Housing Renter Study

The housing workgroup of Livability 22202 is a community, volunteer-run effort in our neighborhood to address unmet housing needs. We know there have been a lot of changes in the past year, especially in terms of cost of living and housing. As development continues, Housing Livability 22202 is curious about your housing and rental experiences, particularly in terms of the cost of living. We will use the results to highlight the pressing need to make sure everyone has access to housing that they can afford. If you are a renter in the 22202 zip code, please consider taking a few minutes to fill out the survey. You can remain completely anonymous if you so choose.

May Meeting Summary

Amazon, Dweck, and Route 1 were on the May 18 CCCA meeting agenda. Patrick Phillippi, Senior Manager of Amazon’s Public Engagement, spoke about Metropolitan Park, currently under construction at 15th and South Fern St. The area will be finished next year and host public facing events such as movie nights and a dog park. Next, Robert Vaughn from Dweck discussed the proposed infill development of two existing surface parking lots off of Eads Street. This will be a LEED gold building with a substantial amount of mix use spaces and family style units. Finally, Sarah Crawford from DES discussed a range of transportation projects including Route 1. The County is attempting to make Crystal City more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists, and users of multi mobility (scooters, electric unicycles, etc.). This is elaborated on in the Master Transportation Plan. There are going to be expected changes coming soon such as paving, utility maintenance, etc. to move towards the multi-mobility goals that Arlington set out. A long term goal is a reconfiguration of the Boundary Channel Drive interchange that crosses I-395 to allow for more multi-mobility.
You can check out projects using the maps below!

https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Projects/Neighborhoods/Crystal-City/Development
This is the interactive map: https://arlgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/7f36c2e84dda44a88d34290309c0edd2

The Dweck and DES presentation slides are below:

2022.05.18-1700-S.-Eads-St.-Overview-CCCA-May-Meeting

Arlington-CCCA_2022-05-18

Response from VDOT on Route 1

On April 8 VDOT replied point by point to the Livability22202 February 27 letter on our concerns and questions about the Feasibiity Study for Route 1, but does not appear to have been moved by any of our arguments beyond what they have already agreed to.  See the letter here.  However, one positive step was a meeting that took place between VDOT and Livability22202 representatives on April 11 to hear the proposals from urban architects Brian Harner and Gus Ardura for passageways across Route 1 at 18th street.  See the proposals here.  Be sure to register for VDOT’s April 28 Public Information Meeting here.

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.

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.

Breaking News: Housing Workshop Report Released

We are pleased, after a year of work, two well attended workshops and many meetings of a ten person working group, to be able to share the report on housing livability in 22202. This report was previously shared in draft form with participants of Livability workshops as well as presented at meetings for each of the civic associations. This is, of course, part of the greater Livability project and our specific recommendations should be taken into account with the other community needs raised by Livability, such as open space and schools.

The report reviews data and history of the 22202 area, exploring how our unique housing situation came to be. It then makes recommendations for public and private actors in areas around avoiding displacement, diverse housing options (both affordable and market rate) and building community through housing. Please find the full report here and a one page fact sheet here

See the full press report here.

Proposed Minor Amendment to CCCA ByLaws

The following proposed amendment to the current CCCA ByLaws will be submitted to a vote by eligible voting members at the Annual Meeting November 11, 2020.

Further, residents of Potomac Yards/Arlington, an area that is outside the CCCA boundaries established in Section 1.3 but currently not covered by any civic association, may be considered as non-voting Associate Members, provided that they are not active members of another civic association. 

Justification: We have frequently received requests to join the CCCA from residents in Potomac Yard/Arlington which is not within the CCCA boundaries established in Section 1.3of the Crystal City Sector Plan but also not currently included in the boundaries of any other civic association.  The Executive Committee had therefore planned to start an outreach process in March 2020 to residents in the four buildings there (The Clark, Camden Potomac Yard Apartments, The Sur, The Eclipse Condominiums) to see if there was sufficient interest for us to approach them and the Civic Federation about expanding our CCCA boundaries to include them. COVID intervened.  To expand our boundaries officially would require an extensive process of approval by the County that could take up to two years.  We have therefore taken an unofficial, flexible approach in the last year to let a few folks join and/or attend meetings, but not vote. It’s time to officially approve associate membership which does not require the official process of expanding our association borders.

CCCA Current ByLaws (approved September 16, 2015)

2.         Membership

2.1.      Members

Any person aged 18 years or older who resides in a dwelling unit in Crystal City (as defined in Section 1.3) is considered to be a member of the Association.

In addition, residents in that area covered by the Crystal City Section Plan, which is outside the CCCA boundaries established in Section 1.3, may be accepted as members, provided that they are not active members of another civic association. 

Further, residents of Potomac Yards/Arlington, an area that is outside the CCCA boundaries established in Section 1.3 but currently not covered by any civic association, may be considered as non-voting Associate Members, provided that they are not active members of another civic association. 

