February, 2004 - Volume 88, No. 6
Transportation Issues; Site Plan Review Committee Changes; Civic Engagement Study; Fire station Siting Process and Public Defender Resolutions on Busy Agenda in February
February General Meeting, Tuesday, February 3, 2004. 7 PM
Hazel Auditorium, Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington
Main Program to Focus on Transportation
The Federation Transportation Committee has put together a program on current issues in the County. The panel discussion at the meeting will include presentations on the Arterials Study (presenter Ed Fendley, Chair of the Task Force); Parking: (presenter Peter Owen, member of Transportation Commission); Columbia Pike Corridor Transportation Issues (presenter Inta Malis, Columbia Pike Study); I-66 Study: (presenter representative of ACST); and other issues (Metro capacity, Master Transportation Plan) (presenter, Dennis Leach (invited)). Following the presentation, there will be a period of time for questions of the panelists.
Report from Planning Commission on
An issue of concern to many in the community involves the new Operating Guide being compiled by the Planning Commission's Site Plan Review Committee ("SPRC"). Pamela Gillen, Chair of the SPRC will make a short presentation on the site plan process and SPRC during the Federation's community forum (beginning at 7 pm sharp!) This is your chance to learn what's going on, and to ask any questions you may have.
Site Plan Review Committee Changes
The SPRC provides a forum in which the site plan applicant, County staff, the Planning Commission, citizens' community groups, advisory commissions and committees can review, discuss, and comment on a site plan and most major site plan amendment requests filed under Arlington County's Administrative Regulation 4.1.
The Community Forum is provided as a service to the community by the Civic Federation. It allows for private and government-based groups and organizations to speak to community leaders about what they do in Arlington. Any group wishing to participate should contact dan+.
Civic Engagement Study
As many know, the County commissioned a study regarding civic engagement in the County. Barbara Favola, Chair of the County Board, has made the findings of this study a priority in the upcoming year. Now that the study is out, it's authors want to speak to the Federation membership about what it means for us, and what we as an organization can do. We are planning to have the authors of the study at the February meeting. Following a presentation by the authors, there will be a period of time for discussion and exchanging of ideas.
Resolutions from Public Services Committee
The Public Affairs Committee will bring forth resolutions on two hot topics-how to decide where to locate fire stations, and whether the County should pursue establishment of a Public Defender's office. We'll allocate plenty of time for discussion and voting! Copies of the proposed resolutions are available at http://www.civfed.org/respubdef.htm and http://www.civfed.org/resfirehouse.htm.
Meeting with County Board Chair
In January, the Federation President and Vice President met with County Board Chair Barbara Favola to discuss the Federation's agenda for the upcoming year. Chairman Favola was full of ideas and interested in ensuring that the County would help in any way it could.
Vacancy on the Executive Committee
We're sorry to report that Bobi Wallace has submitted her resignation from the Civic Federation Executive Committee. Pursuant to our bylaws, the Executive Committee must fill the position with approval of the Federation body at the next meeting after the announcement is made. If you are interested in serving in this position (for a term to expire in June), please contact Executive Committee chair Kim Smith at kim+. We will vote to confirm the recommendation at our March 2004 meeting. Bobi, you'll be missed and we hope that you'll stay involved in the Federation.
January Meeting Recap
In January, all five County Board members came to the Federation to speak about their priorities for the upcoming year. Following the presentation, questions were accepted from the audience.
Also at the January meeting, the Federation passed a resolution regarding the Madison Dog Exercise area. The resolution states as follows:
Whereas, the County Board has recently created a task force that is responsible for making a recommendation on the new site for the Madison dog park by June 2004; and
Whereas, it is not the practice of the Civic Federation to intercede in specific site controversies as long as the site selection procedures are inclusive, fair, and defined before hand; and
Whereas,the Civic Federation has no reason to believe that the process that is being instituted by the County Board will not be inclusive, fair, and defined before hand; and Whereas, the fairest approach to this controversy is to allow all parties to be heard and the decision be based on a consensus.
Be it resolved that the Civic Federation supports the County Board's task force for the relocation of the Madison Dog Park at this time
The annual Federation Awards Banquet will take place on the evening of Friday, March 26, 2003, at the Army-Navy Country Club. Be on the look out for more information, including an announcement regarding the name of our key note speaker.
At our March meeting, we will have a program focusing on housing issues in the County along with an update on development issues from the Planning and Zoning Committee. In April, the Federation will have a presentation from the Revenues and Expenditures Committee regarding the 2004-2005 County Budget. Following the presentation, the Federation will approve its recommendations. In May, our delegation from Richmond will be our guests, and in June we hope to invite the County Manager to speak on the state of County Government.
