MINUTES OF MARCH 30, 2015 MEETING
Post date: Apr 29, 2015 6:12:17 PM
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS WEST CIVIC ASSOCIATION (CHWCA)
MINUTES OF MARCH 30, 2015 MEETING
1. Call to Order. Krysta Jones, CHWCA Vice President, called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. There were 13 attendees. See attached sign in sheet.
2. Arlington County Facilities Study. Sarah McKinley, a participant in the study (not a committee member – ** see membership list below), gave an overview of the study to date. Highlights of her presentation include: single family homes (which are 25% of Arlington’s housing stock), with an increasing number of multifamilies living in them, are contributing to projections for the need for a new school every decade; this has future budget implications; how to best use open space in the future given its finite availability; 8,000 jobs lost in Arlington, especially with military closures; currently is a 20% commercial vacancy rate which impacts tax revenues and requires citizens to pay more; and Arlington County is discussing changing zoning policy in order to create economic diversity throughout the county. Regarding the latter point, accessory dwellings is one possible means of increasing geographic distribution of affordable housing throughout Arlington county, particularly in north Arlington where single family homes dominate. Another possible means is by building Eastern style duplex/triplex housing which melds affordable units in mixed income housing. Sarah provided her notes of community facilities study meetings for 2/11, 2/25, 3/11 and 3/25 (copies attached). The next facility committee meeting is scheduled for April 8 at Wakefield High School, 7-10 pm. Futher meetings will be held on April 22 (Wakefield), May 13 (Washington Lee High School) and May 20 (place to be determined). Meeting details and additional information are available at - http://commissions.arlingtonva.us/events/community-facilities-study-committee-meeting
3. Third District Police Team. Captain Stuart Ellison reported that the crime rate in Arlington is down overall. He noted an increase in fraud (scams) at the west end of Columbia Pike targeting the elderly, non-English speaking population, and cautioned against responding to telephone or email requests without verifying information first. He reported graffiti problems at the Greenbrier Apartments and in one of the Popeye Restaurant bathrooms at Pike Plaza. Arrests related to loitering and inebriation have been made at Pike Plaza and the police continue to monitor the situation there. Four officers work on the Third District Police Team. He urged residents to telephone police of any suspicious activity. He introduced Sgt. Damon Washington who works closely with him. Sgt. Washington spoke about an upcoming event slated for July 8 at Kenmore Middle School which will provide an opportunity for residents to meet the police while enjoying fun activities. A flyer will be provided later. Attendees spoke to concerns related to Tyrol Hill Park loitering and need for constant monitoring; security concerns at the Pike Plaza; and the disconnect with the police and community regarding the need to open up Arlington Mill Drive behind the Arlington Mill Community Center (AMCC) in cases of emergencies. Sgt. Washington will follow up on the latter item.
Acting Police Chief Farr then addressed attendees. He noted that Arlington County’s new Economic Development Director, Victor Hoskins, will be working on bringing new business to Arlington to reduce the commercial vacancy rate. He also noted that the police are not just guardians of enforcing the law but also want to engage with the community. He noted that the police department will have no increases in staff.
4. Name Change of Columbia Heights West Civic Association. A survey was sent out to the CHW neighborhood listserves with proposed name changes. A change in name was suggested to distinguish our neighborhood from the Columbia Heights Civic Association at the east end of the Pike. Names included on the survey were: Arlington Crest; Arlington Mill; Arlington Mill Heights; Arlington Mill Woods; Carlcroft; Carlin Crest; Carlin Heights; Custis Mill Heights; and Custis Woods. Additional names suggested at the meeting were: Tyroll Hills; Greenbrier Heights; and Arlington Mill Crest. The latter were not included in the original survey so were not discussed further. There was a voting tie between Arlington Mill and Arlington Mill Heights. It was pointed out that there is already an Arlington Heights Civic Association. Stephen Finafrock made a motion to change the name of Columbia Heights West Civic Association to Arlington Mill Civic Association. Linda LeDuc seconded the motion. A majority voted affirmatively. (Note: further action is required before the civic association name can be officially changed. This includes going through the Civic Federation and then informing Arlington County Clerk Hope Halleck, in order that the county can make changes to its records.)
Note: The survey also addressed desired retail for CHW and preferred business building
appearance; capital bikeshare and AMCC farmers market. These results were not discussed.
5. Columbia Hills Affordable Housing Project in Columbia Forest. Columbia Forest is adjacent to Columbia Heights West. Ben Arthur, CHWCA’s point person on affordable housing, reviewed the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) requirements for non-profit affordable housing developers who apply for 5% and 9% tax credits. He noted that there will be a one week comment period beginning May 5, 2015 about the Columbia Hills project. APAH, the developer, will be given an opportunity to reply to any comments. VHDA will vote on submitted applications on May 29 and then review in June for final approval and award. Ben suggested that the form base code needs to be changed related to zoning. Also a comment was made about the disagreement with the county proposal to reduce the number of parking spaces in affordable housing projects because this exacerbates the lack of parking within neighborhoods.
6. Civic Engagement. There was not enough time to discuss this topic.
7. Other: Takis Karontonis, Executive Director, CPRO, on the agenda, was unable to attend due to illness. He will provide information about the opening of the AMCC farmers market, which will be distributed to the listserve.
8. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned about 9:10 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 7:00 PM, AMCC, Room 527.
1. CHWCA March 20, 2015 Meeting Sign In Sheet
2. Sarah McKinley Community Facilities Study Meeting Notes
** Community Facilities Study Committee Members
John Milliken, Chair
Ginger Brown, Vice Chair
Members. Christer Ahl; Tyra Baker; Hans Bauman; Andi Cullins; Sal D’Itri; Carolina Espinal; Moira Forbes; Greg Greeley’ Saundra Green; Alan Howze; Kelly King; Kathleen McSweeney; Bryant Monroe; Kirit Mookerjee; Lynn Pollock; Katharine Roche; Jason Rylander; Toby Smith; Jackie Snelling; Ann Steen; Tannia Talento; and Gabriela Uro