CCCA December Newsletter 2021

Read the Newsletter here.

With apologies for the length of this month’s Newsletter,  here you go.  So much for this being a slow time of year! Check out the meetings and all of the issues.

1.  Survey:  Every month in the President’s report, we will have a survey. The idea is to get some feedback from you and provide a venue for you to impact how we spend our time in meetings. The first survey is:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/M8Y839WThere are only a few questions and they should not take more than a minute or two.   Eric Cassel, CCCA President

2.  Construction Reminders:  

  • 1900 Crystal Drive construction: Saturday December 4, 3 am -9 pm/Sunday December 5, 7 am – 9 pm (backup dates December 11-12 and 18-19), crane on 20th Street
  • Altaire construction:  Saturday –December 11, 4 am-9 pm (backup date Saturday December 18), Crane work at 400 11th Street; CLOSURE at 12th Street (between S Eads St and Army Navy Dr; 550

3.  REMINDER:  Annual Dues Payment coming Up Soon:  Annual dues are paid for the calendar year, so payment of $10 will be due no later than February 28 for members to remain on the mailing list as voting members to receive the monthly Newsletter and Updates.  Renew online by PayPal or send a check to our new Treasurer Steve Miller, 1300 Crystal Drive #408S, Arlington VA 22202.

Livability22202 Schools Working Group Urges APS to Consider Future 22202 Schools

On November 29, the 3 Livability22202 civic association presidents forwarded a letter from the Schools Working Group to Arlington Public Schools asking for a clear process to determine sufficient seats, and specifically a siting process, for future schools in 22202.  The letter reflects comments on the proposed adjustments to boundaries and elementary immersion feeders schools for the Public Hearing record. The working group looks forward to partnering with APS to ensure that all Arlington children have access to safe neighborhood schools that are planned and built in response to realistic enrollment needs. Read the letter here.

AFAC 22202 Community Food Drive Garners More Than 5,000 lbs in Donations

We did it, folks!  We collected approximately 5,390 lbs of goods for AFAC during our 3-week campaign. 


In the Spirit of Giving, the National Landing BID, Livability22202 Civic Associations and Sustainable Scoop Partnered to Organize a Thanksgiving Food Drive for Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Running November 1-21 , with 21 donation locations across the 22202 zip code, approximately 5,390 lbs of goods were collected in just three weeks for the 22202 Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Box drop off sites were set up at multi-family buildings, private residence spaces, and businesses across the area to garner substantial contributions of dry and canned goods. In addition, weekly scheduled collection services were held at multiple locat

The three Livability 22202 civic associations, the Sustainable Scoop, and the National Landing BID partnered to bolster the community-wide giving effort. Throughout the month of November, Amazon driver, Jose Solcruz, picked up large quantities from many participating buildings for delivery to AFAC, and Dweck delivered from many of its buildings. The Crystal City/Pentagon City Rotary Club organized collections at a local Giant. Phoenix Bikes, the Rotary Club, and the Military Childrens Six Foundation helped with collections and deliveries at Melwood. Advent Lutheran Church collected throughout the week. The Burke & Herbert Bank combined food donation collections with a coat drive.

The mission of AFAC is to feed community members in need by providing access to nutritious supplemental groceries for people living in Arlington, VA who cannot afford to purchase enough food to meet their basic needs. With thanks to this multi-generational community event, AFAC is able to head into a fruitful Thanksgiving serving those most in need.

November 2021 Newsletter

Click here to download the Newsletter

Save the Date: November 17 Annual CCCA General Meeting, 7-9 pm
Our agenda includes: 
1) Election of new officers;
2) Vote on ByLaws Amendment;
3) presentation by Amazon on its operations in 22202 and its plans for PenPlace; and
4) conversation with Virginia Representative (48th district) Rip Sullivan (who covers almost all of Crystal City). 
Register here.  In addition, we are organizing a hybrid meeting as a pilot program, both on Zoom and in person.  Anyone wishing to attend in person may come to the conference room at 251 S 18th Street (Wells Fargo Building where Precinct 006 Crystal City voters vote):  Mask required. Note:  Voting will be done by an electronic poll on Zoom.

CCCA Elections:  Nominations for Officers of the Crystal City Civic Association (CCCA):  Nominations — including self-nominations — have been open from October 18 to November 2 for the following four CCCA officer positions!  The principal duties are summarized in the Newsletter.  All members whose dues are paid are eligible to nominate, be candidates and to vote in the election at the CCCA Annual General Meeting on the evening of November 17, 2021.  Terms for each position are two years.  Note:  Voting will be done by an electronic poll on Zoom.

