Re-Name Lee Highway Poll
The Lee Highway Alliance formed a 25-person working group to rename a principal Arlington street currently named after a West Point graduate who took up arms against the United States of America.
A list of 186 names suggested by the community was narrowed to 20 by the working group. Those 20 names are to be further narrowed down by polling the community to produce a list of 3 to 5 finalists to be submitted to the County Board. The names range from bland to weird with many highly political.
A web page with the 20 potential names, a brief explanation of each name, and an online poll is now online through Nov 30. The poll permits voting for up to 3 names, but is not offered as a ranked-choice so a relatively small number of votes could determine the final list of names. “None of the above” is not offered as a choice. The poll requires each voter to provide their name, address, and email address prior to voting. The Poll
County Board Kills Anti-COVID Ordinance
At the County Board’s Sept 15 Recessed Meeting, the Board voted 4 to 1 to let the Emergency Ordinance expire at the end of Sept. Voting to kill the ordinance were Christian Dorsey, Katie Cristol, Matt de Ferranti & Takis Karantonis. Only Board Chair Libby Garvey (up for re-election this Nov) voted in favor of the ordinance.
The ordinance sought to to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by keeping large groups of people from gathering without appropriate distancing on public sidewalks and streets in front of bars and nightclubs where this has been a problem. Violators could face a fine of up to $100.
Christian Dorsey said that Arlington police determined that it was impractical to cite hundreds of violators a night and have not issued a single citation. The County Staff presentation reported that “Groups of people congregating increases risk of COVID-19 virus spread” and “Efforts to spread out long lines of patrons by officers and restaurant security have been met with defiance, confrontation, and hostility.” Most of the area where the ordinance applied was within Lyon Village. The LVCA was not consulted or given prior notice of this turnabout. News Release County Staff Presentation Letters Opposing the Ordinance
Arlington Bans Firearms in County Buildings, Parks & Special Events
The restrictions will apply where the County has posted notice at entrances to buildings, parks, recreation and community centers, and at entrances to events. News Release
County Board Abruptly Cancels Meeting on COVID & Public Health
This morning the County Board announced a virtual public meeting on Thu, Aug 27, to consider adoption, on an emergency basis, of an ordinance concerning the closing hours of operation for bars and restaurants. Before the sun went down the meeting was cancelled. News Release
County Not Enforcing COVID Restrictions
Virginia’s Phase 3 Executive Order restricts mass gatherings to 50% of event space capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller and requires face coverings in public settings. Further, the Arlington County Board adopted an emergency ordinance on July 31 prohibiting congregation of more than 3 people in posted areas (primarily in Clarendon and Rosslyn).
A spokesperson for the County told DCist that ACPD has not issued any citations for mass gatherings, congregating, or people flouting rules regarding mask-wearing. DCist County officials seem wracked by self doubt whether anything they do will be effective: choosing to give lip service to protecting public health, but choosing not to act.
County Board Member Garvey told the Washington Post “I don’t know that we should keep our schools closed in order to keep our bars and restaurants opened.”
Meanwhile, the County has permitted a large street fair in Clarendon for Sept 5-6 (Labor Day weekend), which will likely spill over into Lyon Village. ARLnow
Takis Karantonis Wins County Board Special Election
Karantonis’ term will run through Dec 31, 2021. The 19,866 votes cast were less than the 22,264 votes cast in the 2014 special election. News Release
Cristol Apologizes for Criticism of Beer Garden
On Saturday, Katie Cristol retweeted a photo which showed a large crowd, none wearing masks, outdoors at The Lot beer garden near LV. On Monday, Cristol tweeted that she was wrong after The Lot insisted that it followed “all CDC, state, and local guidelines.”
Cristol also stated in her tweet that “too many ppl = an administrative problem the County needs to fix.”
The issue stems from the Governor’s order using Certificates of Occupancy to set limits on bars and restaurants. This was an easy way to set a limit using existing data. Unfortunately, Certificates of Occupancy are intended for fire safety, not epidemic safety. The Lot is an outdoors beer garden, with an easy exit available in virtually every direction and therefore has a high occupancy limit of 750 people.
The crowded Lot demonstrates need for better way to set limits with epidemic safety in mind. Hopefully, the County will review Certificates of Occupancy in light of their new significance.
“Every community is one wild weekend away from falling off a cliff.” — Dr Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi Chief State Health Officer
County Board Member Erik Gutshall Resigns Due to Illness
Arlington County Board Vice-Chair Erik Gutshall today announced that he is resigning from the Board, after undergoing treatment for brain cancer for the past month. Gutshall said he will be quarantining with his family at their home. News Release
The south edge of Lyon Village is in the Clarendon Revitalization District…
THE FOLLOWING CASE TO BE HEARD BY PLANNING COMMISSION AND COUNTY BOARD on January 25, 2020:
ZOA-2020-01: An ordinance to amend, reenact, and recodify ACZO Articles 7 & 12 to permit the establishment of assisted living facilities, independent care living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities in the C-3 zoning district to enable their establishment within the Clarendon Revitalization District as shown on the General Land Use Plan, and for other reasons required by public necessity, convenience, general welfare, and good zoning practice.
County Board Writes FAA to Oppose Flight Path Changes
On Nov. 4, 2019, the Arlington County Board sent a letter of opposition to the FAA regarding proposed changes to flight procedures at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
The FAA and the United States Secret Service (USSS) presented the proposed changes to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) DCA Community Working Group on May 23, 2019.
Metro board weighs penalizing Dorsey for $10K ATU donation Story at WaPo
Dorsey to return $10,000 donation from ATU Local 689. He will be reprimanded by the Metro Board and removed as chairman of Metro finance committee.
Arlington’s Updated Energy Plan
The Arlington County Board adopted a sweeping update to the Community Energy Plan that sets ambitious targets for transforming the County’s energy sector.
The plan incorporates goals for buildings; resilience; renewable energy; transportation, County government actions, and education and human behavior. It envisions a carbon neutral Arlington by 2050 that will be more resilient, where all electricity will come from renewable sources, where more residents will drive electric vehicles and more will use transit, and where homes and buildings will be more energy-efficient.