Primaries for Nov 2 Election

Primaries for Nov 2 Election
Democratic Primary: Apr 23 to June 5
The primary will select statewide candidates for attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor. The primary in Arlington will also select a candidate to fill an empty seat on the County Board. The County Board candidates are Chanda Choun website and Takis Karantonis website. Incumbent State delegates are running unopposed so will not be on the primary ballot. Sample Ballot
● Early in-person voting starts Friday, April 23 at 3 locations:
 • Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd.
 • Madison Community Center (3829 N Stafford St.
 • Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th St. S
More Information (VADEMS)
● Absentee ballots will be sent on April 23 to early applicants and then as applications are received. The deadline to request a vote by mail ballot is May 28. Deadline for returning ballots in person is 7PM on June 8 or postmarked by June 8 and received by 12PM on June 11.
● Deadline to register to vote in the Primary is May 17.
Request A Vote By Mail Ballot and Register to Vote
To apply for an Absentee ballot you will need to provide your Virginia Driver’s license or state ID number, date of birth, and Social Security number.

Democratic School Board Caucus May 17 – 23
School Board candidates run as independents in Virginia and cannot be nominated by a party in a primary. The Arlington Democrats is running an endorsement caucus. The caucus will be conducted using online. Voting will be open 24/7 during the week of May 17-23. For more information and to vote during the voting week go to the VaDems School Board Caucus Page
Candidates are Miranda Turner website and Mary Kadera website.

Republican Primary
The Republican Party will hold a state convention on May 8. Arlington GOP

General Election Nov 2
On Election Day, all Arlington polling places are open from 6AM to 7PM.

Arlington County Information
Arlington 2021 Voter Guide
Arlington 2021 Elections Webpage

Changing Arlington 2012-2018

Changing Arlington from 2012 to 2018
The County’s increasing number of older adults and high-income households may result in changing priorities for County government…
● Population: 225,200; up by 13,500 (6.4%)
● Households: 109,940; up by 14,571 (15.3%)
● Married couples without children up 31.2%
● Adults 65 and older up 25.1%
● Young adults (25-34) down 11.6%
● Children under 18 up 18.7%;
● Persons living alone up 8.1%
 ● Slow growth of single adults under 65 (3.1%)
 ● High growth of single adults 65 plus (34.9%)
● Hispanic residents up 9.2%
● Black or African American residents up 5.0%
● White and non-Hispanic residents up 2.0%
● Households earning more than $200,000 up 31.5%
 ● Share of households above $200,000 up from 21.5% to 24.5%
● Households earning under $120,000 up by 1.7%

Source: Board Report #22 (Posted 04-12-2021) Starting with page 14: Arlington County’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan for FY 2022-26 and FY 2022 Annual Action Plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Assault on Uhle St

Assault on Uhle St
A woman was attacked around 7:08PM on the 1800 block of N Uhle St, in the garden-style apartment and condo community on the eastern edge of LV. Officers will be conducting extra checks in the area and canvasing for evidence and witnesses. Please check your surveillance cameras for information that may assist in the investigation. Anyone with information should contact the Arlington Police Dept Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or by email. Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). News Release WUSA-TV video report

County Updating Stormwater Regs

County Updating Stormwater Regs
A common complaint in LV: after a neighbor’s home gets replaced by a spec developer surrounding yards get flooded when it rains.
  Responding to increasing flooding and rampant development, the County plans to change its stormwater management regulations for single-family home construction projects. Developers are, of course, unhappy. The proposed changes are to be published in July and take effect in Sept 2021.
  The county surveyed neighbors, home builders and engineers in 2019 and met with engineers early this year. The County found that soil under new homes is 10 times less permeable than the soil under existing homes.
County Land Disturbing Activity (LDA) webpage Announcement of LDA 2.0 Program Upgrade LDA Summary Slide Deck