Proposed ByLaws Amendment:  A simplified description of the title and duties for the CCCA Vice President will be proposed as a ByLaws amendment at the November 17 Annual Meeting and voted on by all eligible CCCA voting members:   “The Vice President shall act in the stead of the President in his or her absence and shall perform any additional duties specified elsewhere in this Constitution and Bylaws.”  Note:  Voting will be done by an electronic poll on Zoom.

The “Other” Elections November 2:   Voters can make selections for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, 45th, 47th, 48th, or 49th House of Delegate Districts, County Board, and School Board, plus vote on 4 proposed Arlington County bond referenda.  See all the details here.  All 54 polling places will be open November 2, 2021 from 6am-7pm.   
Heads Up ONLY for Precinct 006Crystal City Voters:  If you vote at 251 S 18th Street, be aware that there is ongoing construction in the plaza areas which has blocked off a number of passageways.  The construction fences change every day.  Best way to arrive is either from the parking lot (temporary parking and curbside voting will be provided) to the Wells Fargo Bank lobby or by the elevators from the Underground to the lobby. Entry to and exit from the voting precinct itself will ONLY be from inside the lobby across from the Wells Fargo Bank, not the glass doors to the conference room which we have been using for the last few years.  JBG will be helping with stanchions, graphics, and signs for COVID precautions. Things will go back to normal in the precinct by next year.

22202 Thanksgiving Food Drive for AFAC:  In the spirit of giving, Livability22202 civic associations, the National Landing BID, and the SustainableScoop have come together to organize a Thanksgiving food drive for AFAC. Join your 22202 neighbors November 1-20 to provide canned food and dry goods to help everyone enjoy a good Thanksgiving. The most needed foods include canned tuna, canned soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, cooking oil, and low sugar cereal. No glass items please, and low sodium and low sugar items are preferred.
Food boxes will be located at 19 sites around 22202.  See the locations on the National Landing website.  In addition, collection drives will be held at Advent Lutheran Church from 9-12 on Sundays October 31 and November 7, 14, and 21 and from 4-6 on Wednesdays November 3, 10, and 17.  Collection drives will be held at the Melwood parking lot from 9-12 on Saturdays November 6, 13, and 20.
Please help us give back to our community and those in need this Thanksgiving season.

Construction Shut Down of 18th Street:  Once again, a construction crane will be installed for the 1900 Crystal Drive site.  18th Street will be shut down November 6 from 5 am to 9 pm and on November 7 from 7 am to 9 pm.  Backup dates are November 13-14.

CCCA September Newsletter

Click here to download.

So much for returning to normal.  With Delta looming over us, we’re going to continue meeting on Zoom for the indefinite future, even with the forthcoming booster shots..  Please help inform our decisions on future CCCA meetings by responding to our survey.  We continue to have great topics.  If you have ideas for meeting topics, please send them to [email protected].

We are also looking for volunteers to take over officer positions in the CCCA in November.  With 7 years of experience, we are an active and respected voice for Crystal City residents. Help us continue to support the needs and concerns of our community.  See the Newsletter for details.

Transitway Public Meeting, September 1, 7-8:30 pm:  At the July 20 Board meeting, five activists in our area, including the CCCA president, expressed their concerns about the proposed placement of a new transitway station close to the corner of 12th & Long Bridge Drive.  The posted plans before the Board meeting seemed to indicate that the new bus shelter would conflict with pedestrians and cyclists, as the bus shelter on Crystal Drive by 18th already does.  Community engagement prior to the Board meeting was also very limited. At the Board meeting, the Board approved Item 51, the deed of easement for the transitway station, but recommended that a public meeting be held prior to the September Board meeting to discuss concerns further.  Project staff are holding a public meeting on Wednesday, September 1, at 7PM to discuss plans for the transitway and its stations along 12th Street.  Please plan to attend. Construction on combined projects expected December 2021 for 12 months.

Move the Fair to Long Bridge Park?  Not unless they answer a lot of questions:   Be sure to read about this.  The Arlington County Fair Board, an independent non-profit which manages the fair, has informed the county that it would like to move the fair to Long Bridge Park.  The County has issued a survey asking whether folks prefer to keep the Fair at Thomas Jefferson Community Center and Park where it’s been for 45 years or move it to Long Bridge Park.  We have protested that without background information, folks don’t know why there should be a change and whether it should change.  Think about this before you answer the survey.

Seeking a CCCA Social Media Intern

See the source image

The CCCA has posted a position description for a Social Media Intern for the Fall.  Since we are a small non-profit and cannot afford to pay an hourly rate, this might be a great opportunity for a high school student with great social media skills to build a resume.  It’s only about 8 hours per week and involves managing posts to our Facebook page and website, as well as other social media, such as this email Update, under the guidance of the President and other officers.  The position description is listed here.  Let us know if you have a student interested or can refer us to someone:  [email protected].

