Resolution of the Arlington County Civic Federation:
Adopted on December 5, 2006.
on Rosslyn Building Heights and FAA Safety
Letter of Transmittal
December 7, 2006
Arlington County Board
Arlington County, Virginia
#1 Courthouse Plaza, Suite 300
2100 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
Honorable Chris Zimmerman, Chairman
Subject: Resolution: Rosslyn Building Heights and FAA Safety
(Relates to December 9, 2006 County Board Meeting Agenda Item 45B)
At its meeting on December 5, 2006, the Arlington County Civic Federation (ACCF), in a rare occurrence waived rules and, passed the enclosed resolution with respect to Rosslyn Building Heights adhering to FAA Safety requirements.
On your December 9, 2006 County Board meeting agenda, item 45B is listed and described as �Adoption of an ordinance to amend, reenact, and recodify Section 25B. �C-O Rosslyn� Commercial Office Building, Retail, Hotel and Multiple-Family Dwelling Districts of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance to allow additional height (up to maximum of five hundred (500) feet above sea level) for properties within the boundaries of the Central Place block, which is defined as blocks bounded by 19th Street North, North Lynn Street., Wilson Boulevard., and Fort Myer Drive� As of this date, no County Manager recommendation is available attached to this agenda item on the County Web pages. We believe at its November 29th meeting, the Planning Commission recommended deferral of this item.
Pursuant to a published FAA initial report issued on November 24, 2006, Aeronautical Study Number 2006-AEA-4639-OE (attached as an Adobe PDF File), the Central Place LLC building is categorized as �presumed hazard�. This is an initial finding and, the applicant (JBG Companies) has sixty (60) days from the date of the letter to attempt resolution for a more favorable ruling. That information was not provided to the Planning Commissioners at their meeting.
Given the above information and urgent need for action, the ACCF members decided to suspend our normal resolution rules and, passed the resolution which calls for �very public discussion of the issues raised by the FAA report, and urges the County Board not to approve any buildings that exceed those considered safe by the FAA, Arlington County and/or, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.�
Accordingly, given our attached resolution and the current facts, the ACCF recommends a deferral of this agenda item at a minimum. Furthermore, we look forward to resolution and actions to alleviate any �presumed hazards� indicated in this particular FAA finding or, any other filings related to other buildings undergoing the site plan process in the Rosslyn area. If desired the ACCF volunteers to actively participate in any actions or consultations related to this and other proposed projects that would require FAA or MWAA findings to ensure the safety of such projects.
As always, we appreciate your consideration. Please feel free to contact me via telephone at: 703-525-8921, or via email at; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawrence R. Mayer
President, Arlington County Civic Federation
Attachments: ACCF Resolution below and PDF file of FAA Study Results
Separate letter to MWAA
Separate Letter to FAA
Resolution - Rosslyn Building Heights and FAA Safety
Adopted by the Arlington County Civic Federation
on December 5, 2006
Whereas the Arlington County Board is considering raising the building height limit in the C-O Rosslyn planning area to heights that exceed 300 feet in exchange for community benefits;
Whereas two site plan applications are pending that are requesting approval for three buildings that would exceed 300 feet [two in Central Place, LLC (Wilson, Lynn, Moore and 19th Street block) and the third at 1812 N. Moore St. (next to the Metro entrance)], with one in the Central Place, LLC requesting a building height of up to 390 feet, or 473 feet above sea level;
Whereas Rosslyn lies within the flight path for Reagan National Airport, and the FAA on November 24, 2006, notified the developer that the proposed building "exceeds obstruction standards and/or would have an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect on navigable airspace or air navigation facilities";
Whereas the FAA report has not been shared with the public by the developer or the County and has not been discussed in any public forum, including the Site Plan Review Committee, the Planning Commission, or the Transportation Commission;
Whereas the Arlington County Civic Federation believes that air travel safety for both travelers and the public in the flight path must be the paramount consideration in reviewing any requests for taller buildings in Rosslyn;
Whereas National Airport is an important resource for Arlington County, as a provider of jobs, as a stimulus for economic development, and as a contributor directly and indirectly to the tax base;
Whereas the construction of buildings in Rosslyn that exceed heights considered safe by the FAA might require the Airports Authority either to restrict the use of National Airport, with significant economic consequences for Arlington County, or to redirect flights to portions of the County outside the current flight path, with significant noise impact on tens of thousands of Arlington residents:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The Arlington County Civic Federation urges the County Board to ensure that there will be a very public discussion of the issues raised by the FAA report, and urges the County Board not to approve any buildings that exceed those considered safe by the FAA, Arlington County and/or, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
This page was last revised on: December 5, 2006.