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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].

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

Proposed changes to Rt 1, Livability 22202

As you may have heard, a study will kick off soon to change Route 1 north of 23rd Street. The proposal is to drop Route 1 to grade, eliminating the 15th and 18th Street underpasses. This is just a study and no decisions have been made.

On August 26, the three zip code 22202 civic associations–Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge, and Crystal City–hosted a web meeting on a study to bring portions of Route 1 down to grade. The meeting was recorded so those who didn’t participate can watch it, and it is posted on the Crystal City Civic Association Facebook page and Google Drive. The meeting begins at 5:40 minutes, so jump ahead to that point. It will eventually be posted on the Livability22202 website as well, along with the slideshow which can be seen on Google Drive.

Part of the presentation was to introduce a survey to better understand how you may cross Route 1. Please take the survey so we have the best understanding of the community thoughts. The survey is at https://forms.gle/YDuHtYQs8n4LrVxJ6 and will be available until September 10. This is our way of doing community outreach as broadly as possible. If you missed the meeting, you might wish to view it on the Facebook page before responding to the survey since a lot of information was shared during the meeting which might address your questions or concerns.

Finally, a reminder that our next meeting will be on September 30. We have invited the National Landing BID to share a study that they have prepared on ideas for Route 1, and we will also share with you the analysis of the survey we are currently conducting. It is possible that VDOT will have launched its own website by that time about the VDOT Feasibility Study they will conduct this year. We are told that the County will ensure that VDOT utilizes the Pentagon City transportation data to inform the Route 1 analysis: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/pentagon-city-planning-study/pentagon-city-planning-study-transportation-analysis/

There are a lot of other meetings coming up in September of interest to the community. If you’re not already a member, or attuned to, one of the 3 civic associations, this would be the time to join and find out what’s going on.

Livability22202 Meeting on Route 1

Dear Community Members, 

HEAR YE, HEAR YE — ALL 22202 HANDS ON DECK, 7 PM WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26TH
Register to attend a joint civic association Zoom meeting to learn about planning for “improvements” to Route 1 through a VDOT feasibility study. These could include a business plan to lower Route 1 (Richmond Hwy) to ground level at 15th and 18th Streets. Cross streets would then have to cross Route 1 at traffic-signaled intersections rather than passing under Route 1 as they currently do. If implemented, this plan would likely have a significant impact on our 22202 community. Join us to learn about where matters currently stand and to weigh in with your questions and comments.  This is a follow-up meeting from the Route 1 working group to the July 30 Livability22202 outreach meeting.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Aug 26, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Registration in advance is required for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEuduigqTwjGtMVyUsdxBnGUUMf-01wag8I

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • Agenda:
  • Introduction
  • Proposed Livability22202 Working Group Goals
  • Route One Community Survey
  • 22202 Neighborhoods and Route One: Historical Notes
  • Working Group Ideas
  • VDOT Feasibility Study Status and Community Opportunities for Input
  • Discussion
  • Wrap Up and Next Steps

Presidents of the Civic Associations:
Arlington Ridge – Mike Pickford
Aurora Highlands – Scott Miles
Crystal City – Carol Fuller

CCCA Virtual Meeting for Livability 22202 Follow Up

On August 6, 2020, the CCCA held a virtual meeting via Zoom to update members on all the progress made this year by the CCCA and the Livability 22202 group, despite difficult circumstances. The presentation included information on Crystal City open space initiatives, housing, development updates, the Underground Challenge, and the future of Route 1.

Specific Agenda:

1.  Open Space Details and Feedback 

2.  Housing Details and Feedback

3.  Big Picture Items and Development

4.  Underground Challenge

5.  Route 1

View the meeting here.

Moving Livability 22202 Forward Zoom Meeting

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.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

July Newsletter is Out

Newsletter Masthead

Quick reminders (more details in the Newsletter):

1.  Livability Issues (Remember:  If we don’t speak up, the County, developers, and the BID may think that the community doesn’t care and will do when they think is right for the community): 

  • Don’t forget to participate in the three Crystal City Parks engagement meetings hosted by the National Landing BID.  
  • Participate in the Underground Challenge and share your thoughts on what it should be.
  • Look for the community meeting the three civic associations will be hosting later in the summer to update you on what has happened and what are next steps in the Livability agenda.

2.  Special Election July 7: Three candidates are vying to take the seat vacated by Erik Gutshall’s passing.

3.  Virtual SPRC Process for 101 S. 12th Street:  Provide input from July 1-8.  Remember:  if we don’t speak up, the County will assume everything is just fine.

4.  Census: Have you registered?  If so, why are you getting continuous reminders?

Your President
Carol Fuller

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.

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

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