The Underground Challenge

Extended June 12 through July 31, 2020

Livability22202 needs your insights about the Crystal City Underground!

The three civic associations of Crystal CityAurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge are sponsoring a challenge to spur creative thinking and thoughts about the future of the Underground. Please join in our conversation about this unique space in our community, and use your creativity in one, or all, of the challenges below.

We have some GREAT prizes to offer, and a notable group of challenge judges!!!

To prime your creativity, take a look at this collection of photos of the Underground, which you can use as material for any of your submissions if you wish!

Please join us in one, two, or all three of these Underground Challenges:

Challenge 1:  Write to Us

Challenge 2:  TikTok Underground

Challenge 3: Down to Business

July 1-10 Feedback on the Development Plans for 101 S. 12th Street now open


As previously noted, the entire process for reviewing the site plans of developers has gone virtual. The CCCA sponsored a first pre-briefing by JBG Smith on June 8. The County has now opened a one-week period of engagement for the community to provide feedback. There will be a separate period later in July for additional feedback. Then the entire project will go to the Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC).


That means, our input is critical. Whatever concerns or issues you have, this is the time to raise them. Please note that the design of the Gateway Park at the entrance to Long Bridge Park will not/not be part of this SPRC process, but come later. So comments should be focused on any issues related to construction of the proposed building. This could include concerns about such issues as: 1) traffic; 2) the Ball Street extension from 10th to 12th Streets; 3) storm water runoff; 4) building height; etc.

The Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) is seeking community input about a proposed site plan at 101 12th Street S. known as Crystal Gateway. You’re invited to review project materials and provide comments online during the engagement session which will run from July 1 to July 8.

This feedback window will focus on the block plan, land use and zoning, site design, architecture, and transportation.

After reviewing the materials above, use the online feedback form to share your input.

The staff planner for this project is Courtney Badger: [email protected].

The SPRC Chair for this review process is Tenley Peterson: [email protected].

Full information available here.https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/VAARLINGTON/bulletins/293757f

Development of 101 S. 12th Street

On June 8, the CCCA sponsored a virtual meeting on WebX with JBG Smith for them to present their development plans for this building which will be the first in the 22202 area to come up for review by a virtual SPRC.  Although there were some technical issues with this WebX software (folks seem to be more familiar with Zoom), it was an opportunity for some 80 participants to raise questions and concerns and learn what is proposed.  You can see the PowerPoint presentation below.    In the meantime, the County has developed a new virtual process for SPRCs which will be hosted on Microsoft Teams, which the County is using for all of its meetings now, as well as live streaming on Facebook.  There will be two virtual community engagement meetings coming up for this development project, followed by a single SPRC.

June Newsletter is Out

Newsletter Masthead

In the midst of so much turmoil, our Newsletter remains stable to provide essential local information.  Welcome to Phase One.  Even if we go to Phase Two, it looks like that may last a long time and we are going to be “virtual” for some time to come.  Stay tuned for plans of upcoming virtual meetings. 

Newsletter highlights:

1.  Elections:  All you need to know about the June 23 and July 7 elections can be found on the attached URL for the County’s Election #5 Update, including how to request an absentee ballot and where to drop it off.  Voting by mail is recommended and you can drop your ballot off at the Aurora Hills Library at certain times.

2.  Pre-Briefing on 101 S. 12th Street:  In advance of the expected SPRC meeting to be held by the County on JBG Smith’s development plans for 101 S. 12th Street, JBG Smith is offering voluntarily an informal briefing open to the public for information purposes and questions.  The Crystal City Civic Association is sponsoring this meeting since the development will be done in Crystal City in order to ensure substantial outreach to the community during the COVID-19 crisis which has made face to face meetings impossible.  JBG will be hosting this virtual meeting on WebX June 8 from 7-8 pm with a 20-25 minute presentation by JBG Smith followed by a Q and A period.  The participation will be by pre-registration only for security purposes and is open to 22202 residents and other invited guests, including County planners.  In order to attend, please register on the link below included in the Newsletter.

3.  Census 2020:  Once again, the Crystal City area has one of the lowest response rates in the County because of the nature of the multifamily buildings. Overall, Arlington County has a 69.4% response rate whereas Crystal City has 58.6%.  Those households that have not yet responded to the census will receive an in person visit by a census taker to collect their information later this summer. 

