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Arlington County Civic Federation

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November, 2004 - Volume 89, No. 3 ------

ACCF General Meeting Notice

Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 7:30pm

Hazel Conference Center
Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington
1701 North George Mason Drive

Message from the President

The Legislation Committee has been hard at work over the last few months putting together the proposed Civic Federation Legislative Package for 2005. At the November meeting, delegates and alternates will have an opportunity to review and discuss the proposed package.

The proposed package was published at the October meeting, and is available on the Federation website: www@civfed.org. As in past years, a Special Rule will be offered for the debate. The proposed rule is as follows:

    The Main Package -- The main part of the Legislation package consists of those measures that the Federation's Legislation Committee has voted unanimously to include (or retained from adopted past years) in the package. Once the special rule is adopted for the meeting, we will take a single vote to accept or reject this package as a whole. If the "vote to accept" fails, we will consider each section separately. Addenda Items -- During their deliberations, there were items that the Legislation Committee failed to achieve unanimous agreement on. Those measures that were supported by a majority of the committee members will be presented as topics to be voted on separately by the whole membership. If approved, they will be incorporated into the overall package.

    Items Proposed by Delegates -- While we have encouraged everyone to attend the Legislation Committee's meetings, it's only fair to let issues proposed by delegates be considered by the whole membership. The Executive Committee has agreed to require submission of issues by individual members not later than 3 days before the meeting. Proponents of items must forward such proposals in writing to the Civic Federation President. Items may be delivered to Patrick Smaldore's house at 3859 North Second Street, Arlington VA 22203, or sent by e-mail to pat+ or to Legislation Committee Chair Nancy Graham at nancy+. In order for the item to be considered 100 copies of the proposal must be on the table in the lobby of the Hospital's Hazel Conference Center by 6:45 p.m. on November 9th.

Patrick Smaldore

Report from the Planning and Zoning Committee

By Bill Gearhart, 703-522-2276

Proposed Lot Coverage Restrictions Are Back Again

Three years ago, the Civic Federation Planning Commission's Zoning Ordinance Review Committee (ZORC) developed three proposed options for reducing lot coverage, with the goal of preventing McMansions and excessive infill. At the request of County Staff, the Civic Federation held a forum at which proponents and opponents presented the pros and cons of each option. The Civic Federation's Planning & Zoning Committee prepared a survey to capture audience support and found no consensus. In September 2004 ZORC issued a new set of recommendations, which are on the County Web site www.arlingtonva.us. (Search for "ZORC Coverage Report 9-9-04" and click to download.) The new ZORC recommendations would reduce the current lot coverage of 56% for each of five zoning categories, as shown below along with ZORC's estimates of the percent of homes that will be non conforming if the new standards are adopted.

  • 45% for R-5 zoned properties (minimum lot size 5,000 square feet; 10% will be non conforming)
  • 40% for R-6 zoned properties (6,000 square feet; 5% will be non conforming)
  • 35% for R-8 zoned properties (minimum lot size 8,000 square feet; 8% will be non conforming)
  • 32% for R-10 zoned properties (minimum lot size 10,000 square feet; 10% will be non conforming)
  • 20% for R-20 zoned properties (minimum lot size 20,000 square feet; 22% will be non conforming)

What the Planning & Zoning Committee of the Civic Federation Is Doing

Our committee is preparing to do extensive work on the proposed lot coverage changes.

  • We are already researching possible unintended consequences on insurance and refinancing for properties that will be non-conforming if the restrictions are enacted.
  • If the County Manager advertises the ZORC recommendations, we will hold a Public Forum on the issue to gather input and reaction.
  • County staff is developing a process to answer questions about individual properties.

All of this will take time; therefore we have also recommended that the County Board vote be scheduled to give property owners several months to understand the impact of the advertised proposals.

We invite all Civic Federation delegates to join the Planning & Zoning Committee to consider the proposed lot coverage ordinance changes. Delegates may participate on this topic without expectation that they must stay on the committee for other issues. If you or a delegate would like to join the committee, please email us at bill+ or martha.+

AGENDA - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

7:30pm, Call to Order

    1. Pledge of Allegiance (formal start of meeting)
    2. Approval of Agenda and Minutes (Oct 5, 2004)
    3. Treasurer's Report
    4. Committee Reports
    6. ACCF Legislative Package
    7. New Business/Announcements
    8. Adjournment

Sneak Preview: ARLINGTON: HEROES: HISTORY & HAMBURGERS -- see an Eight minute segment of WETA's newest historical documentary at the Nov. 9 Civic Federation meeting. Watch the whole 80 minute show on WETA Channel 26 at 8 pm on December 2. Check out www.WETA.org for more details.

Flyers Enclosed with the Newsletter

The Arlington County Civic Federation 2004-2005

Executive Committee Officers

    President - Patrick Smaldore - 703-528-3935
    Vice President - Anne Fisher - 703-838-8502
    Treasurer - Frances Finta - 703-528-2882/fax 703-528-0182
    Secretary - Tim Russo - 703-527-3693

Executive Committee Members

Arlington County Civic Federation
C/o Patrick A. Smaldore Jr.
3859 North Second Street
Arlington, VA 22203-3803

This page was last revised on: November 4, 2004.
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