We had a great meeting July 30 to present the work done on Livability22202 Action Plan since January. This follow-up virtual CCCA meeting will:
1. Provide details, answer questions, and receive feedback on the work. See the presentations in the Newsletter item below. 2. Provide information on what’s happening in development in our area right now (especially 101 S. 12th Street and the 2000/2001 S. Bell Street and 223 23rd Street/2300 Crystal Drive projects).
1. Open Space Details and Feedback
2. Housing Details and Feedback
3. Big Picture Items and Development
4. Underground Challenge
5. Route 1
Join Zoom Meeting (Participants will be admitted when recognized)
Save the date to join the three 22202 civic associations – Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, Crystal City – July 30 from 7-9 pm for a virtual Zoom webinar on the status of our collective Livability 22202 efforts. Much has happened since our first Livability 22202 Framework document was published in November 2019, and we have gotten much positive feedback from the County and developers for our united presentation. It has become a powerful, useful tool endorsed by the Arlington County Civic Federation as well.
From January to March 2020 we have organized three workshops on Housing and Open Space and begun work on two other areas – the Future of the Crystal City Underground and Route 1: Promoting East-West Accessibility. The purpose of this webinar is to share the work done by the four Livability committees, as well as information on a number of related Big Picture issues, and begin the process of community engagement and feedback. Following the July 30 presentations, there will be a three-week period for comment and a subsequent meeting for further discussion and conclusions.
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.
Livability22202 needs your insights about the Crystal City Underground!
The three civic associations of Crystal City, Aurora 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!!!
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].
Out of an abundance of caution, the CCCA has canceled all meetings for the indefinite future, including the Livability Framework Workshops on The Underground and Community Space and Route 1: East-West Connectivity.
Open Space February 22: We had about 70 participants for a very productive workshop at the Crystal City Marriott on four topics: 1) Re-envisioning Virginia Highlands Park as the backyard for the Pentagon City community; 2) Developing a holistic approach to planning Crystal City Parks; 3) Connecting residents to the natural world and enhancing biodiversity throughout 22202 green spaces; and 4) Planning a publicly accessible greenway from Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary along the railroad tracks to the southern end of Crystal City. With a combination of walking tours and table top discussions, as well as some personal experiences with nature, parks, and open space planning, we covered a lot of ground. A summary will be available in a few weeks.
Housing Affordability #2 March 7: The invitation is out by email and on our website and Facebook page for the second round to on Saturday March 7th, at Calvary Methodist Church on S. 23rd St. to determine the 22202 agenda for housing. This is the second of two workshops led by and for community members wishing to better understand and influence the issue of housing affordability. Given both Amazon’s arrival and pre-existing trends, as well as ongoing county and state policy initiatives, housing is changing fast and our voices need to be part of the discussion. The first workshop (summary here) focused on working through issues of housing barriers and neighborhood values. If interested, you can also see Michelle Winters presentation on housing needs here. Participants in this second workshop, who need not have attended the first, will learn about the tools available to address housing issues and coalesce around which ones we wish to advocate for. We will hear from experts, such as representatives from JBG, Arlington County and the Alliance for Housing Solutions, and then work together to find common ground. Registration will begin at 1:45 pm and the workshop will start promptly at 2 pm and run to 5:30pm. It will be held at Calvary Methodist Church, 2315 S Grant St. Please RSVP to attend.
CC Underground/Community Facilities March 28: Invitations will be sent out soon. Route 1/East-West Corridor April 18: In planning stage.
2. Capital Improvement Plan (CIP): The County has just launched its next two-year Capital Improvement Plan survey. As part of this year’s budget season, you’re invited to share your input on capital priorities for Arlington County Government. Where should the County make investments? Which types of projects top your list? (Note: This is not/not the operating budget.) Obviously, if you attended our Livability Framework Open Space workshop on Saturday February 22, you saw lots of ideas for how we can make our parks and open space more natural and user friendly. For Crystal City, our top priorities are for the 18th Street and Center parks, along with funding for a redesign of 15th Street. Aurora Highlands is interested in a master plan for Virginia Highlands Park. The survey doesn’t ask for that kind of information specifically at this point, but it does ask what your general priorities are for funding capital projects and Open Space figures in it a great deal. Be sure to respond. There is also a public forum scheduled for March 19, but you have to RSVP by March 13 since space is limited.
3. Census: Mark Your Calendar for 2020 Census Dates. It’s important to be counted.
March 12-20: Initial invitations to respond online and by phone will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with the invitation to respond online or over the phone.
March 16-24: Reminder letters will be delivered.
March 26-April 3: Reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not responded.
April 8-16: Reminder letters and paper questionnaires will be delivered to remaining households that have not responded.
April 20-27: Final reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not yet responded before census takers follow up in person.
May 13-July 31: If a household does not respond to any of the invitations, a census taker will follow up in person.
4. Democratic Primary March 3: And of course, don’t forget to vote. You’ll see lots of CCCA faces at the polls.