The Airport Issues Committee remains active in the on-going Part 150 Noise study underway at Reagan National Airport. For more information, please contact either Steve Geiger (steveg+ 703-522-0026) or Steve Baur (steveb+; 703-525-5580).
The Environmental Affairs Committee is off to a good start in 2004. The committee had six in attendance at its first meeting in January.
Among the issues which drew much attention and desired followup were storm water disposal, protection of tree cover, and educational programs, especially in middle schools. We also discussed rain gardens, water quality, recycling and dog parks.
The committee is planning its next meeting for Thursday, February 19th at 7:30 pm in the party room of Tower Villas Condo, 3800 Fairfax Drive. All interested are welcome, and those needing parking should let me know a couple of days in advance so that it can be arranged, and it's free. There may also be onstreet parking, but it cannot be guaranteed. We are just two blocks from Virginia Square Metro station. For more information, contact Ben Axelroad.
The Executive Committee through its chairman's forgetfulness, will NOT be meeting at the Hospice until April. The meetings will remain the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m., but the sites for the February and March meetings have not yet been determined. Check the Web Site or e-mail Kim Smith at kim for the mos+t up-to-date information.
Among the issues considered at the last meeting were our President and Vice Presidents' meeting with Chairman Favola (very beneficial); our Bylaws and Standing Rules (including areas where clarification might be necessary); procedures for handling letters from committees to officials; the Budget Seminar (January 24); the presentation on Transportation (arterials, parking, Columbia Pike, I-66, Master Plan); the status of the Site Plan Review Committee and its implications for civic association and neighborhood participation; the report on Civic Engagement (Strand/Patrician); the need for action on the Tree Canopy in and of itself and in the context of electrical service; future presentations on Housing and Development; the County Budget; the State Delegation; Airport Issues; Roberts Rules and parliamentary procedure review; the May 2nd marathon; and the Scholarship Committee.
Anyone with an issue of interest is welcome to attend the Executive Committee meetings, and chairmen are strongly encouraged to attend if they have an issue coming before the general membership at the subsequent meeting.
At our January 13 Housing Committee meeting, the committee set the following priorities: pending items referred to the Committee by the Federation including two proposed resolutions offered by Kathryn Scruggs and by Jim Hurysz; affordable housing broadly defined including home ownership and rental housing for low, moderate, and middle-income households, college student housing, affordable housing guidelines for site plan projects, and County budget issues related to affordable housing; and affordable housing for public employees. The Committee agreed to develop newsletter communications with Civic Federation delegates and with officers of member organizations, and began planning a housing program for the March 2 Federation meeting. For more information, please contact joe+.
The Parks and Recreation Committee
did not meet in January. In the next few months, the committee will be looking at the North Tract and synthetic fields.
We were grateful to all CivFed delegates and alternates for their consideration of the Madison Park canine community area (dog park) issue at our last meeting. For more information, please contact jay+.
The Public Services Committee met January 19, 2004 to discuss the four issues on its immediate agenda: Fire Station Siting (based on Cherrydale's issues); Public Defender Office; Library Drop-Boxes; and Police Department's Civilian Complaint Procedures.
After extensive review of the Routley and Tri-Data reports, the Task Force findings, and review of prior literature, the Public Services Committee is recommending that a portion of the Nichols/Brompton's site be devoted to the new Fire Station #3; that a formal community process be developed for future fire station sitings and design; that thought begin now on a possible 11th fire station. [See the Civic Federation web site for the full language of the resolution.]
Since Arlington is one of only two Northern Virginia jurisdictions without a Public Defender Office, and since the court-appointed counsel system in Virginia does not provide assurances of legal counsel commensurate with a particular crime, and since the entire indigent defense system is currently under a State commission review, the Committee is recommending that Arlington, subject to financing, implement a Public Defender Office with additional attributes to provide the highest possible indigent defense. [See Civic Federation web site for full resolution.]
The other two issues - library drop-boxes or drive-through depositories to provide greater ease of return of library materials for the handicapped, elderly, and those with small children - and a more definitive system for citizen complaints to the Police Department - are being handled through recommendations to the County Manager and the Chief of Police, respectively.