CCCA July Newsletter

Click here to download

1.  Call for Civic Engagement!  We are a very dynamic area, with lots of apartment dwellers coming and going.  That means also that our CCCA officers and volunteers come and go!  So we are looking for more folks to join us as observers or officers in the CCCA Executive Board.  You don’t need any special skills, just a little bit of time and a lot of civic interest. It’s a great way to get engaged in your neighborhood and learn what’s going on.  It also really looks good on a resume.  Please contact me if you’d like to discuss joining the team in any capacity:  mailto:[email protected].

2.  SAVE THE DATE:  July 19 CCCA General Meeting: Plans are still being worked out.  But we plan to have JBG Smith to come back to talk about development updates for Crystal City, including their draft revised plan for 223 S 23rd Street and 2250 Crystal Drive.  Virginia Tech has agreed to come talk about their plans for Potomac Yard.  VP Chris Wimbush will also explain the work the Civic Federation is doing on exploring a possible new governance plan for Arlington County.

3.  VDOT Feasibility Report is Incomplete and Unsatisfactory:  After 10 months of study and public meetings, VDOT released its feasibility report on Route 1 at the final Public Information Meeting June 16. No surprise: the recommendation is to bring Route 1 down to grade. The Livability Working Group released a press release on June 27. Read the full text on the Livability22202 website:

The Arlington 22202 Civic Associations united in Livability22202 find VDOT’s Feasibility Study of Route 1 Multimodal Improvements to be incomplete.  It raises further questions, fails to address a number of community concerns, and recommends a traffic pattern that, by VDOT’s own recognition, reduces safety.  If Arlington County and the state proceed without addressing these concerns, our community will be further divided by a dangerous, wide road that puts cars before pedestrians and bikes.  The Associations urge Arlington County Board not to approve the study when submitted unless these larger questions and concerns are addressed.  

4.  Reminder of upcoming feedback deadlines (see details in Newsletter):

  • July 9 Feedback deadline for: 
    • 15th Street/Clark Bell Realignment Project
    • Crystal City Bike Study
    • Army Navy Drive PBL Missing Link Study
  • July 12 Comment Deadline for VDOT Route 1 Study

New Park at S Eads and Army Navy Drive

 The final draft of the Park Master Plan and Design Guidelines for the New Park at Army Navy Drive and South Eads Street has been posted here. Many thanks to the community members who have provided feedback on this project since September 2020. The final draft plan includes many new amenities including a pollinator habitat, a shade structure– and even an outdoor fitness area. The draft final plan for the park will be considered by the County Board as a consent agenda item at the Sat., June 12 regular meetingLearn about meeting procedures then review the agenda and access the meeting when it starts here.

CCCA October 2021 Newsletter

Click here to download.https://www.crystalcitycivic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CCCA_Newsletter-No.-10.pdf

Some Highlights:

1.  Save the Date:  CCCA Annual Meeting, November 17, 7-9 pm. So far, we’ve confirmed that we will have our annual CCCA elections and a presentation by Amazon on its operations in 22202 and its plans for PenPlace.  Stay tuned for details in early November

2.  Construction Alert: On October 9-10, 18th Street between Crystal Drive and Bell Street will be closed to accommodate installation of construction cranes for the 1900 Crystal Drive development project.  Construction will not be very noisy, but will start at 3 am on Saturday and 7 am on Sunday and last until 9  pm.  Traffic engineering services will provide traffic control and ensure pedestrian safety. 

3.  COVID Booster Shots:  Arlington County Public Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to certain people at least 6 months after their Pfizer primary series. Appointments are required at Arlington Public Health Clinics. Visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to find additional locations and appointments near you.  Pharmacies are offering them too.  And don’t forget your flu shot.

4.  Metro Proposals:  Be sure to read about the six multibillion-dollar alternatives to improve the capacity and reliability of the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

CCCA General Meeting September 22, 2021

Another good and informative meeting. You can view the entire meeting on our Facebook page here.

AGENDA:


1. Presentation by JBG on minor changes to the Water Park site plan amendment due to repositioning of trees. See the slideshow here.


2. Presentation by Dweck on its new development strategy and outreach to the community on its 6 buildings in Crystal City. Andy Van Horn, new Senior VP for Development and CEO Nora Dweck shared the family philosophy on community involvement and their recent shift into property management. They introduced their team and reviewed the 7 properties in Crystal City and one in Pentagon City. They are very interested in being good neighbors and looking forward to partnering with the CCCA. See the presentation here.


3. Presentation by Virginia Tech on its plans and operations for the Innovation Campus at Potomac Yard. David Baker, Director of Governmental and Community Affairs shared the university’s locations in NOVA and the focus for the new, primarily graduate, computer science and computer engineering campus. Students are already enrolled in the temporary campus in leased space at Potomac Yard and the new environmentally-advanced building will open in 2024. JBG Smith is developing the property for Virginia Tech. See the presentation here.