4.  Livability Updates:  Because of the COVID-19 shutdown, our two remaining workshops have been postponed indefinitely.  But the planning committee for the Underground Workshop came up with a new idea.   Have either a writing, photography  or videography interest? The Crystal City Underground workshop planning group is planning an “Underground Challenge” to spark creative thinking and conversation about the future of this space. We will be announcing several different creative exercises during the month of June and perhaps a full CCCA meeting on Zoom to include the results of both the Housing and Open Space Workshops and the way forward.

Your President
Carol Fuller

Pre-Briefing on JBG Smith Plans to Develop 101 S. 12th Street

COVID-19 has changed all of our patterns recently, including community outreach and awareness of development projects in Arlington County.  The County has recently issued an ordinance on public meetings that will limit in-person participation in SPRC, Planning Commission, and County Board meetings.  Since we in the 22202 zip code may experience the majority of development plans that will come before the Board, it is important that we all stay informed and make our views known during the early stages of planning.   Luckily we have a good partner in JBG Smith.

In advance of the expected SPRC meeting to be held by the County on JBG Smith’s development plans for 101 S. 12th Street, JBG Smith is offering voluntarily an informal briefing open to the public for information purposes and questions.  The Crystal City Civic Association is sponsoring this meeting since the development will be done in Crystal City in order to ensure substantial outreach to the community during the COVID-19 crisis which has made face to face meetings impossible.  Anyone who plans to attend the virtual SPRC meeting (potentially in July) should plan to attend this virtual meeting.

JBG will be hosting this virtual meeting on WebX June 8 from 7-8 pm with a 20-25 minute presentation by JBG Smith followed by a Q and A period.  The participation will be by pre-registration only for security purposes and is open to 22202 residents and other invited guests,

including County planners.  In order to attend, please register on the link below.  Registrants will be sent the link prior to the meeting and only registrants will be allowed to view the virtual meeting, in order to avoid internet bombing.  Registrants who prefer to attend by phone can use the phone number below to call.  In the same way that County Board virtual meetings are currently being held on the COVID crisis, a chat feature will be available to submit questions or comments that will be answered after the briefing.

Here’s the attendee link to register and audio dial-in information as well:

Date and time: Monday, June 8, 2020 7:00 pm

Duration:  1 hour

Description:  JBG SMITH development team is pleased to provide a project overview of 101 12th Street to our community neighbors.

Audio conference:  To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.

+1-415-655-0001

Access code: 477 254 163

May Newsletter Is Out!

Newsletter Masthead

1.  Share Your Thoughts on the Design for Met Park:What do you want Met Park to look like?  Check out the two new draft design concepts for the Metropolitan Park Public Space!  Watch a video presentation on what we learned from the first engagement opportunity earlier this year and take a look at the two draft design concepts your comments helped inform: The Social Gardens and The Forest Walk.  After you’re done, share your thoughts on features, park themes, recreational uses and more! Your feedback helps in the development of the Park Master Plan and design guidelines for this wonderful new community space.
GET STARTED NOW!  (Engagement open now through May 14)

2.  Share Your Thoughts on Crystal City Parks:  Do you care what they will  look like?  JBG Smith is beginning a virtual community engagement process for our Parks and Open Space redevelopment work in Crystal City. The Open Space plan includes the redevelopment of 5 parks in Crystal City, which aim to bolster the vibrancy and livability of the community, as envisioned in the Sector Plan. We look forward to continuing the momentum generated by the community dialogue at the 3 civic associations’ Open Space charette earlier this year.  As a part of this virtual process, they have created an online platform, CoUrbanize, to create a new community engagement experience by allowing everyone to directly comment and follow the conversation. 
Get involved.  Respond to the CoUrbanize surveyand make known what you want our parks to be.

3.  Elections: The June 9 Primary has been moved to June 23 by order of Governor Northam.  Arlington County is encouraging absentee voting to prevent exposure to COVID-19.  At this point, polling stations will be open, but the County is working on many preventative measures to protect both poll workers (of whom your President is one) and voters.  The Virginia Supreme Court established July 7 as the date for the Special Election to the seat vacated by the April 16, 2020 death of Vice-Chair Erik Gutshall.  On April 30, the County petitioned the Court to allow an extension of the July 7, 2020 special election to August 4 or later.   We should know more by the time our June Newsletter goes out.