May 22 E-CARE Recycling Event Resumes

E-CARE Recycling Event Resumes
When: Sat, May 22 at 8:30AM–3:00PM
Where: 1425 N Quincy (across from Washington-Liberty High School)
Note: List of accepted items has changed
Arlington residents can dispose of household hazardous materials. Business and commercial waste will not be accepted. Bring ID to verify residency. Current instructions have some contradictions, expect future clarifications. E-CARE Details
Residents should wear masks and stay in their vehicles. Make unloading simple by clearing trunks of items you do not want to recycle. Pack your vehicle in reverse order of E-CARE drop-off: electronics first, hazardous materials next, then last (closest to the outside) metals and non-repairable bicycles.
Items Not Accepted: Nonhazardous trash will not be accepted. Small metal items will not be accepted (see alternatives below). Bikes for the World will not be accepting bikes to be sent abroad.
Easy Disposal Alternatives: Small metal items:pots, pans, tools, pipes, venetian blinds, small appliances and metal items can be put out on residential trash day (Wed in LV). County now asks us to schedule such disposal, like tossing out a kitchen pot. Are they kidding?
  The County will pick up many bulky items like sofas, mattresses, box springs, futons or home construction debris curbside on residential trash day (Wed in LV) without a pickup request.
   Metal items (large and small) and appliances (TVs, air conditioners, cabinets, exercise equipment) need to be requested. Large items now have a $10 pickup fee. Old-style computer screens have $15 or $20 fees. Pickup Details
Request Pickups online or by calling 703-228-5000 M–F from 7AM–7PM.
  The county has a great online guide with detailed instructions for specific items (some recent changes seem questionable/contradictory): How to Dispose Your Item

Metro Phasing Out Older SmarTrip Cards

Metro Phasing Out Older SmarTrip Cards
Metro is installing new faregates starting in June that won’t be compatible with the oldest plastic SmarTrip cards. The best way to tell if you need to replace your card is to check the serial number on the back. All newer SmarTrip cards start with the serial number “0167,” others will need to be replaced.
Click to enlarge image Instructions for Card Replacement

March Meeting Recap: Police

March Meeting Recap: Police
Captain Scott Linder and the Arlington County Community Policing Team briefed us on police activity in and around Lyon Village and Clarendon over the past 2 months. Two cars were recently stolen in Lyon Village. In both cases spare keys had been left in the car. They stressed the importance of always locking your car and never leaving valuables (especially keys!!) in the car.

Apr 12: LVCA General Meeting: Water Mains & Zoning “Bonus” Heights

LVCA Meeting: Water Mains & Zoning “Bonus” Heights, Apr 12
When: Monday Apr 12, 8PM
Where: Virtual via Zoom

ONLINE ONLY: No meeting at the Community House
A link to the meeting will be emailed to LVCA broadcast email subscribers on the event day (Apr 12)

Key Boulevard Water Main Replacement
County staff will brief us on replacement of the water main along Key Blvd from Jackson to Danville and the block of Herndon north of Key. The existing, aging water main was built in 1927 and has had numerous breaks in the past few years. The new larger-diameter and more-durable watermain will improve fire flow capacity and better support demand in the neighborhood. Construction is expected begin in the Spring and is expected to take a year and a half. There will be detours, parking restrictions, and unavoidable noise (between 9AM & 4PM). Water service may be disrupted for up to two hours. when the new main is connected to the water system disruptions may last up to eight hours. Advance notice will be given to residents before any planned water shut-offs. County Board Agenda Item

Zoning “Bonus” Heights in LV
In the second part of the meeting county staff will provide an overview of a proposal to award 60 extra feet of height for new buildings that include affordable units. The proposal is ostensibly for projects that are 100% “affordable,” but gives the County Board leeway offer extra height even if a project isn’t completely affordable. The proposal applies to properties zoned RA14-26, RA8-18, and RA6-15. There are several RA8-18 districts in Lyon Village (shown on map in yellow). This could potentially allow 10 story buildings to be built next to single-family homes. The proposal is supported by County Staff, the County Manager, and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The county board has advertised a hearing on April 17 to approve this change.
Click map to enlarge
Sun Gazette Washington Business Journal County Staff Presentation County Board Agenda Item Zoning Map Zoning Ordinance 2020 Letter of Support (Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing)