The Committee will be focusing on three other issues in the near future:
The underground infrastructure in Arlington (including, but not limited to, our aging sewer and storm water pipes);
Heightened awareness of the role of the Public Health Department in contagious disease, natural or man-induced (including, but not limited to, an additional environmental health inspector for our food supplies];
The implications of approval of the Cafritz site vis a vis the Urgent Care Facility in South Arlington. One important problem with the Caffritz development (across from CostCo at 15th and Fern St. South) is the potential demise of the neighborhood's urgent care facility. According to the Caffritz plan, the urgent care facility will probably lose its space within a year or two. This facility was established several years ago in response to the neighborhood's concerns about the loss of the Hospital's emergency room on Army-Navy Drive and the concern about a lack of healthcare in South Arlington. While this facility doesn't address all the health problems that an emergency room does, it has offered a reasonable way for the neighborhood to see a doctor sooner than their own doctor might be able to see them. Since it is within walking distance to much of the Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge, Pentagon City, and Crystal City neighborhoods, it has been a boon to the elderly and people without ready access to cars. The Caffritz people are aware of our concerns and they have, in fact, worked with the facility's staff to keep the facility open until the building it's in is slated for destruction. The neighborhood wants to be sure that Arlington Hospital, Caffritz, and the County find a solution to this important problem and provide a continuity of service to the many under-served people in our neighborhood.
Please check the Civic Federation Web Site for information on the next meeting.
The Revenues and Expenditures Committee held a workshop on the 24th of January on how to analyze the County's budget, and will begin its Sunday afternoon meetings on February 8th at Randy Swart's house, 4611 7th St South between Wakefield and Buchanan. For more information or to participate on the committee, contact bob or ran+dy+
The Transportation Committee
has been monitoring a number of Arlington transportation issues and organized an overview of these issues for the February Civic Federation meeting. The Arterials Task Force met and reviewed draft reports from a consultant, including a draft list of "tools" to be applied to arterials and a report on the current state of practice. Comments are being accepted from the Task Force and revised versions are to be prepared for the February 19 Task Force meeting. An initial report from the consultant for the Parking study is expected by early February. An opportunity for public comment is anticipated. Other transportation issues in the County this year include Metro capacity, the plan for Columbia Pike, ART, and revision of the Master Transportation Plan. For more information, contact jerry+ or ed+.
While the Federation's committees provide opportunities to stay involved and make a difference, it won't help you, unless you and your organizations participate. You say that you don't have time? You can't stand meetings? Well, thanks to the hard work of Jay Wind over the last few months, there is a new, easy way to stay in the loop. Internet discussion groups have been established for all Civic Federation Committees. The new discussion groups make it easy to join committees, participate in discussion, and to keep up-to-date on the latest news without taking up all your time. Anyone who belongs to a Civic Federation member organization is eligible to join up. To sign up, all you have to do is go to www.civfed.org/egroups.htm and follow the instructions on the page.
The Arlington County Civic Federation
President Daniel Krasnegor (dan+)
Vice President Patrick Smaldore (pat+)
Treasurer Tim Wise (tim+)
Secretary Frances Finta (703-528-2882)
Chairman Kimberly Johnson-Smith (kim+)
Vice Chairman Nancy Graham (nancy+)
Member Randy Swart (randy+)
Member Bobi Wallace (resigning)
Member Ken Marcus (ken+)
Ad Hoc Airport Issues Committee (Co-chairs) Steve Baur
(steveb+) Steve Geiger (steveg+)
Bylaws Scott McGeary (scott+)
Community Relations - Vacant
Cultural Affairs Herschel Kanter (herschel+)
Environmental Affairs (Co-chairs) Ben Axleroad (other co-chair vacant)
Governance - vacant
Housing Joe Wholey (co-chair) (other co-chair vacant)
Legislation Nancy Graham (nancy+)
Membership Frances Finta 703-528-2882
Parks & Recreation (Co-chairs) Jay Jacob Wind (jay+) (other co-chair vacant)
Planning & Zoning (Co-chairs) William Gearhart
(bill+) Martha Moore (martha+)
Public Services (Co-chairs) Anne Fisher (anne+) Kim Smith (kim)
Public Preparedness Initiative Jackie Snelling (prepared)
Revenues and Expenditures (Co-chairs) Robert Atkins (bob+) Randy Swart (Randy+)
Scholarship (co-chairs) Tim Reese, Jim Pebley jim+
Schools (Co-chairs) Roger Meyer (roger+) Terri Prell (terri)
Special Events (Co-chairs) Ann Rudd annrudd+; Adam Parkhomenko (adam+)
Transportation (Co-Chairs) Jerry Auten (jerry+) Ed Parks (ed)
Arlington County Civic Federation
c/o Dan Krasnegor
1305 N. Longfellow St.
Arlington, VA 22205
This page was last revised on: January 2, 2004.