alien” or “alien” it is no longer in the state code.
Strengthening tenant protections. The impetus for the bill resulted from issues with the Serrano apartment building in Arlington Mill. After residents exposed the poor living conditions at the Columbia Pike apartment Complex, Del. Lopez began drafting bills to strengthen rights and improve living conditions in affordable housing properties across the Commonwealth.
Affordable housing and rental / mortgage assistance for residents. This critical fund helped many residents during the pandemic.
The affordable housing trust fund has grown from $190 million to $260 million
Another important achievement was related to get the dreamers to qualify for financial aid as Virginia residents in the Virginia schools.
After his presentation he opened the floor for questions and comments:
A comment from a resident: There are too many vape stores surrounding Arlington Mill. There is one in Columbia Pike Plaza across from the community center. Worst still, there is one located across from Kenmore Middle School. The stores are positioned to target youth.
A comment from a resident: Affordable housing is concentrated in South Arlington. Why is not spread across the County? Why isn’t there affordable housing in North Arlington?
Affordable housing is not truly affordable, add-ons for key fobs, parking, pets, etc. make it expensive in Arlington Mill.
A comment from a resident: Revise the heating season start and end dates. Weather patterns have changed shortening the effective heating season.
Our next meeting will be May 17, 2021 at 7:00 pm. We hope to see you, this meeting was adjourned by Cate Harrington at 8:15 pm.