April 24 Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (Contactless)

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (Contactless)
When: Sat, Apr 24 from 10AM to 2PM
● Arlington County Police Dept, 1425 N Courthouse Rd
● Fire Station #5, 1750 S Hayes St
Service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. All participants are expected to follow COVID-19 guidelines: physical distancing & face coverings.
Permanent Drug Take-Back Box Locations
Drop off available 24/7/365. Items accepted: prescriptions, vitamins, prescription ointments, pet medications, prescription patches and over-the-counter medications. Items not accepted are needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, lotions, liquids, & hydrogen peroxide.
● Fire Station #2, 4805 Wilson Blvd
● Fire Station #5, 1750 S Hayes St
● Fire Station #9, 1900 S Walter Reed Dr
● Arlington County Police Dept, 2000 block of N 14th St
News Release

March Meeting Recap: Clarendon Development Plans

March Meeting Recap: Clarendon Development Plans
County planner Brett Wallace, who is project manager for the Clarendon Sector Plan (CSP) Update, reviewed the current status of work on the update. The plan has shaped the physical development of Clarendon over the past 14 years, including private development projects and major public investments like the Clarendon Circle transportation improvements. Several large developments are currently proposed in Clarendon, including redevelopment of key sites south of Washington Boulevard, reconfiguration or relocation of Fire Station 4, several high-rise residential buildings, and a convention hotel. Changes to the plan may have a significant impact on traffic, parking, trash, and safety in LV.

CSP Presentation Slides

CSP Presentation Audio

How does the Sector Plan update relate to the County’s “Missing Middle” initiative and proposed changes to zoning?

Are you discussing moving Wilson Boulevard a few feet South into the Silver Diner block between Clarendon Circle and 10th Street N, so as to provide more sidewalk space on the North side of the street, where Northside Social is currently located?

It is widely acknowledged that there are limits to growth. Will you consider limits on Clarendon’s infrastructure? Streets and sidewalks in Clarendon are narrower than Rosslyn or Ballston. Is there a limit to what can be reasonably built in this area?

How will the proposed projects taper down to the residential neighborhoods — particularly on the 10th Street side where you are very close to Ashton Heights and Lyon Park?

Are any parcels north of Wilson and Washington Blvds. in play in your study? Parking in Clarendon is tight and spills over into Lyon Village. Are any thoughts be given to increasing the parking requirement — the County seems to be reducing it to about 0.46 spaces per unit in residential buildings.

How much more density has been added above the current density under the 2006 Sector Plan in the four private project proposals? Their presentations don’t seem to list the original density nor the additional square footage they have requested.

What is a modified step back?

On the St. Charles side of Washington Blvd. opposite the Bromptons, the proposal is to keep the edge of the site at 55 feet and then taper up more rapidly than currently planned. Yet this is the lowest part of the site, and elevations are typically measured based on the whole site. What would be the likely height at that point with an average site elevation of 70 feet or more?

Is there not enough parking in Clarendon, or is it just a matter of folks not wanting to use the public parking garages?

A convention hotel is proposed for the Silver Diner site. The transportation needs for a hotel are very different than those for a residential building or office building. How would you keep traffic from cars, shuttle vans, and tour buses from spilling out into the neighborhoods?

How many of these sites will include residential that will cater to families? where will those children go?

Dittmar is currently proposing to remove seventy-five homes from our housing supply by converting them to short/medium-term rentals across three of their buildings (not in the subject area, but nearby) in a “minor” site plan amendment. What is the County doing (through this sector plan amendment or anywhere else) to compensate the community for the removal of those 75 homes, especially in the context of our housing shortage?