Vote Vote Vote!

The November 3 ballot will include US President/Vice President, US Senate, US House of Representatives, 2 Virginia constitutional amendments, 1 Arlington County Board member, 2 Arlington County School Board members, and 4 bond Issues.  See the listing here, with links to candidates’ pages and the sample ballot here.   Everything you need to know about voting in the 2020 General Election is available through the County Voting website.

Early voting ends Saturday October 31.  If you requested an absentee ballot and have not yet mailed it in, please consider dropping your completed ballot – in its envelopes – in the drop box outside of the Aurora Hills community center, 18th & Hayes.  Ballots are retrieved by County election officials every day, this drop box has a security camera, and you may drop in your completed ballot/envelopes 24/7 through 7 P.M. on Election Day, November 3.  All precincts will have an inside drop box available on November 3rd. 

If you want to vote in person – whether you requested an absentee ballot or not – come on in!  If you received an absentee ballot please bring it with you. If you plan to vote in person on Election Day, November 3, you will need to vote in your own precinct – either Crystal City 006 (251 S. 18th Street, the red Wells Fargo Bank building) or Crystal Plaza 050 (inside the Crystal Plaza apartment building.  Polls are open 6 am to 7  pm.

Know WHAT to bring:  A mask (please protect your fellow voters and volunteers and yourself) and a valid ID.  Note:  Note that Virginia law has changed, again, and many types of IDs that were not acceptable in recent elections are again acceptable.  (Examples:  your voter registration card, a utility bill with your current name and address, or any current photo ID from an American college or university.)  However, out-of-state drivers’ licenses are still NOT acceptable.  But any registered voter who does not possess an acceptable form of ID may vote by signing an ID Confirmation Statement.  See Voter ID Requirements for what is acceptable.  If you received an absentee ballot, please bring it with you – with all of its envelopes (unopened is fine).

CCCA September 2020 Newsletter

Click the link here to download.

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!  We’re entering a period of many virtual meetings that will affect our community.  Stay tuned for updates. We really need volunteers for a number of issues—please consider getting involved.

1.  Farewell to Jackie Bianchini:  Our Communications Director is moving out of Crystal City and has resigned her position as of August 31.  Jackie has been tremendously helpful with her media background and technical expertise.  She also worked with previous Membership Liaison Zach Komes, who also moved out of the area in June, on outreach to the rental community and young residents, including a Renters Happy Hour in February before COVID took hold. We will greatly miss her.

2.  Volunteers Needed:  Many hands will make lighter work.  Please consider at least some civic engagement.

CCCA Communications Director:  So now we are looking for a recruit with technological expertise who can take over management of our website and help out on Zoom meetings and other tech issues.  Some familiarity with graphics or picture design would be helpful.  Please contact us if you are interested at board@crystalcitycivic.org.

We need more volunteers to join our ongoing Livability 22202 working groups: Housing, Open Space, Future of the Underground, and Route 1:East/West Access.  Plus, several folks noted the need for a working group on schools and we would love for folks to step forward to create this group.  There will eventually be other groups, including perhaps an Arts and Culture group (including the library and a potential Black Box theater).  Email your interest to info@livability22202.org.

Arts&Culture
Are you concerned that we might lose Synetic Theatre in the future when its lease expires? Would you like to see a Black Box Theatre somewhere in 22202 to house various performance groups as well? Could it be developed in Crystal City or PenPlace?  Join the Livability22202 Arts&Culture working group.  Email board@crystalcitycivic.org.

Highlands Urban Garden:  Livability 22202, in partnership with the Friends of Urban Agriculture (FOUA), The National Landing Business Improvement District, and Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation, have launched an urban agriculture demonstration project in Virginia Highlands Park, the Highlands Urban Garden (HUG).Volunteers are needed! To sign up for more information about the project, and learn how you can get involved visit https://urbanag.social/projectHUG

3.  Meetings Anticipated in September (at least the ones we know about):

  • September 9: Aurora Highlands Civic Association invites ACPD to discuss recent crime wave; follow on Facebook Live
  • SPRC on 101 S. 12th Street
  • September 10:  LPRC on Block M site plans (2000/2001 S. Bell Street 223 23rd Street/2300 Crystal Drive)
  • LPRC and Planning Commission community engagement on Pentagon City Phased Development Site Plan Study 
  • Crystal City Parks Final Community Engagement (BID; JBG Smith)
  • September 22:  County Board Work Session to discuss the scope of the upcoming Missing Middle Housing Study. Details and a link for live streaming will be forthcoming on the County Board website.  Read more here.
  • VDOT Community Engagement on Route 1 redesign
  • September 30: Livability22202 Meeting on Route 1 redesign plans
  • Livability 22202 Underground challenge:  The Challenge officially ended July 31, and there were a lot of great submissions. The contest videos will be rolled out soon and there will be a Zoom meeting in September for the judges to announce the winners. 

Your President
Carol Fuller