NOTE: Save the date of November 17 for the CCCA Annual Meeting. We’ve moved Amazon’s presentation on its operations in 22202 to that meeting, when we will also have officer elections. Email the Board if you are interested in serving in any campus. The more the merrier!

Transitway Changes on 12th Street

Transitway Impact on Waterford House Coming

The County has finally clarified details on its 100% design for the Transitway to come up Crystal Drive to 12th Street and on to Pentagon City.  In response to repeated complaints from Waterford House, Crystal Gateway, other residents, and the CCCA, the County has made the decision to “redesign the corner at Crystal Drive and 12th Street to allow buses to operate safely and protect peds”:  i.e., reduce the sidewalk between the Waterford House planters to the curb from 21’ to 14’.  See the redesign here.

Proposed sidewalk changes

This information has only become clear after the last public meeting September 1 and in the answer to a follow up question.  Since that sidewalk is unusually large, this should not present a problem for us as you can see from the diagram.  The sidewalk belongs to the County so they can make changes as they deem appropriate, just as they did when they made Crystal Drive a two-way street.

The real problem is that this modification was effectively hidden until protests launched by Livability22202, the CCCRC, CCCA, and the Transportation Commission at the July 20 County Board meeting.  We argued that there was a lack of communication and lack of transparency on the part of DES Transportation since there had been no public meeting since 2018 and none of the details had been shared.  The Board asked DES Transportation to hold a public meeting which happened September 1.  It was only in the documents posted before and during that meeting that we learned what the real plans were, regarding the bus stations at 12th and 15th Streets and the modifications to the Crystal Drive/12th Street corner.  This is the text that was in the presentation:

  • The transition at Crystal Drive and 12th Street S required curb and road improvements in order to provide adequate radius for buses to safely operate.  (Note:  This was one of the arguments we used in 2016 with a petition for the Transitway to turn onto 15th Street rather than continue to 12th Street.)
  •  The turning radius at this curve was modified to allow buses to remain within the transit lane without encroaching into the vehicles travel lane.
  •  The design proposes curb improvements on the west and east side of the roadway, ramps and curbs will be ADA compliant
  •  Rapid flashing beacons will be added to increase visibility at the crosswalk.

Note that there will also be bus stations on 12th Street across from our garage exit and on Crystal Drive at 15th Street.  The County did improve the bus stations and the size of the sidewalk in front of them in response to our complaints about the bus station at 18th Street.  The full presentation from the public meeting is here.

It is surprising that the County had made no attempt to inform either Waterford House or Crystal Gateway of their intention to change the sidewalk. At a bare minimum, the County needs to send a letter to the Waterford House Condo Board and Property Manager to inform them of this plan.  Crystal Gateway will also want to know the details.  Construction is expected in 2022.

CCCA August 2021 Newsletter

click to download

Highlights:
1.  National Night Out August 3:   The three civic associations in 22202–Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, Crystal City–have joined with the National Landing BID to co-sponsor National Night Out in the Summer House and park at 101 S. 12th Street. National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event in the United States, held the first Tuesday of August.  It’s a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.  We will have fire trucks, police cars, food trucks, games, music, and lots of goings on.  Thank you to Amazon for sponsoring the refreshments!  Although no more vouchers for food are available via the RSVP due to an overwhelming response, you can still visit the park and join the festivities.

2. Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center Opening Soon
Around mid-August the new Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center will open! We’re excited to see everyone return to the water. Once the new center is open, it will become the home for all Arlington County Parks & Recreation aquatics classes and private swim lessons, including the 55+ aquatics programs. There will be an array of aquatics offerings this fall, pending COVID-19 guidelines. Online registration begins at 7 a.m. for gymnastics classes and 7:30 a.m. for all other programs on Aug. 4. View our online registration guide.  Also look for the 55+ Guide eNews in August; fall registration will open for 55+ County residents on August 18. For more information, click here. We anticipate being able to provide more aquatic offerings and look forward to utilizing the amazing new space! There are over 200 parking spaces available when you arrive. If you have questions regarding Parks & Recreation 55+ aquatics programs or the Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center, please contact Allison Cheek at [email protected].
 
Tour of Aquatic Center for 22202 residents
We are coordinating with the Facility Manager  a tour of the Aquatic Center on August 18 and 19.  Register on Sign Up Genius as tours are limited to 20 people each.  If the tours fill up, the County might agree to additional tours the next week.

3. Two deadlines for feedback (see newsletter articles):

  • August 15:  CC2DCA Project Needs and Purpose Assessment
  • August 23:  Pentagon City PDSP Study First Draft