Will the fire department station and office building remain? Will their current activities continue? Will any of it need to be moved?

When will the Joyce Motors site be bringing something to the Board?

Fast-Moving Developer Demolishes Historic House

Fast-Moving Developer Demolishes Historic House
Community associations once again prove to be no match for well-funded developers and a county government oriented toward development. The Dominion Hills Civic Association lost its long-running effort to preserve the Civil-War era Febrey-Lothrop House. The nine-acre property is now expected to be developed. While currently zoned for single-family homes, local residents are worried because affordable housing advocates are pushing for higher-density affordable housing, which residents call “inconsistent with our neighborhood.” Story at ARLnow

April 18 Vaccine Eligibility Expands to All VA Adults

Vaccine Eligibility Expands to All Adults April 18
Adults (persons aged 16 and older) who live or work in Virginia, will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Sunday, April 18. All eligible Virginians should pre-register or update their registration so they can be notified to schedule their vaccination. All who have pre-registered should periodically check spam/junk folders to assure they don’t miss their email notification to schedule their vaccination. Eligible persons can also use to find COVID-19 Vaccines at pharmacies, which takes more effort, but may lead to earlier appointments. News Release

FY22-24 Capital Improvement Plan Survey

FY22-24 Capital Improvement Plan Survey
The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is Arlington’s multi-year plan for building, upgrading, or replacing its infrastructure. Typically, the CIP is prepared every 2 years. Because of COVID-19, a 1-year CIP was adopted in FY2021. This year, a multi-year CIP will be presented to the County Board, with any adopted bond referenda presented to voters in Nov. The County will return to a full 10-year CIP in FY2023. Feedback Page
Unfortunately this feedback form is simplistic, offering limited opportunity for meaningful community input.

Major Affordable Housing Project in LV

Major Affordable Housing Project in LV
At at emergency County Board meeting held virtually in the early hours of Thu, Apr 1, the Board approved acquisition of the now-decommissioned Ever Given container ship for an undisclosed amount. The Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world and the subject of media attention as it blocked the Suez Canal for a week.
  Plans are to convert shipping containers aboard the ship into affordable housing units. Container homes can cost half as much per square foot as traditional construction. Organizations around the world have been embracing shipping containers to economically create housing for low-income populations.

  The Ever Given has a capacity of 20,000 containers. It is estimated this would comfortably accommodate at least 1,000 housing units with below-decks parking for 1,500 vehicles.
  Project location is the the south side of Lee Hwy stretching from Adams to Danville. The area is zoned RA8-18, a zoning designation the Board is expected to modify at its April 17 meeting to permit “bonus” height for affordable housing developments. The Ever Given would be the County’s first such project.

  The LVCA is expected to develop a stand on this matter. Based on recent interactions with the County, resistance is expected to be futile. Discover Containers website Ever Given Every Where

April 5 Smelly Water Season Starts

Smelly Water Season Starts, April 5
Arlington will begin its annual clean out of its tap water system starting Monday, Apr 5. During that time, drinking water will have a chlorine taste and odor. The County suggests using a water filter or allowing water to sit in a container in the refrigerator to decrease this taste and odor. Water service will continue uninterrupted. This process is repeated nearly every spring. News Release

Choun – Karantonis Rematch in County Board Primary

Choun – Karantonis Rematch in County Board Primary
County Board member Takis Karantonis, who is serving a partial term after being elected in a special election last year, will again face Chanda Choun in the Democratic primary. The two previously ran against each other in the the special election to fill the late Erik Gutshall’s seat. The Democratic primary is June 8 with early voting beginning April 23. ARLnow
2018 Candidate Essay: Chanda Choun
2020 Candidate Essay: Takis Karantonis

Apr 17 Hearing “Bonus” Building Heights in Your Backyard?