4.  Census 2020:   Don’t Forget to Respond: 2020 Census Reminder Postcards Arriving starting April 27. 
The U.S. Census Bureau is beginning to send reminder notice postcards to an estimated 69 million households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census.  Arlington County’s response rate as of April 30 was 63.5%, but Crystal City was only 54.3%.  Our area is one of the harder to count areas in Arlington because of the nature of the multifamily buildings.  Those households that have not yet responded to the census will receive an in person visit by a census taker to collect their information later this summer.  It’s easy: Click  the link below to respond.  It includes information on “How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data,” and provides extensive guidance on “Who To Count” (such as foreign citizens, college students, the military, people who live or stay in more than one place, etc.).  https://2020census.gov/en.html

5.  AFAC Food Drive:  Our food drive co-sponsored with the National Landing BID and supported by Flare Rides  continues every Wednesday.  Since February, the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) has seen the number of active referrals to AFAC increase by 30%. The BID is offering a pizza party to the multifamily building providing the most food during the campaign. Crystal Park (1805 Crystal Drive) is beating everyone hands down so far with a full box every week.

Your  President,
Carol Fuller

April Newsletter Is Out!

Newsletter Masthead

This has been a hard month for us all. But it’s times like these when we can truly pull together as a community–even if we have to keep six feet between us at all times.

Life in the time of Coronavirus:  The allusion to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ 1985 novel “Life in the Time of Cholera” is apt right now.  The news is all COVID-19.  I hope you are all keeping well in this time of crisis.  Will things ever be normal again?  We can expect that life will be different for us–just as it was after 9/11–once the first wave of the virus has passed.  But keeping in mind the flu of 1918, we need to prepare for the second wave (likely in Fall) and the third (likely next Spring).  Keep your guard and your hopes up.  By June, we may know better where things are headed.  Please note that we are keeping up a constant barrage of information about COVID-19 on our Facebook page and Nextdoor.com for Crystal City–which are much easier and faster than other means of communication.  Since many of you don’t follow either of these, the Newsletter this month includes a number of web sites and phone numbers for getting information and help during this time.

All CCCA Meetings and Workshops are canceled and will be rescheduled when possible  Please stay safe. We look forward to starting up our meetings and seeing you again on the other side of the crisis.

Just a few notes:

1.  Census 2020:  April 1 is the day for the count!  As of March 31, Crystal City was at a 36.6% response  rate, whereas Arlington County overall was at 43.8%.  If you haven’t yet responded, please do so ASAP–by internet, phone, or mail.  

2.  AFAC Food Drive:  Following on the great success of the three civic associations in gathering food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) on  March 21, we have partnered with the Crystal City (aka National Landing) BID, Flare Rides, and a number of property managers to participate in an indefinite collection of food.  All  multifamily apartment and condo building managers  were contacted a week ago and asked to put out AFAC food donation boxes and eight responded positively.  See the list in the Newsletter.  If your building isn’t participating, you might ask your property manager about doing so.  While many of us in Crystal City “may” be doing ok, a lot of others in the County are not.  Food donations to AFAC from grocery stores have dried up as folks have stocked up and emptied the shelves.  AFAC needs our help in order to help others who are not so privileged.

3.  GAO Surveys on Airport and Helicopter Noise:  The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the audit and review agency of Congress, is currently conducting two studies related to aircraft activity and potential noise in the D.C. area.  The first study focuses on Washington Reagan National Airport’s perimeter rule and is examining how this rule affects air service and at other local airports and aircraft noise, among other topics.  The second study is a review of helicopter activity and noise in the D.C. area, including an examination of potential strategies for addressing helicopter noise in the area.  They are interviewing a variety of civic associations and community groups on these topics and the impact in their neighborhoods, and have scheduled a teleconference for the CCCA on April 15 from 11-12 noon.  They have provided a questionnaire in advance to take a survey of concerns and experiences of Crystal City residents.  I would welcome anyone who would like to participate in this teleconference.  At a minimum, I would greatly appreciate receiving your input on this questionnaire which you can send to my email address directly by April 13:  [email protected].  

Your President
Carol Fuller