“Bonus” Building Heights in Your Backyard?
A County Board hearing is scheduled for Apr 17 on a proposal to offer developers 60 extra feet of height for new buildings that include affordable units. The proposal is ostensibly for projects that are 100% “affordable,” but gives the County Board leeway offer extra height even if a project isn’t completely affordable. This could potentially allow 10 story buildings to be built next to single-family homes. The proposal is supported by County Staff, the County Manager, and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.
  The proposal applies to properties zoned RA14-26, RA8-18, and RA6-15. There are several RA8-18 districts in Lyon Village (shown on map in yellow).
Click map to enlarge
Sun Gazette Washington Business Journal County Staff Presentation County Board Agenda Item Zoning Map Zoning Ordinance 2020 Letter of Support (Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing)

APS Considers Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning

APS Considers Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning
While some students have struggled during remote learning, APS has found that others are excelling. APS is therefore considering extending virtual and hybrid learning for secondary-level students beyond the pandemic.
  Virtual learning for some students could help relieve some school capacity pressures and leverage existing technology investments. Virtual learning would also let students to take additional classes and pursue other opportunities that accelerate their learning.
  A report will be presented to the School Board on Apr 8. If the School Board approves, virtual learning could be an option for middle- and high-school students as early as the 2022-23 school year. ARLnow

NoVa Children Got COVID at 2x Adult Rate

NoVa Children Got COVID at 2x Adult Rate
Children and adolescents were enrolled in a cross-sectional, observational study of SARS-CoV-2 prevalence from July-October 2020 in Northern Virginia. Contrary to prior reports, the study determined children shoulder a significant burden of COVID-19 infection. Their antibody positivity rate was 8.5%, double the adult rate in the same region at a similar time. 66% of COVID-19 positive children had no symptoms. Medrxiv Preprint Story at InsideNoVa

County Board Waffles on Tree Survey

County Board Waffles on Tree Survey
Arlington last conducted a tree inventory in 2016. The inventory became surprisingly controversial as it suggested significant declines in Arlington’s tree canopy as development projects turned Arlington from green to gray.
  The Civic Federation overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Mar 16 calling on the County to “immediately” update Arlington’s tree inventory as part of the ongoing Forestry and Natural Resources Plan update. The president of the Civic Federation raised the matter at the Mar 20 County Board meeting.
   County Board members seemed flummoxed by the request despite having received in advance a lengthy letter from the Civic Federation.
  The “Information Gathering” phase of the Forestry and Natural Resources Plan update is scheduled to end in Nov of this year leaving little time to complete and analyze the tree inventory. Hence time is of the essence.
Sun Gazette News Report
Civic Federation Website
County Forestry and Natural Resources Plan Overview Page
Click image to enlarge

Bar Fight in Clarendon

Bar Fight in Clarendon
On Tuesday night (Mar 23) police were called to the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd in Clarendon for a reported assault in progress. A man was threatening people with a knife and threw a beer bottle, which struck a bystander causing a laceration to the head. The bystander was transported to an area hospital. The suspect was taken into custody and is facing charges of Assault and Battery, Simple Assault, Drunk in Public, Identity Theft and Possession of Fictitious ID. Crime Report

APS Plans Summer School

APS Plans Summer School
Arlington Public Schools plans to offer in-person and distance learning summer school for students.
Elementary Summer School (PreK-Grade 5) July 6-30
Students who are pre-identified as eligible will receive notification from their current school on April 16. Eligible students will be automatically registered by their schools. If a parent/guardian wishes to opt out, they must contact an administrator at their school no later than Apr 30.
Secondary Summer School July 6-Aug 6
Eligible students will be randomly assigned to a cohort and must participate fully in both the in-person and virtual sessions. Eligible students are those who have earned Ds or Es, EL students who have not demonstrated language growth, and students with a disability. Details at APS Website

Lower Speed Limits Now Possible

Lower Speed Limits Now Possible
A bill passed by the Virginia General Assembly will permit local governments to lower posted speed limits as low as 15 mph in a business or residential district. The average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of 16 mph and increases to 25% at 23 mph. GGW Post AAA Report